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Best Underwater Cameras Of 2023

From experienced photographers and lifelong divers to first-time snorkelers and kids who hope to someday rule the ocean, these devices will make memories for a lifetime.

There's nothing quite like the first time you stick your head underwater for a snorkeling excursion, because for so many people it becomes a lifetime obsession. What begins as a quick trip around a reef near a resort's beach soon leads to boating voyages to deeper waters with more landmarks to explore and marine life to admire. And, if all goes well, it results in a trip or two to the dive shop for certification, at which point the sky is the limit. Or, in this case, the deep blue sea.

Naturally, you're going to want an underwater camera to share every memory with friends and family. So, where do you start? It all depends on your level of experience, both in the water and with a camera. 

GoPro Hero10 Black
On land or in the water, this device does the trick. | Amazon

When your vacations take you to a variety of places, both on the land and in the water, you'll want an action camera that does it all. And, from our experiences, nothing does it all better than the GoPro Hero10 Black, which is the fastest and sharpest offering from this brand yet. 

We've been taking this camera on every trip to record footage on the golf course, touring resorts, and snorkeling dazzling reefs and thrilling wrecks, and even as comfortable as we get with its simple push-and-shoot performance, it feels like we learn something new on each adventure—it helps to have an extensive supply of accessories, too.
One thing we often recommend to friends and readers: if price is an option or you're worried about going big without experience, start with one of the older models, like the GoPro Hero7 Silver. But just know that as you master the touch screen and video capabilities, you'll absolutely want the 10 for your next trip.

SeaLife Micro 3.0 64 GB 4K Underwater Camera
It's great to not have to worry about a dead battery when the perfect shot appears. | Amazon

When you're spending a lot of time below the surface, exploring reefs, wrecks, and caves, battery life becomes a huge concern. Some action and underwater cameras eat power like whales eat krill, which is why it's always crucial to have a charger and extra battery in your bag. But it's also important to have a device that offers three hours of charge, like the exceptional SeaLife Micro 3.0 Underwater Camera.

With five different land and sea scene modes, as well as 4K Ultra HD video capabilities, users can expect sharp, beautiful pictures and footage that will wow everyone on social media. And they'll never have to worry about the bumps and bangs of travel, because this camera is built to handle the elements.

Polaroid Underwater Camera
Kids will feel like Ansel Adams. | Amazon

Everybody starts somewhere, and that's not just a mantra for kids. Some travelers don't experience the joy of snorkeling until they're in their 40s or later, but that can sometimes make trying something new, like underwater photography, a little intimidating. Brush that sand off your shoulders and ignore the haters, though, because the Polaroid Underwater Camera will make even the shyest swimmer feel like a pro's pro.

Auto and manual shot modes make using this camera a snap, literally, and the WiFi connectivity allows for photos to be shared to Instagram almost as quickly as they're taken (okay, maybe not that fast). The simple digital display will also give users confidence as they work on timing, angles, and remembering when it's time to charge the battery. Because there's nothing worse than going back down for another lap at the reef and realizing the camera is kaput.

Kodak Weekend Underwater Disposable Camera
Break in case of a moment you just can't miss. | Amazon

Okay, so you don't want to make a big investment because you don't spend much time in the water or you don't take trips very often. There's nothing wrong with that. However, don't deprive yourself the opportunity to take advantage of those magical, spontaneous vacation moments. The Kodak Weekend Underwater Disposable Camera is an ideal choice for keeping in your travel bag for those "just in case" situations.

It won't take the most incredible photos, but it will give users a taste for the process of shooting underwater, and it will make memories, which we maintain is a huge reason to try. If anything, it makes a great birthday gift or stocking stuffer that the kids can use when they're playing in the pool at home.

QYSEA FIFISH V6S Underwater Drone
Let the device do all the work. | Amazon

Who doesn't love a fun toy? Obviously the QYSEA FIFISH V6S Underwater Drone is more than just a toy, but it sure does look fun. If you've ever used a drone to take exhilarating aerial footage, then it's easy to imagine just how awesome things can look underwater with a 4K UHD camera that can reach as deep as 330 feet.

Users will enjoy a gaming-style control experience, complete with virtual reality head tracking. That's right, the drone will move with your eyes, and you'll see everything as clear as if you were in the water. Of course, you'll be dry, which is great for some of us... even when the goal all along is to get below the surface and experience the natural wonders firsthand.

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