The 10 Best Underwater Video Cameras
This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in February of 2019. If you want to make a movie of your next snorkeling expedition, or just capture some magical moments with the kids in the pool, one of these underwater video cameras will get the job done without incurring any damage. We've included models rated to tackle a variety of depths, with some offering additional features like shockproof housings, zoom lenses, and wireless connectivity for easy sharing. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 28, 2020:
While the companies represented in this ranking are all identical to our previous visit, almost everyone has come out with an upgrade to what were already nice models. The most impressive of these has to be the Ricoh G900 Industrial, which took a capable underwater camera in the WG-6 and added resistance to chemical solvents like sodium hypochlorite, ethanol, and liquid chlorine dioxide. For a place like a dive shop where gear and boat maintenance introduces a number of potential hazards to your space, this makes a great option.
Sony didn't upgrade the Sony FDRX3000 Camcorder, and it seems they may not anytime soon, at least not with the Sony DSC-RX0 II continuing to improve. It's got a bigger sensor and an actual screen when compared with the FDRX3000, but it is a lot pricier, making the FDR a better budget choice. Similar in size and shape to the RX0 is the GoPro Hero 8 Black, which offers superior battery life and live streaming capabilities than the RX0, including the ability to stream directly from your phone to a social media site, even if that stream is capped at 720p.
Of course, there are some niche options for underwater photography, especially among experienced divers. The SeaLife DC2000 is one, but if you're looking for something that can offer you a bit more (and you're willing to pay for it), you can check out the options in our special honors section, which include an outstanding head-mountable model from Paralenz, as well as a series of housings for DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and point-and-shoots that will let you take nearly any system underwater.
February 12, 2019:
It's no surprise that GoPro takes a top spot on this list, as it's had such a head start in R&D and such an influx of money to spend there. Many of the other models out there are essentially waterproof point-and-shoots when you break down their components, but some choices, like the Sony RX0 and the SeaLife DC2000 feature much larger sensors than the common compact camera. That might make them more attractive to anyone planning to use their new toy on dry land, as well. At the end of the day, though, performance while submerged was paramount to the ranking.
Ikelite Underwater Housings These lightweight, durable, and watertight offerings can be customized to fit nearly any major camera from the last few years, with models suitable for DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and even high-end point-and-shoots from companies like Nikon, Canon, Sony, and more. Mounting points make each rig expandable, so you can add things like lights, handles, and more. ikelite.com
Paralenz Vaquita With an ergonomic design, several mounting options, and the ability to record 4K movies at up to 60fps (30fps in HDR mode), this flashlight-shaped model has a lot to offer. Its controls are large enough to comfortably manipulate through dive gloves, and it features an OLED screen for playback. It's among the more expensive options in its class, and it isn't the ideal shooter for terrestrial photography, but it can withstand water pressure down to an unparalleled 350 meters. paralenz.com