Whether you prefer to laze on the beach or have more aquatic projects, here is our selection of the best underwater cameras for snorkeling to avoid missing a moment.

Currently, most major camera brands have begun to limit their offer of specialized compact, but there is one area they are not ready to release, it is the compact waterproof. So, still looking for the perfect device to follow you everywhere this summer? We can help you.

There are many reasons that can push you to opt for a waterproof compact camera, rather than for a smartphone, even those currently designed with waterproof shells. The waterproof compacts are equipped with many more protection options and are easier to hold and use in extreme conditions than many smartphones. Most also have powerful optical zooms and much better quality.

In addition, the best compact in the category, in addition to being waterproof, also offers many other protections against freezing, shock or crushing. Which means that they will be able to accompany you in places where one would not risk to leave a smartphone.

Here’s a selection of 10 models of fighter-proof cameras for all budgets, from the cheapest, even child-friendly, to the expert models that combine the best protection with the most advanced technologies and offer an image quality at the height of their robustness.

Best Waterproof Camera For Snorkeling – 2020

1. Olympus Tough TG-5

A reinforced waterproof camera able to withstand the very active life of an entire family

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1 / 2.3 “
  • Definition: 12MP
  • Optics: 25-100mm (equiv.) F / 2.0-4.9
  • Screen: 7.6 cm, 460k points
  • Water: resistance 15m / 50ft
  • Shock resistance: 2.1m / 7ft
  • Frost resistance: -10ºC / 14 ° F
  • Max video resolution: 4K

The Olympus series has a very good reputation in the world of fighter cameras. It is not only due to the robustness of the devices but also to the impressive image and video quality they can provide.

The TG-5, which came on the market about two years after its predecessor the TG-4, has many improvements over its predecessor: the most notable being that it is now able to record video in 4K 30IPS and even has a recording option in Full HD 120IPS for super slow-motion.

The sturdy handle allows a good grip of the device and the internal zoom system prevents the lens from lengthening which gives it additional protection against shocks and falls. An effective yet sophisticated fighter, the TG-5 is a very good waterproof camera for photographers of all skill levels.

PROS
  • 4K video recording
  • Available Raw Format
CONS
  •  LCD screen of 460k points

2. GoPro HERO7 Black

The latest in the flagship HERO series produces the best image and video quality in the category with unconventional stabilization.

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1/2 3 “
  • Definition: 12MP
  • Optics: 14-28mm (equiv.) F / 2.8
  • Screen: 5.2 cm
  • Water resistance: 10m / 33ft
  • Impact resistance: Not specified
  • Frost resistance: Not specified
  • Max video resolution: 4K

In 2019, just after some financial disappointments, GoPro needed to revive with a new flagship product. This is how the HERO7 Black camera was produced, an update without new features that is catchy, but intended to improve its already existing qualities in the best possible way.

Thanks to its new GP1 chip, the HERO7 Black is able to shoot up to the maximum resolution of 4K 60 IPS, but it also offers incredible “hyper smooth” stabilization. It is also waterproof up to 10 meters deep, without additional box and can access the application quick stories to mount small video clips and share them easily.

PROS
  • 4K video recording
  • Available Raw Format
CONS
  •  LCD screen of 460k points

3. Nikon Coolpix W300

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1/2 3 “
  • Definition: 16MP
  • Optics: 24-120mm (equiv.) F / 2.8-4.9
  • Screen: 7.5 cm, 921k points
  • Water resistance: 30m / 100ft
  • Shock resistance: 2.4m / 8ft
  • Frost resistance: -10ºC / 14ºF
  • Max video resolution: 4K

If you’re a deep water diver looking for a waterproof camera, look no further, this compact is for you. The Nikon W300, guaranteed waterproof up to 30m deep, outperforms most other devices in the category. It is also equipped with a barometer, useful for measuring altitude or depth, as well as an electronic compass.

Bluetooth is also present, working as a duo with SnapBridge technology developed by Nikon for faster image transfers. Videographers will appreciate the ability to film in 4K offered by the W300 and generous protection against shock, tested up to 2.4 meters and promising excellent resistance in all kinds of conditions.

Although it is very unfortunate not to be able to use the Raw format, the users for whom the JPEGs are more than enough will be thrilled with this superb intrepid fighter, ready to follow you in all the underwater adventures that you can imagine.

PROS
  • Good zoom
  • Excellent tightness
CONS
  • Rather expensive
  • Raw format not available

4. Ricoh WG-50

One of the most robust of the market with nice options and sold at a very competitive price.

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1/2 3 “
  • Definition: 16MP
  • Optics: 28-140mm f / 3.5-5.5
  • Screen: 6.8 cm, 230k points
  • Water resistance: 14m / 45ft
  • Impact resistance: 1.6m / 5.2ft
  • Frost resistance: -10ºC / 14ºF
  • Max video resolution: Full HD

First of all, the WG-50 is not just a tough device among others. It is not only resistant to crushing up to 100kg of pressure, but also has many attractive options allowing it to position itself in the top of our list. The most impressive is probably the presence of an integrated ring of light around the lens; intended for macro shooting, it can illuminate his subject very easily.

The x5 optical zoom offers a very correct magnification and the ability to shoot in slow-motion at 120IPS is a welcome addition. It’s a little more expensive than other cameras in our selection and the somewhat conspicuous design of its hull will be able to put off some of them, but the WG-50 is a device well equipped with technologies and which deserves that one is there interested.

PROS
  • Good zoom
  • Excellent tightness
CONS
  • Rather expensive
  • Raw format not available

5. Panasonic FT30

Fine but powerful, Panasonic offers us a waterproof camera ideal for shooting still subjects, the video is not really his strong point.

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1 / 2.3 “
  • Definition: 16.1MP
  • Optics: 25-100mm (equiv) f / 3.9-5.7
  • Screen: 6.7 cm, 230k points
  • Water resistance: 8m / 26ft
  • Shock resistance: 1.5m / 5ft
  • Frost resistance: -10ºC / 14ºF
  • Max video resolution: 720p (HD)

The FT30 is certainly not the most recent waterproof compact on this list, nor does it have the best features, yet it offers excellent performance, proportional to its very reasonable price. It is also pleasantly thin and slips easily into the pocket of jeans.

This finesse is paid and the grip of the device is worse than some other models. You still have the opportunity to invest in a strap so that the small FT30 does not slip your hands.

Assuming you have not lost it on the road, the FT30 is a solid and versatile small waterproof compact that can accompany you on your underwater adventures – for the photos anyway. The video resolution of the only 720p excluding it automatically from the list of videographers who prefer to turn to another model of our selection.

PROS
  • Very affordable
  • Well thought out design, four color options
CONS
  • The weight of years is felt
  • The max opening of the lens is not terrible

6. Fujifilm XP130

Unleash your creativity with Fujifilm’s latest waterproof camera.

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1/2 3 “
  • Definition: 16.4MP
  • Optics: 28-140mm f / 3.9-4.9
  • Screen: 7.6 cm, 920k dots
  • Water resistance: 20m / 65ft
  • Shock resistance: 1.75m / 5.8ft
  • Frost resistance: -10ºC / 14ºF
  • Max video resolution: Full HD

The impressive image quality of the Fujifilm XP130 is possible thanks to the stabilization of its sensor that allows you to take clear images without a tripod and even in poor light conditions.

Although a simple update of the XP120, the XP130 still brings some useful improvements, such as the addition of Bluetooth, in addition to Wi-Fi already present on the previous model and an electronic level for your horizons are always impeccably straight.

Like the other models of the XP series, the XP130 is properly reinforced and able to withstand the most severe treatments you can inflict. A selection of artistic filters is also included for those wanting to add a touch of creativity to their shots.

PROS
  • Very good level of protection
  • 920k LCD screen
CONS
  • No video recording in 4K
  • No major change compared to the XP120

7. Sony RX0

A big sensor, 4K video, and a very fine housing. What more?

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1 “
  • Definition: 15.3MP
  • Optics: 24mm f / 4
  • Screen: 3.8 cm, touch, 230k points
  • Water resistance: 10m / 33ft
  • Shock resistance: 2m / 6.5ft
  • Frost resistance: No
  • Max video resolution: 4K (optional external recorder)

Thanks to its large 1 “sensor, Sony’s recently released RX0 surpasses its competitors by being able to produce images that are much lighter, richer and with a much greater noise reduction. Aimed at the high-end market, this compact features a touch-sensitive LCD screen, a high frame rate for slow-motion movies in Full HD, and even 4K if you connect it to an external recorder. which will definitely decrease the possibilities of stunts and other acrobatic shots). He looks perfect no? – Almost.

As you can imagine, such a beast of technology is not free, posted at its output at a price of 850 €, the RX0 is considerably more expensive than the other models in the category. If that does not deter you, you will have in your hands a little gem: one of the best waterproof cameras of the moment.

PROS
  • Small size but large sensor 1 “
  • 4K video (with external recorder)
CONS
  • Small LCD screen
  • Expensive

Best Underwater Camera For Snorkeling

8. GoPro HERO6 Black

The older generation still holds the shock!

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1/2 3 “
  • Definition: 12MP
  • Optics: 14-28mm (equiv.) F / 2.8
  • Screen: 5.2 cm
  • Water resistance: 10m / 33ft
  • Impact resistance: Not specified
  • Frost resistance: Not specified
  • Max video resolution: 4K

Belonging to the previous generation of GoPro, the HERO6 Black camera is still very impressive. It is at much more attractive prices since the release of the new model, the HERO7 Black. Like the one that succeeds it, it is able to film in 4K, with the same frame rate, it possesses in the back, the same touch screen very interesting. The only real lack of this model compared to the newcomer is the internal stabilization but if you have planned the use of a stabilizer (gimbal), you will certainly not suffer at all from the lack.

The videos can be shot in Full HD 120IPS making super slow-motion possible. It is also possible to photograph in Raw, to benefit from more flexibility and options of modification in post-production. It was also from this model that the GoPro HERO cameras began to be equipped with a dual microphone, significantly improving the sound. If the HERO6 Black is not in your budget, its elder the Black HERO5 sharing many of its strengths will be able to meet your needs.

PROS
  • 4K video with effective stabilization
  • Very useful voice control option
CONS
  • Many cheaper competitors
  • The touch screen is sometimes inaccurate

9. Fujifilm XP120

A waterproof camera that is no longer young and lacks some options, but at an unbeatable price.

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1/2 3 “
  • Definition: 16.4MP
  • Optics: 28-140mm f / 3.9-4.9
  • Screen: 7.6 cm, 920k points
  • Water resistance: 20m / 65ft
  • Shock resistance: 1.75m / 5.8ft
  • Frost resistance: -10ºC / 14ºF
  • Max video resolution: Full HD

Recently replaced by its successor the XP130, the XP120 is still very attractive and deserves to be considered, especially by those with a small budget. If you can do without Bluetooth and other additional options, this very good compact technically is worth the detour and will not let you down on the ground.

It has a generous resolution, reactive autofocus, a bright (albeit non-tactile) back screen and full HD video. With this compact fighter, you will be well equipped to face all that your outings reserve you from unexpected, the bright colors in options add to it a small nice side.

PROS
  • Waterproof up to 20m
  • Very affordable
CONS
  • Maximum opening a little limited
  • No Bluetooth or NFC

10. Leica X-U (Typ 113)

With an APS-C sensor and a very responsive fixed focal length, here is a compact premium, robust and full of promise.

Specification
  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Definition: 16.2MP
  • Optics: 23mm f / 1.7
  • Screen: 7.6 cm, 920k points
  • Water resistance: 15m / 50ft
  • Shock resistance: 1.22m / 4ft
  • Frost resistance: None
  • Max video resolution: Full HD

Embedding an APS-C sensor, equipped with a fixed focal length Leica Summilux 23mm f / 1.7 ASPH and boasting the expertise of one of the biggest names in the photographic industry, the Leica XU (Typ 113) has everything to produce images of incomparable quality to those of the previously listed devices.

Another of its flagship features is its waterproof case capable of diving up to 15m without box. Made of aluminum for the upper part and adjustment knobs, it is also non-slip for easy handling under water.

Despite its very high price, the quality of video recordings is limited to Full HD and the minimum distance of focus is significantly longer than that of its competitors, Leica does not communicate on the potential for resistance to a gel of its product. However, if the quality of the image is more important than the health of your bank account, this little gem is for you.

PROS
  • Large sensor
  • Waterproof up to 15m
CONS
  • Very expensive
  • Minimum focus distance of 20cm

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