Capture perfect moments this year, with a waterproof camera. These compact cameras allow you to explore and shoot moments under the water that you wouldn’t be able to with a regular camera or phone.
Buyers may think these cameras are a significant investment, but the cost of an underwater camera is fairly inexpensive. You can shoot white-water rafting, underwater creatures, and take photos in the rain without worrying about the safety of your camera.
Discover our favorite underwater cameras below, as well as our must-know tips before you make your purchase.
Our Top Five Underwater Cameras for Snorkeling
The Best Underwater Camera for Snorkeling
This device comes with a dual battery charger so you’re able to charge not one, but two GoPro batteries. The excellent image quality provides 20MP photo clarity and has a deep zoom range. This will provide you with crisp details even when you’re video recording.
This digital camera has a front and rear touch screen display, which makes for easy framing and optical image stabilization. Cameras for snorkeling can often have specific charging devices, but the GoPro HERO09 can be charged with a USB port on the go.
We love the live streaming plus webcam function, which enables you to live stream in 1080p HD video on social platforms. It has HyperSmooth stabilization as you broadcast your adventures to friends and family.
- In the bundle, you receive both the snorkeling camera and the dual battery charger.
- The battery charger optimizes charging so you’ll get a fully charged battery fast.
- You can charge the camera via a USB port for convenience on the go.
- 5K resolution allows for high-quality pictures and videos.
- A front and rear touch screen display allow you to frame and manually control your shots.
- This product is on the more expensive side of underwater cameras, so it might be out of budget for first-time snorkelers or swimmers.
- The product doesn’t come with a mount or strap to place the camera on while you’re in amongst the action.
This bundle GoPro HERO09 is an excellent digital zoom camera for underwater photos and videos. For those without a price tag in mind, this is an incredible choice to snap your favorite moments.
The Best Budget Camera for Snorkeling
If you’re on a budget, check out the AKASO Brave 7 LE 4K30FPS 20MP WiFi Action Camera. This camera is a great choice to capture your underwater adventures, at a low and inexpensive cost. In the box you’ll receive:
- The camera
- Remote control
- Two batteries
- Waterproof case
- Five tether
- Two helmet mounts
- Battery charger
- Bicycle stand
- Six mounts
- Double-sided tape
- USB cable
- Lens cloth
- Protective backdoor
- Quick reference guide
The AKASO Brave 7 LE has a water-resistant body up to 3.3 feet (or 1 meter) for 30 minutes. This enables you to record and shoot in all weather without the waterproof case.
When you use the waterproof case provided, you can swim up to 40 meters deep and the camera will remain intact. This is perfect for all those outdoor adventures in the rain, or snorkeling and diving in the ocean.
The camera is also WiFi supported, so you won’t need any more memory cards. You will be able to share your videos and photos straight to your devices with a stable internet connection. Or you can use the HDMI port to pair the camera directly with your TV.
- You receive extra equipment with this camera.
- The camera is suitable for all-weather usage and scenarios.
- Record videos in 4K and 1080, and capture videos in 20MP photo quality.
- The camera features 6-axis stabilization so your photos and videos aren’t blurry or altered.
- Built-in WiFi and HDMI features, so you won’t have to worry about memory cards.
- The remote control allows you to control the camera from a distance. This is great for selfie-taking or dynamic range videos or photos.
- The waterproof case provides swimming depths of up to 40 meters.
- Two batteries allow you to go exploring without worrying if you’re charged up, as you have a spare battery.
- The front screen isn’t touch-operated.
- You have to put the camera inside a case to take it underwater for more than 30 minutes or deeper than 1 meter.
This camera is well worth the price point. It has outstanding image quality and a significantly high depth limit. The AKASO Brave 7 LE provides everything you need for underwater exploring.
The Best Runner Up Underwater Camera for Snorkeling
The GoPro HERO08 is a waterproof digital action camera with 4K resolution for video and 12MP photo capabilities. The RAW image shooting mode is available in all photo modes. The bundle includes the camera, a rechargeable battery, a USB-C charging cable, a thumbscrew, and an adhesive mount.
The built-in image stabilization and tough waterproof design make it a versatile camera. You will be able to swim to depths of 10m or 33ft.
High-resolution images are captured in 4K60 plus 1080p240 video. This is a top pick for those who like to record their underwater adventures in crisp quality.
The GoPro HERO08 also has a live stream feature, so you can broadcast to friends and family in 1080p quality. You can also save your footage to your SD card to re-watch later.
The underwater housing allows clearer, crisper audio quality because it will filter out wind noise and excess sound.
There are multiple underwater shooting modes including On, High, and Boost, so you can pick the best option for your needs.
The underwater mode also offers many presets and digital lenses. The GPS and motion sensors will record your location, altitude, and speed.
- Multiple shooting modes and camera presets create the best content imaginable.
- Underwater to a depth of 10 meters or 33ft.
- Built-in image stabilization provides clear images and videos.
- The live-stream feature allows you to broadcast to friends and family while you’re adventuring.
- Doesn’t come with any mount or wrist strap to place the camera on while you’re snorkeling.
- Uses an SD card to record and photograph, rather than offering a WiFi or HDMI function to stream content to other devices.
This camera is ideal for those wanting to capture beautiful underwater shots without spending as much as the GoPro HERO09 costs.
The Best Deep Diving Underwater Camera for Snorkeling
The AKASO Brave 4 Pro is a 4K30 action camera with a water depth usage of 131ft. This underwater camera is low in price but high in quality. The camera offers electronic image stabilization that creates smooth and blur-free images. It also has a large rear touch screen display with a five-times zoom.
The camera has 20MP clarity and can shoot during storms, underwater exploration, and high altitude climbing. Alongside the camera, you’ll receive the same bundle of goodies that the AKASO Brave 7 LE offers.
The remote control provided is wireless and can be strapped to your wrist for easy photo and video taking when you’re away from your device.
You can import your photos and videos directly to your phone with the Brave4 Pro. It will then allow you to create highlight videos, edit, and use your phone as a remote control when your devices are connected.
- Comes with many accessories and additional equipment.
- Compatible with the AKASO Go app so you can connect your phone and camera for easy photo storage and viewing.
- The two batteries allow for longer usage time, and you never have to worry about charging a single battery while you’re adventuring.
- Five-times zoom lens allows you to edit and crop your photos and videos without losing quality.
- Waterproof up to 131 feet or 41 meters.
- Supports an external microphone for live blogging and recording.
- Has the capability to support an external mic, but does not come with one, and only supports AKASO branded microphones.
- You have to use the waterproof case to reach the underwater depth.
This camera offers a wide variety of features and accessories at a reasonable price. For those on a budget, this would be an ideal choice to begin your underwater exploration.
The Best Alternative Underwater Camera for Snorkeling
A revolutionary processor allows for faster, smoother, and sharper image resolution. The GP2 engine has responsive touch controls and doubles the frame rate of the usual underwater camera.
In video mode, you can expect a 5.3K video resolution at 60fps, and the high-quality images are processed at 23MP. Interested in slow-motion footage?
The camera offers 8x slow-motion at 2.7K, and if you want to take a photo from within a video, you can achieve 15.8MP for your photos from video footage.
This bundle comes with a 128GB microSD memory card. You can transfer photos and videos from your GoPro to your devices with wireless upload via the Quick app or a USB cable.
You have access to unlimited cloud storage and the upload system is hassle-free. Simply plug in your camera when you’re connected to WiFi, and the camera does the rest.
- A variety of shooting modes that capture the best quality with 5.3K video resolution and 23MP photo footage.
- Store and upload your images and videos through the Quick app, with unlimited cloud storage.
- The revolutionary processor allows you to capture fast-paced moments without missing a beat.
- There is no detail provided regarding what waterproof depth this camera is capable of.
- You still need to use a high-memory microSD card to keep up with the processor speed of the camera.
This camera captures beautiful shots, but the price might not be worth it compared to other underwater cameras available.
If you’re after high-quality and revolutionary technology, then this camera is for you. But for someone on a smaller budget, you may want to consider another camera.
The Best Underwater Snorkeling Cameras: Read This Before You Buy
We’ve given you the products, now let’s get into some of the nitty-gritty before you buy.
How do I choose an underwater camera?
Your requirements are going to be the deciding factor in what camera is the best choice for you.
Your budget will be a good indicator of what camera is the best choice. For those looking for a starter kit, the AKASO cameras are a great option at a reduced price. They are high-quality and a fraction of the price of the GoPro.
GoPro cameras are popular for their high resolution and endurance, but they come at a high cost.
We’d recommend considering how often you’re going to use your underwater camera. If you’re new to snorkeling, we suggest investing in more inexpensive cameras initially.
For those with experience in snorkeling, the GoPro may be a more suitable option. They have a wider variety of shooting modes, video features, and higher resolution.
What are the common differences between the range of underwater cameras?
The cameras we’ve looked at shoot video in 4K resolution, but the camera for best photo capture is the GoPro HERO10. It shoots photos in 23MP, compared with the usual 20MP that most devices offer.
The GoPro cameras come with fewer accessories at a higher price. The AKASO cameras are great companions for first-time photographers.
Depending on how deep you’re going to snorkel, depends on what capabilities your camera needs. The best deep-diving underwater camera is the AKASO Brave 4 Pro, which allows you to swim down to 131ft.
While the GoPro HERO10 offers incomparable technology, it only allows you to dive to 33ft without underwater housing. You’re going to have to invest in protection for your camera if this is the option you go for.
How to make the most out of your underwater camera:
After you decide on what camera is right for you, there are several ways you can use your camera to capture high-quality moments in your adventures.
- Read some underwater photography blogs and magazines to get a good idea of the best ways to shoot and capture your best moments.
- Take a class in photography or underwater photography.
- Get feedback from someone who has experience in photography to get some tips on shooting and recording.
- Swim and explore with others so you can get in-person tips and feedback.
For some more tips on how to make the most out of your underwater camera, check out Jay Siemens’ top tips on shooting with your new adventure companion.
Prerequisites for Using an Underwater Camera
While most of the products allow you to send content from your camera to your device, the majority still need a MicroSD card.
When you buy your underwater camera, make sure you check which SD cards are compatible with your camera. Some only allow certain brands or storage sizes.
The Best Underwater Snorkeling Cameras: Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use underwater cameras out of water?
These cameras are suitable for adventures like snorkeling, climbing, snowboarding, and horse riding. You can capture all your moments of exploration with these cameras.
How long do underwater cameras last?
Each camera will offer a different warranty, which will be dependent on the manufacturer. GoPro offers a one-year warranty from the date of the initial purchase, so if you have an issue during that time, you can contact GoPro to get it fixed.
AKASO also offers a one-year warranty, with an extra 12-month warranty on top if you buy from certain sites.
How long do underwater camera batteries last for?
Each camera has different average battery life, depending on what tasks you’re performing while you’re using it. The AKASO camera can last for 6 hours recording in a 4K video.
GoPro claims the battery can last up to 10 hours on a full charge. The top things that are going to drain your battery are:
- Turning on too many features, like wifi, GPS, etc.
- Cooler temperatures: colder weather drains your battery faster.
- Age: your battery life will decrease with age.
How do you carry a camera while snorkeling?
When you’re exploring underwater, the last thing you want to be considering is keeping your camera still while you’re swimming. Both the AKASO cameras come with a variety of mounts and adhesive options for you to choose from.
These may not be suitable for underwater snorkeling.
There are multiple ways you can carry your underwater camera without thinking about holding or shooting with it. You can shoot with the camera strapped to you, making you hands-free to explore and swim at your pleasure.
There is also a range of mounts you can buy which are compatible with either GoPro or AKASO cameras, but these come at an additional cost.
You may be able to create your underwater camera housing, by following this simple guide on how to make a stand for your camera. If you’re on a budget, this is a great option.
The Best Underwater Cameras for Snorkeling: The Top Brands
GoPro manufactures the world’s most versatile cameras. Founded in 2002 by Nick Woodman, GoPro creates products that allow versatility and ease while exploring.
AKASO creates high-quality, affordable action cameras that capture dynamic moments in life. Founded nine years ago, AKASO is a world-leading action camera brand, popular amongst all explorers.
Overview of the best underwater camera for snorkeling
These underwater cameras offer a host of different options and benefits to adventurers. For those looking for high-quality, unbeatable video and photo content, the GoPro HERO10 has got to be the best investment.
It has a 5.3K resolution and 23MP quality, so your content will be unmatched.
For those on a lower budget, consider the AKASO Brave 4 Pro, which allows you to swim to 131ft, and still offers 4K video resolution and 20MP photo quality. For a first-time investment, this camera comes with several additional kits to make your first adventure a special one.
We hope this buying guide gave you insight into the best underwater camera for snorkeling, according to your adventure’s needs.