Diving is fun, especially because it opens your eyes to the beauty of what is found underwater. It gives you an up close and personal encounter with a diverse marine life, including corals and fish. To make it even a more rewarding experience, you should invest in the best camera for diving. This will allow you to document what you are seeing and show it off to others.
A diving camera is not the same as an ordinary camera. Waterproofing is one of the most important. Even some underwater cameras may not suffice, especially if you are diving deep. To know more about some of the best options that are available, read on. I will share with you some of the best products available, as well as a quick guide on how you can choose the best.
Our Top Picks for the Best Camera for Diving
Let us get started. As the purpose of this guide is to help you make the right decision, these are some of the products that you should include on your list, as well as some of the reasons why they are exceptional.
Nikon D810 FX-Format Digital SLR-Camera
If you are serious about diving and photography, this is definitely the camera that you should pick. It comes with a steep price and it is quite complicated to use, so pick this camera only if you are already a pro. Otherwise, it is useless.
Looking at its specifications, one of the most notable is the fact that it has a 36.3-megapixel FX-Format CMOS Sensor. The latter makes sure of optical clarity for the best high-resolution photos and videos. It can also record 1080p videos. Meanwhile, it has the revolutionary EXPEED 4 image processor, which is regarded as one of the most advanced. It is 30% faster compared to its predecessor.
For ease of use when you are underwater, the camera comes with a 3.2-inch LCD, which is large enough so that you can easily see whatever it is that you are shooting. The user-interface is not the easiest to understand, but with constant use, this will not be an issue.
It is important to note, however, that this camera is not waterproof. You need to provide an appropriate housing so that you can use it underwater.
Canon PowerShot S120 Digital Camera
If cost is an important consideration for you, this is one camera that you have to include on your list. It has a compact body and a budget-friendly price, making it an ideal choice for casual divers and photographers. Like the camera mentioned above, it also needs a case so that you can use it underwater.
This camera has a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen. One of its defining features is the Digic 6 Image Processor, which is basically the one that is responsible for the seamless shooting experience that it can deliver. It also comes with a 12.1-megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor and can shoot videos at a resolution of 1080p.
It is also a good thing that it comes with an exceptional low-light performance, allowing it to shoot at up to ISO 12800. This is one of the reasons why it is a top choice for the best diving cameras.
In terms of the lens, on the other hand, it has a wide angle 5-times optical zoom, making it possible to shoot your underwater subject at a wider angle. It also has the well-known Canon optical technology, which will reduce the likelihood that your underwater shots will end up being blurry.
GoPro Hero 6 Black
The list of the best underwater cameras that you can use for diving will be incomplete without a mention of this GoPro Hero model. Through the years, this action camera has been a favorite amongst adventure junkies basically because of its output quality and sleek body.
The camera is already waterproof at a depth of up to 10 meters or 33 feet. It is less of a hassle to use because there is no need for a housing unlike the cameras mentioned above.
In terms of resolution, it is capable of shooting videos at 4K60 and 1080p240. Its video shooting performance is two times stronger compared to the older model. In terms of still images, on the other hand, it has the revolutionary G1 chip that improves stability and image quality.
It is also filled with user-friendly features, such as the 2-inch touchscreen display. The screen also has a touch zoom feature, making it easy to take a close-up shot of your subject. There are also voice commands. Meanwhile, with 5 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity, uploading and sharing photos will surely be a snap. Plus, it has QuikStory, which will instantly transform your video into a story. No film editing skills needed!
Akaso EK7000 Sports Action Camera
If the GoPro is quite an expensive choice for you, this is an alternative that is worth considering. this also belongs to the group of action cameras, which is exactly the reason why it is compact and lightweight. You can hold it on your hand, strap it on your chest, or position it on your head, among others.
Aside from being lightweight, another thing that makes this a great choice for a diving camera is the fact that it is waterproof at a depth of up to 100 feet. It has a durable case that is able to withstand extreme conditions.
This action camera is able to shoot 4K Ultra-HD video, which is pretty much impressive given its price range. For photos, on the other hand, it has a 12-megapixel resolution. It has four shooting modes – photo, video, time lapse, and burst shot. The camera also includes a remote.
Sony A7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
When this model was released, this was the first full-frame sensor mirrorless camera. This is another camera that is not waterproof on its own. Hence, you will need a case. With the right housing, however, it is sure to deliver exceptional outcomes for your underwater shots.
The slim body of the camera is one of its best assets, which will make it easy to hold when you are underwater. The buttons can be customized for different functions depending on your personal preference.
With regards to the technical details of this diving camera, it has a 24.3-megapixel resolution for shooting still photos. It also comes with the BIONZ X image processor, which will make it great for high-speed continuous shooting. For the video, it comes with a 1080p high-definition shooting capacity.
The camera comes with a 3-inch LCD that you can tilt, although this should not matter if you are using it underwater.
Types of Diving Cameras
Among others, the most popular type of a diving camera is a sports action camera. The best and most popular example of this is perhaps the line of cameras from GoPro. They are known for being lightweight and compact, so handling them when you are underwater will not be a problem. However, they can be limited in terms of their shooting capabilities.
Compact digital point-and-shoot cameras are also popular. They are bigger compared to action cams but they offer more functions when it comes to shooting photos and videos. They have a screen at the back, which will give you an instant view of what you are shooting. They can have an underwater casing or a waterproof body.
The third category of diving cameras is an SLR. They can be beginner or advanced cameras, depending on the model that will be chosen. They offer the best in terms of versatility since you can play with various settings depending on the shot that you wish to accomplish. Most of them will need an underwater housing.
Essential Considerations when Looking for the Best Camera for Diving
You will most probably be overwhelmed with the abundance of the options that will confront you. Nonetheless, this should not give you the reason to decide in haste. To easily narrow down the options, here are some of the most important things that you have to take into account:
- Shooting Capabilities: This is an important consideration because it will have a direct impact on the quality of the photos and videos that you will shoot. Consider technical details such as the resolution, aperture, and ISO range, among other things.
- Weight: Since you are going to use it underwater, lightweight is a better choice. If it is too heavy, your hand can easily feel tired and might even suffer from cramps when you are shooting.
- Ease of Use: Especially if you are a beginner, I suggest that you look for a camera with basic features. Once you are able to master the basics, you can move to a camera that is more advanced.
- Stability: When looking at the features of the camera, it is also important to make sure that it can take stable shots. Optical stabilization is one feature that you have to look for, which will make it possible to take clear shots.
- Housing: If in case you are purchasing a camera that does not come with a housing, consider the case that comes with the camera. If you have to purchase it separately, make sure that the housing is of high-quality as this will protect your investment from the water.
Care and Maintenance for your Diving Camera
It is inevitable that your camera will be prone to wear after a long time of use. To make sure that it will keep its best shape and optimal performance, here are some of the most important care and maintenance tips that you have to know:
- Right after the dive, clean the camera as soon as possible. If it comes with a housing, rinse it immediately when you have the chance.
- Do not open the housing unless it is necessary. If you open it all the time, there is a higher chance that water will get in contact with the camera, which can lead to serious damage.
- Before you store the camera and the housing, make sure that it is clean and completely dry. Close the housing or keep the camera in a bag to avoid it from being damaged by dust.
- When you are storing the camera for the long-term, remove the battery. Also, always inspect the battery to be sure that it is not wet or corroded.
- If there is any problem and you do not know how to fix it, do not attempt to make it another DIY task. This is especially true if it is an expensive camera. Get in touch with a technician to fix the problem.
Quick Tips for Underwater Photography
Discussing tips for taking the best photos and videos when you are underwater should have a separate detailed post. Nonetheless, just to give you a gist, here are some of the things that can help you instantly become a pro:
- Get close to the subject that you are shooting. As much as possible, you should be about 12 inches away. However, do not touch the subject. Water can reduce the clarity of the photo, which is why it is better if you are near.
- Find the right camera settings. It might take a few tries before you find the right setting. Ideally, choose the highest resolution and the lowest ISO.
- Shooting at the right angle is also important. For most beginners, it would be best to shoot up, which will give a better view of the reefs and the surroundings.
- If you are shooting underwater creatures, focus on the eyes, especially under macro mode. This is an instant way to tell a story through your photo.
- Learn how to use Photoshop or other programs that will be useful for post-processing the photos. It will help improve the quality of your shots.
With the best camera for diving, you can easily capture the beauty of what lies underwater. This is an investment for those who love to dive and take photos and videos. There are many cameras available, but they are not all promising in terms of the quality of their shots. Keep an eye on the five products mentioned above to enjoy the best bang for the buck.