Underwater cameras are extremely popular devices for snorkeling or scuba diving. Purchasing a great, tough camera is crucial if you’re keen on capturing wonderful marine life and underwater adventures without damaging the device. Before eyeing one, think about the kind of features you want and also your budget.
To help with your search, we’ve set aside the 5 best underwater cameras for snorkeling. Each offers unique selling points and features, which we will explain in detail down below. If you do want to know more about underwater cameras, we’ll go through some key points needed when purchasing a camera. So, check that out as well!
Best Underwater Camera for Snorkeling Reviews
Here’s our list of the top snorkeling cameras so you can make the best out of your underwater trip.
1. Dragon Touch Vision 3 Pro – Best Overall Snorkeling Camera
Dragon Touch does not shy away from making the best out of a compact device. Designed keeping in mind the spirit of adventure, the Vision 3 Pro celebrates easy operation with a handy structure of a 2″ touch screen and IPS display.
The 16MP camera offers stunning smooth pictures, provided you don’t move the camera too much. The HD videos are shot in 4k with 30FPS, which relatively results in a steady visual experience while a 4X zoom is provided to assist any distant shots. Given it is a waterproof camera, the diving limit is about a 100ft.
In terms of connectivity, just as you become one with the sea, it shares the same principle through its 2.4GHz WIFI and HDMI connection. You can access and post your photos/videos on Instagram, Youtube, and more by downloading its “XDV” app.
With the internal specs settled, let’s talk about adjustability. The Vision 3 Pro does offer an adjustable angle camera lens and you can opt between several wide-angle ranges of 70, 110, 140, and 170 degrees. Whether you decide on narrow or expansive, the choice is completely up to you.
For those interested in an on the go camera, the Vision 3 Pro is a pretty safe bet with promising features and performance.
- Ideal for fast movements
- Efficient starter camera
- Great underwater performance
- Does not support flash
- Difficult camera app
See This Camera in Action!
2. Akaso Brave 7 Camera – The Runner Up
Second, on our list is the Brave 7 LE from Akaso. It is a powerful underwater camera with a weatherproofing system and the IPX7 design that secures the camera from water splashing, rain, and snow (freeze proof). The camera can dive down up to 131ft when equipped with its waterproof housing.
Apart from the touch screen interface, it has an innovative dual-color display design. You can easily switch your monitoring and framing views from back and front. The front screen in particular creates satisfying selfies while the 2-inch back screen offers a much more convenient usage.
The camera can shoot in 4K along with a 20-megapixel photo. The video performance remains clear and crisp as it takes 30Fps. The image quality looks pretty smooth with great detail. With the 7 LE, image stabilization is at the top of its game, thanks to the 6-axis EIS. This heavily influences stable and fluent video recording.
Now, it does come with a ton of other accessories, such as the digital zoom as well as various shooting camera modes, including time-lapse, fast motion, and burst photo along with 2 rechargeable batteries and a remote. This of course makes the camera a worthy opponent for all kinds of adventures you may have in mind.
- Clear and crisp image quality
- Easy to use the menu
- Decent battery
- A little hefty
- Not ideal in low light
3. Akaso EK7000 Camera – Best Budget Snorkeling Camera
Another top player from Akaso and perhaps the more affordable one out of the bunch is the EK7000. It’s a 4K Ultra HD camera with a compact size and a minimal design. Meant for both professional and casual underwater activities, it offers an impressive set-up of 4K/25Fps and 2.7K/30Fps for videos and 12MP/30Fps for photos.
A lot of times compact can also mean convenient and this one stays true to it by incorporating the wireless wrist 2.4G remote control. There’s also the inclusion of 2 rechargeable batteries with a capacity of 1050mAh. Each battery can support a recording time of around 90 minutes.
The EK7000 is also equipped with the in-built WIFI and HDMI features as found in other Akasa models. The WIFI signal can range up to 10m and allows the edit/sharing of any photo and video. The feature is primarily accessed through the smart DV app and by connecting it with the camera.
The diving capacity pretty much remains in the standard range of 100ft, which is great for snorkeling, scuba diving, and more. Being an action camera, the EK7000 is built with a tolerance for extreme weather conditions/environment. It’s convenient, efficient and serves as a great value for money camera.
- Great high resolution video
- Affordable pricing
- Supports still videos
- Messy photo order in-app
- Average battery
4. YISENCE FHD Digital Camera
The YISENCE underwater camera is perhaps the most versatile one on our list. It comes with a massive 48MP camera and allows Full HD 2.7K shooting with two different resolutions. This includes 2.7K/20Fps and FHD 1080P with 30Fps to suit any desired preference.
As designed for the underwater world, it can dive but only up to 10ft. This dive compatibility is suitable for various water sports like surfing, snorkeling, drifting, and more. With a dual display (2.7 front and 1.8 rear) interface, you can easily click others and yourself while on the water, plus the 16X zoom feature comes as an extra treat.
As mentioned before, this a versatile camera by any means and the stats are looking good with multiple functions such as the self-timer, exposure, white balance, 6 continuous shooting, and humanized operation with multiple language systems. The built-in image stabilization is equally impressive, delivering steady videos.
Finally, the entire system is supported by a 650 mAh battery (rechargeable) that supports recording when charging as well. Considering its versatile performance, it does lack in the battery department but does not fall short of any other expectation. It’s certainly worth the investment.
- Ideal for outdoor use
- Requires additional SD card
- Moderate zoom
5. Akaso 4K Action Camera
Closing out the list is yet another action camera from Akaso. This 4K Ultra HD camera runs on a 4K/25Fps and 2.7K 30Fps for shooting videos while a 12MP with 30Fps backs up clear and smooth photos. The resolution over here is 4x the resolution found in traditional HD cameras.
This one is also backed by the standard Akaso WIFI, HDMI, and wireless remote control system featuring the 2.4G wireless wrist to capture in a much more convenient way. You can record, shoot, and frame shots all you want with just a click of a button. Your captured data can simply be accessed via its iSmart DV application for both iOS and Android.
In terms of durability and battery longevity, the 1050mAh battery can make recordings for about 90 minutes and comes with two rechargeable batteries. It’s not the longest but given it’s a compact on-the-go cam, it’s understandable.
Designed to battle against changing environments, it stands as an ideal companion for all your water activities such as snorkeling, spearfishing, drifting, swimming, and more. Along with the IP68 waterproof case, it comes with tons of other accessories, making this powerful device all the more likable.
- Value for money
- Lots of accessories
- Great underwater housing
- Materials are a little cheap
- Average battery life
Underwater Camera for Snorkeling Buying Guide
Having a good underwater camera is essential to help capture various diving and snorkeling moments, hence, we recommended you keep these features in mind while shopping for your device.
The two basic types of camera found are DSLR and compact. Before selecting your go-to camera, it’s important to know the different advantages and performances that both offers. DSLRs are typically used by professional photographers as they tend to provide higher resolution and interchangeable lenses.
While a compact camera is typically meant to be a point and shoot camera, the size and weight offer a greater advantage if you’re an avid underwater explorer as they tend to be lighter and easier to carry. So, unless you plan on doing an entire underwater photo-shoot, it is a suitable choice for casual use.
Photo Zoom and Stabilization
Visual clarity is important in any environment, so, think about the kind of zooming capabilities you require from the camera. Consider whether the macro or microscopic model works best for you. If you’re not well-versed in your ability to stay close to a reef without damage, a good zoom should be on the checklist.
However, if you’re crazy over small critters, a macro mode is the proper way to shoot. Another important feature is the image stabilization technology. If you’re a big-time shooter of still photos and videos while in motion then a good stabilization feature is something you’ll want.
In a camera, underwater or not, every component contributes to creating quality performance. But people usually tend to think of higher megapixels as super crucial. Of course, they are essential in making quality photos but the camera sensor should normally be at the top. A good sensor often outmatches higher megapixels.
When selecting the best underwater camera for snorkeling, opt for a better and advanced sensor rather than sticking with higher megapixels. For instance, a camera such as the 12 mp Canon with a high-spec sensor will perform much better compared to a camera with 15 or 20 megapixels but a poor or outdated sensor.
Underwater Camera FAQs
We’ve compiled a list of questions frequented by customers and alike regarding underwater snorkeling cameras. We hope it clears your doubts if you have one.
Is GoPro a Good Underwater Camera?
The GoPro undoubtedly ranks as a top contender for underwater cameras in the world and there is good evidence behind this. For one, it is an incredibly compact, powerful, and affordable camera that allows a lot of people – whether professional or not to take it for dives and capture decent-quality videos.
All the GoPro models are compatible with snorkeling while the HERO 7 remains the only camera compatible with the super suitcase or dive housing. The GoPro cameras may be compact but it packs up with some great features such as the removable battery, as found in the HERO 7.
When Was the Underwater Camera Invented?
Underwater cameras had its start with what was at the time a small experiment using a couple of old film cameras back in the ’60s. Of course, this small experiment perpetuated a much greater cause and turned into a huge project, which we now love and participate in the form of underwater photography.
Invented in 1963, the Nikonos camera was one of the earliest, if not the first underwater camera made available commercially. Its earlier models were co-designed by Jacques Cousteau, a famous explorer, and aquanaut. Today, the camera is out of production but you can find it on eBay at about $100.
Where Can You Get Underwater Cameras Developed?
Underwater cameras can be developed in several places, although it may also depend on where you’re located. One of the most popular and well-known outlets is the Walgreens store. The store provides a film processing machine you can make use of for developing film as well as creating CDs.
There are also certain websites and professional lab prints that offer film processing services. You can view, select, and order prints of your desired collection for them to develop. Most do offer quality results, however, the overall service and pricing would depend on the site/lab itself, so, make the right pick.
Find the Best Underwater Camera for Snorkeling That’s Right for You
There are various reasons why one chooses to invest in a waterproof digital camera. Be it for diving against the open sea or your next underwater snorkeling adventure, no one wants to miss out on collecting memories and reminiscing over it while offshore.
But of course, choosing the right underwater camera is no easy task, however with the right research and guidance, it’s not impossible either. As there are many underwater cameras available, be sure to thoroughly inspect the overall functionality and built to find your right pick when checking under the waterproof category. Make sure that you keep the price tag in mind before choosing one and, obviously, watch out for sharks!