Best Underwater Cameras for Beginners

The Best First Underwater Cameras - A Comparison

Beginner Camera Guide

You’ve just completed your open water certification, you’re getting more and more comfortable in the water, and you think it’s time to invest in your first underwater camera to record your dive adventures. The question is, which camera is best for entry level photographers? At Bluewater Photo, we’re happy to share our expert advice. Here are our top beginner cameras and briefly lay out the pros and cons of each.


GoPro Hero9 Black

GoPro Hero9 Black

Best for Video
  • Ergonomic - Easy to operate
  • No complete manual control settings
  • Front & Back Touchscreen Display
  • No viewfinder
  • Expandable Mods System
  • No zoom capabilities underwater
  • 5k video at 30 FPS - great for slow motion playback
  • Requires wet macro lens for subject closer than 12 inches, macro capabilities still not effective as TG-6
  • Hypersmooth 3.0 Stabilization
  • Horizon Leveling
  • Removable battery - 1720mAH lithium-ion
  • WiFi capabilities
  • Low price point for camera and housing - $450
  • Water resistant to 30 feet without housing; with housing (only $50) - rated to 196 feet

If your emphasis is video and not stills, the GoPro is a great choice.

Recommended Accessories



PolarPro Divemaster Filter Kit for Hero9 Black Protective Housing


Polar Pro Shutter Collection for Hero9 Black



GoPro Sale!


Olympus TG-6

Great Option for Stills with Good Video Quality


  • Best option for still photography

  • Larger size vs. GoPro and Paralenz

  • Optical zoom ability
  • No viewfinder
  • More sensitivity to light - ISO 100-12800
  • No manual control settings which limits creative wide-angle options
  • 4k video with super macro autofocus
  • $750 price point for camera and housing makes it the most expensive of the “starter” options
  • 4k timelapse video
  • LCD screen 
  • Raw and JPEG shooting
  • Action track sensors record location, temperature, direction and altitude data 
  • WiFi capabilities
  • Works well with wide angle wet lenses - Kraken KRL-02, AOI UWL-04
  • Only requires housing below 50 feet
  • Housing ($300) rated to 147 feet/45 m

Hint: You can save money and get the Olympus TG-5

Recommended Housings

Olympus PT-059 Housing

Nauticam TG-5, TG-6 Housing


Olympus PT-059 Housing

Nauticam NA-TG-5, TG-6 Housing


Ikelite TG-5, TG-6 Housing

Isotta TG-6 Housing

  Ikelite TG-5, TG-6 Housing Isotta TG-5, TG-6 Housing  


SeaLife Micro 3.0

Best Image Quality & Solid Wet Lens Options



    1” 16MP Sony sensor

  • No zoom capabilities
  • RAW and JPEG shooting
  • When shooting in RAW, frames per second is limited
  • 4K Video @ 30fps
  • When shooting in RAW, frames per second is limited
  • Full manual mode, great for wide-angle
  • 64Gb Internal Memory
  • Good wide-angle wet lens available
  • $600 price point
  • 2.4” LCD display
  • WiFi capabilities
  • Camera includes housing rated to X feet
  • 200ft depth rating

The Sealife camera is great for stills & video, and is the easiest underwater camera to use and maintain.

Recommended Packages


Check out other SeaLife Products & Accessories


Canon G7X Mark III

Recommended Housings



Fantasea Canon G7X Mark III

Ikelite Canon G7X Mark III


Smart Phone Underwater Housings:


Kraken Sports KRH04 Smart Phone Housing



SeaLife SportDiver Smartphone Housing




Nautismart Smart Phone Housing


Other Camera Options:

There are other cameras in the market which is also quite affordable that is also great for underwater photography and video. 






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