6 Best Underwater 360 Cameras

Capturing images and video under the water can be a tough task because not all cameras are made with underwater shooting in mind. Some cameras are only water-resistant and cannot be submerged, while others require additional waterproof housing. It is also important to consider factors such as image stabilization, and lens quality when selecting an underwater camera.

Hello fellow adventurers! My name is Lavelle and I am a professional photographer and videographer. I have been helping clients across the United States since 2009. One of the most fascinating facets of photography for me is underwater photography. It’s a captivating art form and I’ve enjoyed learning more about it.

Today, I will go over some of the things to look for in the underwater camera. Additionally, I’ll give you the rundown of the top underwater 360-degree cameras and respond to a few frequently asked questions.

Key Takeaways

  • It is important to understand the difference between a waterproof camera and a water-resistant camera. 
  • Choose a camera that has a good battery life and that offers some advanced features such as live streaming, panoramic mode, or high-resolution video and still photo.
  • For underwater videos, look for a camera with stabilization and high-resolution video of at least 1080 HD.
What’s the best low-budget underwater camera?

There’s usually no substitute for quality, however, a few less expensive options for a good underwater camera include the Nikon Coolpix W300, the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II, and the Underwater Camera FHD 2.7K 48 MP Waterproof.

Generally speaking, a good underwater camera may cost anywhere between $150 and $500 depending on the features that it has. There are some less expensive options but I’d be careful since many of them are not actually waterproof but only water resistant.

That is a great question. It depends on the specific camera. Some cameras are waterproof, while others are only water resistant. If the camera is waterproof, it should be suitable for underwater immersion, up to its maximum depth specification.

Things to Look for in a Good Underwater 360 Camera

  • Resolution: When looking for a good underwater camera, one of the most important characteristics should be the resolution. You want a camera that has a high enough resolution to show good detail in your images or videos. I recommend a minimum of 18 megapixels for the camera and 1080 HD for video.
  • Stabilization: Another important feature of a good underwater camera is the stabilization system. You should look for a camera that has a stabilization system that supports the ever-changing conditions underwater. 
  • Advanced Features: Consider an underwater camera that has advanced features to enhance the footage that you capture. Look for features such as motion and audio activation and multiple viewing modes.
  • Underwater Color Correction: Another good thing to look for is the color correction feature. This allows your images to be automatically color corrected to compensate for murkiness underwater.

The Best Underwater 360 Cameras Reviewed

Here is my list of the best underwater 360-degree cameras. Enjoy!

1. Insta360 ONE R 360 Edition (Best Overall)

  • Video Resolution: 5.7K
  • Camera Resolution: 5.7K
  • Stabilization: Flowstate System
  • Feature: Waterproof up to 16ft.

My number one choice for an underwater 360 camera is the Insta360 ONE R 360 Edition. This is a remarkable camera with outstanding features and sports an incredible 5.7k resolution.

Insta360 ONE R 360 Edition gives you advanced image processing and artificial intelligence that powers its activities. The stabilization system is exceptional and works like a gimbal even though it is technically not a gimbal.

The best thing about this camera is its scene detection built-in algorithm that allows it to identify and lock on subjects even in low light or murky water conditions. It also has a unique horizon leveling system.

The one area of concern is the relatively short battery life. The battery lasts approximately 30-35 minutes which can be problematic when going on underwater adventures.

My Verdict: This is the best all-around camera for underwater 360-degree coverage. It gives you HDR video and photos while also offering some nice advanced features to enhance your underwater experience.

2. Go Pro Camera Fusion (Best ISO Range)

  • Video Resolution: 5.2K
  • Camera Resolution: 18MP
  • Stabilization: Internal stabilization
  • Feature: Immersive 360 experience

My next choice is the GoPro Camera Fusion. This camera gives you excellent video and camera resolution while providing a gimbal-like stabilization system.

There are a lot of good features on the GoPro Camera Fusion including Spherical Video, over Capture function, and Seamless Video Stitching. This dynamic camera is also waterproof down to 16ft deep.

The thing I like most about this camera is the playback functionality. With the VR playback feature, this camera allows you to preview your shot on your phone or to playback the entire video right on your phone.

Unfortunately, there is a limited file compression capability. With the 5.2K video resolution, the files can be very large and difficult to send electronically, and not having the ability to easily compress the files, makes it challenging to share videos.

My Verdict: This is a good choice that gives you excellent ISO control which helps control light conditions on your shots. The features on the camera are very good and the stabilization system is also notable.

3. Go Pro Max (Best Panoramic)

  • Video Resolution: 5.6K
  • Camera Resolution: 16.6MP
  • Stabilization: Max Hypersmooth
  • Feature: Horizon leveling

The GoPro Max is another great choice from the GoPro family of products that allows you to capture some impressive panoramic footage. This camera gives you excellent advanced features and has good camera specs.

The GoPro Max has an exceptional hyper-smooth stabilization system and also offers live stream capabilities to social media in high-definition quality. This camera has some interesting features that allow you to use this camera for more than just underwater photography.

The 270-degree distortion-free panoramic feature comes from the horizon leveling system. This feature allows you to capture unique angles and add your creativity to every shot.

Including a 4K recording option is the only thing that could be made better. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available, however, GoPro Max is still a solid choice.

My Verdict: This is a good overall choice and is exceptional at delivering panoramic footage. The advanced features of this camera are also noteworthy as is the stabilization system.

4. Kodak PIXPRO SP360 (Best Viewing Modes)

  • Video Resolution: 1080 HD
  • Camera Resolution: 16MP
  • Stabilization: None
  • Feature: Multiple viewing modes

The Kodak PIXPRO SP360 is an excellent camera that offers several viewing modes. It has a 16-megapixel camera resolution that delivers exceptional quality using the MOS sensor. It also has NFC connectivity so you can monitor everything from your cell phone.

This camera has an advanced MOS sensor that gives you approximately 16 million image pixels which translates to excellent image quality. It also allows you to capture high-speed, high-definition video footage. It is also shock, splash, dust, and freeze-proof, allowing it to be a very resilient camera body.

The number of shooting modes it offers is what makes it stands out the most. With this camera, you get viewing modes that include Ring, Dome, Front Degree/Rear Degree 180, 360-degree Panorama, and Globe. The editing and stitch software applications are nice add-ons as well.

The drawback of this camera is that it is not waterproof. While it is splash resistant and you can purchase a separate waterproof housing for the camera, the unit itself is not waterproof, which is disconcerting for an underwater camera.

My Verdict: This is a good camera, with excellent specs, and can be used in multiple ways. The quality and durability are exceptional. It can certainly meet your expectations for an underwater camera, with the waterproof housing purchased separately, of course.

5. Go Pro Max 360 (Best Live Stream)

  • Video Resolution: 5.6K
  • Camera Resolution: 16.6MP
  • Stabilization: None
  • Feature: 1080 HD live stream

The next camera takes us back to the GoPro family of products. The GoPro Max 360 is my choice for the best live-streaming camera on the list. This durable and well-designed camera has a lot to offer.

The GoPro Max 360 is a great option for underwater activities, especially for divers since it is completely waterproof for up to 16ft of depth. This camera comes with opposite side lenses that allow you to capture things around you in the water in a 360-degree view. The video resolution is excellent at 4992×2496 resolution and it gives you a camera resolution of 5760×2800.

The thing I like most about this camera is its live-streaming capabilities. You can stream live in high definition (1080) and deliver instant, real-time footage. It is remarkably steady given there is no stabilization system on this camera.

The one area of concern is the price point. This is a very expensive unit and may deter average users from purchasing at the more than $500 price tag.

My Verdict: This is an excellent camera if you don’t mind investing in the unit and it is particularly useful for serious divers who want to capture footage and share it across social media in real time.

6. 360FLY 4K (Best Advanced Features)

  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Camera Resolution: 16MP
  • Stabilization: None
  • Feature: 360 Degree 4K Video

The last choice on my list is the 360FLY 4K camera. This awesome unit gives you some of the best features that you can find on any underwater camera. This camera is widely regarded as the “world’s smartest 360-degree 4K camera”. 

Some of the outstanding features include an interactive 360-degree 4K video, motion and audio activation, gyroscope, and non-assisted GPS, and it’s waterproof up to 30 meters of depth.

This camera gives you many options through its advanced features. You can easily share videos on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. You can also edit and share the videos through its user-friendly application.

The 360FLY 4K is not compatible with Apple products. It works well with Android products but there is no software available for Apple products and when plugged into an Apple tablet or laptop, it is not recognizable.

My Verdict: This is a good, high-resolution camera with good underwater use. The images are delivered in high quality and the video footage is solid. The advanced features of this camera are outstanding. It’s a good value for the Android user!

Final Thoughts

When it comes to finding the best underwater 360 camera, there are several great options to choose from. Depending on what your priorities are, certain cameras may fit the bill better than others. 

For instance, if you prioritize image quality and low-light performance, the GoPro MAX may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you prioritize ease of use and affordability, the Insta360 One R may be a better fit.

The list I’ve provided for you is an excellent starting point and you can share your amazing images with the world by finding the best underwater 360 camera for your specific needs.

Have you used any of these cameras for your underwater expeditions? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Until next time, enjoy, explore, and create lasting memories!

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