Waterproof cameras are designed to keep up with your active lifestyle. They are usually small and light enough to fit into a pocket and rugged enough to withstand harsh weather and extreme climates.
The price of a fully waterproof camera typically starts at around $150 and can go into the thousands for a high-end model. How much you’ll spend depends on how you plan to use the camera and any additional accessories you may need including mounting gear and tripods.
Read on to find out if a waterproof camera is right for you.
Compare 10 of the most popular waterproof cameras for 2018
Pros of using a waterproof camera
To help you decide what type of camera is right for you, we’ve explored some of the best and worst aspects of using a waterproof camera.
Here are several ways that you could benefit from using a waterproof camera on your next adventure:
- Portability. Waterproof cameras are designed to be compact and portable. They can typically fit into a pocket or small bag.
- Durability. You can use waterproof cameras in virtually any condition. Most of them are built to withstand shock, freezing temperatures, dirt, mud, sand and, of course, water.
- Easy to use. Like most compact cameras, waterproof cameras are generally very easy to use and require little to no set-up. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take professional looking photos with a waterproof camera.
- Video quality. Durable action and waterproof cameras are designed to keep up with any activity. Some cameras shoot in high-definition or 4K (ultra high-definition) resolution to help you capture the clearest videos possible.
- Mounting options. Waterproof cameras are typically compatible with a wide array of mounting accessories including hand mounts, head mounts and chest mounts so you’ll never miss a shot.
Cons of using a waterproof camera
Drawbacks to using a waterproof camera include:
- Limited zoom. Waterproof cameras have limited zoom ranges because the entire camera and lens must be sealed within the waterproof frame. The maximum zoom range for waterproof cameras is typically 5x.
- Additional cost for accessories. Tripods, flashes, mounts, carry bags and additional waterproof casings can help make your camera more versatile but they will take up space and add to your overall cost.
- Limited battery life. If you plan to spend a whole day shooting, you’ll likely need a back-up battery or some way to recharge. Remember to plan ahead, especially if you’ll be travelling somewhere remote.
- Image quality. Waterproof cameras are typically compact or point-and-shoot cameras. This means that while they are small and easy to carry, they don’t offer the high image quality of larger cameras.
- No viewfinder. Waterproof cameras do not usually come with a viewfinder, which can make it difficult to preview your shots in certain lighting conditions.
How to compare waterproof cameras
No matter what type of camera you’re comparing, you’ll want to think about how easy the camera is to use and how high the image quality is.
Waterproof cameras are generally compact cameras. This means you don’t have as many choices in terms of style and advanced features as you would when comparing other types of cameras. That being said, you do still have to consider your budget, desired image quality, level of durability and other key features.
When choosing a waterproof camera, consider the following:
Which waterproof camera is best for me?
The best waterproof camera for you depends on how you plan to use it. Someone looking to shoot 30 metres underwater on their next scuba diving trip will have different requirements from someone who wants to take selfies on their boat without worrying about a rogue wave damaging their camera.
To help you get started, we’ve highlighted five of the most searched for and highly reviewed waterproof cameras below:
|The good||The bad|
|Olympus Tough TG-5||
|Nikon Coolpix W300||