If you’re planning an epic underwater adventure, you may be looking for the best camera for snorkeling. Capturing your fun experiences underwater is a great way to preserve memories, and a fun way to share them with others in stunning photography online or in print. While choosing the best camera for your dive can be overwhelming, we’re here to help you navigate the many styles, features and options on the market today.
Here we’ve gathered a product review for the 5 best cameras for your underwater adventures, and how to choose the right one for snorkeling. Find out everything you need to know below, and start exploring the lush marine world as soon as possible!
Best Camera for Snorkeling Reviewed
1. GoPro Hero 7
Founded in 2002, GoPro is a technology company based in California, US. It specializes in the manufacturing of high-quality action cameras, along with developing their video-editing software and mobile apps.
Well known for capturing epic action photography, the GoPro Hero 7 lives up to the brand name for taking underwater photography down to a depth of 33 feet. The casing of this camera is waterproof, ensuring it’s durability and function below the water’s surface. Additionally, it features a Super Photo option, which applies local tone mapping, HDR, and noise cancellation automatically for the best possible underwater action shot. Along with fantastic underwater capability and function, this camera allows the user to explore hands-free through user-friendly voice control. This is ideal while handling other snorkeling gear like dive watches, or while adventuring with kids! In addition, GoPro added a Live Streaming option to the camera allowing you to share your adventures in real time with your Facebook following, friends and community. This is a fun and fantastic way to stay connected with other ocean adventurers, and an epic way to capture your experiences for lifetime memories.
One of the most unique features of this camera, HyperSmooth, stabilizes video by predicting your actions and correcting them. In return, you get very smooth footage without even using a gimbal.
The Hero 7 Black uses 12MP sensors to take stunning shots, and utilizes its wide-angle lens to make 4K60 video. Additionally, this camera can slow down the footage by 8 times, and it features a TimeWarp option for time-lapse videos, which you can speed up to 30 times. These added tools make capturing and sharing experiences even more fun!
This waterproof camera can speed up or slow down your 4K videos, stabilize the pictures through HyperSmooth, and live-stream your adventure. It even allows you to go hands-free with simple commands like, “Take a picture, GoPro.”
The downside to this camera is that it is a premium product that generally comes at a higher price point. But if you're looking for a high-quality option, this is a great choice.
2. AKASO Brave 4 4K Action Camera
AKASO is a U.S.-based brand that manufactures extremely high-quality yet affordable cameras. Among their most proud creations is the AKASO Brave 4 4K Action Camera.
One of AKASO’s leading cameras, the Brave 4 allows you to take 20MP photos along with ultra HD 4K 24fps and 2K 30fps video footage. With options like a single shot, burst shots, and time-lapse, you can capture all of your underwater adventures in creative and fun ways.
Along with the ultimate capturing features, this camera is also user-friendly and has a waterproof casing which allows functionality and durability down to a depth of 30 meters. Using the dive mode setting you can remove red light from the photos you take, and even preview them on the 2-inch IPS display screen. Additionally, the view angle is adjustable from 170°, 140°, 110° and 70° which is great for viewing a variety of environments.
An added benefit to this camera features a gyroscope maneuver for maximum stabilization of your images and video. The quality footage and content you capture is easy to share and edit, simply using a downloadable and free app for your phone or tablet. The WiFi signal on the device has a range of 10 meters, and it can even be connected to a TV through a USB or HDMI port.
This whole camera package comes with 2 1050mAh rechargeable batteries, which can record up to 1.5 hours of footage.
The Brave 4 works perfectly well underwater and has one of the best audio performances among the cameras on this list. It has a wireless connection and an adjustable viewing angle.
Even though this camera features a 4K video option, the overall quality is not as great as we would like. The camera has been reported to have some problems with over-exposure, as some reviewers note that the footage may be a little too bright.
3. Waterproof Digital Camera by MARVUE
The MARVUE brand specializes in the manufacturing of action cameras and has produced this compact, easy-to-use, and lightweight camera to meet your snorkeling photography needs.
The MARVUE waterproof digital camera is designed for underwater use up to 10 feet underwater, and designed to be user-friendly with a quality display and conveniently placed mode buttons. It features a selfie dual screen, with a 2.7-inch LCD screen on the rear side and a 1.8-inch screen on the front. This offers ultimate convenience in use and function while getting up close and personal with life underwater.
Along with an easy-to-use design, this camera has 6continuous shooting, an anti-shaking mode option, and a flashlight- which is ideal for dark or low-light conditions. Moreover, it has a 16x digital zoom to help you focus clearly on distant objects, giving you ultimate control over your subject underwater, whether it’s a fish, dolphin, coral, shipwreck, or more. Additionally, this camera includes a MAX 2.7K at 20fps video resolution to capture high-quality videos, and a 48MP lens to capture the clearest photos possible.
This camera includes a 650mAh rechargeable battery.
This action underwater camera not only allows you to take a selfie from the front and back, but it can also be used to take high-resolution videos and zoom images up to 16 times.
Unlike other similar models, this one does not have an optical zoom. Instead, it uses a digital one, which, sadly, sometimes produces blurry low-resolution pictures.
4. Apeman A77 4k Action Camera
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Apeman specializes in the production of cameras and aims to help people share their adventures with the rest of the world. Their 4K action camera can help you take the most beautiful pictures from your snorkeling trip, creating memories to last a lifetime.
The Apeman A77 action camera allows you to adjust the video and photo resolution according to your needs underwater. You can choose between 4K 25fps, 2.7K 30fps, 1080p 60fps, 1080p 30fps, and 720p 120fps for the video, and between 16Mp, 8MP, 5MP, and 4MP for your photography needs.
The A77 is waterproof and suitable for underwater photography down to a depth of 30 meters. Apart from this, it comes with a free app and a built-in WiFi connection for easy transfer of your footage. You can even directly control your camera within a particular distance through its 2.4GHZ remote control, making it user-friendly and easy to function. It even allows you to operate your camera without pressing any button.The exposure of your photos can be adjusted between -2 to +2, giving you the most realistic and stunning images. In addition, this camera features an anti-shaking stability option to give you the smoothest and sharpest pictures possible. Along with these convenient features, it also comes with about 20 accessories, including two 1050mAh rechargeable batteries, bicycle and helmet mounting kits, and USB cables. The manufacturer even includes a 120-month product service, free of cost with every purchase- ensuring you’ll be capturing photos for many adventures to come.
Compared to most compact cameras, the A77 allows wireless transfer through WiFi and hands-free remote control. Moreover, it has the best video and picture resolution.
The Apeman A77 is a cheaper alternative to some of the best cameras in the market. However, unlike the more expensive options, it does not have advanced customization settings. Apart from simple settings, professional photographers cannot do much with it.
5. Campark 4K Action Camera
Founded in 2008, Campark manufactures action cameras, dash cameras, trail cameras, and more. Its motto is “Capture Moments. Capture Life”, which is also reflected in all of their products.
The Campark action camera can be used while diving down to a depth of 40 meters, making it great for both snorkeling and scuba diving. It features a 2-inch touchscreen display and a range of video resolution from 4K and 2.7K to 1080P and 720P at various shutter speeds. The video format is MOV, and for images, you can select the image resolution from 20MP, 16MP, 13MP, and 8MP. These added benefits are ideal for capturing stunning and high resolution images and footage that you’ll enjoy looking at for years to come.
This camera also features a wide-angle lens which allows you to adjust the field of view between wide, medium, and narrow. These added benefits offer you the ability to customize the look of your photo, and to truly capture photos that are uniquely your own. In addition, it includes a WiFi remote control and an integrated feature that corrects lens distortion.
With built-in EIS, you get added stability which allows for clear and crisp pictures every time. This package also includes a waterproof casing, a bicycle and helmet mounting kit, 2 1350mAh rechargeable batteries, and USB cables for maximum convenience.
This camera can go down to a depth of 40 meters, which most cameras in the market can only dream of. Apart from this, it can remove the fish-eye effect and capture footage at 4K resolution.
Apart from being a more premium product, we also found that this camera does not allow both the EIS and distortion correction feature to work together.
Selecting a Underwater Camera: Buyer’s Guide
With hundreds of options for underwater cameras available on the market, it can be quite difficult to choose the right one for your needs. To learn more about the best features and convenience tools to search for when deciding which product to invest in, keep reading for everything you need to know!
Here are the features to look for when choosing which snorkeling camera is right for you:
A camera with a zoom option can capture much more detail than a standard option by magnifying the image with the lens. There are two types of zoom: digital and optical. You should know that the optical is a far better choice than the former since it physically moves the lens to zoom. Digital zoom only involves cropping the picture, which reduces the resolution. This results in a bad quality and blurry photo. For optical zoom, the focal length in mm will determine its quality with a higher number referring to higher zoom.
Low numbers are preferable for wide-angle shots. It is recommended to purchase quality cameras with 5 times optical zoom and a minimum 4 times digital zoom for inexpensive camera options.
2. Lens Quality
The lens is one of the most important requirements for a good-quality picture. For this factor, you should first be aware of the type of photography you want to go for. There are a wide variety of lenses available in compact cameras, from wide-angle lenses to macro lenses.
Apart from this, you have to make sure to purchase a camera with a sharp lens for maximum clarity in your shots. This gives you clear and focused images, unlike the cheaper lens which will only offer fuzzy and low-contrast photos.
Some cameras will include lenses that give a sharp image in the middle but with blurry corners. Thus, it is important to get a high-quality glass lens with an additional optical coating to give you optimum results while capturing your adventures underwater.
3. Video Capabilities
The ability to capture your experience under the sea’s surface is easier than ever with quality, high-resolution and user-friendly cameras on the market today. These compact cameras are for more than photo taking, and have started featuring video capabilities that can even rival primary video cameras.
With options like zebra striping and focus peaking, these waterproof cameras are becoming crucial for photographers. The most up-to-date video format, however, is 4K video at a shutter speed of 60fps. Cameras do not usually offer this feature, and finding 4K at 30fps is going to be hard. If you do find it, do not hesitate to purchase it for your snorkeling adventure.
Instead of 4K videos, you can even look for high definition options. You can find this in 1080p and 720p. Even though they cannot compare to 4K ones, the video footage will still be superior to most. For the best results, look for a camera with 1080p at about 60fps. The higher number refers to better image quality.
4. Wireless Transfer
The wireless transfer of media feature allows you to share your moments on social media platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, instantly. Although it is quite useful, you will not find a WiFi connection in every waterproof camera that you come across. Moreover, to use this feature you will need a roam-free internet connection at your destination. Even if the free WiFi source might not be fast enough, it is still quite easy to share a couple of pictures with your friends and family.Apart from this, some compact cameras might even include Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to transfer images and videos in no time. This is much more reliable in places with poor WiFi connection. Seeing how useful this feature can be, make sure to look for either WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity in the compact camera of your choice.
Everyone has heard about megapixels, but what does it mean really? To answer this question, these are the tiny details recorded in the sensor. The higher the pixels, the better the detail. Such that they are better for zooming and cropping your picture.
However, there are some downsides to high megapixels. Firstly, pictures have larger file size and take time to download or transfer. Apart from this, if you add high megapixels into a small sensor, it can lead to poor ISO performance.
Sixteen plus megapixels might portray a higher resolution picture, but with a small lens, you will be wasting your money on extra MPs. Thus, it is important to realize that even 10MP is a lot for a compact camera.
If you’re looking for the ultimate camera for underwater action photography, the GoPro Hero 7 is the product that stands above the rest. With its durable build, waterproof casing, and features even suitable for professional photographers, this camera is a steal. However, if you are looking for a more value oriented alternative, go for the AKASO Brave 4 action camera, or the other great cameras that made it onto our review list above.
The Seaside Planet Community is dedicated to sharing the best unbiased reviews and guides to get water sport lovers adventuring as soon as possible. If this guide has helped you to choose the right underwater snorkeling camera, let us know in the comment section below.Additionally, check out more underwater gear reviews in the Snorkeling Gear Section of our blog!
Megan Jones leads the editorial staff of Seaside Planet. They are a multidisciplinary team of outdoor adventurers, water sports lovers, and passionate beach goers. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.