3 Best Underwater Cameras: the Camera House Review


Not long ago, taking a photo near water was a serious challenge. In order to get the desired shot, we’d set up shop far removed from the action, scared that droplets of seawater would interfere with our beloved camera.

There, most likely stood on a bridge over troubled water, we’d wait for the perfect shot to materialise. In stadium terms, it was like being way up in the nosebleed section. In airline terms, it was definitely cattle class.

Now, we’re way past crying a river over camera damage. In fact, with the quality of underwater cameras improving in leaps and bounds, we could take a picture from within that river of tears (if such a river actually existed).

But which underwater camera should you pick among the myriad of choices? All three cameras we’ve reviewed here have their merits, and we’ll attempt to differentiate them to give you unique reasons for each.


GoPro HERO4 Silver

First up is the action camera knockout: the GoPro HERO4 Silver. Part of GoPro’s strong line-up of sports/action cameras, the HERO4 Silver is super lightweight and compact, which make it perfect for underwater shooting.

GoPro has crammed a lot into this camera, as seen by these basic tech specs:

  • 12 Megapixels
  • 1080p60 video capabilities
  • 30 FPS burst
  • WiFi enabled
  • Waterproof to 40m

The HERO4 Silver will immerse all your viewers in the action with its superior image and video quality, durability and audio.

It comes fitted with an easy-to-use touchscreen, which makes camera control a breeze, and features like time lapse and QuikCapture, which lets you turn the camera on and start recording with one button.

Plus the HERO4 is a tough beast, withstanding just about anything you can throw at it.

Perhaps the only slight downside is the housing required to make this camera waterproof but, since it comes in the box and is easy to apply, this isn’t a major inconvenience.

For more information about this camera and other GoPro cameras, check out our recent blog post comparing four of our favourite GoPro video cameras.

Olympus TG860 Tough

The Olympus Stylus TG-860 comes with an ultra-wide angle lens and the 21mm lens capabilities allow for a much wider, complete shot than comparable cameras.

But what really sets this camera apart is its dependable, rugged qualities. It’s no surprise that Olympus put ‘tough’ and ‘waterproof’ in the name since the TG860 is perfect for the brawny traveller.

You’ll never have to worry about protecting your camera. Even a long bumpy bus ride, with your backpack getting bashed around in the cargo hold, won’t break this camera. It’s even crushproof and freezeproof.

Built to endure harsh weather and rough handling, the Olympus TG860 blends in powerful image processing, connectivity and flexibility, including:

  • 16 Megapixels
  • 1080p60 video capabilities
  • WiFi and GPS enabled
  • Waterproof to 15m
  • 180° adjustable screen

Although the waterproof depth is far less than the GoPro (above) for example, 15m is still more than enough for most recreational swimmers and surfers.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5

Similarly to the Olympus TG860 Tough, Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FT5 prides itself on its tough exterior and upsells its freezeproof, shockproof resistances.

With impressive image quality, multiple burst shooting and loads of features, Panasonic’s latest entry into the rugged compact camera domain is great for capturing all your moments of adventure, in any environment.

The Lumix DMC-FT5 comes complete with:

  • 16 Megapixels
  • 1080p60 video capabilities
  • WiFi and GPS enabled
  • Waterproof to 13m
  • 6x optical zoom

And although other cameras may come with more features, the Lumix DMC-FT5 has a couple of great options for underwater photographers.

One special feature is the Advanced Underwater Mode, which compensates for the natural red colour loss in underwater photography by reproducing that colour and making your photos look more natural and luminous.

Another feature is the anti-fog glass on the lens that allows for better quality underwater snaps.



If you’re keen to learn more, make sure you read our previous blog post on the best action cameras. Or browse Camera House’s full range of action cameras here.

We hope to see you out there on the water, armed with one of these great underwater cameras, as you seas the day…

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