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5 Best Budget Waterproof Cameras For Shooting Under Water

Choosing a camera may sound easy, but choosing the best waterproof one on a budget and staying within a budget seems complicated!

That’s why I prepared this article! You will be able to find the best budget waterproof cameras that are amazingly waterproof, besides other things that they are resistant to too!

A Quick Look at My Favorite Budget Waterproof Cameras

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
OLYMPUS Tough TG-6
OLYMPUS Tough TG-6
10
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Best Runner-Up
DJI Osmo Action
DJI Osmo Action
9
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Best Budget
Fujifilm FinePix XP140
Fujifilm FinePix XP140
8.6
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Best Value
Nikon W300
Nikon W300
8.5
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Best For Videography
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS30K
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS30K
8.6
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Key Takeaways

  • I’ll use the OLYMPUS Tough TG-6to record my favorite beach time memories, thank’s to it’s durability I don’t have to worry about accidental drops
  • Fujifilm FinePix XP140allows me to capture the most incredible underwater experiences without draining my bank account.
  • Perhaps having one of those cameras is not necessary, but trust me, it is worthwhile to have one to explore the underwater environment.

The Top 5 Best Budget Waterproof Cameras

1. OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 – Best Overall

What I Like

  • Great Build
  • Great Resistance
  • Great Image Quality

What I Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t include a touch screen
  • LCD can pick up scuffs

Just by its name, this camera tells us that it is a tough one! In this case, we need a tough camera while underwater! The Olympus Tough TG-6 is considered also a premium camera with all the features that it owns!

As per its design, it is a very well-built camera that has an impressive rugged design. It is considered a pocketable camera because it is small in size measuring just 2.6 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches and has a weight of only 0.56 lbs. It comes in two colors that are black and red, so you can choose between them, based on your preferences.

The resistance on this camera is its main feature. It is built to resist anything that may come from the outside world!

The camera is waterproof up to 50 feet underwater, it is dustproof, shockproof, freezeproof, and crushproof, plus it is anti-fog! All of the things that this camera is resistant to, make it one of the toughest cameras that you can find on the market! Since this article is aimed more at the waterproof capability is important to mention that this camera has 5 underwater shooting modes and also 3 white balance modes!

This Olympus camera is packed with a 12MP CMOS image sensor that works perfectly fine combined with the True Pic VIII image processor.

The lens of this camera has an f2.0 aperture and the zoom works at 8x maximum. The image quality brought by the combination of all the things mentioned is more than high-quality! The pictures remain clear and dynamic anywhere that you take them and the shooting speed works at 20fps! Besides taking pics, it also includes 4K video and also full HD quality that works at 120fps.

Once this camera is fully charged it allows you to take approximately 340 images while for video it may depend on the way you use it, it varies from 30 minutes up to 110 minutes of recording.

Why should you buy it?

This camera is resistant to everything, which makes it one of the most challenging cameras you can find on the market; thus, it makes a great purchase.

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2. DJI Osmo Action – Best Runner-Up

What I Like

  • Sturdy Build
  • Supports HDR and flat profiles
  • Waterproof

What I Don’t Like

  • Low battery life
  • Not great stabilization

Moving on to a totally different camera from the first one, since this one as most of you already know is a very famous action camera, that is used by many people all around the world! Like many action cameras, this one too has a massive performance underwater! Let’s take a closer look at it!

Action cameras are all very small in size and this one measures 2.56 x 1.65 x 1.38 inches and has a weight of 4.4 ounces! Based on the weight and the size at the same time, the camera is impressive when it comes to portability issues! The camera is made of metal mostly, and at the bottom piece it owns a magnet in order to be put wherever you want, plus users of this camera say that it is a wearable one since it can be attached to your clothes too!

It has impressive durability! The camera is fully waterproof and can be used on un up to 36 feet underwater, besides that, DJI Osmo Action is also resistant to high and low temperatures, as well as it is dustproof and drop-proof. That being said, the camera is definitely made for long usage!

The sensor that this camera is packed with is a 1/2.3 inches CMOS sensor that works perfectly on 12MP, and the camera in general has the capability of shooting at a 145 degrees angle! The image and video quality are perfect!

While video shooting the videos will e recorded at 4K HDR. The colors will be shown to you very great, with amazing accuracy and also they will look lifelike. It also uses the RockSteady technology which works perfectly when video recording since it is an amazing image stabilizer that brings no blur! When you are swimming or surfing you may want a slow-motion video! With DJI Osmo Action you can record on 8x slow-motion that works at a 1080p resolution on 240fps.

The battery life that it promises can stay with you for an all-day trip but only short footage of video and if you want to use it more, you should definitely take an extra battery with you!

This camera is not limited to just underwater video, you can use this camera for almost anything. It’s a great camera for shooting fitness videos, vlogs, and more!

Since this is an expensive camera, I recommend you also buy an action camera case/bag for it so you can prolong its life.

Why should you buy it?

It is an excellent image stabilizer that brings no blur; as such, it should be one of your favorite cameras worth its purchase.

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3. Fujifilm FinePix XP140 – Best Budget

What I Like

  • Optical image stabilization
  • Intelligent digital zoom
  • Decent quality for the price

What I Don’t Like

  • Battery life could be better

Fujifilm is a quite known company when it comes to the field of photography! It always has amazing cameras both for standard use or any other thing. In this case, this camera that we chose to review for you in this article, is a digital camera with an immersive performance underwater!

Hitting it off with the design that this camera has, it comes in two different very eye-catching colors, and those are sky blue and a very bright yellow. The dimensions of this camera measure 2 x 3 x 5 inches, and its weight is 7.3ounces. The camera in general is rugged with many capacities for outdoor usage!

As per its resistance, the camera is waterproof that can be used underwater on up to 82 ft, it is also shockproof, dustproof, and freeze-proof during usage while at very low temperatures. It is an amazing waterproof camera that while underwater brings great images and videos as well.

FinePix XP140 is packed with a 16.4 MP CMOS sensor that brings amazing photos and videos! With the Optical Image Stabilization system that is included in this camera, shake and blur are fully disappeared since it works amazingly in any place, even underwater.

The lens that this camera has is a wide-angle one which has a zoom capacity of 5x and also with the Intelligent Digital Zoom you can work at a double range which is 10x! The video recorded with this camera will be brought to you in 4K resolution and it as a whole is able to capture 15fps.

A specialty that this camera owns is the Smile Mode! Put the camera in front of you and when it perceives that you are smiling it automatically shoots an image!

The battery life of this camera is considered a pretty standard one since it allows you to shoot up to 240 shots while it is fully charged.

Why should you buy it?

If you are on a tight budget and want to buy a waterproof camera, this camera should be one of your first options.

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4. Nikon W300 – Best Value

What I Like

  • Strudy Build
  • 20 scene modes
  • Well Priced

What I Don’t Like

  • Lack Features

Everybody knows Nikon! It is considered a celebrity in the world of cameras because of the high number of cameras that it launches as a company! Besides DSLR and mirrorless cameras, Nikon hit the world also with the digital types of cameras, plus it added an impressive waterproof ability! Let’s see its most important features!

Design-wise this camera is a little bit the same as the one that is mentioned above from Fujifilm. It measures 4.4 x 1.2 x 2.6 inches and weighs 8.2 ounces. This one also comes with very interesting catchy colors such are orange and yellow, as well as the black one, and keep in mind that the colors that it comes with have a slight difference when it comes to their price. It is in general made from a thick, hard plastic material.

Since this article is dedicated to waterproof cameras, let me say that this camera is one of the most resistant, when compared to the other one mentioned, because this Nikon camera has the capability of usage underwater on up to 98ft! It is also dustproof, shockproof, and cold-resistant.

With the amazing 16 MP Backside Illuminated CMOS sensor, this camera brings to you astonishing image quality as well as 4K Ultra HD videos! The lens of this camera is a Nikkor zoom lens that has an aperture of f/2.8 and its zoom works at 5x. The camera owns 20 scene modes, that include portrait, landscape, and many more! Besides the modes, you can choose the Scene Auto Selector, which is an automatic mode!

When this camera is fully charged, you can use it to shoot more than 200 shots, or to be more specific you can shoot approximately 280 shots, while for video recordings it allows usage for about an hour.

Why should you buy it?

This camera is one of the most resistant because this Nikon camera has the capability of usage underwater on up to 98ft!

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5. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30K – Best For Videography

What I Like

  • Tough build
  • Dustproof. shockproof
  • Decently Priced

What I Don’t Like

  • Short battery life

Panasonic besides adding amazing features to this camera also calls this one a camcorder because it is great when it comes to video recordings! Since the moment it was launched, this camera is used by many people, from professionals to beginners!

Coming in three colors such as black, red, and blue, this camera for beginners is the top pick, it comes also with a small body that only measures 0.77 x 4.08 x 2.3 inches and a weight of 5.1 ounces. Based on its build, the camera stands in the group with the rugged cameras that are on the market nowadays.

The resistance doesn’t miss on this camera either because it is shockproof, dustproof, freezeproof, and of course, waterproof. While underwater this camera can go 26ft under and it still will bring high-quality pictures and videos!

Since image quality is mentioned this camera has amazing clarity while taking pictures and it works with a 16.1 MP CCD sensor. It is called a camcorder too because it brings a great MP4 HD quality of video recordings which means that it has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. It features a Mega Optical Image Stabilizer so that when shooting anywhere, even underwater, you won’t have to deal with shake or blur in any form!

Panasonic claims that the battery life of this camera can hold up and allows you to take 250+ shots, but in fact, when tested, it was capable of achieving only 200 shots once it was fully charged!

Why should you buy it?

If you are a passionate videographer, you must buy this camera since it will suit you best.

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What are the key features of the waterproof cameras mentioned?

  • The design and their build are more than great
  • All are very resistant, they are dustproof, shockproof, freezeproof, and waterproof
  • The sensors that they are packed with work pretty well
  • Image and Video quality are in all of them more than good
  • Some of them have Image Stabilizer built-in
  • They all have a battery life that allows more than 200 shots
  • They all come with reasonable price tags based on what types of cameras they are

The most Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a waterproof camera?

Waterproof cameras allow you to fully explore everything that you may see underwater! They are capable of taking images and also shooting some video footage so that you will have the best memories captured!

Is it difficult to use a camera or to shoot underwater?

For some people using a camera underwater may sound extremely difficult, but then yet for some, it is considered the easiest way to take a picture! It is important to know that you definitely don’t have the same ability as you shoot in any other place, but still, it is not as hard as it may sound.

What are the challenges that you may encounter during underwater photography?

As an underwater photographer professional or a beginner, you should always know and keep in mind that you don’t really have a leading or prominent subject that you should take a picture of, if something is looking good, take a picture of it faster, the subject won’t stay with you! You may encounter some loss of color as well.


Verdict

Overall, as you can see all the cameras mentioned in this article, come from different companies. They all have their own different features but they do have something in common! The similarity is that they are all very well built, have an amazing rugged design, and have a more than great underwater performance, being fully capable to work even underwater!

As already mentioned in the article the Nikon camera has a better range of working underwater since it can go up to 98 ft. But still, that doesn’t mean that the other ones don’t go very deep, their ability works from 20 ft to 100 if we talk about them altogether. They are definitely great cameras to work with, and the prices differ from one another.

If you are looking for something different, you can read our article on the best point & shoot cameras for less than $100.

Michael Fortin