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The best waterproof camera for 2022

What is summer without fun on the water? We know you want to capture your favorite summer memories as you create, whether you’re splashing in a pool or in the ocean. Unfortunately, electronic devices do not thrive in water like we do.

There are dedicated waterproof camera models out there, but they’re not the best option for most people. Depending on your plans, something as simple as a waterproof case for your phone could work. But there are also other situations. You may need a waterproof sports camera to record your adventures on the high seas (or your last kayaking trip). If you’re into underwater photography, chances are you’re looking for a digital camera that is not only waterproof but also takes amazing photos. After all, a more rugged camera doesn’t necessarily have to be equipped with things like wide-angle shooting, the ability to shoot in low light, or optimal white balance.

There aren’t any underwater DSLRs in this list, but some of these waterproof cameras can take amazing photos.

Are you ready to find the best waterproof camera for you? Below is a list of options ranging from a simple and cheap underwater camera to a more expensive and more extensive underwater camera device. You may not need the latter, but you will still be able to shoot killer videos on every water slide and deep underwater reef. Check out my video below for a sample of what you can expect.

We periodically update this list of the best waterproof cameras, most recently to reflect changes to the GoPro lineup, along with an updated assessment of our budget pick, the Akaso Brave 7 LE.

Akaso

If you’re on a budget, you can still purchase a waterproof action camera for all your underwater activities. The Akaso Brave 7 LE not only records 4K video, has image stabilization and a front screen, but comes packed with accessories for a lot less than comparable GoPro sans accessories.

Akaso says the enclosure shipped with the Brave 7 LE is good up to 40 meters or approximately 131 feet. This is enough for any water adventure, including most commercial scuba diving.

For deep dives there seems to be no options for the red or magenta filter accessory found on GoPros. Don’t break contracts, just something to keep in mind.

The camcorder’s 4K video recording has a caveat: it’s only 30fps. It’s not a big deal, but it does mean there is no chance of slow motion videos at this resolution. However, it is in lower resolutions. Build quality and image quality are fine for the price, although not as good as even the cheaper GoPros.

Be professional

The main reason for switching from a GoPro to another brand is the extremely wide range of accessories available and the availability of these accessories. Almost every dive shop and beach hotel on Earth will sell several GoPro products such as batteries, cases, and more.

If you don’t need the highest video quality, frames per second or stabilization, the Hero7 Black will work just fine. The small size of this compact camera fits practically anywhere, and its water resistance without the housing is up to 10 meters. This is enough for things like surfing, swimming pools, possibly also snorkeling, unless you have fins or can really hold your breath. For the deeper dives it is Diving case available this is good for 131 feet (40 meters).

Two other accessories that I recommend for this waterproof underwater camera are Trainer and Wrist strap / wrist strap. The handler floats with the attached camera, which makes it much harder to lose your GoPro. The strap allows you to have your hands free. It’s not perfect for burst shots, but for short clips and photos, just like aim like Spidey. OK, maybe not quite like Spidey.

Read our GoPro Hero 7 Black hands-on exercises.

Be professional

To increase resolution, frame rate, and image stabilization, the Hero 9 Black is just a little more money than the Hero 7 Black. Like 7, Hero 9 it is waterproof to a height of 33 feet on its own and it does protective underwater housing capable of going much deeper.

Accessories I like for Hero 7 I also like for Hero9, incl Trainer handle i Wrist strap / wrist strap.

GoPro isn’t the only name in action or waterproof cameras by all means, but it’s the greatest. The ability to get an extra battery, get a different grip or case virtually anywhere is the main selling point of this waterproof digital camera.

But due to the huge variety of photos and videos, the 360 ​​camera is an even better option.

Read our GoPro Hero 9 Black hands-on exercises.

Insta360

Personally, it is my choice. The 360 ​​camera lets you record everything at once, then edit your best shots together when you get back to shore. Once upon a time, 360 cameras with two or more lenses and sensors were just a strange niche for creating spherical videos. They are rarely used for this anymore. Now they’re just incredibly versatile action cameras. Insta360 and GoPro, two of the biggest brands in space, expect you to create traditional 1080p movies using recorded 360 footage. Using One R’s predecessor, the One X, over several dives, it’s an easy way to create compelling, professional-looking movies. Also easy as you don’t need to aim at the camera. You grab everything around you all the time. Later, you edit smooth pans, like from turtle to facial reaction to turtle. You can also keep a fish in the center of the frame by swimming around it without ever moving the camera.

It’s easier for you to show what I mean. Here it is raw 360 360 video Last year I dived in Barbados. By using their application, I made this moviewhich shows only interesting snippets that could be integrated into a more traditional video / vlog, Instagram etc. All camera panning is done in the app after the fact.

The GoPro Max, its 360 action camera, is good and can create great videos right out of the box. However, One R is much more adapted to different situations. It’s modular, so you can replace the 360 ​​dual-lens module with a single-lens high-refresh rate 4K module, or even a high-quality 1-inch sensor module for better low-light performance.

The One R is waterproof to 16ft / 5m as long as it’s secured in the included mounting bracket. To go deeper, there are three options. In the case of mod 360 it is vertical housing (shown above) although you will need one vertical battery go with it. It is good up to 98ft / 30m. There are good cases up to 197ft / 60m for both 4K wide angle and 1 inch sensor modules.

Light and movement

Light behaves differently the deeper you go. You lose reds, then oranges, then even greens. So, depending on the depth and many other factors, your underwater photos may be rather monochrome. The vivid photos of corals and fish you’ve likely seen on Instagram were likely taken with much more expensive cameras than we discussed, with elaborate and powerful lighting devices.

However, you can balance that a bit. This 600 lumen waterproof LED lamp from Light and Motion should be great for close-up photos and videos. They won’t light a school of fish, but and fish for sure, and sometimes that’s all you need. It is rated at 60m / 196ft.

There are plenty of options available for under $ 100, but they’re either darker, have extensive bad reviews, or both. Before you buy this or any underwater camera lamp, check the user’s photos to learn about its capabilities. Then double check if you can attach the flash to the camera mount. If you want more brightness, there’s likely a waterproof light, no matter how high your budget may be.

Why not just a waterproof phone case?

Many new phones are waterproof… kind of. Models like Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro are IP68 rated meaning they can be wet and can be submerged for a few feet in fresh water, but this is more the case for accidental drops and not prolonged use under water. Plus, there’s really no reason to rely on it. If you’re planning to spend a day in or out of the water, a cheap waterproof case is an easy way to ensure that your few hundred dollar smartphones don’t become Many hundreds of dollars punch line to a sad story.

We don’t have a specific recommendation for this as it will depend on your phone. A few things to keep in mind. Even the best cases are really only for light water. Water pressure is one of the most powerful things in nature, and even a few feet below the surface may be enough to break seals in an inexpensive housing. Some say they can survive tens of feet below the surface, but how much are you willing to trust a $ 10 plastic bag from a company called TotallySafeCazesExtreme?

It’s best to think of them as insurance rather than as an underwater tool. If your goal is to take great pictures of your friends and pets underwater, it’s probably worth investing in something built for the job – like everything listed above.

What about real cameras?

One thing you might notice in the list above is the traditional “camera”. There are rugged underwater cameras manufactured by several well-known manufacturers. Some are pretty good, and I don’t mind. The ones with flash can be useful for filling in white light if you’re deep (and close to your subject). Some have optical zoom which may be applicable.

However, they are much larger than an action cam and don’t have nearly as many accessories available, especially when it comes to mounts. Possibility to mount the camera on the shoulder, mask, BCD and so on allows you to keep your hands free for safety or for carrying other equipment. It also facilitates getting in and especially getting out of the water.

Important maintenance tip

One last piece of advice. No matter where you take your waterproof camera, rinse it thoroughly with fresh water at the end of the day, and if you have the case, if you have one. Then let it dry completely before putting it away.

Regardless, it’s a good practice, but especially salt water is extremely corrosive and will destroy all the little metal parts in any dive housing quickly and efficiently, and you will notice that it has only been destroyed the next time you use it.


In addition to discussing television and other display technologies, Geoff does photo tours around cool museums and locations around the worldincluding nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriers, medieval castles, aircraft cemeteries and more.

You can follow his exploits on Instagram and Youtube. He also wrote best-selling science fiction novel about city-sized submarines, along with continued.

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