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Best Underwater Camera

Crosstour Action Camera Review

If you’re planning on going into the outdoors, it’s worth capturing your special moments with an action camera. The Crosstour Action Camera is affordable and comes with a wide-angle lens, SD card reader, and rechargeable batteries. It can also take pictures with fantastic image quality, and record in full HD at 30 frames per second. This sports action camera made our best underwater camera list because of its affordability.

Why We Like It – Crosstour Action Camera

The Crosstour Action Camera is an affordable gopro alternative with many excellent features. This camera comes with a wide angle lens, a 2-inch touch screen, and high quality full HD video. Other brilliant features of the Crosstour Action Camera are long battery life, a wireless remote control, and built-in wi fi.

Pros
  • Full HD recording
  • Many mounting accessories included
  • Waterproof to 98 feet
Cons
  • No built-in flash
  • No 4K recording
  • No image stabilization

Performance

The Crosstour Action Camera may be affordable but still offers great performance. It can record 1080p resolution at 60 fps, and at 720p at 120 fps. This sports camera also has a wide-angle 170-degree lens and can take still pictures at 3MP all the way up to 14MP. It also has a two-inch LCD touch screen and other useful features like time lapse and loop recording. This sports action camera fits well between rivals like the campark act74 and the Go Pro Hero 7.

Design

Crosstour Action Cameras come in a similar black boxy style to other wide angle sports cameras. The 2-inch LCD screen dominates the rear and is very responsive. One of the great features is the waterproof case that’s rated up to 98-feet. It also protects against bumps and scratches. This camera also comes with many mounting accessories like a bike mount, adhesive pads, and an extension mount. It also comes with two rechargeable batteries. Another excellent camera is the akaso ek7000.

Value

The Crosstour camera comes at a very affordable price, but still offers enough features to compete with more expensive rivals like the Nikon w300. It comes with lots of mounting accessories and a waterproof case. In terms of performance, you can record full HD at 1080p at 60 fps, and at 720p at 120 fps. You can also take still images at up to 14MP. This camera also has built-in Wi-Fi and an SD card reader so you can easily transfer your content. Overall the Crosstour Action Camera offers terrific value for money.

Crosstour Action Camera Wrap Up

The Crosstour Action Camera is affordable and comes with tons of accessories. You get 18 different accessories including a waterproof casing. You can also record full HD videos up to 1080p, and take still photos at up to 14MP. It may not have 4K recording capabilities, but for such a low price, it’s expected.

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Best Underwater Camera

Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera Review

If you’re doing some fun activities, it’s worth getting a sports cam to capture your special moments. Dragon Touch Vision sports action cameras are more affordable than the Gopro Hero range but still offer great features. You’ll never have to worry about battery life with two rechargeable batteries and the touchscreen is large and responsive. This camera made our best underwater camera list because of its 4x zoom feature

Why We Like It – Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera

The Dragon Touch Action Camera is a high quality gopro alternative with excellent video quality. This wide angle camera comes with Ultra HD recording at 30 frames per second, and it also takes pictures at 16 MP. Other features of this waterproof camera are a wrist remote, two rechargeable batteries, built-in wi fi, and an SD card reader.

Pros
  • 4K video recording
  • Wide angle lens
  • Many mounting accessories included
Cons
  • Not Mac Compatible
  • No built-in image stabilization
  • Poor light sensitivity

Performance

Dragon Touch Action cameras have great performance, especially when you consider the price. It can record 4K video at 30 fps, 2.7K at 30fps, and 1080p at 60fps. You can also take still shots at 16MP with zoom up to 4x. This sports action camera also has many modes like loop recording, sound record, time-lapse, burst photo, and driving mode. You can also control this sports action cam with the provided wireless wrist remote. Other great action cams are the Go Pro Hero 7 and the campark act74.

Design

The Dragon Touch also does well in the design part of our camera review. It looks like most other action cams, with a black box design measuring 2.36 x 1.18 x 1.97 inches and weighing 5.3 ounces. This camera comes with lots of accessories like a waterproof case, a bicycle stand, helmet mounts, tethers, and two 1050mAh batteries. Other fantastic features are the two-inch touchscreen and long wi-fi range of up to 33 feet. This camera compares well against the akaso ek7000.

Value

The Dragon Touch camera has a lot going for it in the value department. It comes at an affordable price, but still offers 4K Ultra HD recording, as well as still images in up to 16 MP. This camera also offers multiple shooting modes like time-lapse and driving mode. To make things even easier, there’s a wireless wrist remote and there are also many mounting accessories like a bicycle stand, helmet mount, and two batteries. Another camera with good value is the Nikon w300.

Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera Wrap Up

This action camera comes at an excellent price and offers great features like 4K video recording and still shots of up to 16MP. Other benefits of the Dragon Touch Action Camera are the wireless wrist remote and a multitude of accessories. Since it’s not compatible with Mac, you’ll have to use Android or Windows with it.

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Best Underwater Camera

Canon PowerShot D30 Waterproof Camera Review

The Canon EOS Rebel T6i – Best Budget DSLR camera has great specs, so this Canin model is off to a great start too. Canon’s third compact waterproof camera shows a major improvement in physical design over the first two versions, as well as a significant increase in the water depth in which it will work. If you can’t afford to spring on a DSLR right now, take a look at our Snapgrip Wireless Bluetooth camera remote shutter release controller review to make your smartphone into the best camera.

I must note that you should not confuse this Canon PowerShot D30 waterproof digital camera review with the Canon D30 DSLR camera that was released more than a decade ago. This D30 waterproof camera is nothing like the EOS D30 DSLR model. Compare this waterproof camera with the Olympus Tough TG-610 camera review to determine which is best for your photography needs.

Going from 33 feet of water depth in the two older models to 82 feet in this new model is the highlight of my Canon PowerShot D30 review. It also makes this model the best waterproof camera of 2016.

Overview

Summary: The Canon PowerShot D30 waterproof camera struggles a little bit with image quality, but its tough design allows it to be used successfully in harsh environments.

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Compact, easy to to use, the D30 is a excellent deep waterproof camera.

Price: $299 from Amazon
Available: April 2014

What We Liked

  • Camera’s rubberized pads make it easy to hold D30 comfortably
  • D30 measures only about 1 inch in thickness
  • Camera works in up to 82 feet of water depth
  • LCD screen is a sharp display
  • Camera is extremely easy to use

What We Didn’t

  • Small image sensor hinders overall image quality
  • Limited to 12.1 megapixels of resolution, which is below average
  • LCD screen suffers from some sunlight glare problems
  • Camera limited to 5X optical zoom lens

Canon PowerShot D30 Key Specs

Image Sensor Type1/2.3-inch
Megapixels12.1
Optical Zoom Lens5X
Articulating Screenred-x-icon
Viewfinderred-x-icon
HD Videogreen-check-mark
Operational Water DepthUp to 82 feet
ISO100-3200
Avg Battery Life300 photos
Weight7.69 oz
Size4.3 x 2.67 x 1.08 inches
Price$299
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Design and Build

Canon PowerShot D30 review
The simple design of the Canon PowerShot D30’s buttons makes it easy to use this camera while diving.

The PowerShot D30 looks a lot like the best point and shoot camera options with a thin, colorful body, measuring about 1.08 inches in thickness. It has a limited number of buttons, which isn’t a bad idea with an underwater camera, as simple operation is important when shooting in a harsh environment under the water. The D30’s specific dimensions are 4-5/16 x 2-11/16 x 1-1/8 inches. Also its max speed while continuous shooting is 2 fps.

And even though the Canon D30 is a very thin camera, it’s easy to hold, whether you’re using it in the water or on dry land. Canon placed a rubberized thumbpad on the back of the camera and a larger rubberized pad for your fingers on the front, allowing you to hold the D30 in a pinching motion.

Similar to most thin underwater cameras, the PowerShot D30 includes a small optical zoom lens at 5X. It’s difficult to use a large zoom underwater, because of the lack of light, but the small optical zoom lens does limit the usefulness of the D30 when using it in normal shooting conditions on dry land.

The zoom lens housing doesn’t extend beyond the boundaries of the camera body. This feature allows the D30 to maintain the integrity of its waterproof case, without creating any areas where water could penetrate. Canon also included its Smart Auto technology in the D30, so by simply pressing the shutter button, the camera automatically detects key details in the foreground and background so that settings are adjusted automatically and you can just focus on capturing the moment, especially while underwater.

Canon gave the D30 a built-in GPS unit, which allows you to add location data to your images as you shoot them. This can be a beneficial feature for underwater photography, as you won’t have obvious landmarks to help you identify the location of a photo when shooting underwater.

Waterproof Features

The D30 offers amazing waterproof capabilities, allowing it to operate in water depth of up to 82 feet! Few waterproof cameras that have a thin design style, much like the best compact digital cameras, and can work in this type of water depth.

Beyond its waterproofing capabilities, the PowerShot D30 can survive a fall of up to 6.5 feet (2 meters). It will work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 C), should you want to use the D30 while skiing or hiking in the winter.

Both the HDMI/USB ports compartment and the battery/memory card compartment are protected by latched doors that swing on a hinge. Both compartment doors are protected with rubber gaskets to prevent leakage while using this underwater camera.

Image Quality

Canon PowerShot D30 camera
The Canon PowerShot D30 camera has 12.1 megapixels of resolution and works in up to 82 feet (25 meters) of water depth.

One area where the Canon PowerShot D30 waterproof digital camera struggles versus others in its price range is in terms of image quality. Canon placed a 1/2.3-inch image sensor in this waterproof model, which is the smallest image sensor in physical size that you’ll find in digital cameras. The D30 also only offers 12.1 megapixels of resolution with the CMOS sensor, which is well below average in today’s market.

The Canon PowerShot D30 manual control features are extremely limited. You’ll have a Program shooting mode you can use, but it only offers control over features such as ISO and white balance. Canon designed this model to be used in automatic mode most of the time.

Low Light Performance and Movie Mode

Most cameras with such small image sensors don’t perform well in low light. However, Canon gave this model HS (high sensitivity) technology, which allows the small image sensor to work a little better than expected in low light. This is an important feature to find in a waterproof camera, as the lighting conditions underwater can vary greatly.

The D30 offers a flash embedded in the corner of the front panel of the camera, which is what you’d expect to find in a basic camera. Unfortunately, there’s no option to add external flash units, which would help quite a bit with the dark conditions you’ll encounter in underwater photography. If you choose not to use the flash, you can increase the ISO to around 800 before you’ll notice significant noise (incorrect pixels) in the images.

You can shoot full HD movies with the Canon D30, but you’re limited to a maximum 24 frames per second. Canon gave this camera a large movie recording button on the top panel of the camera, making it easy to start and stop movie recording.

Battery Life

If you’re using the camera under normal shooting conditions, you can expect about 250 to 300 shots per charge. However, if you use the GPS feature quite a bit, the battery lifespan could be closer to 150 to 200 shots.

Because the D30 has no viewfinder, you’ll have to use the 3.0-inch LCD screen to frame all photos. The screen produces a sharp display, but it wasn’t quite as bright on the default setting as I’d like. Glare from sunlight when using this PowerShot camera outdoors forced me to increase the brightness of the display screen beyond the standard setting, which will further decrease the battery lifespan.

Wrap Up

This Canon PowerShot D30 tough camera review shows a model that has very strong waterproof and shockproof capabilities. Versus other compact waterproof cameras, the D30 offers above average tough features and amazing submersion skills. However, a small image sensor and only 12.1 megapixels of resolution hinder the Canon D30’s image quality. And its 5X optical zoom lens lags well behind other models in its price range, though in all fairness it is a tough camera. I wouldn’t recommend this model if you’re just looking for an everyday camera. But if you need a camera to use primarily for diving and outdoor activities or sports, while also using it occasionally on dry land, the PowerShot D30 is a solid camera for those who want an easy to use model.

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Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 Review

When it comes to finding a tough camera, my Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 review shows this model is one of the more rugged compact options you’ll find. It can survive a drop of up to 7 feet, and its body is resistant to dust penetration. You can also apply up to 220 pounds of pressure on the camera body. Can the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 (Editor’s Choice) say the same?

But to qualify as a best waterproof camera, the Olympus TG4 needs to have the ability to work underwater. And although the Stylus Tough TG4 isn’t going to help you on an extremely deep dive, it can survive in up to 50 feet of water depth, making it work great for quick underwater photos in a variety of situations. The TG4’s 50 feet of water depth is a big improvement over older Stylus Tough waterproof cameras. If you want to upgrade to a slightly more expensive model, take a look at our Nikon 1 AW1 review to compare.

Overview

Summary: Those seeking a good all around camera that also has waterproof capabilities, tough features, and a built-in GPS will appreciate the rugged Olympus Stylus Tough TG4.

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Built-in GPS in a versatile, feature rich waterproof camera.

Price: $329 from Amazon
Available: April 2015
Model: Stylus Tough TG4

What We Liked

  • Strong, rugged camera that can shoot raw files
  • Built-in GPS is great for underwater photography
  • Optional LED ring lighting around lens allows for good close-up photos underwater
  • Battery life is far above average versus other waterproof cameras
  • Design is a great improvement over older Olympus tough models, such as clunky Olympus Stylus Tough 8000

What We Didn’t

  • Low light images without LED light are of below average quality
  • Noise is common in images when you use upper end of ISO range
  • Optical zoom lens limited to 4X
  • Flash range could be stronger

Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 Key Specs

Image Sensor Type1/2.3-inch
Megapixels16
Optical Zoom Lens4X
Articulating Screenred-x-icon
Viewfinderred-x-icon
HD Videogreen-check-mark
Operational Water DepthUp to 50 feet
ISO100-6400
Avg Battery Life380 photos
Weight8.7 oz
Size4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 inches
Price$329
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Design and Build

Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 Review
The updated design to the Olympus Stylus Tough TG4, which is available in black or red camera bodies, gives it a sleeker look than past models.

Versus the boxy, almost industrial look of the past Olympus waterproof models, such as the Olympus Stylus Tough 6020, the Olympus TG4 has a sleeker look with rounded edges. The lens housing has been moved to the center of the TG4 versus the older Stylus Tough camera design with the lens in the upper corner.

One disappointment with this model is its small 4X optical zoom lens. The lens housing itself does not extend beyond the camera’s body, which allows the TG4 to maintain its waterproof seal. But by keeping the F 2.0 zoom lens contained inside the camera body, the optical zoom measurement in the Tough TG4 ends up being greatly limited versus other compact cameras.

Waterproof Features

The best feature of this underwater camera is its built-in GPS unit. It can be difficult to identify the location of underwater photos when you’re reviewing them at home a few weeks after your trip because of the lack of easily identifiable landmarks underwater. But the GPS unit can tag each photo with your exact location, making it easier to remember exactly where you took each photo. The Tough TG4 also has a built-in compass.

The TG4 can work in up to 50 feet of water depth, which is an improvement over older cameras, such as is shown with an Olympus Stylus Tough 8010, which can work in up to 33 feet of water depth. The Olympus TG4 doesn’t quite match the water depth of the Canon D30 (82 feet), but 50 feet of water depth should meet the needs of most people in most situations.

Additionally, the Stylus Tough TG4 can survive a fall of up to 7 feet, is crush-proof up to 220 pounds, and will work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

Image Quality

Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 Camera
Olympus kept the number of control buttons on the Stylus Tough TG4 to a minimum, which greatly simplifies the use of this underwater camera.

The Tough TG4 improves on past Olympus Tough models by incorporating 16 megapixels of resolution, versus the 12 megapixels of resolution in the older cameras. The Nighttime Live Composite mode is also a nice feature allowing the user to capture beautiful shots of city lights, stars, and light trails with minimal effort.

Unfortunately, the Olympus Tough TG4 has a small image sensor in physical size at 1/2.3 inches. This is the smallest size of an image sensor that you’ll find for a digital camera. It’s a common size for simple point and shoot cameras, but it does cause some problems with image quality, especially in low light indoor scenes.

Even when shooting photos in decent outdoor lighting, you’ll notice a lack of overall sharpness if you magnify the images on a computer screen or attempt to make large prints. The Stylus Tough TG4 isn’t able to match the sharpness of some cameras in its price range. But as long as you plan on looking at the photos on a computer screen at normal sizes or on a smartphone or tablet screen, you shouldn’t notice the slight blur.

Low Light Performance and Movie Mode

There is a variety of shooting modes to choose from including, custom mode, raw shooting/processing, art filter, picture mode, interval shooting, and time-lapse.

When shooting photos underwater, you’re going to be shooting in low light conditions most of the time. I’d recommend adding the optional LED ring to the lens of the Olympus TG4, which will greatly improve the lighting in the scene, especially when working underwater. Olympus also included a small LED light next to the embedded flash that allows for continuous light, if you don’t want to purchase the LED ring, but the embedded LED is not quite as effective as the LED ring.

Even though you can shoot with a maximum ISO setting of 6400 with the Olympus Stylus Tough TG4, you’ll want to stick with an ISO of 800 or less to avoid noise (incorrect pixels) from appearing in your images.

You can record movies at full HD quality with this camera, and Olympus’ designers gave the TG4 a dedicated movie recording button to simplify the process of recording videos.

Battery Life

Unlike many small point and shoot type cameras, the Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 has an excellent battery life. Olympus estimates this camera can shoot 380 photos per charge, and real world testing showed that this number is pretty accurate … unlike many cameras, where manufacturers routinely inflate the estimated battery lifespan.

Because of the strong battery life, the built-in WiFi connectivity in the TG4 is useful, allowing you to share photos through the Olympus TG-4 app on your mobile device. Even with the high capacity battery with this camera, constant use of the GPS and WiFi connectivity will cut your battery life quite a bit.

Wrap Up

We put this Olympus Tough TG-4 review together to show you exactly what this model has to offer and simply put the Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 represents a significant step up from past Stylus Tough models in terms of tough features, image resolution, and design. It offers helpful wireless features, including built-in GPS and WiFi. And its strong battery life helps to make those wireless features actually useful, as you won’t exhaust the battery trying to send a few pictures using WiFi. But this model’s image quality is more like you’d expect to find in one of the best digital cameras under $200, meaning you’re paying a premium to have the waterproof and tough capabilities in the TG4. As long as you need a tough camera that’ll survive the harsh conditions in which you’re using it, and you don’t need to make large prints, the TG4 will work well for you.

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Nikon 1 AW1 Review

Photographers looking for a camera they can use underwater traditionally have had two choices: A fixed lens waterproof model that offers simple operation and spotty image quality or inserting an advanced DSLR camera into a waterproof casing that will protect it from the elements. You’ll receive very good image quality with the latter option, but the waterproof cases can be awkward to use. So if you’re looking for a different option, this Nikon 1 AW1 review will provide it. You can also read about the best waterproof camera.

The AW1 is a thin mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that provides much better image quality than the fixed lens waterproof cameras, and you can use it in up to 49 feet of water depth without a case.

The Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof camera certainly isn’t a perfect model. It’s a basic camera that isn’t going to probably meet the needs of more advanced photographers. And its high price tag and limited number of lenses means that those who already own a DSLR camera that has a waterproof, may be better served sticking with their current gear.

But if you want one of the best waterproof and tough cameras you can grab and use immediately without wrangling with a special case during a rugged hike or a dive, all while receiving much better than average image quality for a waterproof camera, the AW1 doesn’t have any challengers in the market right now.

In addition to its ability to be used in up to 49 feet of water depth, the Nikon 1 AW1 is rated to survive a drop of up to 6.6 feet and will work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. You just cannot find advanced interchangeable lens cameras with these features.

Overview

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Image quality easily outshines a typical waterproof camera.

Summary: The Nikon 1 AW1 offers an easy to use camera that outshines point and shoot waterproof cameras in terms of image quality and low light performance levels.

Price: $796.95 from Amazon
Available: February 2014
Model: AW1

What We Liked

  • Waterproof up to 49 feet of water depth with no extra housing required
  • Better image quality than most waterproof cameras; allows for shooting in RAW or JPEG
  • AW1’s low light performance is better than average
  • Camera is easy to operate
  • Mirrorless design looks good and allows camera to be relatively thin

What We Didn’t

  • Expensive model versus other waterproof cameras
  • No mode dial included
  • Must purchase specific waterproof lenses; can’t use just any Nikon 1 lens and maintain waterproof seal
  • No viewfinder included
  • Probably not enough manual control options for advanced photographers

Nikon 1 AW1 Specs

Image Sensor TypeCX (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Megapixels14.2
Optical Zoom LensNA, uses interchangeable lenses
Articulating Screenred-x-icon
Viewfinderred-x-icon
HD Videogreen-check-mark
Operational Water DepthUp to 49 feet
ISO100-6400
Avg Battery Life220 photos
Weight11.1 oz (camera body only)
Size4.5 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches
Price$796.95 (with kit lens)
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Design and Build

Nikon 1 AW1 camera
The Nikon 1 AW1 is able to outperform most waterproof cameras in terms of image quality because of its large image sensor.

The Nikon AW1 looks a lot like other Nikon 1 cameras, such as the Nikon 1 J5. It’s thin and stylish, with a right hand grip that unfortunately is too small to be overly useful. You’ll find the AW1 in black, white, or silver body colors. It has no mode dial, which would make it much easier to pick a shooting mode.

The AW1 is so lightweight and thin that it almost feels a little flimsy. You naturally expect a tough waterproof camera to have some heft to it, so this is an aspect of this Nikon model that seems a little odd. Still, the AW1 is a tough camera through and through. I’m not going to admit in writing to accidentally dropping the demo model, but let’s just say I have no question the AW1 is as tough as advertised.

The Nikon’s dual-processing engine, Expeed 3A processes data at incredible speed and easily handles the camera’s many processor-intensive tasks such as high-speed continuous shooting.

Waterproof Features

The Nikon AW1 is the only interchangeable lens camera currently on the market that can be used underwater without the need for a protective case. This easily gives the AW1 a leg up versus other waterproof cameras, which are fixed lens models.

It’s certainly easier to make a fixed lens camera waterproof, as the manufacturer doesn’t have to worry about losing the waterproof seal in a one piece camera. Because you can change out the lens on the Nikon 1 AW1, the manufacturer has to ensure no water can penetrate the case through the lens housing when the lens is attached, making the design of this Nikon model a significant challenge. It also means that you have to use lenses that contain waterproof sealing with the AW1. You cannot use just any Nikon lens that will fit the AW1’s lens mount and expect waterproof capabilities. You need to purchase specific Nikon AW1 lenses, which will drive up the cost of this camera package quickly.

Image Quality

Nikon 1 AW1 review
The AW1 from Nikon has very few buttons compared to most interchangeable lens cameras, making it easy to use.

It’s the overall image quality of this model that makes the AW1 a best waterproof camera option. The AW1 has a much larger image sensor in terms of physical size than most waterproof cameras, which usually have the smallest type of image sensor you’ll find in cameras at 1/2.3 inches, as seen in my Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 review. The AW1 has a CX sized image sensor, which is equivalent to a 1-inch image sensor and is a common size for a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.

Nikon included 14.2 megapixels of resolution in the AW1’s image sensor. Even though this pixel count is similar to what you may find with other waterproof cameras, the larger image sensor gives the AW1 an advantage.

Low Light Performance and Movie Mode

The Nikon 1AW1 truly outperforms other waterproof cameras in terms of low light image quality. Again, it’s the larger image sensor in terms of physical size that gives this model such an advantage in low light photography. And when you consider a lot of your photos when shooting underwater will have less than ideal lighting, having a camera that easily outperforms its peers in this area is an important consideration.

Full-time AF is also possible at full resolution up to 15 fps, or 60 fps without AF.

Battery Life

I was a little disappointed in the battery life for the Nikon 1 AW1. The manufacturer estimates the battery will last for 220 shots per charge, but, as is often the case, the camera maker overestimates battery lifespan versus real world shooting conditions. I’d say you realistically can expect to shoot 175 to 200 photos per battery charge, which isn’t a great performance level. When you’re shooting underwater, it’s not like you can easily swap out a dead battery and keep going, after all: Opening the battery compartment underwater will void your warranty and then some.

Wrap Up

Unfortunately, the biggest drawback to the Nikon 1 AW1 is something that doesn’t really fit in any of the above mentioned sections: The price. When you think about having to purchase a camera body and special waterproof lenses, you’re going to spend more than double for the AW1 what you would spend for a fixed lens waterproof camera.

And the AW1 isn’t going to give advanced photographers a lot of features that will appeal to them. The Nikon 1 line of digital cameras is aimed more at inexperienced and intermediate photographers.

It’d be nice if Nikon could fix a few of these problems with a Nikon 1 AW2 version, but, as of this writing, the camera maker has not announced any plans for an upgraded model to the AW1. So you’ll have to decide whether the enhanced image quality of the Nikon 1 AW1 versus fixed lens waterproof cameras is worth the premium you’ll pay for this model and its lenses.

From the Nikon Store, the Nikon 1 AW1 can be purchased as a kit. The kit includes  1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 wide-angle lens and 1 NIKKOR AW 11–27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 zoom lens.

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Nikon W300 Review

apeman a79

Possibly the best underwater camera for many people out there, the Nikon W300 is a camera that allows you to take amazing 4K Ultra HD videos while also having one of the best still image qualities among action cameras. It may be slightly higher priced than many of the other action cameras out there, but with a good amount of water and dust resistance along with quite a bit of shock proofing, the Nikon W300 is a very durable cam to carry with you. Apart from that, having numerous modes with pre optimized settings for a number of different situations, the Nikon W300 provides all you need in an action camera, whenever you need it.

Why We Like It – Nikon W300

Coming up in Nikons lineup of action cameras, Nikon Coolpix W300 is among the more premium action cameras out there with quite a number of features and an amazing sensor. It offers some of the best still images with a macro capable wide angle lens. And complementing those water sport enthusiasts out there, the Nikon W300 allows you to go up to 100 feet deep into the water without any form of housing.

Pros
  • Great water and dust resistance
  • A number of modes and a great sensor for still images
  • 4K capable
Cons
  • Can’t mount external hardware
  • Slightly high priced

Performance

Powered by the 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor with a 24-120mm equivalent lens as well as optical image stabilization, the Nikon CoolPix W300 is probably the best action camera you can get for taking still images at this price range. While it does support 4K video shooting capability at 30fps, what it stands out at most are the still images. Helping you with that, the Exposure control on it allows you to change the exposure compensation from -2.0 to +2.0 EV in steps of 0.33V. And paired with a considerable maximum lens aperture of f/2.8 and a wide angle 5x optical zoom, taking photos underwater, or above on ground will become much easier and simultaneously of better quality. You can’t however shoot RAW with the Nikon W300 but the photos on a sunny day will still be very vibrant in colour, with little noise and sharp details.

Moreover, the Coolpix W300 also offers pretty well video recording capability by allowing you to shoot 1080 videos at 60fps and 4K at 30FPS as like the APEMAN A79. You also get a slow-motion shooting mode which does take in pretty good content, but doesn’t live upto the level of the Olympus TG-5 as it’s limited to a resolution of 480p. But, on the plus side you do get a number of other modes each adapting to different situations to give you the best pre optimized settings. While there are the basic modes from Panorama, Landscape, Portrait, Superlapse Movie, Night mode, Time-lapse, Multiple Exposure Lighten and Underwater modes, you also get a bunch of different scene modes, each great for a different background and scenario. These range from the standard Food and Indoor mode all the way to a Sunset, Dusk/Dawn mode and having them do in turn make it easier for you to take great photos. But do keep in mind that while there is an auto mode you can use, browsing through the different modes themselves isn’t very difficult either.

As per the Nikon Coolpix W300 review from different people, the controls on it are fairly easy to use. You get a 3-Inch, 921K dot LCD which is great for composing shots and also browsing through the in system controls. As for the buttons themselves you can easily use a dedicated button to illuminate an LED light, a Tool button to display a compass, number of steps, altitude/depth as well as air pressure/ water pressure and also a action button to easily switch between different functions( photo, video, image preview) apart from the standard shutter button.

Moving on, the Nikon W300 also offers a built-in GPS which helps with geo tagging photos and it comes with a battery life supporting upto 280 shots in a go. This isn’t a lot but it’s also not too low, and you can also charge it up with a portable charger. And for the connectivity of the Nikon W300 you have both bluetooth and Wi-Fi support which can allow you to transfer photos and videos easily through the designated app on your phone. It isn’t the best app integration out there, but it does what you need it to do. As for the audio of the device, it’s moderately good but unlike the APEMAN A79 you can’t connect external microphones or headphones.

Overall, it surpasses the Akaso EK7000 in terms of video quality, and stands atop the rest in terms of its still image quality which is great even underwater. Speaking of underwater, it allows you to go 30 metres deep and is also freezeproof till -10C and shockproof from 7.9ft, far surpassing the GoPro Hero 7.

Design

Measuring to be 11.5 x 66 x 29mm and weighing about 231g including the battery and memory card inside the grip, the Nikon W300 is pretty lightweight considering its metal surface. It is also a decently compact camera, enough to be slipped into the pocket of your jacket or even a bag, but unlike the APEMAN A79 or the GoPro Hero 7 you can’t mount it on something as easily and it can’t be controlled through any external remotes either.

There also deems to be some issues regarding the position of the lens. Being placed uptop, and not extended outward, the lens can easily be covered by your fingers without you knowing and this could greatly affect your image or video. This does however, protect the lens from any external damage. As for the microphone, it is located below the lens, behind the pin pricks giving you quite good sound quality in videos.

Moving onto the rest of the build, the Nikon W300 comes with a micro HDMI and micro USB port, both located behind the padded lockable door along with the battery and SD card. They’re all protected at all times as the compartment cannot be accidentally opened thanks to the fact that you have to press a button and also twist on a dial to gain access to them.
Apart from that, the Nikon W300 has a pretty decent design despite a solid build. You get quite a bit of a colour choice but the point that holds it back is that the key specs are directly printed onto the fascia which really might not be a drawback for those who are simply buying this for it’s picture capability.

Value

Priced at $260, the Nikon W300 is among the more expensive action cameras out there. It offers a great amount of picture and video capability, but while it isn’t very compact the design isn’t very aesthetic. The Nikon CoolPix W300 isn’t the most attractive-looking action camera, but it still performs well on the interior and delivers great image quality and video recording with various shooting modes, like auto mode and scene modes. But if you can go past the design, and you’re okay with a durable camera that takes some of the best still images out there, with amazing underwater resistance, the Nikon W300 is your go to. However, if you need something better for videos, the APEMAN A79 is a much more affordable and better option.

Nikon W300 Wrap Up

While it doesn’t have as great a video quality as the GoPro Hero 7, and it most certainly isn’t as affordable as the APEMAN A79, the Nikon W300 offers you a whole lot of different modes as well as a great amount of underwater resistance. It doesn’t need an external housing, and it also provides you with an additional optical zoom lens. And so, with all that and a good 4K video shooting ability, the Nikon W300 is a great action camera for you, but that is if you’re willing to spend the extra buck above the A79 for a better image quality. If you found this Nikon W300 review helpful, please check out our other product reviews that dive into more action cameras, compact cameras, DSLRs, and others.

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Best Underwater Camera

Campark ACT74 Review

Looking for an action cam, but can’t afford the GoPro Hero 7? Well the Campark ACT74 is a much more affordable and yet capable option. You get both 4K video shooting as well as a great still image quality, all packed into a compact design that can be mounted anywhere you want it to and be controlled wirelessly through your phone. Compare this with our Zoom H2n handy recorder review for another camera you can take on the go. And with all of that paired with an amazing underwater shooting capability, the Campark ACT74 is probably the best underwater camera for many of you out there. For another camera that’s resistant to the elements, take a look at our Canon PowerShot D30 waterproof digital camera review too.

Why We Like It – Campark ACT74

Offering 4K video shooting along with amazing still image quality, the affordable action cam Campark ACT74 is one of the best choices available out there. It comes with Wi-Fi connectivity as well as the capability to be controlled from your phone and paired with its compact design the Campark ACT74 is both portable and convenient to use. For another waterproof camera option, take a look at the Olympus Tough TG 610 camera review to compare.

Pros
  • 4K video shooting ability
  • High quality images
  • Highly affordable
Cons
  • No optical image stabilization

Performance

Featuring a 16MP sensor which allows you to take pretty good still images, and also capture 4K video content at 30FPS, the Campark ACT74 is a good start into the world of action cameras. While the image quality isn’t anywhere near to that of the Nikon W300, it still measures up pretty nicely, but only when you and your subject are sitting still. Without any optical image stabilization to speak of, the Campark ACT 74 provides you with a so-so video quality with a motion blur for any or all objects that may be moving. For a camera with optical image stabilization at a similar price range, the APEMAN A79 is a great option worth considering.

However, the Campark ACT74 does also allow you to shoot a little smoother video footage at video resolution of 1080p @ 60 frames per second. Other than that, it also provides you with great underwater shooting capability thanks to its waterproof case that allows it go under to almost 30metres deep which is considerably greater than what the GoPro Hero 7 is capable of. You also get a 170 degree HD wide angle lens which makes for some pretty amazing photos. Adding to that you can also use the Campark ACT74 action camera to shoot in a time-lapse mode, slo mo at 720p and 120 frames per second as well as take burst photos. As for the audio quality, while it won’t measure up to an external microphone, it does provide decent vocals and surrounding noise. However do keep in mind that it will pick up the wind noise when moving, and with its frame housing on, you will get the best vocals when talking into the camera from the back.

Moving onto its storage, the Campark ACT74 offers a micro SD card slot which will provide you with sufficient memory accordingly and you can also lower down the resolution of the photos from 16 to 12, 8, 5 or 2 megapixels to have more space. But on the other hand, you also have the option to connect through the Wi-Fi to your phone for both remote control and to view and download your photos. This makes for some easy controls during any sports action, and considering the fact that it’s very easy to use, you won’t be facing any difficulties.

Despite being a budget action cam, the Campark A79 also offers you two removable 900mAh rechargeable batteries each storing around 90 minutes of charge and taking 2 to 3 hours to fully recharge. This makes for a pretty decent battery life, and thanks to the two batteries, like the Akaso EK7000, you can always have some spare time ready at your hands if you run out of juice.

Finally, the Campark ACT74 even provides you with a good amount of functionality thanks to the number of buttons that allow you to control it. You get the power button on the bottom right, an LED light control which can be used to illuminate a scene for better auto exposure and night shooting, shutter button as well as the mode changing button. You also get a pair of buttons to cycle through the menu on the display as it isn’t a touch screen and they also help with zooming in and out digitally during a photo or video shoot.

Design

Measuring to be 2.3×1.6×1.1 Inches and weighing only 58g the Campark ACT74 is a pretty lightweight and compact camera which can also be easily mounted with the housing cases to anything ranging from your bike helmet or handle to your diving gear when going underwater. The issue with the Campark ACT 74 is that while it does have a micro USB port as well as mini HDMI port for charging and file transfer, they do not have a cover and as a result are vulnerable to water. And so, you will need the housing case to be able to go underwater as well as to mount it on anything. Though once you add the waterproof case and get things set up, you’ll be ready to capture great underwater photos and video footage with the wide-angle lens. The remote control is a convenient feature as well for underwater situations, and with the Wi-Fi functionality, you don’t have to mess with taking the camera out of the water and ejecting an SD card or micro SD card to download photos and videos.

The battery however does come with a cover which can be completely taken off with your fingernail and you can also connect external hardware such as a microphone or headphone for better audio. The default camera audio quality isn’t the best, so an external mic may be a great addition to improving the sound of your video footage.

Value

Priced at $55, the Campark ACT74 is a very affordable action cam. It provides you with a whole lot of features ranging from numerous modes, 4K video and also a very portable and durable design. The variety of video resolutions that can shoot in different frames per second contribute to the camera’s versatile shooting capability. The Campark ACT74 Action Camera’s two batteries take a few hours to charge, which isn’t a huge dealbreaker. The battery life holds up well and it’s nice how they’re rechargeable so you don’t have to constantly purchase more. The lack of a touch screen isn’t a big drawback either. But where it falls back is that the quality of image and video doesn’t take in any form of image stabilization. And as a result most of your picture can include motion blur, making the Campark ACT74 not much of a good choice for sports or other moving activities. You can, however, get the APEMAN A79 at a similar price which does come with optical image stabilization for better videos and pictures of moving objects. Consider either action camera based on your needs, preferences, and what you’ll use the camera for. Though if capturing sports action is a big reason for you and unless you’re looking for blurred image quality or shaky video quality, the budget camera Campark ACT74 may not be the best choice. In contrast, the GoPro Hero 7 does possess that feature, giving its in-camera image stabilization the name “HyperSmooth”.

Campark ACT74 Wrap Up

While it may not have as good an image or video quality as the GoPro Hero 7 or even the APEMAN A79, with a multitude of different modes and a commendable battery life, the Campark ACT74 is a great action cam coming at a pretty affordable price. It is amazingly well built and goes 30 metres under water with the added housing case, and so if you’re not someone who’s going to be taking many fast moving photos or videos, the Campark ACT74 is an amazing option worth considering. If you enjoyed this Campark ACT74 review, be sure to check out our other camera reviews as well.

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Best Underwater Camera

APEMAN A79 Review

Allowing you to cherish and share those thrilling and fast moments in life, the APEMAN A79 is an action camera that makes recording those moments easier than ever. It stands out to potentially be the best underwater camera with quite a decent battery life and also pretty great photography capability. And making sure you won’t regret your purchase, the APEMAN A79 even offers you a pretty solid and easy to use design with great app integration.

Why We Like It – APEMAN A79

Record those fast and thrilling moments in your life with the APEMAN A79 now offering 4K video shooting at 30fps. This super affordable action camera is one of the best investments for you extreme sport fans out there, allowing you to shoot videos for over an hour with its good battery life and even record while 40m underwater.

Pros
  • 4K at 30FPS
  • 40m Underwater waterproof
  • Super affordable
Cons
  • Videos can only be shooted at high resolutions

Performance

Already surpassing the AKASO EK7000, the APEMAN A79 makes it possible for you to shoot videos at a native 4K @ 30fps making those rides down the hill and underwater dives more vibrant across your screen and more enjoyable to watch. This also means that there’s no need to upscale the videos digitally later on, thus saving both time and the camera’s charge.
And while the APEMAN A79 may not take as great still photos as the Nikon W300, it manages to provide you with a pretty good image quality at a 4K 20MP. You can also tweak down the quality to 16MP, 12MP, 8MP or even 5MP which can be pretty handy if you need more storage space. Speaking of it’s storage space, the APEMAN A79 allows you to use an SD card of storage space ranging from 8GB to 64GB, supposably with a minimum transfer speed of 90MB/s. This will make sure that the video footage is saved at an optimal rate and also prevent the camera from overheating.

Moreover, the APEMAN A79 has a pretty decent battery life thanks to its 1050mAh battery, allowing you to shoot over two hours at 1080p and around an hour with 4K enabled. It most certainly may not be much but it will be enough for most people out there. Moving on to the different modes you can shoot in, the APEMAN A79 offers a time lapse mode capturing from 1 frames per second to 1 frame every 60 seconds as well as a burst mode which captures a burst of 3 or 5 photos to take in every second of an exciting moment. You also get a selfie mode which has a timer with intervals of 2 to 10 seconds and even a slow motion mode. The different modes are a nice addition to the 4K mode that records 30 frames per second, so definitely explore the various modes that use certain frame rates for different situations.

Furthermore, the APEMAN A79 also offers a great amount of control and functionality with a 2.4 GHz remote as well as a separate app of its own. The remote control works from at most 10 metres away and also working through Wi-Fi and app on your phone you can control the camera even while one of your hands are busy. Just connect the camera to your wrist, helmet or steering wheel and you can easily capture those wonderful moments through the controls in your hand. You can also easily download the electronic image or videos through your phone’s app without ever having to use the USB or HD cable provided. Although, using the cables may be a bit faster and you can also use them to charge the camera. Either way, the Apeman A79 is a convenient action camera that lets you utilize a remote control for extra freedom and versatility in your creative camera work and full HD video footage. The pretty good battery life also contributes to long photography or filmmaking sessions.

Additionally, the APEMAN A79 also stands out to be one of the best action cameras out there with a professional image stabilization feature that automatically prevents the shake of the camera from interfering with your photos and videos. As for other forms of connectivity, the APEMAN also allows you to connect an external microphone to add better audio to your Full HD content. An external microphone is included in the accessories of an APEMAN A79 kit.

Design

Measuring to be 1.97 x 1.18 x 0.79 Inches and weighing around 0.17 pounds, the APEMAN A79 is an easy to carry around device which also stays firm wherever you attach it. You can get a number of mounting kits which allow you to attach the APEMAN A79 to your bike, skateboard or even a diving kit and keep it steady while preventing it from falling down.

Adding to that the A79 also comes with a waterproof case that is able to protect it from the water pressure upto a depth of 120 feet and 40 feet without the case. This makes it a perfect fit for water-based sports and underwater activities. As for the navigation menu on the device itself, the APEMAN A79 doesn’t stand out from the GoPro Hero 7 or any other action camera, but gives you the functionality you need at the tip of your fingers. With the remote control functionality along with the underwater housing, you can conveniently capture underwater shots without having to be submerged at the same time. Add in the image stabilization feature, and you get crisp, clear underwater image quality while the waterproof case and remote control do all the work for you. You can also fetch your captured electronic photos and videos quickly through the phone app rather than eject the SD card and load its memory onto a computer.

Value

Offering you the near perfect performance with a deeper underwater waterproof rating than the GoPro Hero 7, the APEMAN A79 is probably the best action cam you can get right now. While it may not support 4K at 60FPS, it offers a video and image quality, a decent battery life and also an unrivalled waterproof housing all at a very affordable and great value of $55 on amazon com.

APEMAN A79 Wrap Up

Probably the best action camera for the money, the APEMAN A79 offers you everything you can ask for. From a deep waterproof rating, an extra waterproof housing, an amazing video and audio quality paired with the perfect design and functionality of app integration, the APEMAN A79 has it all, and it’s something the action video enthusiasts won’t want to miss out on.

Categories
Best Underwater Camera

Akaso EK7000 Review

If you’re an adventurous person who wants an action cam at a budget-friendly price, the Akaso EK7000 ticks most of the boxes. This cheap action camera is full of excellent features like a 12 megapixel and 4K video recording. Compare this with another 4k camera in our Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 review. The waterproof housing is the reason it made our best underwater camera list. Or, you could read our Canon PowerShot D30 waterproof digital camera review for a high-quality waterproof camera.

Why We Like It – Akaso EK7000

The Akaso EK7000 action camera is a cheaper alternative to the ubiquitous GoPro Hero range. It still has many of the similar features including 4K recording, Wi-Fi connectivity, and fantastic picture and video quality.

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use
  • Good video quality
Cons
  • No touchscreen
  • Requires a separate waterproof case for waterproofing
  • No built-in image stabilization

Performance

For a cheap camera, Akaso’s EK7000 delivers decent performance. The camera comes with 4K recording that’s limited to 25 fps in a wide angle view. It also has the option to record in 1080p or 720p at 60 fps. Apart from videos, this cheap action camera can shoot 12-megapixel photos, as well as time-lapse and burst mode shots. You’ll need the Akaso EK7000 Pro if you’re looking for 16MP and electronic stabilization. The EK 7000 does well in a crowded action camera market with competitors like the GoPro Hero 7.

Design

The design of the Akaso EK7000 is very similar to other action cameras and even has a GoPro compatible mounting system. All the buttons are in easy to reach places and are big and bold. Unlike the EK 700 Pro, there’s no touchscreen, but the provided LCD is bright and easy to navigate. The remote control is simple compared to many other action cams and only features two buttons. You won’t have to worry about battery life because the EK7000 comes with two batteries. If you need something more rugged, the Nikon W300 is a safe bet.

Value

One of the Akaso EK7000’s best attributes is its price. It may not be able to beat some of the competitors when it comes to price, but its value for money is second to none. For a camera that’s hundreds of dollars less than some of its competitors, this camera can still take excellent videos and has good picture quality. It even has Wi-Fi connectivity and comes with a remote control. When it comes to this camera Akaso does well in providing useful features to get the job done without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, it needs a housing to make it waterproof, and can’t compete with the Apeman A79 when it comes to diving. Though once this Akaso action cam dons some waterproof housing, it’ll be ready to capture great image and video quality of underwater sports, scenery, etc. You don’t even have to be underwater at the same time as the Akaso thanks to its convenient remote control. If you’re interested in even more convenient features like touch screen and image stabilization, the Akaso EK7000 Pro includes those.

Akaso EK7000 Wrap Up

The Akaso EK7000 costs a fraction of many other action cameras, and still manages to have good features like 4K recording, and a 12-megapixel camera. The two 90-minute batteries also extend the battery life so you can keep recording with no interruptions. There’s no image stabilization or touchscreen like on the EK7000 pro, but it can still perform well in most situations. Though an underwater case has to be purchased separately, the versatility of situations where this cheap action camera can work is impressive. This camera is perfect for people who don’t want to spend too much on an action camera. Overall, the Akaso EK7000 stands out in the action camera market, for the wide angle camera comes with multiple quality features while managing to both perform well and be much more affordable compared to other action cams. If you enjoyed this product review or found it informative, definitely check out our other products, where we explore other action cameras, DSLRs, gaming equipment, outdoor tools, and much more.

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Best Underwater Camera

Olympus Tough TG-610 Camera Review

Is this camera as rugged as best waterproof cameras?

A camera with the word “Tough” in the name really has two ways it should be judged. For another tough camera, check out our Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 review. First, as a camera — its image quality, features, and how it stacks up against other similarly priced point-and-shoots. Second, as a gadget designed to take as much punishment as possible. Only by looking at both aspects, and weighing them depending on how you plan to use the camera, can you get a full picture (if you’ll excuse the pun) of what the Olympus Tough TG-610 can do. Is it a contender for best underwater camera?

Images and Video

[nggallery id=182]

On the first score the Olympus score was… meh. In good light, images looked fine, but what camera doesn’t perform well when lighting conditions are favorable? The true test is when you’ve got low light, moving subjects, and a toddler tugging at your pants while trying to take a shot. Learn how to keep your camera steady to capture that perfect moment in our Joby GorillaPod Flexible Tripod review.

When challenged, the Olympus produced images that were … well, the only word I can think of is “smudgy.” Not quite grainy (like you get with high ISO), not quite blurry (like you get with low shutter speed), but what were supposed to be 14-megapixel photos were more like 14-megapixel impressionist renderings of them. Specifically, the Olympus TG-610 has a 14 MP 1/2.3 inch image sensor with 5x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom.

Red eye was treacherous. When I used the built-in flash, the camera managed to paint subjects’ eyes red about 75 percent of the time. There’s an in-camera red-eye correction, though it’s pretty unintuitive. Red eye isn’t the end of the world — most software can correct for it pretty easily, but I’ve never used a camera that’s produced it as consistently as the TG-610.

Video was a little better, but even in good light, it was hard to make out detail in darker-colored areas. The camera’s dual image stabilization, which is designed to help you take photos of moving images, didn’t appear to do much in video mode, and I got lots of camera shake. More meh.

Did the TG-610 have good points? Very few. The iAuto mode, which is supposed to figure out what mode the camera should be in to take the best picture, actually does a decent job. The 3-inch LCD is a good size, and the camera contains its own help menu, which isn’t totally useless. There’s also a mode you can engage if you’re using an Eye-Fi card for even easier wireless sharing of your pix. This camera also shoots videos at 720p HD, and it’s capable of HDMI functionality as well.

Durability

I know, it’s not much. But I haven’t gotten to the good part: the toughness. The first time you handle the 610, you’ll be able to tell it can take punishment. It’s unusually heavy for its pack-of-cigarettes shape. I consciously didn’t take the usual care I give gadgets when I took the camera on vacation, generally throwing it in bags, leaving it on kitchen counters, and letting the aforementioned toddler pay with it. It survived it all.

It also works underwater. The specs say it’s waterproof up to five meters down (16 feet). Not being a scuba diver, I couldn’t verify that spec, but it did well in my bathtub shooting colorful rubber duckies and plastic boats (they’re the, um, toddler’s). For underwater photography, I always prefer to use a waterproof camera like the 610 than, say, a DSLR inside a waterproof case, since I’m always terrified I haven’t sealed the case properly. With the 610, you’ve got not worries.

For all its immunity to water, shocks, and low temperatures, keep in mind you will be able to scratch, ding and dent this camera fairly easily. Being able to take a pounding does not mean you’ll look pristine afterward. But even with bruises, the 610 will perform exactly the same as if it were brand new. This camera’s durable enough for many situations, given how it’s waterproof, shockproof, and freeze proof. The protective layer over the LCD is particularly good, shielding the pixels from damage even when poked with sharp objects.

Conclusion

It’s true, the Tough TG-610 isn’t much of a camera, especially when compared to other cameras priced at $280 (you can find it much cheaper online). But it’s good for shooting outdoors, and that’s where its best feature comes into play: durability. If you like your sports extreme and your action up close, this is the camera for the job. Others may give you much better shots, but this one is guaranteed to live to shoot the next one.

Editor’s Rating:

[rating:3/5]

Good

Bottom line: Since it’s very durable and waterproof, the Olympus Tough TG-610 should be your go-to camera while skiing, scuba diving, or doing anything extreme outdoors in good sunlight. For pretty much anything else, a decent cellphone camera has it beat.

Pros

  • Tough! Can use underwater
  • Good image quality in bright light
  • Large LCD
Cons
  • Poor image quality in normal or low light
  • Rampant red eye
  • Lousy image stabilization
[nggallery id=181]
Categories
Best Underwater Camera

GoPro Hero 7 Review

If you love being outdoors, the GoPro Hero 7 is a perfect companion. This new GoPro camera has new features like Hypersmooth stabilization to get even better videos while you are on the move. Compared to previous models it also has a much better microphone to capture sound. The Hero 7 made it onto our best underwater camera list thanks to its image stabilization.

Why We Like It – GoPro Hero 7

The GoPro Hero 7 is an excellent action cam that offers high picture quality and 4K video quality with high frame rates. The Hero 7 Black is also waterproof and can be upgraded with the media mod, display mod, light mod, or even digital lenses.

Pros
  • Fantastic stabilization
  • Great image quality
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • Battery life gets drained fast
  • Expensive
  • Only waterproof to ten meters

Performance

GoPro cameras are known for their legendary performance and the Hero 7 Black is no different. It can video in 4K60, and take 12 MP photos. It also comes with many photo modes like Timewarp, SuperPhoto, and 8x Slo-mo. One of the highlights is the Hypersmooth stabilization technology that makes every video buttery smooth. The Black GoPro 7 features are excellent and some of them can compare to the new design GoPro Hero8 Black and the DJI
Osmo Action. If you need a camera that can go deeper, the Akaso EK7000 is a better option.

Design

GoPro action cameras are renowned for their innovative design and the Hero 7 continues the tradition. It comes in a compact package with an attractive matte black finish. To prevent scratches, the lens is protected by a removable lens cover. The Hero 7 is also waterproof up to ten meters so it’s ideal for some water activities. The best new feature called Hypersmooth eliminates the need for a gimbal and makes recording super-easy even with bumps and vibrations. Everything about the Hero 7 is classy and it compares well against rivals like the Hero8 Black, Osmo Action, and Nikon W300.

Value

The GoPro Hero 7 has many fantastic features like 4K video recording and 12 MP camera. The video quality is superb, especially when you use features like Timewarp and Slo-Mo. Even the picture quality is excellent and SuperPhoto delivers professional photos that look like they need an image credit. You can use the GoPro app to edit your pictures and videos to make them even better and to keep them safe. When considering the price against the features, this camera offers excellent value. For a cheaper option, check out the APEMAN A79.

GoPro Hero 7 Wrap Up

The GoPro Hero 7 is still a great action camera with many great features. Both the video and picture quality is fantastic and the image stabilization is also good. The battery life might not be that great, but the same goes for most action cameras. The Hero 7 is probably one of the best action cams we’ve seen. Obviously, until the GoPro Hero 8 Black review comes out.

Categories
Best Underwater Camera

Fujifilm XP140 Review

The Fujifilm XP140 packs plenty in its compact design and modest price-point. A 16.4MP CMOS sensor, 90MB internal memory, and outstanding image quality, even in darkness or other low-light situations, signals it has no desire to concede to bigger brand names. It’s just playing to its own personal strengths, and it’s doing it well. Consider it when you’re looking for the best underwater camera.

Why We Like It – Fujifilm XP140

The Fujifilm XP140 may not pack as big of a wallop as some of its competitors like GoPro or even Nokia, but what it does pack is plenty of great features at a plenty affordable price. It’s not pretending to be something it’s not. It’s pretending to be a camera for the most hardcore of people, but just a camera that will go through everyday use with some rugged scenarios thrown in-between.

Pros
  • 16.4MP back-illuminated CMOS Sensor
  • Dive Rating of about 25 metres
  • Outstanding Image Quality
Cons
  • Pretty Standard Battery Life
  • 4K Video is only 15fps

Performance

Battery Life is rated at 240 shots in auto mode which is standard for a camera like this. The battery should be okay for normal, everyday use but may need charging, or a second battery, if daily use is heavy. The Fujifilm Finepix XP140 features a 16.4MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, a 5x optical zoom lens, and has a max shutter speed of 1/200 sec. Like we said, the camera is fine for everyday use. But if you need something with a little more torque you can never go wrong with a GoPro, especially the GoPro Hero 7.

Design

The Fujifilm Finepix comes equipped with a 90MB internal memory card and the option to use an SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card (just be sure to visit the Fujifilm website if you’re unsure if a particular memory card is compatible or not). The XP140 Fujifilm has a dive rating of about 25 metres, which is nice. If you need to go deeper, the AKASO EK7000 4K Action Cam has a dive rating of just over 30 metres and is an affordable, budget underwater camera.

Value

One of the most surprising things about the Finepix XP140 was how good the image quality is. With a backlit sensor the camera took low light and night photos well, while colours in normal letting really pop. To be fair, there is some purple fringing when in high-contrast situations. Unfortunately, the trade-off for this is 4K video quality at only 15fps. But it can still shoot Full HD videos at 60fps. The NIkon W300 offers excellent 4K video quality if you absolutely need to have it.

Fujifilm XP140 Wrap Up

The Fujifilm XP 140, instead of trying to out-do its competition, like Nokia and GoPro, is instead expressing the qualities it knows it can excel. Sure, it’s unfortunate that 4K video can only be shot at 15fps, but it makes up for this with outstanding images. Battery Life is normal, but it has a back-illuminated CMOS sensor. It may not appeal to the most hardcore action-addicts, but for newbies or families out at the beach it works great.

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Best Underwater Camera

Olympus Tough TG-6 Review

The Tough TG-6 is a great camera that not only has a fantastic assortment of performance features, it’s a tough camera that will survive anywhere you want to bring it. It is easily a best underwater camera for newbies and professionals alike. Some flimsy features, like the LCD Screen, are a let-down, but overall the Olympus Tough TG-6 lives up to its name.

Why We Like It – Olympus Tough TG-6

The new underwater camera from the Olympus Tough series may only seem like a slight upgrade from the previous years model but when it comes to underwater cameras there’s only so much you can do before you start making it too difficult to use, well, underwater. The people at Olympus know this, and the upgrades they have made with the Olympus TG-6, though slight, are still excellent and worthy of note. If you aren’t quite sold by the Olympus, you should also read our page on how Fujifilm intros $200 waterproof ‘point and shoot’, the Z33WP.

Pros
  • Highly advanced Microscope Mode
  • Configurable White Balance Modes
  • Plethora of Underwater Shooting Modes
Cons
  • Rarely Useful Pro Capture Mode
  • LCD Screen scratches easily

Performance

A burst capture mode supports speeds up to 20fps for about 9 photos and shooting modes, including underwater shooting, enables you to shoot raw or JPG photos and enables filters after the fact, right from the camera. Olympus has continued with a 12MP sensor for the benefit of image quality, but you can get a bit more by setting the aperture to f/2.8. The camera also includes a 4x optical zoom, quick boot-up and about a half-second shutter speed, much better 4K video capture, 25mm wide angle view, and an internally stacked zoom lens. If you require a camera that’s a slight notch above this one, opt for the GoPro Hero 7.

Design

The Olympus Tough TG-6 is a compact camera and has a macro mode feature right on the dial. The LCD screen is beautiful to look at, but it is prone to scuffs and scratches. The Nikon W300 employs a 3” LCD screen that is astoundingly resistant to scratches, so five that one a whirl if a scratched screen is a deal-breaker for you. The underwater housing protects your sd card via a double-latched door so they don’t open at a bad time. Pro Capture is a nice addition, but it only works underwater when shooting with a video light.

Value

The Olympus Tough TG-6 includes many premium camera features like focus stacking and an underwater microscope with aperture priority modes. These aperture priority modes include built-in underwater white balance modes that are configurable in the settings. Though it doesn’t have a touch screen it’s not something most people find necessary in a waterproof camera. If you’re just getting into underwater photography, or just want a budget-friendly alternative that still has impressive specs, the AKASO EK7000 4K Action Cam should be your go-to.

Olympus Tough TG-6 Wrap Up

The Olympus Tough TG-6 includes everything you want in an underwater camera, like a customizable white balance or an accurate underwater microscope, at a modest price-point. Sure, they had to make some concessions at certain points, but none that will turn professionals or amateurs away and running for the hills.

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Best Underwater Camera

Best Waterproof Camera

To compile a list of the best waterproof camera you can buy online we’ve looked at the specs of the top models from Kodak, Panasonic and more, focusing on submersible depth, video resolution, image quality and battery life. While the go-pro like mountable action camera design is often very convenient for scuba diving, skiing and hiking, or even for use with a selfie-stick, we’ve also included some more traditional waterproof camcorder style and waterproof point-and-shoot cameras for those who prefer a more involved, creative picture taking or filming process.

Our top pick, the best waterproof camera, is the GoPro Hero 7. It shoots 4K ultra HD video at 30 or 60 frames per second, is waterproof down to 10m even without a housing, and includes a unique “hyper smooth” video stabilization as well as two digital “virtual lens” modes that crop its normally 170-degree wide angle field of view and give you a “linear” view without the fish-eye effect common to most action cameras. This variance in shooting modes propels this camera to the top of our list. It is perfect for those looking for the best underwater camera.

Top 7 Waterproof Cameras Compared

 #1  GoPro Hero 7 – Top Pick


WHY WE LIKE IT: A meaningful update to the tried-and-tested rugged GoPro design, the Hero 7 is waterproof even without a housing down to 10m, has a touch screen and delivers crisp 4k video with stabilization. It’s great for people who do a lot of outdoor activities, extreme sports or motorsports and want to conveniently share good quality video and photos of their adventures. It reminds me of One Tough Ass Camera: Olympus u1030SW.

Pros
  • 4K 60 fps ultra HD video
  • Offers in camera live streaming via Facebook Live
  • Unique virtual lens offers reduced fisheye distortion compared to other wide-angle action cams
Cons
  • Battery life only around 50 minutes of video, compared to 3 hours with the Kodak Pixpro
  • More expensive than the similar resolution AKASO V50 Elite
  • Live streaming only in 1080p, not 4K

The GoPro Hero 7 Black is the go-to action camera for adventurers and outdoor sports enthusiasts looking to record quality video from a platform that’s tiny and portable enough to be mounted anywhere and rugged enough to go along for the ride when dirt-biking, mountaineering, and surfing. Like past GoPro models and like our honorable mention, the Kodak Pixpro, this GoPro action camera is rated waterproof down to 10m or about 33 ft, making it great for pool parties, while divers may find a submersible housing is required for going deeper. This is the best camera on our list for a reason.

Stand out features on the Hero 7 Black waterproof camera include built-in live streaming via Facebook Live, intelligent photo mode for still capture and selfies, and the Go Pro “hyper smooth” electronic image stabilization, which promises “gimbal-like” footage without a gimbal. This model is at the top of our list for a reason. But if you’re able to spend a bit more, take a look at the GoPro Hero 8 or Hero 8 Black. This upgraded model will take the features you already love, but with a distinct bump in quality. If you’re looking for the best GoPro, this may be your pick.

 #2  Kodak Pixpro SP1 – Honorable Mention


WHY WE LIKE IT: A freeze-proof and dust-proof as well as waterproof camera with some useful features like image stabilization, slow-motion and time-lapse and remote control via the PIXPRO app. It’s great for someone looking for a convenient, easy to control camera with long (3hr) battery life for a ski trip or outdoor adventures. Speaking of honorable mentions, our Nikon 1 AW1 Review is a great read.

Pros
  • 3+ hours of battery life
  • Freezeproof to 14F (-10C) as well as shockproof and dust proof
  • 14 MP still photos, higher resolution than the GoPro Hero 7
Cons
  • No 4K video(only 1080p – lower than most rivals)
  • Can only take up to a 32 GB SD card, limiting video length
  • Mounting hardware not always compatible with hardware for Go-Pro style cameras

This Kodak action camera is rated for 10m of diving and has the added benefit of IPX8 dust-proof and
2m shook-proof ratings as well as being freeze-proof down to -10C. With this durability it makes a great action camera for skiing and other winter sports. It also offers good still image quality, and with 14 MP, does so at a higher resolution than our top pick, the Go Pro hero 7. A major plus for excursions further from civilization is the fact that the Kodak Pixpro SP1 has a longer lasting battery than most action cameras, with a full charge typically lasting for 3 hours of video recording as opposed to the 1 hour to 1.5 hrs the GoPro Hero 7 provides. This could be compared to the Olympus Tough TG-6, which is similar to the Hero 7 in it’s resistance to the elements. It also boasts an additional 1.2/3 inch 12MP BSI CMOS sensor. If 4K video is important to you, consider the Tough. If you’re looking for another great Olympus product, take a look at Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0-5.6 R Zoom Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras.

The Pixpro SP1 Waterproof camera comes with built-in WiFi for sharing, a 1.5” screen for reviewing footage, and while the file format may confuse some phones, pairing and WiFi set up is easy with the included Pixpro app. Downsides to this rugged camera are that it only records 1080p video, so no 4K ultra HD, and its atypical shape means that it doesn’t work with all “universal” action camera mounting hardware.

 #3  AKASO V50 Elite – Deepest Diving


WHY WE LIKE IT: This action camera from Akaso matches the 4k60 video resolution of the GoPro Hero 7 Black while coming in at a much lower price point. It also comes, unlike the Go Pro, with an included housing that lets you dive to 40m with it. It’s great for travelers, surfers or anyone looking for a relatively inexpensive way to grab quality footage of boating, sailing, rafting or fishing trips. Compare it against the Canon PowerShot D30 Waterproof Camera Review.

Pros
  • Waterproof to 40m
  • 20MP photo resolution
  • 2-inch touch screen rear display
Cons
  • External (though included) case has to be assembled before it’s waterproof
  • No in-camera live-streaming
  • Battery life drops below 1 hr when using rear screen or WiFi

At around half the price of the GoPro Hero 7 Black, the AKASO V50 Elite nonetheless comes with many of the same features and offers higher still resolution (20MP vs 12MP) than the GoPro or our #2 pick, the Kodak Pixpro S1 (14MP.) The V50 Elite waterproof camera also features a clear, bright 2” rear screen for composing, and it ships with more accessories, too. You get helmet and handlebar mounts, tethers, the waterproof housing and two 1050mAh batteries good for 1-2+ hours of recording.

The extra battery is a plus, since the battery life is one of the V50 Elite’s drawbacks. Your mileage may vary but a full charge lasts anywhere from 30 minutes when shooting full 4K to 90 minutes in 1080p mode. If you just need a great digital camera for your next photoshoot, try out the Fujifilm FinePix.

 #4  AKASO V50 Pro – Best for External Microphone


WHY WE LIKE IT: Similar to the V50 Elite, this Akaso waterproof camera offers 4K video (limited to 30 fps) and deep diving capability. The V50 pro also supports external microphones, a big plus as the audio quality from action cameras may not match their video quality. This camera is great for vloggers looking to capture some 4K adventure footage and retain the flexibility to use an external mic.

Pros
  • External mic support & HDMI out
  • Adjustable angle of view from 170-degrees to 90 degrees to reduce fisheye effect
  • 6-axis electronic image stabilization
Cons
  • As with the V50 Elite, using the app/ WiFI drains battery
  • 10m less dive depth than the V50 Elite
  • Shorter battery life than the Kodak Pixpro S1

The AKASO V50 Pro is similar to the V50 Elite, our #3 pick, in that both offer high end features for less than half the price of a Go Pro Hero 7 Black; they share 20MP still resolution, adjustable viewing angles, and a clear, 2” rear screen for easy composing. They also both include a variety of mounts and hardware pieces, including tethers for diving and surfing. Still, both these cameras are great for taking action footage of activities like snorkeling or canoeing or snowboarding.

The V50 pro is rated to work in temperatures ranging down to -5C, so it’s technically snow friendly but not as “freeze proof” as our #3 pick, the Kodak Pixpro S1. The AKASO V50 Pro, however, once you assemble the included case, is rated for 30 m of diving depth, compared to only 10m for the Go Pro and the Kodak. Lastly, it doesn’t record in 60 fps much like our #3 pick. For the best underwater 4k Ultra video, compare this model to the Nikon Coolpix W300. While the Nikon Coolpix is on the pricier side (at upwards of $200 more than the AKASO), this cameras capability for high def underwater video and 5x optical zoom may make the price spike worth it. If you’re looking to upgrade your Nikon Lens, you might also want to look at the Nikon Nikkor 55mm F/1.2 F Mount 35 mm camera lens too.  If the Coolpix is out of your price range, you’ll still be getting a great camera with the AKASO.

 #5  Panasonic Lumix Waterproof – Best Point & Shoot


WHY WE LIKE IT: An affordable, rugged point and shoot digital camera, not an action camera but a handheld digicam that offers a built-in torch light and easier still photo composition than you can’t get with a GoPro type camera. It’s great for someone looking to take pictures of fishing, boating, and motorsports adventures, as well as documenting beach trips and ski trips.

Pros
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Built-in flash for low light recording
  • Freeze-proof to -10C, IPX8 certified dust-proof
Cons
  • Only 1280x720p video resolution, no 4K or even 1080p offered
  • Battery lasts up to a month on stand-by but drains in under an hour when recording video
  • Only waterproof down to 8m

An affordable, easy-to-use point and shoot, this Panasonic Lumix waterproof digital camera doesn’t compete directly with the action cameras like the Go Pro Hero 7 (our top pick) which are designed to be mounted somewhere or placed on a selfie stick and record basically continuous video, but is designed more for still photos and occasional video clips. To that end, it lacks the ultra wide angle lens found on the AKASO V50 and Go Pro, but this means it also doesn’t produce the fisheye distortion you see in those cameras. This camera will be easy to use on your next family vacation.

The Panasonic Lumix also features a built-in light for low light photos, and a larger screen than any action camera, making it easier to compose shots. Another plus, the Panasonic is the only camera on our list to feature 220MB of built-in memory, so if your card runs out you can still take about 34 more photos. If you want your photo quality to stay great on land too, consider the Nikon F2 for your next shoot.

 #6  AKASO Brave 4K – Best Accessories


WHY WE LIKE IT: Waterproof to 100 feet with included case, the 4K-capable AKASO brave is a bargain at less than half the price of the Go Pro Hero 7. It’s great for anyone looking for an affordable action camera to take on vacation or out surfing, that still delivers quality photo and 4k video.

Pros
  • 20MP Sony sensor
  • Adjustable field of view: 70, 110, 140 and 170 degrees
  • Comes with 19 accessories including wrist band and remote control
Cons
  • Battery life limited to an hour recording 4k
  • Only waterproof when the case is on
  • 4K only at 24fps, so no 4k slow motion

The least expensive of the AKASO 20MP action cameras on our list, this versatile waterproof camera is good for dives down to 100 feet when using the included waterproof case. It. Also comes with 19 accessories, most of which are cross compatible with other Go-Pro sized action cameras. Like the Go Pro Hero 7, our top pick, it offers different field-of-view options, ranging from 70 degrees to full-wide angle 170 degrees. These features will have you getting quality photo and video in no time.

The AKASO brave also has a clear and bright 2-inch rear screen, though it’s not a touch screen as on the AKASO Elite, our #3 pick. It does, however, include a built-in smart gyroscope for image stabilization, helping you get smooth, crisp video. Plus there is WiFi which connects to your smartphone up to 10m away.

#7  Campark X20 – Best Budget


WHY WE LIKE IT: The least expensive touch-screen equipped waterproof camera on our list, this one offers 20MP stills, 4K video and more accessories than the Go Pro Hero 7 at about a third of the Go Pro’s price. It’s great for those looking to document a trip to the beach, make surfing or snorkeling videos, or for use on boating trips.

Pros
  • Low price and excellent 4K 24fps video quality
  • 2” LCD touch screen
  • Built in WiFi and free app for quick phone sharing
Cons
  • Shorter battery life than the Kodak Pixpro S1
  • No flash or low light modes
  • Doesn’t come with tethers or wrist bands like the AKASO Brave

This Campark action camera delivers crisp 4K video and takes 20MP stills that rival the quality of more costly waterproof cameras like the AKASO Elite and Kodak Pixpro S1. It even has a touch screen, which you can use to select functions like zoom, up to 4x, or viewing angle.  Like the Go Pro Hero 7 Black, our top pick, this action camera offers selectable field of view options. Go full wide at 170 degrees to make sure you don’t miss any of the action, or narrow down to 110 degrees to reduce fish-eye distortion. Plus, with quality this good, your white balance will never be off.

It’s waterproof down to 30m or about 98 feet with the included case, but as with the AKASO action cameras, the case is required in order for it to be waterproof. A bonus with this Campark camera is that it includes a 2.4Ghz remote control that’s water resistant (though not submersible), so if you want to set it up and trigger it remotely you don’t need to use your phone.

How We Decided

We looked for waterproof cameras that offered full submersion capability and were flexible enough to use for video or still shots. To that end, we selected models rated for at least 10m of depth. Some of the best waterproof cameras go as far as 40m, such as the AKASO V50 Elite, our #3 pick.

We also limited our search to cameras that provided at least 8 MP of resolution for still photos– this is big enough to print out vacation snaps on a postcard, for example. For video resolution, we looked for at least full HD 1080p, but many of the best waterproof cameras offer 4K video at 24 or 30 frames per second.
In addition to resolution and dive depth, we narrowed it down to those which provided at least an hour of battery life on a full charge while recording video.

Waterproof Camera Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Waterproofing standard
    For this list of the best waterproof cameras you can buy for surfing, boating, skiing or rafting, we focused on cameras boasting at least IPX8 waterproofing or good for submersion in water up to at least 8 meters deep for at least an hour. Some of our top picks go as deep as 40m.
  2. Video Resolution
    All the waterproof cameras on our list can shoot at least HD video as well as taking stills with at least 10MP of resolution. Whether or not you need more depends on what you want to do with the video. The larger it’s going to be viewed, the more resolution is generally desired. 720p is great for a typical small Instagram video or snap. 1080p is the standard for most Youtube videos and looks good on a phone or laptop screen. If you’re trying to display at full screen width or view on a big 4k capable television, then 4k is the way to go.
  3. Battery life
    Battery life is especially important on these outdoor-use action cameras, since you might naturally take them someplace far from any outlets. The Kodak Pixpro S1, our #3 pick, stands out with its 3-hour recording time, whereas the Go Pro and similar action cameras range from 30 minutes to 90 minutes of recording depending on feature use, such as WiFi.
  4. WiFi or Connectivity
    All the cameras on our list of the best waterproof cameras feature some kind of connectivity that allows you to quickly upload pictures and video to your phone for sharing. This is a key benefit to modern action cameras, since when you’re out in the world of nature or hanging around the pool, you may not want to fiddle with cables and need to use your computer to upload photos. The Go Pro Hero 7 Black, our top pick, stands out here with its in-camera live streaming ability.

FAQs

  • Are these good in the snow?
    The best waterproof cameras are all technically good for snow and slush, though the freeze-resistance ratings on these do vary somewhat. For instance, the Kodak Pixpro (our #3 pick) and the Panasonic Lumix, our #5 pick, advertise as being freeze proof down to at least -5C.
  • Will they record audio?
    All the cameras on the list do have an audio recording feature, but for best quality some of them, like the AKASO V50 Pro, our #4 pick, offer external mic support as well.
Categories
Best Underwater Camera

Nikon Invests in Waterproofing with its New Coolpix Camera

If you like the Nikon camera below, read about Mistakes to Avoid when buying a camera. Usually, you know what you’re getting with a Coolpix camera – these small, easy-to-use digital cameras fit in your pocket, have a lot of automatic modes to make snapping photos easier, and don’t cost too much for the average consumer.

However, for the Coolpix W100 Nikon is veering into a new niche – a millennial-happy, outdoor-ready compact camera that’s ready for the Instagram generation. In other words, if you’re looking for a camera to match your adventurous, friendly lifestyle, then check out our list of the best compact digital cameras, and note that this Coolpix might soon join them. Compare the Coolpix with our page on how Fujifilm intros $200 waterproof ‘point and shoot the Z33WP camera to decide which camera is best.

The general specs on the W100 are decent. There’s a 13.2-megapixel sensor and a 3x optical zoom – you won’t be using this camera for any magnificent zooming or capturing intense action. Think rather about friends and family at the beach, on vacation, on road trips, at the park, or anywhere else that favors more intimate, fun photos of people you care about. If you want an upgrade, read our Nikon 1 AW review.

Coolpix W100 Front Back
The new Coolpix also has some…bright skins.

Here’s where the ruggedization comes in: This camera is waterproof up to 10 meters, and shock proof for drops up to 1.8 meters, so you don’t have to worry much about the usual accidents. Inside, there’s an easy option for you to add cartoon effects and fun filters to your photos before you send them on, saving a step in the whole Instagram/Snapchat process. Speaking of that, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity allow you to transfer photos wirelessly right to your phone for quick uploads.

The big question here is the price: Will the average 20-something be able to afford it? We don’t have all the details on price yet, but based on the specs it looks like Nikon is aiming for affordable with this Coolpix. Keep looking for available Coolpix cameras and see when it drops – we doubt you’ll have to wait too long.

[Read: Best Waterproof Camera]

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