Best Underwater Camera
Best Underwater Camera

The Best Underwater Cameras for Scuba Divers – A Detailed Guide

There has never been a better time in history for underwater photography. The technology is the best it has ever been and getting better every year. Underwater cameras, which used to run tens of thousands of dollars, can be purchased for quite cheap now. Also, the equipment is getting smaller and smaller with each new model.

You also have more options than ever before for sharing your photography. Platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter have made it easier than ever to get your photography out there. So, if you have a bit of experience as a scuba diver, it’s time to get with the program.

We’re going to examine what you should look for in an underwater camera. Afterward, we’ll go over some of the best underwater cameras on the market today.

Best Underwater Cameras

Should You Get An Underwater Camera?

We’re going to throw out a disclaimer before we get into this. If you are about to do your open water certification, or if you are just getting into diving, leave the camera at home. There are far too many more important things you should be focusing on than getting the right picture.

One of the biggest problems new divers have is that everyone goes and buys a new GoPro with a dive housing trying to photograph every part of their dives. Meanwhile, they bump into other divers and getting in the way of experienced underwater photographers. Or, worse yet, knocking into reefs due to poor buoyancy control and breaking coral.

Many coral varieties grow at a rate of around 0.3cm to 2cm per year. This damage done to coral can take decades all the way to thousands of years to fully repair. It isn’t worth the few extra likes you are going to get on social media. If you are a new diver, leave the camera at home and bring it out again when you

If you’ve got ten or so dives under your belt though, and you have good buoyancy control, it’s time to get the camera. Underwater photography is an amazing skill to have and can increase your enjoyment of scuba diving overall.

Best Underwater Camera

When you begin to get into underwater photography, it gives you a chance to learn more about the ocean in general. You start to learn about what you are taking photos of which can increase your enjoyment when you dive. Also, you begin to plan better for future dives as you learn what aquatic life and coral life there is on each dive. It gives you increased purpose when diving beyond seeing a bunch of pretty fish and coral.

As we stated above, we recommend at least ten to fifteen dives before you bring out the camera. This is generally enough for most divers to improve their buoyancy control. By this time, you will also have developed situational awareness of other divers. This is important when you get into underwater photography because the last thing you want is to cut in front of other divers taking photos.

Now you have a good idea of when you should begin with underwater photography. So, let’s take a look at what equipment you will need to get started.

What Equipment Do You Need To Get Started In Underwater Photography?

Best Underwater Camera

Let’s get this out of the way. Underwater photography is expensive when done correctly. Yes, as we said above, it is cheaper than it has ever been in the history of scuba diving. But, this doesn’t make it cheap.

There is a lot of equipment that you need to have to take good photographs. Some of this includes:

  • Underwater Camera
  • Dive Housing
  • Lighting and Mounts
  • Filters

This is just the basics. You can certainly get more if you feel you need it. The sky really is the limit. Even if you want to go the cheap route and get a GoPro or other similarly priced “action camera”, you will still need much of the above equipment.

Though we are only looking at cameras for this article, let’s take a look at each piece of equipment to better understand how they relate to each other.

Underwater Camera

Best Underwater Camera

You obviously can’t take pictures without an underwater camera. That they take pictures is where the similarities between each camera end, though. There are a few options when it comes to the best underwater camera. You can choose from:

  1. Regular DSLR camera (using a dive housing)
  2. Action Camera (GoPro, Sony RX0, etc.)
  3. Specialty underwater cameras

Which one is best for you will ultimately depend on a few factors. First, you need to look at your budget. The sky’s the limit when it comes to underwater photography. It isn’t a cheap hobby and the old adage that you get what you pay for holds true when it comes to cameras. You should plan a minimum of between $200 and $600 for a basic action camera with all of the necessary equipment. Better quality is going to cost you more. Plan on between $1,500 and $3,500 as a good budget to work with. If you are looking to get professional and commercial quality photos, you can expect to spend between $5,000 to $10,000 and even more.

If you don’t have a large budget or if you don’t care as much about quality, an action camera will be your best bet. But, if you are looking to take high-quality photos and videos underwater and have some money to spend, you should opt for a DSLR with dive housing.

Remember when you are drawing up a budget that the camera is only one of the expenses. You are going to need accessories such as a dive housing, lights, dive filters, etc. These all add up and can even run just as much as the camera. Which brings us to our next point.

Dive Housing

Best Underwater Camera

If you opt for a DSLR camera or an action camera, you are going to need a dive housing. This is a special shell made to protect the camera from water exposure as well as the water pressure from diving.

Dive housings are usually made from clear plastic with buttons sealed by O-rings. This helps to further protect the camera from exposure to water. They are not a one size fits all product so you will need to find buy a dive housing specific to your camera.

One word of advice is that you should budget for a dive housing when thinking about your camera. In many cases, dive housings can be almost as expensive as the camera. Especially, if the dive housing has been discontinued, you can expect it to be quite pricey.

For simple action cams like the GoPro, the dive housing won’t run you too much. But, for other more expensive cameras, you can expect that goes with it to also be expensive. You should also make sure you don’t go too cheap. The last thing you want is to get 20m (65ft) under just for your $1,200 camera to flood because you bought a cheap dive housing.

An example of how much dive housings can run is our Olympus Pen. A few years ago, we purchased the Olympus Pen for general travel photography. It was relatively cheap, lightweight, and took great photos for the price. When looking at dive housings for the camera, we found the cheapest housing was $800. The price of the dive housing ended up costing us just as much as the camera. We still had to purchase dive lights and were already almost to $2,000 because of the dive housing.

So, remember that this is going to cost you. Do yourself a favor and budget for it when you buy your camera. Don’t buy your camera and then go for a cheap housing. Plan everything together so you can get a realistic idea of what quality equipment is going to cost you. You will pay more upfront but less in the long term when you are able to use your camera for many years, instead of a few dives because it’s flooded.

Lighting and Mounts

Now that you’ve spent a few thousand dollars on a camera and a dive housing, you probably think you are ready to go.

Wrong!

You need to get the lighting right. Exactly like when you take photos above water. We are guessing you don’t want to spend a few thousand dollars just to take some mediocre photos. Even if you opt for an action camera and only spend a few hundred dollars, you want quality pictures.

One of the most important parts of taking quality underwater photos is proper lighting. A lack of proper lighting can lead to poor photos that lack color and can cause you to miss many of the details due to a lack of contrast.

There are dozens of different underwater light brands. Between all of these different brands, there are hundreds of options. Just like the cameras, you plan on using these lights with, the sky’s the limit when it comes to cost. So, you should easily be able to find lights that fit your budget. Just make sure to do your research so you can buy the right lights for your needs. If you plan on doing macro photography you will have different needs than if you are doing wide-angle shots of sharks and rays.

Also remember that after you have your lights, you need a way to attach them to the dive housing. There are a few different ways to do this and you will need to find the right setup for your housing and the lights you choose. But, this is going to be the least expensive part of getting your camera setup.

Read : Night Diving Tips

Filters

If you remember from your dive training, the deeper you go, the less color you can see. This is because the light is absorbed by the different particles in the water and can only penetrate to a certain depth. After, about 91m (300ft) there is no light.

This is one of the reasons having lights is so important. It will help you to reintroduce white light to the area and help you to get more natural-looking photos. But, this sometimes isn’t enough. You may still need to add color back in. This can be accomplished through the use of dive filters.

Different colors disappear at different levels.

  • Red = Past 5m (16ft)
  • Orange = Past 10m (32ft)
  • Yellow = Past 20m (65ft)
  • Green = Past 30m (98ft)
  • Blue = Past 60m (196ft)

At each level, you will need a corresponding dive filter for your camera. These dive filters help to reintroduce the color which is lost. They attach to the front of the camera over the lens and often are made for specific dive housings. You can usually find dive filters for under a hundred dollars.

It is also possible to reintroduce color in post-editing. To do this, you will need experience working with photo and video editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. There are a few guides out there that can help you such as this video.

What Are The Best Cameras For Divers?

Best Underwater Camera

Best Action Cameras for Divers

1. GoPro Hero 7 Black

GoPro HERO7 Black + Dual Battery Charger + (1)...
766 Reviews
GoPro HERO7 Black + Dual Battery Charger + (1)...
  • HyperSmooth Video Stabilization - Get gimbal-like...
  • Time Warp Video - Capture super stabilized time...
  • Conveniently charges two HERO6 Black or HERO5...
  • Charges via any USB port; for faster charging, use...
  • Up to 160MB/s* read speeds to save time...

The GoPro Hero 7 is the newest in the GoPro family. It was released in late 2018 and is their most powerful camera to date. You can expect good quality photos and videos without having to shell out tons of money.

There are three models, the Hero 7 which are black, white, and gray. At the bottom in terms of features is the white, which we do not recommend. The top-level is the Hero 7 Black.

If you are going to spend the money on a Hero 7 then we recommend you get the black. Some features important for diving include advanced image stabilization and an interchangeable battery.

Pros
  • One of the most important aspects of the Hero 7 Black is the interchangeable battery. This is only available in Black and not the White or Gray versions. The reason this is so important is that you don’t have to worry about running out of batteries. We’ve been on long dives where the battery runs out after the first dive. If you opt for the Hero 7 White or Gray, you will be out of luck and will not be able to film and photograph the rest of your diving for the day unless you charge it. With the Hero 7 Black though, you can carry additional batteries and swap them out between dives to guarantee you have plenty of battery life.
  • Want the same image stabilization quality a gimbal provides without having to purchase the gimbal? You can get it with the Hero 7 Black. One of the many issues that new divers face is shaky hands. This is to be expected. You are trying to navigate the waters, monitor your depth and air, follow your dive buddy, and see all the sites. You probably also don’t have the best buoyancy yet. Making sure your camera is usually something you don’t think about till after the dive when you are viewing a bunch of shaky videos on your computer. At this point, it is already too late. The Hero 7 gives you advanced image stabilization so you can focus on what’s important and still get great images and videos that aren’t shaky.
  • The Hero 7 Black, unlike the White and Gray, is Wifi capable. If you are like us then you don’t want to wait till you get back to land to see what your photos and videos look like. With the Wifi capability, you can connect your GoPro to your phone using the GoPro app and see everything you just captured. The major advantage of this is if you are trying to capture specific videos or photos. You will know whether you need to make one more dive or if you are all good and can move on to the next dive site.
Con
  • The biggest complaint that many users, including us, had when initially using the GoPro Hero 7 Black is that it can be a bit confusing. There are many great features to the Hero 7 but it can be quite confusing figuring out how to use them. Past GoPro versions that we used were easy to operate. We could go straight from the box to a dive without having to review the manual. But, with the Hero 7 Black, you will need to review the users manual before you get to the boat to make sure you understand everything properly.
Suitable For
New divers
First time underwater videographers and photographers
Technical divers
Macro photographers
Commercial photographers and videographers

2. Intova Nova Floating Underwater Camera

Intova Nova Floating Waterproof 1080p HD Video...
29 Reviews
Intova Nova Floating Waterproof 1080p HD Video...
  • Rugged, durable, and waterproof to 330 feet; HD...
  • 2.4G 2-way remote control lets users snap photos...
  • LCD screen acts as both a viewfinder and playback...
  • 140-degree, point-of-view wide-angle lens; 4x...
  • Includes lithium-ion battery, charger, 2.4G...

Intova is an action camera manufacturer that has been in business since 1995. They may be less known than GoPro, but their products are just as good. The Nova Underwater Camera is one of the best that we’ve used when it comes to diving. It is specifically made for scuba divers, unlike the GoPro which is a general use action camera. Because it has a specific user in mind, many of the downsides of the GoPro have been eliminated on this camera.

Pros
  • The Intova comes already equipped with a dive housing. This means you aren’t only going to be saving money on extra equipment, but also that the housing fits perfectly. One issue that dive housings for action cameras tend to have is inconsistency among the different manufacturers. There are many great manufacturers and some very poor ones. Unfortunately, if you don’t get one of the great ones, you may find yourself needing a new camera. Since this dive housing is manufactured by the same company making the camera, and for one specific camera, it avoids these issues.
  • The Nova is almost half the price of a GoPro. It does not have the same level of quality as it does not allow you to capture video in 4k and there is no option to capture in 60fps when shooting in 1080p. But, if you are new to diving and don’t yet want to spend tons of money on a camera, the Nova is a great option.
  • The buttons on the dive housing are extra-large, which is great when you are diving with gloves. One of the main complaints we have about the GoPro is that the dive housings have smaller buttons. Normally, you have to remove your gloves to operate the buttons which isn’t possible in extremely cold waters. The larger buttons make using the Nova more comfortable for divers.
Con
  • One of the most common complaints is that image stabilization is very poor. With the GoPro Hero 7 Black going above and beyond with image stabilization, this is a major drawback for the Nova. If you are mostly interested in capturing videos, this will not be a major issue. But, it does make capturing still photos quite difficult. The second most common complaint was the screen size. Though, this is a common complaint when it comes to action cameras.
Suitable For
New divers
Divers wanting to capture video
Technical divers
Macro photographers
Wide-angle photographers
Commercial photographers and videographers

3. DJI Osmo Action Camera

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DJI OSMO Action Cam Digital Camera with 2 Displays...
69 Reviews
DJI OSMO Action Cam Digital Camera with 2 Displays...
  • Dual Screens Osmo Action’s dual screens allow...
  • RockSteady After years of providing advanced,...
  • More Dynamic Detail with HDR Video This shooting...
  • 8x Slow Motion, Timelapse Capture every epic move...
  • 11m Waterproof, -10℃ Temperature Resistant...

DJI is a relatively new company when it comes to action cameras. They are the largest manufacturer of drone technology in the world with an almost 70% market share. The Osmo action camera is their first foray into the action camera market. It is a direct competitor to GoPro both in terms of features and price and is giving them a run for their money. It’s a great all-around camera that comes in at a great price point.

Pros
  • If you have shaky hands like us, this is a great option. When we first got into underwater photography and videography, we continually ran into the issue of shakiness. The advanced stabilization features of the DJI Osmo action cam rival the GoPro Hero 7 Black. It comes with an option called ‘rock steady’ mode which is widely regarded as one of the best stabilization features currently on the market.
  • The Osmo action camera comes with two LCD screens. There is a front-facing LCD screen for recording yourself, and a back-facing LCD screen for everything else. If you like to film both directions this can be huge. One of the major complaints that people constantly bring up about GoPro is that they do not have the front-facing LCD camera. So, if that is important to you, consider the Osmo action cam.
  • Like the GoPro Hero 7 Black, the Osmo action cam comes with an interchangeable battery. For us, this is huge. We have been on plenty of dives where the battery for our earlier model GoPro Hero 4 died after the first dive. Since that model had an interchangeable battery we were able to open it up and pop a new battery for the second dive. With some newer model action cameras, the batteries are not interchangeable. So, if it dies after the first dive, you are out of luck till you get a chance to charge it again.
Con
  • We’ll be upfront with this. The Osmo action cam is a Chinese copy of the GoPro. As with most electronics from China, it is hit or miss when it comes to quality. Not only in terms of the overall quality of the product, but also in terms of a higher than usual defect rate. A larger number of people have complained of buying a defective camera. Also, there are many features that are not as good as the GoPro or which this is lacking. We have put this on the list because it is cheaper than the GoPro and has a few extra features that are good such as the two LCD screens. But, it is still ultimately a cheaper imitation of the GoPro. If you are looking for a good quality action camera for cheaper than the Hero 7 Black, this will suffice. But, it is not a pound for pound replacement.
Suitable For
New divers
Divers wanting to capture video
Technical divers
Macro photographers
Commercial photographers and videographers

Best DSLR Cameras for Divers

1. Canon EOS Rebel SL3

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 DSLR Camera and EF-S 18-55mm...
19 Reviews
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 DSLR Camera and EF-S 18-55mm...
  • INCLUDES: Canon EOS Rebel SL3 DSLR Camera with...
  • FEATURING a 24.1MP APS-C-format CMOS sensor and...
  • CANON accessories included: Canon EOS Rebel SL3...
  • CANON AUTHORIZED DEALER. Includes Canon USA...

Canon’s 80 years of history producing cameras and equipment has positioned it as one of the leading manufacturers in the industry. The Rebel is one of their better introductory lines for their DSLR cameras. They are great for beginners and advanced divers alike. What makes the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 a great option is that you can easily use it both for diving and for general travel photos. Wherever you are using it, you can get high-quality photos and videos. You can expect the Rebel to be reliable for many years as long as you are taking care of it.

Pros
  • The Rebel SL3 shoots in 4K resolution. In layman terms, this means the video you capture will display in 4K, or 4,000 horizontal pixels. The best way to think of this is by looking at your TV screen. Look at the horizontal part. In a 4K TV there are 4,000 pixels across. This is in contrast to 1080p which is 1,080 pixels or 720p, which is 720 pixels horizontally. This means your videos will be rich in terms of color and detail. To get a more technical and nuanced explanation of this, you can read this article on 4K resolution.
  • This is a great beginner’s camera. The learning curve is not too steep so you can order this and get started without too much difficulty. Many DSLR cameras, especially when used for diving, can be quite complicated to master. This leads to many people thinking that the camera isn’t good when in fact it is operator error. As a new photographer, you want something simple like the Rebel SL3 which doesn’t have too many features or complicated settings you have to master.
  • You can connect to your phone via the Canon app. This is a handy feature as it allows you to check your photos between dives. As a beginner, this can be a great way to check how your photos are turning out so you can make necessary adjustments between dives. This saves you from having a whole day of photography and video wasted and also lets you share to any social media platforms immediately.
Con
  • Every person that we’ve known who has used this camera has had zero complaints. The camera is lightweight and easy to use. The battery life is long which is a major plus. It is also easy to swap one battery for another between dives.The price is only a few hundred dollars more than an action camera like the GoPro Hero 7 Black. It also isn’t too difficult so new photographers or those getting back into it can easily operate this. We highly recommend this as a great starting camera.
Suitable For
New dive photographers
Advanced dive photographers
Macro photographers
Technical divers

2. Nikon D7500 DX-Format

On Sale. 36% OFF!
Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body
136 Reviews
Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body
  • Class leading image quality, ISO range, image...
  • Large 3.2” 922K dot, tilting LCD screen with...
  • 51 point AF system with 15 cross type sensors and...
  • 4K Ultra HD and 1080p Full HD video with stereo...
  • Built in Wi Fi and Bluetooth for easy connectivity...

Nikon is another brand long associated with high-quality cameras and camera equipment. They’ve been in business for about 20 years longer than Canon and have a great reputation among camera enthusiasts around the world. If you are a new diver looking for a great brand then look no further than Nikon

The D7500 is Nikons answer to the Canon Rebel SL3. It is the perfect introductory camera for divers looking for something more powerful than an action camera. What makes it a good choice is that it is simple to use. Everything is laid out in a user friendly way and the D7500 has all of the necessary features without being too advanced.

What’s great about Nikon is that they have a reputation for packing a lot of quality into their cameras without taking on the price. The D7500 is at the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to Nikon cameras. If you have never used a DSLR before, or if you are just getting back into using one after a long absence, this is a great option for you.

Pros
  • The price of this camera is one of the major benefits. It is a great introductory price when compared to more advanced DSLR cameras which can run thousands of dollars. As a diver just starting out with underwater photography, you probably don’t want to drop $5,000 plus for a camera and equipment. Remember that the dive housing you will need is going to run you anywhere from $500 to $1,500. You will also need to purchase lights that can tack on an extra $300 to $600. You can get this DSLR and all of the necessary equipment for around $2,000 which is a great price for a full DSLR dive setup.
  • The D7500 has both Wifi and Bluetooth capabilities. You can easily pair this up with your iPhone or an Android phone through the Nikon SnapBridge App. As we’ve stated before, this is an excellent feature for divers who need to immediately upload photos to their websites or social media accounts. It also makes it easier to clear out room on your SD card quickly if you are running out. You can upload photos and videos to your phone and to the cloud then clear your SD card to prepare for your next dives. Overall, this is a super convenient feature to have.
  • You can shoot video in 4K. This means you are getting a high-quality video that is guaranteed to come out clear and clean every time. You can also shoot high-quality photos with the D7500. There is a 51 point autofocus system that allows you to shoot 8 frames per second in continuous shooting mode. This is great for macro photographers.
Con
  • The biggest complaint that people had was with the Wifi. Many people have made mention of the fact that you can only transfer images at 2MB. There have also been a large number of complaints about the app being difficult to use. For divers, this can be quite important if you need to upload your images to the cloud during a dive. We have included the Wifi as a benefit with this camera because it is a major plus. But, Nikon needs to improve their app interface. If you plan on doing a lot of uploading to your phone or to the net between dives we recommend the Camera Rebel SL3 as a better alternative.
Suitable For
New divers
Amateur underwater photographers
Technical divers
Commercial photographers and videographers

3. Canon 5d Mark IV

On Sale. 24% OFF!
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera...
190 Reviews
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera...
  • 30.4 MegaPixel full frame CMOS sensor for...
  • Up to 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting...
  • 61 point AF system with 41 cross points for...
  • ISO range 100 32000 with 50 102400 expansion
  • 4K video recording at 30p or 24p and in camera...

As we’ve stated above, Canon is a top-quality camera manufacturer. You can probably guess by the fact they hold two of the four spots on our list for top DSLR cameras that we are quite fond of them. The truth is, not only do we personally use Canon cameras for diving and travel, we also know many divers who use them.

We feel confident in their durability and ability to deliver top quality photos, even underwater. The other thing that we like is Canon offers top quality cameras for a wide range of budgets. Even their cheaper cameras are full of excellent features and don’t force you to sacrifice quality for the price. The Mark IV though is on the opposite end of the price spectrum.

The Mark IV is one of the highest level DSLR cameras on the market. The price reflects this. This is absolutely not a camera for beginners or budget shoppers. You need the experience and understanding to properly use the Mark IV or you won’t be able to use this camera to its full potential. Also, if you don’t have the experience, you will most likely find yourself confused when setting up and using all of the cameras features.

Pros
  • This is probably the best DSLR camera that money can buy for shooting video. To get higher than this you are going to be spending tens of thousands of dollars on 8K cameras used for studio-level filming. Like the Canon SL3, the Mark IV can shoot in 4K which will give you incredibly high-resolution videos. For photos, the ISO range is between 100 and 32,000. This makes it a great option for shooting moving fish in lower light situations without sacrificing image quality. For more about ISO, you can read this article.
  • The Mark IV has a 61-point Autofocus system. If you are looking for a good macro photography camera then look no further. You can easily switch between the Autofocus function and manual focus making it easier to work with fast-moving subjects. Many DSLR cameras leave a lot to be desired when it comes to their Autofocus system so it is a major plus that Canon has got it right with the Mark IV. Just one more reason why the significant price is well worth it for advanced photographers.
  • The Mark IV has both built-in Wifi and GPS. As we discussed above, this is an extremely handy feature for offloading photos after a dive. If you are big on social media and looking for the ability to upload straight to your account, you can do so with the Mark IV using the Canon Connect app. The Wifi lets you connect from anywhere including a dive boat. The GPS automatically geotags all of the information you could ever want about the photo. This also makes it great if you will be doing a lot of dives during the day in many different locations.
Con
  • The biggest con is the price. We’ve used this camera personally for over a year and feel it is well worth the price. However, the multi-thousand dollar price tag is going to put it out of the reach of many divers. If you want high quality but can’t justify dropping the money for this camera, we understand. In this case, we highly recommend either the Nikon D7500 or the Canon Rebel SL3 which we’ve discussed above. But, if you are a professional photographer who makes money from your photos this is the camera for you.
Suitable For
Advanced photographers
Technical divers
New divers
Beginner photographers

4. Nikon D850 FX-Format

On Sale. 15% OFF!
Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body
181 Reviews
Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body
  • Nikon designed back side illuminated (BSI) full...
  • 45.7 megapixels of extraordinary resolution,...
  • Up to 9 fps1 continuous shooting at full...
  • 8K6 and 4K time lapse movies with new levels of...
  • Tilting touchscreen, Focus Shift shooting mode,...

This is the most expensive DSLR camera on this list. It is going to set you back a few thousand dollars just for the camera. This is before we even factor in the cost of the equipment. It also has a pretty steep learning curve when compared to the D7500 or the Rebel SL3. So, if you are a beginner, we recommend you look at one of those. You can buy the most expensive camera in the world but if you don’t understand how to optimize the settings your pictures won’t look good. It is important to understand how to optimize the settings for each dive you go on.

The price of the D850 is expensive for a reason. This is one of the best cameras on the market overall for photos and videos. There are certainly more expensive DSLR cameras out there. In fact, you can spend well over $20,000 for the most expensive of DSLR cameras. But, you aren’t going to get pictures and videos that much better than you can get on this D850.

Pros
  • The D850 shoots pictures at 45.7 megapixels of resolution. We won’t get into the specifics of what this means. If you are interested, you can read more about megapixels here. But, what it means is that you can print off large pictures without worrying about any loss of quality. The camera also uses a back-illuminated image sensor which helps to improve photo quality in low light situations. This sensor, combined with the 45.7 megapixels of resolution, means the D850 is capable of shooting the best quality photos of any camera on this list.
  • One of the more impressive features which we like as scuba divers is the no noise feature. You can shoot photos at the full 45.7 megapixels at 6fps without any noise or mechanical vibrations. This is fantastic for freedivers and closed-circuit rebreather divers who are looking to dive in silence. For normal divers, this feature is canceled out by the sound from your regulator.
  • The D850 has an incredible 153 focus points for the autofocus system. This is perhaps the best camera on this list for macro diving. One of the best parts about the autofocus is high-speed tracking. So, even if you are trying to take pictures of fast-moving fish the autofocus can track and shoot your subject in the full 45.7 megapixels.
Con
  • The biggest con for this camera is going to be the price. As we’ve outlined this camera is one of the best on the market and currently probably one of the most advanced. The high price is not unwarranted. But, it does mean that it is going to be outside of the budget of many divers. Remember, it isn’t just the camera you have to think about. You also need to think about the dive housing and the lighting. For a camera this expensive, the last thing you want to get is a cheap dive housing that floods after a few dives and ruins your camera. You want a high-quality dive housing with a vacuum pump. All total, you are looking at between $6,000 and $8,000 for the camera and all of the necessary equipment.
Suitable For
Professional underwater photographers and videographers
Technical divers
Beginner divers
Amateur photographers

What Underwater Dive Camera We Recommend?

For action cameras, we like the GoPro Hero 7 Black. We’ve used this camera since it first came out and have well over 20 dives captured on it. It’s been a great camera for recording high-quality video and the image stabilization has been a major plus. For the price, this can’t be beat. If you are new to diving and looking for something easy to get started with before venturing into DSLR cameras, this is the best option.

For DSLR cameras, we stand by our trusted Canon Rebel SL3. You can’t get much better than this for the price. This is a good all-around option for both beginners and advanced divers not looking for commercial grade photographs. It is simple enough to operate without too much of a learning curve. At the same time, it has all of the necessary features to produce high-quality photos and videos.

If you are a professional venturing into underwater photography, we recommend the Nikon 850. As we mentioned in the review, this is one of the best cameras money can buy currently on the market. Yes, it’s true that there are more expensive cameras out there. In fact, you can find DSLR cameras for over $40,000. But, pound for pound, the D850 can hold its own against any camera currently on the market. It is great for a variety of divers including macro and wide-angle photographers and technical divers shooting in low light. It’s a solid buy if you need this much power and have the money to spend on the camera and all the necessities.

In Conclusion

Feeling a bit overwhelmed?

Underwater photography can be a confusing topic. Not only do you need to learn all of the principles of photography, but there is the added aspect of shooting underwater in various situations. It can be a lot to take in. But, it is certainly a rewarding activity once you get the hang of it.

Do you have anything you’d like to add to this list? Maybe you have experience using one of these cameras? Or, do you have any tips for new underwater photographers? Let us know in the comments section. Your opinion matters and you never know how your tips and info could help your fellow divers.

Go : Diving In Bermuda

Last update on 2019-11-22 at 06:57 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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