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Top 12 Best Waterproof and Underwater Cameras

April 13, 2022

Claire Gillo rounds up the best waterproof cameras and underwater options so you can shoot with confidence this summer.

Underwater photography is both fun and challenging. For starters there is a lot less light below the surface compared to above and the deeper you go the harder and darker it becomes! When it comes to picking the best waterproof camera or casing, not only do you need to be able to control the camera easily in a more challenging environment, you also need to ensure you can manoeuvre your body into the right position and keep hold of it all at the same time. If you are new to underwater shooting then some practice in shallow water is a must before you go in deep.

There are many waterproof housings on the market, however if you are going to plunge your beloved and expensive camera equipment into the deep blue you want to be fully confident in that housing! There are some on our list that we recommend for having surface fun whereas others we are confident they can withstand the deep dark waters!

We also have a range of waterproof cameras in our list – some are best for holiday snaps and others are more capable of coping with challenging underwater photography. And whilst this guide gives you recommendations for the best waterproof cameras, you’ll also find that a number of these offer other desirable features, including toughness, freeze proofing, shock-proofing, and more.

Here are our choices for best underwater cameras and housing:

  • Olympus Tough TG-6
  • Ricoh WG-6
  • Nikon COOLPIX W300
  • Go Pro Hero10
  • DJI Action 2
  • Sony RX0 II
  • Nauticam ​​NA-A7RIII
  • Nauticam NA-EM5III
  • NiMar underwater housing for Canon EOS 60D
  • Sealife Micro 3.0 Pro Duo 5000
  • DiCAPac WP-S10
  • Ewa-marine U-BZ100

1. Olympus TG-6 – £369

Olympus Tough TG-6

Olympus Tough TG-6 in red

At a glance:

  • 12MP image sensor
  • 4x optical zoom. 25-100mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Waterproof down to 15m
  • Shock resistant – 2.1m (dropping from height)
  • Crushproof (100kg)
  • Freezeproof (-10°C)
  • 4K Movie
  • 16 scene modes
  • Available in black or red
  • Measures 66 x 113mm

The Olympus TG-6 is a tough little camera that is lightweight, agile and great for those adventurous types who want to explore the surface of the water. Although additional waterproof casing can be purchased to take the TG-6 down to deeper depths, the standard camera body can survive up to 15m making this model perfect for those who want to snorkel and explore the surface. If you want to take it deeper the Olympus PT-059 Underwater Housing retails at £279 and enables the TG-06 to go down as far as 45m.

The Olympus TG-6 comes with a host of shooting options from 16 different scene modes to an aperture priority setting. The ISO ranges from ISO 100 to 12800, and the bright F2 lens enables faster shutter speeds for capturing moving subjects, meaning it should be able to cope underwater pretty well. The camera is also capable of recording 4K movies for those interested in this feature.

Best for: Snorkelling

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2. Ricoh WG-6 – £349.99

Ricoh WG-6 (Orange) Waterproof camera

Ricoh WG-6 (Orange) Waterproof camera

At a glance:

  • 20MP CMOS image sensor
  • Waterproof down to 20m (for 2 hours)
  • Dedicated underwater shooting mode
  • 6 x LED ring light around lens
  • 4K video
  • 3” LCD monitor
  • GPS feature
  • Shake reduction feature

The Ricoh WG-6 comes with a host of features and has been designed to be put through its paces thanks to its waterproof and shockproof features. It has a workable operating temperature from -10℃ to 40℃ making it compatible with many different environments.

The tough outer body comes in a bright orange or a more understated black design, and the addition of the 6 LED lights surrounding the lens, which can be adjusted to use all or some, will help greatly in lowlight situations. Finally the Ricoh WG-6 also comes with an Underwater and Underwater Movie mode that fixes the white balance setting making the blue sea pop!

Best for: Holiday snaps

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3. Nikon COOLPIX W300 – £399

Nikon Coolpix W300 Waterproof camera

Nikon Coolpix W300 Waterproof camera

At a glance:

  • 16MP CMOS image sensor
  • Waterproof down to 30m
  • 4K video
  • 5x optical zoom
  • Shockproof up to 2.4m
  • Connect to phone via SnapBridge
  • Measures 111.5 x 66.0 x 29.0 mm
  • Weight 231g

The Nikon Coolpix W300 is a great all round camera that can perform well in the water as well as on land. The 16MP sensor produces great results and the 4K video is another nice added bonus.

Compared to its rivals on the market at a similar price point this camera can go down as far as 30m making it perfect for amateur divers wanting to take a few snaps. The 5x optical zoom as well as the ISO being capable of stretching up to 6400 in the Auto mode should ensure you get the shot. This camera also comes with a speedy autofocus system and VR technology meaning sharp and steady shots are easy to achieve.

Best for: amateur divers

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4. GoPro Hero10 – £649.94

GoPro Hero10 - Best waterproof action camera

GoPro Hero10 – Best waterproof action camera

At a glance:

  • 23MP image sensor
  • 5.3k video with double frame rate
  • Waterproof down to 33ft (10m)
  • Cloud connected
  • LiveBurst – records 45 frames in 1.5 seconds
  • Scheduled capture feature

The GoPro Hero10 sits at the top of their line and is jam packed full of features! The impressive 5.3K video is outstanding and made to record those action watersport adventures such as a white water rafting run or a kite surfing stunt to name a couple of examples.

The price is a little steep at £649.94 however if you buy directly from GoPro and take out a one year GoPro subscription (priced £49.99) you can get it for £379.98 plus you’ll get a free 32GB micro SDHC memory card.

Other features that caught our attention were the LiveBurst sequence capture that records 45 frames in 1.5 seconds and the scheduled capture that enables you to set up your camera the night before so you don’t have to get up for that early sunrise!

Best for: Adrenaline action water sports

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5. DJI Action 2 – £349

DJI Action 2 - Compact action camera

DJI Action 2 – Compact action camera

At a glance:

  • Waterproof down to 10m
  • 1.76” touch screen
  • 4K Video
  • Ultra wide FOV
  • Max photo resoltiuon 4000×3000
  • Magnetic module system
  • Camera unit dimensions 39 x 39 x 22.3 mm
  • Camera unit weight 56g

The DJI Action 2 is like no other product on the market. It comes in a magnetic module system meaning you can swap accessories around and attach the camera unit to many different surfaces with ease. Although this camera is capable of shooting stills, it really comes into its own when recording action footage with its 4K video feature. The DJI Action 2 is drop-proof, dustproof, and waterproof down to 10m making it ideal for many different environments. The standard kit includes a power module that increases battery life from 70 to 180 minutes. Be warned the power module and front touchscreen module are not waterproof without the waterproof case.

Best for: Vloggers on the go

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6. Sony RX0 II – £679

Sony RX0 II

Sony RX0 II – Compact with a 1inch sensor

At a glance:

  • Waterproof down to 10m
  • Shockproof up to 2m
  • Crushproof up to 200kg
  • 15.3MP 1inch image sensor
  • Internal recording of 4K movies
  • Measures 40mm x 50mm x 35mm

The small and tough Sony RX0 II is perfect for those adventurous types who are on the go or for vloggers who want to create high quality 4K videos with image stabilisation. Despite being small the camera comes with a 180° tiltable monitor that enables you to frame up selfies or shoot video of yourself. The camera comes with a host of features including interval shooting (between 1 and 60 seconds) which can then be edited into a timelapse movie on a computer at a later time. It is also waterproof up to 10m, shockproof and crushproof so you can really put it through its paces. On dry land we recommend you get the additional VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip to help you create more stable results.

Best for: Travellers

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7. Nauticam ​​NA-A7RIII – £3,106

Waterproof housing: Nauticam NA A7R III

Waterproof housing: Nauticam NA-A7RIII

At a glance:

  • Compatible with Sony A7RIII
  • Depth rating 100m
  • Patented port locking system
  • Ergonomic rubberized grips
  • Weight 2.43kg
  • Measure 348mm x 200mm x 118mm

If you’re going to plunge your very expensive camera into water you need to be sure that the case you are putting it into is waterproof! Nauticam camera cases are the best around and although they don’t come cheap you can be assured your equipment will stay safe up to 100m in depth.

Although this particular model is for the mirrorless Sony A7RIII, Nauticam’s waterproof cases are compatible with a range of DSLRs, Mirrorless cameras and compact models. They do vary in price though so have a look through their range to get a better idea.

Best for: Serious divers and underwater photographers

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8. NiMar underwater housing for Canon EOS 60D – £1063 (€1490)

Nimar underwater housing for Canon EOS 60D

Nimar underwater housing for Canon EOS 60D

At a glance:

  • Depth rating 60m
  • Compatible with Canon EOS 60D
  • Body made of high impact resistant technopolymer
  • Mechanical command switches
  • Overall dimensions without side handle 220mm x 170mm x130mm
  • Weight with side handle 1.70kg

If you want underwater housing for heading down to some serious depth but you’re on more of a budget look at the NiMar range. Made in Italy these waterproof housings have been designed to go to 60m in depth. The outer housing has been made from a high impact resistant technopolymer and the back cover is fully transparent giving you a full view of the camera and so you can be assured that the seals are working.

Note this product is the housing only and needs additional accessories such as a compatible lens port for it to be waterproof. They offer a range of housings for different models including Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony.

Best for: Underwater photographers on a budget

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9. Nauticam NA-EM5III – £1,786

Nauticam NA-EM5III underwater housing

Nauticam NA-EM5III underwater housing

At a glance:

  • Compatible with Olympus OM-D E-M5 III model
  • Supports flash
  • Depth rating 100m
  • Weight in water 0.18kg (inclu. Camera and battery)
  • Weight in air 1.4kg

For Micro Four Third users Nauticam offers a range of underwater housing for various models. The NA-EM5III model is compatible with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III and supports the use of Olympus’ FL-LM3 flash or the optional Nauticam Mini Flash Trigger. This particular housing is cheaper than many of Nauticam’s other products of a similar nature so if you were looking to buy a camera and housing specifically for deep water diving this could be a more affordable setup.

Like most Nauticam housings this model can go down as far as 100m making it a strong contender for those who are serious diving. Thanks to the quick and easy secure single rotating housing latch, memory cards or batteries can be changed without fuss (just obviously do this above the water!).

Best for: Micro Four Third users

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10. Sealife Micro 3.0 Pro Duo 5000 – £1,269

Sealife Micro 3.0 PRO DUO 5000

Sealife Micro 3.0 PRO DUO 5000

At a glance:

  • 16MP 1/2.3” CMOS sensor
  • Waterproof down to 60m
  • 4K videos
  • 2.4” LCD screen
  • 3 hour battery life
  • Built in 64GB memory
  • Raw shooting
  • Permanently sealed micro camera
  • Easy to control buttons
  • Includes a pro duo protective travel case

The SeaLife Micro 3.0 Pro Duo 5000 set comes with a camera body, two Sea Dragon 2500F lights and an ergonomically balanced Flex-Connect dual tray. This makes the camera easy to hold underwater and get into position. The Sea Dragon 2500F lights create a total of 5000 lumens combined which is a decent amount of additional light when you’re down deep.

The camera is permanently sealed meaning you can’t change the memory card or swap over the battery. The 3 hour battery life and inbuilt 64GB is plenty for those wanting to focus predominantly on underwater images however for video we would recommend you looking elsewhere – although it does have a 4K video feature for those wanting to shoot short video sequences.

Best for: Divers and snorkelers shooting stills

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11. DiCAPac WP-S10 – £66.64

DiCAPac WP-S10 for DSLRs

DiCAPac WP-S10 for DSLRs

At a glance:

  • Waterproof down to 5m
  • Fits DSLR Camera with lens
  • All controls accessible
  • Size: 270mm (W) x 230mm (H)
  • Case : PVC, TPU, ABS
  • Lens : ABS, Polycarbonate, Silicone
  • Weight: 450g

The DiCAPac WP-S10 has been designed to fit most DSLR cameras and would also easily house any mirrorless body although the smaller DiCAPac WP-S5 might be a better option for the latter.

Although we have no doubt the DiCAPac WP-S10 is fully waterproof we recommend this product for those doing surface water sports such as boating, canoeing or kayaking. It’s a great budget option when you want to take your expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera out on the water. Like any waterproof casings we suggest you do regular checks on this product without the camera in the bag to ensure no leaks have sprung.

On this model the lens port allows the lens to extend out to 50mm and the polycarbonate lens cover has low scratch-resistance and hard coating.

Best for: Boat users, canoeist and kayakers

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12. Ewa-marine U-BZ100 – £265 (€315)

Ewa-marine U-BZ100 Waterproof bag for DSLR

Ewa-marine U-BZ100 Aqua housing / Waterproof bag for DSLR

At a glance:

  • Waterproof to 20m in depth
  • Compatible for lenses with a filter thread of 77mm and 82mm
  • Lenses with a smaller filter diameter can be used with a step-up ring
  • Compatible with range of large DSLRs

Ewa-Marine have a range of underwater housing that vary in size and price. Their more flexible waterproof bags mean they can be used with many cameras. The U-BFX100 is compatible with larger D-SLRs on the market such as the Nikon D300, D800, D3, D4 and Canon 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, EOS 1DX and similar cameras. It should also be noted that the U-BZ 100 can be used with a lens up to 300m, which makes it a strong contender for canoeists and other outdoor photographers that want to take pictures of birds and wildlife while in or on the water.

Again like any underwater housing product check it before use to ensure the seals are waterproof to avoid any expensive accidents and read the instructions well to ensure you have set it up correctly. If you are going to take this underwater to its maximum depth we recommend buying the additional BF1 lead weight that can be inserted into the housing, underneath the camera for an easier descent.

Best for: DSLR users

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Read our complete guide to underwater photography, or have a look at our latest buying guides for more great options.

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