Getting The Best Camera For Snorkeling
Today we are looking at the best snorkeling camera. When it comes to snorkeling, you don’t want to miss any of the underwater action. Whether you’re checking out the sea turtles, the jellyfish, or the thousands of colorful fish, you need to capture each moment with the best camera for snorkeling.
The good news is you have lots of options! There are three different kinds of cameras that are super popular for snorkeling. It mostly comes down to how much snorkeling you will be doing and how much money you are willing to spend.
The cheapest and simplest option is going to be picking up a disposable waterproof camera. If you’re on vacation and you’ll only be snorkeling for a few hours at most, this is definitely the best choice. You can pick a waterproof camera up just about anywhere, it costs you next to nothing, and you can get a full day of excellent underwater photographs.
The second option is going to be a dedicated waterproof camera. These are also pretty inexpensive, and they work for much more than just snorkeling. Most digital waterproof cameras can be used for diving and adventure photography as well because they are built to be extremely rugged and durable.
And the final option is purchasing a waterproof housing for your advanced camera. This is the most expensive method. If you want to use one of the best cameras in the business, it’s probably not going to be waterproof. You will then need to purchase the entire setup, and this can get expensive. However, this is going to yield the best quality of photos.
1. Fujifilm Quick Snap Waterproof CameraThe Fujifilm Quick Snap is an awesome disposable camera that you can use for having all kinds of fun on your vacation. This is the ideal snorkeling camera for holidaymakers. If you don’t want to invest hundreds and hundreds of dollars into an advanced camera that you’re only going to use for two weeks out of the year, why not just purchase a quality disposable camera? This camera still takes great pictures, you can bring it underwater with you up to 35 feet, and it’s available in a 1-pack and a 4-pack. This allows you to save money and buy bulk, that way you’ll never run out of film.
And yes, unlike most modern cameras this one uses a 35-millimeter film. You are going to have to get it developed. However, these cameras are cheap. You can probably pick one up at your local drug store or even while out on holiday. And it’s not restricted to use underwater. The camera is built to be rugged, so it’s great if you’re going outdoors, climbing mountains, or doing any other extreme activity while on vacation. It’s easy to use, it has a large shutter release, and it even works well in snowy or rainy conditions.
- Available in 4-Pack
- Waterproof up to 35 Feet
- Easy Operation
- Nostalgic & Fun
- Not the Best Quality
- Uses 35mm Film
The Olympus TG-5 is on almost every list of the best adventure cameras. For diving, snorkeling, mountain climbing, backpacking, and any other type of outdoor activity – you can rely on the TG-5 to stand up to the elements and capture phenomenal photographs. Not only does this camera take great pictures in any condition, but it also features a 4K video mode with a 12-megapixel image sensor. This means videos and pictures are right at your fingertips, underwater or above it!
Yes, the camera is waterproof. But it’s also shockproof, crushproof, and dustproof. This is the best affordable action camera around today. The lens can zoom a little, it comes included with a built-in GPS, it has integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and you can even take slow-motion videos. As for actually using the camera, it’s super lightweight and easy to use with just one hand while paddling through the water. It’s also able to be charged via USB. This counteracts the poor battery life since you can charge it on the go with a portable charger.
- Best for Snorkeling
- Large 3” Screen
- Waterproof up to 50 Feet
- Powerful Image Processor
- Works Well in Low Light
- Limited Zoom
- Low Megapixels
- Low Battery Life
The Nikon Coolpix is right on par with the Olympus TG-5, but there are a few differences. This camera is significantly cheaper. It’s just under $400, which almost makes you wonder how exactly they are getting away with such a low price. The camera comes in three different colors, either orange, yellow, or black. It promises to be waterproof up to 100 feet underwater, though there have been fogging issues reported. One of the best things about the Coolpix is that it takes phenomenal pictures above the water as well. It offers high resolution with its powerful sensor, it can take 4K UHD videos, and it has a 5x optical zoom. It also comes with hybrid image stabilization to take the clearest and most vivid photographs, even if you’re in the back of a vehicle or speeding down a dirt track on your bike.
As an outdoor adventure camera, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Coolpix is even freezeproof up to 14 degrees. That makes this the perfect camera for all your vacations, whether you’re going snorkeling at the beach or skiing in the mountains. No matter the job, this camera stays with you to deliver the goods. It even comes with an integrated LED light for illuminating potential targets in the darkness.
- Freezeproof + Shockproof + Waterproof
- 5x Optical Zoom
- 4K Videos w/ Stereo Sound
- Easy to Operate
- Improved 16-MP Sensor
- Poor Low-Light Performance
- Little Heavy
- Possible Fogging Issues
The Fujifilm Waterproof Camera is one of the better options for people not looking to spend a lot of money. This is definitely the budget camera of the list, but it’s by no means a bad camera. It works with a 16.4-megapixel sensor, it’s waterproof down to 65 feet, it’s freezeproof up to 14 degrees, and it’s shockproof as well. It comes with all the same standards as the other cameras, and it has a 5x optical zoom. The only downside is that you cannot make 4K videos. But who needs 4K videos when snorkeling? You are still going to get awesome pictures. Plus, the camera comes with geotagging capabilities, which means you will always know exactly where your photos were taken so you can go back later for more!
You can purchase the camera in one of five different colors, which is always nice for people who like a bit of choice with their aesthetics. The camera uses a burst mode if you need it. You can make high-speed movies, and the colors will be perfect. The camera even has an underwater macro mode so that you can get up close and personal with all the interesting marine life you will encounter while snorkeling. The lens is great, the monitor is wide and useful, and all the buttons are simplistic and easy to use.
- Small & Durable
- Super Affordable
- Waterproofing & Shock Resistance Work Great
- Underwater Macro
- Excellent Color Reproduction
- Settings Can Be Confusing
- Battery Life Not Great
- Pictures Appear Worse on Camera Screen
The last option on the list is for our friends out there who have lots of money to spend on a new camera! The Sony a7R III is incredibly expensive and incredibly powerful. If you want snorkeling photos that look like they could be in National Geographic magazine, this is the camera you would use. Most of the waterproof cameras have 12 or 16 megapixels, but this one has 42.4 megapixels. As you can imagine, that is a huge boost in photo quality. There are so many features it’s difficult to just pick a few to talk about. First, you get amazing light with the back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, meaning even in the worst lighting conditions your pictures are going to be fabulous. The image processing is super quick, the 4K video is professional, and you can shoot continuously in silence.
The raw deal is that this is one of the best cameras in the world. If you want realistic movies and photographs with perfect resolution, this is the camera to use. Of course, it’s not waterproof, but you can purchase a special underwater housing unit to make it waterproof for your snorkeling adventure. Just keep in mind that some of the housing units are actually more expensive than the camera itself! There is a lot of technology that goes into turning your Sony a7R III into a snorkeling cam.
- Revolutionary Camera w/ Premium Quality
- 4 Megapixels w/ Enhanced CMOS Sensor
- Realistic Videos
- Lightning-Fast Image Processing
- Durable, Lightweight, Easy to Use
- Super Expensive
- Housing Units Are Also Wildly Expensive
- Nothing Else!
As you can see, purchasing a quality camera for snorkeling is actually super cheap. All the waterproof cameras are point and shoot, making them super easy to use. They work well outside of the water, and the disposable waterproof camera from Fujifilm is a fun way to capture all your holiday memories.
The only expensive option you have is using the pricey Sony camera with the housing unit. However, if you will be snorkeling in murky water or someplace where light could be an issue, you probably want to use a powerhouse of a camera like the Sony.
Unlike with sports photography or landscape photography, you don’t really need to worry about zoom capabilities, autofocusing, or shutter speed. The world under the waves is extremely slow, and as you drift along you will be able to take photos at your leisure. The main things you need to think about are the megapixels, that way you can get quality images of all the bright fish, and the waterproofing.
Unlike diving, you won’t be going very far underwater. You won’t need extreme waterproofing. But you do need a camera that won’t leak after twenty minutes of use! Always check the reviews and make your final decision based on what you’re comfortable with. And above all, have fun!