Wondering which waterproof camera is the best budget underwater camera for photography? Maybe you’re looking for a budget option at a price that is affordable but does not lose out on quality? It’s possible to find an underwater camera cheap that still takes high-quality images and has many of the features and functions of a more expensive model. We’ve picked out 13 underwater cameras here, and also have some helpful FAQs to ensure you choose the camera best suited to your needs.
Considerations Choosing Underwater Digital Cameras
It’s important to remember that the best value action cam aren’t necessarily the very cheapest. There are a few important considerations to look out for in order to pick the camera that offers the greatest value whilst still taking good quality photographs.
The most affordable waterproof cameras probably won’t offer as high quality photos and videos as the more expensive models, so think about what is the lowest quality you are happy to settle for. Also, check the video resolution – some can take 4K video whilst on others you might have to settle for video recording HD.
The optical zoom lens is another feature to look into before making a purchase of one of these cameras. A higher digital zoom range is often preferable unless you plan on being close up to the action, in which case it might not be necessary.
If you plan to use the digital camera in deeper water, be sure to get a water resistant camera that it can handle this. The average is around 100 ft, but others can go deeper whilst others can’t function in water as deep as this. Think about where the camera will be used before making a purchase.
It won’t be easy to recharge the battery when out swimming or diving, so make sure the battery life is long enough for the trips you’re planning to take. How long the battery will last depends on whether photos or videos are being taken. Some waterproof options come with a spare battery to double the length of time it can be used for.
Best Budget Underwater Camera of 2020
After looking at some considerations, it’s now time to present our picks of the top under water cameras. You will find 13 excellent models to choose from below.
Kicking off our guide, the first best affordable underwater camera is the Campark ACT74 action camera. Photos are captured at 16MP and videos in 4K at a rate of 30 fps. There is a wide-angle lens of 170 degrees and the camera comes in a choice of three colors. There’s a 2″ HD screen and a WiFi remote to control the camera and share photos to social media instantly. It’s waterproof to 100 feet.
2.Muson Action Camera
The next best budget option comes from Muson and is effective at depths of up to 100 feet. The Muson camera takes 4K videos and 16MP photos and comes with a wireless remote which can be worn on the wrist. There’s also an HDMI port on the camera so it can be hooked up to a TV to display the photos. The battery can record up to 180 minutes of video and there is a range of fun functions such as slow-motion, time-lapse, and more.
3.Campark Action Camera
The image quality on this underwater cameras is excellent, at 20MP. The Campark action camera comes with an outstanding range of accessories enabling it to be used in a variety of situations. The camera has a 5x optical zoom and the video quality is 4K or Ultra HD. Electronic Image Stabilization is included for fast-moving subjects to be captured clearly. It can be controlled remotely using a phone with the compatible app installed, which makes it really easy to use.
The next underwater camera under 100 is the Campark X20. It comes with a 2 inch touch screen as well as a vice screen for monitoring the vital stats. This digital camera is effective at a depth of up to 130 feet, so it’s ideal for using when SCUBA diving. It has many useful features such as anti-shake, long-lasting battery, and WiFi.
5.Apeman A77 Camera
If you’re looking for the scuba diving camera, the Apeman a77 could be a great choice. It has dual batteries to give up to 180 minutes of continuous recording. It has a two inch display and is waterproof to 100 feet. The camera can be used to capture bursts, time lapses, loops, and 4K videos. WiFi and HDMI can be used to share and playback photos and videos.
6.VanTop Action Camera
The next best inexpensive option of cameras is fitted with a 170 degree wide angle lens and takes videos in 4K, 2K, or 1080P resolution. The Vantop action cam also takes 20MP photos with beautiful colors. The lens can be adjusted down to a 70-degree angle, so it’s ideal for a range of types of shots. It has electronic image stabilization and there is a wide range of accessories included. Time lapses and other fun videos can be captured on this camera, and it is very lightweight at only 2.7 ounces.
If you’re looking for easy to use waterproof cameras, this model from AKASO could be a great choice. The Akaso ek7000 takes videos in three different resolutions, and 16 MP photographs. Depths of up to 131 feet are no problem for this camera and there are four different viewing angles to choose from. The camera has a 2-inch touchscreen which can be used to adjust the settings and playback footage in crystal-clear detail.
8.Cooau Action Camera
The next best affordable selection we have chosen comes from Cooau and it takes excellent, 20 MP resolution good-quality photos as well as 4K videos. The Cooau action camera has a maximum aperture of f/2 and comes with a remote control as well as Wi-Fi compatibility. The camera can be used up to 40m below sea level and to take different types of shots including slow-mo, photo bursts, and there’s also a self-timer.
This next cheap but good underwater camera comes with a great selection of accessories, allowing it to be used in a variety of situations. The Victure AC700 can even be used on a computer as a webcam, and there’s an external microphone that can be mounted on a helmet during sports. It has a fisheye lens and can shoot videos in 4K, 2.7K, 1080P or 720P with different fps rates. EIS is also one of the features of this camera and there’s a wireless remote with a range of 10m.
10.Crosstour CT9700 Action Camera
The CT9700 has a touchscreen so it is easy to control and can take native 4K videos at a rate of 50 fps. The photos have a resolution of 20MP. The camera has anti-shake and lens distortion correction, which removes the fisheye effect if this is not desirable. It’s waterproof to a depth of 40m and comes with a range of mounting accessories as well as two batteries to increase the amount of time between recharges.
11.Boifun Camera Underwater
Boifun’s camera comes with 20 accessories, to suit all types of users – it can even be used as a webcam. It’s very durable and has WiFi to instantly share photos and videos to social media. It weighs just over 1 pound and can shoot in slow-motion and take burst photos. It offers excellent value for money.
12.Crosstour Vlogging Camera
Our penultimate pick for the best cheap underwater camera is also from Crosstour and is very highly-rated amongst users. Photos are captured in 20MP and there are different options for video quality, all the way up to 4K. This model comes with a case rated IP68 for dust and waterproofness. There are two batteries and a range of mounting accessories included, and WiFi is built-in, too.
13.Dragon Touch Vision 3
Concluding our search for the best value underwater camera is the Vision 3 from Dragon Touch. It takes 16MP quality photos and 4K videos and has a 170-degree, wide-angle lens. There are two batteries, a remote and various mounting accessories included. It’s very lightweight, at 1/3lb, and can zoom from 1.0X to 4.0X. The included remote works at a range of 33 feet, but isn’t waterproof. The camera has a 2″ screen and is waterproof to 100 feet, amongst other features. This is a good cheap waterproof camera ideal for beginners.
Best Budget Underwater Camera
So, we finally have what is the best cheap pick is #10, the Crosstour CT9700. It is waterproof to an impressive 40m, takes high-quality images and videos and comes with all the accessories needed to mount it in a variety of ways. There are multiple connectivity options for sharing media too. It has excellent reviews from users and is the clear winner of all the models of underwater cameras we’ve reviewed.
Cheapest Underwater Camera Available
Whilst none of the above cameras will break the bank, the cheapest of all is the Dragon Touch Vision 3, #13 on our list. Despite the very low price tag, thousands of users gave it a 5* rating.
What Camera is Best for Underwater Photography?
If you’re looking for a snorkeling camera option and don’t want to go with the top pick above, how about the Akaso model at #7 above? It works at high depths and has a touchscreen so it’s simple to control underwater.
Are Waterproof Cameras Worth It?
In a word – yes! An inexpensive camera can get some fantastic shots on vacation in the sea or around the swimming pool. With weatherproof cams, you can capture images and videos that wouldn’t be possible with a regular camera. Many also function as action cameras for use during sports and other outdoor adventures to create fun video footage.
Do You Need a Budget Camera for Using Underwater still?
Perhaps your phone is waterproof, in which case you might be thinking waterproof cameras are not necessary for taking pictures underwater. Many phones are indeed rated to an IPX7 or IPX8 level, meaning they are fully, or almost fully waterproof. However, many manufacturers don’t cover water damage on the insurance provided with the purchase of a new phone, which leads to concerns over how waterproof they actually are. Budget underwater cameras can put your mind at ease, and also means you can leave your phone in a safe place in case it gets lost underwater.
Typical Cost of Underwater Camera
Waterproof cameras vary greatly in price depending on their features and the image quality. High-end options can come in at close to $1000, but it’s possible to find some of the best choices under $100 too. That’s what we will focus on here, many even under $50.