With so many many compact cameras on the market, all of which seem to do everything from 4K video to doing your laundry, it can be a daunting task in picking the right one for your upcoming snorkel trip. You can check any of the popular forums and websites that break down the different cameras, but all the reviews are based on how a camera operates on land, and what we need are the relevant details regarding how the cameras do underwater. So, in order to make things a little easier on you I’ve put together a little list of the best cameras that are ideal for this very purpose.  

The Olympus TG-5 is a real powerhouse of a camera, despite being able to fit in your pocket. After seeing it in action on multiple occasions, it’s not wonder it’s one of the top waterproof cameras of the year. That’s right, I said waterproof. You can literally take this camera out of the box and jump straight into the ocean with this bad-boy. If you were to purchase the housing Olympus makes for the camera, which will allow you to take it to forty-five meters should you decide to go for a dive—or you just happen to be an exceptional free-diver—you have the added assurance of knowing the housing will defiantly keep the water out. You would really have to try hard to flood this camera.

olympus tg5 on beach

Aside from being waterproof, the TG-5 also offers some really impressive functions that are extremely beneficial to  snorkelers. Arguably the most important when it comes to bringing out the natural colors of the reef, is that it has a built in underwater white balance mode, along with two additional custom white balance modes. Now, some of you may be wondering what this all means. As we all know, even in the shallow water we start to lose the natural colors of the reef, the first being the reds. So, to overcome this we need to adjust the white balance accordingly, the easiest way being to switch into underwater mode it comes with. This will basically create a digital red filter and will instantaneously bring the brilliant colors of the shallow reef out, no flash needed!

Manta ray belly
No White Balance
Manta Ray Belly
With White Balance

Some of the other benefits of the TG-5 include RAW photo capabilities so you can play around with your photos in your post-production software just like the pros. It also has a remarkable ability to shoot in low light with minimal loss in the overall quality of the image. Along with that it offers what seems like an infinite amount of aftermarket products like strobes, video light, and different wet-lenses so you wont’ need to upgrade cameras as your skills start to improve.