The best waterproof cameras of 2018

Wet or dry, these rugged waterproof cameras capture your every adventure

best waterproof cameras tg 4 head
best waterproof cameras badgeDo your summer vacations revolve around an active lifestyle? Whether it’s snorkeling in the sea or wading in the kiddie pool, jaunting around cobbled-stone streets or tearing over hills on a dirt bike, you’ll want a camera to capture it all without breaking.

Waterproof, rugged cameras are designed to tolerate the elements, making them ideal for travel. The bodies are designed to withstand against water, dirt, sand, high and low temperatures, and drops. Rugged cams aren’t new, but the latest models have much stronger performance and pack more features than earlier generations. Whether it’s a point and shoot, action cam, or interchangeable-lens model, here are our current favorites.

Our pick

Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4

best waterproof cameras olympus tough tg4 of

Why should you buy this: This camera is the Hummer of point-and-shoot cameras.

Who’s it for: Someone who wants a compact, travel camera that can handle drops, spills, and chills.

How much will it cost: $380

Why we picked the Tough TG-4:

Come on. Just look at the thing. It’s a ridiculously robust camera that’s as capable on the inside as it is life-proof on the outside. It can shoot 16-megapixel uncompressed RAW photos, has 4x optical zoom, and offers an f/2-4.9 aperture. Although it uses a typically small point-and-shoot sensor, back-illuminated technology helps it perform better in low-light situations. It can shoot Full HD video, too.

The Tough TG-4 is waterproof down to 50 feet, crushproof to 220 pounds, freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, shockproof from 7 feet, and dustproof. More than enough to ensure it stays safe come hell or high water.

Add in the integrated GPS and Wi-Fi and it’s a no-brainer. After having tested numerous Olympus Tough models, we find them to be solid performers in any environment. If you are looking for a less expensive version from Olympus, check out the TG-870.

Read more here

The best budget waterproof camera

Fujifilm Finepix XP120

best waterproof cameras finepix xp120 of

Why should you buy this: It’s small, affordable, and easy to use.

Who’s it for: Vacationers looking for an inexpensive rugged camera.

How much will it cost: $230

Why we picked the XP120:

Fujifilm has mostly killed off its point-and-shoot lineup except for one: the rugged XP120. Why? Because it’s a category that still sells well. Although similar to the Olympus Tough TG-4, the XP120 has an affordable price tag and is lightweight. But don’t let its simple design fool you: The XP120 is waterproof to 65 feet, shockproof from 5.8 feet, freezeproof to 14-degrees Fahrenheit, and dustproof.

Inside the XP120 is a 16.4-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. The camera handles continuous shooting of 10 frames per second, and Full HD video is captured at 60p. Its 5x optical zoom lens offers optical image stabilization. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you upload vacation pics while you’re still on vacation, or print to Fujifilm’s Instax Share printer.

If you don’t need the GPS or RAW support of the TG-4, save yourself some cash with the XP120.

Read more here

The best waterproof 360-degree camera

Nikon KeyMission 360 4K Action Cam

best waterproof cameras keymission 360 of

Why should you buy this: A highly rugged camera that shoots 360-degree photos and videos.

Who’s it for: For those who want to relive their vacations in immersive 360 degrees.

How much will it cost: $500

Why we picked the KeyMission 360:

If you’re into creating 360-degree content, the KeyMission 360 is the most rugged option right now. Drop it on the floor or dunk it inside a glass of water – we’ve done both, and there was not a scratch.

The camera feels absolutely solid, but with its two-lens design that protrudes out quite a bit, it’s also bulky. In return, Nikon has made it waterproof down to 98 feet, shockproof from 6.6 feet, and freezeproof down to 14-degrees Fahrenheit, all without the need for additional housing. Imagine the cool 360-degree videos you can shoot of your deep sea diving (just remember to swap in the special underwater lens covers).

The KeyMission 360 manages to pack into its tiny, robust frame a 4K-capable sensor that captures 23.9-megapixel stills. The best part is that the 360-degree content is stitched in-camera, so there’s no need to transfer the files to a phone or computer for processing. And with Nikon’s Snapbridge built in, the camera uses Bluetooth low-energy to maintain constant pairing with your phone for image transfers.

Read more here

The best waterproof action camera

GoPro Hero5 Session

best waterproof cameras hero 5 session of

Why should you buy this: It’s small, versatile, and packs in a lot of imaging power into its rugged cube frame.

Who’s it for: Adrenaline junkies who want the reliability (and cool factor) of GoPro

How much will it cost: $299

Why we picked the Hero5 Session:

The Hero5 Session is one of two smallest GoPros to date, but don’t let its size fool you.

Inside its small, dice-shaped body is a camera capable of capturing 4K video at 30 frames per second, 2K at 60 fps, and 10-megapixel stills. It also includes features new to GoPro cameras: electronic image stabilization, voice control, and improved wind noise reduction. It’s simple to operate – just press a button and it’ll start recording – and is compatible with all GoPro mounts. The Hero5 Session is completely waterproof without a housing, down to 33 feet. Whether you’re surfing a big wave or racing down a mountain on a bike, the lightweight Session is unobtrusive. Besides videos and stills, you can also capture time-lapse and action bursts. Wi-Fi lets you control it remotely from your phone.

Want to save some cash? Downgrade to the Hero Session, which has all the rugged attributes of the Session, but doesn’t have the new features or 4K video capture (it shoots Full HD at 60 fps and 8MP stills).

Read more here

The best waterproof interchangeable lens camera

Nikon 1 AW1

best waterproof cameras nikon 1 aw1 of

Why should you buy this: It’s the only interchangeable lens camera that is also waterproof without a case.

Who’s it for: Water-loving photographers who want better image quality.

How much will it cost: $800

Why we picked the Nikon 1 AW1:

Nikon’s AW1 is a waterproof version of its mirrorless 1-series camera, and it channels the Nikon Nikonos waterproof film cameras from the past.

This mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is completely waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof, all without the need for external housing. You only have two lens options for shooting underwater – a 10mm f/2.8 and a 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 – but Nikon’s entire lineup of 1-series lenses work with the AW1, so long as you keep them dry.

Inside the AW1 is Nikons 1-inch CX-format CMOS sensor, which captures 14.2-megapixel photos upwards of 15 frames per second. It’s also capable of capturing full HD video and includes an integrated GPS unit for geo-tagging your photos on all your snorkeling and hiking adventures. In terms of image quality, the 1-inch sensor will perform better than the smaller sensors used in other rugged cameras.

If you want the AW1, you should act soon. Although it’s still available for sale, it appears Nikon is phasing it out (it’s no longer listed on Nikon’s website, however it’s still in the Nikon online store). While Nikon will very likely still support it in the future, we doubt it will remain on our list as a recommended product for long.

Our full review

Photography

The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.
Photography

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.
Gaming

How to connect a Nintendo Switch controller to your PC

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses - something no phone…
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.
Photography

8 easy ways for you to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC

If you haven't already, you should back up your photos to a computer. Here's how to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC using third-party services and a wealth of storage devices.
Photography

A turn for the better: Loupedeck+ adds custom dials, more to Lightroom console

The Loupedeck+ improves on the original Lightroom console by adding welcome customization options and introducing support for Skylum Aurora HDR. What's even better is that it does this all at an even lower price.
Photography

These are the best camera straps you can get your hands on

Choosing the right camera strap for your needs can be a tough decision. To help sort through the junk, we've rounded up the best camera straps on the market for you to choose from.
Social Media

How to use Adobe Spark Post to spice up your social media images

Images are proven to get more likes than plain text -- but only if those images are good. Adobe Spark post is an AI-powered design program for non-designers. Here's how to use it to take your social media feeds to the next level.
Photography

18 seconds of fame: Giphy’s quirky new GIF film festival has a $10K prize

Have a knack for creating GIFs? Someone is going to win $10,000 for a video that's 18 seconds or less at the Giphy Film Festival. The new contest is set to recognize the top creator for the short micro-films in five different categories.
Mobile

Google One subscriptions offer more cloud storage for low prices, other perks

Can't get enough storage on Google Drive, Photos, or Gmail? Google One is the new way to boost your cloud storage. But it's not just about more space -- Google One comes with a loads of benefits.
Photography

Sorry, DSLR, but Sony mirrorless is now the best-selling full-frame camera

Four out of every ten full-frame cameras sold in the United States during the first-half of 2018 had the Sony name. That makes Sony's mirrorless full-frame cameras the best-selling models.
Emerging Tech

Meet the Mantis Q: A drone you can control by yelling, waving, or even smiling

"Mantis, take a picture." Yuneec's new consumer drone, the Yuneec Mantis Q, responds to voice commands along with gestures and smiles. The 4K drone also integrates several different flight modes and safety features inside a one-pound…
Photography

Color grading pushes Pinnacle Studio 22 toward more pro video editing features

Designed for videographers that aren't pros but aren't basic users either, Pinnacle Studio 22 expands its advanced tools with color grading and four-point editing. The updates bring more advanced tools to the platform.