While many might not agree to it snorkeling is a lot of fun when you are doing it right. Sure, it takes time, patience, and a lot of practice to get better at it but once you have figured it out, it is only a fun activity from there. However, what is even better than snorkeling is the process of capturing everything you see underwater.
Yes, you are going to need a good camera for that but finding these cameras is not that difficult. You just have to look into the right place and half of your job is already done. Still, I am going to walk you through this list and help you find the best camera for snorkeling.
Now, I do understand that an underwater camera might be something that not everyone wants because these best snorkeling cameras are niche, at soundest. However, it is up to us to find out the best underwater camera for snorkeling. Now I know the image quality is not something that matters a lot, after all, what can we expect from a compact camera?
Best Cameras for Snorkeling
If you have been willing to capture all your adventures under or above the water, these cameras are going to be great for those purposes. The best camera that I would suggest is the GoPro Hero 9 Black for being the complete package.
GoPro Hero 9 Black – Best Overall Camera
GoPro Hero 9 Black is obviously the best option. It offers 5k video quality with great video stabilization.
For the longest time, GoPro cameras have been excellent for anyone who is looking for a good action camera. Whether you are going snorkeling or hiking, having a GoPro is always a good decision as the experience these cameras provide is often unparalleled and you would be surprised, to say the least.
With that said the GoPro Hero 9 Black is one of my favorite underwater cameras for snorkeling, and for all the right reasons. For instance, this small camera can offer up to 5K quality at 30 frames per second. But that is not all, you are also getting a front-facing color screen.
This underwater camera also brings class-leading video stabilization, time-lapse, buffering, as well as HDR imaging. Not just that, the USB-C support, and strong app support or two things that make this camera a really good offering. Not to forget, you are getting something that is both compact and waterproof.
However, my favorite feature of this camera is the fact that it can deliver slow-motion footage in up to 240 frames per second and HD resolution which is great if you are looking to capture stunning cinematic shots.
With so much to offer, you do get a few downsides. For starters, this underwater camera will likely require you to carry a few extra batteries, and the subscription service, if you are using it, will end up adding to recurring costs.
Overall, I would say that the GoPro Hero 9 Black is undoubtedly one of the best cameras available in the market and will deliver exceptional results in terms of the best underwater photos for a great price.
DJI Osmo Action – Best DJI Action Camera for Snorkeling
DJI Osmo Action comes with a rugged and waterproof construction. The 4K footage is stabilized at up to 60 frames per second.
At this point, we are all aware of DJI and how good of a company they are whenever you are talking about drones. However, DJI’s foray into action underwater cameras did not go unnoticed as the company managed to dominate the market with Osmo Action and continues to build upon some advanced underwater mode cameras that are available in the market.
The original DJI Osmo Action remains to be one of my favorite cameras and honestly, it is something that you should be looking into because if you are in it for the performance, this is the cheap underwater camera you want to get your hands on.
This best waterproof camera for snorkeling is rugged and has a waterproof build, and you are getting stabilized 4K footage up to 60 frames per second. What is even better is that you are getting filters that can easily be swapped and support HDR and flat profiles. The front and rear color displays are convenient.
However, the best thing about waterproof cameras is that it has 1080p slow motion at up to 240 frames per second which makes the camera fun to use in almost every case.
With so much to love, there are a few quirks in this camera. For instance, the battery life is not as good as some would prefer, and HDR is not stabilized at all. Speaking of stabilization, it is not as good as some of the competition and the camera also does not come with any tripod socket.
Overall, the DJI Osmo Action is a great camera for a lot of reasons and if you are looking for one of the best underwater cameras for snorkeling, this is one of them and will give you excellent results.
Olympus TG-5 – Toughest Camera for Snorkeling
Olympus TG-5 is one of the toughest-built cameras. It can shoot burst at 20 frames per second.
For the longest time, Olympus cameras have been amazing, and well, for all the right reasons. The company is known for making all sorts of cameras and that is one thing that makes them as good as they normally are if you are looking for something that is good and can be used for snorkeling, as well. You are at the right place.
The Olympus TG-5 might as well be one of the toughest cameras that I have used and while I would not suggest that you use this camera in a fistfight if you want to go snorkeling or somewhere else, this is the camera that you should be getting your hands on.
The underwater shooting camera is amazing for scuba divers for a lot of reasons; it has a tough, waterproof build that can survive most of the expeditions that you are going to take the camera on. Not just that, you are also getting a wide aperture lens which allows for some great-looking pictures.
I also love this cheap waterproof camera for the fact that the lens is one of the fastest in terms of focus to the point that you are not going to be let down as far as the performance is concerned. You are also getting 20 frames per second burst shooting, so if you are looking to get some stunning shots in quick action, this is the way to go.
The one thing that surprised me the most is the fact that the camera comes with excellent macro capability and if you are shooting underwater, this is a feature that you cannot be without as you can get up close and personal with some subjects and take excellent shots.
However, the best thing about this camera? It has full RAW support, so you can go ahead and make sure that you are taking pictures and RAW and later editing them for the best results.
The camera also supports 4K video, GPS, and Wi-Fi, making it one of the most compelling cameras for snorkeling that will not let you down.
Not all things are excellent, though. For starters, you are looking at a 460k-dot LCD screen, and the 4K footage is also cropped. Not to forget, the camera does lack full manual control which might not be good for a lot of people.
In conclusion, the Olympus TG-5 is an excellent camera in a lot of ways but at the same time, the camera does have some basic issues and you are not going to worry about it because the rest of the experience is excellent. This is easily one of the best underwater cameras for snorkeling or scuba diving.
Fujifilm FinePix XP120 – Best Entry-Level Camera for Snorkeling
Fujifilm FinePix XP120 is a highly affordable lens and the best option to start with.
Fujifilm cameras have been around for as long as we can remember and these have been great for the price, too. If you are looking for something good and affordable, these are the cameras that you should invest in because you will not be let down here.
With that said, the camera that has visited me today is the Fujifilm FinePix XP120, it is one of the best cameras that you can get in the market and the greatest thing here is that you are looking at several features that will make you want to use this camera even more and more.
For starters, you are getting one of the most affordable offerings, to be honest. You cannot get better than this at the price that you are getting this camera for. Not just that, the camera has a tough, waterproof design that will allow you to take the camera wherever you want with you without any issues.
Thankfully, the camera is also easy to use, which is great for newcomers who just want to go snorkeling or other adventures and take some nice pictures, too. I understand that this is not something that everyone pays attention to but most consumers like having good features.
The 5x lens on this camera is also a great addition for anyone who is looking to have a fun shooting experience. I understand that it is not as powerful of a zoom but it works well and is easy to use, too.
Fujifilm has made life easier for a lot of people who are buying this camera by adding Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for easy transfers whenever needed.
Sadly, with so much to like about the camera, the video is only limited to 1080, and the lens itself is average at best. The LCD screen on the back also comes without any touch support.
Overall, if you are on a budget, I would say that the Fujifilm FinePix XP120 makes up for a good camera as it gets most of the job done. Sure, it does not cost a lot of money but the performance you get out of this camera is commendable, to say the least.
Nikon W300 – Best Nikon Camera for Snorkeling
Nikon W300 has a decent amount of video features including 4K recording and time-lapse.
We should not have to worry about cameras and Nikon at this point, we all know how good Nikon is when it comes to cameras and the best part is that they aren’t just a company that excels at DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Some of the other Nikon cameras are excellent as well.
Case in point, the Nikon W300 is one of the best Nikon cameras for snorkeling, and if you are looking for something that is on the cheaper side, getting your hands on this camera is the right thing as the experience alone here is worth it and you will not going wrong with this camera, that I can assure you.
The camera itself is versatile and easy to use, a feature that most people want whenever they are looking into buying something that will make their lives easier. Not just that, the camera also brings a variety of intriguing video modes including 4K recording as well as time-lapse.
The one thing that I love a lot about this camera is that Nikon has made sure that the controls are marked and responsive, at the same time. Ensuring that you are not going to run into any problems whenever you are using the camera underwater, or anywhere, for that matter.
The camera also brings 100 feet of waterproofing, which might not look enough on paper, but in reality, it is pretty deep so you can get some really good shots without having to worry too much.
Although the Nikon W300 is a pretty impressive camera all around, there are a few things about this camera that are not as good. For starters, you are not getting a full manual mode with this camera, which might be a letdown for some years. Additionally, the camera does struggle in low-light situations, and the wireless connectivity, although a welcomed option, is not as intuitive.
Overall, the Nikon W300 makes up for an excellent camera for snorkeling but it does lack some of the more advanced features thankfully, with enough to love about this camera, you are not going to be missing things all that much.
Ricoh WG-50 – Best Snorkeling Camera for the Beginners
Ricoh WG-50 comes with a lightweight, compact but solid construction.
If you have been in photography for some time or you know anything about cameras in general, then it is safe to say that you are familiar with a company called Ricoh as well. There was a time when Ricoh more or less ruled the camera market and although they could never really catch up with all the innovation, that does not mean that they do not have a good camera.
The Ricoh WG-50 is a simply named camera that does bring some nice overall modes but at the same time, is more or less built for beginners who are looking for a decent enough experience in terms of photography and what you can achieve with it, in the first place.
If you are going snorkeling and you do not want to spend all your money on a camera, then getting the WG-50 might as well be the right choice. I understand that this is not what most people would have in mind but whenever you are looking at snorkeling cameras, the choices are often weird.
The WG-50 is good for many reasons. For starters, it is a lightweight and compact camera but at the same time, has one of the toughest constructions. Ensuring that the camera is going to last you a good amount of time.
Additionally, if you are looking for something that has a good macro performance, this best snorkeling camera will get the job done because it does produce some great-looking macros and that is not an exaggeration, to say the least.
Ricoh has also done a great job as far as adding shooting modes is concerned because you are easily getting that access and it will only make your overall shooting experience better if you are just getting into cameras, this is a good start.
There are a few downsides that you will have to look into, however. For starters, the autofocus is on the slower side, and there is no zoom rocker, either. Last but not least, the design might not sit well with a lot of users.
Overall, if you are a beginner and you are looking for a good camera that gets the job done as far as snorkeling and going underwater is concerned, the Ricoh WG-50 is a nice addition to the arsenal that you can use, and that too, without too many worries.
Olympus Tough TG-6 – Best Olympus Camera for Snorkeling
Olympus Tough TG-6 comes with a wide aperture lens for good low-light performance.
The last camera that I am reviewing is another offering from Olympus, and if there is one thing that I have learned after reviewing cameras for snorkeling is that it is a whole different world out there and that is not a bad thing at all. Not everyone is looking to spend all their money on higher-end DSLR or mirrorless cameras, someone just needs a good camera that gets most of the jobs done and does it well.
With that said, the Olympus Tough TG-6 is similar to its younger sibling but also has some nice feature that makes this camera a really good offering for a lot of people and you will not be let down with how well the camera is performed in general. If you are looking for compact cameras for taking underwater images, this is the way to go and you will not be let down.
For starters, you are getting one of the toughest waterproof constructions and the fact that the rear LCD is sharp is just an added benefit that will allow you to have an easier time using the camera.
The wide angle lens is always a welcomed addition as it helps with the performance in lower light situations, something that I will always appreciate in any camera that is out there. Another great thing is that this camera can shoot 4K. So, if you are looking for some good results in low light, this is the way to go.
However, the best thing about this camera in my opinion is the fact that it can have add-on lenses, as well as macro lights for better shooting experiences, and not many snorkeling cameras give you this feature.
The camera also comes with wireless connectivity, making it easier for you to transfer your data with ease and convenience.
There are a few things that I did not like, though. For starters, LCD is not a touch screen, and the video features are not as advanced. I also noticed that the Wi-Fi app sometimes pushed notifications that were spam.
Frequently Asked Questions
Snorkeling is a lot of fun and while it might be scary in the start, the better you get it, the easier it becomes, and honestly, it is not going to create any issues for anyone, either. You just have to be sure that you are fully prepared and you are taking care of everything.
If you are looking for a good snorkeling camera, the list looks at some of the best options that are available in the market. These cameras are targeting various points, so in short, there is something for everyone and that should not let anyone down.
Snorkeling cameras or underwater cameras are among the camera types that are not as famous but over the past couple of years, have become very relevant and that is why this list is important to us.
Hi! I’m Furqan Shahid, founder of SnapDirector. With a decade of experience capturing countless moments, I’m here to guide you on your photography journey and save you from gear pitfalls!