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The Best Underwater Cameras In 2022 | TopReviews

We understand that you always want to keep beautiful moments of yourself, loved ones or simply a moment that nature gives. However, things would seem much harder if we were underwater. Don't hesitate, as TopReviews has a few suggestions for the best underwater cameras, along with buying tips so you can come up with the right choice!

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Buying Guides

1. Different types of the best Underwater Cameras

  • Action cameras: Simple point-and-shoot cameras often have built-in fisheye lenses or more recently 360 lenses. Although these are extremely simple to use and are an easy way to capture your diving material, if you really want to participate in underwater photography, you may find the features quite limited. Some of the recommendations for the best action underwater cameras are Akaso EK7000 4K  and COOAU Native Wi-Fi.

  • Compact cameras: Essentially a point-and-shoot, compact cameras come with a bunch of features depending on how much you want to spend. While the cheaper ones can leave much to be desired, the top models have some incredible capabilities and are sometimes rival DSLRs for a fraction of the cost. These are a great place to start with underwater photography as they will allow you to develop your skills without being too overwhelmed to get started. An example is Olympus Tough TG-6.

  • Mirrorless cameras: This is a great midpoint between compact cameras and DSLRs - better optics, larger sensors, interchangeable lenses and excellent image quality, they are smaller than cameras dSLR images but still produces professional looking images. Sony α7R IV and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III are some of your best choices for the best mirrorless underwater camera.

  • DSLR cameras: DSLR is the best underwater camera you can get. They deliver the best images as they have the best sensor, best lenses and overall best performance, and there's very little lag between pressing the shutter button and taking the photo. However, they are very large, weigh a lot, and cameras and housing will easily set you back a few thousand pounds. It's important to note that buying great gear doesn't equal good pictures, so wait until your photography really develops before splitting money on professional gear. There are some potential candidates like Canon EOS 5D and Nikon D850.

2. Housing availability 

Even if a case is available for a particular camera model, you'll want to investigate what your case has to offer. Are all the camera controls accessible? What types of connections are available for external flashing lights? Are additional external lenses available to let you shoot wider or closer macro? 

These are all important items to investigate. Some point-and-shoot models have only one case available while the point-and-shoot models are more advanced, and DSLRs often have multiple cover options.

3. Manual controls

This is the most important decision you will make when choosing the best underwater camera. While you can take pictures on land in automatic mode with no issues, ideally you'll need more control of your underwater image. This is for two main reasons:

  • Reason 1: To put it simply - the auto mode doesn't work underwater as well as on land. Relying on the camera to help achieve a good exposure and the colors are not as effective under water as your camera is designed to deal with light in water.

  • Reason 2: Underwater photographers are different. Most underwater photographers (which we define as anyone taking pictures underwater) want more than just snapshots to prove they're diving - they want images they can be proud of. The point is, even if you think you just want to shoot in automatic mode, something underwater can quickly change this. That said, the self-timer is better than nothing. We are sure many underwater photographers have had an enjoyable life with auto mode. Just make sure you understand its limitations before buying a camera that doesn't offer manual controls. If you switch to fully automatic mode, chances are many other features won't interest you, so preference by size or price might be your best option.

4. Manual white balance

Manual white balance becomes important if you plan to shoot without flicker and use only ambient light. Due to the nature of the water, images that use only natural light will appear blue. Manual white balance is an effective way to remove this color layer. If you're going to buy flashlights, this isn't as important.

5. Lens options

If you are planning on shooting with a point-and-shoot camera, your home selection will be based in part on its ability to accept external “wet lenses”. These wet lenses are additional optical lenses positioned above or in front of the gate to enable macro photography at a wider or closer angle. If you are interested in wide angle shooting, we would ideally recommend choosing a case/camera that can fit one of the third party wet fisheye lenses. These lenses allow you to get as close to your subject as possible, which will result in more colorful and detailed images.

If you are shooting with a DSLR camera, each brand has its own high-quality lenses available, and the choice of lenses will not be decisive for the camera. However, you need to make sure that you use the appropriate ports for each lens.

6. Shutter lag

Compact cameras have a distinct lag between the moment you press the shutter button and when the actual photo is taken. This shutter lag varies with the model. The shutter lag can be annoying when capturing moving subjects such as fish and other wildlife as the subject may have moved from the moment you pressed the shutter button until the photo was taken. Try to choose a model with the lowest possible shutter lag. Higher-end compacts have been significantly improved and have very minimal shutter lag.

7. RAW file

Different cameras produce different types of image files. If you don't plan on editing many of your photos in Photoshop or another editing program, it's fine to take pictures in JPEG format. If you plan on editing your images then consider choosing a camera that creates a RAW file, which is an uncompressed file that holds as much data as possible, which attributes a lot when you edit your images.

8. Megapixels

Don't let the megapixel hype. Doubling the megapixel doesn't double the resolution, it just increases the resolution by approximately 40%. So switching from 8 MP to 10 MP only increases the resolution by 8%. Other aspects of the camera, mostly sensor size, are a better indicator of the image quality it produces (This is why 10-megapixel DSLRs produce higher image quality. 10-megapixel point-and-shoot cameras DSLR cameras have larger sensors and each individual pixel is larger, capturing more information and thus better image quality).

9. Size

For some people, size matters most. Already burdened with large bags of diving equipment and clothing, for some it is too much to add a large underwater camera rig. Luckily, there are cameras that fit in any regular bag, and the plastic case is light enough and small enough to fit into a stuffed item. These cameras often have limited features, but are still evolving.

Best Underwater Camera Reviews

1. AKASO EK7000 4K WiFi Sports Action Camera

After playing with the Akaso EK7000 4K for a while, we can say that this is one of the better low-cost GoPro competitors. It's one of GoPro's competitors that has gained in popularity and after playing with it for a while, I can see why. 

It records 4K video (at 25 fps), takes 12MP stills, comes with a waterproof case, and uses the same mounting system. It's even packed the same way as a GoPro, with a special clear individual bubble on top. But it's simpler to use. And it's much cheaper.

The Akaso EK7000 4K action camera comes with a waterproof case that's compatible with a GoPro stand, so you can set it up on your bike or carry it underwater (including the color recalibration mode included) color to compensate for the different color balance in the water). You can operate the four main controls with ease through the large, silver buttons on the case. Once out of the case, the Akaso EK7000 action camera features a 2-inch rear touchscreen which I found easy to use for selecting camera features and video playback.

Akaso EK7000 4K will not score any points for creativity or innovation. In many ways, it's pretty basic. But this best underwater camera scores a lot of points when it comes to value for money. It costs a fraction of most GoPros and their major branded competitors. And that's a big deal. So if you are pursuing an action camera but want something much more budget-friendly and can be done without needing the latest and greatest cameras, then the Akaso EK7000 is well worth a look. 

2. S & P Safe and Perfect Underwater Camera

If you are looking for great cameras under $100 that can also be used domestically, then the S & P Safe and Perfect underwater camera is a perfect option for you. The camera comes in two different colors, blue and yellow. The camera's 48 Megapixel resolution comes with a led flashlight and a face detection mode that allows the camera to capture sharp and clear images, even as far as 10ft away. Under water, it is perfect for swimming.

The 2.7 K video resolution is ideal for video recording, while the 16x digital zoom option captures every little detail of the scene even from a distance. What's more, the S & P Safe and Perfect underwater camera is extremely lightweight so you can easily carry it around without any trouble. This product is perfect in every way except for some customers who have had problems as the camera's battery is only 650 maH, lasting only 1 hour with continuous use, making it a bad choice when traveling. In addition, it is an ideal choice in all aspects.

3. Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera

The Olympus Tough TG-6 has pretty much everything you'd want in a waterproof camera. It takes great quality photos and videos, has a rich feature set designed to make the most of your adventures, and also has the toughest build of any camera on the list. 

The TG-6 can capture amazing 12 MP stills at up to 20 fps, as well as incredibly sharp 4K video through its 4X magnification optical zoom lens with f/aperture. 2.0. Microscope mode for super-close-ups is also one of the camera's features, as well as the ability to take panoramas and time lapse. 

Advanced photographers have the option to save their images in the RAW file format for more extensive edits. Of course, there is also the option to take pictures underwater through the four dedicated modes. This best underwater camera is waterproof up to 50 feet deep, so you can even take it snorkeling.

Remaining camera highlights include built-in eCompass and temperature sensor, Wi-Fi for smartphone connectivity, GPS. You can also embed data from your sensors into your images while editing them, thanks to a dedicated Olympus app. And the 3-inch LCD monitor makes navigating through all of the camera's features a breeze. 

Finally, the Olympus Tough TG-6 comes with a host of original accessories that could expand its capabilities even further. These include a macro ring light and tough telephoto converter.

4. SeaLife DC2000 HD Underwater Digital Camera

Made specifically for divers, the SeaLife DC2000 HD is ideal for those who want quality diving shots but don't mind skipping the zoom lens. You can take your SeaLife down to 60ft/18m without a housing but with it the depth is rated at 200ft/60m. 

It's sturdy and does the job well, along with four underwater shooting modes designed to suit your needs. In terms of video quality, there are better options on our list but at 1080p and 60 fps, SeaLife shouldn't be missed here.

The SeaLife DC2000 HD has several improvements over its now discontinued predecessor, the DC1400. As the name suggests, the pixel count has increased from 14MP to 20MP, but the new sensor itself shows real promise: While the DC1400 has a 1/2.33-inch CCD sensor, the new camera boasts 1-inch CMOS - and it's made by Sony, there's no problem when it comes to the sensor.

SeaLife doesn't stop there either, with the DC2000 able to shoot Full HD 1080p at a versatile 60fps, giving you a number of slow-motion options in post. This is a huge step up for video enthusiasts, the previous model managing 720p HD at 30 fps. 

The case fits very comfortably in the palm of your hand and you can get comfortable with all the available controls just by using your right hand. The controls are versatile, easy to use and responsive, making it easy to adjust the settings.

5. COOAU Native Wi-Fi Action Sports Camera

COOAU Native Wi-Fi Action Sports Camera features time-lapse recording that allows you to record steady video while moving to the scene. You can increase the speed by up to 30 times so you can easily share longer moments. Besides that, the camera captures breathtaking 4K/2.7K/1080P video and 20MP photos, which is ideal for YouTube users.

This best underwater camera has a 1.48 microphone cable that lets you mount the camera to your chest, helmet and bike while you still have access to the top of the microphone. The camera has a built-in Wi-Fi function compatible with the “LIVE DV” application to help you control the camera when taking pictures, recording videos, changing settings, and downloading files. With EIS image stabilization, you can comfortably enjoy outdoor sports activities and smooth and steady video playback.

COOAU Native Wi-Fi Action Sports Camera has a wireless remote that works from a distance of 10 meters. This is a waterproof camera with an improved depth of water from 30M to 40M. In addition, it also comes with a 1200mAh rechargeable battery that allows you to use the camera for a long time.


1. Can you use the camera underwater above water?

Depending on the make and model, point-and-shoot cameras can be used at depths of more than 30 meters below the water surface. A professional underwater case lets you use your camera up to 200 'underwater.

2. How many megapixels are good for the best underwater camera?

A 6 megapixel camera is quite good enough for most casual camera use. Use higher megapixels only if you want to use your images for canvas-size prints or large archives. If your hobby is photographing the night sky, a higher megapixel camera might also be important.

3. Does more megapixels mean better image quality? 

No, not really. If you're comparing an 8MP camera phone to a 12MP camera phone, maybe the photos you can take with the 12MP model would be better, but they could also be worse if the sensor was the same size.

4. Is flash necessary?

You can use the camera's built-in flash to add extra light to the photo but will not work if you are not working close to your subject as it will lighten any small pieces of material that are floating around. Surrounding can cause blobs - like shapes appearing around your images. 

Instead of using the built-in flash, try capturing a stronger ray of light underwater as you can move them around the scene so that the light spots do not appear. You will also be able to create different effects, add more lights to some areas, and create shadows in others.

Unless you are near a surface where the light is a bit lighter, you will most likely need a flash to freeze the movement of the fish and plants you are photographing. The flash is also very useful when you are photographing a coral macro.

5. Can I shoot close to the surface with my best underwater camera?

If you can work closer to the surface, do so because the colors are more vibrant because light is less diffused and reflected on the surface, like when working on water, which can create more inspiration for your underwater photos. As you dive into deeper waters, remember to position your camera correctly, you won't want to see it sink away from you after all.

Final Thoughts

Together with the best underwater cameras which MacInSearch sums up and recommends, you'll be able to capture the wonderful moments of friends and family in the clear blue waters. Sometimes we even come across beautiful frames that nature gives. What are you waiting for without immersing yourself in the blue sea, white sand and creating pictures for a lifetime? Summer is beckoning!