An underwater camera is any camera that can be used in capturing and taking videos in water. The cameras are of many types like the Olympus tough TG-6, Nikon Coolpix W300, Ricoh WG-60, or even the Panasonic Lumix FT7/TS7, all with different prices. The questions come in on which is the best budget for an underwater camera? A good underwater camera will allow taking pictures or recording videos in places other cameras cannot. The budget set is supposed to answer some questions like what the camera is to be used for, the quality of the image desired, mode of capture needed, and the capability of purchase. The following are examples of underwater cameras with different budgets to choose from:
Five best budget underwater cameras
1. Olympus tough TG-6
The camera has a good reputation when compared to the other cameras because of its satisfying imaging and its capability to handle harsh conditions. The camera is an upgrade of the TG-5 N with additional features to make it the best, like the added microscope feature and the LCD resolution. Some of the exciting key features of the camera are good hand grip, optical zooming lens, and can also take pictures in super slow motion. The camera is waterproof up to a level of 15m to 50ft, crush-proof of 220lbs, and shockproof of 2.1 m. The camera is the best with also glass protection, which is dual, and it would take something like a hammer to crack down the screen. The camera’s budget ranges from $350 to $450 in many instances.
- The camera is robust and built to be waterproof.
- It can connect to Wi-Fi while shooting.
- The camera has a wide-aperture lens to capture a wide range of views.
- Inclusive add-on lens with the macro lighting for a clear vision.
- It has a sharp rear LCD.
- The 4K impressive video recording.
- The Wi-Fi app in the camera has so many notifications.
- The camera lacks the touch screen feature for smooth operation.
- The sharp rear LCD can be affected by scratches and pick up scuffs.
- Video feature in the cameras tends to lag during shooting.
2. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30R
The Panasonic Lumix waterproof camera is not new in the market in its feature but has been on the market because of its pocket-friendly price. The camera is waterproof up to 8m, which is almost six feet, the shockproof is about 1.5 meters and the dust or freeze proof of 10C /14F. The camera lens has a blurring handling feature that compensates any hand movement. The sharp and clear images are produced by a frequency of 400 times/second. The camera has about 220MB memory for storing videos and pictures. The videos produced are in MP4 HD with a quality of 1280 and 720p. The camera is very cheap, going to a price of even $129 with a smart design and about four color options. The less of the camera is narrow but with a maximum aperture.
- It is very affordable compared to other cameras.
- Excellent low-light performance.
- A right 24mp image color, which is clear.
- Sigma adapter that allows the use of canon lens.
- 4K 60 p video taking at 150mbps.
- It has slow autofocus with the lens adapter.
- There are no savings in its weight or size compared to the other cameras.
- It does not have an AF-C functionality with the lens adapter.
- Its 24mp resolution is low compared to the current mirrorless cameras.
3. AKASO Brave 4
The AkASO Brave 4 camera also has some impressive specs that make it essential in the world of photography and makes it the best budget for an underwater camera. Price has a role to play in deciding which camera to go for, and the AKASO Brave 4 is relatively cheap than the other cameras. The camera weighs about 5.6oz with 20MP resolution for the camera. The video resolution, just like the many other underwater cameras is 4k with a quality of 1080p. It has a mini USB and a Micro SD memory card that enables storing of the images and pictures. It has a single shot, time-lapse, and burst capture features making it very efficient. The camera can be considered when swimming and snorkeling were some excellent pictures in the water are needed. The Akaso Brave 4 has a high audio performance that makes it easy to record and detect any sound.
- It has a Panasonic screen; therefore, it can capture images of up to 20 megapixels.
- Angular lens and light reflection that allows taking shots in the dark.
- Recording of the videos in slow motion, therefore, excellent resolution and recording capacity.
- The pictures are decent.
- They have a dimension of 2.32, 1.57, and 0.91 dimensions.
- Despite the resolution, some pictures may bend and fade once on the computer.
- It can only support a micro SD card of up to 64 GB while other cameras can support up to 128 GB.
- The remote control of the camera is not waterproof and thus cannot be used underwater.
- Before working with the camera, you first have to format it, which other camera manufacturers try to avoid.
4. Fujifilm FinePix XP80
Fujifilm Finepix XP80 is a 16.2-megapixel camera with a backlit CMOS sensor that delivers very high-quality pictures, even in low light. It is an underwater camera that even allows continuous shooting mode in capturing a maximum of 10 images all at the best resolution. The camera also enables the taking of HD movies with only one-touch button movie. It is also connectable with a remote or mobile phone for other shooting and wireless image transfers. It is a tough camera for extreme weather protection like in the sea, snow, and even riding of bicycles. It has a sensor zoom of 28-140 mm optical lens and shooting videos at 1080p. The camera is pocket-friendly at a price of even $109.95.
- It is a built-in wireless(WI-FI).
- A high image stabilization.
- Face detection focusing.
- Remote control with a smartphone.
- A high video resolution of up to 1920p.
- It is not a touch screen.
- No raw shooting.
- No articulated screen.
- The low battery life of 210 shots.
- Low screen resolution.
5. Nikon W300
It is an excellent underwater camera for deep divers because it can handle waterproofing in up to a depth of 30m. It is the best pick for deep divers with excellent resolution for taking pictures. It has a decent zooming range with Bluetooth functionality that pairs well for faster and quality image transfers. It shoots the videos at 4k with a proper shockproof of about 2.4m, meaning it cannot be affected by knocks and bumps. It has a megapixel of 16mp, freeze proof of 13C, and high sensitivity of ½.3in. The above features make it the best underwater camera to budget for.
- 4k video recording.
- The high waterproof ability of 30m.
- Has a close focus macro mode
- Available in a variety of colors.
- It is easy to use.
- The camera has no manual controls or an advanced setting.
- It has short battery life.
- The images produced are soft.
- It is limited to shooting in extremely remote areas.
Buying guide for the best underwater camera
It can sometimes be challenging when getting the first underwater camera when deciding how to go about it. Choosing the best camera is not a simple task because it requires a combination of personal needs and the budget planned. After deciding what the camera’s task will be, then it is time to go ahead and get the camera that fits the specifications. The more the wants in the task of a camera, it is perhaps the more the features the camera should have. The main features to choose in a camera are the features, size, and weight, not forgetting the budget of the camera. The next step is to have a look at the housing options of the camera with either one option or multiple choices. If the camera in mind does not have a housing option, it should be the last option to take.
Cameras should also be checked for the manual controls for familiarizing yourself with the camera. The manual will help to know if the camera will be easy to operate in the intended task or not. Many cameras today have a secure set-up mode that makes the camera auto-select the best settings for a particular situation. The manuals are the best for new photographers to grow into and know more about photography. The buyer needs to also check on the raw format as for the underwater shooting; there are categories of shooting options to choose from. The camera can have shooting options like JPEG for good smooth photos. Someone familiar with the cameras can help to choose the best camera to fit in the needs.
In conclusion, budgeting for an underwater camera is not an easy task and requires attention and considerations to be able to come up with the best. There are many varieties of cameras, and the user needs just to consider the needs and the budget he then in mind makes a decision. Following the guide and consulting other people can help in buying something worth smiling for. Cameras are many in the market, but not all with, work with the needs.