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2y3k » Best Scuba Diving Camera Reviews 2023

Best Scuba Diving Camera Reviews 2023

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Olympus TG-5

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Presented here a star’s list of underwater dive cameras that represent the best, ranging from budget compact models specifically designed for underwater use to high-end full-featured cameras.

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Each model has a brief description and a more detailed list of featured specifications. At the end is a table with some basic categories to compare. There are videos introducing and demonstrating each camera to hopefully fill in the gaps left in your understanding of the written information. Digesting a lot of technical data is necessary to make an informed decision about which is right for your photography and video needs. Hopefully, the combination of videos and words on the page does the job for you.

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I’ll start with compact cameras primarily designed for underwater use, and proceed to the more versatile and finally to a top-end professional level model. Prices range from fairly affordable to pretty expensive.

Best Scuba Diving Camera Reviews

Compact Budget Cameras

Budget Cameras

Top End Cameras

Compact Budget Cameras

SeaLife Micro 2.0

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SeaLife, known for making high-quality underwater cameras specifically for scuba diving, has created this simple 16-MP compact camera with 32 or 64 GB of onboard memory.

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It is waterproof to 200 feet (60.96 meters), with a sturdy ergonomically designed shock-resistant body that is permanently sealed with no openings or O-rings to eliminate the possibility of flooding.

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In addition, it has a Wi-Fi-enabled imaging system with a built-in fisheye lens and large user-friendly key controls.

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Switching to 1080 HD video is possible with a single button.

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Key Specifications (from SeaLife)

  • Key Features: Easy set-up; Large battery; Fast shutter response; Compact Size; Fully rubber-armored shock resistant
  • Image Sensor: 16MP SONY® sensor
  • Memory: 32GB or 64GB Internal
  • Video: [email protected] or [email protected]
  • Underwater Modes: 3 UW modes: Dive, Snorkel, External Light; 3 UW color correction settings: Deep, Shallow, Green Water
  • Field of View: 130°, 100°, or 80° at 16MP with Auto Barrel Distortion Correction
  • Time-Lapse Shooting: Yes — saves as video files or picture series
  • Upside Down Shooting: Yes
  • Shortcut Mode: Yes
  • Battery: 2350 mAh Li-ion battery (internal)
  • Focus System: High-Depth Wide Angle Fixed Focus
  • Focus Range: 12″ to infinity (3.5″/9cm + with optional lenses)
  • Tripod/Tray Mount: Yes (standard 1/4-20)
  • Controls: 3 “Piano Keys” and shutter for easy control
  • LCD Display Monitor: Large 2.4″ color TFT display
  • External Power Mode: Yes
  • Depth Rating: 200ft / 60m Permanently Sealed
  • Size / Weight: 10.1oz / 285g

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SeaLife DC2000

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The SeaLife DC2000 20-MP Digital Camera has an array of advanced features including a high-quality image sensor and super-fast autofocus.

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It is waterproof to 200 feet (60.96 meters) with eight shooting modes and several advanced features making it a suitable underwater camera for mid-level and advanced underwater photographers.

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Key Specifications (from SeaLife)

  • Key Features: RAW & JPEG imaging formats, Full manual and aperture controls; Waterproof inner camera
  • Image Sensor: 20MP 1″ SONY® sensor
  • Memory: Micro SD card up to 64GB
  • Video: [email protected]
  • Underwater Modes: 4 UW modes: Dive, Snorkel, External Light and Flash
  • 3 UW color correction settings: Deep, Shallow, Green Water
  • Field of View: Land: 66° Diagonal (Underwater 50°) WA Lenses Available
  • Time-Lapse Shooting: Yes — saves as picture series
  • Upside Down Shooting: Yes
  • Shortcut Mode: Yes
  • Battery: 1130 mAh Li-ion battery (external)
  • Focus System: Electronic High-Speed Auto Focus
  • Focus Range: Auto Focus: 3.5″(9cm) to infinity (1.5″/3.81cm + with optional lenses)
  • Tripod/Tray Mount: Yes (standard 1/4-20)
  • Controls: 4 “Piano Keys” and shutter for easy control
  • LCD Display Monitor: Large 3.0″ 920k color TFT display
  • External Power Mode: Yes
  • Depth Rating: 200ft / 60m with housing, 60ft / 18m inner camera only
  • Size / Weight: 8.3oz / 234g (inner camera) 24.4oz / 691g (camera w/ housing)

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GoPro Hero6

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The GoPro Hero6 has been around for a few years now. It’s still a great option for shooting video in an extremely small and lightweight camera.

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Key Specifications (from Amazon):

  • 12 MP sensor
  • HERO6 Black automatically sends your footage to your phone where the app turns it into a QuikStory
  • 4K60 and 1080p 240 video
  • Waterproof to 33ft (10m) without a housing
  • Touch Zoom
  • 2-inch display
  • 5GHz Wi-Fi

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Housing for the GoPro Hero6

Olympus TG-5

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The Olympus TG-5 is a user-friendly all-around camera with excellent macro and wide image quality for photo and video which can go to 50 feet (15 meters) without a housing.

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It has the ability to do wide-angle, macro, and 4K video and has a microscope mode making it a diversely capable compact camera.
Key Specifications (from Olympus)

  • Sensor Effective Resolution / Size — 12 Megapixel BSI-CMOS 1/2.3
  • Processor — TruePic VIII™
  • Waterproof — 50ft (15m) — IPX8
  • Shockproof — 7ft (2.1m)
  • Crushproof — 220lbf (100kgf)
  • Freezeproof — 14°F (-10°C)
  • Dustproof — Yes — IP6X
  • Rear Monitor — 3.0″ LCD (460K Dots)
  • Video — 4K 30p, 4K Timelapse Video, FHD 120fps High-Speed Video
  • Special Features — Action Track Sensor System, Zero-lag Pro Capture Mode, RAW Capture, Night Time Live Composite Mode, Microscope Modes

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Housing for the Olympus TG-5

Compact Cameras

Sony RX100 V

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This compact camera has excellent image quality and a fast still image frame rate at 16 frames per second.

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It shoots 4K video but has a 5-minute clip length limit. This is not a problem for underwater videography, but not a strong point for heavy video shooters.

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For still shooting there is no macro mode in-camera, so portrait shots of 4-5 inches or less would require an accessory macro lens stacked to get shots of smaller subjects.
Key Specifications (from Sony):

  • Depth Rating: 200ft (60.96m)
  • 1in 20.1 MP Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Processor
  • 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar Lens with ND Filter
  • Internal 4K UHD (2160p) Video Recording at 30fps
  • 20 MP Still Image Resolution (5472 x 3648)
  • 2.9x Optical Zoom, 5.8x Clear Image Zoom, 11x Digital Zoom
  • ISO Range: 80-12800
  • Up to 24fps Continuous Shooting
  • JPEG & RAW Image File Formats
  • 3in Tilting LCD Screen (Approx. 1.22m Dots)
  • Memory Stick PRO Duo / SD Memory Card Slot
  • Wi-Fi, Micro-USB, USB 2.0, HDMI D (Micro)

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Sony RX100 V Housing

Panasonic Lumix LX100

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The Panasonic LX100 combines a super-fast lens with a micro four-thirds sensor.

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It also has a TTL flash hot shoe, which means you don’t have to rely on the camera’s built-in flash for automatic strobe exposure.

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The LX100 has a built-in 24-75mm Leica DC lens (F1.7-2.8).

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Its 4K recording capability delivers fantastic video quality.

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Key Specifications (from Amazon):

  • Effective resolution: 12.7 MP
  • Manual controls
  • Multi-aspect micro four-thirds sensor
  • f1.7-2.8, 24-75mm, Leica DC zoom lens
  • Eye-level EVF (2,764k-dot). Optical Image Stabilizer POWER O.I.S.
  • 30p 4K Ultra HD video and 4K photo mode

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Housing for Panasonic Lumix LX100

Top End Cameras

Panasonic Lumix GH5

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The Panasonic GH5 has many professional-level video and photo features making it a high-level hybrid stills/video camera.

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Key Features (from Panasonic):

  • Professional photo and 4K video performance in a durable magnesium alloy body.
  • 20.3MP Four Thirds sensor with no low pass filter.
  • 4K Video: Internal recording at 4K60/50p (4:2:0 8bit) & 4K30/25p/24p (4:2:2 10bit).
  • Variable Video Frame Rates 4K: Max. 60fps & FHD: Max. 180fps.
  • 5-Axis Photo/Video Dual I.S. 2.0 up to 5 stops with compatible LUMIX MFT lenses, plus in-body stabilization support for classic non-O.I.S lenses.
  • Fast and accurate focusing utilizing LUMIX 480 fps DFD focusing system and Venus Engine 10
  • Full size (Type A) HDMI terminal with cable lock included & twin SD Card slots (UHS-II U3 Compatible).
  • 3.5mm mic & headphone terminals — optional DMW-XLR1 microphone adaptor.
  • Eye viewfinder 3680k-dot OLED, 21mm, 0.76x.
  • V-LogL recording with (Optional) DMW-SFU1 paid upgrade

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Housing for Panasonic Lumix GH5

Nikon D810

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The Nikon D810 is by far the best camera reviewed here and one of the very best on the market for nature, landscapes, and diving, for both stills and HD 1080p video.

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It is an extremely versatile tool for photographers and videographers.

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Key Specifications (from Amazon):

  • 36.3 MP FX-format CMOS sensor without an Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF)
  • 30% faster EXPEED 4 image-processing engine
  • 51-point AF system and 3D Color Matrix metering III with a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor
  • ISO 64-12,800 expandable to 51,200.Broadcast-caliber audio control right in the camera
  • Featuring a new RAW Small Size option, which produces 16MP images with much smaller file sizes. Lens Mount: Nikon F bayonet mount
  • Professional video and audio capabilities

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Housing for Nikon D810