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Best Underwater Cameras and Housings

Best Underwater Cameras and Housings

This is a constantly and rapidly changing product category, but we'll do our best to help you with these recommendations. (Last Updated: 02 October 2021)

GoPro and Action Cameras

Best All Around Action Camera
GoPro HERO10 Black
GoPro HERO10 Black Action Camera
GoPro HERO10 Black

Nikon KeyMission 360 Action Camera for 30 metres without a housing.

GoPro HERO10 Black

For underwater photo and video the new GoPro HERO 10 Black offers some excellent improvements over the GoPro HERO 9 Black. We expect it to become the most popular underwater action camera this summer.

It's completely waterproof down to 10 metres (33 feet) without a housing, which is great for pier and shallow water divers. However, once you want to go deeper, or use lens and filter accessories, things get a bit more complicated.

The GoPro HERO10 Black has the same dimensions as the GoPro HERO9 model, but different dimensions to the GoPro models before that. The GoPro HERO10 Black won't fit in 3rd party underwater housings for models up to and including the GoPro HERO 8. This means GoPro has a new dive housing design, rated to 60 metres (200 ft), and other housing manufacturers, e.g. Isotta, have GoPro Hero9/10 Black housings.

Backscatter now have macro lens setups, filters, and flip systems to fit the GoPro dive housings for the HERO8, HERO9 and HERO10 cameras. See Backscatter FLIP8/9 Filter Kit

To really enhance underwater videos taken with a GoPro action camera you'll need an effective lighting solution. Since the GoPro has a wide angle fisheye lens, it's best to use two video lights over one, so that you can light up the entire frame and get nice coverage. If you’re using one video light, then make sure it's a very wide beam. You may still get fairly dark corners, but the majority of the frame and your subject will be well lit.

Isotta GoPro Hero9/10 Black Underwater Housing Isotta GoPro Hero9/10 Black Underwater Housing
RRP: $695, Our Price: $675, You Save $20 (3%).
Take your GoPro Hero9/10 Black down to 200 metres with this strong aluminium underwater housing. Easy access to all key/main camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The two displays on the GoPro are perfectly visible thanks to the large openings protected by scratch-resistant methacrylate, shaped on the shape of the screens, and a removable rear lens hood that ensures optimal viewing of the display in any light condition or situation.

Mares EOS 10RW Video Set Mares EOS 10RW Video Set
Our Price: $499
The GoPro Hero10/9/8/7 action cameras are excelling for underwater video. This lighting package with two compact, 1,000 lumen flood lights with 120° angle wide beams will fill your video area with an even glow. The tray will enable you to get more stable results.


This Dual 3000 Lumen Video Light Flex Arm Package is just what you need to shoot awesome video footage underwater with your GoPro. With its compact yet powerful lights, you can start shooting like a pro on day and night dives. Using a dual handle camera tray helps stabilise your shots.

Best Compact Cameras

Compact cameras are some of the best cameras for shooting underwater, as they are often easy to learn, easy to dive and travel with, and less expensive than their SLR counterparts, while still yielding outstanding image results and fast shooting speeds.

Entry Level Compact Cameras

Best All Around Compact Camera
Olympus Tough TG-6 Compact Camera

Olympus Tough TG-6 Camera
Olympus Tough TG-6 Camera
The Olympus TG-6 is an incredible underwater imaging tool. It's shockproof, freezeproof, waterproof (to 45 ft without the housing), dustproof and basically lifeproof. Olympus has always targeted its Tough series towards divers by producing their own underwater housings to increase the depth limit and allow external accessories to be mountedsuch as lenses and lights. The TG-6 has become incredibly popular among underwater photographers.

Products and packages popular for use with the Olympus Tough TG-6 Camera are:

Isotta Olympus Tough TG-6 Underwater Housing Isotta Olympus Tough TG-6 Underwater Housing
RRP: $1,216, Our Price: $1,179, You Save $37 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Olympus Tough TG-6 compact camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

Backscatter M52 Wide Angle Air Lens for Olympus TG Series Backscatter M52 Wide Angle Air Lens for Olympus TG Series
RRP: $374.40, Our Price: $356, You Save $18.40 (5%).
This lens expands the underwater field of view to 81 degrees by canceling the refraction effect on the flat port of the housing. This is the same field of view that the Olympus TG-6 has topside, so that's why it's called it the "Air" lens. The advantage of the Backscatter M52 Wide Angle Air Lens is that it does not have to be removed to shoot macro. This wet-mount wide angle conversion lens is designed to work best with Olympus Tough TG series camera housings. The lens cancels out refraction and restores the camera's topside field of view underwater while also enhancing the image clarity, sharpness, and contrast.

Backscatter M52 Underwater 0.50X 120° Wide Angle Wet Lens Backscatter M52 Underwater 0.50X 120° Wide Angle Wet Lens
RRP: $938.60, Our Price: $892, You Save $46.60 (5%).
Every compact camera needs a wide angle accessory lens to expand the field of view. This allows the shooter to get closer to large subjects and fill the frame. This one was designed with the Olympus Tough TG 1 through 6 series of cameras in mind. With a 120 degree angle of coverage, sharp corners, and no vignetting at 24 mm, this lens is the perfect combination for the first time wide angle shooter with a TG camera.

AOI UMG-01 LCD Magnifier for Olympus Compact Camera Housings AOI UMG-01 LCD Magnifier for Olympus Compact Camera Housings
RRP: $286, Our Price: $277, You Save $9 (3%).
This is the best accessory we've seen yet for the Olympus Tough TG-3, TG-4, TG-5 and TG-6 underwater camera system because it cuts out annoying screen glare in bright water and it allows you to get a large, sharp magnified image from the camera's LCD screen.

Scuba Doctor Olympus TG-6 Minimalist Package Scuba Doctor Olympus TG-6 Minimalist Package
Our Price: $767
Keep it simple with this minimalist lighting and lens package for the Olympus TG-6, and other compact cameras. The versatile air lens combines with the X-Adventurer M2500-WSRBA 4-in-1 Smart Focus Video Light to give you four lighting solutions with the one underwater light.

Backscatter Olympus TG-6 Whales & Waves Package Backscatter Olympus TG-6 Whales & Waves Package
RRP: $1,493.70, Our Price: $1,419, You Save $74.70 (5%).
A complete travel package that has everything you would need for the Olympus TG-6 and other compact cameras when shooting in ambient light and snorkelling.

Scuba Doctor Ring Light Nudi Hunter Package Scuba Doctor Ring Light Nudi Hunter Package
RRP: $545, Our Price: $529, You Save $16 (3%).
A minimalist solution to lighting nudibranchs and small critters for great close-up macro shots with compact and mirrorless cameras. The 1,800 lumen Ring Light is great for video and focus lighting for photos. The optic fiber cable triggers the 3,000 strobe mode.

Scuba Doctor Olympus TG-6 Nudi Hunter Package Scuba Doctor Olympus TG-6 Nudi Hunter Package
RRP: $2,499, Our Price: $2,299, You Save $200 (8%).
Macro Addicts Rejoice! We've put together this Nudi Hunter lighting package. It's everything you need for the Olympus TG-6 and other compact or mirrorless cameras when shooting underwater macro subjects like nudibranchs.

Scuba Doctor Dual YS-D3 Strobe Light, Tray and Ball Arm Package Scuba Doctor Dual YS-D3 Strobe Light, Tray and Ball Arm Package
RRP: $3,896, Our Price: $3,505, You Save $391 (10%).
For the ultimate strobe setup, here is our dual handle tray, dual Sea & Sea YS-D3 Strobes, dual wide angle ball arm, and dual optic fiber cable package. No excuses!

Backscatter Mini Flash 1 and Optical Snoot Combo Package Backscatter Mini Flash 1 and Optical Snoot Combo Package
RRP: $1,090.70, Our Price: $1,036, You Save $54.70 (5%).
Olympus TG series users love this combo package of a video light, strobe and snoot to enhance their underwater photo and video opportunities. And so do we!


The powerful 3,000 lumen X-Adventurer M3000-WRUA 3-in-1 Smart Focus video light makes this package the perfect introductory lighting set for your compact camera system. With this compact yet powerful light, you can start shooting like a pro on day and night dives.


Everything you need to shoot awesome videos underwater with your compact or mirrorless camera. Light up the underwater world with two powerful 6,000 lumen X-Adventurer M6000-WRBT Video Lights to take wide angle blackwater and wreck video like a pro on any dive.

Runner-up Best All Around Compact Camera
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II

Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Compact Camera
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Compact Camera
Canon's entry level compact, the Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II, is a fantastic choice for beginners and advanced users alike. The simple interface relies mostly on the camera's touch screen, but with proper initial settings you can control everything you need inside a housing as well without compromising on ease of use. The G9XII features Canon's 1-inch sensor, so image quality is at par with its bigger brothers from the G series. Most users don't need the advanced features on the pricier cameras. The major compromise compared to the G7X or G5X series, is the lens on the G9X II isn't as sharp.

Best Compact Video Camera

GoPro HERO10 Black with Flip8/9/10 Filter Kit

See details above.

Runner-up Best Compact Video Camera:
Panasonic LX100 II

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 II Compact Camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 II Compact Camera
The Panasonic LX100 II is a compact-body, fixed-lens camera with the large sensor and fast-shooting ability of a high-end mirrorless camera. It captures 4K video at 30 frames per second and uses a stylish set of manual controls for a classic retro camera-style. The outstanding image quality that the Panasonic LX100 II produces is thanks to the Four Thirds sensor within.

High End Compact Cameras

Best Advanced Compact Camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 Compact Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 Compact Camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 Compact Camera
Panasonic has done a great job with this model. The LX10 produces stunning 20MP stills and 4K videos. Indeed, video is where it really shines. Panasonic have plenty of experience with video from their popular GH4 and GH5 cameras and they have integrated that experience and some great advanced features, into the LX10. Zebra striping and focus peaking are available and incredible useful for videographers. The LX10 is the only compact we know that offers back focus AF — a feature usually found in DSLR's or mirrorless cameras and very useful for composing shots properly in-camera. A significant advantage is accurate and easy white balance, even at deeper depths.

Isotta Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 / DMC-LX15 Underwater Housing Isotta Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 / DMC-LX15 Underwater Housing
RRP: $1,643, Our Price: $1,594, You Save $49 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 compact camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

Runner-up #1 Best Advanced Compact Camera
Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II Four-Thirds Compact Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 II Compact Camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 II Compact Camera
The Panasonic LX100 II is a compact-body, fixed-lens camera with the large sensor and fast-shooting ability of a high-end mirrorless camera. We love it for producing the best wide angle image quality and fastest shooting speed from our current roundup of compact cameras. It captures 4K video at 30 frames per second and uses a stylish set of manual controls for a classic retro camera-style. The outstanding image quality that the Panasonic LX100 II produces is thanks to the Four Thirds sensor within.

Runner-up #2 Best Advanced Compact Camera
Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark VII Compact Camera

Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark VII Compact Camera
Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark VII Compact Camera
The Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark VII Compact Camera features a 24-200 mm lens. For underwater photographers, this is both a curse and a blessing. On one hand, you get more zoom to play around with, and utilise it for increased working distance and more magnification when shooting macro. On the other hand, housing manufacturers have a harder time supporting it, and compromises like interchangeable ports need to be made, in order to properly support the full range of the zoom. Using it for macro can be challenging but very rewarding and you may require different dioptres for different types of shots.

Isotta Sony RX100 Mark VII Underwater Housing Isotta Sony RX100 Mark VII Underwater Housing
RRP: $1,725, Our Price: $1,673, You Save $52 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark VII compact camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

Runner-up #3 Best Advanced Compact Camera
Canon G7X Mark III

Canon G7X Mark III Compact Camera
Canon G7X Mark III Compact Camera
The Canon G7X III has significantly improved video capabilities and added an external mic jack, as well as the option to live stream your video to YouTube. While you probably won't be using the mic jack underwater, or broadcasting ourselves live from 30 metres, the 4K video makes this upgrade worthwhile. The Canon G7X Mark III also supports a mind blowing 30fps RAW burst shooting, to ensure you nail fast action shot. It can also shoot HDR (High Dynamic Range) video.

Isotta Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Underwater Housing Isotta Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Underwater Housing
RRP: $1,643, Our Price: $1,594, You Save $49 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Canon G7X III compact camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

Mirrorless Cameras:

Best All Around Full Frame Advanced Mirrorless Camera
Sony ?1 Mirrorless Camera

Sony a1 Mirrorless Camera
Sony a1 Mirrorless Camera
The Sony a1 was released in 2021 and immediately rocketed to the top of the list. It is a Swiss Army Knife of a camera that can do all things and do them well. It's not only the best all-around mirrorless camera, it is in our opinion the best all-around camera period. That's not to say that there aren't some things that other cameras can do better, but that list is really short and the differences not so great. Others can't come close to the breadth of what the Sony a1 can do.

Runner-up #1 Advanced Mirrorless Camera
Canon EOS R5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS R5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
Canon EOS R5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
The Canon EOS R5 is a great full-frame mirrorless camera. The image quality is the best to date from Canon and it is easy to use existing Canon EF lenses with an adapter. The video and ambient light white balance look fantastic, but that's where the rub comes. The much talked about overheating when shooting 8K or 4K 120p is too much for the camera to handle, even with the typical short clips underwater video shooters tend to do. The heat builds up over time, is cumulative, and only dissipates to a certain extent during a typical 90-minute surface interval on the boat. This isn't to say you can’t shoot 8K or 4K 120p, but the heat has to be managed by turning the camera off between clips to allow the camera to cool (or more accurately, not continue to build heat). At the end of the day with monitoring air, deco limits, and where the $#@! is the boat, it's just another thing to have to manage on a dive which is why we can only recommend this camera for stills shooters who only have a passing interest in video. If you’re a Canon shooter who does primarily stills, this is the best image quality Canon has ever put out and you won't be disappointed.

Isotta Canon EOS R5 Underwater Housing Isotta Canon EOS R5 Underwater Housing
RRP: $4,753, Our Price: $4,610, You Save $143 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

Runner-up #2 Advanced Mirrorless Camera
Nikon Z7 II Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

Nikon Z7 II Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
Nikon Z7 II Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
The Nikon Z7 II is a minor upgrade for the most part from the Nikon Z7. It has the same image sensor and will produce the same image quality as the Nikon Z7, which is not a problem at all since the Nikon Z7 did some amazing photos. The Z7 series are the only cameras in this review to go down to an actual ISO of 64, allowing for a more dynamic range by preserving highlight detail while maintaining low noise in the shadows.

The Nikon Z7 II gains a faster processor that allows for 4K 60p video, a faster 10 frame per second for stills, and a bigger shot buffer. The autofocus is improved in low light over the original Nikon Z7. With a relatively shallow ambient light white balance depth of about 40 feet, the Nikon Z7 II is best for stills shooters who have a passing interest in video. Anyone with previous experience with a Nikon DSLR and the killer 3D tracking autofocus will be a little disappointed that the autofocus system is completely different and unfamiliar with the Z series.

The camera body is quite small and lightweight and great for topside shooting. We recommend this camera for Nikon shooters who are looking for great image quality but aren't primarily interested in video.

Isotta Nikon Z7 II and Z6 II Underwater Housing Isotta Nikon Z7 II and Z6 II Underwater Housing
RRP: $4,589, Our Price: $4,451, You Save $138 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Nikon Z7 II / Z6 II camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

Best Full Frame Advanced Mirrorless Camera for Photo
Sony ?7R IV Mirrorless Camera

Sony a7r IV Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7R IV Mirrorless Camera
Our top pick in this category, the Sony a7R IV, has the best still image quality and resolution we've ever seen from any full frame camera. At a much more affordable price than the Sony a1 it falls a little short in the video department.

Conventional wisdom in-camera sensor design is that when pixel density on the sensor goes up (higher resolution), the light gathering capability goes down. This is due to smaller pixels not being able to gather as much light. This increases the noise level of the image and also results in diminished low light performance. When the Sony a7R III came out with its 42MP sensor, it was the first of its kind to have such high resolution but also no compromise in image quality despite the more tightly packed sensor. Sony has pulled a rabbit out of the hat once again with the Sony a7R IV. With almost 50% more resolution than the previous model, its impressive image quality and resolution can’t be overstated. It is a giant leap ahead of any other full-frame camera.

Isotta Sony Alpha 7R IV Underwater Housing Isotta Sony Alpha 7R IV Underwater Housing
RRP: $4,526, Our Price: $4,390, You Save $136 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Sony A7R IV camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

Best Entry Level Mirrorless Camera
Olympus PEN E-PL10 Mirrorless Camera

Olympus PEN E-PL10 Mirrorless Camera
Olympus PEN E-PL10 Mirrorless Camera
The Olympus PEN E-PL10 is the new entry-level Micro Four Thirds camera with the same core features as the Olympus PEN E-PL9 but with a new Fine Tune option for its popular Art Filters and more. This super-compact, lightweight camera is comfortable to carry and designed for a sleek and timeless feel. Advanced technology ensures you’ll capture stunning photos and smooth 4K video. This camera was built to help you create and capture your visions. Share your work on-the-go easily with the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection. Stay connected and go beyond your smartphone with the PEN E-PL10.

AOI Olympus E-PL9 and E-PL10 Underwater Housing AOI Olympus E-PL9 and E-PL10 Underwater Housing
RRP: $1,013, Our Price: $982, You Save $31 (3%).
Designed to accommodate the Olympus PEN E-PL9 or the E-PL10 cameras mounted with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ kit lens. Want even more? Just add one of many additional accessories offered by AOI to enhance your UH-EPL10 housing system and meet your photography needs.

Professional Lens Package for PEN Housings
The wide-angle and macro setups below as a package will shoot the widest of wide-angle and split shots, and the tiniest of the tiny macro. The Panasonic 8mm fisheye lens will match the 180-degree angle of coverage that can be had from a fisheye lens on an SLR. The Olympus 60mm Lens with its razor-sharp optics, fast focus, and super macro range can do a 1:1 reproduction ratio without any additional lenses. Add on a wet macro lens for even more magnification to shoot the smallest critters in the ocean.

Wide Angle Lens and Parts

You can use the wide angle zoom range of the Olympus 14-42mm EZ kit lens that comes with the Olympus PEN E-PL10 camera combined with the AOI UWL-09 PRO underwater wide-angle lens to get great wide-angle results.

AOI UWL-09 PRO 0.45X M67 130° Wide Angle Conversion Wet Lens AOI UWL-09 PRO 0.45X M67 130° Wide Angle Conversion Wet Lens
RRP: $1,609, Our Price: $1,560, You Save $49 (3%).
This lens will also allow the full use of the camera's Olympus 14-42mm EZ kit lens zoom range allowing you to shoot at any focal length and it will focus as close as the front of the glass dome.


This float collar provides additional buoyancy to compensate with the weight of the wet lens. It greatly reduces the weight and strain to your hands when shooting.


Easy mounting and removal of the AOI UWL-09 PRO wet lens with the AOI Quick Release System 01. The bayonet design makes mounting or removing a lens on a port or lens holder quick and easy, even underwater.


Makes for easy mounting and removal of wet lenses. Mount this to the front of your 67 mm threaded flat port and utilise this quick release system.

Ultimate Wide Angle Lens and Parts
Get a Panasonic Lumix G Micro 4/3 FISHEYE 8mm f/3.5 Lens from a camera store. Then add the following for the ultimate wide angle shooting experience:


Designed to work with the Panasonic Lumix G Micro 4/3 FISHEYE 8mm f/3.5 Lens. Allows you to get up close and personal with the underwater world. The acrylic dome is a more affordable option over glass and can be polished if scratched.

Scuba Doctor Dual YS-D3 Strobe Light, Tray and Ball Arm Package Scuba Doctor Dual YS-D3 Strobe Light, Tray and Ball Arm Package
RRP: $3,896, Our Price: $3,505, You Save $391 (10%).
For the ultimate strobe setup to light your wide-angle photos, here is our dual handle tray, dual Sea & Sea YS-D3 Lightning Strobe, dual wide angle ball arm, and dual optic fiber cable package. No excuses!

Macro Lens and Parts
Get an Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro Micro 4/3 Lens and an Olympus PPZF-EP03 Focus Gear for Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens from a camera store. Then add:


Flat Port for use with the AOI UH-EPL10 Olympus PEN Mount Housing when using the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro Micro 4/3 Lens.

AOI 67mm Underwater Super Macro Close-up Lens +12.5 UCL-09 AOI 67mm Underwater Super Macro Close-up Lens +12.5 UCL-09
RRP: $516, Our Price: $500, You Save $16 (3%).
Quality underwater wet lens with a 12.5 Magnification and anodised marine-grade aluminium body. It will fit any 67 mm threaded port and also has a 67 mm mount on the front of the lens allowing another 67 mm lens or filter to be attached.

AOI AD-M67-03 M67 Flip Adaptor for M67 Threaded Port AOI AD-M67-03 M67 Flip Adaptor for M67 Threaded Port
RRP: $338, Our Price: $327, You Save $11 (3%).
This Flip Adaptor allows you to quickly flip a macro diopter in front of your lens port to create super macro levels of extreme magnification for the tinniest of tiny critters. It's a macro dive essential.


This is the best accessory we've seen yet for the Olympus Tough TG-3, TG-4, TG-5 and TG-6 underwater camera system because it cuts out annoying screen glare in bright water and it allows you to get a large, sharp magnified image from the camera's LCD screen. With the 90 degree angle it's ideal for macro mode.

Backscatter Mini Flash 1 and Optical Snoot Combo Package Backscatter Mini Flash 1 and Optical Snoot Combo Package
RRP: $1,090.70, Our Price: $1,036, You Save $54.70 (5%).
We think Olympus PEN E-PL10 users are going to love this combo package of a video light, strobe and snoot to enhance their underwater macro photos. It's an fantastic combination.


This package eliminates the technical difficuties associated with using a snoot lighting setup for underwater macro and super macro photography. It enables you to properly mount your strobe light and snoot to your camera tray/housing whilst also being able to easily shift the light position in a controlled and smooth manner.

Take a look at Camera Packages for some more lighting, arm and tray options to go with this combination.

Runner-up #1 Entry Level Mirrorless Camera
Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Mirrorless Camera

Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Mirrorless Camera
Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Mirrorless Camera
One could think of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III as an all-around upgraded Olympus E-PL10. It has more resolution, faster shooting, an upgraded auto-focus system, better image stabilisation, faster maximum shutter speed, an electronic viewfinder, and a bigger body with more dedicated control dials and buttons. It's is a very nice camera, but it does come with a higher price and a significantly larger system size when put in an underwater housing.

While camera geeks and pixel peepers will salivate over these extra features and performance, the end result is an image that is not light-years ahead of the PEN. We still think most people coming up from a compact camera will be impressed by the combination of small size, performance, and value that make the PEN what we call the "best bang for your buck" in underwater photography.

Isotta Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Underwater Housing Isotta Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Underwater Housing
RRP: $2,255, Our Price: $2,187, You Save $68 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Mirrorless Camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

Runner-up #2 Entry Level Mirrorless Camera
Sony ?6600 Mirrorless Camera

Sony a6600 Mirrorless Camera
Sony a6600 Mirrorless Camera
The Sony a6600 is the flagship model of the 6000 series of mirrorless cameras from Sony. The 6000 series has a larger sensor than the Micro 4/3 size from Olympus and Panasonic but still smaller than full-frame. This makes image quality top-notch, on par with that of a Nikon D500 cropped sensor DSLR. However, there are some limitations with this camera, with two of the biggest being related to flash. The internal flash is TTL only, with no manual option. This results in some really slow shooting waiting for the camera’s internal flash to recycle when using it to trigger an underwater strobe. This can be overcome with some compatible housing models by either using a flash trigger or a hardwired electrical sync cord circuit. The second flash issue is the relatively slow flash sync speed of the shutter at 1/160. That means one cannot use a shutter speed faster than 1/160 if using a flash which is quite limiting in high ambient light conditions such as sun-balls or shallow reefs with bright sun. All other cameras in this review have a flash sync speed of at least 1/250.

Best Video Mirrorless Camera
Sony ?7S III Mirrorless Camera

Sony a7S III Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7S III Mirrorless Camera
The Sony a7S III camera looks and feels similar to other cameras in the a7 series, but under the hood, it is dramatically different. This camera was made for video shooters. The camera allows for shooting up to 4K 120p at 280mbps with 10-bit colour in a 4:2:2 colour space with no practical limitations for an underwater shooter as far as time limits or heat concerns.

The lower resolution 12MP sensor won't turn heads for photo shooters, though a 12MP image is great for social media and online use, and can scale up to a moderate size for printing. The excellent low light performance and video specs are what sets this camera apart.

Isotta Sony Alpha 7S III Underwater Housing Isotta Sony Alpha 7S III Underwater Housing
RRP: $4,624, Our Price: $4,485, You Save $139 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Sony a7S III Mirrorless Camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

Runner-up Video Mirrorless Camera
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Camera

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Camera
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Camera
The Panasonic GH5 has been a video workhorse since it came out. It was the first mirrorless camera capable of shooting 4K 60p and was the camera to beat. Countless pro-level productions used this camera for broadcast and cinema. However, by today's contemporary standards, 4K 60p is now a quaint video spec, more of a requirement for any camera at this point rather than a standout feature. The white balance looks good, which is why this model became so popular.

The camera has been out for a while, but that doesn't take away from its great-looking video capabilities that can be had for a relative bargain compared to other 4K 60p or 120p cameras listed in this article. If you've got the cash, the Sony a7S III is the clear choice, but if you’re looking for a budget mirrorless video camera to shoot 4K 60p, then the Panasonic GH5 is the go-to rig.

Isotta Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5S Underwater Housing Isotta Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5S Underwater Housing
RRP: $4,363, Our Price: $4,232, You Save $131 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

DSLR Cameras:

Nikon D850 DSLR Camera

Nikon D850 DSLR Camera
Nikon D850 DSLR Camera
For underwater shooters looking for great images and video, the full frame Nikon D850 does it all. Capabilities include extensive dynamic range, beautiful colour and sharp detail. It shoots true full frame 4K video and has one of the fastest and most accurate autofocus systems (153 AF points and 99 cross type). It does well even at extreme ISO ranges including low light situations where even when getting an underexposed shot, details can be pulled from the black in post processing. Shooting 7 frames per second with 51 shot buffer allows you to take many images before the processor slows down to catch up. It also makes switching from video to still very easy and fast as it holds the previous settings from both.

The Nikon D850 does well in all underwater situations from lightning fast autofocus on tiny, fast moving, macro subjects to extreme detail in deep and dark ambient light situations like wreck diving. It also has some of the best 4K video capabilities in a dSLR.

Isotta Nikon D850 Underwater Housing Isotta Nikon D850 Underwater Housing
RRP: $4,948, Our Price: $4,799, You Save $149 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Nikon D850 camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

  • Sea & Sea MDX-D850 Underwater Housing for 100 metres (available as special order S&S-06187)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera
The Canon 5D IV is a full frame, 30mp camera that shoots 4K video is known for its autofocus capabilities in video mode. This camera performs well in high ISO levels creating images with little noise and takes high quality images. The white balance in underwater settings with ambient light is one of the best on the market. Its ability to shoot live autofocus means shooters do not have to lock autofocus and refocus as the situation changes. It does have a 1.64x crop, but this can be advantageous in macro video. The Nikon d850 has a slightly higher image quality, but if video is your main concern, this camera wins.

Isotta Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Underwater Housing Isotta Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Underwater Housing
RRP: $4,847, Our Price: $4,702, You Save $145 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

  • Sea & Sea MDX-5DMKIV Underwater Housing for 100 metres (available as special order S&S-06181)

Nikon D500 DSLR Camera

Nikon D500 DSLR Camera
Nikon D500 DSLR Camera
The Nikon D500 is a supercharged DX Cropped sensor DSLR! This camera is pro level in every sense. The tough as nails build quality is designed to take whatever extreme conditions that you're going to throw at it. Will it survive a total flood? No, but with the weather sealing it can stand quite a few splashes.

The speed of shooting is very impressive. Shooting at 10 frames per second in RAW with a lossless RAW buffer of 200 shots. In the underwater world where getting the perfect shot with uncooperative subjects requires spur of the moment reaction times and lots of shots to get the one perfect shot. The Nikon D500 makes this possible.

Isotta Nikon D500 Underwater Housing Isotta Nikon D500 Underwater Housing
RRP: $4,689, Our Price: $4,548, You Save $141 (3%).
Easy access to all key/main Nikon D500 DSLR camera controls by means of clearly labelled laser engraved long lasting buttons. The back door has a large window for a fine camera display view and it is entirely detached from the front body to make for easier camera fitting.

  • Sea & Sea MDX-D500 Underwater Housing for 100 metres

Canon EOS 1DX Mark III DSLR Camera

Canon EOS 1DX Mark III DSLR Camera
Canon EOS 1DX Mark III DSLR Camera
The Canon 1DX Mark III is Canon's top DSLR ever made. It features a incredible processing power resulting in a record breaking buffer, 5.5K video with RAW recording up to 60 fps, and more! The 1DX Mark III is DSLR that is equally photo and video oriented, making it a perfect tool for both underwater photography and underwater video.

For underwater photographers, this camera is best used by quick action shooters. If you like shooting large, quick subjects like sea lions, sharks, surfers, and dolphins, this is one of the best options out there.

For underwater videographers, the EOS-1DX Mark III is the top DSLR system Canon has to offer. The 1DX Mark III is capable of 5.5K (up to 12 bit) and 4K video using the full width of the sensor, with RAW recording. The 4K is downsampled, resulting in even higher quality 4K video. This is simply one of the top non-cinema cameras for underwater video.

Pro Video Cameras:

Camcorders underwater are almost obsolete and the majority of videographers these days use a compact, mirrorless, DSLR or Cine camera.

Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

See details above.

Canon EOS 1D X Mark III DSLR Camera

See details above.

Red Epic Dragon Weapon

Underwater Camera Housing Leak Detection

Are you ready to upgrade your camera security? Then you need to consider adding an underwater camera leak detector, moisture alarm, or vacuum check system. A simple leak detector or moisture alarm will flash a LED light when two contacts inside your camera housing come in contact with water.

However, the best security is with an underwater camera vacuum pump system. A hand pump is used to pull a vacuum on your underwater camera housing prior to the dive and thus will alert you to issues before you even jump in the water. Most of the better underwater camera housings have a M16 or M14 port that allows you to easily attach a vacuum leak detection system.

Kraken Vacuum Leak Detection System Kraken Vacuum Leak Detection System
RRP: $329, Our Price: $319, You Save $10 (3%).
Get the peace of mind that every underwater photographer and videographer should have when shooting. It allows you to draw air out of the housing to have a pre-dive check to know if everything is okay. Suits any underwater camera housing with a M16 port. Comes with Vacuum System and Manual Pump as standard.

GoPro Mounting Options

Some underwater photographers like to mount a GoPro to the top of their underwater housing to record video while they simultaneously capture still images with their photo camera. These are our favourite ways to achieve this.

Hyperion Cold Shoe GoPro Mount Adaptor Hyperion Cold Shoe GoPro Mount Adaptor
RRP: $39, Our Price: $37.50, You Save $1.50 (4%).
This adaptor enables you to mount a GoPro, or other action camera, onto the standard cold or hot shoe connector found on the top of most underwater camera housings. The downside of this arrangement is that you can only control the tilt to aim the GoPro.


This package combines three products to allow underwater photographers to mount a GoPro mount underwater housing onto the standard cold or hot shoe connector found on the top of most underwater camera housings. This package uses a 1-inch Ball Arm system to allow for swift re-positioning to get that perfect angle, no matter where you are or what you're doing.


Please Note: The Scuba Doctor does not sell any of the above cameras. You'll find then at competitive prices in specialist camera retailers.

We have available dive housings to suit many of these cameras. Most importantly, we have available the camera trays, arms, mounting and lighting options to enable you to create a brilliant underwater camera setup. See Underwater Photography and Video Gear at The Scuba Doctor Dive Shop.

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