We’ve all been there. You’re out on the water and you hook a story-worthy fish. Your buddy scrambles for their phone to capture the moment, but by the time they put down their rod, dig their phone out of their pocket, unlock the phone and find the camera or video app, the fight is over. On top of that, you’re risking losing or damaging your phone.
That’s why we recommend having a dedicated, easy to use, rugged, and waterproof camera for taking pictures of your fights and catches. Over the years we’ve tried and tested a number of camera options when we fish, and below, we’ll give you our recommendations for the best waterproof cameras to bring on your next fishing trip.
Our Pick: Best All Around
The Olympus TG-4 is our pick for the best all-around compact waterproof camera. It’s waterproof (up to 50 feet), dustproof, freezeproof, shockproof, and crushproof. That’s a heck of a lot of proof.
Pros: With 16 mega pixels, your pictures will have loads of detail, and the 4x wide-angle optical zoom means you can capture the fight from any angle. Best of all, the ultra fast f2.0 lens means you’ll be able to capture fast, blur-free action flawlessly. On top of that, the autofocus is fast and accurate, meaning you’ll have no trouble locking focus on the action.
This camera may not look like a pro camera, but many professional photographers use the TG-4 as their go-to camera for wet conditions. Why? The image quality is great, and it shoots RAW, which means you have the option to fully edit exposure, colors, and the overall look of your photos in a RAW editing program like Adobe Lightroom. Plus, the size makes it much easier than lugging around a super Affiliate expensive DSLR camera.
One other great feature we love is the built-in GPS and compass. This means you’ll be able to tag your photos with coordinates so you know exactly where you made your catch.
Cons: This camera isn’t as fancy as some newer cameras out there that can capture 4k video, but it does capture crisp 1080p full HD video, and it does it pretty well.
Verdict: All around, the Olympus TG-4 is a great waterproof camera option that’s not too expensive, very well-reviewed, and packed full of features.
Best on a budget
The Nikon Coolpix S33 may not be able to keep up with the other cameras on this list in terms of image quality and features, but it’s a rugged and affordable option that keeps up surprisingly well.
Pros: Waterproof up to 33 feet, and droppable from up to 5 ft, this little camera is tougher than it looks. Ease of use is the biggest draw here, as the controls and menus are simple and intuitive – something you really need out there on the water. It has a 13.2 mega pixel sensor and a 2.7 inch display, and is capable of recording 1080p full HD video at 30 frames per second. Not bad for the smallest fish in the pond.
Cons: Like we mentioned, image quality isn’t superb, but it’s decent for Fishing a camera at this price point. The features are also a bit stripped down, so if you’re looking to adjust things like ISO, you’re probably better served going with a different camera.
Verdict: Overall, simplicity and affordability is the name of the game with the Nikon Coolpix S33. If you’re after a no-nonsense, rugged camera at a reasonable price, this might just be the sweet spot.
Update: The Nikon Coolpix S33 has been discontinued, but you can still grab a refurbished model for a great price. The replacement model (Nikon COOLPIX W100) looks just as good, and will be released on March 3rd, 2017.
Looking for something versatile and professional grade without going overboard on price? Look no further than the Nikon 1 AW1. This waterproof camera is easily the nicest looking waterproof camera out there, and the only one on our list that features an interchangeable lens system.
Pros: Being a semi-pro camera, this 14.2 megapixel camera takes great above- and under-water pictures, and 1080p full HD video. It’s waterproof, dustproof, crushproof, and shockproof, and freezeproof. The interchangeable lens system gives you a bevy of shooting and zoom range options, so it’s adaptable for your fishing trips, hiking trips, and even as a great everyday camera for the family. The Nikon 1 AW1 also features GPS for tagging photo locations, and the quick processor allows for continuous shooting of up to 15 frames per second. This means you can take a burst of shots during the action and choose the best ones later.
Cons: Though most customers have no issues, some complain about leaks and malfunctions even at shallow depths. That said, with a system with interchangeable lenses and batteries, you’ll need to make sure the camera’s doors and seals are, well, sealed.
Verdict: With a great mix of picture quality, features, and versatility, the Nikon 1 AW1 is a great option for enthusiasts looking to take their photography to the water, and to the next level.
Not really a photography camera per se, but the Okuma Water Wolf is so unique we had to add it to this list. This video recorder attaches to your line and records your lure or bait hook. This lets you see exactly what’s happening below the surface, and capture the moment you get that big bite.
Pros: The guys behind this product really did their research. They wanted to learn more about how fish strike, and get a better understanding of what’s going on down there. They tried several other existing cameras, but nothing really suited their needs. So they built their own. With HD recording for up to 4 hours, you’ll have plenty of time to monitor the bite, even on slow days. Worried about losing the camera? The genius behind the Okuma Water Wolf is that if your lure snags, you can break the leader and the camera will float to the surface.
Cons: We’d love it if we could get a live feed of what’s happening down Baseball there beamed to our smartphone or MFD, but we don’t think the tech is there yet. You’ll have to wait til you get home to pop the removable SD card into your cheap nfl jerseys computer to de see your videos. You’ll also want to make sure you don’t have too much weight on your sinker, or you’ll never get στην your camera back if your line breaks.
Verdict: If you’re curious about the action under the surface, or want to learn more about how fish think and react to your baits, the Okuma Water Wolf is a worthy addition to your tackle box. Plus, wouldn’t it be awesome to not only have a picture of that trophy catch, but also a video of the strike?
Best for Video
While this article largely focuses on still cameras, we do like to make mention of one of our favorite video cameras. The Go Pro Hero5 is a newly released beast of a camera, now able to capture 4K video.
Pros: Where do we start? First off, this camera takes amazing quality 4k video with built in video stabilization. It’s waterproof up to 33 feet without any casing, and if you do add a case, you’ll have endless options for mounting the camera on just about any surface. There’s a touch screen high resolution display, and the recording controls are dead simple. Perhaps best of all though – this camera has voice control. That means you can say things like “GoPro, take a picture.” And, if you have a GoPro Plus subscription, your videos and photos will automatically upload to your account for viewing anytime on any device.
Cons: Not really much to say here. While video quality is great, the picture quality isn’t anything better than you might get on a newer iPhone. You’ll also need to like the fish-eye style video and photo capture. It’s a unique look, and not for everyone.
Verdict: The GoPro Hero5 is a well reviewed sports action video camera trusted by the pros. With the release of the 5, GoPro has really outdone themselves in terms of packing a ton of features into an affordable product. If you’re looking for video capture and hands-free utility, the Hero5 is the way to go.
Or Go Disposable
Ah, nostalgia. When was the last time you used one of these?
Pros: Disposable waterproof cameras may be a blast from the past, but they’re cheap, are a no-brainer to use, and add a bit of fun to your picture taking. These cameras are as basic as they get, but that’s a great feature when you’re scrambling for the camera during or after the fight. And, you don’t have to be precious with them. Lose one in the water? They’re waterproof, and they’ll float.
Cons: Lack of features, just OK image quality, and no digital versions unless you scan your pictures. Plus you’ll have to go get your camera developed at a photo center. But maybe that’s all part of the fun and suspense?
Verdict: Going old school adds some mystery and fun to photographing your fishing trip, and the low price point makes them an oddly compelling Meeting option.
So there you have it. Our best picks this year for waterproof cameras for your next fishing trip. We think any of these options are a great choice, depending on your situation and budget. We’d love to hear your opinion, and if you have a recommendation for taking pictures on the water. So let us know what you think.
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