Olympus Tough TG-2 iHS
Olympus Tough TG-2 iHS

Best waterproof camera without Wi-Fi

The Olympus Tough TG-2 iHS is a solid, all-round waterproof camera that produces images on par with regular compact cameras. Underwater photos come out without any color distortion. Video is good, and it has three panoramic options. You can use extra lenses for more varied shots. The GPS lets you track and log your photos.
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Est. $380 Estimated Price
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX30
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX30

Smallest and lightest waterproof camera

The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX30 is stylish as well as ultra-slim and light. It's a basic camera, lacking both GPS and Wi-Fi, though it does have some other neat features, including iSweep Panorama. Photo quality is very good. The TX30's touch screen is great for use on land, but impossible to use underwater, making this a great waterproof, not underwater, camera.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5

Best waterproof camera with Wi-Fi

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 has a tough, sturdy body and an extensive feature set, including some manual controls. Its fully featured GPS has a compass, a manometer and a landmark database. Image quality is good, both on land and underwater. Wi-Fi is elaborate, with Near Field Communication. Its long battery life makes it ideal for travel.
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See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

Waterproof Cameras Runners Up:

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Est. $300

8 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Canon PowerShot D20 Est. $220

6 picks including: Amazon.com, DigitalTrends.com…

Olympus Tough TG-830 iHS Est. $180

4 picks including: Amazon.com, ePhotoZine…

Pentax Optio WG-3 GPS Est. $440

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DigitalTrends.com…

Fujifilm FinePix XP200 Est. $240

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DigitalTrends.com…

Waterproof cameras for watersports … and other adventurous pastimes

If you're planning to go scuba diving or snorkeling on your vacation, or just like to take photos playing on the beach, then a waterproof digital camera is what you need. But waterproof cameras offer much more than just a dry underwater environment for your photos and videos -- they're among the most rugged cameras available and work for any active lifestyle. Their waterproofing works for frozen water as well, so skiers and snowboarders can safely use them. And these cameras are all freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, suitable for even the coldest winter sports days. Planning on rock climbing or hiking in the mountains? Most of these waterproof cameras are shockproof and crushproof, so you can drop them from 6 or so feet, or have boulders fall on them without any ill effects. They're also dustproof, which is good for desert environments. All in all, waterproof digital cameras are great vacation traveling companions or for recording your extreme sports.

In considering a waterproof camera, it's best to be clear about what they're good at. Traditionally, these cameras are for outdoor use, so their indoor performance is not usually up to par with that of regular compact cameras (with a few exceptions). That's not to say that you won't get good photos inside, but the lesser quality is noticeable if you look at the photos at full size. However, these cameras are great at taking underwater photos and videos, as well as landscape and action shots. If you're going to be around or underwater or in rugged terrain, then these cameras are practically a must-have.

Most of the cameras in this review have GPS to varying degrees, offering geo-tagging of photos to plotting your vacation route through your photos on a map. Waterproof cameras don't have viewfinders, so you have to frame your shot using the LCD screen. Wi-Fi is still an option, though, and that's how we've divided the categories in this report. Many of the cameras we reviewed are fairly lightweight, which makes them suitable for traveling, but one in particular is small enough to keep in your back pocket.

To find the Best Reviewed waterproof digital cameras, the editors looked at enthusiastic and thorough expert reviews on waterproof cameras. Professional reviewers perform extensive testing in labs, out in the field and underwater. These detailed reviews are often backed up by sample images and videos shot with the cameras, and the most useful reports have comparisons between the leading cameras. One thing to be aware of in the expert reviews, however, is any comparison to regular compact cameras, as waterproof cameras can come off poorly for on-land photos. User reviews are also very important for finding out what it's really like to use the cameras on the go. Some user reviewers go into great depth on this, giving both the pros and cons of their experiences with the cameras.

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