Buying Guide for the Best Waterproof Cameras
Why buy a waterproof camera?
They’re fun for swimming, but many waterproof cameras are built with much more functionality. Professional-level technologies like Ultra HD, high FPS, and shockproof and freezeproof material have been made available to photographers from kids to skilled adults. You can take some waterproof cameras through rainstorms and blizzards or strap one to your wrist while you surf. If you’re planning a beach trip or a weekend by a lake and you want to take pictures so you can remember your vacation, a waterproof camera is going to be an essential tool for keeping your memories safe from harm.
What should you look for in a waterproof camera?
- Technology: Get familiar with terms and specifications like 4K HD, FPS, 1080P versus 720P, and so forth because you’ll run across them as you shop for waterproof cameras. It’s all about what you want out of the camera. Do you want movie, audio, and manual capability? A wide-angle lens? You might not know what you want until you know what’s possible, so get clear on some terminology before you make a purchase.
- Accessories: This may surprise you, but some of the products we reviewed come with accessories such as remote controls, tethers, USB and AC chargers, helmet mounts, wireless wrist bands, and more. Which accessories will be most beneficial to you depends on the activities you plan to do.
- Waterproofing: How far down do you want to go? The kids’ camera we reviewed here comes with a waterproof case. With the case on, the camera can be taken up to 98 feet below the surface! Interestingly, the highest-tech camera is submersible up to 50 feet, but it can also be taken into freezing temperatures and dropped off a cliff. So when it comes to fun in the water, be sure to pay attention to the waterproof specifications.
What should you expect to spend on a waterproof camera?
This is a question worth asking because prices vary widely, even when all the cameras in consideration are of good quality. We review a Fujifilm disposable camera (two-pack) that runs around $40 and a kids’ HD camera that runs $35. They’re good casual options for capturing vacation memories, but they won’t satisfy professionals. On the other end of the price range, there’s a $450 camera that’s expensive for good reason. It does everything and does it well. It would be more appropriate for athletes or serious photographers and videographers. Again, it all comes down to what you’re looking for in a waterproof camera and your skill level.
Our Picks for the Best Waterproof Cameras
AKASO EK7000 Waterproof Ultra HD Action Camera
A waterproof camera with video and wireless wrist 2.4G remote control to capture water sports adventures.
Pros: The AKASO EK7000 is not your average underwater camera. Considered an “action camera,” the AKASO boasts an HD 4K 30FPS, 2.7K 30FPS, and 1080P 60FPS video capability, and the wide 170° angle lens captures the ultimate expansive field view. The waterproof case withstands stormy weather and allows you to submerge this camera down to 100 feet for all your favorite underwater activities. This means you can surf and capture your ride to share with others using the wireless wrist 2.4G remote control. The action camera comes with built-in Wi-Fi and HDMI compatibility, so you can edit and share videos and stills from your adventures.
Cons: If you’re new to this level of photo video technology, you may struggle to get used to this camera.
Bottom Line: What a great product! The AKASO EK7000 is an impressive waterproof action video and photo camera. And it comes with numerous accessories. You’ll have to check them out!
Agoigo Kids HD Digital Waterproof Sports Camera
A digital waterproof camera for kids with fun filters and frames to play around with.
Pros: If you’re an adult, a word of caution: You may want to keep this kids’ sports camera for yourself. It’s waterproof and submersible to 98 feet. It takes photos, captures videos, has time-lapse and playback features, and more. It’s equipped with 5.0 MP and a 1080P HD IPS screen. As children run around and play in the water, they can practice with the camera, experimenting with 28 frames and six colorful filters for up to three hours with the built-in rechargeable battery. Can it get better than this? Yes. The kids’ camera comes with a mounting kit that you can attach to flat surfaces like bikes and helmets. Finally, they can even use this camera to play video games.
Cons: Some users found it difficult to decipher the instructions.
Bottom Line: Have fun watching your kid play around with this camera. Thanks to its 32GB high capacity, they’ll have lots to show you.
Pros: For a simple waterproof disposable camera, you can’t beat this Fujifilm one. It delivers on all the basics and more. The camera comes pre-loaded with 800 ISO 35mm film, ready for all kinds of weather. It’s a cinch to operate. You’ll find the film advance knob mounted on the top of the camera and the large lever-like shutter release on the front. Take it outside in the snow or rainstorm. Why not? You might get a great rainbow shot! But its knock-out quality is that it’s submersible up to 35 feet underwater to show friends what you saw on vacation.
Cons: If you’re expecting the crystal-like clarity that only HD digital cameras can produce, this product may be a disappointment.
Bottom Line: The Fujifilm QuickSnap may be your perfect future beach vacation camera. It’s compact to easily fit in a backpack or purse, and it works well.
Vikeri IP66 Waterproof Hunting Camera
This waterproof camera outperforms the ability of the best hunters' eyes and ears.
Pros: The Vikeri camera is an intensive piece of equipment in several ways. The waterproof camera is designed to aid hunters or property owners who might use it as a surveillance tool. So to function to that degree, one can only expect that this camera is built with some intense technology. For starters, it’s designed with high-grade IP66 waterproofing materials for rugged durability. The HD video and 2.4-inch LCD color screen bring the animal movement and sound to you in crystal clear image and sound. The waterproof camera features a 20-degree wide-angle lens and a 120-degree detecting range for an ideal broad-range view. While the camera gives you acute vision and hearing ability, its 48 PCS no-glow infrared LEDs conceal your presence. Its camouflage design reinforces this quality, keeping you as undetectable as possible. The camera comes with a mounting strap for installation at home or on the trail.
Cons: A number of users commented on their disappointment with the performance with the included 32GB card. You may want to purchase your own card.
Bottom Line: If you hunt and want to amp up your game, the Vikeri is worth consideration. It also works well for home or business security since it’s discreet but durable.
Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera
The ultimate waterproof camera for snorkeling or rugged outdoor experiences.
Pros: The Olympus Tough TG-6 is a fantastic camera all around. It can be submerged up to 50 feet, is dustproof, freezeproof, shockproof, and has an anti-fog feature, all of which combine to make the perfect outdoor camera. There are five different modes for shooting underwater in different conditions and four macro modes for magnified shooting. The TG-6 can also shoot video in 4K and 120 FPS full HD movies. The battery life of the camera ranges from 110 to 29 minutes, depending on the shooting mode being used. This camera has your back for any adventure you have in mind. It features action track sensors for GPS, compass, thermometer, and manometer/barometer instruments. You can also data imprint photos, as well as sync both photos and video using the included app.
Cons: The Olympus Tough TG-6 is on the pricier side. Also, it may be more complex than what users are looking for.
Bottom Line: This camera is durable, waterproof, and Ultra-HD. You can take it to the top of a snow mountain or far below the sea, capturing stunning views and audio. Somehow, it’s also tiny for easy portability.
If you want a quality waterproof camera, consider your needs and then take a look at our suggestions.