The Best Waterproof Cameras [July 2019]
The GoPro revolutionized the world of both professional and amateur video recording. All of a sudden, anyone with a modest budget was able to pick up a GoPro and document everything from biking adventures to surfing lessons with minimal experience—all through an incredibly small piece of gear that offered unparalleled quality and functionality.
The GoPro is undeniably awesome. The only problem is that it’s also undeniably expensive, and since its groundbreaking inception a string of incredibly similar and far more affordable products have entered the market—meaning that you no longer have to break the bank if you want to capture some truly stunning video of your next big adventure.
Whether you’re a professional skateboarder who wants to document your latest tricks on the halfpipe or simply a casual biker or underwater explorer who wants fresh material for your Instagram page, having a quality action camera is of the utmost importance.
And in order for an action cam to be worthy of real adoration, it has to be waterproof. That’s why we’ve assembled a list of the best and most affordable waterproof cameras on the market—most of which offer much of the same quality and functionality of a GoPro at a tiny fraction of the cost.
There’s a reason why this feature-packed action cam resembles a GoPro: It was designed to be a direct and unrepentant competitor, and it seems to have fully succeeded.
Jam-packed with features that make it ideal for recording every element of your adventures, this camera features truly astonishing 4K recording and delivers pro-level video and audio without the need for fancy editing tricks or lighting arrangements.
It boasts a 170-degree optional view angle lens along with a 2-inch HD screen that can be used to shoot and preview your content on the go without the need for a computer or tablet attachment.
You’ll be able to select multiple view angles in order to gain a completely different visual experience on the fly, and a WiFi remote control means that it’s fully compatible with both iOS and Android systems, which allows you to control virtually every element of the camera remotely and in real-time.
It’s fully waterproof at up to 30 meters—making it ideal for snorkeling and scuba adventures—and you get dual rechargeable batteries that can last for up to 180 minutes on a single charge. This advanced battery life is rare in GoPro competitors in this price range, and being able to rely on an extended battery life is a big deal for more serious adventurers who may be away from a power source for extended periods of time.
Your order also comes with a series of attachments and mounts that make it easy to capture a virtually limitless number of viewing angles (including a handlebar mount for your bike), and you’ll be able to transmit your footage directly to your devices via either wireless networks or an HDMI cable.
There’s simply very little that this intrepid action camera can’t do, and the fact that it’s available for under $50 means that you really have no excuse for not picking one up.
Claiming the runner-up spot on our list is a very similar and slightly more expensive action cam that features 4K captures along with your choice of a variety of shooting resolutions—each of which is suited for a particular type of activity in different lighting environments.
You get a built-in two-inch touch screen display that’s incredibly responsive and can be used to scan through menus and review content, and all the settings you may need to adjust settings are right there on the screen—meaning you won’t have to attach any peripherals in order to lock in the settings you need for a particular trip.
It features a crystal-clear wide-angle lens that can brilliantly capture everything from super-fast car chases to epic sunsets during an evening bike ride, and since it’s fully waterproof at up to 30 meters you won’t have to worry about damaging the camera when you take it swimming or snorkeling.
Another handy feature is built-in WiFi controls that allow you to quickly and easily preview and download videos and photos to your devices without the need for a cable. You’ll also be able to snap shots remotely through a single-click interface that’s ideal for self-portraits.
This camera even comes with a series of modes such as time lapse, slow motion, car mode, and underwater mode, and your order comes with everything you need to make the most out of any adventure—including two 1050mAh batteries, a remote control wristband, and a massive accessories kit.
Choosing between this cam and the Campark for our number-one pick wasn’t easy, since these two devices have so many features in common. We ultimately bumped this camera down to the number-two spot since it’s incredibly similar to the Campark but costs $20 more. Still, these two cams are pretty much on par when it comes to quality, functionality, and overall awesomeness.
Next up on our list we have this incredibly sleek and stylish Ezviz action cam, which acts brilliantly as both an action cam and a dash cam—making it an ideal choice for users who split their time between being on the road and trekking through the great outdoors.
It boasts 1080p quality and a picture of up to 8MP, along with a captivating 150-degree wide angle lens that offers minimal distortion and crystal-clear captures even in low-light environments.
You also get advanced low-light technology that allows the camera to take high-contrast shots in intense detail—a major plus for action photographers who want to capture fast action sequences without sacrificing clarity and color accuracy.
This cam also comes loaded with both built-in WiFi and HDMI compatibility so you’ll be able to quickly transfer your shots and video to your various devices, and there are a series of settings that make it easy to custom format your media to match its destination source.
Perhaps the single most important quality of this camera is that it’s completely waterproof at up to a whopping 131 feet—making this cam ideal for scuba divers who want to capture depths that are out of bounds for some of the other waterproof cams on this list.
Where would a great tech ranking list be without a piece of incredibly expensive Sony gear that’s probably out of most peoples’ price range? We would never want to read such a boring list and neither should you.
This incredibly awesome (an incredibly expensive) waterproof camera is built for true adventure professionals who require unparalleled quality and durability in their gear.
Featuring boundless capabilities and a super-durable waterproof body, the RX0 combines cutting-edge imaging performance and rugged, ready-for-anything design for more versatile operation all around.
The optical axes of multiple RX0 cameras used together can be properly aligned for flexible setups, and you’ll be able to capture a variety of pro-level images thanks to an incredibly accurate and response lens settings and configurations right out of the box.
You also get an illuminated Exmor RS image sensor with DRAM that dramatically enhances the efficiency and speed of the A/D conversion, and you’ll be able to collect light even in super-dark environments thanks to specialized technology that doesn’t drain your battery.
This cam also features a waterproof rating of up to thirty-three feet, and you’ll be able to shoot in super slow motion thanks to a special feature that doesn’t blur or distort the incoming image—a far too common problem for less advanced slow-motion features on similar cams.
The impressive LCDD monitor on the back of this camera is also uniquely impressive, since it allows you to do everything from adjust settings to preview your shots in stunning clarity without the need to export to a different device.
Although this camera doesn’t quite fall into the stereotypical action cam configuration, it sure does get the job done if you’re looking for a compact and reliable waterproof camera to take with you on your next adventure.
It sports a 12MP high-speed camera along with a dual quad core TruePic image processor that allows you to take incredibly crisp shots in a variety of environments, and you’ll be able to fine-tune your captures thanks to a series of on-board settings that are easy to navigate.
This camera also handles itself especially well in low-light conditions, thanks to a high processing speeds and the ability to shoot at a blazing twenty frames-per-second.
There are even a series of action track sensors—including a GPS and a temperature sensor—that can come in handy if you ever find yourself straying from the beaten path, and full WiFi connectivity means that you’ll be able to export your latest shots and video directly to your peripherals without the need for a cable.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a waterproof camera that emulates the famed GoPro more accurately than this unit in terms of both style and function.
Featuring full HD video and photo resolution, this 12MP camera operates at 1080P and delivers exceptional quality alongside a slim and ultra-compact design.
You get 30 meters of fully waterproof performance (meaning you’ll be able to take this intrepid cam on even your wettest adventures), and there’s a wireless remote control connection that allows you to directly operate the camera via a simple integrated smartphone app. You’ll even be able to download, delete, and transer your shots via this platform as well.
Your order comes with not one but two rechargeable high-capacity batteries so you won’t have to worry about cutting the fun short when you run out of juice, and you get a brilliant 2-inch LCD screen from which you can preview your shots on the go.
You also get 18 multifunctional accessories that enable you to mount your camera to helmets, bicycles, wrists, etc.