Our top choice for the best scuba diving camera for beginners is the Nikon COOLPIX W300.

Read on to see why…

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How to determine which scuba dive camera is best for beginners

You’re going diving and you want others above the surface to experience all the color and beauty you see under the water. Yet you don’t want an over-complicated underwater camera to distract you! 

Here we’ll examine the top models for 2019 and determine what is the best scuba diving camera for beginners as well as the best underwater action cameras. You need something that’s simple to operate, yet gives you a good clear result underwater. 

You want to shoot at the press of a button, without complicated accessories or extensions to attach to your camera. Let’s examine 3 cameras that fit the bill.

FUJI FINEPIX XP80

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Best budget scuba camera

Fujifilm FinePix XP80 Waterproof Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD

  • Waterproof to 100ft
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • 5X Optical Zoom 
  • Image stabilisation
  • FHD 1080p  Video Capture
  • Built-in Wifi

NIKON COOLPIX W300

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5/5

"OUR TOP CHOICE"
Best scuba diving camera for beginners

Nikon W300 Underwater Camera with TFT LCD

  • Waterproof to 100ft
  • 16 megapixels
  • 5X Optical Zoom 
  • Image stabilisation
  • FHD 1080p Video Capture
  • Built-in GPS
  • Built-in Wifi
  • Built-in DEPTH GAUGE! 

OLYMPUS TG-5

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Best underwater video camera for a point and shoot

Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera with 3-Inch LCD

  • Waterproof to 50ft
  • 12 megapixels
  • 4X Optical Zoom 
  • Image stabilisation
  • 4K UHD 2160p Video Capture
  • Built-in GPS/Wifi
  • Built-in Depth gauge.

"Our choice: Best Scuba Diving Camera for beginners"

The Nikon Coolpix W300 is ideal for beginners who want a high quality camera from day one without the need to ‘upgrade’ later. It boasts ease of use while having all the latest features a compact camera can offer.

You won’t need to upgrade because of lack of features and you won’t need to upgrade if you drop it! The Nikon Coolpix W300 is waterproof (to 100ft), freezeproof, shockproof and dustproof! You can take it anywhere with peace of mind.

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EXCITING FEATURES FOR DIVERS

Built-in Wifi and bluetooth mean you can share your photos and videos on the go and back-up all your footage to your space. It features inbuilt GPS, compass, altimeter and DEPTH GAUGE!

UNDERWATER SCENE MODE

The onboard depth gauge displays your depth in feet. You can capture images including the reading displayed on the camera. How cool is that for a diver! Imagine showing someone a photo you took and the depth you were at displayed on that image! 
Best Scuba Diving Camera for beginners
Nikon Coolpix depth gauge

CRYSTAL CLEAR IMAGERY

16mp image quality and “zoom lens freeze action” mean your action pictures will be crystal clear.  The 5X optical lens allows you to zoom right in when you can’t physically get quite close enough. 

Video quality is striking at 1080p Full HD. No need for your underwater models to ‘strike a pose’ – this camera shoots ‘clearly’ on the move. 

The “Rapid autofocus” feature allows you to catch action shots you might otherwise miss. “Macro mode” is a feature that will focus on details with utter sharpness and high definition. We regard this to be the best underwater camera for scuba diving. 

No Need to 'Strike a pose'!

No need for your underwater models to ‘strike a pose’ – this camera shoots ‘clearly’ on the move. The “Rapid autofocus” feature allows you to catch action shots you might otherwise miss. “Macro mode” is a feature that will focus on details with utter sharpness and high definition.

EASE OF USE

With all these features packed into a compact camera, you’d think it’d be complicated to operate. Well here’s the good news, it’s designed with ‘ease-of-use’ in mind for action seeking enthusiasts. 

The smart button placement and extra large grip make one-handed shooting a breeze, even with gloves on. 

PRESET MODES

Not only is it easy to operate, but it has preset modes that make the setting selection automatic. The Nikon Coolpix has 20 common scene modes to choose from. This certainly takes the hard work out of selecting the correct mode for your setting. 

You won’t need to worry about reading the whole manual with operation being so simple to learn! Yet the preset modes help you learn from what you do as you go. 

Why this is our choice for the best scuba dive cameras for beginners...

Reasonably priced, packed with the latest technology, ease of use and crystal clear image/video capture, we regard the Nikon Coolpix W300 the best choice for beginners. 

Click here if you need the official operating manual on Nikon’s site.

FULL KIT

For a few dollars more, you can get a whole kit including a floating buoy handle, a 32GB card, a case, a battery and more… This kit is good value for the amount of extras you get.


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The Fujifilm FinePix XP80 is a great option for those on a budget. Now you won’t get your depth gauge and GPS but it has all the features you’d need to take high quality images and video under water.

Like other compact rugged cameras, it boasts what it calls “Adventure-proof features”! It is “4 Way Proof” – Waterproof 50ft, Freeze proof 14 Degree F/ Shockproof 5.8ft and Dustproof. This little camera is a compact, sturdy machine.

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CRYSTAL CLEAR PICTURES

It is waterproof up to 50feet and has a High-Resolution, 16M BSI-CMOS Sensor which brightens up darker scenes. The Optical Image Stabilization reduces any blur that zooming causes. Full HD Movie capabilities give footage crystal clear sharpness at 1920 x 1080-pixels.

SHARE ON THE GO

Easy WiFi transfer with the FUJIFILM Camera app makes it simple to save, upload or share photos. 

This feature-rich camera takes high quality images and is light and easy to use. 

EASY GRIP / LARGE BUTTONS

The Fuji Finepix XP80 is good for both the novice and experienced diver.  It is easy to grip and operate underwater and the large buttons are even easy to find with gloves on. 

The Olympus TG-5 is also a high quality underwater camera but at a slightly higher price to the Nikon. 

Contrasting features such as image quality and waterproof limit make you wonder what it boasts superior to the Nikon. 

Read on to see why…

HIGH SPEC FEATURES

The Olympus TG-5 boasts very similar high spec features to our top choice, the Nikon Coolpix W300 including the depth gauge. 

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Remember, as I said above, it is priced slightly higher than the Nikon….YET…
The Olympus is waterproof to 50ft as compared with 100ft on our Nikon Coolpix. Image quality is 12 megapixels and optical zoom 4X as compared with 16mp and 5X optical zoom on our Nikon.  

What makes the Olympus stand out?
Where the Olympus wins is with its video capture features. The Olympus dive camera features 4K UHD 2160p Video. So if you want a professional underwater camera with high spec video…go for the Olympus. The image quality may be lower than the Nikon but at 16mp you’ll still get highly defined imagery. 

AS TOUGH AS THEY GET

It has the standard rugged camera features such as dustproof, freezeproof, shockproof, crushproof and it is hailed as being one of the toughest compact cameras available. 

It is a highly popular choice among scuba divers especially with its 4K capabilities which is popular now and especially for action capture. We regard this as best point-and-shoot underwater video camera for scuba diving.

Finally if you’re looking for a more specialized action-cam, the AKASO EK7000 has to be mentioned. It is an action-cam with 100ft waterproof casing. It is highly popular and known to be one of the best underwater action cameras. 

It is an Ultra HD Waterproof DV Camcorder at 12MP with 170 Degree Wide Angle.  

It comes with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries.  With built-In WIFI & HDMI, edit & share your footage in minutes. Also, if you’re on a budget, we regard the Akaso EK7000 the best action camera for scuba diving. 

Read more and view best price in our AKASO post here. 

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IN CONCLUSION...

One of the things to consider finding the best waterproof point and shoot camera is how comfortable you are in taking pictures while multi-tasking underwater.  What we want is the highest quality images and video footage. 

No matter how feature-rich the best point and shoot camera is, the basic buttons should be easy to find and easy to press even with your gloves on. In summary, we have outlined 3 good point and shoot cameras here that are simple to use yet feature-rich. 

Now it is up to you to determine what best suits your needs. 

  • If you want a professional underwater video camera (point-and-shoot) with high quality 4k video capture, go for the Olympus TG-5

     

  • The Fuji FINEPIX XP80 is also an excellent choice and although you won’t have cool features like GPS and a depth gauge, it is a third of the price and still produces crystal clear reproduction.

  • We have chosen the Nikon COOLPIX W300 as the best scuba diving camera for beginners but also one of the best point and shoot underwater cameras for the money. Take a look at the Nikon footage below.
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