The holidays are just around the corner. Chances are you will be going for hiking, driving or even enjoying some time at the beach playing water sports. What I am saying is, there’s no way to stay away from the water. And you would definitely want to capture your aquatic adventures. Yet, most cameras are not waterproof. You don’t want to ruin your vacations just because the camera stops functioning when you take it to see some fish. Do you? Considering this, we have rounded out reviews for the best waterproof camera available in the market today.
These waterproof gadgets are capable of capturing aquatic scenes as deep as 30 meters. Besides, they are freezeproof, shockproof, and (in some cases) even crush-proof. Moreover, these waterproof wonders come with many amazing features like WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth, altimeter, GPS, and compass. So that you don’t just have a compact camera in your hand, but you have the whole holiday fun package.
We have covered the best budget cameras in another article. Be sure to check that out if you can compromise on specific features and want a camera at a reasonable price.
1. Nikon Coolpix W300
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This is the best waterproof camera choice for deep water adventures. It is fully locked and loaded with amazing features: GPS system, interactive world map, altimeter, Bluetooth, underwater depth gauge and an amazing 4k ultra video capture functionality. The OLED monitor offers a high resolution. The most impressive feature of this camera is that it can function as deep as 30 meters. This depth is as far as any Advance Open Water Diving certification can get. GLONASS and GPS mean you can geotag your pictures and videos without having to connect the camera to a smartphone. Also, it sits comfortably in your hand, thanks to us thumb rest and bumpy grip design.
Although the camera is aimed for beginners, its controls are a bit fiddly. Users will have to take some time to get used to all the features and where each button is located. There is no raw shooting functionality. The 16 MP CMOS camera works like a charm in broad daylight with sharp detail, vibrant colors, and very little noise. However, in low light, images get a bit grainy.
This, nonetheless, is a small complaint. If you are a diver or planning on deep water adventures, this tough as nails waterproof camera is a must-have.
2. Olympus Tough TG 6
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The Olympus models of waterproof cameras are arguably most well known and enjoy the best reputation all over the world. It’s latest TG6 model has features leaning towards premium end cameras. These include raw shooting, 4k video resolution, and GPS functionality. It is waterproof down to a depth of 15 meters. With a lens that has a maximum aperture of f/2 at the wide end and close focusing raft, this camera supports not only the underwater adventures but also your land-based exploits. What’s more, you can recharge it via micro-USB cable that comes with the package. The camera is convenient to use and setup different modes. The kid activity mode allows for a continuous set of pictures. Also, the GPS can be enabled or disabled using a physical switch located on the camera.
Don’t expect DSLR level photo quality though. The Olympus TG 6 has a 12 MP camera and 4x optical zoom. The photos quality is excellent, but The limited zoom capability is due to the glass enclosure that covers the camera to protect it underwater. Furthermore, the camera has no electronic viewfinder, and it is a bit expensive when compared with other waterproof cameras on this list.
3. Panasonic Lumix FT7 / TS7
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If you are looking for a built-in electronic viewfinder in a waterproof camera, then this is your best deal. You can see the entire scene in real-time that you want to capture. It is waterproof up to a depth of 31 meters. The Olympus reduced the camera resolution while upgrading TG 5 to TG6, while Panasonic has gone the other way of updating the resolution from 16 in the FT5/TS5 to 20 MP in this latest model. The lens coverage is similar to the previous model, but Panasonic has made a compromise on Leica branding here. The 0.2-inch 1,170k-dot display of its electronic viewfinder is not the largest, but it still offers a handy alternative to shooting with the rear display. It is a particularly helpful feature when you are shooting in bright daylight because, under such conditions, the composition of the pictures becomes a bit tricky.
As good as some of its design and exterior controls are, it disappoints in some aspects too. The camera lacks raw capture function. The LED light works only during the video capture session, and battery life is just average.
There’s still a lot to like about Panasonic Lumix FT7. The strong credentials are quite home in the deep sea, ski slopes or in the ordinary pool. Plus the electronic viewfinder is quite rare for waterproof cameras.
4. Ricoh WG-60
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This sturdy 16 MP camera has some strong credentials. These include water resistance up to 14 meters, shock resistance up to a 1.6-meter fall, temperature resistance down to -10 degrees C and can endure a force of 100 kg without causing any problem to the hardware. The 5x optical zoom has quite a broad focal range from 28-140 mm. The front of the lens has six macro LED lights to deliver uniform lightening around the focused object. This feature is perfect for underwater shoots. Besides, the macro LED lights also aid in other features like LED lightening mode, which adds lights to pictures in poor lighting conditions. The digital microscope mode allows photography at a close range – as near as 1cm.
The 2.7 inch LCD screen is rather small. Moreover, it stores images in JPEG format only so you will have to convert the images yourself into other formats if you need other image formats.
It is capable of shooting a variety of activities – not just underwater sports. Considering its size, features, eloquent design and a sturdy build, this is an excellent value for money for both professionals as well as amateurs.
5. Fujifilm FinePix XP130
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The cheapest of all the waterproof cameras mentioned above is FujiFilm’s FinePix XP 130. Considering its low price, it makes sense that It is not as rugged as others. Besides, it lacks some of the features like GPS, raw shooting and Bluetooth connectivity. However, it makes up for these limitations because it is waterproof up to 20 meters, freezeproof down to -10 degrees C and can easily withstand any fall from up to 1.75 heights. Also, the monitor screen is 3 inches which is quite broad and appealing. It has many enjoyable advance filters included in the software enabling you to edit your pictures on the go. Also, you can connect it to a WiFi for smooth media transfer.
Although it has a 16.4 MP camera, the image quality could have been improved. Even when not under complete shadows, the camera leaves a lot to be desired. Though it makes sense when you consider that this gadget costs just half of the other options mentioned above.
Simple to use, this compact camera may not be for professionals, but it is perfect for a family beach vacation and skiing holiday shoots. Don’t expect anything more from it.
All said and done, this list of best waterproof camera reviews has been chosen considering your aquatic adventure needs. You can take it as deep as 30 feet and still manage to fish out a perfect and flawless shot. Due to this, these cameras do not have zoom-in capabilities of some other high-end cameras and sometimes the picture quality isn’t as great as you would expect from a normal non-waterproof compact camera. Nevertheless, these minor limitations can be disregarded considering the underwater capabilities of these devices.