The Best UW Cameras for Travel

UW Cameras

When going on vacation, you want to focus on the experience, not bulky or complicated camera set ups. The flip side is, Maui’s underwater landscape is definitely something you want to capture digitally. Here are a some of 2020’s best recommendations for compact cameras that won’t cramp your vacation style.


SeaLife SportDiver for iPhone

It doesn’t get more compact when the camera is your phone. Trusted SeaLife brand makes it super easy to take your iPhone for a dive. The housing works with the newest models all the way back to the iPhone 7/7 Plus. The new SportDiver housing connects up wirelessly with your phone via Bluetooth and integrates with SeaLife’s free SportDiver camera app. Purchase the sturdy polycarbonate housing on its own ($300), or bundle with a tray, grip and Sea Dragon 2500 photo/video light ($650).  www.sealife-cameras.com

GoPro HERO9 Black

Compact, easy to pack and delivering great images, GoPro just keeps making their action cam better. The GoPro HERO9 Black ($350) will take a giant leap towards meeting your expectations. It can now capture 5K/30p footage for the first time, shoots higher-resolution 20MP images, and boasts a larger rear touchscreen and a new front-facing display so you can frame yourself easily. Pair it with GoPro’s own housing ($50). It may be bigger, and a little heavier than previous GoPro versions, but still a solid choice. www.gopro.com 

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

Canon continues to put out a quality camera with the PowerShot series. The G7 X Mark III ($650) is built around a 20MP 1-inch sensor and a 24–100mm (equiv.) f/1.8–f/2.8 zoom lens, creating a dynamic formula. The third-generation model boasts a new stacked CMOS sensor, RAW burst shooting up to 8fps with continuous AF, plus uncropped 4K/30p and 1080/120p video capture. You can even add a wide variety of macro and wide-angle wet attachments. www.canon.com

UW Housing

Pair the G7 X Mark III with a Fantasea polycarbonate housing.  The “advanced” version ($500) comes with an integrated Hybrid Vacuum Safety System, while the less-expensive “basic” model features an M16 port that’s ready for you to install this pre-dive vacuum check and moisture detector system yourself.  www.canondive.com 

Olympus Tough TG-6

Like getting up close? The shining star feature of the Olympus TG-6 ($350) is its amazing Microscope Mode, which allows you to capture crystal clear super-macro images of every bump on the tiniest nudibranch or other ocean’s ocean creatures.  The spec sheet is otherwise average, with a 12-megapixel sensor and 25–100mm (equiv.) f/2 lens. It also has 4K video capability. You can also access the Microscope Mode in Aperture Priority and Program Auto, allowing better depth of field and nice background contrast. www.getolympus.com

Keep a suitcase-ready low profile with a Kraken Sports housing ($745). This super cool aluminum unit automatically vacuum seals the TG-G camera inside when you close the door and press a button. Green light means Go, go, go diving! www.krakensports.ca