Top Cameras for Snorkeling & Beach Vacations

Have you ever experienced something so magical that you wish you could relive it over and over again? Maybe you witnessed something that you only see once in a lifetime?Well, that is what cameras are for, right?

 A good underwater snorkeling camera is one that will capture those unique experiences and remind you of everything you saw and felt in that moment. Olympus Tough TG-6 is our favorite. There are also other cheap options that will deliver stunning photos and videos.

Olympus Tough TG-6

Basing on our tests and reviews from most avid snorkelers out there, Olympus Tough TG-6 is the overall best. This model is super easy to use and perfect for beginners who want a few extra features in their camera.

Olympus Tough TG-6 is the best underwater snorkeling camera and video recoders
Olympust Tough: Red

Pros

  • Exceptional build quality
  • Rugged feel
  • Chunky, ergonomic design
  • Better noise performance than higher MP models
  • Built-in Field Sensor system (consists of a GPS, pressure, compass, and temperature sensor)
  • Can capture 4k videos at 30p or high-speed footage at 120p in full HD

Cons

  • User interface is a little confusing
  • Expensive for a compact device
  • Fiddly apps
  • Average battery life

Other good options for olympus include;

Sale
Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera
518 Reviews
Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera
Waterproof, freeze proof, shockproof and dustproof adventure camera with extra capabilities; Stunning high resolution photos, 4K Ultra HD videos
Ricoh WG-60Waterproof Camera
98 Reviews
Ricoh WG-60Waterproof Camera
Ricoh is an all-weather adventure camera: a rugged chassis you can rely on In the harshest conditions. Its special underwater mode uses white balance optimized for underwater photos, making colors appear more natural by adding reds that tend to get lost in photos taken under water

Cheap Underwater Camera for snorkeling Under $200

If you are on a tight budget, there is no reason not to enjoy your snorkeling trip. You can still get a great underwater camera that doesn’t cost a fortune. There some under $100, and others good options under $150

Here’s a list of our best budget-friendly options:

Fujifilm FinePix XP130 Waterproof Digital Camera
580 Reviews
Fujifilm FinePix XP130 Waterproof Digital Camera
Fujifilm is a well-known brand when it comes to cameras. The XP130 is one of the the top budget camera for your next snorkeling tour. It is waterproof to 65ft and comes with 16GB SD card
Sale
AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera
6,013 Reviews
AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera
This camera delivers 4K/25fps, 2.7K/30fps, 1080P/60fps videos and 16 MP photos; Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS); can deep dive up to 131 feet underwater

No products found.

Underwater Camera FHD 2.7K 48 MP Waterproof Digital Camera
45 Reviews
Underwater Camera FHD 2.7K 48 MP Waterproof Digital Camera
It is one of the cheapest waterproof underwater digital camera; versatile and easy to operate, with built-in antshake
Nikon COOLPIX W150
211 Reviews
Nikon COOLPIX W150
Lets you easily take beautiful photos on land or in the sea.Waterproof down to 33 feet,Full HD video with stereo sound—even underwater!
PANASONIC LUMIX Waterproof Digital Camera Underwater Camcorder
714 Reviews
PANASONIC LUMIX Waterproof Digital Camera Underwater Camcorder
Its rugged design is for active lifestyles,waterproof (to 8m/26ft.), shockproof (to 1.5m/5ft.), dust & freezeproof, perfect for photos or video anywhere

Best Disposable Underwater Camera

Let’s say you are not a fan of carrying a camera around and having to take care of it. You want something that works as a one-time deal. Then you are better off going for a disposable underwater camera.

They are actually quite simple. Point, shoot, take the pictures, and throw away the camera. If that’s what you are looking for, here are some options:

Fujifilm Quick Snap Single Use Camera

This model by Fujifilm is one of the best disposable underwater cameras on the market. Since it is intended for single use, it doesn’t come with many fancy features. It’s also quite cheap.

That being said, it still has some great specs like:

  • Film speed of 800 ASA/30 DIN
  • Colored 35 mm Fujifilm that offers 27 exposures
  • Waterproof to a depth of 17 feet
  • Hand strap included

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Cheap
  • Can be used for surface photography, as well
  • Works great inside waves and swimming pools

Cons

  • Not equipped with a zoom lens, which is a common problem with disposable cameras

Best Cameras for Snorkel Masks

If you would rather focus on enjoying your snorkeling experience and not have to carry a camera around, there are couple of great options for you.

GoPro Waterproof Action Camera

GoPro is a camera that is embedded into your snorkeling mask which allows you to capture your favorite moments without lifting a finger. It is one of the most popular option in the market.
GoPro Hero8

Liquid Image Masks with Camera

Another option for Gopro is No products found.With this camera, snorkeling has never been easier. It provides a completely hands-free experience. You focus on enjoying yourself and the camera will focus on recording your favorite memories.

Liquid Image Mask

Here are some of the best features this camera has to offer:

  • Maximum depth of 40m or 130ft
  • HD 720p video up to 30 fps
  • 12 MP interpolated images through a 135-degree lens

Pros

  • Solid, durable build
  • Provides a hands-free experience
  • Easy to use
  • Great image quality
  • No chance of the camera getting lost since it is embedded inside your snorkel mask

Cons

  • You will need to buy a 4GB micro SDHC card and 4 AAA batteries or rechargeable lithium batteries
  • Some people have complained that the mask gradually loosens with time

Buying Guide: Factors to Consider

If you really want to capture those special moments in all their vividness, you need a good snorkeling camera.

The benefits of cameras while snorkeling include;

Below water Photography and video Cameras
Using a camera underwater
  • You can capture pictures and shoot videos of your underwater adventures
  • You get to document unforgettable,once-in-a-lifetime moments
  • Who knows what you might see underwater? You might even be the first one to discover a new species!

Big Question, how do you choose the right underwater camera? What makes one snorkel camera excellent, while the other mediocre? Well, there are a lot of factors to consider. Let’s look at the most important factors that can influence your decision.  

1. Price

The first thing you want to think about when choosing a snorkeling camera is the price. There are quite a few price ranges on the market.

Let’s face it: in this day and age, the greater the price of an item, the more features it has to offer. That basically means if you are looking for special, high-end features, be prepared to spend a little extra.

But just how much extra are we talking about? Well, when it comes to snorkeling cameras, they generally fall into one of three price ranges: less than $150, between $150 and $400, and way above $400, somewhere near the $1000 range.

A beginner or intermediate snorkeler most likely won’t need a camera in the $1000 price range. Those are usually meant for professional underwater photographers.

If you just want a good camera that is worth the money, you are better off sticking to the $150-$400 price range. You will be able to find sophisticated cameras with impressive features.

If you are on a tight budget, don’t be afraid to buy a cheaper camera. There are tons of cameras that cost less than $150, yet are still extremely efficient. They just have fewer options and features.

One thing worth mentioning is that the amount of money you will spend will most likely surpass the price of the camera. Why? Because the camera itself and its housing are just a start.

You might need a few more accessories like external lenses and strobes. These can cost a fortune, almost as expensive as the camera itself in some cases. Think about that when budgeting.

Another budget-worthy tip is that buying a more expensive camera might save you money on upgrades in the future. Always plan ahead.

2. Waterproof

This one is a no-brainer. You definitely want to make sure your underwater snorkeling camera is waterproof. The last thing you want is for your expensive camera to be destroyed by water.

Some people recommend getting a normal camera and putting it inside a waterproof pouch but that rarely works as well as a waterproof camera. The quality of the pictures is completely different.

Keep in mind that most cameras specify just how waterproof they are. They are not all the same. Some are waterproof up to depths of 5 meters, while others can go down to more impressive depths.

 3. Type (digital, camera snorkel mask)

Another thing you want to consider is the type of snorkeling camera you want. There are several types to choose from but the two most common types are digital cameras and cameras attached to your snorkel mask.

You can find several types of snorkel masks that allow you to attach a camera. This means your camera will be right on top of your head, filming everything you lay your eyes on.

You can go through your snorkeling adventure and edit your photos and videos later. Some cameras are actually embedded into your snorkel mask so you don’t have to worry about attaching them properly.    

4. Use (Disposable vs. non-disposable cameras)

Practically every photographer has some fond memory of a disposable camera. It is a handy, cheap, and on-the-go option for those who want to capture their best memories quickly.

Although disposable cameras won’t give you the best quality photos, they can still capture a decent enough snapshot of your underwater adventure.

The great thing about disposable snorkeling cameras is that they come with no strings attached. You don’t have to care for it or worry about water getting into its casing.

You just aim and shoot. After that, you get your photos off of it and just throw it away. That is why disposable cameras are usually quite cheap. It is a one-time deal.

5. Level of Expertise

One thing you should definitely consider when choosing your snorkeling camera is your level of expertise. Are you a professional? Then you will most likely need a more expensive model that offers a lot of features.

Or at the very least, you can get a cheaper model but spend the same amount of money on accessories and upgrade equipment.  

On the other hand, if you are a beginner or if this is your first time snorkeling with a camera, then you should opt for cheaper options. There are tons of cameras on the market that are budget-friendly and ideal for novice users.

6. Casing

If you have gone through the market and haven’t found an underwater snorkeling camera that you like, you might have another option.

You can go for a regular camera this isn’t typically made for underwater exploration and then pair it with a decent housing or casing. Companies like Ikelite and Sea and Sea make great casings for popular SLRs and compact cameras.

But of course, finding the right casing can be a bit difficult. You will have to worry about getting the right ports for your lens. Not to mention you will keep checking the seals with every dive.

A casing or housing is a bit more complicated than just buying a waterproof camera. It is definitely not for the casual snorkeler, but for more serious enthusiasts.

Further Reading: Best Snorkel Gear Bags

7. Compactness

Compact underwater snorkeling cameras have become a much more popular option than DSLR cameras. Why? Simply because they can take much more impressive photos underwater without being extra bulky or expensive.

If you are going for a compact underwater snorkeling camera, there are 3 main factors to consider: features, size/weight, and budget.

Finding the right combination of all 3 is the key to getting a good camera. It depends on your personal preference. Some people choose to sacrifice a few features just to get a lightweight camera that doesn’t bother them while snorkeling.

Others don’t mind the added burden as long as the images they capture are award-winning.

A Final Word

Most people would tell you to put your phone down and live the moment. But some moments are worth reliving over and over. And since human memories are oh so limited, it is a great thing we have cameras.

Just make sure you choose a good underwater camera before you go snorkeling. This list covers all features, price ranges, models, and types of underwater cameras. There is bound to be one that’s perfect for you.

So grab a camera and hit the waters. Your underwater adventure awaits.

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Last update on 2021-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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