Snorkeling Camera Guide

Let’s Get You the Right Camera and Take Some Beautiful Pictures

I hope this snorkeling camera guide helps make your choice easy. Because picking a camera and getting good colorful pictures just about drove us nuts. Most underwater camera advice comes from divers. But snorkelers’ needs are different because we have plenty of light at the surface. 

Snorkeling camera, in the hands of a snorkeler, taking a picture of a turtle.
Nicole taking a picture of Galen taking a picture of the turtle, or is it the other way around?

After years of snorkel trips, many cameras, and tens of thousands of pictures later, we know a few things to help you out. That’s Galen above, doing what he loves, taking a picture of the turtle (taken by Nicole).

We will help you get a camera that:

  1. Is reasonably priced
  2. Takes sharp, colorful pictures
  3. Is not too big

And answer these critical questions:

  1. How come my pictures are all blue?
  2. Why are my fish blurry?
  3. How do I make my pictures more beautiful?
  4. How do I prevent my camera from flooding with water?
  5. How come my lens and screen are fogging up?

Snorkeling Camera Options

Five snorkeling cameras and housings with words over, "Best Snorkeling Cameras, the best compact, waterproof, action, and iPhone"

2024 Best Snorkeling Cameras – Quick Buying Guide

If you are in a rush, this is where I share my top picks of all snorkeling camera types.

To learn more about each type of camera, and to see more options in other prices ranges, make sure and check out the pages below.

Wet Olympus Camera, with words over, "Waterproof Snorkel Cameras, pros and cons for snorkeling and which one to buy"

Waterproof Snorkel Cameras – Great Pictures and Affordable

This camera type is already waterproof, and does not need a separate housing. All of its little buttons and other doors have waterproof seals.

You can get excellent pictures, but these are not as durable as a camera with a separate housing. But for the price, this type of camera is best for most snorkelers.

Cameras and housings with words over, "Compact Snorkeling Cameras & Housings, a buying guide - this is the type of camera we use"

Compact Cameras and Waterproof Housings – Excellent Pictures, Most Control

This category of camera is what I most recommend if you want the best pictures, and are not as concerned about price; a compact camera with a separate waterproof housing.

Prices for these are higher, but you have more control over the final image, and these waterproof housings are much less likely to flood than the waterproof type cameras.

GoPro Hero 10 with Housing, with words over, "Using a GoPro Snorkeling, which model to buy, pros and cons"

GoPro Action Cameras – Tiny, Light, Great Videos, Reasonable Cost

GoPro makes great little cameras, that take amazing 5K videos and good pictures. They are used extensively in action sports.

They are waterproof and you can add a housing. They are reasonable in price, but are very limited in controls.

DJI Osmo Action 4 – Better Than a GoPro

This new DJI action camera has a number of features that make it stand out as a better snorkeling action camera than the newest GoPro models.

It has a larger sensor, for better low light and high contrast situations. It has a built in white balance sensor, for amazing colors. It is waterproof to twice the depth, has faster charging batteries, and better screens and menus. It is not perfect, so read about it’s flaws.

Snorkeler taking picture with iPhone in housing of turtle, with words over, "iPhone for Snorkeling? best underwater housing, pros and cons and tips"

iPhone Housings – Waterproof Case for a Great Camera

If you have an iPhone, you have a pretty good snorkeling camera already, with the correct waterproof housing. Read our tips for what housing to buy, and how to get the best pictures from it.

What Cameras Do We Use Snorkeling?

Branching coral on a reef. with words over, "Canon G7X for Snorkeling? we both use the first generation and love it"

Canon G7X With Housing

We currently use the wonderful Canon G7X. We wrote a full page review of it. It has a fast lens through its zoom range, a large one inch sensor, and fast focusing and shooting speeds. We use the Canon housing; it works well for this camera and was not very expensive.

Snorkeling Photography Tips

School of spadefish with words over, "Useful Snorkeling Camera Features, learn what makes a good snorkel camera"

Snorkeling Camera Feature Descriptions

If you don’t understand what a fast F2.0 lens is, or why high ISO performance might matter, I go through all the important features of a good camera for snorkeling.

Underwater camera housing with o-ring, with words over, "Snorkeling Camera Care Tips, avoid flooding, fogging, and other issues"

Underwater Camera and Housing Care and Maintenance

Learn how to prevent camera floods and fogging, and find some more tips on basic camera care.

Clownfish and bubble anemone, with words over, "Snorkeling Photography, improve your colors, compositions, and more"

Improve Your Snorkeling Photography

Learn how to get better color, create better compositions, and many more techniques for getting pictures that make people say wow!

Goatfish and Elkhorn Coral, with words over, "Underwater Tripod, great videos from our mini tripod test while snorkeling"

Using an Underwater Tripod for Great Snorkeling Videos

We use a mini tripod to get very fishy videos. The videos are not all shaky like handheld videos. Learn how we do it and what underwater tripod we use.

Hey, if you have not learned enough yet about snorkeling cameras and photography, we share lots of those tips in our free monthly snorkeling newsletter.

Return to the Home Page