What’s the Best Underwater Camera for You?
What’s the best underwater camera? In 2011, the bestselling and best-rated waterproof shockproof digital camera on Amazon was the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3. But is this the camera for you? Choosing the perfect waterproof camera for you really depends on your needs. Are you a snorkeler who wants to take great photos on your vacation to Hawaii? A sports enthusiast who wants a camera to go with you on any type of outdoor adventure? A scuba diver who needs a camera that can go to 200 feet? Or maybe someone looking for an inexpensive second camera? Here are some of the bestselling, most popular and best-rated waterproof cameras separated into categories of users to help you find the best camera for you.
Best Underwater Camera for All-Around Use
The new model of the most popular waterproof camera in 2011
The best underwater camera for everyday use and one that could easily serve as your primary all-purpose camera and camcorder is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4. This is a new waterproof camera for 2012 from Panasonic. Its previous incarnation, the DMC-TS3, was the best-rated and bestselling waterproof camera on Amazon in 2011, and the new TS4 is even better. The reason consumers love this camera is because it’s rugged and can go wherever you go. It’s waterproof to 40 feet, shockproof for falls from up to 6.6 feet, dustproof and freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
This Panasonic Lumix isn’t just tough, however; it’s popular because it shoots great photos and video. It has a 12.1 MP Hi-Speed CCD sensor for high resolution still images and the ability to shoot 1920 x 1080 full HD video in either AVCHD or MP4 format. For creative control, the TS4 allows users to adjust the shutter speed and aperture and offers automatic time lapse images and panoramic stitching. And if you’re taking it on an adventure, the TS4 comes complete with GPS, a compass, altimeter and barometer.http://underwatercamerareviews.org/wp-admin/post-new.php
This is the best waterproof camera for anyone who only wants to own one camera that can go everywhere and do just about anything.
Best Underwater Camera for Hands-Free Shooting
If you want the best waterproof camera for hands-free shooting, there’s no better choice than the GoPro Hero2: Outdoor Edition. This is currently the most popular underwater hands-free camera on Amazon and it has a 4- out of 5-star average rating from more than 100 pleased customers. The GoPro series of cameras are designed for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts who want to capture their adventures on film. You can strap this little camera to your helmet, surfboard, bike handlebars or just about anywhere else to capture 11 MP still photos or full (1080p) HD video. This camera measures only 3.9 x 3.9 x 9.6 inches and weighs a mere 1.7 pounds, so it’s easy a small companion to have along for your adventures.
The GoPro Hero2 is waterproof to 197 feet (60m) and capable of capturing 170-degree wide angle 1080p video and 11 megapixel photos at a rate of 10 photos per second. For hands-free shooting, the GoPro Hero2 is the best waterproof camera you can currently buy.
Best Budget Underwater Camera for Snorkeling
The Pansonic Lumix waterproof camera line offers some of the best underwater cameras available today, but you’ll pay a price to get these top-of-the-line cameras. A good alternative for snorkeling and other water sports is the Fuji FinePix XP30. Like the Lumix TS4, the FinePix is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and freezeproof, but not to the extremes of the Panasonic model. The FinePix is only waterproof to 16.5 feet (5 meters), but that still makes it a great camera for snorkeling.
It also features a 14-megapixel CCD sensor, a 2.7-inch LCD screen, GPS tagging, panoramic mode and 720p HD video. At only 5.5 inches and 1.1 pounds, it’s also small enough to take just about anywhere or to slide into your luggage on your next vacation.
Best Underwater Camera For About $100
As of this writing, the Kodak Sport C123 is one of the top 5 cameras in the underwater category on Amazon and is just a tad over $100 at $102.85 (Prices subject to change. See Amazon for the latest prices). You’ll pay about $125 right now for a different color, but that still makes the Sport C123 a good deal. And with a 3.5- out of 5-star rating from over 400 customers, this little camera has been tried and tested. The Sport C123 offers 12 MP resolution and a 2.6-inch LCD viewing screen. It’s only waterproof to 10 feet, but that’s plenty deep enough for most snorkeling and swimming, and it’s dustproof, too. This is not a camera you’d want as your primary photographic piece of equipment, but as a backup or an inexpensive way to capture photos underwater, the Kodak Sport C123 is the best waterproof camera about under $100.
Best Underwater Camera for Scuba Diving
Until recently, scuba divers basically had two options when taking photos underwater – get an expensive underwater housing for your SLR /DSLR, or use a waterproof compact camera that didn’t have the high resolution or creative controls offered by a DSLR. There’s still no underwater DSLR, but the SeaLife DC1400 is a good alternative at a great price.
This is the best underwater camera for scuba divers who don’t want to spend thousands on a waterproof housing and strobes for their DSLR but want to capture great underwater photos. This camera can go to 200 feet underwater and allows users to set the ISO from 64 to 3200, select a shutter speed from 1 second to 1/2000 and manually adjust the white balance or choose from several settings. It comes with 6 underwater modes and 27 modes from shooting on dry land without the underwater housing.
The SeaLife DC1400 was introduced in late 2011 as the successor to the popular DC1200, which Sport Diver magazine selected as the Editor’s Pick for Underwater Cameras for New Photographers.