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Digital Cameras for Diving

Updated on July 13, 2013

Waterproof Digital Cameras for Scuba Diving

Waterproof cameras are all the rage these days, with consumers snapping up rugged models they can take to the pool, the lake or the beach. But scuba divers need more advanced models that can be taken to greater depths. Fortunately, there are some great digital cameras for diving. Today's line of scuba diving cameras ranges from high resolution models with off-the-camera strobes to hands-free models that will take photos automatically at pre-determined intervals. Choosing the best digital camera for diving depends on your needs, so this page has listed some of the various types of digital scuba diving cameras so you can compare and find the one that's right for you.

(Image credit: Frhojdysz)

SeaLife DC1400 Pro 14MP HD Underwater Digital Camera - Digital camera for diving to 200 feet

If you're looking for high-quality underwater photos, SeaLife makes some of the most popular cameras on the market. This 14-megapixel model comes with an off-the-camera flash and 5 "piano key" controls that make it easy to operate, even with gloves on. It has 6 underwater modes and 4 built-in digital color correction filters that will help you get the sharpest images with great color, even when you're at depth. It even has a "spy mode" that will automatically shoot photos at set time intervals. If you want creative control and high quality images, but can't afford a DSLR with an underwater housing, this is a great digital camera for diving.

SeaLife DC1400 Pro 14MP HD Underwater Digital Camera with Flash & Flex Arm Bracket
SeaLife DC1400 Pro 14MP HD Underwater Digital Camera with Flash & Flex Arm Bracket

Product description: The Sealife DC1400 Pro comes outfitted with the SeaLife Digital Pro Flash to light up the deep and provide spectacular underwater images bursting with color. The Digital Pro Flash can be used in full manual mode or, to simplify the process of capturing amazing underwater images, set to Auto mode.

 

GoPro HD Hero3 Silver Edition - Waterproof to 197 feet

The GoPro Hero line of cameras have become extremely popular with sports enthusiasts. It's not only scuba divers who love this camera. The GoPro series is also quite popular with surfers, mountain bikers and others who like being able to strap the camera to their board, bike, etc. and go. It shoots both video and still frames, and has an option to shoot photos automatically at intervals (from 2 to 60 seconds) until the battery dies or the card is full. This is perfect for anyone who wants a hands-free camera that can go anywhere. Just remember that if you want to use this for diving, you're going to need a light source if you don't want all your photos to be flat and blue.

GoPro HERO3: Silver Edition
GoPro HERO3: Silver Edition

Product description: Developed for the consumer and proven by professionals, GoPro's all-new HD HERO cameras are the world's most advanced line of on-board, full HD 1080p cameras designed to be used during sports. With amazing clarity, stability, and slow-motion capabilities, these cameras record your sport's most exciting moments in professional quality HD video and automatically-captured 5 megapixel still photos. HD HERO products can shoot video or photos from your point-of-view, mounted on your helmet, body, car, motorcycle, surfboard, or other equipment. And GoPro's 170wide-angle lens (the industry's widest) even lets you take shots of yourself during your activity. All captured hands-free, while you stay focused on your activity.

Originally designed for the consumer market, GoPro's wearable cameras have garnered praise from professional athletes as well as film and TV producers who demand convenience and performance from their filming equipment. The HD HERO line produces higher quality HD video than action sports cameras costing ten times as much, and as a result many video segments you see in action sports film and TV today are shot on GoPro cameras. As the #1 maker of wearable sports cameras in the world, GoPro has years of experience in developing cameras and mounting accessories for the most hardcore of sports. As a result, GoPro has won many coveted awards, including Motorcyclist magazine's prestigious "2009 Product of the Year" award and the "Editors' Choice Award" from both Popular Mechanics and Backpacker Magazine.

 

Intova CP9 Digital Camera for Diving - An inexpensive camera that can go to 160 feet

The Intova CP9 is is one of the least expensive digital cameras for diving that can go to 130 feet. If you're on a tight budget, but want to take photos underwater, this cheap scuba diving camera may be a good choice for you. This compact camera doesn't have optional strobes like the camera shown above, and it doesn't have as many features either. It can, however, go as deep as any recreational diver can go. However, if you want to take good photos at depth with this camera, you're going to need a light source, either a handheld light or one you can attach to your mask. On the good side, the Intova CP9 can take videos as well as photos, and it has a 4x digital zoom to help you get close to the action. This would be a great first camera for a diver who isn't sure how much they'll enjoy underwater photography or for someone who doesn't want to spend a lot of money.

Intova CP9 Compact Waterproof Digital Camera (OLD MODEL)
Intova CP9 Compact Waterproof Digital Camera (OLD MODEL)

Product description: The compact Intova CP9 9-megapixel digital camera allows you to shoot pictures and video on the deck or dock as well as underwater, thanks to the included waterproof housing that's rated to a 130-foot (39 meter) depth. It's also ideal for bringing along on snorkeling adventures, camping trips, skiing vacations, fishing expeditions, and more. The durable polycarbonate housing is compact enough to fit in a shirt pocket and features a unique shock absorbent liner along with dual O-ring design, full feature button control and cam lock closure system.

The 9-megapixel CMOS sensor captures still images up to 3472 x 2604 pixels, and it also offers an optional hardware interpolation that increases pixels to a 12-megapixel resolution. In addition to snapping still photos, this camera can capture video clips in up to VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels). It offers a 32 MB built-in memory, and memory can be expanded via optional SD/SDHC memory cards up to 16 GB in size.

It comes with a number of scene modes, including Sports, Night, Portrait, Landscape, and Backlight, plus Program AE. You can choose between three quality options for stills (fine, standard, and economy) and two options for video (fine and standard). Other features include a 4x digital zoom, color LCD screen, and USB connectivity.

 

Digital cameras for diving come with a variety of options and styles

Liquid Image Wide Angle Scuba Series HD Camera Mask - HD Video and Still Digital Camera for Diving to 130 Feet

Another innovative option for hands-free underwater photography is a Liquid Image mask. As all divers know, the most important aspect of a mask is how well it fits, so Liquid Image makes this camera mask in two sizes, and they also offer other masks with a variety of resolutions and depth ratings. The one shown below can go to 130 feet and can shoot HD video or 5.0 MP still images. It has a 136-degree wide-angle lens to capture all the action underwater and lever-style buttons that make it easy to use while wearing gloves. The mask doesn't have a built-in flash, however, so you'll need a handheld light for the best results. This digital camera for diving falls in the mid-price range and might be a good option for someone who wants to keep their hands free while scuba diving.

Wide Angle Scuba Series HD-(Medium)-Camera Mask
Wide Angle Scuba Series HD-(Medium)-Camera Mask

Product description: Keep your hands free as Scuba Dive! This is the world's only HD (1280x720) Wide Angle Scuba Dive mask that has an integrated waterproof digital video camera plus photographs at 5MP. Operates to a depth of 130ft / 40m and eliminates the need to hand carry an underwater camera. Lever style buttons are easy to use with diving gloves. The 135 degree Wide angle lens captures all the action underwater.

 

More Digital Cameras for Diving - Popular underwater cameras

The digital scuba diving cameras shown above can all be taken to depths of 100 feet or more, which is great for open water divers. But if most of your diving occurs in shallower water (40 feet or less), there are a lot of waterproof shockproof digital cameras geared toward sports enthusiasts who don't need the ability to take their camera so deep. They're made for surf, sun, sand or snow and are great for taking photos above and below the water.

See an Underwaer Camera in Action! - Scuba Diving in Hurghada Egypt with GoPro

Underwater Digital Cameras for Diving on eBay - Find great deals on the world's largest marketplace

eBay is a great place to look for scuba diving cameras, both new and used, including the still-popular 35mm Nikonos underwater cameras. When shopping on eBay, just be sure to buy from a seller with high feedback ratings, and you could walk away with a great bargain that you won't find elsewhere.

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