Top Underwater Photo & Video Systems for Under $2000
Underwater photography has come a very long way over the past decade. Professional level image quality is not longer just for bulky and expensive DSLR camera systems - it's standard for compact, mirrorless, and starter DSLRs as well! We put together this list of our favorite underwater camera packages that can get you taking beautiful underwater photos on a budget. We've dived with all of these cameras and know for a fact that they produce professional results - just take a look below!
Smallest DSLR, Integrated TTL, Easy to Setup
The smallest underwater DSLR setup ever! The size of this system is comparable to a mirrorless camera but with the fast focus, excellent image quality, and familiarity of a Canon DSLR. You're getting best of both worlds! The Ikelite Canon SL3 Camera, Lens, Housing Package is lightweight, with excellent ergonomics and easy setup - by far the best underwater DSLR system on the market for traveling. It is packed with lots of awesome features such as built-in TTL electronics, a dry lock micro port system, a built-in vacuum port, and excellent ergonomics. We don't know of an underwater DSLR package that is more affordable and it comes with everything you need (housing, camera, lens, zoom gear, dome port).
Kelp crab captured with the Canon SL3, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens, dual DS 161 strobes, Ikelite Housing. 1/160, f/9, ISO 200
Lightweight, Rugged & Durable, Versatile - INCLUDES A VACUUM SYSTEM!
Yes, this package is just a tad over $2,000, but we had to put it in here because it's got everything you need to get amazing photos with a top quality APS-C mirrorless camera. The Fantasea Sony A6400 Start-Up Package comes with a camera body, kit lens, zoom gear, port, and housing. It also includes a vacuum system for extra protection for your investment! It is lightweight & compact yet durable enough to survive the harshest dive conditions. It is also versatile enough to shoot anything from nudibranches to reefscapes and is compatible with various wet lenses. We highly recommend using the kit lens with underwater wet lenses, like the Fantasea UWL-09F (for wide angle) and the Bluewater +7 (for macro) - especially if you want to shoot both wide and macro on the same dive!
***The Ikelite Sony A6400 Camera, Housing, Lens, Port, and Gear Package didn't quite make the list due to it's retail price of $2,358.94. However, we think it's another excellent option for the Sony a6400 - especially if you want to use Ikelite's amazing TTL electronics with Ikelite strobes like the super-fast Ikelite DS 161s.
Lightweight, Ready to Shoot
The Ikelite Canon G7X Mark III Start-Up Package comes with everything you need to capture stunning and tack-sharp photos with Canon's top compact camera. This setup is compact as well as lightweight. The package also comes with a Sea & Sea YS-03 Solis Strobe which makes your photos pop with color! The whole underwater rig is very small which makes it great to bring on dive trips.
Great Macro, Top Compact Image Quality
The Ikelite Sony RX100 VII Camera & Housing Bundle is a great compact camera bundle for Sony's top RX100 model - the RX100 VII. The Sony RX100 VII is a solid camera for both photos and videos. The built in lens is especially great for macro and supermacro photography.
Compact, Easy-to-Use, Ready-to-Go
The Fantasea RX100 VII Camera, Housing, and YS-03 Strobe Package allows you to create colorful, creative, and stunning photos. The housing is compact, robust, and elegantly designed - offering full control of all camera functions. With the addition of a strobe, you're all set to take underwater photos.
Great for Wide Angle and Macro, Compact, Lightweight
The Fantasea RX100 V Camera & Housing Package is a great for photographers who want to shoot both wide angle and macro photos in the same dive. As with all Fantasea housings, the system is compact with excellent ergonomics.
Excellent Ergonomics, Aluminum Housing, Built to Last
This package is a step up from the stand alone Nauticam Sony RX100 VII housing. It features the addition of handles with a shutter release trigger. Nauticam produces innovative aluminum housings that are compatible with their professional-grade optics.