The 10 Best Dslr Cameras For Underwater Photography [Updated – 2023]

Underwater photography has come a long way since the early days of bulky, cumbersome camera equipment. With the advent of digital cameras and specifically DSLR cameras, capturing stunning underwater images has become easier and more accessible than ever. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an avid hobbyist, having the right DSLR camera can make all the difference in the quality of your underwater images. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of the top 10 best DSLR cameras for underwater photography, along with a buying guide to help you choose the right camera for your needs. So, if you’re ready to dive into the world of underwater photography, let’s get started by exploring the best DSLR cameras for this exciting and challenging niche.

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Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Overview of Dslr Cameras For Underwater Photography

DSLR cameras are widely used for underwater photography due to their robust build quality, high image quality and versatility. Whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, a DSLR camera can help you capture stunning images of underwater life, coral reefs and shipwrecks.

One of the key benefits of using a DSLR camera for underwater photography is the ability to change lenses to suit different shooting scenarios. You can easily switch between wide-angle, macro and telephoto lenses to capture different subjects and compositions. Many DSLR cameras also have advanced autofocus systems that work well in low-light conditions, making them ideal for use in underwater environments where light can be a challenge. Overall, DSLR cameras offer a great range of features and flexibility that make them a great choice for underwater photography.

Best Dslr Cameras For Underwater Photography – Reviews & Comparison

Movo LED-WP Underwater High-Power Rechargeable LED Video Light with Action...
  • HIGH POWER DIVING LIGHT: Capture amazing underwater footage with this powerful 700 Lumen LED light and safely submerge up to 130'/40m
  • UNIVERSAL COMPATIBILITY: Attach your GoPro, waterproof DSLR or camera to the included cold shoe mount or action flash mount for seamless underwater photography
  • 1-YEAR WARRANTY: We’ve got your back. Our products are designed to ease your technical woes, not add to them. Our friendly US-Based support team is here to...
  • THREE LIGHTING MODES: Shoot in High Power (High Light), Power Saving (Low Light) or SOS (Flash) with three different color filters included: White, Orange, and...
  • RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM BATTERY: Long-lasting, rechargeable battery with USB power adapter included. Lasts up to 80 minutes (High Power), 6 hours (Power Saving) or...
FEICHAO D60mm Diving Photography Float Buoyancy Aquatic Lamp Arm 108g /312g...
  • Upgraded version , Made of high-quality carbon fiber and aluminum material, durable to use.
  • Super light carbon fiber with 1 Inch double ball design, can keep the arm buoyant.
  • This float arm is both for macro and wide-angle photography.
  • Ideal for shooting water-activities photos, or diving underwater 100 meters.
  • Features: Durable, Easy to Install, Waterproof, Camera Supplies
60pcs LED Diving Fill-in Light Ultra Bright 1800LM Waterproof Underwater 40m...
  • Compatible with Sports camera, for Gopro Hero, for SJCAM, for Xiaomi Yi and other camera.
  • Waterproof up to 40m, can be used for underwater photography.
  • Color temperature 5500K, max. 1800LM, 3 brightness modes, satisfy different illuminating demands.
  • With filter slot, color filter inserted for different lighting effects.
  • Powered by 2 x 2000mAh 18650 battery, with USB charging port, dual power supply ways.(Battery is not included.)
Ikelite 6870.70 Underwater Camera Housing for Canon 70D DSLR Cameras
  • Other housings simply waterproof your camera. An Ikelite TTL housing improves your photos. TTL or "Through-The-Lens" flash metering means the camera controls...
  • Fiber optic slave flash units require the camera's flash to fire every time. This creates a shutter lag as you wait for the camera's flash to recycle in between...
  • Exposure adjustments directly through the back of the housing put the perfect shot within reach every time. Tweak your TTL exposure or take total manual control...
  • An over-sized knob smoothly engages our unique system of universal zoom gears. We provide two zoom sets with each housing, one for use with most popular larger...
  • This housing includes a balanced aluminum tray with our signature quick release handles for easy attachment and removal of external lighting. An aluminum 1/4-20...
SaleRANK 5
Underwater Photography Masterclass
  • Mustard, Alex (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 07/15/2016 (Publication Date) - Ammonite Press (Publisher)
Wildlife Photography: An expert guide
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bernabe, Richard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 375 Pages - 09/06/2018 (Publication Date) - Ilex Press (Publisher)
Clip: Casio EX-FR10 Separable Action Camera
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Scott Waldron (Actor)
  • --- (Director) - Scott Waldron (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)
SaleRANK 8
Underwater Camera, 4K 48MP Autofocus Waterproof Digital Camera with Selfie HD...
  • 【The 4K video 48MP & Autofocus makes shooting sharper.】- This underwater camera has an image resolution of up to 48MP pixels and 4K video resolution,...
  • 【Innovative Dual-screen selfie design & Fill Light】- The waterproof camera has Dual-screen design for easy selfie taking. The 1.7-inch HD display on the...
  • 【11FT underwater camera】- This waterproof camera has IP68 international waterproof standard and can be used up to 11FT underwater. Custom high standard...
  • 【The upgraded multiple functions & 16x digital zoom】- This underwater digital camera supports 16 effects and 9 scene modes, you can take artistic photos in...
  • 【Easy to Carry & Dependable】- This waterproof camera is pocket-size design and cool, easy to carry. The drawstring bag is convenient for store cameras when...
SaleRANK 9
4K Underwater Camera 11FT Waterproof Camera with 32GB Card 48MP Autofocus...
  • 【4K UHD Waterproof Camera】 Experience the thrill of underwater exploration with our 4K waterproof camera. With a stunning 4K video and 48MP photo...
  • 【Autofocus Underwater Camera】 Unleash your inner photographer with our underwater camera. Equipped with an intuitive autofocus function, it's as simple as...
  • 【11FT Waterproof Digital Camera】 Immerse yourself in underwater exploration without worrying about battery life. Our waterproof digital camera boasts a...
  • 【Dual-Screen Selfie Floatable Camera】 Capture shared moments with our dual-screen floatable camera. Its innovative front and rear screen design lets you...
  • 【Warm Tips】 Never miss a moment with our camera's expansive storage, supporting micro-SD cards up to 128GB (includes a 32GB card). The battery compartment...
SaleRANK 10
Trsunow 4K Waterproof Camera Underwater 64GB Card Included Dual Screens Selfie...
  • 💧【UHD 4K Recording & 48MP Photo】The 4K waterproof camera records ultra high definition 4K(3840*2160@30fps) video and shoots 48MP(8000*6000) picture....
  • 🏊【11FT Waterproof Snorkeling】 The underwater camera for snorkeling is waterproof up to 11 feet, making it an ideal choice for those who love to explore...
  • 📷【Dual Screens & Selfie Mode】 The waterproof digital camera is featured with 2.8 inch(640*480) and 1.7 inch(240*280) IPS dual screen, swapping to the...
  • 🏂【Lightweight Travel Camera】 The portable waterproof camera is lightweight and durable, which is convenient to put in a pocket or a suitcase. The...
  • 🙇【Nice and Solid Camera for Kids】 The underwater camera is easy to use and intuitive, the kids easily figure it out who love taking pictures in the pool...

Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What are the Advantages of Buying Dslr Cameras For Underwater Photography?

For those who have a passion for exploring the underwater world, investing in a DSLR camera for underwater photography can take your experiences to the next level. Here are some reasons why you should consider purchasing one.

Higher Image Quality

A DSLR camera is a high-end camera that offers superior image quality compared to point-and-shoot or smartphone cameras. This is because DSLR cameras have larger image sensors, meaning they can capture more light and detail. This results in photos that are sharper, clearer, and have more vibrant colors.

Underwater photography can be particularly challenging as water absorbs light and reduces color and contrast. Using a DSLR camera with a high-quality lens and ample manual control gives photographers the ability to adjust settings like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to capture stunning images of marine life and underwater landscapes. Additionally, shooting in raw format provides more flexibility during post-processing, allowing for greater control over exposure, color correction, and other adjustments. Overall, using a DSLR camera for underwater photography results in higher image quality and more professional-looking photos.

Wide Range of Lens Compatibility

DSLR cameras offer a wide range of lens compatibility, which is especially beneficial for underwater photography. Underwater photography often requires a variety of lenses to capture different angles and distances. With a DSLR camera, you can easily swap out lenses to get different shots without having to change to a different camera system. This also allows for greater flexibility in shooting in different lighting conditions and depths.

Another advantage of DSLR cameras for underwater photography is that they typically offer better image quality than most point-and-shoot cameras. This is due to the larger sensor size, which allows for more detail and better low-light performance. Overall, the wide range of lens compatibility that DSLR cameras offer makes them an excellent choice for underwater photographers who require versatility and high-quality images.

Diverse Settings and Controls

Underwater photography requires special skills, techniques, and equipment. A DSLR camera is one of the essential tools for capturing high-quality pictures. Unlike point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs offer diverse settings and controls that enable photographers to customize their shots according to the environment and the subject.

For example, DSLRs come with various lenses that offer different focal lengths and apertures which allows you to capture sharp, detailed images of underwater scenery, close-ups of marine life and portraits of divers. Moreover, DSLRs are equipped with manual controls for exposure, shutter speed, and white balance, making it easier to maintain the right lighting and color balance while shooting in different depths and water conditions. Overall, DSLRs provide greater flexibility and creative freedom to underwater photographers, allowing them to produce stunning images that capture the beauty of the underwater world.

Durability and Waterproof Enclosures

When it comes to underwater photography, durability and waterproof enclosures are essential features to consider. The equipment needs to be able to withstand the harsh underwater environment, including saltwater, rough surfaces, and potential impacts. Dslr cameras with durable builds and waterproof enclosures offer greater protection against the elements.

Waterproof enclosures not only protect the camera from water damage but also from dust, sand, and debris, making them ideal for use in all types of environments. In addition, these enclosures often come with built-in lighting and lens ports, which allows for clear and sharp images to be captured. Overall, investing in a Dslr camera with a waterproof enclosure and durability means that it will be able to withstand the rigors of underwater photography, providing you with high-quality and long-lasting results.

Buyer’s Guides

One of the most important considerations when searching for the ideal DSLR camera for underwater photography is undoubtedly its durability in wet conditions. Other factors to bear in mind include image quality, focal length, and manual control options, among others.

Waterproof housing compatibility

Waterproof housing is an essential component for capturing high-quality images when it comes to underwater photography. It provides a protective shield around the camera to prevent any damage due to water exposure, ensuring the safety of the camera and your investment. A camera that is not compatible with waterproof housing will not be able to function underwater, resulting in ruined photos and potential damage to the camera. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the compatibility of waterproof housing before buying a DSLR camera for underwater photography.

In addition, waterproof housing also allows the use of additional lenses and ports, providing greater versatility in capturing images underwater. A compatible DSLR camera can be combined with a waterproof housing that is capable of supporting various accessories such as strobes, filters, and lights, giving photographers the flexibility to experiment with different techniques and styles. Hence, it is advisable to consider the compatibility of waterproof housing before choosing a DSLR camera for underwater photography to enhance the quality and creativity of the images captured.

Size and weight

When buying a DSLR camera for underwater photography, size and weight are important factors to consider. Underwater photography requires carrying the camera and other equipment such as a housing, strobes, and lenses. A heavy and bulky camera system can cause discomfort and fatigue during a dive, which can impact safety and quality of the photos taken. Therefore, it is important to choose a DSLR camera system that is small and lightweight to make it easier to handle and transport both in and out of the water.

Additionally, the size of the camera and housing are important in relation to the subject being photographed. Smaller cameras are better for photographing small subjects or creatures while larger cameras are good for shooting larger creatures such as turtles or sharks. The size of the housing also affects the overall buoyancy of the camera system, and too heavy a camera could cause problems with buoyancy while diving and take away from the photographer’s ability to control and use the system safely. Overall, it is important to consider the size and weight of the DSLR camera system when buying one for underwater photography to ensure comfort, safety, and high-quality photos.

Image sensor size

The image sensor size is an important factor to consider when buying DSLR cameras for underwater photography. This is because the size of the image sensor affects the quality of the images produced. A larger sensor size can capture more light and detail, resulting in better image quality. This is especially important when taking photos in low light conditions or underwater, where the light is often limited. A larger sensor size also allows for better control over depth of field and better overall image sharpness.

Furthermore, the image sensor size also affects the compatibility of lenses with the camera body. Larger sensors require larger lenses, which can be expensive and cumbersome for underwater photography. Therefore, it is important to choose a camera and lens combination that is suitable for the type of underwater photography you plan to do. Overall, considering image sensor size before purchasing a DSLR camera for underwater photography can greatly impact the quality of your images and lead to a more rewarding experience.

Lens options

When it comes to underwater photography, having the right lens can make a significant difference in the quality of your images. While DSLR cameras come with a standard kit lens, these may not be ideal for capturing the unique colors and textures found underwater. Investing in a good quality underwater lens can provide better sharpness and color clarity, allowing you to capture the beauty of marine life in stunning detail. Additionally, some lenses are designed specifically for wide-angle shots or macro photography, providing greater versatility and allowing you to compose more creative shots.

In summary, while DSLR cameras are a great choice for underwater photography, the standard kit lens may not be suitable for capturing the unique colors and textures found underwater. By investing in a good quality underwater lens, you can take better quality photos that capture the beauty of marine life in stunning detail. Additionally, specialized lenses offer greater versatility and allow for more creative shots. Therefore, considering lens options before buying a DSLR camera for underwater photography is crucial.

ISO range

ISO range is one of the key factors that should be considered before buying a DSLR camera for underwater photography. ISO range determines the camera’s sensitivity to light and the ability to capture detailed, sharp and well-exposed images in low light conditions. A higher ISO range allows photographers to shoot in dimly lit environments without needing a flash, making it ideal for underwater photography where light is limited and unpredictable. On the other hand, a low ISO range would not capture enough light and the images would appear dark and grainy.

Another reason to consider ISO range is to avoid using a flash that can disturb underwater creatures and potentially harm the environment. By selecting a camera with a high ISO range, photographers can capture natural light and behavior of marine life without disturbing them. Moreover, a high ISO range can help to capture stunning, vibrant colors that are commonly found in coral reefs and underwater life. Therefore, considering the ISO range is crucial to select a camera that can handle the challenges of underwater photography and deliver high-quality images.

Auto-focus speed and accuracy

Auto-focus speed and accuracy are important factors to consider when choosing a DSLR camera for underwater photography because they can greatly affect the sharpness and clarity of the images captured. Underwater environments can be challenging for autofocus systems, with moving objects, low light, and varying water conditions all potentially throwing off the focus. A camera with fast and accurate autofocus will ensure that the subject of your photo is in focus and sharp, even in difficult conditions.

In addition, underwater photography often requires shooting at close distances and using a shallow depth of field, making precise focus even more critical. A camera with advanced autofocus features such as autofocus tracking, autofocus points, and focus peaking can greatly improve your ability to capture the shots you want. Ultimately, choosing a DSLR camera with fast and accurate autofocus will help you achieve stunning and professional-looking underwater shots.


What features should I look for in a DSLR camera for underwater photography?

When looking for a DSLR camera for underwater photography, there are a few features to consider. First, the camera should have a high resolution sensor to capture sharp and detailed images. Additionally, it should have a fast autofocus system to capture moving subjects quickly and accurately. A high maximum ISO range is also important for low-light conditions, which are common in underwater environments.

Another important feature is the ability to shoot in RAW format, which allows for greater control over image editing in post-production. Other considerations include a rugged, waterproof housing and compatibility with underwater strobes or lighting systems. Lastly, the camera should have manual controls for aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to allow for more creative control and flexibility in different shooting conditions.

Do I need any additional accessories to use a DSLR camera for underwater photography?

Yes, you will need additional accessories to use a DSLR camera for underwater photography. The most essential accessory is an underwater housing or case that fits your specific camera model. This housing will protect your camera from water damage and allow you to use the controls and functions of your camera while submerged. Additionally, you may want to invest in specialized lenses, strobes or lights, and filters for better image quality and lighting in different underwater environments. Other useful accessories can include a buoyancy control device, gloves, and a wrist strap to keep your camera safe and secure while diving. Ultimately, the specific accessories you need will depend on the type of underwater photography you plan to do and the conditions in which you will be shooting.

Are DSLR cameras more expensive for underwater photography compared to regular photography?

Yes, DSLR cameras are typically more expensive for underwater photography compared to regular photography because they require additional equipment and accessories to be able to function effectively underwater. These additional costs include waterproof housing, ports, and strobes which can add significantly to the overall cost of the camera setup.

In addition, underwater photography also requires additional skills and expertise to capture good shots, which can also add to the overall cost if you need to hire a professional or attend a training course. So while DSLR cameras can be more expensive for underwater photography, they are also necessary for capturing high-quality images in this challenging environment.

What are the pros and cons of using a DSLR camera for underwater photography compared to a point-and-shoot camera?

Using a DSLR camera for underwater photography provides high image resolution, interchangeable lenses, and full manual control over settings, allowing for better creativity and customization. However, DSLR cameras can be heavy, expensive, and require additional accessories for use underwater. Point-and-shoot cameras are generally smaller, easier to use, and less expensive but have limited settings and image quality.

Final Words

When it comes to capturing the beauty and mystery of the underwater world, choosing the right DSLR camera is crucial. Through our research, we have found the top 10 best DSLR cameras for underwater photography, each with its own unique features and capabilities. From beginner-friendly options to more advanced models, any of these cameras will allow you to capture stunning images and videos beneath the surface.

In conclusion, with the help of our reviews and buying guide, finding the best DSLR camera for underwater photography has never been easier. Whether you’re an experienced underwater photographer or just starting out, investing in one of these top 10 cameras will help you capture the beauty and wonder of the underwater world like never before.

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