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Best underwater fishing camera 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated September 1, 2023
Best underwater fishing camera of 2018
I want to find something that’s designed well (both for aesthetic purposes and efficiency). We’ve narrowed down our options based on the customer feedback (read positive reviews), functionality, material and size. In other words, we’ve put all fundamentals into consideration to come up with a comprehensive list that suits various needs. Based on customer reviews and my own experience with the cowboy method I’ve found the best 3 underwater fishing camera on the market. Not all underwater fishing camera are created equal though.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this underwater fishing camera win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day.
№2 – Fishing Finder
Why did this underwater fishing camera come in second place?
I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery.
№3 – Wosports Fish Finder Camera 720P 2MP 130° Underwater Video Fishing Camera System Kit 4.3 Inch LCD Monitor 12h Working Time 30m Cable for Boat
Why did this underwater fishing camera take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work.
underwater fishing camera Buyer’s Guide
Today we are here to discuss the top best underwater fishing camera, and how they can help us to catch fishes. The underwater fishing camera is a gadget to help you to make the fishing experience much easy and simpler.
Fishing is one of the most top outdoor activities loved by millions. I am an avid kayaker who loves to fish a lot. If I am not working, you will always find me fishing on the lake or the river.
Outdoors Insight AVMicro II Underwater Camera System
Aqua-Vu’s AVMicro II is an underwater fishing camera which is the size of a smartphone, and can be stored in a pocket. This underwater camera system is loved by fisherman to see the movements of the fishes.
This underwater camera system comes with a 3.5” LCD color screen. Thus, you get to see a good picture of the movement of the objects below water. The color camera uses IR lighting system with auto-light sensing for better viewing.
The device comes with battery charger and a 50-ft cable. The lithium-ion battery can be charged to use for up to seven hours of time. That’s quite a good amount of battery juice to fish for a long time. You can even use this for ice fishing.
As the name suggests, you can understand that this underwater fishing video camera comes with night vision technology. So night fishing can be enjoyable when you grab this cool device. The 1high power IR lights are there to feed the light to the camera for better viewing.
This camera has a waterproof IP6You can use this fishing camera under 30m deep water on the night. It uses a 7” color LCD screen which can be used for both real-time video and video capturing.
The high-capacity rechargeable battery makes sure you get to use this device for up to 9-1hour. It’s lightweight and easy to carry on your fishing boat or kayak. What’s more, the aluminum box makes it easier to move. In a nutshell, this is the best Nightvision underwater fishing camera.
SMTTECH 3.5” LCD Monitor Underwater Fishing Camera
Taking picture or recording videos of underwater is much easier when you have SMTTECH fishing video camera. This is a short and sweet fishing video camera which can be used to check the fishes.
It comes with a 3.inch LCD display monitor with sun-visor to check at sunlight. You can take the benefits of having a micro SD memory card slot to transfer file easily to PC or MAC.
Magicfly Professional Underwater Fishing Video Camera
Magicfly is a cheap underwater fishing camera which comes with a 3-inches TFT color monitor. The sun-visor makes sure you get to see the monitor on bright environments. The device is cold-resistant, waterproof and made of durable material to last for a long time.
Magicfly fishing video camera uses high-power white lights for easy viewing. The battery will last up to hours. What’s more, you can easily install this underwater fishing video camera on the fishing pole.
Eyoyo 1000TVL Underwater Ice video Fishing Camera
It looks cool and the compact design makes it easy to hold into pant pockets. It comes with 2600ma lithium battery which can be used up to 6-hours. The only downside is this camera record the videos. It’s just for watching. You will also get a strong metal case to keep the camera.
I have mentioned some underwater fishing camera which can be used for ice fishing purpose. They usually come with the technology to make it easy to watch fishes in the cold water.
Some underwater fishing camera can be used on the deck of a boat or held in the hand, and some can be installed on the fishing pole. Different types of position along with portability features requires a different design. Once you check the pictures, you will be able to understand which one you want.
I have tried my best to mention different types of underwater fishing cameras with various price. There are the cheap fishing underwater cameras and expensive too. My suggestion is not to get a wrong device for the low price. See if the features meet your requirement, and then make a purchase decision.
HeroBlack possesses all amazing features of Session series but at the same time it offers stills with 12MP resolution. Live preview is available with LCD screen that also enables user to enjoy spot editing as well as trimming. It comes with a removable battery of 1220mAh and can go underwater up to 3feet (10m) without protective case.
Voice control and one touch operation supports better functionality.
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
This 4K Action camera assists in easy operation with voice control and data overlays. The burst capabilities allow users to capture details at 12MP with 60 frames/seconds and 60 frames/ second for 8MP selection. If you switch to the time lapse mode then GPS can assist in better controlling even with distance mode whereas users can click high quality photographs on the go.
This camera assists users in adventurous outdoor recordings with all advanced features that are added to a compact device. Stills can be captured at 16MP whereas videos can be of range 2880×2160 (2K) resolution level at 24fps and lower. It can be easily mounted on boards, handlebars and helmet etc. The 170 degree wide angle view assists in wide focus whereas additional case can provide waterproofing facility under water.
Selecting Your First Underwater Camera
To be clear, other than several discontinued film models, there are no actual underwater cameras. To shoot underwater photography you will need a digital camera and a waterproof housing designed specifically for that camera. Sometimes the camera and housing are sold together, but more often they are not, or the housing manufacturer is a third party to the camera brand. That being said, recently manufacturers have begun to produce waterproof digital cameras, but the current depth rating is limited to 30 feet, and often even less.
For this underwater camera guide we will use the term “underwater camera” to describe any combination of camera and housing that can be used underwater. The best way to use the guide is to learn about the criteria required in your decision making process, browse or search our Underwater Photography Equipment Guide, and then contact an underwater photography retailer to discuss current models and options.
Underwater Photography Equipment Guide to see what options exist. However, you may still choose to start with a different camera based on the criteria and recommendations in this guide.
Size and weight
Finding the right combination of these three factors depends on your personal preferences and photographic intentions. The first step is determining what features are most important to you. It may be that you have strict size, or more often, budget requirements that will limit which features you can have in your camera. In any case, if you have not done so yet, we highly recommend reading The Basic Principles of Underwater Photography article first to get more familiar with what underwater photography entails and the challenges you will need to overcome.
Underwater Camera Features
The first, and perhaps hardest, step of buying an underwater camera is deciding what you want to achieve from your photography. The more you want from your images, the more options you will need from your camera. This step is tough because it requires looking ahead a year or so.
Manufactures are constantly trying to cram the most features into the smallest camera at the best price, but usually there is a compromise. Prioritizing the features that matter most to you is the best first step in selecting a camera. This list is a good place to start your triage of camera capabilities, and is more geared towards compact cameras.
The point is, even if you think you want to shoot only in auto mode, there is something about being underwater that might quickly change this.
That said, shooting auto is better than nothing. I am sure many underwater photographers have a lifetime of fun on auto mode. Just make sure you understand its limitations before purchasing a camera that does not offer manual controls. If you do go fully automatic, chances are that many other features won’t interest you, so prioritizing by size or price might be your best bet.
If you’re planning on shooting with a point and shoot camera, your selection of housing will in part be based on its ability to accept external “wet lenses”. These wet lenses are supplemental optics that are placed over or in front of the port to enable wider angle or closer macro shooting. If you’re interested in wide angle shooting, ideally we recommend selecting a housing / camera that can fit one of the third party fisheye wet lenses. These lenses allow you to get as close as possible to the subject, which will result in more colorful and more detailed images.
If you’re shooting with a DSLR, each brand has high quality lenses available, and the lens choice will not dictate the camera decision. You will, however, need to ensure that you use the appropriate ports for each lens.
Compact cameras have a distinct delay between the moment you depress the shutter button and when the actual image is captured. This shutter lag varies by model. Shutter lag can be frustrating when shooting moving objects like fish and other wildlife as the subject may have moved from the time you pressed the shutter to the when the image is captured. Try to select a model with the least possible shutter lag. The higher end compact cameras have significantly improved and have a very small amount of shutter lag.
Different cameras produce different types of image files. If you don’t plan on doing a lot of editing of your photos in Photoshop or another editing program then shooting images in JPEG is fine. If you do plan on editing your images then consider selecting a camera that produces RAW files, which are uncompressed files that preserve the most data possible, which is a valuable attribute when editing your images.
This image was shot with my first camera, an Olympus 5060 and a Sealife 960d strobe, on my first ever photo trip. Part of the reason I chose the Olympus 5060 is because it had the ability to shoot RAW.
Something To Keep an Eye On…
Obviously underwater photography can be equipment intensive. A large part of choosing your first camera may come down to budget.
While accessories often seem like optional add-ons, in underwater photography many of the accessories will make shooting more convenient and/or productive. Wet lenses, camera trays, strobe arms, focus lights, and carrying cases are just but a few of the accessories that will help you in your underwater photography quest.
Plan For Murphy’s Law
Underwater photography and Murphy’s Law are long time bedfellows. Plan to buy extra batteries, some spare parts and minor tools. Sometimes having a little “McGyver mentality” goes a long way and can save you in a pinch. Cable ties, surgical tubing, duct tape and other do-it-yourself patch-up materials have so many miscellaneous uses and can be invaluable when Murphy’s Law strikes.
What Olympus Tough TG-Owners Are Saying
Dislikes: Like many point-and-shoots, you can hear the sound of the lens while zooming into or out from a subject. Other owner cons included having issues with connecting and disconnecting with computer via a USB cable, and being disappointed with the built-in Wi-Fi.
Fishing & Hunting
Fishing is considered to be one of the most popular outdoor activities among the outdoor enthusiasts across the globe today. As a result of this enormous popularity, various equipment and gadgets are introduced to the modern market. Modern fishing enthusiasts can benefit from these gadgets and experience greater success. One of the most useful gadgets found in the modern market is the underwater fishing camera.
The purpose of using an underwater fishing camera is to facilitate the anglers with a live footage of the fish live underwater. Such footage becomes immensely useful; anglers can identify the exact locations of the fish and catch them with impressive accuracy. Such cameras become very useful particularly when you fish relatively deeper water. Be it ocean, river, lake or ice fishing, an underwater fishing camera can provide impressive underwater footages. Apart from using as a fishing aid, you can use such camera just to observe the aquatic life without diving into water. The fishing camera, however, differs from fish locators in terms of the intended purpose ( fish finders are used to determine the areas where more fish are present).
These underwater cameras come as complete units (including the display unit). Some units, however, are available without the display unit. Practically, units with large display screens and hi resolution cameras provide better footage. Apart from that, these cameras come with many advanced features to offer you better, clearer and accurate underwater view.
Works underwater up to 20 meters deep
This is an underwater fishing camera with 600 TV lines to provide you the footages of fish under water. It is capable of providing better quality footages compared to many cameras in the modern market. This system comes with 1meters long cables with are resistant to cold weathers and potential pulls. Thanks to the inch TFT monitor, you can experience a clearer and accurate view. The monitor is provided with a sun visor in order to assure a better view even under bright sunlight. It perfectly functions under water (up to 1meters) without causing any troubles. Apart from using it as a fishing aid on ice, river or ocean, you can use this camera for explorations purposes too. Thanks to the rechargeable 4500 MA lithium battery, it can work up to hours continuously. The millimeter lens offers a 9degree viewing angle. Powerful LED lights make it possible to capture footages even under bad light conditions.
How to use Underwater fishing camera
Here’s the guide that how to use a fishing camera properly.
First, you should grab the end of the cables with the provided grip (good fishing cameras come with handles for easy operation). Then, you should lower the camera until you reach the preferred (and maximum allowed) depth.
After setting the camera on the intended depth, you should lock the camera using the given instructions (these instructions might vary from manufacturer to another). You should wait until the water settles and the camera starts to read the surrounding.
Once you start to get clear footage, analysis the number of fish. You should look for the larger sized game fish probably behind the rocks, underwater plants etc. Always keep the camera about inches above the bottom as a precaution. You should always ensure that the camera and the bait are in the same depth and direction for better results.
How to choose the right underwater fishing camera
When purchasing a fishing camera, you must pay attention to some fact to ensure that you end up with the perfect product.
As the first step, you must find a durable and strong product that is good enough to tolerate deep water conditions. Be smart enough to select a product from reputed manufacturers.
The Olympus Tough TG-is a tough camera that is waterproof down to 50ft even without the housing. RAW photo recording (new for the TG-4) allows for greater post-processing options while a new Microscope mode lets shooters capture intricate macro details. Read our complete Olympus TG-Camera Review.
Sony Rx-100 Mk IV
The Sony RX100 Mk IV is a versatile and advanced compact camera with inch sensor that produces high resolutions photos. It also excels on capturing videos, with 4k and slow motion high bit rate capabilities. Read our complete Sony RX100 IV Camera Review.
The Canon G5X features 2.3million dot electronic viewfinder, large inch sensor and fast zoom lens. It is also fitted with numerous physical controls, including a dedicated exposure compensation dial, front dial, control ring and control dial for quickly customizing various shooting settings.
Canon G7x Mk II
The Canon G7x Mk II is notable for imaging qualities; camera has a 20.MP sensor, new DIGIC processor with faster startup, less noise when shooting at higher ISOs, better autofocus tracking, enhanced image stabilization, longer battery life and faster continuous shooting. It records 14-bit RAW files which have more data and more room during post processing. Read our complete Canon GX Camera Review.
Compact cameras have come a long way, delivering good enough quality that I’m comfortable using them in much of my own work. These sailfish were captured using a Sony NEX series mirrorless camera. The housing’s light weight and size was a huge advantage when pursuing these fast-moving subjects.
Shoot upwards towards the surface, not down (in nearly all cases), so your perspective includes more than just the sea bottom. If you aim your camera down, you are likely going to end up with a jumbled mess as your subject blends into the background of coral to the point where it’s hard to even pick apart the two. Separation is the name of the game; upward angles are key for isolating your subject against the water column. Exceptions: creatures with beautiful backs like sharks, cetaceans, and turtles against contrasting backgrounds like sandy bottoms or open ocean. Trying to shoot is why many photographers opt to use expensive 4degree or 90 degree viewfinders.
Upward angles help show context and remind the viewer that they are underwater by including a blue background. A downward angle, while appropriate for very specific subjects, can make it much more difficult to get oriented, and they make it more likely that subjects will blend in with the background.
Expose things properly
As with any type of photography, proper exposure is critical to get good results when shooting underwater. However, underwater photography adds additional complexity because artificial lighting is used most of the time. This requires balancing light from strobes or video light with the ambient light in the scene, especially in wide angle. This is done by dialing in shutter speed, ISO, strobes, and aperture independently, so it’s good to get comfortable with your camera’s manual mode.
Assuming an ISO is fixed at the right level, in a nutshell an underwater photographer lights a foreground subject by adjusting the aperture and your lighting system’s power. Then, since strobes are faster than the shutter speed and won’t be affected by the adjustment of that, the shutter adjustments are used to correctly expose the background to be light or dark blue (depending on the photographer’s preference). The best underwater images put the viewer in the underwater environment without making it obvious that the image was artificially lit.
This background/foreground and shutter speed/aperture/ISO technique takes a little while to get your head around, but with a little practice, it will lead to well-exposed images.
Great cameras to build a waterproof camera rig around
Again, for serious underwater photography, in general we do not recommend rugged point-and-shoots for use as underwater cameras—we recommend great regular cameras plus housings, which serve as waterproof suits of armor. Although you can choose a GoPro plus accessories or a rugged point-and-shoot camera that is mildly waterproof, your best bet for going deep and taking great photos is to pick something like the RX100 III or a mirrorless camera.
Sea & Sea YS-DStrobe
The YS-Dis a powerhouse of underwater lighting, giving nearly as much power output as the company’s much larger and more expensive YS-250 according to Backscatter’s strobe testing article. The YS-Dis powered by four AA batteries, easily enough to get you through two dives.
Sea & Sea YS-0Strobe
The YS-0is a good starter strobe, which makes it a good companion for point-and-shoot systems. This model (and all of the lights below) can be configured with the packages we mention above.
The Sea & Sea YS-0is a great starter strobe, and the perfect companion for many point and shoot systems because it is the lowest end model that does automatic strobe power metering (TTL, which is the way the camera’s flash can automatically control the external light’s power) which is how some people like to start out shooting underwater.
The strobe can only be triggered fiber-optically and cannot be used with non-fiber optic housings like those commonly found on older or much higher-end DSLRs without flashes, so it’s not a big limitation.
So why get a more expensive YS-Dover the YS-01? The YS-0is at least a few stops of light less powerful than the YS-D1, and that matters when trying to expose things using diffusers to light wide angle or fish eye shot or macro lenses where you need to stop down the aperture to get a good depth of field. It also takes longer to re-power (cycle) between shots.
In a nutshell, a DSLR and mirrorless camera deserve the more expensive YS-D1; for point and shooters who don’t want to upgrade later, the YS-0is fine. Again, realize the YS-0is about the same size as the YS-D1.
Like the YS-D1, you may need two of these. And again, more on this decision later.
Light & Motion Sola 2100 Video Light – Spot & Flood
This blenny was photographed using video lights. While a strobe is generally the most powerful light source for still photography, especially for moving subjects, video lights have come a long way in terms of their intensity, especially for the Sola 2100 and its intense spot beam.
Why aren’t we recommending this as our main pick for a video light? Well, frankly: most of the people who have contributed to this article have spent a lot of time diving with the Light & Motion lights and know they’re solid and reliable. Over time, we’ll know how we feel about the FIX NEO lights, too, but for now, we feel safer recommending the Solas.
Video filters are another option for getting good color underwater, though Magic Filters work best in bright conditions and require a custom white balance to be set on your camera.
Video filters such as Magic Filters are another viable option for getting good color when shooting wide-angle video underwater. Using these red-orange tinted filters involves setting a custom white balance in your camera off of a grey slate, the sand, or your hand in a pinch. Filters work incredibly well in clear water while always keeping the sun at your back for maximum saturation in the image. They cut a couple stops of light, so bright conditions are the best time to use them.
Getting your camera and strobe settings right
Protip: Some cameras will let you manually ratchet down your camera’s internal flash power (which is merely used to trigger the fiber optic input of the strobes) to its lowest setting, allowing you to save a lot of battery life on your body.
A Nauticam NA-D7100 housing with a single YS-Dstrobe attached using arms and clamps. The camera communicates with the strobe using its built-in flash via a fiber optic cable, which connects through the top of the housing. Photo courtesy of Nauticam USA.
Once you have your light source picked out, you’ll need to have a way to actually attach it to your camera housing. With GoPros, point-and-shoots, and most mirrorless cameras, the easiest way to achieve this is using a tray and handle system. The housing attaches to the tray using threaded screws, and then the light or flash can be attached to the tray using clamps and arms.
Wrapping it up
This guide is just the start of your journey beneath the surface into underwater imaging. Whatever your budget, any of the top picks in this article will give you a terrific platform to start exploring the amazing imaging opportunities that abound in the underwater world.
Magicfly 700tvl Underwater Fishing Video Camera
Magicfly Fishing Video Camera Underwater is one of the best underwater fishing cameras. It uses the most recent image compression technology and use high resolution picture CCD low light operation, with 700TVL.
The shell of camera consists of professional stainless steel fabric and passed the IP6waterproof test. It is perfect for aquaculture, underwater seeing, deep-hole exploration, submerged operations, leisure fishing, etc.
Aqua-Vu HD700i 720P Super Bright LCD Underwater Camera
Aqua-Vu HD700i is suitable for both professional fishermen and amateurs who are just starting to use such devices in fishing. You can also use this in search-depth work. The long and durable 30 meters cable can easily withstand tensile force of 40 kg.
Frequency of The Transducers
Higher frequencies, like 19and 200 kHz work best in shallower water, while the low 50 kHz transducers work best for use in deep water, like for commercial usage and professionals.
Higher wattage gives better effectiveness, better speed of displaying readings and more usable depth.
What Other Users Have Said
There is a great advantage if you buy your fish finder online is that you can see directly the opinions of other users.
The more the number of buyer reviews and the higher the star rating, the better the product in the eyes of consumers.
Wrapping Up the Underwater Camera
Underwater cameras are usually quality cameras that provide great shots both on land and underwater. These cameras can be great family vacation cameras because of their versatility and overall durable build. But at the same time, they can be pricy. So you need to know what you plan on using it for and the typical depths you will be using it at. Then you can compare the features and come out with an underwater camera that meets your needs and your budget.
Remember to that you have to consider what other accessories you will need and if they are available when choosing the camera you will purchase. A camera might have all the features you want, but lack the mounts to give you the shots you desire.
If you are looking for a 360° camera that can handle tough outdoor activities, then the 360 Fly 4K might be what you are looking for. The 360 Fly is dust proof, shock proof and water proof, it also comes with many built in sensors to help it create stable and sharp 360 video. Photos are 1megapixels in size and look great, video is shot in 4K and therefore looks close to HD quality.
One drawback is that the camera has one fish eye lens and so the field of view is only 360° by 270°, this means the camera will not capture what is underneath it. If you can live with this then the result is crisp, bright video with absolutely no stitching lines.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your underwater fishing camera wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of underwater fishing camera
- №1 — Eyoyo 7″ LCD Underwater 50m
- №2 — Fishing Finder
- №3 — Wosports Fish Finder Camera 720P 2MP 130° Underwater Video Fishing Camera System Kit 4.3 Inch LCD Monitor 12h Working Time 30m Cable for Boat