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The best cheap underwater camera

If you are looking for the best cheap underwater camera, you will likely be overwhelmed by the many brands available on the market today. 

Differentiating between good-quality budget options and just complex specs on other options is not easy. For this reason, we tested and compiled a list of the best underwater cameras that come in an affordable price range.

Whether you are looking for the cheapest Action cameras or more complex cameras costing over $200  or $400  and above, this article has something for you.

What is the best cheap underwater camera?

  1. OM System Tough TG-7: Best Overall
  2. DJI Osmo Action 4: Best for Low Light
  3. GoPro Hero 10 Black: The Best Budget
  4. GoPro Hero 12 Black: The Best Action Pro
  5. Nikon Coolpix W300: Deep Water Option

OM System Tough TG-7: best cheap underwater camera Overall

  1. Waterproof: 15m
  2. 3 inches of non-touch monitor
  3. 12 MP, 1/2.3 inches, Large Sensor
  4. Video recording at 4K and 30p

The OM System Tough TG-7 is the best overall pick. It has a rugged, sturdy build that can withstand the adverse conditions associated with outdoor shooting.

For example, it is water- and freeze-proof up to a 15-meter depth and will not allow any dust inside. The firm material used to make it is hard and does not easily break when dropped.

This camera’s overall size is small and easily portable, although it does not compromise the shooting modes available. 

The OM System Tough TG-7 can shoot in different water depths because it features important modes and presets specialized for underwater shooting, such as macro focusing and white balance.

For easy navigation, it does not have the rather annoying touchscreen navigation on other cameras. Instead, beginners will enjoy the thoughtful arrangement of buttons that makes it easy to use and navigate when shooting underwater.

Overall, this is a very reliable and affordable camera. It will not match up to expensive cameras or smartphone image quality, but you will have peace of mind when shooting without fear of adverse weather and outdoor issues.

Pros

  • Sturdy and durable body that is water, freeze, shock, and dust proof
  • Large aperture to allow maximum light in
  • Easy use and navigation
  • Affordable Price

Cons

  • Not the best image quality
  • No touch-screen navigation

DJI Osmo Action 4: Best for Low Light Conditions

If you are looking for the best camera to shoot in low-light conditions, this is the one we recommend. This is made possible by the large 1/1.3-inch sensor and pixels.

It features good waterproofing thanks to its strong body and build.

For underwater shooting, it will go deeper than the OM System Tough TG-7, up to 18 m. Additionally, it will record high-quality videos at 4K/120p resolution.

The overall large sensor size, together with a wide lens, will reduce the focal distance up to 0.4 M. Additionally, a 10-bit color display will enhance color depth and quality.

Pros

  • Good for low-light shooting
  • Improved color display
  • Waterproof
  • Large sensor
  • Deep 18-meter underwater shooting

Cons

  • Short battery life

GoPro Hero 10 Black: The Best Budget

If you are looking for a budget option, we recommend the GoPro Hero 10 Black. It will create impressive footage thanks to 5.3K shooting at 60 fps and 4K 120 p options. This high-quality video recording is really good.

You will easily shoot stable, high-quality shots thanks to the inbuilt HyperSmooth Stabilization.

The GoPro Hero 10 Black features a fun and easy interface that is ideal for beginners and intermediates.

This camera is not the best, but for its price, these features are perfect. It is quite affordable compared to high-end models like the Hero 12 Black.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • High-resolution recording
  • Inbuilt image stabilization

Cons

  • Not the best in low-light performance because of the very small sensor.

How do you choose the best waterproof camera for you?

The intended use of a waterproof camera is to take underwater shots. Different cameras will shoot varying depths of water. If you need a camera for beach shots, only a 5m camera is good enough.

Just like other outdoor activities, underwater shooting is rough and requires a sturdy camera body. It needs to withstand dust and other adverse weather conditions. Consider a camera with strong build quality.

For easy usage, choose a camera with accessible buttons to easily click under water. Additionally, choose a camera that is capable of shooting underwater shots and can be easily set to different modes.

Most underwater environments feature low-light conditions. For the best experience, choose a camera with in-built LED lights or low-light shooting capabilities.

Optical zoom is an important consideration. The more optical zoom varieties, the better the user experience and flexibility when shooting underwater scenes.

FAQ Best cheap underwater camera

  1. Do underwater cameras work out of water?

    Yes, man underwater cameras will work under water. However, there are no special features on them, only normal cameras covered in a water proof body.