Best Cheap Underwater Cameras

Wondering what are the best cheap underwater cameras? Are you an adventurous soul who loves exploring the depths of the ocean? Or perhaps you enjoy capturing precious moments while snorkeling or swimming in a pool? If so, investing in a good underwater camera can elevate your photography game and allow you to capture stunning images and videos beneath the surface. In this article, we will dive into the world of underwater cameras and explore the best affordable options available in the market.

Underwater Cameras

Underwater cameras are specially designed to withstand the challenges of underwater photography. They are built to be waterproof and offer unique features that allow you to capture mesmerizing shots in aquatic environments. Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, having a reliable underwater camera can unlock a whole new world of creative possibilities.

Benefits of Underwater Cameras

Taking underwater photos is not easy, but it is extremely rewarding. On the surface and with today’s technology, anyone can take hundreds of photos. Today, even a phone has more capabilities than not long ago serious cameras. So having an underwater camera has several advantages:

Capture Unforgettable Moments

With an underwater camera, you can preserve memories of your underwater adventures. From vibrant coral reefs to exotic marine life, these cameras enable you to capture the beauty that lies beneath the surface.

Underwater Camera for Scuba Diving

Waterproof and Durable

Unlike regular cameras, underwater cameras are designed to be waterproof. They are built with rugged materials that can withstand the water pressure and potential accidents, ensuring the safety of your device.

Specialized Features

Underwater cameras often offer specialized features such as underwater shooting modes, color correction, and wide-angle lenses. These features help enhance the quality of your photos and videos, providing you with professional-looking results.


Many underwater cameras can also be used on land, making them versatile for various photography needs. Whether you’re at the beach, hiking near waterfalls, or capturing moments by the pool, these cameras can serve multiple purposes.

Before Buying Underwater Cameras

With an underwater camera is like with any electronic equipment. You can buy something cheap that you won’t be completely satisfied with, or spend a lot of money on something you won’t use. So before you decide to buy an underwater camera it is worth considering a few aspects.

Depth Rating

Different underwater cameras have varying depth ratings, indicating the maximum depth they can be submerged without getting damaged. Consider your diving or swimming needs and choose a camera with an appropriate depth rating.

Image Quality

Look for a camera that offers high-resolution images and videos. The number of megapixels and the camera’s image sensor size play a crucial role in determining the overall image quality.

Waterproof Housing

If you already own a camera and want to make it waterproof, check if there is a compatible underwater housing available. This option can be more cost-effective than purchasing a dedicated underwater camera.

Battery Life

Underwater photography sessions can be lengthy, so it’s vital to have a camera with good battery life. Consider the average battery performance and whether spare batteries are available for extended shooting sessions.

Ease of Use

Choose a camera that is user-friendly and easy to navigate underwater. Look for intuitive controls and menus that allow you to adjust settings effortlessly while diving or swimming.

Best Cheap Underwater Cameras

With so many cheap underwater cameras available, each offering a wide range of specifications and features, telling the difference between real quality and exaggerated hype can be a challenge. To help you decide, I’ve selected some of the best budget underwater cameras you should be interested in. So let’s see what is currently available on the market.

SeaLife ReefMaster RM-4K

Price: $349

The Sealife Reefmaster RM-4K is an underwater camera designed specifically for underwater photography. It has several features tailored for excellent water conditions. First, it is equipped with a fisheye lens, which is perfect for taking pictures in underwater environments that lack straight lines of light. In addition, the camera offers two underwater color correction modes: “shallow dive” and “deep dive.” These modes effectively counteract the blue tint that often affects videos and photos taken deep underwater by cameras lacking underwater color correction capabilities.

Thanks to its waterproof housing, the camera can be safely submerged to a depth of up to 40 meters (130 feet). What’s more, the housing includes a “moisture absorber” that prevents internal fogging, ensuring clear images even in harsh conditions. As for video recording, the camera supports up to 4K resolution at 30 frames per second, allowing for high-quality footage. Thanks to the 14-megapixel Panasonic CMOS sensor, the images captured by this camera are sharp and vivid. In addition, the Sealife Reefmaster RM-4K camera boasts an advanced electronic image stabilization system that enhances the stability of shots. Remarkably, the Sealife Reefmaster RM-4K remains the most affordable underwater camera designed specifically for divers, offering exceptional value for money.

SeaLife ReefMaster RM-4K

Olympus Tough TG-6

Price: $549

Designed specifically for macro photography, this underwater camera specializes in capturing small subjects like seahorses, shrimp, and corals. It incorporates an impressive feature called “underwater microscope mode” that allows for focusing on subjects as close as 1 cm from the lens. Moreover, utilizing its 4x optical zoom capability, it can magnify these subjects to nearly microscopic sizes.

With the ability to record video up to 4K resolution at 30 frames per second, this camera ensures high-quality footage. It also offers electronic stabilization to enhance the stability of your recordings. Equipped with a 12-megapixel sensor, it captures detailed and vibrant images. Furthermore, the camera provides several dedicated underwater modes to enhance your photography experience, including wide, HDR, macro, and microscope modes. These modes are complemented by five underwater white balance options for precise color correction.

The Tough TG-6 camera itself has a price of around $400 and is waterproof up to 50 feet (15 meters). However, if you wish to take it to greater depths, an additional investment of approximately $300 is required for an underwater housing, allowing it to be submerged to a depth of 147 feet (45 meters).

Olympus Tough TG-6

Panasonic Lumix TS7

Price: $549

If you have a budget of a few hundred dollars and you’re specifically looking for an underwater camera, the Panasonic Lumix TS7 is an excellent choice. Its electronic viewfinder is a standout feature, as it enables you to clearly see the image you’re capturing, even in bright sunlight that often washes out the LCD screen when on the surface. The Lumix TS7 is waterproof up to 31 meters (102 feet) without requiring an underwater housing. This means that all of its buttons and dials can be easily operated underwater, allowing for quick and convenient use. It delivers high-quality photos with its 20.4-megapixel sensor and records impressive video at full 4K resolution and 30 frames per second. Additionally, it offers decent image stabilization for smoother footage.

One of the notable features of this waterproof camera is its 4.6x optical zoom lens, which complements its macro mode exceptionally well. With a close focus range of just 1.97 inches from the lens, the Lumix TS7 is one of the few cameras, alongside the pricier Olympus Tough TG6, capable of capturing macro shots, although the TG6 can focus on subjects as close as 0.39 inches from its lens. As a camera intended for use near the water’s surface, the Lumix TS7 performs admirably. While it can technically be taken to greater depths, it’s important to note that the electronic viewfinder becomes more challenging to see underwater, and there is no underwater color correction available.

Panasonic Lumix TS7

Nikon Coolpix W300

Price: $740

With a drop-proof capability of up to 7.9 feet, freeze-proof durability down to 14 degrees, and a waterproof rating of 100 feet (30 meters), the Nikon Coolpix W300 stands as one of the most rugged underwater cameras available. Its sturdy construction and compact design make it highly suitable for travel, while its performance capabilities are equally impressive. This camera can capture 16-megapixel photos and record full HD 4K video at 30 frames per second.

Users have the flexibility to choose from various shooting modes, including underwater and close-up options. The 5x optical zoom allows for getting closer to subjects while maintaining excellent detail. Additionally, the camera features vibration reduction technology for capturing smooth footage and incorporates WiFi integration for convenient connectivity. When shooting underwater videos, an AE lock function ensures optimal exposure.

The Nikon Coolpix W300 includes an underwater mode specifically designed to enhance image colors by toning down the greens and blues, resulting in more realistic tones. However, it’s worth noting that this mode does not adjust automatically with changes in depth. Overall, the Nikon W300 is a commendable underwater camera that combines the qualities of the Olympus Tough TG6 and the Panasonic Lumix TS7, providing users with a versatile and reliable option for capturing stunning underwater photographs and videos.

Nikon Coolpix 300

GoPro 11

Price: $499

GoPro has established itself as a legendary brand in the realm of action cameras, offering a wide range of models that are comparable to the more affordable Akaso cameras but surpass them in terms of overall quality. The current lineup of GoPro Hero cameras, including the Hero 11, has garnered significant popularity. The GoPro Hero 11 is a remarkably powerful action camera, boasting unique capabilities such as shooting in 5K video resolution and capturing 20-megapixel photos with its impressive 23.6-megapixel sensor. It should be noted that the underwater casing needs to be purchased separately, but it is reasonably priced at under $50 and provides waterproof protection for the Hero 11 up to 200 feet (60 meters).

Additional noteworthy features of the GoPro Hero 11 include image stabilization, super slow-motion recording, and digital lens modes that offer various shooting perspectives such as wide, linear, or narrow shots. Undeniably, this camera offers an impressive array of capabilities. However, it is important to consider some drawbacks when contemplating the GoPro Hero as a budget-friendly underwater camera. GoPro Hero cameras are designed primarily as versatile action cameras, catering more to land-based activities than underwater use. As a result, their high overall quality comes at a relatively higher price point. But instead of buying one, you can look for a GoPro rental option for your trip.

GoPro 11

Best cheap underwater cameras – let’s recap

Underwater cameras offer an exciting opportunity to explore and capture the beauty of underwater landscapes. The top 5 affordable options mentioned in this article provide excellent performance and features for underwater photography enthusiasts. Remember to consider the important factors before making a purchase and follow the tips to enhance your underwater photography experience.

costa rica divers instructor

PADI MSDT #384513


Piotr "Pedro" Sawicki

Moje życie zawsze było związane ze sportami powszechnie uważanymi za ekstremalne. Kiedyś zakochałem się we wspinaczce wielkościanowej, tak jak teraz w nurkowaniu. Wspinałem się w górach, eksplorowałem jaskinie i brałem udział w wyprawach eksploracyjnych. Dzięki tym doświadczeniom zobaczyłem spory kawałek świata i wiele się nauczyłem. Teraz od wielu lat jestem profesjonalnym nurkiem i instruktorem, a Kostaryka stała się moim drugim domem. Sprawdź również mój projekt wyprawowy:

Looking for a good dive store?
Check Manta Rica!

In our store you will find everything you need for any water adventure. Unleash your inner explorer!