“A picture is worth 1000 words.”
Picture this (Yup! All puns intended!), you’re at the beach with the family; the kids want to snorkel, even the dog wants to snorkel, and you’ve got absolutely nothing to capture these unforgettable, underwater images of a vibrant Caribbean reef with.
Luckily, you’ve got us here at All Things Waterproof, and as our name suggests, it’s our civic duty to harass the critics, spend countless hours researching, and bring you the best in quality waterproof products. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best cheap waterproof cameras, with focus on good quality, because we do not want you to buy cheap crap that will ruin your holiday pictures.
At the top of our list is the Akaso EK7000 4K Ultra HD Action Camera. This action cam stands out above the rest due to its 4k Ultra HD Resolution, which is 4 times the resolution of traditional HD cameras. This inexpensive underwater camera sustains water depths of up to 100 feet (30m – IPX-8 rating), and with its impressive 170-degree wide angle lens you can almost see the sharks behind you! Okay, there are no sharks here, but there are other cameras to look at. Let’s take a look.
- The Best Cheap Waterproof Cameras 2017 – Underwater Digital Cameras, Video Cameras & Action Cams
- Akaso EK7000 4K Ultra HD Action Camcorder Editors’ Pick
- WIFI Underwater Camera HD Top Choice
- DBPower EX5000 Waterproof Action Camera
- Lightdow LD4000 HD Underwater Action Camera
- Fujifilm FinePix XP80 Waterproof Digital Camera
- Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof & Shockproof Digital Camera
- VTech Kidizoom Action Cam – Cheap Waterproof Action Camera for Kids
- Help! What Do I Look For When I’m Buying A Waterproof Camera?
- Camera Care Tips
The Best Cheap Waterproof Cameras 2017 – Underwater Digital Cameras, Video Cameras & Action Cams
Akaso EK7000 4K Ultra HD Action Camcorder Editors’ Pick
Rating: (5 / 5)
This relatively inexpensive waterproof action camera by Akaso makes a great cheap GoPro alternative, if you don’t want to spend the hundreds of bucks the GoPro Hero 5 costs. The Akaso is rated to capture all your underwater memories to a depth of up to 100 feet (30m), which is more than the GoPro Hero 5 offers. Here are some of the cool features of the Akaso camera.
4K Ultra HD action camera with 12-megapixel photo resolution. 4K 25fps and 2.7K 30fps allows for professional quality videos.
Wireless wrist remote control offers full control of your underwater action. 2 rechargeable batteries give you the juice you need, one at a time, for up to 90 minutes of recording. Built-in WIFI and HDMI allows for up-to-date editing and sharing – with a WIFI range of up to 32 feet (10m). An IPX-8 rating allows for submersion of up to 100 feet, making this cheap underwater action camera ideal for surfing, snorkeling, swimming, etc.
WIFI Underwater Camera HD Top Choice
Rating: (4.8 / 5)
If cameras were trucks, it’d be said that this cheap waterproof camera is fully-loaded. It’s made Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Underwater Photography Camcorders category. It’s a top choice!
This underwater picture-taker boasts a 14-megapixel HD 1080p design for the highest quality images. A 2” LCD screen offers a crystal-clear image of your photo subjects or a high-def display of your video playback. And, remember that 170-degree wide angle 6G lens? Well, that’s guaranteed to gain you some pretty jealous social media attention.
This relatively inexpensive waterproof camera features an easy to replace, detachable, rechargeable battery. It can record up to 70 continuous minutes per charge – in 1080P of course. The housing is IPX-8 rated, so it can withstand depths of up to 98 feet (30m) while you have digital video recording, photo shooting, audio recording, and video display at your fingertips. An HDMI HD output allows you to sit on the couch and enjoy the playback of your underwater experience.
DBPower EX5000 Waterproof Action Camera
Rating: (4.6 / 5)
Apart from the fact that the name sounds cool and futuristic, this cheap waterproof camera is great for surfing, skiing, diving, and almost any action that you can find.
The EX5000 is quite similar to the WIFI Underwater Camera. A 2” display allows you to look at your HD, 1080p or 720p pictures and videos. It incorporates a 14-megapixel Panasonic CMOS Sensor and a 170-degree wide angle lens.
Two rechargeable batteries and memory capabilities compatible with TF card up to 32GB makes this underwater camera worth its weight in gold. Running in 720p will give you up to 8 hours of video and 5 hours in 1080p. The coolest part about this cheap waterproof camera is that it features an anti-shaking function that compensates for hand movement while using the camera.
Lightdow LD4000 HD Underwater Action Camera
Rating: (4.3 / 5)
Price: Check Price at Amazon
- IPX-8 rating
- 1080p/720p HD quality
- 170-degree wide lens
- Rechargeable battery
- Requires an app to retrieve footage
This cheap waterproof action camera is built to withstand extreme environments and is another of its kind boasting wide angle views and HD quality photo and video.
With 12-megapixel photos and a frame rate of 30fps, this waterproof camera by Lightdow packs quite a few specs. A wide angle lens offers up to 170-degrees of uninterrupted view – great for Facebook cover photos, while 1080p and 720p video quality is sure to retain the vividness of those captured moments for years to come.
Durable and waterproof up to 98 feet (30m), this underwater camera is IPX-8 rated, making it ideal for diving, swimming, and almost any water sport activity you can imagine. Maximum storage support of 32GB gives you more than enough space to store those memories.
Also interesting: The Best Dive Watches 2017 – Top rated Models from Affordable to Luxury
Fujifilm FinePix XP80 Waterproof Digital Camera
Rating: (4.3 / 5)
This 4-way proof camera by Fujifilm is a quality waterproof digital camera that is ideal for capturing all your unforgettable underwater moments.
4-way proof – Waterproof to 50 feet (IPX-8), Freezeproof down to 14-degrees F, Shockproof to 5.8 feet, and Dustproof. So should you ever drop this camera from a 5-foot high mound of dust, through a frozen lake to the frigid water below, then you’re covered!
With a 16.2-megapixel, backlit CMOS sensor, this camera is capable of maintaining image quality in low light environments. Continuous shooting mode, full HD movie (with the touch of a button), and smartphone or tablet wireless connectivity makes this waterproof camera a formidable force to be reckoned with.
Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof & Shockproof Digital Camera
Rating: (4.2 / 5)
“Nikon” – a popular name in the photo industry, and based on this waterproof camera, we can see why.
13.2-megapixel with CMOS sensor, 2.7” LCD screen, full HD 1080p videos with stereo sound, and NIKKOR glass zoom lens, make this underwater camera by Nikon one the best cheap waterproof cameras on the market.
The Coolpix S33 offers a trifecta in protection – Waterproof up to 33 feet, Shockproof up to 5 feet, and Freezeproof down to 14-degrees F. A wide angle zoom lens takes great panoramic footage and photos, and oversized buttons with easy menus make it user-friendly.
VTech Kidizoom Action Cam – Cheap Waterproof Action Camera for Kids
Rating: (4 / 5)
At All Things Waterproof, we always like to include the kids. So, here’s a really good cheap waterproof camera that allows the children to capture their own moments. It makes a great first camera for 4-9 year old children. It’s like a GoPro for kids, with a small price tag.
This waterproof camera is durable, versatile, and is specifically designed for kids. Its waterproof case allows for picture-taking in up to 6 feet of water, and 2 mounts make it easy to mount on bikes and skateboards. The camera has a 1.4” LCD screen.
This camera actually has some pretty cool features that we’re sure most adults will wish their cameras had. Games, photo effects, filters, frames, stop-motion and time-lapse capabilities, and a recording and photo-taking time of 2.5 hours are a few of the features of this camera. It takes a microSD card and can support up to 32GB.
You also might like: The Best Waterproof Heart Rate Monitors 2017
Help! What Do I Look For When I’m Buying A Waterproof Camera?
As we always say here at All Things Waterproof, “you are our friends,” and like any good friend would, we like to share our tips and tricks with you. It’s our mission to help you choose the best cheap waterproof camera; cheap in the sense of inexpensive, but good quality, so you will be happy with your purchase.
We’ll give you a few tips on; what features and specifications to look for in choosing an underwater camera, important factors to consider, and of course, helpful tips to consider that will ensure you get the right bang for your buck.
Well, we certainly don’t think we should have to point this out as a tip to consider when choosing a waterproof camera, but we’ll expand on it a bit. Apart from the obvious, something you should consider is the waterproof rating of the camera you’re thinking about buying, i.e IPX-rating. The IP Code rating on waterproof devices refers to the degree protection provided against intrusion. This Wikipedia article, provides a detailed look at how the IP Code works and includes a table with the IP Code and its corresponding certified submersion depth. Generally, an IPX-8 rating guarantees the device can be immersed to a depth of 3 feet (1m) or more.
Pixels & Lenses
Naturally, you’ll want your pictures to be of a certain quality. After all, no-one wants their Facebook profile picture to look like a 3-year old kid’s painting – unless of course, it is your 3-year old kid’s actual painting. With that said, generally the more megapixels your camera is equipped with, the higher resolution and quality your pictures should be.
Lenses make the world of a difference as well. The beach is usually an awe-inspiring panoramic view, so consider getting a camera equipped with wide field of view lenses that will really do your photos justice. However, if you’re into more detailed, close-up photos, then wide lenses aren’t the ideal choice since they make objects appear smaller. So, always choose the lens that best suits what you’re photographing.
1080p…720p….Any lower is unacceptable. Remember the days of streaming YouTube videos in 240p or Heaven forbid, 144p? Well, the same applies to your underwater camera.
If you can afford a camera that is rated 4K – which is a higher resolution than 1080p, this will guarantee you the highest quality resolution available. Again, the higher the resolution, the better and more professional your videos will be. After all, no-one wants to watch video quality that looks like a 70’s film.
There are a few underwater cameras on the market that feature buoyant attributes. If you can find this quality when choosing an budget underwater digital camera, then that would be golden. Flotation foam straps are also available and stop the camera from quickly sinking in water. Most foam straps feature gentle positive buoyancy which prevents your hand from being forced to the water surface when snapping underwater photos. Nothing ruins the fun the underwater world has to offer like having to dive down to fetch your newly bought digital cam.
Whether it comes in the form of wrist attachments or body attachments, or wireless connectivity, it goes without saying that remote control features of any cheap underwater camera are ideal.
Being able to snap pictures, shoot video, or even review footage and photos, by means of wireless connectivity can make life in the water easier, and subsequently far more enjoyable. Bluetooth connectivity is an asset since it makes transferring of photos convenient and easy.
Always read up on the reviews and user reports on the battery life of your prospective underwater camera. You can even consider purchasing more than one rechargeable battery so you’ll always have a backup. Equally, finding an underwater digital camera that features an easy-to-replace battery system makes life much easier.
In choosing a waterproof underwater camera, screen and display size are great features to keep in mind. Some cameras come with dual screens which is great for popular selfie photos. Screen size is important when it comes to reviewing photos and footage, especially for video recording, and anti-glare screen protectors can significantly reduce glare and reflections. Keep these few points in mind and we can guarantee your purchase will far exceed your expectations.
Also check out this list of the Best Waterproof Mp3 Players & Waterproof Headphones for Swimming
Camera Care Tips
Taking loads of pictures is fun and easy, but taking care of your underwater waterproof camera is a necessary step in extending the longevity of your camera. Here are a few easy but effective steps you can take to guarantee a long life for the camera.
Purchasing a camera bag is probably the first step in good camera care. Camera bags protect against dust, scratches, and nicks. Although your camera is already waterproof, getting a waterproof camera bag is always a good idea, since it comes in handy in protecting your camera against spills other than water.
Avoid leaving batteries in your camera for extended periods of time. Although most modern cameras have alkaline or lithium batteries, which don’t leak like acid batteries, leaving them in a moist area can lead to unwanted corrosion.
Especially after salt water use, it’s good practice to rinse your waterproof camera and dry it thoroughly. Again, extended periods of moisture can lead to corrosion. After operation in dirty environments, it’s a good idea to clean any foreign debris, dirt, dust or grit.
Avoid leaving your camera laying around in direct sunlight or direct heat. Failure to do this can lead to damage to the lens and other sensitive parts.
The waterproof qualities of your camera are owed a lot to the seals on your camera. Inspecting your seals prior to going out on your adventures and expeditions can avoid any unwanted surprises. Actually, general inspection of your camera before use is always a great idea.
Avoid touching LCD displays and screens, unless your camera has touchscreen features, as well as lenses.
Based on our research and reviews, a market exists that offers some really good but cheap waterproof video cameras, waterproof action cameras, and waterproof digital cameras. From what we’ve seen, the most good cheap waterproof cameras will run you between $40 to $140 – a price range that pales in comparison to replacing a water damaged non-waterproof camera.
Follow our tips and hints in the Buyer’s Guide, and you won’t be disappointed with your purchase. Life on land is amazing and exciting, but life underwater is a whole new dynamic world, changing every day, and waiting to be discovered.
So, gone are the days of zipping your cameras in those waterproof pouches. Gone are the days of restricting your cameras to tanning on the sand while everyone frolics in the water. And, definitely gone are those days when you’d have a global, pandemic meltdown because of that one dot of water that found its way to your not-so-waterproof camera.
Whether your underwater camera serves to boost your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram presence, whether it fills the empty, waiting picture frames of your home, or, whether it simply serves as a time-keeper and “moment-capturer” of your family, friends, significant others, or even pets, we at All Things Waterproof can guarantee if you choose the right waterproof camera, your memories of a world underwater can live forever.