If you’re like us, then you love spending time underwater. Whether it’s swimming in the ocean or diving in a lake, being surrounded by water is just so peaceful and calming.
But even more than that, we love capturing photos and videos of the amazing things we can see while scuba diving.
Thinking of taking underwater photos and videos? You aren’t alone. GoPro cameras are flying off the shelves and into the hands of scuba divers as we speak.
Small, lightweight, and compact size, GoPro cameras fit neatly into your BCD pocket, ready to be whipped out at the first sign of that manta or shark you’re crossing your fingers and toes to see when diving.
You can’t go wrong with a GoPro camera. Here are some of our favorites, time-tested and used for years!
🥇 Best GoPro for Scuba Diving
- Best Overall – GoPro Hero 10 Black
- Best Budget – GoPro Hero 7 Black
- Runner-Up – GoPro Hero 9 Black
|Product||GoPro HERO10 Black||GoPro HERO7 Black||GoPro HERO9 Black
|Photo Resolution||23 MP||12 MP||20 MP|
|Max Video Resolution||5.3K/60 fps||4K60/50 fps||5.3K/60fps|
|Special Features||HyperSmooth 4.0|
|Hypersmooth 3.0 TimeWarp 3.0
|Warranty||1 year||1 year||1 year|
🤳 Why Do Underwater Photography
Scuba diving is such an amazing experience, with tons of underwater marvels to gawk at. Wouldn’t you want to record your dive and be able to show your friends and family your best photos or a fantastic video in top-notch quality?
Nature is at its best underwater, and while scuba diving is not about looking through lenses, you’ll regret not taking a camera down when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity shows up!
And looking at past images and videos can be SO much fun. You get to relive that dive all over again and bring back memories about how spectacular it was.
📸 Why Buy A GoPro Underwater Camera
The good thing about great equipment is that you don’t have to be the best photographer in the world to deliver stunning images. The colors and textures of the gorgeous underwater scenes will help you do that.
You just concentrate on diving!
GoPro cameras are some of the best cameras on the market for a variety of reasons. They’re durable, waterproof, and have excellent video quality. Plus, they’re easy to use, making them perfect for both beginner and advanced shooters right out of the box.
Their underwater housings are renowned for being durable while their accessories make all their scuba cameras incredibly versatile. Mount it on your BCD and for hands free shooting!
The video resolution of their top cameras is unparalleled while the quality of their diving shots is legendary.
🎞️ About GoPro Cameras – A Short Introduction
GoPro, Inc. designs and manufactures small, high-performance cameras capable of capturing professional-quality digital video both underwater and above the surface.
Founded in 2005 by Nick Woodman, the company has built an impressive reputation with its incredibly versatile line of action cameras that are compact enough to mount everywhere and durable enough to use even in extreme sports.
⭐ Reviews – Best Go Pro 2023
Best Overall: GoPro HERO10 Black
|Photo Resolution||23 MP|
|Max Video Resolution||5.3K/60 fps|
|Processor||All-new GP2 processor|
|Waterproof Depth||33.0′ / 10.0 m|
|Livestream||Yes, 1080p max resolution|
|Special Features||HyperSmooth 4.0, TimeWarp 3.0, 8X Slo-Mo, Night Lapse|
The GoPro HERO10 Black is a powerful and durable camera that is perfect for capturing amazing underwater footage.
This camera has the same 23 megapixel and 2.3 inch sensor as its predecessor and is waterproof up to 10 meters / 33 feet, perfect for snorkeling or free diving.
Of course, if you want to dive deeper, you’ll need the matching underwater housing. The Hero 10 underwater housing is an affordable case that you can bring down safely to 60 meters, perfect for deeper dives.
The new GP2 processor is the bombshell gives the Hero 10 the spectacular performance. A wide range of shooting modes including the new 5k/60P, 4k/120P and 2.7K/240P options.
We loved the huge point of view of the lens that allows for continuous shooting of fantastic macro shots of pelagic wildlife.
The latter two can be used to make stylish, slow motion videos while GoPro’s newly revamped Quik app will help you with editing the GoPro footage.
The award-winning video stabilization technology, Hypersmooth 4.0, will let you shoot videos like a pro while the auto white balance DOES improve and help with the color correction, a separate dive filter is still recommended.
Don’t forget to check with GoPro underwater housing you need! They differ across the various models. We had a poor unfortunate student diver bring in the wrong case to us. He had bought it without testing it. Yikes.
All’s well that ends well, we had just the case for him!
- All-new GP2 processor: makes this the most powerful GoPro ever.
- Unreal resolution : 5.3K60 + 4K120 video resolution + 23 megapixel photos.
- Advanced HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization
- Superior image stabilization
Best for: Budding underwater photographers and videographers that want a scuba diving camera of great quality
- Best GoPro camera around at the time of this writing
- Fantastic features
- Superior image quality
- Easy editing
- Might be pricey for beginners
- Heavier than other models
- Limited in low lighting
- Average battery life
- Some users report automatic shutdowns
Budget Option: GoPro HERO7 Black
|Photo Resolution||12 MP|
|Max Video Resolution||4K60/50 fps|
|Waterproof Depth||33.0′ / 10.0 m|
|Special Features||Hypersmooth 2.0, TimeWarp 2.0, 8X Slo-Mo|
The GoPro Hero 7 is a great action camera for diving, with the trademarked HyperSmooth video stabilization technology that keeps the video footage smooth, even when you’re finning or getting whipped around by the current.
The stabilization on the HERO 7 Black is a big upgrade from that of the Hero 7, providing a significant boost and giving it a more polished feel.
With 12MP and a 2.3 inch sensor, the 7 can shoot up to 4K videos at a frame rate of 60.
The 12 MP camera with image stabilization is enough for shooting stunning photos. Even some of our students that used our rental units came back with magazine-worthy shots!
The Hero 7 also has a microphone port, which some of its predecessors lacked.
As with most other GoPro cameras after it, it is waterproof to 10 meters / 33 feet. If you wanna go deep, you’ll need to provide it with a housing built for greater depths.
- Up to UHD 4K Video: Including web cam
- HyperSmooth 2.0: Superior stabilization technology
- TimeWarp 2.0: Stabilized time lapse video
- SuperPhoto 12MP Stills
Best for: Divers looking to try underwater shooting but aren’t willing to break the bank
- Sweet and simple camera
- Sensitive touch screen to adjust settings easily
- No real battery life upgrade from Hero 6
- Can get hot when recording at 4k
- Can struggle with voice commands
Runner Up: GoPro HERO9 Black
|Max Video Resolution||5.3K/60fps|
|Waterproof Depth||33.0′ / 10.0 m|
|Special Features||Hypersmooth 3.0, TimeWarp 3.0, 8X Slo-Mo|
Launched in 2018, the Hero 10’s predecessor was regarded as the best GoPro for scuba diving by many before the 10 came and knocked the ball right out of the park.
The Hero 9 improved many features off its predecessor including improved stabilization and higher frame rates and 30% more battery life.
As with many GoPro cameras, the 9 is waterproof up to 10 meters / 33 feet and you’ll need a separate dive housing.
- 20MP camera
- 1.4 inch display: With live preview and status modes
- 2.27-inch rear touch display
- 1,720 mAh rechargeable battery
- HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilization
Best for: Scuba divers that want a camera with the right balance of performance and affordability
- Large rear display
- Improved battery life
- Front display
- Rugged build
- 5K video and 20MP photo
- Touch screen is sometimes unresponsive
- Voice controls are still buggy
- Still no 4k/120P mode
- Larger than previous models
🧾 How to Pick the Right GoPro for Scuba Diving
Your underwater camera is going to be a deeply personal preference. With literally thousands in the market, picking the perfect model for a diving camera needs to take into consideration several important factors.
Ease Of Use
You really don’t want to be fussing with the controls or squinting at the preview screen during your dive while a group of mantas flies overhead.
Make sure that buttons are easy to press and the interface is easy to navigate, even as you are getting distracted by said group of mantas or something equally awesome.
Think about it, do you really need the top-of-the-line? Budding photographers might be more comfortable with something mid-range to learn on before moving up the ladder.
The quality of a photo depends on the lens and sensors that directly impact sharpness and contrast.
Again, beginner divers and photographers might not need a camera with all the bells and whistles. Keep it short and simple with only the functionality you need.
After all, upgrading gear is always fun!
What lens can be attached? What about strobes, or extra lighting? Every scuba diving camera struggles at depth as the amount of light starts to drop.
Get a GoPro camera that is compatible with any accessories you might want to use.
Although GoPros cameras are waterproof, unless you’re planning to stick to a depth of only 10 meters, you’re going to need a dive housing.
When housing shopping, keep in mind building materials and compatibility with accessories.
Choose only top-of-the-range materials such as aluminum or polycarbonate. You really don’t want a leak in the housing way down at 30 meters!
In addition, if you are intending to use floats, extra lens, or lighting, you’ll need accessory ports in the housing.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Which GoPro Is Best For Scuba Diving?
We LOVE the GoPro Hero 10! We think it is a great choice for budding photographers and videographers.
Can GoPro Be Used For A Scuba Dive?
A GoPro camera is waterproof till 10 meters / 33 feet. Any deeper and you’ll need a separate housing to deal with the increased water pressure.
Which GoPro Is Best For Underwater Video?
We think the best choice is the GoPro Hero 10 which shoots videos at a frame rate of a whopping 5k/60p.
How Do I Edit My GoPro Footage?
You can edit your GoPro footage on their Quik app.
Can I Shoot Photos On My GoPro?
Yes! A GoPro camera can deliver up to 20 megapixels for a killer diving photo.
How Do I Care For My GoPro After Diving?
Store your GoPro securely while on the surface in a covered box or padded case.
After removing the camera carefully out of the case without letting it get wet with any salt water, rinse the case thoroughly in fresh water. Even better if you can soak it in 100% fresh water for a few hours.
Why A GoPro and Not A Waterproof Phone Case
Waterproof phone cases are designed as a protection measure, not for constant submersion. Phone cases are not meant to be used at depth and at high water pressure for when you dive deep.
📌 Final Thoughts On GoPro Scuba Diving
If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to take photos, underwater photography is definitely the way to go.
You don’t need to be an expert scuba diver (although it certainly helps!) to get great shots of fish, coral, and other sea creatures in their natural habitats.
With a little bit of practice and some basic knowledge about how water affects light and color, you can start shooting amazing images that will make your friends and family’s jaws drop.
So what are you waiting for? Go shopping for a GoPro and dive into the deep blue!