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Best underwater cameras in Australia 2024

Here are the 9 best underwater cameras to take on your next adventure.

The best underwater camera in Australia

Underwater cameras are small and lightweight to fit into your pocket and are the perfect tool to capture memorable moments underwater. They are also durable enough to withstand extreme weather conditions and at least 9m-deep bodies of water. Typically, underwater cameras sell for $150 to $3,000, depending on the model and its features.

When choosing an underwater camera, consider your budget, the camera's size, level of waterproofing and battery life. You should also factor in the image quality, video capacity and warranty.

For this list, we examined hundreds of underwater cameras from various retailers to help you pick the best option. We considered customer ratings and reviews and chose models for each category based on key product features.

Read our full methodology below.


GoPro CHDHX-901-RW HERO9

Best overall underwater camera

GoPro CHDHX-901-RW HERO9
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Durable

Cons

  • Bigger than other GoPro models
  • Gets very hot according to some

Why we chose it

We picked the GoPro Hero9 as the best overall underwater camera. This has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

With 23.6 megapixels at 5K video capabilities, the Hero9 is a versatile underwater camera for outdoor adventure. It lets you live stream at 1080p and has webcam functionality. Additionally, it has a 1720mAh battery and a 2.27" main display.

Hero9's HyperSmooth 3.0 feature has multiple levels of stabilisation so you can create high-quality videos underwater. It also has TimeWarp 3.0 for vlogging and Max Lens Mod for the widest-angle perspective. Customers said it's easy to use, and perfect for beginners and professionals. It's also waterproof up to 10m.


Apexcam Action Camera

Best cheap underwater camera

Apexcam Action Camera
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Works up to 40m underwater
  • Versatile features

Cons

  • Subpar battery life
  • Video quality isn’t the best

Why we chose it

With a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, we recommend the Apexcam Action Camera as the best cheap model.

This action camera offers 4K ultra HD video with up to 720fps and 16MP images. The 6G fisheye lens lets you capture high-quality images, while the wireless control allows for convenient shooting underwater. Apart from being waterproof up to 40m, it features loop recording, slow-motion photography, time-lapse and exposure adjustment.

At under $120, this underwater camera is the perfect entry-level option for those who want to capture their underwater adventures. It is portable and easy to use, letting you shoot high-quality videos and images in deep water. Customers said the video quality isn't the best for professional use, but it's more than enough for personal consumption.


AKASO Brave 7

Best underwater camera for snorkelling

AKASO Brave 7
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Dual display
  • Won’t break the bank

Cons

  • Not suitable for night recording
  • App isn’t user-friendly

Why we chose it

For snorkelling, we chose the AKASO Brave 7 as the best underwater camera. On Amazon, customers gave it a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Brave 7 is a weatherproof camera with an IPX7 water-resistant design that lets you shoot videos up to 40m. It has a convenient dual display so you can change framing and monitoring views between the back and front. This camera shoots 4K videos and 20MP photos, perfect for vlogging.

Customers gave positive feedback on the camera's user-friendliness, durable design and value for money. While the accompanying app isn't the best, it lets you control the camera remotely for convenience. It also has a digital zoom function and various shooting modes to capture every moment underwater. However, several reviews said it's not suitable for night shooting.


GoPro HERO7

Best underwater camera for scuba diving

GoPro HERO7
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • 4K video shooting

Cons

  • Occasionally disconnects from the GoPro app
  • Not suitable for wide-angle shots according to some

Why we chose it

The GoPro Hero7 is our pick for the best scuba diving underwater camera. It has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Hero7 offers smooth 4K video shooting and vibrant WDR photos to capture memorable moments with ease. It also has a GPS that lets you track how fast, high and far you went. Apart from being rugged and waterproof, Hero7 is durable yet lightweight for better portability. Additionally, it has an intuitive touch screen and a photo timer.

Numerous buyers were impressed by Hero7's image and video quality, superb battery life and rugged design. While it's pricier than other entry-level models, this is an option that can last you for a long time. It has voice control for easy shooting and video stabilisation, suitable for recording a vlog. However, a few customers said it's not the best action camera for wide-angle shots.


Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera

Best underwater action camera

Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Features 5 underwater shooting modes
  • Shockproof

Cons

  • Weak battery life
  • A bit pricey

Why we chose it

We selected the OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera as the best underwater action camera, garnering a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 1,300 Amazon reviews.

This Olympus waterproof camera lets you take images and videos up to 15m deep. It's also dust-proof and shockproof up to 2.1m. Additionally, the brand said it's crush-proof up to 100kg and freezeproof up to -10°C. With a high-resolution F2.0 lens and 8x zoom, it captures vivid images and videos underwater.

With 5 underwater shooting modes and 3 underwater balance modes, the Tough TG-6 is a great option for professional use. It lets users shoot 4K videos and full HD 120fps videos. It also features 4 macro shooting modes and magnified shooting up to 1cm from the end of the lens. However, battery life is a weak point for this model. It only offers up to 29 minutes of recording and 340 images based on CIPA testing standards.


Drift Innovation Ghost XL Action Camera

Best underwater video camera

Drift Innovation Ghost XL Action Camera
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Won’t break the bank

Cons

  • Some customers said it would occasionally stop recording
  • Can only spend 30 minutes underwater

Why we chose it

Drift Innovation's Ghost XL Action Camera is our pick for the best underwater video camera. It has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

The Ghost XL has a built-in 3000mAh battery that provides up to 9 hours of action. It also lets users capture 1080p videos, featuring its 330-degree rotatable lens for stability. The camera also offers 12MP for images and an external microphone capability. With an IPX7 waterproofing, the camera is lightweight and can spend up to 30 minutes in 1 metre of water.

The general sentiment is that this is a compact and affordable underwater camera suitable for beginners. It has event detection using a gyro sensor, which automatically activates recording when you're in an incident. It also has clone mode for syncing up to 10 cameras via Wi-Fi. Users loved that it can be used as a dash cam, for vlogging and for sports. The superb battery life is a huge bonus as well. A few others said the camera would occasionally stop recording.


Kodak Sports Underwater Waterproof 800 ISO 35mm Single Use Camera

Best underwater camera for kids

Kodak Sports Underwater Waterproof 800 ISO 35mm Single Use Camera
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Waterproof up to 50ft
  • Produces vibrant images according to reviews

Cons

  • Not the best for night shooting
  • No flash

Why we chose it

For kids, we recommend Kodak's Sports Underwater Waterproof 800 ISO 35mm Single Use Camera. On Amazon, it has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Kodak's single-use waterproof camera is the perfect introduction to underwater photography for kids. It's affordable, easy to use and compact. It works underwater up to 15m deep. The shell is rugged and shock-proof as well.

This single-use underwater camera produces vibrant images at a price that won't break the bank. While it doesn't have video capabilities, it offers the thrill of both underwater shooting and film photography. Users said it produces sharp images without any blurriness at all. But having the film developed may be a con for some.


insta360 GO 2

Best underwater compact camera

insta360 GO 2
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Extremely portable and lightweight
  • Shoots crisp videos according to users

Cons

  • Gets warm when shooting
  • Only offers up to 10 minutes of recording

Why we chose it

If you're looking for the best compact option, we recommend the insta360 GO 2. Amazon reviews gave it a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Insta360's GO 2 is a portable and lightweight thumb-sized action cam that uses a 1/2.3" image sensor for crisp 1440p videos. It has IPX8 waterproofing, suitable for shooting underwater up to 4m. It has magnetic in-the-box accessories for hands-free shooting. Additionally, it comes with a charger, remote control and tripod.

Customers praised the product's ease of use, image quality and durable design. Its pocket-friendly size lets you take the camera anywhere, both inland and underwater. Users added that it has superb battery life, offering up to 150 minutes of use in a single full charge. It produces vibrant images and has FlowState stabilisation for horizon levelling and steady video recording. It gets warm when shooting, but this seems to be a minor issue for most buyers.


SeaLife Micro 3.0

Best underwater DSLR camera

SeaLife Micro 3.0
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Lets users fine-tune images
  • Durable build

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky design

Why we chose it

We chose the SeaLife Micro 3.0 as the best underwater DSLR camera. This model is leak-proof and has an ergonomic design with easy controls and menus.

The SeaLife Micro 3 uses Pro Dual Beam that delivers 3000 lumens for 90 CRI with a proprietary COB LED array. This feature helps replicate natural lighting for crisp and clear imaging. It also has 64GB of internal storage and you can transfer its data to any iOS or Android device using the brand's mobile app.

This underwater camera is a permanently sealed option with a 100° wide-angle lens, piano key controls and JPG and RAW image capture. It also features built-in underwater colour correction and manual white balance adjustment. It's not as compact as other underwater cameras, but offers tons of advanced features that many options in the market don't have.


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How did we pick this list

15
Brands considered
79
Products compared
9
Best products chosen

Why you can trust our picks

We looked into hundreds of underwater cameras listed in various online retailers like Amazon, Camera Warehouse and Harvey Norman. We examined products from these brands:

  • AKASO
  • Apexcam
  • CamGo
  • COOAU
  • Drift
  • F1TP
  • GoPro
  • Insta360
  • Kodak
  • Lomography
  • Nikon
  • Olympus
  • Ricoh
  • SeaLife
  • Sony

We then shortlisted our picks based on customer reviews and ratings (as of May 2022). We also considered key product features like price, size, battery life and level of waterproofing. We came up with what we believe are the 9 best underwater cameras you can buy right now in Australia.

How to compare waterproof cameras

No matter what type of camera you're comparing, you'll want to think about how easy the camera is to use and how high the image quality is. For a full list of what to look for when buying a camera, check out our comprehensive digital camera guide.

Waterproof cameras are generally compact cameras. This means you don't have as many choices in terms of style and advanced features as you would when comparing other types of cameras. That being said, you do still have to consider your budget, desired image quality, level of durability and other key features.

When choosing an underwater camera, consider the following:

Cost

The price of waterproof cameras typically ranges from $150 to thousands of dollars. The amount you'll spend depends on the brand, the type of camera, image quality and any additional accessories you may need.

Image quality

Generally, you get what you pay for. If you want to take professional quality photos while scuba diving at 30 metres, you'll probably have to pay thousands for a camera and other underwater accessories. If you're looking to document your next backpacking trip so that you can share photos with friends, you could find one for just a few hundred dollars.

Level of waterproofing

Some cameras are water-resistant and can withstand rain and water splashes. All of the cameras featured in this guide are fully waterproof and submersible. The right choice for you will depend on how you plan to use the camera.

Battery life

If you are choosing between 2 similar cameras, pick the one with the longer battery life. When you're taking photos of your next adventure, the last thing you'll want to deal with is a dead battery.

Accessories

Do you want a mountable camera? Look for a brand that offers a range of accessories to make it easier to use your camera in any situation.

Additional features

Waterproof cameras can come with a wide range of fun and useful features including Wi-Fi connectivity, geotagging, smart device apps and compasses.

Pros of using an underwater camera

Here are several ways that you could benefit from using a waterproof camera on your next adventure:

  • Portability. Waterproof cameras are designed to be compact and portable. They can typically fit into a pocket or small bag.
  • Durability. You can use waterproof cameras in virtually any conditions. Most of them are built to withstand shock, freezing temperatures, dirt, mud, sand and, of course, water.
  • Easy to use. Like most compact cameras, waterproof cameras are generally very easy to use and require little to no set-up. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take professional looking photos with a waterproof camera.
  • Video quality. Durable action and waterproof cameras are designed to keep up with any activity. Some cameras shoot in high-definition or 4K (ultra high-definition) resolution to help you capture the clearest videos possible.
  • Mounting options. Waterproof cameras are typically compatible with a wide array of mounting accessories including hand mounts, head mounts and chest mounts so you’ll never miss a shot.

Cons of using an underwater camera

Drawbacks to using a waterproof camera include:

  • Limited zoom. Waterproof cameras have limited zoom ranges because the entire camera and lens must be sealed within the waterproof frame. The maximum zoom range for underwater cameras is typically 5x.
  • Additional cost for accessories. Tripods, flashes, mounts, carry bags and additional waterproof casings can help make your camera more versatile but they will take up space and add to your overall cost.
  • Limited battery life. If you plan to spend a whole day shooting, you’ll likely need a back-up battery or some way to recharge. Remember to plan ahead, especially if you’ll be travelling somewhere remote.
  • Image quality. Underwater cameras are typically compact or point-and-shoot cameras. This means that while they are small and easy to carry, they don’t offer the high image quality of larger cameras.
  • No viewfinder. Waterproof cameras do not usually come with a viewfinder, which can make it difficult to preview your shots in certain lighting conditions.

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