The 15 Best Underwater Cameras of 2023

We love the Sony Alpha 7R V and Ikelite Underwater Housing pairing for the full-frame capabilities and high quality imagery.

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15 Best Underwater Cameras of 2022

Amazon / B & H

Venturing to the underwater realm is an exciting chance to see an entirely different world with marine life, aquatic landscapes, and mystical flora and fauna. Capturing the magic below the surface is both a fun and challenging pursuit that’s completely different from photography on dry land. Having a proper camera equipped to handle submersion, knowledge about how to shoot underwater, and a respect for the environment is key.

The best underwater camera setups will require using a professional-grade camera along with underwater housing to make it waterproof so that you can capture high-resolution images of aquatic terrain. Our favorite underwater camera is the Sony Alpha 7R V used with Ikelite 200 DL Underwater Housing. However, if you’re looking to purchase a different style of camera or something more budget-friendly, we’ve got options for that, too.

Whether you choose a simple-to-use compact camera or a rugged adventure setup with housing, it’s an investment, both financially and emotionally; you’ll be putting trust into a camera to capture once-in-a-lifetime images of the mysterious underwater world. (You may never get another chance to snap a photo of that seal saying hello to your lens beneath the surface.) To help with your underwater camera search, we researched dozens of options and spoke to renowned professional filmmaker, photographer, and Sony Artisan of Imagery Paul Nicklen for recommendations as well as tips and tricks for capturing underwater photos.

These are the 15 best cameras for your underwater adventures.

Best Camera Overall

Sony Alpha 7R V

Sony Alpha 7R V

Sony

Why We Love It: You’ll get the most superior image quality possible.

What to Consider: You absolutely need to pair it with our best overall housing to use it underwater.

The Sony Alpha 7R V is an intelligent, workhorse mirrorless camera, and paired with our best overall housing, the Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing, it will render you extremely well-equipped for photographing beneath the surface. As the latest addition to the interchangeable Alpha series line, the 7R V offers incredible resolution, superior autofocus, 8K cinematic video capabilities, and much more. It has the highest resolution sensor for a full-frame mirrorless camera, making it especially attractive to serious photographers. Its lightweight design is ideal for swimming around, and the image stabilization this camera offers is extremely helpful when trying to take photos in this type of dynamic environment. 

The 10 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting and low light capabilities are an underwater photographer’s dream, where darker conditions and moving marine life are common. A solid battery life of 530 shots per charge and dual card slots are the cherries on top. With such a well-rounded camera performance, underwater photographers will find the Sony Alpha 7R V well-suited for shots that range anywhere from wide-angle to macro and everything in between. 

Price at time of publish: $3,900 

Maximum depth: None (needs housing) | Battery life: 530 shots per charge | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Megapixels: 61 | Sensor: 61MP back-illuminated APS-C Exmor R CMOS

Best Housing Overall

Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing

Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing

Ikelite

Why We Love It: Specifically designed to use with our best overall camera, this housing provides protection you can be confident in without sacrificing camera quality.

What to Consider: The camera and housing duo is a significant investment that casual photographers may not be up for.

Combined with the Sony Alpha 7R V, Ikelite’s underwater housing certainly adds to the financial investment, but it also allows you the freedom to use an exceptional camera in depths up to 200 feet while still being able to access most of the controls and, most importantly, keep your camera dry. This housing was specifically designed to pair with Sony’s Alpha A7 line of mirrorless cameras for any and all of your water-based pursuits. It’s made in light colors to keep your camera cooler when out in the sun, and it has a beautiful compromise between durability and light weight.

Price at time of publish: $1,795

Maximum depth: 200 feet | Battery life: N/A | Weight: 4.8 pounds | Megapixels: N/A  | Sensor: N/A

Best Budget

Minolta 48 MP Dual-screen Waterproof Digital Camera MN40WP

Minolta 48 MP Dual Screen Waterproof Digital Camera MN40WP

Amazon

Why We Love It: With lots of color options and a selfie-friendly design, it's an affordable and fun way to capture underwater photos and videos.

What to Consider: It’s only suited for depths up to 10 feet and can be submerged for no longer than an hour.

The small but fierce Minolta MN40WP Waterproof Dual-screen Digital Camera is a fantastic budget-friendly option for underwater photography and video. As a bonus, it comes in fun colors like pink, red, and turquoise. The built-in wide-angle and zoom lens capabilities offer versatility when taking images beneath the surface, and with 48 megapixels, you’ll be able to crop the photo without losing too much image quality. The dual-screen (front and back) design is perfect for not only taking photos and video, but also for capturing selfies while enjoying your water-based adventures. Other fun features include panoramic mode, face and smile detection, and anti-shake capabilities. Whether spending a day at the pool, beach, or going on a short snorkeling endeavor, this Minolta camera is a solid choice.

Price at time of publish: $99

Maximum depth: 10 feet | Battery life: Not listed (lithium-ion rechargeable battery) | Weight: 5.8 ounces | Megapixels: 48 | Sensor: cropped APS-C

Best Point-and-shoot

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30

Amazon

Why We Love It: It’s compact and lightweight enough to fit in your pocket, which is perfect for travel.

What to Consider: This camera doesn’t perform as well as others in very low-light situations.

We love that this classic point-and-shoot Panasonic LUMIX is still at the top of its class for underwater photography, despite being around for years. Waterproof up to 26 feet, it’s versatile enough to use for snorkeling or even low-depth freediving. HD video recording is great for capturing short movies of your time exploring the marine world. Photography-wise, the Advanced Underwater Mode has the technology to make up for the lack of red tones in underwater shooting, allowing your imagery to look more natural. Additionally, you can bring this on a cold-water venture as it’s freeze-proof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. And, as a major bonus, if your memory card fills up but you spot a starfish you’ve been waiting to take a photo of, the internal backup memory will have you covered for approximately 34 more shots.

Price at time of publish: $310

Maximum depth: 26 feet | Battery life: 300 shots per charge | Weight: 5.1 ounces | Megapixels: 16.1 | Sensor: Cropped APS-C

Best for Scuba Diving

SeaLife Micro 3.0 Digital Underwater Camera

SeaLife Micro 3.0 Digital Underwater Camera

Walmart

Why We Love It: It’s easy to use with bigger controls so you don’t have to fumble around underwater.

What to Consider: There’s no option to use a memory card, so you’re limited to the 64GB of internal storage on the camera.

We love the completely sealed SeaLife Micro 3.0 Digital Underwater Camera for scuba diving adventures. Equipped to go down as far as 200 feet, this small camera has big abilities, capturing photos in both JPEG and RAW as well as 4K video. The fixed-focus lens is equivalent to 19 millimeters, making it great for wide-angle shots. Shockproof as well, the SeaLife Micro is a rugged little companion with fun scene modes such as land, dive, snorkel, and external light plus manual settings for shutter speed and white balance. The 2.8 aperture allows for lower-light shooting, which can be crucial for underwater photography. There’s no viewfinder, but the LCD screen is likely what you’ll need the most when scuba diving amongst the natural aquatic wonders anyway.

Price at time of publish: $599

Maximum depth: 200 feet | Battery life: 3 hours per charge | Weight: 11.6 ounces | Megapixels: 16 | Sensor: 16MP CMOS sensor

Best Disposable

Fujifilm FujiColor QuickSnap Marine

Fujifilm FujiColor QuickSnap Marine

Amazon

Why We Love It: It’s a no-fuss, easy-to-use underwater camera option.

What to Consider: You’ll have to buy one each time you want to take underwater photos.

Who doesn’t love a good disposable camera? These one-time-use cameras are nostalgic and simple to use, as well as perfect for someone who rarely has use for an underwater device. A solid choice for a beach vacation, the Fujifilm FujiColor QuickSnap Marine camera will capture anything from pool days to snorkel excursions and can surprisingly go to a depth of 35 feet with the safety of the O-ring sealed case. The preloaded Superia X-TRA 800 film can take 27 photos, and the camera floats, to boot. It’s as simple as pressing the shutter button underwater to capture water-based vacation fun.

Price at time of publish: $25

Maximum depth: 35 feet | Battery life: N/A | Weight: 5.9 ounces | Megapixels: N/A | Sensor: N/A

Best for Beginners

Kodak PixPro WPZ2 Digital Camera

Kodak PixPro WPZ2 Digital Camera

Amazon

Why We Love It: It has a wide array of scene modes and a built-in flash.

What to Consider: It shoots HD video instead of 4K.

The straightforward operation of the Kodak PixPro WPZ2 Digital Camera makes this a great choice for beginners that doesn’t sacrifice on features. The 27-108-millimeter and 4x optical zoom lens makes this a versatile camera for capturing photo and video underwater at a depth of up to 49 feet. Use this for snorkeling, a beginner scuba dive, or simply a day at the beach or lake. Burst shooting at 6 fps is ideal for capturing quickly moving objects and the ISO 100-3200 sensitivity light range means low-light conditions won’t be as much of an issue as with other cameras. For a beginner-friendly underwater camera with fun modes like 360-degree panorama and blink or smile detection in addition to the ability to go to an impressive depth, the Kodak PixPro is the perfect way to get started with underwater photography.

Price at time of publish: $148

Maximum depth: 49 feet | Battery life: 2,000 shots per charge | Weight: 6.2 ounces | Megapixels: 16.35 | Sensor: 16.35MP 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS Sensor

Best for Experts

Sony Alpha 1 and Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing Kit

Sony Alpha 1 and Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing Kit

B & H

Why We Love It: You can superior quality photographs and just as superior video at depths up to 200 feet.

What to Consider: You need to purchase a separate port for the particular lens you plan on using.

Professional and expert photographers will find that the full-frame, mirrorless Sony Alpha 1 and Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing Kit are an unbeatable combination for capturing high-quality photo and 8K video. The durable waterproof casing allows you to feel confident in bringing the Sony Alpha 1 beneath the surface, where you’ll have access to important push buttons and levers like ISO, video recording, autofocus, and much more. With the ability to shoot with 30 fps bursts, as well as sync with underwater strobes using an electronic shutter, the possibilities are almost endless for getting high-detail photo and video content in a wide array of lighting conditions. Premiere autofocus and tracking helps to shoot with amazing clarity when encountering marine life, too.

“I like small cameras such as the Sony Alpha 1 because with the screens on those cameras, I can watch what I'm photographing. I can glance at the screen, and at the same time, I can be fully aware of my surroundings, making sure that I'm not disturbing the natural environment. You want to avoid being the photographer trying to get close to a turtle only to be kicking up and damaging coral. Being respectful will reward you with great experiences,” Nicklen shared.

If you’re an expert photographer that spends a fair amount of time shooting underwater, you can't beat this lightweight camera and housing kit.

Price at time of publish: $8,393

Maximum depth: 200 feet | Battery life: Approximately 430 shots per charge | Weight: Camera: 1.6 pounds, Housing: 4.7 pounds | Megapixels: 50.1 | Sensor: 50.1MP Full-Frame BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ XR

Best DSLR

Ikelite Underwater TTL Housing and Canon EOS SL3 Camera Body Kit

Ikelite Underwater TTL Housing and Canon EOS SL3 Camera Body Kit

B & H

Why We Love It: It’s a reasonably priced kit combination for both a solid DSLR and underwater housing.

What to Consider: DSLRs have a clunkier feel and weigh more than mirrorless cameras.

For a DSLR, the Canon EOS SL3 has a fairly sleek camera body, making it a great pairing with the Ikelite Underwater TTL Housing. With 24 megapixels, 4K video capabilities, and a wide ISO range (100-26500), capturing high-quality underwater photos is made easy with this combination. It performs well in low-light situations, which can be a regular occurrence underwater. The LCD screen makes it easier to line up your shot and it has 9-point phase-detection autofocus and subject tracking, which helps with its quick focus capabilities — something that comes in handy when a surprise sea creature encounter happens and you don’t want to miss the shot. Use the built-in Wi-Fi to share images to linked mobile devices and revel in your underwater adventure post-trip.

Price at time of publish: $1,899

Maximum depth: 200 feet | Battery life: Approximately 1,630 shots per charge | Weight: Camera: 15.8 ounces, Housing: 3.1 pounds | Megapixels: 24.1 | Sensor: 24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor

Best for Video

Sony RX0 II

Sony RX0 II

Amazon

Why We Love It: For such an ultra-compact camera, the capabilities and durability pack a punch.

What to Consider: It has a fixed, 24-millimeter wide-angle lens with no zoom.

We love the tiny but mighty Sony RX0 II waterproof camera’s ability for quick shooting and its 180-degree tilting display screen, so you don’t miss a moment while staying in the moment. Shoot in slow motion or regular 4K video and RAW or JPEG photographs. Image stabilization is fantastic and the fact that it's waterproof, shockproof, and crush-proof means it’s practically built for underwater exploits.

“Bigger isn’t always better. If you're starting in underwater photography or going for an experience, you don't need to start with the biggest and the fanciest stuff. I like the Sony RX0 II. One fully underwater setup with housing, strobes, and all the equipment that goes with it can cost $25,000. It can be extremely expensive. I start simple and enjoy the moment,” Nicklen shared.

Price at time of publish: $698

Maximum depth: 33 feet | Battery life: Approximately 240 shots per charge | Weight: 4.7 ounces | Megapixels: 15.3 | Sensor: 1-inch (1.0-type) stacked back-illuminated Exmor RS CMOS Sensor

Best for Kids

Agoigo Kids Waterproof Camera

Agoigo Kids Waterproof Camera

Amazon

Why We Love It: It easily charges by USB cable.

What to Consider: The camera cannot record sound for the video option because of the waterproof casing.

We love the kid-friendly style and design of the Agoigo Kids Waterproof Camera and all of the fun colors it comes in. In addition to being a camera that lets kids play around capturing photos and videos, there are games on it to help entertain during vacation transit or downtime. It’s waterproof up to almost 100 feet and kid-proof for all of their exciting outdoor adventures. One of the camera’s fun features, Big Head sticker shooting, allows kids to take photos with silly frames as well as use the five special effect modes like mirror and four-square grid. Additionally, the camera automatically shuts off to preserve battery life. For fostering your children’s creativity, you can’t go wrong with the Agoigo Kids Waterproof Camera.

Price at time of publish: $37

Maximum depth: 98 feet | Battery life: 2-3 hours | Weight: 10.7 ounces | Megapixels: 5 | Sensor: Crop

Best Smartphone Housing

AICase Universal Waterproof Underwater Photography Housing

AICase Universal Waterproof Underwater Photography Housing

Amazon

Why We Love It: It’s compatible with a wide array of phones.

What to Consider: It’ll only be as good as the camera on your phone is.

Make use of what you already have with the AlCase Universal Waterproof Underwater Photography Housing, which offers 360-degree protection. This housing allows you to take your phone beneath the surface and snap photos and videos in a leakproof case. Waterproof up to 50 feet, this is a serious case for your phone, allowing you to explore with confidence and capture the magic of the sea. It’s wise to purchase a floating wrist strap to accompany this case for ease of transport and less chance of losing it. If your phone takes great photos and videos, this sturdy case might be all you need to capture amazing underwater imagery.

Price at time of publish: $46

Maximum depth: 50 feet | Battery life: N/A | Weight: 10.6 ounces | Megapixels: N/A | Sensor: N/A

Best Compact

OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera

Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Red

Amazon

Why We Love It: It’s rugged and reliable.

What to Consider: The image quality won’t match a mirrorless or DSLR camera.

The lightweight Olympus Tough TG-6 is a favorite pick for a compact underwater camera for its durability and low-light capabilities. The sleek, ultra-compact design makes it a no-brainer for toting around on your travel exploits. With 4K video recording and macro-shooting capabilities, this is a great all-around underwater camera that will perform under most conditions. It’s waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and freeze-proof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning it can withstand almost anything your day throws at you. Accessories such as the telephoto tough lens, fisheye converter, and lightguide only enhance your shooting ability with this extremely versatile underwater camera, though they’ll need to be purchased separately.

Price at time of publish: $500

Maximum depth: 50 feet | Battery life: 340 shots per charge | Weight: 8.9 ounces | Megapixels: 12 | Sensor: 12 Megapixel BSI CMOS

Best ShockProof

GoPro Hero11 Black

GoPro Hero11 Black

Amazon

Why We Love It: The new, bigger sensor makes it easier to capture high-quality stills from your videos.

What to Consider: It’s only waterproof to 33 feet, making it not very well-suited for deeper scuba diving.

The latest and greatest from the GoPro series of adventure cameras, the Hero11 Black is an upgrade worth considering for its higher megapixels, bigger sensor, and RAW burst mode — so you don’t miss a thing. All of that aside, it’s still one of the top small, lightweight cameras that can handle the elements of adventure, particularly underwater. Choose from Easy and Pro modes, where you can either use it as it's shipped (which is great for most) or fine-tune certain settings to your liking. Shoot in 5.3K video for ultimate crisp quality that doesn’t skimp on details and color. Stabilization is another welcome feature of this GoPro, perfect for when you’re swimming amongst incredible marine life.

Price at time of publish: $400

Maximum depth: 33 feet | Battery life: 1 hour and 13 minutes | Weight: 5.4 ounces | Megapixels: 27 | Sensor: 1/1.9-inch CMOS

Best Freeze-proof

Ricoh WG-80 Orange Waterproof Digital Camera

Ricoh WG-80 Orange Waterproof Digital Camera

Amazon

Why We Love It: Its heavy-duty construction makes it durable against the elements.

What to Consider: Some cameras are better in low-light situations.

We’re impressed by the Ricoh WG-80 Digital Camera’s ability to perform under even the chilliest underwater conditions. Venture as deep as 46 feet to temperatures that dip down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit and still be able to capture the action beneath the surface. See what you’re capturing through the large LCD screen and align your shot to snap anything from macro to wide-angle images. The specified underwater shooting mode boosts color and contrast while producing sharp images. The triple anti-shake protection is especially helpful when capturing water-based photos as well as the movie SR mode. Low light isn’t an issue either, with six macro lights to help out for those tight shots.

Price at time of publish: $297

Maximum depth: 46 feet | Battery life: 2 hours | Weight: 6.8 ounces | Megapixels: 16 | Sensor: 1/2.3-inch-Type CMOS

Tips for Buying an Underwater Camera

Pick a camera based on your skill level and goals

You don’t want to venture underwater with a state-of-the-art, professional camera without knowing how to use it, causing you to miss out on capturing what you see. Knowing what you plan to shoot, how deep you’ll be going with it, and other important factors are key when considering which underwater camera to buy. Most underwater camera setups are a financial investment, so research and match your skill level and goals to render the best results.

Understand the specs

When you’re shopping for an underwater camera, it’s important to understand the features that will best complement the way you shoot and the environment in which you will be using it. “The biggest challenge with underwater versus surface photography is that everything is inside a box. You can't just grab a battery and go, ‘Oh, my battery is dying. I've got to change that. My card is full. I should put in a fresh card,’” Nicklen says.

“You must do a little more prep and a little more upfront thinking and analysis before jumping into the water because you can't just swap out that battery or insert a new card. You also can't easily change a lens if your lens comes disconnected underwater. Make sure things are clean, organized, and fully charged. You want to get lost in the creative process rather than in the left, analytical brain,” Nicklen shared.

This applies not only to your pre-shoot planning, but the purchasing process as well. You’ll want to evaluate the battery life, depth, and more when considering a new camera. These are the top specs to consider before making a purchase.

Maximum depth: You don’t want to bring a disposable underwater camera or a camera that is only rated to go 10 feet in depth on a scuba-diving expedition. Looking at the depth capabilities of each camera that you’re considering is one of the most important specs to evaluate. Underwater cameras tend to range anywhere from 10 feet of maximum depth all the way to 200 feet of maximum depth for the more professional underwater housing kits. Thinking about where and how you’ll be using your underwater camera will help to narrow down the depth that you’ll require. Scuba divers will need something that can go at least 30 to 50 feet in depth (up to 200 for experienced technical divers) whereas those looking to shoot while snorkeling can get by with something waterproof with a lot less maximum depth, such as 5 to 10 feet.

Battery life: Depending upon how long you plan on keeping your underwater camera out on an adventure, you’ll need to assess the camera’s battery life span per charge. Once you’re underwater, changing to a full battery isn’t as simple as quickly switching it out. Some camera specs are listed as hours per charge and typically range from one to three hours of use, while other, more professional setups are listed as shots per charge. These can cover a wide range of numbers, but for underwater photography, it’s wise to look for more shots per charge (anything above 300-400 is preferred) so you don’t miss out on that school of fish swimming by because your battery is dead.

Weight: How much your underwater camera weighs is going to impact your experience, more so on traveling with or toting around something clunky and hefty. As a scuba diver, you’ll be balancing more of your weight underwater in order to stabilize your shot and stay further down. Although the camera setup will naturally feel lighter in the water, you still don’t want something that is too heavy, as it's a lot to navigate when exploring the underwater realm.

Megapixels: These are a measurement of the number of pixels the camera sensor has, with “mega” meaning “millions.” Whether you plan to print large-scale versions of your images or using the photographs and video for personal social media use will dictate the amount of megapixels you’ll want your camera to have. If you’re leaning more toward the professional end, a full-frame camera with anywhere between 40 and 60 megapixels will be the best choice. If your underwater camera is more for personal use, a cropped sensor camera with between 15 and 30 megapixels should have you covered.

Sensor: Your camera's sensor is the rectangle that reads the image from your lens and dictates how much light and detail you're able to capture. The main sensor sizes to choose from are cropped or full-frame, with full-frame cameras having the bigger sensors and the ability to produce higher image quality. Cropped frame sensors will get you a tighter frame, with magnification cropping the actual lens focal length by anywhere between 1.5x and 2x. This means that a 70-millimeter lens would be magnified to a 105-millimeter focal length with a crop factor of 1.5x. 

Common crop sensor sizes are APS-C and micro four-thirds (1.6x and 1.5x). There are advantages to purchasing a full-frame (35-millimeter) camera, though it will come with a heftier price tag. You'll experience sharper images with more crisp details, as well as less noise. Additionally, a full-frame sensor has excellent low-light capabilities, making it perform better in darker environments, such as the underwater world. If you're interested in professional photography or selling prints, the full-frame sensor will be a good fit since it produces the highest possible quality images. A beginner photographer will likely find that the crop sensor gets the job done.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the best way to take photos underwater?

    A successful underwater shoot comes from a combination of being prepared, selecting your main settings to work off of, and being aware of your environment while letting the animal or marine life do the leading.


    “I always do everything with the same settings. I always put everything on aperture priority, so I'm in control of my aperture and the amount of light coming into the lens. I put everything to start on ISO 400 and start everything off on f-8 if I have that option on my lens. Then I put my exposure compensation at minus two, three, or minus one-third can even be minus one, especially underwater, because you want to isolate your subject from the background. That is the most important thing — to keep it simple always. If you need to get into more advanced techniques and photography, you can slowly move toward that, but you want to start off in what I call ‘your home settings.’”


    “The images you capture always depend on how you interact with animals. It's about you much more than your camera. Letting the animal dictate the encounter will give you what I call 'a deathbed memory.' You'll take that encounter to your deathbed because you did it right, and because that animal gave you something you could never have imagined because you acted respectfully, gently, and professionally. If you get in the water and sit there patiently and fight that urge to swim towards that animal as hard as you can, you will have life-changing encounters with wildlife. If an animal feels courageous and curious enough to check you out — imagine a 50-foot-long, 80,000-pound humpback whale mum and her calf deciding to interact with you…an encounter like this will stay with you for the rest of your life. It'll be one of the most powerful things that's ever happened to you in your lifetime. I guarantee it,” Nicklen shared.

  • Do underwater cameras scare fish?

    “Cameras don't scare animals. Photographers and people in the water scare animals and based on how you interact and behave with a wild animal, whether it's a nudibranch or a fish or a dolphin or a whale, it all comes down to how you behave around it.

     

    "Taking a good photograph comes down to human behavior and human interaction. It doesn't matter if you have a tiny little point-and-shoot camera in a housing, or if you have your phone in a housing, or if you have the world's biggest Imax camera in a housing—it all depends on how you act in an animal's environment. If you swim toward a dolphin, a whale, a shark, an alligator, whatever it is, or a school of fish, they're not going to like it. The best thing you can do as someone who's been given the gift of entering the ocean, especially with a camera, is to let the animals around you dictate that encounter,” Nicklen said.

  • How should I prepare for underwater shooting?

    Knowing your camera is amongst the most important prep you should do before venturing beneath the surface.


    “When you've been given the gift of an encounter with a big school of fish, a whale, a dolphin, or an invertebrate such as a nudibranch — whatever it is — that is not time to start fumbling with all your gear, trying to figure things out. You can easily turn something that could be incredibly spiritual, powerful, beautiful, and amazing into something completely annoying and frustrating because you didn't know your gear. The best thing you can do before going on any trip is sit at home, put your camera together, go through the menus, understand everything, try all the settings, and then go into a dark place. You want to know it so intimately that without even looking, you can turn your camera on, hit record, or take a picture without actually focusing on the camera,” Nicklen shared.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

A travel photographer herself, Lauren Breedlove used her personal experience with finding the right cameras and shooting in various conditions around the world, including with shallow depth underwater photography. She also scoured the internet, researching and selecting the best cameras for travel, and interviewed professional photographer, videographer, and Sony Artisan of Imagery Paul Nicklen to gather expert insights. Using all of these factors, she curated this list of the best underwater cameras.

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