The growing trend in digital cameras and personal phones are waterproof or underwater capable models. So which one do you buy? There is more to buying your underwater or waterproof digital camera than choosing “the best one” as ranked by people who don’t need the same requirements as you. We’ve put together a list of tips on how to choose the best waterproof cameras to help you determine what you should be looking for before you buy.
Check out our guide to The 2018 Best Waterproof Cameras for the Beach and Adventure Travel to see our top picks for 2018
Tips on How to Choose the Best Waterproof Digital Cameras
Things to Consider When Buying an Underwater / Waterproof Digital Camera
What is your camera budget?
Obviously, you need to figure out how much you can spend on your camera before you can start a wish list of features. The more bells and whistles the more expensive the camera is going to be, so really understand what the purpose of your waterproof camera is.
What is the primary use of this camera?
What will you be using the camera for primarily? Apparently, a professional photographer or underwater diver will require a more robust camera than someone taking it on a dream beach vacation for a little snorkelling or frolicking on the beach. Choose the right camera for your needs and not the latest and greatest features you will never use.
- Are you taking professional shots vs. personal holiday beach photos?
- Will the camera be your primary camera or an additional camera complimenting your DSLR or Mirrorless?
- Is the camera to be primarily used for water sports and other activities?
Will you require Video Features
If you want to record movies with your camera, then you will be interested in the cameras ability to take videos underwater or on land.
- Does the camera provide HD movies
- Does the camera record movies underwater
- Consider how technically advanced you want the movie feature on your camera to be. Personal vacation movies or professional videos?
What depth will you be taking your camera down to?
Buying an underwater camera means that you need to consider the depth limitations. It is not recommended to buy a model that has a restriction under 10 ft. The depth limitation determines how much light the camera needs to take excellent photographs so even if you are using it for snorkelling you want a camera that can take photos in dark waters. If you tend to go beyond the 10ft mark, you will have to look at specific camera models.
Size of the Waterproof Camera
For some the size of the camera plays an important role. Some prefer the slimmest or most compact models while others prefer features over-size.
Consider the underwater camera’s viewing screen
This may take some research. But make sure your camera has a viewing screen that you can see the photos even in sun or underwater. Some may prefer using a viewfinder, but many new camera models do not include the viewfinder so make sure your camera’s LCD has a high enough resolution to fit your needs.
How necessary is the waterproof camera’s zoom functionality?
Some cameras have better zoom features than others. This is a feature that almost everyone uses so ensuring that your camera has sufficient optical zoom levels is a must.
There is nothing worse than finding out you can not transfer your photos from your camera to your computer. While most cameras are MAC and PC compatible check that your computer (especially if you have an older one running an older operating system) is consistent with the camera and any software the camera has. If you have a computer (or printer) with a memory card slot make sure the camera’s memory card is compatible with it.
What’s included in the box?
Take into consideration what comes in the box. You may have to shell out more money to buy accessories, and you should factor that into your overall budget.
- Is there a sufficient sized memory card included?
- Does it come with a camera case?
- Are cables and batteries included?
- What additional accessories and batteries would you need and how much do they cost?
Check out the waterproof camera models we recommend for 2018 here: The 2018 Best Waterproof Cameras for the Beach and Adventure Travel