Best Camera for Underwater Photography

So you’re within the marketplace for your first underwater camera, but you’ve got no idea the way to start, no background in photography, and are utterly lost. Picking a camera that’s right for you’ll be a mine field and an information overload, especially when you’re spending tons of cash and investing in equipment. So you would like to form sure you won’t be disappointed together with your underwater camera’s abilities once you begin using it.

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We’ve spoken before about underwater photography tips, but during this article we’ll assist you compare the differences between sorts of underwater cameras, then check out features to seem for in cameras when making your decision on which one to get . It is a beautiful world down there, so allow us to assist you capture it within the best way possible!

Top Camera for Underwater Photography Ranking

Name Rating
GoPro HERO6 BlackView on Amazon →4.2
Olympus Tough TG-6View on Amazon →3.8
SeaLife DC2000 Underwater CameraView on Amazon →4
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 V 20.1View on Amazon →3.7

Compact cameras have one attached lens while both mirrorless and dSLRs use interchangeable lenses. After shooting with a compact underwater camera, many of us consider switching to a mirrorless or a dSLR. the apparent advantage is that the interchangeable lens choices. this is often a big difference that limits the pliability of a compact camera, although wet lenses can help bridge this distance to some extent. you furthermore may have more flexibility with different focal lengths and better image quality from superior optics and a bigger sensor. Interchangeable lens cameras even have reduced shutter lag and better focusing capability. These are huge advantages. Shooting with a dSLR is sort of a joy and really few people regret changing. However, a compact camera within the right hands can sometimes take shots that rival a dSLR shot.

If you’ll considering purchasing an external strobe at some point, you actually got to be ready to shoot in manual and have full control over exposure and the way much ambient light enters the camera.

GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos

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The new camera can capture super-slow-motion video at a high resolution, output a stabilized image in 4K, and transfer everything to your phone at faster speeds – your video can even be posted before your GoPro-documented adventure is even over if you would like . That’s amazing for an action camera that’s this small and sturdy .

It’s not perfect, of course. the most important problem with GoPro’s devices is that the image quality is more impressive than our phones and other devices are capable of handling sometimes , thanks to the large file sizes.

It’s a big problem once you offload and edit the video, especially slow-motion footage at a silky-smooth 240 frames per second. you’ll end up – and your phone and computer – overwhelmed by the stress of editing your GoPro’s video files.

That said, GoPro’s edit-in-post software has gotten tons better in 2017, so as long as you do not feel in over your head transferring HD and 4K video files to your device this is often the simplest action camera you’ll buy today.

The biggest change to the GoPro Hero6 Black is that the arrival of GoPro’s first custom chipset, the aptly named GP1 processor. This has allowed the Hero6 Black to supply 4K video capture at a smooth 60fps (frames per second); the Hero5 Black is merely capable of shooting at 30fps.

That’s not all. Fancy shooting some breathtaking slow-mo footage? The Hero6 Black can capture 1080p Full HD footage at a powerful 240fps. In between those two extremes it’s possible to shoot 2.7K footage at 120fps.

GoPro hasn’t just targeting boosting the frame rate of the Hero6 Black over its predecessor, also tinkering with the image stabilization system.

Thanks to the GP1 processing engine, it’s possible to possess image stabilization active while shooting 4K footage. Stabilization is capped at 30fps, but it is a marked improvement over the Hero5 Black, which could only offer this on Full HD footage, while stabilization is additionally possible at up to 120fps at Full HD.

Want to capture stills as well? The Hero6 Black, just like the Hero5 Black, can capture 12MP images in single, burst and timelapse modes. What’s new may be a built-in HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode for high-contrast scenes.

This new mode replaces the Wide Dynamic Range mode on the Hero5 Black, and, again because of the GP1 processing engine, it captures images with greater detail in both the shadows and highlights. And, if you’re within the habit of venturing out after dark, Night mode is here for more accomplished low-light shooting.

Olympus Tough TG-6 camera with Deluxe Accessory Bundle – Includes: SanDisk Ultra 64GB SDXC Memory Card + 2X Seller’s Replacement Batteries with Charger + Adapter Tube + Much More

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The TG-6 retains an equivalent pocketable, but all around rugged, form factor of its predecessors. It measures 2.6 by 4.5 by 1.3 inches (HWD), weighs 8.9 ounces, and may withstand enough pressure to be used in fifty feet of water. you’ll pip out in your choice of black or red.

Many pocket cameras offer huge zoom ranges. But waterproof cameras need to keep lenses entirely inside the body. The TG-6 uses an equivalent 25-100mm (full-frame equivalent) zoom as previous entries within the series. It exposes to f/2 at the widest angle, a plus for snapping shots in dim light, but does drop by brightness to f/4.9 when zoomed all the way in.

The On/Off button is on top, along side the shutter release, zoom control, and an impact wheel. The control wheel isn’t comfortable—it’s very slim, and it’s to be waterproof, so sealing makes turning it require some effort. Olympus has added plastic ridges, so you’ll get an edge and switch it, but they’re a touch pointy. The wheel is useful—the TG-6 doesn’t include full manual exposure control, numerous photographers will prefer to use it to dial in exposure adjustments. it is also not the top of the world—you’re not getting to cut yourself thereon , but you’ll notice some small indentations in your thumb after turning it a couple of times.

The main rear control may be a four-way directional pad, with the OK button at its center. It’s joined by Info, Menu, Play, and Record buttons and a flat dial to line the camera’s mode. If you would like to travel outside full Auto, your best bet is to use Program and adjust exposure using the highest dial for several scenes.

You do have some creative control—you can switch to a Sports scene to make sure short shutter speeds to freeze motion, and there are several options for long-exposure photography—the lens includes an integrated neutral density filter, so you’ll shoot longer exposures.

SeaLife DC2000 Underwater Camera:

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SeaLife is not the first, second, or maybe third name you think that of when it involves buying a camera . But if you’re within the marketplace for a rugged, waterproof compact, you’d had best to ascertain m at the company’s DC2000 ($699) to see if it is a good fit your needs. It sports an f/1.8 prime lens backed by an outsized 1-inch, 20MP image sensor, and therefore the price includes an underwater housing which will go as deep as 200 feet. it is a strong option for underwater photographers, but the shortage of a telephoto lens limits its mass market appeal. Our Editors’ Choice tough camera, the Olympus Tough TG-4, features a zoom that covers a wider angle and is additionally quite bright at f/2. But the TG-4 is tough to seek out at retail, as it’s set to get replaced by a replacement model, the TG-5, next month.

The lens is an 11.6mm f/1.8 prime, delivering a field of view roughly like 31mm on a full-frame system. The moderate wide angle, just slightly narrower than an iPhone rear camera, may be a solid focal distance for travel and snapshots. The DC2000 features a strong macro capability, locking on to subjects as little as 3.5 inches faraway from the lens. If you would like to shoot at a wider angle, consider the Fisheye Wide Angle Lens add-on. It adds $279 to the value , widens the sector of view to a 19mm equivalent, and may be attached or detached while underwater.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 V 20.1 MP Digital Still Camera with 3″ OLED, flip Screen, WiFi, and 1” Sensor DSCRX100M5/B

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The RX100 VII offers many zoom power, with a lens that matches a full-frame 24-200mm in terms of coverage. It’s longer than the 24-70mm design utilized in some others within the series, including the RX100 VA, but only captures about half the sunshine . If you would like an identical camera with a touch of zoom and a brighter lens, consider the Canon G5 X Mark II, which features a 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom.

At 2.3 by 4.0 by 1.7 inches (HWD) and 10.7 ounces, the RX100 VII is not the lightest, slimmest compact out there. But it slides into jacket pockets easily, and its weight comes from complex optics and construction that’s more metal than plastic. It doesn’t have any kind of protruding handgrip, but there are first- and third-party add-on grips available for photographers preferring one.

You’ll still want to require care when using it—the camera isn’t rugged or waterproof. Sony’s larger bridge-style RX10 series offers dust and splash protection, but true rugged options are few and much between if you would like one with a picture sensor that’s bigger than your smartphone. Sealife sells a 1-inch waterproof model, the DC2000, but it doesn’t have a telephoto lens and its functions are downright primitive as compared .

Sony may churn out RX100 after RX100, year after year, but it hasn’t done tons to vary the essential design and layout of controls since it launched the series. For more on the differences between each model, ask our RX100 buying guide.

There’s a freely turning control ring round the lens—you can configure it for various functions, but i prefer using it for EV compensation. It’s joined by the standard zoom rocker switch, shutter release, Mode dial, and On/Off button on the highest , with the rest of the controls on the rear, to the proper of the tilting display. There are rear buttons to start out and stop videos, access the on-screen Fn menu and more extensive text-based menu system, and to play and delete photos. They’re joined by a flat command dial with directional presses that adjust the flash output, drive mode, and EV compensation.

FAQS:

What Gear Is Needed?

If you propose on taking your none-waterproof camera underwater you’ll be wanting to repair a wide-angle or maybe wide-angle lens thereto and secure it during a waterproof housing. There also are several waterproof compacts available which don’t need housing as they’re designed to survive a swim to certain depths.

How Well does one Know Your Camera?

Finding and changing your camera’s settings underwater, particularly if your camera’s during a waterproof housing, are often really diligence so if you do not want to miss an attempt , set your camera up before you set the camera within the water. Fish move quickly, too so if you’re fiddling about together with your camera, likelihood is that you’ll miss the chance to capture your shot. Once you’ve taken your photos do remember your camera, albeit it’s waterproof, isn’t an excellent fan of saltwater so wipe and dry it down.

What Are The Weather/Conditions Like?

You need water that’s clear as possible so avoid underwater photography on choppy days when visibility are often poor thanks to sand and other debris getting churned around within the swell. Light’s less even and there is not that much of it underwater so you will need higher ISOs and wider apertures. You’ll also want to place as little distance between you’re your subject as you’ll , otherwise, you will have blurry shots where you cannot figure out if you’ve captured a fish or a bit of seaweed.

Are White Balance Adjustments Needed?

Unless you modify your white balance your underwater shots will have the familiar blue/green cast to them.

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