For any water sports enthusiast or avid traveler who enjoys time beside the coast, a waterproof camera can prove to be a valuable investment, and allows for superb images that guarantee to evoke memories for years to come. Many current models offer a wealth of features in addition to being waterproof, such as editing and sharing capabilities, GPS and Wi-Fi built in and additional durability.

Below is our review of some of the market’s most highly-rated models, ranked from, in our opinion, most favored, to least based on features, usability, aesthetics and cost effectiveness.

1. Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix W100

What We Like:
The Nikon Coolpix W100 is designed to be used by the whole family and is built to be durable, functional and fun. While it takes about $100 to purchase a waterproof camera such as the Nikon Coolpix W100, its affordability is one that will encourage new water sports enthusiasts and photographers alike to enjoy capturing new moments. Photographers of all ages are encouraged to use the camera at the beach, in the pool, while at a theme park and in a host of active environments. To promote use by younger photographers, this model also boasts oversized buttons and an easy to use menu system which enables those with limited motion, inexperience, and poor visibility to enjoy their adventure. With the included Movie Record button, users can quickly switch between taking 13-megapixel photos and Full HD 1080p videos with stereo sound.

What We Don’t Like:
There’s nothing not to like about this outstanding camera. We’re impressed with functionality, price, aesthetics and usability.

The Takeaway:
One of the best cameras that are currently available and incredibly reasonably-priced. Ranked at #1 because of the exceptional ergonomics, low price and a superb range of features. An impressive camera that suits those with limitation to usability.

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2. Panasonic DMC-FT30

Panasonic DMC-FT30

What We Like:
Designed with the same similarities as the previous FT-series cameras in the Lumix range, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT30 Digital Camera is one of the most striking and toughest options currently available. The DMC-FT30 offers a 4.6x optical zoom lens to ensure superb quality and clarity for images, irrespective of the setting. With a highly durable shockproof body and the ability to work efficiently to depths of up to 13 meters as well as being shockproof and pressure resistant to 220 lbs, this is a camera that is designed to withstand rough terrains and highly active use. With built-in GPS, tracking and referencing image production is simple and makes for excellent records of various adventures. Being capable of connecting to WiFi where available, the GPS functionality offers the ability for geotagging of images. A 16.1MP High Sensitivity MOS sensor ensures excellent quality imaging and swift autofocus. The DMC-FT30 also features manual exposure control; continuous burst shots up to 10 frames every second and time-lapse shooting. A 3.0″ TFT LCD screen with 460k-dot resolution and anti-reflective coating offer users superb composition and playback viewing. Designed to withstand dramatic uses and maintain friendly ergonomics, this model is the ideal camera for outdoor enthusiasts who want a reliable camera, with excellent features in a mid-price-range.

What We Don’t Like:
If we had to note a low-point for this camera, then it would be the price. Although we believe that the cost is fair for the exceptional quality of the device, it’s slightly higher than other options and may put some customers off.

The Takeaway:
An improvement to the Panasonic Lumix FT5, the DMC-FT30 is a broad-spectrum model and an active field player that records stunning memories in beautiful photos and videos. Ranked at #2 to reflect the exceptional range of features and capabilities, the excellent customer service offered by the manufacturer and the high durability and strength of the model.

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3. Panasonic DMC-TS30

Panasonic DMC-TS30R

What We Like:
The Panasonic DMC-TS30 is a mid-range camera that is ideally suited to those with a passion for adventure. The camera is one of the most durable models currently available and promises to be waterproof, dustproof and shock and freezeproof. For adventure-loving families, this is a device that can even be trusted in the hands of children thanks to its robust and reliable endurance. The Panasonic DMC-TS30 has WiFi built-in and can be linked to a smartphone to enable remote control and image sharing at any time. With the ability to record crisp and high quality images, both still and in motion, thanks to the Full HD 1080p video, both in and out of water, this is a camera that accommodates a multitude of needs. What is more, users are supported by the highly regarded Panasonic customer service team, offering additional support from world-class experts.

What We Don’t Like:
Transferring files to a PC can feel like a complex undertaking and it’s necessary to use Cloud technology which makes it somewhat inconvenient for some customers.

The Takeaway:
With the incredible features and build quality promised in the Panasonic DMC-TS30, you will really enjoy its services, not just for underwater but all kinds of shooting. Ranked at #3 due to the exceptional levels of durability, family-friendly usability, fair price and reassurance of the brand’s commitment to customer support.

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4. Olympus TG-5

Olympus TG-5

What We Like:
The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-5 offers users an impressive f/2.0 4x optical zoom lens as standard and is an ideal choice for anyone who enjoys an active outdoors life – from ramblers through to extreme sports participants. The camera lives to the challenge of capturing high-quality images in a range of environments, irrespective of the weather or lighting. The front ring of the camera can also be removed to allow the photographer to add a variety of different accessories to support varied, improved and unique image production. With built-in WiFi and GPS, sharing pictures is simple and tracking adventures are easy. The TG-4 is a powerful camera that allows the photographer to capture sharp, colorful and swift images. The Olympus TF-4 will work to depths of 15m without additional waterproof housing and divers are sure to be impressed by the camera’s ability to capture images in HD with the built-in manometer, which enables use in a glove-friendly and customizable mode dial and four different macro settings. The additional features of this model include Live Composite, RAW file support, and AF area, which lets photographers shift the focus within the frame.

What We Don’t Like:
There is a short zoom on this model. We don’t think that this has a significant impact on overall results but we recognize that this may pose a real shortcoming for some users.

The Takeaway:
The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-5 is a great camera that would interest photojournalists or travelers whose fist consideration is getting high-quality photos where water is an issue, and also concerned about other technical details like the RAW capture ability and microscope mode. Ranked at #4 for its durability, ease of use, versatility and superb range of features as well as the option to add further accessories for those who want to continue to develop their image production and camera capacity.

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5. Fujifilm Finepix XP120

Fujifilm Finepix XP120

What We Like:
The Fujifilm Finepix XP120 is waterproof to depths of 50 ft, freezeproof to temperatures up to -10°C, shockproof to withstand drops from 5.8ft, and dustproof to prevent damage from exposure to sand, dirt and other foreign particles. This makes the Fujifilm Finepix XP120 an ideal choice for all outdoor environments and more durable than many counterpart offerings. What is more, coming from Fujifilm, users can be assured of exceptional customer service and support levels. The camera is capable of producing a wide range of high-quality images, boasting the widest setting of 28mm on the high-performance, versatile Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens. This makes the camera ideally suited to close up action pictures and natural landscape scenes. Clarity is also assured thanks to the 5x optical zoom and 10x Intelligent Digital Zoom. Additional features include the Interval Shooting mode which allows users to capture multiple shots of one image or scene at set intervals. Priced in the low to mid-range, Fujifilm Finepix XP120 is fairly priced, reliable, easy to use, and guarantees superb images.

What We Don’t Like:
Several customers have reported the camera having a faulty latch covering the battery and the SD card compartment. A faulty latch is a clear indication that your camera will likely allow water to get into all the wrong places and quickly converting into nothing more than a paperweight. However, this is a rare occurrence as we believe the Fujifilm Finepix XP120 provides great services to its users.

The Takeaway:  
The Fujifilm Finepix XP120 is an excellent waterproof camera for its price class. It takes great shots and is one of the cameras you should choose for your vacation. Ranked at #5 to reflect the fair price, commitment to customer service from the manufacturer and reliability of excellent images every time.

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6. Nikon 1 AW1

Nikon 1 AW1

What We Like:
The Nikon 1 AW1 boasts that it is ‘the world’s first waterproof, shockproof, interchangeable lens camera.’ As can be expected of any Nikon product, the sleek design and range of functions and features are proof for an impressive model. The Nikon 1 AW1 features a 1-inch 14.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor which guarantees superior image quality and can capture beautiful images even in dim light. With the ability to maintain high-speed continuous shooting at 15 fps without compromising on autofocus, the AW1 commits to up to 60 fps fixed focus with full HD 1080p video. The camera is compatible with additional Nikon accessories, making it an ideal investment for those who are likely to continue with their photography skills and those who will be keen to improve their abilities. Priced in the upper budget range, this is a camera that is designed to impress, offers a range of benefits and is ideally suited to highly active use.

What We Don’t Like:
For those who are keen to improve on the capabilities of this camera, it is worth noting that we found additional Nikon accessories to be more expensive than alternatives.

The Takeaway:
An impressive camera that is highly capable, but for those wanting to purchase additional accessories, prices are not that competitive. Ranked at #6 to reflect the reliability, functionality and impressive range of features, whilst reflecting the price in comparison to alternatives.

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7. Nikon Coolpix W300

Nikon Coolpix W300

What We Like:
The Nikon Coolpix W300 is an incredibly looking model, with a camouflaged front and ergonomic design. Coming from one of the most favored camera manufacturers in the world, the W300 promises to be a decent, fun and impressive example. With built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, it is designed to make sharing footage and images simple and quick as well as ensuring that referencing and finding recordings is simple. Priced moderately, the Nikon Coolpix W300 is aesthetically pleasing, reliable and simple to use. The Nikon Coolpix W300 is waterproof to depths of 30 meters and shockproof to 2.1 meters. This robust model is, therefore, ideal for family use and extensive travel and varied environments. The camera features a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens, allowing users to benefit from superb clarity for all images and the ability to record and photograph from a distance. As an additional quirky feature, those who are not enamored with camouflage can choose from a range of different colors for the camera.

What We Don’t Like:
There have been complaints from existing customers including the setting on the flash which are either auto or no flash (in the automatic mode). Also, the controls and small and fiddly (especially the controls across). All these are issues with the design of the camera, but the functionality is excellent.

The Takeaway:
A normally sturdy and reliable camera that is capable of high quality results. Ranked at #7 because of its fun exterior, highly reliable and regarded manufacturer and impressive durability.

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8. Olympus Tough TG-870

Olympus Tough TG-870

What We Like:
The Olympus Tough TG-870 offers the assurance of high-quality image production while being one of the most durable models currently available. Priced in the mid-budget range, the TG-870 is designed to work efficiently in adverse weather, and can be strong enough to combat rough treatment. The device boasts an impressive range of capabilities including image processing power, creative and edit functions and excellent connectivity. The camera comes with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, and so sharing adventures is quick and simple.

What We Don’t Like:
There’s no escaping the high price for this camera and in our opinion, the model does not warrant the high cost, when compared to alternative options.

The Takeaway:
The Olympus Tough TG-870 is a tough little camera that does its task extremely well – the photo quality is awesome not forgetting the set up for underwater use and the immediate photo sharing via Wi-Fi and phone app. Ranked at #8 to reflect the robust and reliable nature of the camera but its price is fairly high compared to other models of the same level of features.

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9. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS6

Panasonic DMC-TS6

What We Like:
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS6 is a rugged, powerful and sturdy model that boasts excellent capabilities for clear, high-quality images with a wide range of settings. Designed to be waterproof, freezeproof, dustproof and shockproof, this durable and hardwearing camera is suitable for extensive use by the whole family and minimizes the risk of accidental damages while on your travels or during activities. The DMC-TS30 is capable of capturing excellent shots at depths of 8m and also features a torch to ensure that night videos or pictures are equally as impressive. The torch even works without the camera functions being in use, meaning that the camera doubles up as a handy accessory. Moreover, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS6 is available with the Creative Panorama function which allows users to shoot and overlay consecutive horizontal/vertical shots and then adds a filter effect with Creative Controls.

What We Don’t Like:
This is an overall acceptable camera that performs a basic level of functions, but we believe that it is significantly lacking in additional features and that the price is more suggestive of a higher spec model.

The Takeaway:
One of the best models in the market that work just as great as more pricey ones. Ranked at #9 to reflect its reliability and functionality but also to acknowledge the relative lack of additional features and minimal waterproof capacity when compared to alternative models.

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