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Best Underwater Camera (2022): Our Favorites For Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Fishing & More

Whether you’re recording your latest dive or trying to get a catch, the best underwater cameras accompany you where other cameras simply won’t work. But there’s more to these adventure devices than just being waterproof. Some models, especially those for fishing, boast advanced features like infrared illumination. Others come with sensors that can even map oceanic conditions. Below, we’ve narrowed down the list to the top six โ€” from the reliable GoPro HERO10 to the marine-grade Paralenz Vaquita.

Best Underwater Camera Comparison Chart

ModelProduct ImagePrice
GoPro HERO10 
Aqua-Vu HD7i-125 Gen 2
Vexilar FS800IR Fish Scout
Olympus TG-6
Paralenz Vaquita 2nd Gen
AKASO Brave 4

GoPro HERO10

Best camera for underwater video

GoPro HERO10
GoPro’s HERO10 action camera is a versatile companion for underwater and offshore adventures

Action cameras have gained a reputation for expanding the places you can shoot. It’s hard to argue against this, especially if you have the GoPro HERO10. The latest iteration retains many of GoPro’s core features โ€” from strong video stabilization to support for modular configurations. And as expected, it’s still waterproof up to 33 feet.

But the unit’s biggest upgrade is undoubtedly the GP2 chip. The new processor allows the HERO10 to shoot 5.3K60 video with twice the frame rate of the HERO9. That means capturing more detail at a higher resolution โ€” perfect for snorkeling selfies or immersive slow-motion recording of a barrelling wave.

Like most action cameras, GoPro’s newest model is compatible with a range of accessories. This makes the device as versatile underwater as it is offshore. From surfboard camera mounts to tripod grips, there’s no running out of what you can do with the HERO10.

Camera: 23MP | Waterproof Rating: 33 ft | Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth

Aqua-Vu HD7i-125 Gen 2

Best underwater fishing camera

Aqua-Vu HD71-125 Pro
The Aqua-Vu HD7i-125 is boat-ready and puts advanced camera technology in the hands of anglers

While fishing demands skill and experience, the latest technology has made it possible to see underneath the surface and increase your chances of getting a bite. The Aqua-Vu HD7i-125 Gen 2 is one of these devices. Outfitted with a 1080p HD camera, this unit captures high-resolution footage for exploring the depths.

To avoid spooking fish, the HD7i-125 Gen 2 is equipped with infrared lighting to illuminate low-light conditions. It also boasts advanced software to filter noise and clarify images. The footage is then displayed on a large, seven-inch LCD screen that also enjoys an IP67 rating. You can also connect the camera to an external display with HDMI.

Aqua-Vu shares that the HD7i-125 Gen 2 enjoys a 125-foot metered depth cable. Anglers will also appreciate that the camera comes with RAM mounting and is boat-ready out of the box.

Camera: 1080P | Waterproof Rating: 125 ft, IP67 Screen | Connectivity: HDMI video output

Vexilar FS800IR Fish Scout

Best underwater camera for ice fishing

Vexilar FS800IR Fish Scout
Here’s a look at the protective soft-pack carrying case of the Vexilar FS800IR Fish Scout

Those who enjoy ice fishing know that staying in one spot can be challenging. Plus, cold weather conditions are difficult to predict and require specialized gear. But if you’re up to the task, one piece of equipment you’d want to bring is the Vexilar FS800IR Fish Scout. Capable of operating down to -22ยบF, this underwater camera is at home in icy waters.

The Vexilar comes with LED infrared lights and a CMOS color camera with a black and white option for low-light conditions. However, compared to Aqua-Vu, the lens is low-res. Fortunately, it offers a 90-degree viewing angle to capture more of the seascape around an ice hole. It also features a water-resistant color monitor with 420 lines of resolution.

Using the camera should be a breeze. The Vexilar FS800IR Fish Scout comes assembled out of the box. It boasts a 90-foot cable and a 9-amp hour battery that matches your patience. Moreover, Vexilar includes a rugged carrying case for the unit that protects the LCD screen.

Camera: IR CMOS | Waterproof Rating: 90 ft, water-resistant screen | Connectivity: N/A

Olympus TG-6

Best underwater camera for snorkeling

Olympus TG-6
The Olympus TG-6 is a point-and-shoot camera that brandishes a tough exterior

For those who want a device for every day, the Olympus TG-6 has the ruggedness of the toughest cameras with the ease of a point-and-shoot. The camera is waterproof up to 49 feet and is rated dustproof and crushproof. Are you going ice fishing? The TG-6 is freeze-proof up to -50ยบF, perfect for behind-the-scenes shots of your past time.

While the TG-6 is limited to shallow depths, it’s an excellent companion when snorkeling. Performance is solid, too. The 12MP sensor comes with a high-resolution f2.0 lens with 4X optical zoom. You also get five dedicated underwater modes, including Underwater Microscope for capturing extreme close-ups of marine life up to 1cm away.

On land, the Olympus TG-6 makes a compelling purchase for daily use. The camera offers intuitive controls that belie its expressive power. These include a roomy three-inch color LCD, control dial, mode dial, and quick-access menu button. It’s also compatible with a wealth of accessories like converter lenses and underwater cases.

Camera: 12MP | Waterproof Rating: 49 feet, IPX8 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI

Paralenz Vaquita 2nd Gen

Best underwater camera for scuba diving

Paralenz Vaquita 2nd Gen
Paralenz’s Vaquita packs advanced features in a flashlight-like form

First released in 2020, the Paralenz Vaquita brought a new dimension to underwater cameras. The device boasted an impressive waterproof rating of 1,1150 feet and supported 4K recording at 60fps. With the Paralenz Vaquita 2nd Gen, the Paralenz retains its impressive water rating but with noticeable performance improvements.

Chief among these upgrades is the new 150ยบ ultra-wide lens with a 25cm focus distance. This allows divers to capture more of the stunning marine life below. There’s no need to carry around filters, too. Like its predecessor, the new Vaquita has the patented automatic underwater color correction but is updated for smoother recording.

Designed by divers, the Paralenz enjoys marine-grade aluminum construction. It’s equipped with temperature, depth, and geolocation sensors that help map oceanic conditions along the way. Despite the advanced tech, the Vaquita is easy to use. It boasts a viewfinder with a dive profile overlay, supports customizable recording modes, and works with a dedicated mobile app.

Camera: 12MP | Waterproof Rating: 1,150 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, USB

AKASO Brave 4

Best cheap underwater camera

Best cheap underwater camera
The AKASO Brave 4 features a black-and-white front screen to display the device’s status

Because they need to withstand water and weather, most action cameras are expensive. But for those on a budget, you can consider the AKASO Brave 4 as an alternative. While it typically retails for $89.99, AKASO’s action cam is often available at discounted rates. If you’re lucky, you can buy the camera for just $70.

Although it’s affordable, AKASO doesn’t cut too many corners. For instance, it boasts a 170ยบ adjustable field of view and supports Ultra HD 4K recording with its 20MP camera. The Brave 4 also comes with a built-in gyroscope for image stabilization. Plus, the device can be used in depths up to 100 feet. That should be enough to capture solid underwater footage with clarity.

Of course, the actual image or video quality isn’t going to unseat a GoPro or an Insta360 anytime soon. However, anyone looking to step into the action cam ecosystem for the first time will like what the Brave 4 camera offers. With solid battery life and compatibility with several accessories, it lives up to the billing as a bang-for-your-buck purchase.

Camera: 20MP | Waterproof Rating: 100 feet | Connectivity: Mini USB, micro HDMI

Verdict

Impress family and friends with these highly-recommended underwater cameras.

The best underwater cameras offer a rugged design, advanced features, and reliable performance in the depths. They also come in all shapes and sizes, including specialized models for fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. That being said, two models are arguably the most practical purchase for most people.

First up is the GoPro HERO10. As one of the most popular action cams on the market, the HERO10 is known for its premium features and stellar performance. GoPro has equipped the latest iteration with a new processor, allowing it to take HD videos at twice the frame rate as its predecessors. It’s also a great companion for your DSLR, SLR, or point-and-shoot camera.

Speaking of point-and-shoot, we also like what the Olympus TG-6 brings to the table. From its tough exterior alone, you know it’s a camera that can handle almost any environment and weather condition. It’s also our pick for the best underwater camera for snorkeling. And since it’s a compact digital camera, you can bring it along for casual use, too.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ How long is the battery life of the AKASO Brave 4?

The AKASO Brave 4 can last up to 90 minutes when recording 1080p video. When shooting in 4K, the action cam’s battery life is about 60 minutes.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the video format for Olympus TG-6 recorded videos?

Olympus’ TG-6 uses MOV as its recording format.

๐Ÿ“Œ What kind of memory card does the Paralenz Vaquita 2nd Gen use?

The Paralenz Vaquita 2nd Gen is compatible with a 128GB microSD card.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the operating range of the Vexilar FS800IR Fish Scout?

Vexilar’s FS800IR Fish Scout can operate in temperatures ranging from -22ยบF to 150ยบF.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.