Are you chewing at the snorkel to record your marine adventures with a waterproof camera but unsure which is the right one for you?
In today’s tech savvy world, there’s a variety of different underwater snorkeling cameras available – frankly, they vary a lot in terms of price, specs and capabilities.
Some waterproof cameras are more suited for scuba diving whereas others are specifically designed for being used near the water’s surface, making them ideal for snorkelers.
We have taken some time to research this for you all and have identified a selection that we think will help you capture those magic underwater moments.
Here is a look ahead of what best underwater cameras for snorkeling we will review in our first section. Don’t worry there are more to look over in our second section lower down this article.
Screen Size: 2.0 inch LCD Screen
Lens: 140°wide-angle lens
Resolution: 1080P FHD, 720P FHD, VGA, QVGA
Image Format: JPG
Battery: 900mAh Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery
Recording Time: 90 minutes at 1080P Charging Time: About 3hours / batter
Dimensions: 60x25x40 mm Weight: 58g
“This camera came in handy on our trip down to key west. It was easy to figure out. It does not come with a sd card but that was ok for us because we have many laying around from old devices that we had in the past. Picture quality is better then what I expected for it to be. Very easy to share the videos with friends and family. Impressed with the amount of attachments it came with. My son liked the one that attached around his wrist. For the price I will order at least 2 more for the other 2 kids to play with so they are not fighting over it.”
Waterproof capability: 10-feet for one hour per time
Digital Zoom: 16X
Dual Screens: Rear screen: 2.7 inches TFT-LCD(4: 3);front screen 1.8 inches TFT-LCD (4: 3)
External Memory Card Type: Micro SD card, Max. 128GB (Not Included)
Still Image Resolution: 48M, 30M, 24M,20M, 16M, 12M, 8M, 7M, 5M , 2M
Picture Formats: JPEG
Video Resolution: FHD 2.7K(2688X1520P/20fps), FHD 1920X1080P / 30fps ,HD 1280X720P / 30fps, VGA, QVGA
Video Format: AVI
Screen Resolution: 640 x 480
Face detect: Support
Continuous shooting : yes
Anti shake: Electronic image stabilization
Focal Distance 3.3FT~infinity
“Just a cool waterproof digital camera that makes things more fun. We all have used this in the pool and took it to Mexico. It is fun to snorkel with take underwater pictures in full hd 2.7k 48 and also records mp video recorder with a selfie dual screens. Has 16x digital zoom flashlight waterproof camera for snorkeling and activities in the pool. Great addition for our daughter and her friends making tic-toc videos and such at the beach, pool sprinklers you name it lots of fun.
This upgraded camera provides more resolution to capture more fantastic moments. When using the flashlight, pictures will also turn out good in dark or with dim lights so no worry there. This Camera is lightweight and easy to use, compact, lightweight and pocket-size design make it easy to take anywhere. This underwater camera is great for snorkeling, water parks or other underwater vacations. Being waterproof it is also good for the beach keeping the sand out of it as well. Easy to carry with a drawstring pouch and a hand loop string to travel around and store
Get to taking unique and great photos underwater or in the wet.”
“This camera has everything you need to get some amazing video shots and even comes with a bundle of accessories that would total over 1k probably if you were to try to get the go pro. The best part is that this camera shoots great high quality footage in 1080p and is so easy to carry around. Its awesome that they include 2 batteries because action cams in general tend to have a short life span and with 2 batteries and my battery pack (see photo) I literally can get 3+ hours of use out of this thing! Its easy charge both overnight, once you use one battery plug the usb battery charger (included) into your travel battery pack and keep filming, you literally can just keep filming even out in the middle of nowhere and not have to worry about camera life…. This thing is AWESOME!!!”
Waterproof capability: 3-meter/10-feet for one hour per time
Max. Pixels: 30 MP
Picture Formats: JPEG ;
Video Format: AVI
Video Resolution: VGA，HD(1280x720P/30fps), FHD(1920x1080P/25fps)
Screen Size:2.7 inches
Focal Distance 39in(1M)~infinitycm
Aperture: F/3.0 ,f=8.15mm
Self timer: 2s, 5s, 10s delay
ISO: Auto, 100, 200, 400
White balance Auto/Scenario auto
Battery Capacity: 650mAh
Built-in Memory / RAM: No
Output Interface: Micro USB 2.0
Flash lamp: Automatic flash, flash, mandatory flash, Red-eye reduction
“Got this for the kids to help encourage growth with their photography skills and enjoy their time in the pool this summer.
We have been using it quite and bit and the kids have been (overally) abusing with it – lol! There is a 4, 5, and 8 year old using this, so you can imagine the hard life it’s having. So far with all the bumps, chucks, drops, smacks and other rough handling by the boys its still going great. We even found them throwing it in the pool to practice diving – it takes the abuse!
Getting past the excellent construction, but the controls and menus are very good and easy to use. It’s a good fit in the hands and easy to get out of the casing. Screen works well, even in the direct sunlight.
Photo and video quality is good. Actually, much better than I would have expected. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not up to the quality of my new S21 Ultra phone, but they are more than acceptable. I’m used to the kids cameras being much lower quality, but not this one. Low light use is particularly impressive. The image stabilization feature works really well and we have gotten some outstanding videos.
Lastly, I should mention that the all important battery is long lasting and charges fairly quickly. It will easily take a long day.
I can’t stress enough how important I think it is to capture the kids when they are young and having them be part of that is just magical. What a great way to do it and an excellent gift for those with kids.”
“This camera is nothing short of amazing! I do not have much experience in action cameras, but this one definitely meets my standards. I used a GoPro on vacation last year and was so confused by the settings and making sure it was running that I didn’t really focus on what I was doing (which was parasailing). At the end, we got a good video with audio, but I was slightly disappointed in the video quality, I mean, we did pay 100 dollars to use it for less than an hour! So, when I was looking for camera’s, I wanted to make sure I got something that had a live-action screen, as well as a front facing indicator that it was, in fact, running. When I found this camera for 1/3rd of the price of a GoPro with similar features, as just as amazing reviews, I could not pass it up! This camera has so many accessories that I would be crazy to ever need to buy anything else for it. Plus, it has the waterproof case so we can take it to Hawaii this year! The video quality is phenomenal and all the buttons are easy to push through the waterproof case. There are tons of features to adjust your video and picture quality, the color it films in, the ways that you can start and stop video. It is incredible. I have been playing with it for an hour and still haven’t even touched on its possibilities. Did I mention the accessories?!? It even comes with two batteries and a battery charger so you can have one extra battery at all times without having to spend an additional 50 dollars on a second battery (aka GoPro). If you are looking for name brands that you can flaunt all over social media, this is not what you want. However, if you are looking for an amazing action camera that you can take everywhere and make sure you are getting good shots? This is what you want. Stop the research, stop the price comparing, and buy this!”
Why Use An Underwater Camera For Snorkeling?
Among the long list of hobbies we enjoy, going to the beach and go snorkeling is one of our favorite. In fact, we treasure this particular aqua sport that we make sure every moment is documented and that’s the reason why most, if not all of us, brings a camera. But make no mistake in bringing just any kind of camera. It should be an underwater camera. Otherwise, you will have a flooded unit.
In the old days, underwater cameras were heavy and bulky. Snorkelers back then need more leg power just to propel themselves in the water while holding the camera equipment. Traditionally, old underwater camera units are composed of a camera, a sturdy casing and an external strobe where in most instances, are heavier than the camera and casing itself. Not to mention that everything is controlled manually and that the number of shoots that you can take underwater is dependent on the type and capacity of the film that you are using.
New-age underwater cameras still employ the same concept. However, everything now is compact and digital. Small and compact Digital Cameras have become a hit in the nineties. And coupled with its compatible casing, viola, you have an instant underwater camera. You don’t need to bring a separate external underwater strobe as the internal flash of the digital camera will suffice. You have endless possibilities of shooting your favorite underwater subject, as SD cards have replaced the old film allowing you over a hundred, if not thousands, of underwater photos to shoot. The only thing that can be considered remnants of the old-fashion camera is the manual controls. With underwater digital cameras, you still need to make the necessary adjustment for you to have a high-quality underwater photo, without the fuss and blur.
However, as they say, it: technology is speeding fast like lighting, a digital camera was suddenly out of the trend with the introduction of “Action cameras.” From your mid-size digital cameras, people are now using action cameras for reasons that they are highly compact, lightweight and relatively small in size. To give you an idea, most, if not all sizes of action camera do not exceed the palm of your hand. It’s that small. Aside from being compact and lightweight, action cameras employ the point and shoot technology where your hands are being freed from frequent adjustments of the setting. Just turn on the camera and press the shoot or record button. Unlike old cameras where you need to buy a separate case, action cameras usually come and offered with its own underwater casing.
During its early days, action cameras were worn using a lanyard and strapped to your hand. However, it has evolved that its operation has become hands-free. Most new models have accessories where you can mount the camera on your wrist, helmet or use it using a selfie stick making it a highly versatile photographic and video recording equipment.
Lastly, on top of all these features, what makes people keep using action camera is the high-quality resolution where most recent models have an integrated stabilization system that significantly reduces the shaky recordings done by most newbies, just like me years before. And do not worry if it’s a high-resolution camera where most of its photos and videos take up more space, most action cameras are now using micro SD cards which can store more pictures and videos compared to SD cards.
Here is our second section of underwater cameras we have reviewed. Enjoy!!!
Specification: GoPro HERO7 Silver – E-Commerce Packaging – Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 10MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization.
This product is in manufacturer E-Commerce packing (see pictures). The product itself is identical to the one found in retail packaging.
Rugged + Waterproof: HERO7 White is tough, tiny, totally waterproof—and up for any adventure.
Intuitive Touch Screen: With a touch screen and simple, streamlined capture modes, it’s easy to jump right in and get great shots. Just swipe and tap.
HERO7 White records beautiful Full HD video. You can also shoot unique time lapse videos to turn longer events into short, shareable moments.
HERO7 White takes high quality 10MP photos. And with Burst mode, you can get 15 photos in one second so you never miss a moment.
“I bought this Gopro the week before going on a white water rafting trip. It did not disappoint! I attached it to my sons helmet and he captured amazing videos and photos. The camera is lightweight and easy to use. This particular camera comes in a plain box with no paperwork. But no worries, everything you need to operate the camera is online and on the gopro website. You will also need to purchase an SD card. The battery lasted about 3 hours, so if you are using it for a long adventure, you may want to invest in an extra battery. This gopro is also voice activated. You just say, “gopro, take a video” or “gopro take a photo”. It worked every time and is a great way to start the video if you have your hands full! I recommend this gopro for your next adventure.”
SCREEN: 2 Inch LCD
LENS ANGLE: 170 wide Degrees ,HLS Action Camera delivers 20MP photos with 170 degree wide-angle views.
VIDEO RESOLUTION: 4K(3840*2160)/30fps, EIS 4K(3200*1800)/30fps, EIS 2.7K (2560×1440)/ 30fps, EIS 1080P (1920×1080)/ 60/30fps, EIS 720P (1080×720)120/60fps,
RESOLUTION OF PHOTOS: 5M /8M/12M/16M/ 20M
PORTS: Micro USB, Micro SD card slot, Micro HDMI
WiFi & APP CONTROL, SHARE FREELY: HLS 4K Underwater Camera features built-in Wi-Fi and hdmi, allowing connection to your smart phone / tablet App for saving, editing and sharing your pictures and videos. It is easy to share your favorite pictures through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whatsapp, wechat etc.
Waterproof Case can dive to 98 FT MAX, all buttons can be operated underwater. Coming with 2 Rechargeable 1050mAh batteries, each battery can record up to 90 minutes. Lots of Mode: Slow Motion / Time Lapse/ Loop Recording
MAX 64GB Micro SD Card of Class 10 is Highly Recommended for 4K Action Camera.
“I gave this to my son for Christmas. He and his girl friend love the water here in Florida and he also has a large pool. He had owned a small camera before so he was very happy when he opened his present. He tells me this camera is so much better than the one he had before. It came with a bag full of different attachments, so you had a lot of options on how you wanted to use it. Besides the ability to film any action video … the waterproof for water action shots really went over great. Since he knows about this type of small camera and he really likes this one ! I would say this fussy man would recommend it to any Mom who wanted to make her son happy.”
Image Sensor 16 mega pixel SONY IMX083 1/2.3” CMOS sensor
Picture file format JPEG (.jpg) and RAW (.dng)
Video resolution/sizes 4K at 30fps (frames per second), 1080p at 120 fps
Video file format MPEG4 h.264 (.mp4)
Focal length 3.37mm (35mm film equivalent = 19mm)
Field of view 100° diagonal shooting angle
Lens aperture F2.8
Focus range 15” to Infinity (38cm to infinity)
Scene modes Land Auto, Land Sports/Action, Dive, Snorkel and Ext Light mode
Capture modes Single, Continuous (shoots 10 16MP pictures in the 1st second and 2 pictures thereafter), Time Lapse
Burst (shoots ten 16MP JPEG or three JPEG+RAW pictures in 1 second)
White balance modes Auto, Manual, Underwater Deep, Underwater Shallow, Underwater Green, Daylight, Cloudy
Memory 64GB internal memory
Depth rating Individually depth tested to 200’ (60 m)
Battery 2000 mAh, 3.7v, 7.4Wh Internal Li-ion battery
Battery Life 3+ hours
“The perfect camera for recreational diving, excellent quality images from a brand expert in underwater photography, easy to operate, intuitive, adapt to it quickly. And not only do I love the product, but the service of DirectBrands LLC. Super fast shipping, buy an open box product and as it was out of stock they sent me a completely new one!!!!!! I had never had such a satisfying experience as a buyer, congratulations on their work and was happy to have chosen them as my seller. Recommended 200%!!! Thank you very much!!!”
1.5m/5ft.), dust & freezeproof (to -10C/14F), perfect for photos or video anywhere
Hand-shake movement detected instantly by a sampling frequency of 4,000 times/second to produce sharp, clear images
The red color reproduction of Advanced Underwater Mode easily compensates for the red tones easily lost in underwater
Recording dynamic MP4 HD video in 1280 x 720p**
Automatically provides 220MB of additional storage. Enough for up to 34 images
8 m (26 feet) underwater depth
“I have owned this camera for about 9 months now and have used it in numerous pools rivers, and oceans and it has always performed great with no issues. This is 6th water proof digital camera I have owned and by far the best. My previous one was horribly slow on the shutter but I do not have this problem at all with this camera. We were even able to use this to capture some amazing underwater photos of our wedding when we got into the ocean with our full wedding attire on. I do own another Lumix non waterproof camera that has also been great and was one of the driving factors in me selecting this waterproof unit. I am sure there are better cameras out there but for the money I don’t know that you can be the quality of this one.”
“Better than expected. I was not expecting this would be as good as Go Pro, after I used it for first time the result was great. Accessories are good quality too. It’s really sweet that seller also provide screen protector.
Love it so far. Would recommend it.”
What to Look For in a Compact Camera
Good quality body that allows you to go as deep underwater as you need.
Resolution or Mega Pixels
Ability to take videos
GPS for marking where photo was taken
Macro mode for close ups
Full manual mode
Long battery life
Low shutter lag
Ability to view color histogram
Fast Autofocus for when you need to take a picture FAST, (fish are quick!)
Easy to adjust settings
Compact Digital Camera Characteristics
Mega Pixels – A megapixel is equal to one million pixels. Digital pictures are made from millions of these tiny, picture elements, the more pixels, the higher the image resolution.
Lens Quality – Using a better quality GLASS lens with better grinding techniques plus optical coatings is what makes a better lens. The lens is probably the most important factor in a good picture.
Optical Zoom – Not to be confused with “digital zoom”, optical zoom is the lens acting like a telescope. It is able to magnify the image with the lens. Digital zoom, just zooms in a part of a picture, the result is a picture of diminished quality.
Macro Lens – This where you are able to take a close up, usually within a foot or so. Most camera will not have the ability focus to an object so close.
Wireless Transfer – This is the ability to transfer pictures using wifi instead of using a USB cable.
Video – The ability to shoot video in at least 720p is certainly a nice feature to have with at least a refresh rate of 30fps. Better cameras allow 1020p or HD at 30fps. Normally this is only found on more expensive cameras.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): About Underwater Cameras for Snorkeling
Q: How do I choose an underwater camera?
A: We definitely don’t want to scare you, but choosing the perfect underwater camera is hard. The” perfect” camera doesn’t exist, but you can surely find some great alternatives according to your budget and use. Firstly, you require a waterproof case (pretty obvious). Most renowned cameras come with a case inside the packaging, but you may need to invest in one with some other manufacturers. Some cameras may not even require a case. However, they have limited underwater depth.
As a beginner, we suggest you opt for a compact camera because it’s inexpensive, easy to use, and versatile. SLRs produce much better image results but need superior quality interchangeable lenses without any shutter lag while the better-looking sensors raise the price up by more than a notch. Moreover, the complex functions and handling make SLRs unsuitable for amateurs. Professionals aim for minimum shutter delay, extensive manual control, and white balance to give the images their own touch, whereas beginners demand automatic features.
Q: How do you carry a camera while snorkeling?
A: Customers are often confused about handling the camera while snorkeling. It’s fun having to take underwater pictures, but what about the time when you’d rather just observe the scenery without having to latch on to your camera. Let’s clear this: mounting the camera to your mask or head are quite possibly the worst ways of carrying the camera underwater. On the other hand, we recommend you to invest in a wrist strap or a pole to mount your camera onto for effective, hassle-free handling. Some people attach the camera to a catch bag as it doesn’t cause visible damage to the footage compared to extremely unstable footage when attached to your head strap or scuba tank.
Q: How can I learn about underwater photography?
A: It’s impossible to become a pro at underwater photography by just reading a guide on the internet. However, there are some valuable tips that make your experience comparatively easier. Water absorbs some vibrant colors from the light spectrum, therefore, you need to invest in a flash or strobe to make them visible. It’s vital to get extremely close- at least one meter near the subject since water is prone to reducing contrast, sharpness, and color. The image results would be much better is shot at eye level or a low position compared to shots from above. Moreover, learn when to use auto white balance (with flash) and custom white balance as well as the operating the manual mode and aperture priority mode.
Lastly, you need to apply all these tips on every underwater trip since” practice makes perfect.”
We hope you enjoyed our review, lets us know some of your underwater photography experiences.