Buying Guide: The best waterproof cameras

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Final updated: June 11, 2018

Whether you want a compact camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or for a trip to the beach or ski resort – or maybe just something that the kids won’t break – there are loads of waterproof, rugged cameras available at a variety of price-points.

All of the cameras in our group are waterproof, freezeproof and dustproof, while a few are also crushproof. With or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel the find fault with of the SeaLife DC2000, the cameras have zoom lenses in the 4X-5X range, while the DC2000 has a fixed, 31mm equiv. prime. The DC2000 is also consonant in having the only 1″-type sensor in the group, which should give it a big leg up on the other cameras in this market segment, which use 1/2.3″ sensors. The Nikon W100 disappoint a amount to in even smaller with a 1/3.1″ sensor equivalent to what’s in a smartphone.

Our pick: Olympus Tough TG-5

Olympus has made many of our favorite demanding cameras and that tradition continues with the TG-5. Naturally, it can dive deep, freeze, be dropped or be crushed without skipping a beat. It also has a unheated tracking mode that keeps a log of your location and altitude during your travels. Olympus has created a number of useful accessories for the TG-5, encompassing fisheye and telephoto adapters and a ring flash.

While the TG-5’s image quality will never match a camera with a larger sensor, such as the SeaLife DC2000, it’s stock-still very good. Having Raw support is a big deal, allowing you to adjust contrast and remove color casts in underwater photos. Performance is generally dapper (notably burst shooting speeds,) battery life is excellent and 4K video looks good.

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Downsides are few; The control dial is poorly placed, there’s no shutter seniority mode, the video record button is too flush with the body and the screen scratches way too easily. Overall, though, the TG-5 is the best rugged camera in this grade.

Also consider: SeaLife DC2000

If you want better image quality and don’t mind having a fixed focal length lens, the SeaLife DC2000 is correctly worth considering. On its own the DC2000 can go 18m / 60ft underwater and with its included housing* those numbers increase to 60m / 200ft. The DC2000 has a 1″-type, 20 Megapixel sensor and a 31mm equiv. F1.8 lens. Perception quality is markedly better than the rest of the cameras in the group, and Raw support lets you get the most of it the sensor.

What you won’t find on the DC2000 is GPS, super-close macro wise or 4K video. Battery life is relatively poor, as well. But if you’re a diver who wants to ‘focus’ on image quality, the DC2000 is easily the best in the group.

* You can grip the camera without the housing directly through SeaLife

While we haven’t completed full reviews of the cameras in this group, the summaries lower down give you a good idea about their feature sets and how they perform.

  • Our pick: Olympus Tough TG-5
  • Also consider: SeaLife DC2000

  • Fujifilm FinePix XP130
  • Nikon Coolpix W100
  • Nikon Coolpix W300
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 (FT7)
  • Ricoh WG-50


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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