Top 5 Best Diving Camera 2020

man bathing under the sea while holding black camera

When traveling to remote and far locations just to visit a particular beach, divers know how difficult it is to carry all the weights of their gear. As a diver, you want your camera to be portable as possible for ease and comfort when taking pictures and videos underwater.

Therefore, the camera size is one thing that you must consider in buying since there’s an added external housing that is usually 2-3 times bigger than the camera itself, so choosing the best gear would mean a lot to your adventure photos and videos. 

Since it’s 2020 already, it is expected that many brands and manufacturers will continue to create a diving camera that would cater to the changing needs of divers. And since the technology in today’s generation is continuously advancing, compact cameras that are capable of producing a fantastic quality of images and videos are created.  With these, the photos and videos can be used even for large prints, commercial purposes, advertising, documentary and shot, and video contest.

man bathing under the sea while holding black camera

Buying Guide for the Best Action Camera for Diving

This will give you a little background of what essential features that you must consider in choosing your compact camera for diving for you to be guided by what camera features you will need for your future adventure. You can even use these features to check and critic the review for the best camera on the latter part of this article so that you know what diving camera you will purchase on your next underwater adventure.

The features to be considered include the size for comfort and portability, the battery life that means longer time camera usage, and fewer battery swaps, which require opening the housing between dives, the lens for natural and exact details. Sony Zeiss optics is known in the industry to provide high-quality results and minimum focus distance for macro shooting underwater while the standard widest setting for the zoom range is 24 mm.

The housing options, some cameras don’t have housing options. This is important if you want to use your camera for diving and video capabilities for high-quality videos and to do tricks like super slow motion and can shoot a mix of photos and videos.

Best Action Camera for Diving

To give you ultimate shooting versatility, your camera must be hardy and well protected, freeze proof if you want to go diving in freezing water, crushproof and shockproof if you happen to encounter waves on the water and tend to crush your camera on corals.

Meanwhile, GoPro’s action camera has been popular among people because it is lighter and more comfortable to mount on your helmet or on a chest harness. And the best action camera for diving must have 4k video specs, which few waterproof compact cameras don’t offer.

Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera with TFT LCD, 3", Yellow (26525)
  • Waterproof, freeze proof, shockproof and dustproof adventure camera with extra capabilities;Autofocus (AF) : Contrast-detect AF
  • Stunning high resolution photos, 4K Ultra HD videos, Time-lapse videos, Super lapse videos and music montages
  • 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with telephoto power and Hybrid VR image stabilization; Charging Time:2 hours 20 minutes (when using Charging AC Adapter EH-73P and when no charge remains)(Approx.)
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, eCompass, altimeter, depth gauge and more.Lens Construction:12 elements in 10 groups

Top 1 is the Nikon Coolpix W300. This camera is a great underwater camera for deep diving because:

  • It’s a 30m waterproofing.
  • The camera type is compact
  • Its megapixel is 16 MP
  • Has 4k maximum video resolution
  • It is waterproof within 30m
  • Its LCD is 3 inches
  • The lens is 24-120mm equivalent
  • Its aperture that can produce good quality photos and video even in dark places, is 2.8- 4.9

This camera is also shockproof within 8ft or 2.4 m and freezeproof under negative 10 degrees Celsius or 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is the best waterproof camera for you. If you are a deep-water explorer, may it be in cold or freezing water, this camera can handle such pressure. This camera comes with an electronic compass and a barometer that will provide you a useful underwater data like the depth or alti5 of the water you are diving. It also has Bluetooth that is paired with the Snapbridge technology from Nikon that will provide you a faster image transfer.

For a videographer, this camera gives you a 4k resolution video and extra protection against bumps and knocks with its 2.4m shockproof ability, but although it has a lack of raw support, there’s still JPEG that you will surely find to give you amazing quality. Other waterproof cameras are nothing on its 30m depth resistant ability. Meanwhile, the pros of this product are it has a decent zoom range and has excellent waterproofing, but the cons of this product are it has no raw shooting, and it is pricey or expensive.

GoPro HERO8 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K Ultra HD Video 12MP Photos 1080p Live Streaming Stabilization
  • HyperSmooth 2.0: HERO8 Black has three levels of stabilization – On, High and Boost. Get the widest views, or boost to the smoothest video ever offered in a HERO camera. Works with all resolutions and frame rates, and features in-app horizon leveling
  • Streamlined Design: The re-imagined shape is more pocketable, and folding fingers at the base let you swap mounts quickly. A new side door makes changing batteries even faster, and the lens is now 2x more impact-resistant compared to previous models
  • Expandable Mods: Vloggers, pro filmmakers and aspiring creators can do more than ever imagined with our HERO8 Black mods (sold separately). Media Mod gives you shotgun-mic performance and lets you attach Light Mod and Display Mod to up your capture game
  • Live Streaming in 1080p: Share while you’re there. Live stream in 1080p on social media, get HyperSmooth stabilization as you broadcast via the GoPro app and save footage to your SD card to check out later
  • TimeWarp 2.0: Capture super-stabilized time lapse videos while moving through an activity. Automatically adjust speed based on motion, scene detection and lighting. Slow the effect to real time – savoring special moments – and then tap to speed it back up

Top 2 is GoPro Hero 8 Black, Hero 7 Black is definitely a good camera, but this new Hero 8 black is even better. This camera is:

  • waterproof within 10 meters
  • provides you a 4k, 1080, and 720 video resolution
  • has a picture resolution of 12 Megapixel
  • its estimated battery life is 1 to 3 hours
  • weighs 126 grams

This GoPro model is one of the most favorite action cameras today because if some of its unique features. In this camera, there are fold-out feet, so the camera mount is built-in. The GoPro has a new series called mods, and this display mod works like a second monitor that is best for vloggers so they can see what the camera is taking. The other mods that they offer are Light mod LED light and a media mod for improving the video production. This GoPro is waterproof within 10 meters without a case. That’s why it is one of the famous action cameras among vloggers.

The pros of this camera are it provides the user an excellent 4k video, has a superb image stabilization system, has built-in accessory mounts, and a great range of options for frame rate, but the con of this camera would be its screen is smaller than some of its rivals.

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III Digital 4K Vlogging Camera, Vertical 4K Video Support with Wi-Fi, NFC and 3.0-inch Touch Tilt LCD, Black
  • 20. 1 Megapixel 1. 0” stacked CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 Image processor.
  • 4. 2x optical zoom Lens (24-100mm f/1. 8-2. 8) with optical image Stabilizer.
  • 4K 30P/ FHD 120P video.
  • Turn your Canon camera into a high-quality webcam--Learn more:
  • Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your Canon camera into a high-quality webcam, or do the same using a clean HDMI output.

Top 3 The Canon G7X III, this camera is one of the Canon’s newest addition to their famous G series. Canon has improved their video capabilities, and they also added an option to live stream your video on YouTube and an additional external mic jack because they are targeting vloggers. The 4k video is really a fantastic upgrade, and this is the G7 series, Canon’s answer to the RXII series of Sony, but the only difference between these two is the lenses.  The G7 offers:

  • great versatility, especially for macro during underwater photography because of its 24-100-millimeter lenses
  • It has a camera aperture that enables the user to take clear photos even under dark places is f/1.8 at 25mm
  • it also allows you to capture more light at f/2.8 at 100mm

The highlights of this camera are it has 4k and 1080 video resolution, its minimum focus distance is 5 cm for standard and 5cm to 50 cm for macro. Its burst shooting is up to 30fps, but only RAW shooting, its lens is 24mm to 100mm with Aperture of F1.8 to F2.8, has a 20.2 Megapixel sensor or 1-inch CMOS, and its new and unique features are it allows you to live stream on YouTube.

This Canon model creates a beautiful and positive scuba review online about this high-quality dive camera, and this model is one of the Canon tops picks as one of the best diving cameras. Its performance is impressive due to its processor by DIGIC with a mighty six image processor. Even if you’re new to photography, you can get high-quality professional photos because of its 20.2 Megapixel resolution.

Also, this is excellent quality for selfies because it allows you to shoot at any angle through its multi-angle touch LCD panel. It is possible to go live stream in this camera and upload your photos to your computer or to your social media accounts easily because it has a built-in Wi-Fi and NFC that helps you to do it. You can capture and film your entire dive with its 1080/60p HD video in a big-screen resolution so you won’t have to worry about its pixels. Its features allow you to customize, and its manual control can help you to choose your preferred setting and options you need when taking a specific shot.

This camera also does well in overexposed bright conditions because it creates a perfect tint making a high resolution and reduce glare in your photos to have a life-like shot, so it is ideal to use for daytime diving. This also works well when diving into low depths because it can capture all the colors that are lost or fades. Its 30fps Raw burst shoot will make sure that your action shot will nail fast and can shoot your videos in High Dynamic Range or HDR videos.

Moreover, when Canon first release this G7X III model, some users had an issue with autofocus, but Canon releases a firmware update that removes that issue making the autofocus fast and accurate, and Canon made an update which makes you capture videos at 24 fps on December 12, 2019, so that you can create a more cinematic look on your vlogs or videos.

The Pros of this camera is it has 4k video resolution, can capture photos while you are recording videos, has an excellent image quality, has an option for portrait mode of videos for social media, and provides you especially for vloggers an external mic jack. And the things that make this camera stand out is its one year warranty, can customize setting for manual control, 20.2 Megapixel for images and Multi-angle touch screen LCD panel for taking selfies on land and on water. However, the cons of this product are its minimum focus distance, like 5cm is not impressive, and its lens with soft corners at the widest setting is just the same with its predecessor, the G7X Mark II.

Sony RX100 VII Premium Compact Camera with 1.0-type stacked CMOS sensor (DSCRX100M7)
  • 20. 1MP 1. 0 Type stacked CMOS sensor, Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 24 200 millimeter F2. 8 F4. 5 large aperture high magnification zoom lens
  • 0. 02 sec. High AF speed, 357 point focal plane Phase detection AF and 425 point contrast detection AF
  • Up to 20 fps blackout free shooting, using up to 60 times/sec. Af/AE calculations.Dioptre Adjustment:-4.0 to +3.0 m-1
  • Ai based real time tracking for stills and movies, and touch tracking. Real time eye AF for human (stills and movies), and for animal (stills only)
  • 4K video with s log3 and Interval Shooting. Microphone jack and vertical position data recording. Active mode image stabilization in 4K video recording, and Movie Edit add on compatible

The top 4 is Sony RX100 Mark VII. This camera is one of the newest addition to the Sony RX100 series that is one of the world’s leading compact cameras for photographers and videographers underwater.

  • The lens of RX100 Mark VII is modified to 24-200 millimeters
  • It has 20.1 Megapixel for images and a sensor of 1″ Exmor RS CMOS
  • Its video resolution is 4k and 1080p with full pixel readout
  • Its minimum focus distance is 27 ft and 8 cm
  • its burst shooting is up to 90 fps
  • its unique features are it has a microphone input that is best for vloggers

But despite its high quality, using this camera is both an advantage and disadvantage to a diver user; it is a blessing because of its ultra-zoom compacts where you can have more zoom, increase the working distance, and better magnification when shooting macro that makes it interesting to play with but it is a disadvantage because manufacturers had a hard time supporting the camera when it comes to interchangeable ports that are needed to create to keep the full zoom range of the camera properly. You will find it challenging but rewarding if you are able to use it for macro shots because, for different images, you must use different diopters.

The pros of this diving camera are it has excellent video capabilities, with proper diopter, you can achieve super macro shots, this is one of the most responsive and fastest compact cameras in the market, produce a stunning sharpness and image quality, has a zoom range of 24-200 mm (8x) that even you cannot go near to a specific aquatic animal you can still have a good and clear shot of it.

On the other hand, the cons of this camera are it has no manual flash output, requires interchangeable ports which manufacturers find difficult to create and support the camera,  because of its long lens, it has less housing option available, and due to extreme zoom macro is challenging but rewarding, and lastly it is expensive and pricey.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS with 1080p Full-HD Video Mode Digital SLR Camera (Body)
  • 22MP full frame CMOS sensor
  • 6 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 61-point AF system. Image type : JPEG, RAW (14-bit Canon original), RAW + JPEG simultaneous recording enabled
  • ISO 100 - 25600 range with 50 - 102,800 expansion
  • 1080p HD video recording with manual controls

Lastly, the top 5 is the Canon EOS Mark III 5D. This diving camera has exceptional capabilities for images and video recording with the 22.3 Megapixel DSLR camera. For secure and waterproof video recording for your underwater activities, this camera often used an Ikealite underwater housing. Its unique features are:

  • It provides you a 1080p HD videos
  • continuous shooting under six fps
  • use an image processor like FIGIC 5+
  • Its digital and optical zoom is 4.3x
  • its battery is Lithium-Ion

The pros of this diving camera model are it has a 1-year warranty, easy to use DSLR camera, and Versatile underwater, but its cons are it requires an underwater housing for you to be able to safely and securely use it underwater.

In 2020, a lot of people are continuously engaging in different social media sites, may it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, to feature oneself, daily activities, or holiday adventure, to highlight the nature, your talents, or to raise awareness and opinions.

Because of this, a lot of trends have existed in social media right now, and the most viral and famous activity is vlogging or vlog, and most people are using this as a source of income.  During summer, vloggers are documenting their trip on land and underwater, so they need a camera that can work best in both areas.

It’s no wonder that there is an increasing number of vloggers camera brands that are continuously creating unique camera features to cater to the demand of users, especially in underwater photography and cinematography. Since sharing high-quality photos and videos for commercial purposes is in-demand online, it is essential to look for the 2020 diving camera to keep you updated and for easy and improved quality results.

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