Best Waterproof Cameras for Snorkeling and Beach Vacations

Best Waterproof Cameras for Snorkeling and Beach Vacations

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Looking to capture your beach vacation without worrying about your smartphone or expensive DSLR camera? Having the best waterproof camera for snorkelling and the beach is as important as where you are going on vacation.

If you are a beach traveller, then purchasing an underwater or waterproof digital camera may be a good idea as the cameras are very resilient to sand and a few hard knocks. Most importantly, you can take the cameras with you into the water for some great swimming shots, snorkelling pics or pictures in the rain.

best waterproof cameras for the beach

Best Waterproof Camera For Snorkeling

The dream to take great photos is one many of us have, but taking great pictures on a beach vacation and not worrying about sand and water damage to your camera is why we love waterproof cameras.

With beach vacations, come Snorkeling excursions, so we put together a list of the best underwater cameras for snorkeling. This list is also great for anyone looking for a tremendous shockproof and waterproof digital camera.

My choice for the best waterproof, shockproof camera is Olympus Tough T-6; it is by far the most advanced, shoots RAW images, 4K video and even has several lenses for use underwater.

best waterproof camera for scuba
Plan it.

Types of Waterproof Cameras

Waterproof cameras come in a variety of categories. There are compact digital waterproof cameras and action cameras that are waterproof or have waterproof cases.

Best Compact Digital Waterproof and Shockproof Cameras Comparison Chart

We have ranked the following cameras by the number of features, price and positive reviews. If you are looking for the best camera for a beach vacation, one of these will be your best bet.

 Best Waterproof Camera Overall!
Advanced with add-on waterproof lenses.
TOP PICK! Best Adventure Camera!But no 4K Video.TOP PICK! Best Camera for the beach!Great features!
BrandOlympus Tough TG-6Ricoh WG-60Nikon Coolpix W300
Description12 MP
Shoots RAW, JPG
4K Video
Interchangeable Lenses
16 MP
Shockproof Freezeproof
Full HD Video
16 MP Waterproof/Crushproof
4K Video
Optical Zoom 4x
GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth
Price Range$$$$$$$ 

best waterproof action cameras for the beach

Best Waterproof Shockproof Action Cameras

There are more varieties of Action cameras on the market now that offer great action videos and still photos. For a long time, the GoPro models were the most coveted, but now some new models are giving GoPro some much-needed competition – oh, and they are better priced!

 Advanced PhotographerTOP PICK! Best value! Bestseller!Great Price!
DescriptionAdvanced sports enthusiasts will pay for GoPro vs other action cameras on the market. Many accessories are not included in standard kits and must be purchased separately.Akaso model action cameras are bestsellers on Amazon due to their low price but include all the features of a GoPro. The standard kit consists of 19 accessories FREE!Like Akaso, Campark is an affordable 4k Action camera under $100 US. However, the standard kit does not include accessories.
Price Range$$$$$

waterproof camera sits on pool deck in front of water

Best Waterproof Cameras for Kids

If you are looking for a camera for your kids, several models come with lower price points and less complicated features that your kids will love. The vital thing to note when buying a camera for your kids is that they can take the extra knocks and bumps.

 Great Price! Great for Kids!
BrandPanasonic LumixFujifilm XP 120 or 130BYbrutek Kids Camera
Description16 MP
HD Video
16 MP
HD Video
12 MP
4x digital zoom
HD Video
Price Range$$$

Waterproof Camera Housings and Waterproof Cases

You may not want to buy a new point and shoot a camera specifically made to be waterproof or shockproof, and that is ok. You can waterproof your point and shoot camera using a waterproof camera bag or a waterproof camera case.

These waterproof alternatives are more affordable and let you enjoy the advanced features of your Digital Cameras both above ground and below water. Many digital camera companies have now designed tailored, waterproof housings for their camera models that you can use to protect it from splashes and sand on the beach or for a shallow dive or snorkel during your vacation.

Waterproof Your iPhone or SmartPhone

You may also want to look into a waterproof bag for your smartphone. While most phones come with some waterproof technology, a Smartphone bag can keep the sand and sunscreen from getting into the cracks in your phone.

Read more: Travelon waterproof bag

The Best Waterproof Cameras for Snorkelling and Beach Vacations

Detailed Descriptions Best Compact Underwater Cameras

#1 Olympus Tough TG-6 – Advanced Photographer

I initially rated the TG-1 the best waterproof camera in 2014 and Olympus continues to dominate this market. No underwater camera in the compact category has come close to it since 2014.

The latest model of Olympus Waterproof Camera is the TG-6 and, again, is my choice for the best waterproof camera for 2020. The Olympus Tough TG-6 packed with pro photographer features make it the best camera for beach photography. That said, many of you may find this camera is too advanced as it has more bells and whistles than other waterproof camera models, so I am putting it in the advanced photographer category.

The Olympus Tough is more than a beach camera built with the adventure traveller in mind. It will sustain the most challenging conditions. Features like RAW stills, 4K video, sensors that track location, temperature, direction and altitude data make this camera a must for the adventure traveller.

 As I said, it has a lot of advanced features and bells and whistles, which include:

  • User: Advanced Photographer
  • Sensor: 12 Megapixel
  • Processor: TruePic VIII™
  • Waterproof: 50ft (15m)
  • Shockproof: 7ft (2.1m)
  • Crushproof: 220lbf (100kgf)
  • Freezeproof: 14°F (-10°C)
  • Dustproof: Yes  
    Screen Size: 3.0” LCD
  • Video: 4K 30p, 4K Timelapse Video, FHD 120fps High-Speed Video
  • Special Features: Image Stabilization, Action Track Sensor System, Zero-lag Pro Capture Mode, RAW Capture, Night Time Live Composite Mode, Microscope Modes

Nikon Coolpix W300 Waterproof Camera

In the past, I’ve talked about the Nikon Coolpix 100. The latest model from the team at Nikon is just as great. If you don’t want to splurge on the Olympus model, you may find the price point of the Underwater Nikon more appealing.

This underwater camera is waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof and dustproof; it also captures 4K HD video with a 16.0 MP sensor. Like the TG-6 above, this camera has a lot of great features that both an amateur to the advanced photographer will love.

  • User: Mid-Level Photographer
  • Sensor: 16.0 MP, Low-light CMOS Sensor
  • Zoom: 5x Optical
  • Waterproof: 100ft (30m) (for up to 60 minutes)
  • Shockproof: 7.9ft (2.?m)
  • Freezeproof: 14°F (-10°C)
  • Dustproof: Unknown 
  •  Screen Size: 2.7” LCD
  • Video: 4K Ultra HD Video, 1080P HD Video
  • Special Features: Image Stabilization, GPS, eCompass, WiFi and Bluetooth.

Ricoh WG-60

Another Rockstar in the Compact Underwater Camera realm is the Ricoh WG-60. Like the Nikon featured above, this camera has a mid-level price point, comes with a 16-megapixel optical sensor, image stabilization and 4x optical zoom. However, for those looking for 4K video – the Ricoh does not offer it, you will be shooting 1080p video with this underwater camera model.

There is an optional silicone case for the camera available to help with scratches and shockproof strength.

  • User: Amateur
  • Sensor: 16.0 MP
  • Zoom: 4x Optical
  • Waterproof: 14M
  • Video: 1080p
  • Special Features: Image Stabilization, GPS, eCompass, WiFi and Bluetooth.

Fujifilm FinePix XP 140

There is value in both the XP 120 or 130 models for amateur photographers and kids if you can still find them. The FinePix XP 140 adds Bluetooth, GPS and other features. With 16MP cameras that are waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and dustproof. Great value if you are not looking for a fancy underwater camera and shoot HD videos.

  • User: Basic Photographer
  • Sensor: 1/2.3-inch, 12.1MP
  • Lens:
  • Waterproof: to 20M
  • Freezeproof: 14 degrees
  • Shockproof: to 5.8ft
  • Monitor: 3-inch, 920K dots
  • Video: 1080p

Panasonic Lumix Waterproof Camera

The latest model in Panasonic’s waterproof camera line is showing that the Lumix Shockproof, Waterproof and weatherproof cameras continue to be a solid choice in the market. Now a 16 MP camera with HD movie capability is a significant upgrade to their earlier models. The camera is shockproof, waterproof and freezeproof. The Lumix also has image stabilization features an LED light for dark underwater shots or nighttime shots. Panasonic Lumix is the best budget underwater camera with a much lower price point than more advanced cameras.

  • User: Basic Photographer
  • Sensor: 16.1 MP
  • Zoom: 4x Optical
  • Waterproof: 26ft (8m)
  • Shockproof: 4.9ft (1.5m)
  • Freezeproof: 14°F (-10°C)
  • Dustproof: Yes
  • Screen Size: 2.7” LCD
  • Video: 1080P HD Video
  • Special Features: Timelapse, LED Torch Light

Camera, towel and hat in front of beach

1 thought on “Best Waterproof Cameras for Snorkeling and Beach Vacations”

  1. I’m the most clumsy person and always uneasy bringing my cam even a touch close to sand or water but am finally considering an Olympus. Helpful list Sharon!

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