Have you already become an expert photographer and are now looking for the best cheap underwater cameras to capture your moments of adventure? If your biggest passion is taking photos or videos underwater, you need to find a camera that can cope with that task.
In recent years, a new wave of budget-friendly underwater cameras has flooded the market, offering impressive features without breaking the bank. So having a cheap underwater video camera nowadays does not preclude the highest video and audio quality even underwater.
Now let’s see what are the best models on the market in the ranking with features. The waterproof cameras on this list are not afraid of mountainous rivers or the deep sea.
Best Cheap Underwater Cameras of 2023
Let’s see the ranking of the best cheap underwater cameras of this year with the main technical specifications and descriptions. To provide the most up-to-date recommendations, our ranking undergoes periodic reviews in alignment with market developments, new releases, and advancements in underwater camera technology.
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1. Apexcam [New] 4K Cheap Underwater Camera – Best Overall
The Apexcam NEW X-60 PRO is a budget-friendly underwater video camera that delivers stunning video resolution at 4K, accompanied by crisp 20-megapixel images. It has a practical wide-angle “fisheye” lens from about 170°. You can immortalize and share moments with a crazy resolution.
This newly designed underwater camera is waterproof and is mounted in a practical casing, which can be used up to 40 meters deep. Whether you’re swimming, diving, surfing, or engaging in various water sports, the X-60 PRO ensures you capture every moment with precision. You won’t face any problems with creative photography.
The display allows you to preview the video or image at any time. It is also equipped with a wireless range of 15 meters and the waterproof level of the attached remote control is about IPX6. However, it is good to know that it must not be left to “soak” for a long time if you don’t want to risk ruining it.
There are several innovative features of the Apexcam camera, such as continuous recording (also called “loop”), slow motion photo, guide mode, reverse photography, time-lapse, white balance, and others.
Apexcam NEW X-60 PRO underwater camera also comes with a large number of accessories, so no need to buy them separately. For example, the package includes a spacious multifunction bag where you can store the object, two batteries of about 1050mAh (which can be used for more than 200 minutes), two chargers, a very practical wireless remote control, and even some purely waterproof brackets.
- WIFI and 2.4G remote control
- Multifunction shooting mode
- Good battery life (including two)
- Very small and lightweight
- Highest fidelity
- No touchscreen
- Doesn’t come with an SD card
2. GOOKAM Go2 4K Sports Action WiFi Underwater Camera
The GOOKAM Go2 is one of the most affordable underwater video cameras with the most advanced features out there. The video resolution is 4K, which makes it very professional. The photos are 20MP and you can capture every detail of the frame, making vivid photos and amazing videos at the lowest price.
You can download the application on your mobile phone and connect quietly with the action camera, so you can take pictures and record videos to share later on the mobile phone. There is also a USB port, so you can connect the camera to your computer or television.
You can safely control the device from 15 meters away from the remote control. The wrist strap on the other hand allows you to attach it to the wrist so as not to lose it. The external microphone helps to capture every type of sound with pretty sharp details with maximum comfort for any other type of sport.
GOOKAM Go2 underwater action cam additionally features 2 1050 mAh rechargeable batteries with a double charger. This model includes a practical mounting kit and a base strap, so you can mount the camera on some objects, such as helmet, bike, wrist, and others.
The case is very durable and waterproof and dives up to 40 meters, making it perfect for some underwater sports. It also features practical video and photo modes: time-lapse, slow motion, and loop recording.
- Best Value for the money
- Built in WiFi and App control
- Remote for easy control
- External microphone
- Rich in accessories
- No anti-vibration
- Battery life isn’t good like our top
3. Jadfezy (J-7000S) Economic underwater video camera
Thanks to its wide-angle lens, Jadfezy J-7000S Action Camera allows you to have quality photos and videos (about 12 MP) and guarantees maximum resolution. It is super affordable with a wide-angle lens, making top-notch photography and videography accessible to all.
This sports camera is equipped with 2 practical batteries, so you can extend the life and effectiveness of the battery. The battery is not the best on the market, but each battery will last about 60 minutes of continuous recording after being fully charged. It would be better to charge the batteries and always carry them with you at any time of the day.
Jadfezy J-7000S underwater camera is waterproof and features a 2-inch “LCD” screen, so you can view videos and photos throughout the day. You can easily share the underwater landscapes you have recorded during your dives. With included tons of useful accessories, you can connect the device to bikes, helmets, skateboards, and so on.
The case is also waterproof and is IP68 certified. It reaches 30 meters; with such a depth, you can use it even if you conduct sports such as surfing, drifting, swimming, etc … In this way, it will be much easier to be able to record exceptional videos, all to share with the people you love most.
However, like the previous one, this model doesn’t have an image stabilizer.
- High capacity batteries
- Multiple trigger modes
- Widely customizable features
- Compact and easy to use
- Includes a variety of free accessories
- It has slightly dull colors
4. Piwoka Action FHD 1080P Underwater Waterproof Camera
Piwoka Action Cam guarantees video quality up to 1080P and photography quality equal to 12Mp. It has a good wide-angle lens (2 zooms) capable of capturing every detail present in the frame.
The case is resistant to weather and water and includes accessories to connect the camera to the television or to your PC. These accessories are perfect for connecting the device in question to a helmet, a professional skateboard and even a sticker, so you can have fun with any type of sport!
It records when plugged in, so it can be used as a security camera or drive dash cam. However, the video is a little bit choppy and unclear in that case. In this case, it will be much easier to edit photos and videos at any time you want or share them with your family or friends.
This camera will accept a minimum of 8GB and a maximum of 32GB Micro SD card. However, the SD card isn’t included, you need to purchase a micro SD card separately.
Piwoka underwater camera has a practical rechargeable battery of about 900 mAh with a continuous use time of over 90 minutes, so there is no longer the worry that it may run out at any moment. It can also be used as a webcam with a single wire without a capture card.
- Long life rechargeable battery
- Completely waterproof case
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Good choice for the price
- Perfect for a starter
- Camera mount could be better
- Very loud, but the audio is good
5. COOAU CU-SPC02 Native 4K 60fps Wi-Fi Action Sports Camera
This high-performance device offers a range of video resolutions, including 4K at 60fps, 4K at 30fps, 1080P at 120fps, 1080P at 60fps, 1080P at 30fps, and 720P at 240fps. With a versatile selection of 11 shooting modes and 7 auto white balance modes, the COOAU action camera ensures you capture every detail in the most dynamic and vibrant way possible.
It features a 20 MP Sony sensor to capture sharp and detailed images. This model is comparable to a Go Pro and can’t beat it for the money. The latest generation EIS stabilization and RSC function ensure smooth videos. The 2-inch IPS touchscreen is very responsive and fast enough compared to other cameras of the same type. To ensure long-lasting durability, the COOAU CU-SPC02 underwater camera is covered by one year warranty.
The batteries are 2 of 1350 mAh and the 2 microphones(1 external and 1 integrated) allow natural sound quality during your outdoor sports sessions. This device comes with 20 accessories (including a remote control) to have everything you need for your recordings. The Time Stamp is also available on this device.
You can play, record and download videos or take photos using the dedicated “iSmart DV“ app. Thanks to a sturdy and comfortable case, it is waterproof up to 40 meters. COOAU CU-SPC02 Action camera is also suitable for recording vlogs. It also has a remote microphone and built-in Wi-Fi. You can watch video files on your phone.
- 11 shooting modes
- Adjustable wide angle
- Straightforward user interface
- Decent amount of basic accessories
- Slow motion works beautifully
- The waterproof lens does create a Starburst effect with lights
- Sound recording is pretty low
6. AKASO EK7000 Action Ultra HD Underwater Camera
The AKASO EK7000 is a 4K30FPS action camera with 170° super wide angle lens. It works well up to 100 feet under the water. It performs effectively up to 100 feet underwater, making it an excellent choice for diving, swimming, surfing, rafting, and other water sports. Its durable, waterproof case ensures protection, making it a practical and enduring option in its price range.
The HD LCD display is 2.0 inches and allows you to preview movies and then share them with whoever you want. Its wireless range with remote control is 15 meters. With a wrist 2.4G remote, you can capture the underwater in an all-new way. The battery life of 1050mAh is about 190 minutes. It comes with 2 rechargeable batteries.
Among the many features, we have loop recording, slow motion photography, image inversion, time-lapse photo, white balance, exposure compensation, and much more.
This device also has built-in Wi-Fi & HDMI, so you can edit and share your action instantly. You can view videos on the computer without any special program. Like the previous model, it does have a time-lapse option. And you can connect an external micro USB microphone.
However, the AKASO EK7000 action camera cannot do motion detection.
- Longer battery life
- Waterproof up to 100 feet
- Designed to withstand extreme environments
- Professional video and sound quality
- Screen is very small
- Battery life could be better
7. YIXINXIN Waterproof 4K Underwater Camera
It doesn’t turn out to be very famous, but YIXINXIN is undoubtedly one of the best cheap underwater cameras on the market. With around 48 megapixels camera, the AKASO EK7000 allows you to capture underwater moments with the highest resolution, equivalent to about 2.7K. This capability ensures the recording of high-quality videos and photos.
It features a Micro SD up to 128GB, so you don’t have to worry about memory every time you use the camera. Furthermore, it has been designed for purely underwater use, so it can be left free from the case for up to an hour.
YIXINXIN underwater camera is submersible up to 10 feet in depth without a waterproof casing, which is pretty low. However, this makes it suitable for swimming, snorkeling, family play, and more.
The display is in color and is about 2.7 inches facing backward, with an integrated automatic activator of 2.5, 10 seconds. A flashlight is also included in this device, which allows you to take pictures without having to worry about dark environments.
However, as a small underwater camera, the design of the battery card is more compact, and consequently, more difficult (if not impossible) to open compared to other models in this guide.
- Up to 10FT waterproof digital camera
- Supports recording while charging
- Selfie dual-screen design
- Small and lightweight
- Battery life isn’t good
8. SeaLife Scuba Case – Underwater Smartphone Access Camera
The Sealife Scuba Case waterproof camera is designed with a permanently sealed construction especially suitable for underwater photography up to 60 meters deep. The high-quality sensor allows you to record excellent videos. Maintenance is also simple, just clean the device after use.
Thanks to easy access and simple use design, controlling this camera is no different than the normal way. You can easily control settings like Zoom, Focus, White Balance, Tint, Lens selection, and more. However, there is no WiFi connection, but you can also transfer files by using Bluetooth.
The wide-angle lens (built-in color correction function) and the ability to manually set the white balance allow you to take great underwater photos and save them in RAW format for easy editing later. There is also a handy Upside-Down feature that automatically saves movies and photos in the correct direction, no matter how you hold the camera.
The alkaline battery guarantees up to 50 hours of run time. As for lighting, Sealife underwater camera has no flash, but it has a Leak Alarm pressure indicator. A wrist strap is also included in the package, so you can easily carry it. The App control also works well (we didn’t find any issues).
However, you will get a lot of light (reflects your face on the back panel of the case) when you are close to the surface. This makes it a bit difficult to see your subject on your phone screen.
- Easy access and simple to use
- Large shutter & control buttons
- Expandable with Sea Dragon Lights
- Easy-to-use App
- The power saver function seems a little unreliable
9. OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 Waterproof Underwater Camera
If you are looking for a camera to take with you while exploring the Amazon rainforest or climbing Everest, the Olympus Tough TG-6 should be on your shopping list. We highly recommend this model for those who enjoy underwater photography, mountain hiking, and documenting their own adventures.
The TG-6 is the best underwater camera built to be waterproof up to 15 meters and incredibly easy to use. Besides this, it is non-deformable, shockproof, dustproof, freeze-proof, and anti-fog.
The Tough TG-6 ticks all the important boxes in the technical department: F2 in high resolution. 0 lenses, 8x maximum zoom, real image VIII, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, 5 underwater shooting modes, a variable macro system, and even zoomed shots up to 1cm from the end of the lens.
It is one of the best cheap underwater cameras of the moment with undeniable image quality, superior to all rivals. In terms of video, this rugged device can record 4 K movies and Full HD 120 fps high-speed movies. It is also very good for close-up macro photography, thanks to the lens’s ability to focus on subjects down to one centimeter.
However, the LCD display is prone to scratches, and scrolling through the menu can be confusing.
- High resolution F2.0 lens
- Tough enough to shoot anywhere
- Easy to charge it up
- Battery lasts a long time
- Durable lens cap
- HDR is poor
- It does not come with a touchscreen
10. GoPro HERO10 Ultra HD Underwater Action Camera
When looking for the best underwater camera, sometimes you have to think outside the box. In this case, it means looking at the best action cameras, like GoPro Hero10. While it lacks some features (which serious photographers will notice), it is underwater up to 33 feet without special housing.
While the GoPro range is more geared toward video, it is still a very good waterproof camera today too. This means you’ll get a 23MP CMOS sensor and an auto ISO range of 100 to 3200. It can also take 30 photos per second in burst mode and has a feature called Super Photo. This mode applies HDR along with tone mapping and noise reduction to improve the overall quality of photographs.
You can shoot 5.3K video at 60fps or take the action through Slo-Mo mode. It has a 2″ touchscreen display with zoom, GPS, and live streaming functionality via Facebook Live. This high-tech action camera is ready for use with several appropriate mounts and accessories.
If you want to make things better, there are several packages available including adventure and travel kits. There is an Outdoor View mode that allows it to adapt the brightness of the monitor to the ambient light, making it a great choice for hunting.
You can transfer photos and videos from your cloud-connected GoPro to your phone via the Quik app or USB connection. There’s unlimited cloud storage, so you can upload automatically.
- Excellent image quality
- Fast and reliable connectivity
- Long-lasting Battery
- Easy to operate
- Get hot in high resolution video
- Microphone is average
How to Choose the Best Cheap Underwater Camera
To make sure you make the right choice, let’s quickly explore the features and characteristics to consider when buying a budget underwater camera.
What distinguishes the underwater cameras from other models is the special protection that makes them able to reach several meters deep without the water seeping inside and damaging the device.
For those who have no special needs and looking for a good device to take on vacation, 3 meters should be enough. On the other hand, if you are looking for a device that allows greater freedom, you have to look at the semi-professional waterproof cameras, which allow you to go down to more than 10 meters deep.
Another factor not to be overlooked is the battery life. When you are submerged in the depths of the seabed it is quite unlikely that you will be able to recharge the camera. And the last thing we want is to end up with an unloaded car right in the middle of the reef.
To avoid this risk, we recommend getting a device with a power of at least 150 shots.
The quality of the lenses is important. Your job is to decide what types of lenses you need, as all of them are suitable for different situations. Some underwater cameras offer one unique macro zoom. So if you aim to take pictures of the underwater world in all its details, choose a model that is able to focus at a distance of only 1 cm.
Under the water, light is very different from that on the surface, and to get satisfactory results, it is useful to be able to manually adjust some parameters. White balance, aperture and shutter speed are some of the settings that contribute to the success of a photo. The easier they can be checked, the lower the risk of poor-quality images.
Besides being able to reach considerable depths, underwater cameras are generally very robust and are also resistant to frost, dust and shocks. Some models are also drop-proof from several meters in height.
Many of the newer models come with GPS and built-in Wi-Fi connection, which is useful for transferring images to smartphones and tablets, or for sharing them directly on social media.
It is not obvious, but almost all underwater cameras now offer the ability to record videos. For taking home some great photos, you can also relive your dives through great videos.
In case the video is supported, it is recommended to check if it is possible to expand the internal memory of the underwater camera. Because not all models are equipped with an SD card slot. For 4K video recording, we recommend the purchase of UHS-I class U3 SD memory cards.
This is another aspect to take into consideration, even if it is not our intention to go swimming with the penguins. Usually, the sea temperature is lower than the ambient one, even lower as the depth increases. A camera that guarantees operation even at low temperatures, for example, 1 ° C is always a good choice.
Related Questions & Answers
Can these cameras handle both freshwater and saltwater environments?
Yes, most models featured here are designed to handle both freshwater and saltwater environments. However, it’s always wise to check the product specifications to ensure compatibility with your specific diving or snorkeling plans.
Are these cameras suitable for beginners?
Absolutely! Many of the cameras listed are user-friendly and come with intuitive interfaces, making them ideal for beginners. Look for models with straightforward controls and easy navigation to enhance your underwater photography or videography experience.
Do these cameras come with anti-fogging features?
Some models include anti-fogging technology to ensure clear visuals even in changing underwater temperatures. Make sure to check the product details to see if the camera you’re interested in is equipped with anti-fog features.
Are these cameras suitable for other outdoor activities, or are they exclusively for underwater use?
While all these cameras are designed for underwater use, many of these models are versatile enough to capture moments in other outdoor settings. Some models are rugged and durable, making them suitable for various adventurous activities beyond underwater exploration.
One of the advanced underwater cameras, even if compact, can give excellent results to a professional photographer. The lack of light on these occasions can cause photos to lose quality, so always look for situations with the best lighting. At a certain depth with darker water, the flash becomes an almost indispensable companion.
Before taking the plunge into the world of underwater cameras, it’s crucial to gauge the depths at which you plan to unleash their potential. For those content with the wonders of snorkeling, a camera with a modest depth rating might suffice, spanning just a few meters.
However, for the more avid divers among us, the game changes significantly. Serious diving demands a camera that can handle greater depths, capturing the underwater world with precision. So, before you commit to a purchase, assess your aquatic ambitions.
Children have a lot of fun taking pictures in these situations and a compact camera of this kind can be a good stimulus to bring them closer to photography.
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