Updated in July 2019! We reviewed dozens of options and picked the best cameras suited for underwater photography. Top rated cameras for our 2019 review include the GoPro HERO7, Olympus TG-6, Panasonic LX10, Panasonic LX100 II, Canon G7 X II, Sony RX100 VI and more!review,best,underwater,point,shoot,camera,photography,waterproof,scuba,diving,gh5,hero5,gopro,canon,sony,olympus,nikon,hero7,hero,7,2019,2018

Best Underwater Cameras of 2019: Compact Cameras

Compact cameras are some of the best cameras for shooting underwater, as they are often easy to learn, easy to dive and travel with, and less expensive than their SLR counterparts, while still yielding outstanding image results and fast shooting speeds. Backscatter compiles this guide every year to eliminate the hassle and headache of trying to pick the best compact camera and underwater housing for your photo and video needs. Whether you are just getting started with underwater photography or are already an experienced image maker looking for the latest compact rig, this roundup of the best current compact cameras for underwater photography is the best resource online to find the perfect underwater camera. Because the field of compact cameras changes extremely rapidly, this article will be updated continuously as new cameras are released. Last updated July 2019.Summary of the Best Underwater Compact Cameras for 2019Best Compact Video Camera GoPro HERO7 with FLIP7 FiltersGO TO HERO7Best All Around Compact Camera Olympus TG-6GO TO TG-6Best Advanced Compact Camera Panasonic LX10GO TO LX10Advanced Runner-up #1 Panasonic LX100 IIGO TO LX100 IIAdvanced Runner-up #2 Sony RX100 VIGO TO RX100 VIAdvanced Runner-up #3 Canon G7 X IIGO TO G7X IIKeep reading for more information about each camera and our testing criteriaOur Breakdown of CategoriesWe divided our top picks into three categories:Best Compact Video CameraBest All Around Compact CameraBest Advanced Compact Camera There is no one camera that is the best at everything. One may be the best for image quality, but cannot execute a custom white balance underwater for video. Another may be the fastest shooting camera that we’ve ever seen, but cannot focus close for macro. Because of this we also included runners up in this review in addition to our top pick. Our top picks are our best all-around choices taking into consideration serving the needs of the broadest segment of users for both photo and video. Depending on an individual’s shooting style, subject interest, and shooting goals, a runner up may be a better option than one of our top picks for that particular individual. The staff at Backscatter have extensive experience with every camera in this article and can help guide your decision about which camera for underwater photography is best for your individual needs. How We Selected: Our 2019 Test CriteriaTarget UsersNew underwater photographer wanting an easy point-and-shoot camera with growth potential.Advanced underwater photographer wanting a compact camera solution.Camera Feature RequirementsGreat to excellent image quality.A camera must be compact and lightweight when used topside.A camera must be point-and-shoot easy, but offer intermediate to advanced controls.Underwater housing must offer wide-angle potential.Wide Angle Lenses Many compact cameras are incompatible with underwater wide-angle lenses. Most of these cameras feature a 5X or greater zoom lens. While this might be attractive for topside photography, long zoom lenses require underwater housings designs with long lens ports. Accessory wide-angle lenses must mount to the end of these ports and suffer from severe vignetting (dark corners) when the camera is zoomed out. You can zoom in the camera lens to clip out the dark corners, but an extreme zoom will negate any benefit of using a wide angle lens. Our compact camera finalists in this review offer great wide-angle lens solutions by the original manufacturer or a high-quality third-party solution. Slave TTL Strobes In recent years strobe manufacturers have developed an automatic exposure system called slave TTL. When set to slave TTL mode, the underwater strobe simply mimics the camera's built-in flash to produce an automatic strobe exposure. While no automatic system will yield perfect results 100% of the time, this system works reasonably well and can help someone who is just starting out to get some good shots on their first few times using a camera underwater. Understanding how TTL systems work, how to judge exposures, and working within a camera system's limitations will be a photographer's best tools for creating the perfect photograph. Video The video capabilities of compact cameras have evolved from a novelty to the level of those that can rival a primary video cameras. Many of the cameras in our lineup produce video that is surprisingly good for the cost of the camera. Some of these cameras can now be a preferred choice for a video shooter over a dedicated video system like a ‘Handycam’ or ‘camcorder’ style camera. Now that most compact cameras offer advanced video features - like focus peaking and zebra striping - that are normally only found in pro-level video systems, an underwater shooter can truly use one compact system without significant compromise to capture both video and photo. All but one of the cameras in this review are capable of shooting 4K video. Custom White Balance In order to shoot a good-looking underwater video, getting an accurate custom white balance is crucial. A custom white balance is a user telling the camera what area of the picture is white and the camera building the rest of the colors off of that baseline input. Correct white balance makes the video look more natural, and helps to bring back colors that are filtered out by water when shooting at depth. Even when using a color correction filter such as a Magic Filter, a custom white balance setting can yield superior results. Unfortunately, getting an accurate white balance is not a given on a compact camera. On some cameras it is a convoluted process, on others, an accurate reading is not even possible underwater. Choosing a camera that makes it easy to get an accurate reading is essential if you're planning to use it for shooting video. We gave additional points to cameras that have an easy to set an accurate white balance. White balance in video is so critical in natural light shooting that it is more important than what video resolution or frame rate the camera is capable of. The best resolution doesn't matter if the colors look bad. BACK TO TOPCompact Camera Vital StatisticsGoProHERO7 BlackOlympusTG-6CanonG7 X IISonyRX100 VIPanasonicLX10PanasonicLX100 IIResolution12.0 MP12.0 MP20.1 MP20.1 MP20.1 MP17.0 MPImage Size4000 x 30004000 x 30005472 x 36485472 x 36485472 x 36484736 x 3552Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.17x4.55mm)1/2.3" (6.17x4.55mm)1" (13.2x8.8mm)1" (13.2x8.8mm)1" (13.2x8.8mm)4/3" (17.3x13mm)Lens (35mm eq.)6-33mmƒ2.825-100mmƒ2.0-4.9 24-100mmƒ1.8-2.824-200mmƒ2.8-4.524-72mmƒ1.4-2.824-75mmƒ1.7-2.8ISO Range100-1600100-12800125-12800125-12800125-12800200-25600Still Frame Rate30 fps20 fps6.5 fps24 fps10 fps11 fpsMax Movie Resolution4K4K1080p4K4K4KMax Frame Rate 1080p240p120p60p120p60p60pLCD Size2" 154K px3" 1.04M px3" 1.04M px3" 1.23M px3" 1.04M px3" 1.04M pxRAW FormatNOYESYESYESYESYESClosest Macro Focus12" / 30 cm (any)0.39" / 1 cm (telephoto)2.0" / 5 cm (wide)3.5" / 8 cm (wide)1.2" / 3 cm (wide)1.2" / 3 cm (wide)Waterproof CameraYES33ft/10mYES50ft/15mNoNoNoNoCamera + Housing PriceStarting at $450Starting at $750Starting at $1,100Starting at $1,695Starting at $1,250Starting at $1,850Best Compact Video CameraBACK TO TOPThe GoPro HERO7 Black Edition & FLIP7 Filter SystemCamera, Housing & Filter Kit Starting at $498Watch our comprehensive video review of the GoPro HERO7 Black Edition & FLIP7 Filter SystemKey Info on the HERO7:New Hypersmooth Image Stabilization provides gimbal-like stability to shaky clips The best color, contrast, and clarity that we’ve seen yet from GoPro One of the easiest cameras to learn underwater and the simplest way to shoot 4K 60p Pair with FLIP7 Filters for professional underwater color results Just like HERO6, still has limited macro field of view controls in-housing Backscatter's Pro Team Members Robin Dodd, Dylan Silver and Thomas Anderson take the GoPro HERO7 Black cameras on their first dives in Monterey, CA.Summary From Our Complete Review It’s easy to say that the GoPro HERO7 Black is the best GoPro yet. No other camera comes close when looking for ultimate wide angle video from the smallest package possible. The new Hypersmooth stabilization feature gives video clips buttery-smooth stability for a graceful, cinematic quality. The 4K 60p video image quality packs the best contrast, clarity, and color that we’ve seen yet from GoPro, especially when paired with FLIP Filters. In fact, the GoPro HERO7 Black is the only camera in this review capable of shooting 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. The camera also has some fun creative features and shooting modes to use for creating interesting stories and compelling shots, such as time lapse modes and Time Warp mode. Time Warp is a new feature that adds image stabilization to video time-lapse for smooth camera movement while shooting a time-lapse with a moving camera. While the lack of strobe synchronization prevents it from being a practical still photograph camera, the video strengths of the GoPro HERO7 Black more than make up for it. There are still some limitations for macro due to lack of field of view options accessible inside the housing, but we’ve developed workaround strategies that still make it possible, so check out our full review for the details on that. Whether the GoPro HERO7 Black is your first underwater camera system or just a component of something larger, it’s worth packing for your next dive. For more information on the GoPro HERO7 and FLIP7 filter system, check out our GoPro HERO7 article and GoPro Solutions article.READ THE GOPRO HERO7 REVIEWREAD THE GOPRO SOLUTIONS REVIEWProsPro level gimbal like image stabilization in video using HyperSmoothBetter color, contrast and clarity underwaterNew creative tools, including TimeWarp and 1080 at 240fpsOne of the easiest cameras to learn underwaterThe simplest way to shoot 4K 60p videoConsLimited adjustment of field of view when sealed in Super Suit dive housingGoPro HERO7 Black Camera $399.99BUY NOW GoPro Super Suit Dive Housing $49.99BUY NOWIsotta GoPro 7 Housing $400.00BUY NOWRecsea WHG-HERO5 Housing $599.00BUY NOWSubal GO5 Housing $528.94BUY NOWFLIP7 One Filter Kit $49.00BUY NOWFLIP7 Three Filter Kit $99.00BUY NOWFLIP7 Pro Package $179.00BUY NOWBest All Around Compact CameraBACK TO TOPThe Olympus Tough TG-6 CameraCamera & Housing starting at $750Watch our comprehensive video review of the Olympus TG-6.Take a look at our 4K 30p macro and wide angle test footage from the Olympus TG-6.Key Info on the TG-6:Our pick for Best All-Around Compact CameraOne of the all-time easiest to shoot and easiest to learn underwater point-and-shoot camerasGreat image quality from a small sensor and camera bodyStreamlined menus and operation for an even easier shooting experience than previous generationsThe best macro shooting ability right out-of-the-box, no accessory lenses requiredSuper Macro 4K 30p video capabilityExpanded control over shutter speed and exposure than previous modelsStill the ultimate all-around rugged compact camera ideal for new and experienced shooters alikeSummary From Our Complete Review The Olympus TG-6 is the successor to the Olympus TG-5, one of our all-time favorite cameras for shooting underwater. What makes Olympus TG cameras so special is their Microscope Mode and super macro shooting ability without any need for accessory lenses. The Olympus TG-6 carries on this legacy by continuing to be the most powerful macro camera - way more so than even any SLR - right out-of-the-box. This little camera can shoot the tiniest stuff in the ocean without the need for expensive diopters and accessory lenses. As if this wasn’t enough, it also produces beautiful wide angle lenses when paired with the Backscatter M52 Wide Angle Air Lens & Backscatter M52 Wide Angle Lens. The Olympus TG-6 can shoot great wide angle shots with a wide angle accessory lens such as the Backscatter M52 Wide Angle Lens.Olympus TG-6 | 1/500 | ISO 400 | ƒ8 There are several new features about the Olympus TG-6 that we’ll cover here, but the most notable in our opinion is the new ability to shoot super macro in more than just Microscope Mode. The new Super Macro AF option, found in Aperture Priority & Program Auto modes, makes it way easier to instantly switch from wide or medium shots down to the tightest of super macro. The user no longer needs to switch modes via the Mode Dial. Now the user can just select the new AF mode from the Quick Menu, zoom in at least 1.2x, and begin focusing as close as they can get to the subject. The image quality of the Olympus TG-6 is still superb, with fine, sharp detail, especially when shooting macro.Olympus TG-6 | 1/100 | ISO 100 | ƒ18 Another awesome new feature is the expanded control over shutter speed value, specifically the ability to set a minimum shutter speed. This ensures that the Olympus TG-6 will never drop below the designated shutter speed, providing the user with greater-than-ever before control over background exposure and the ability to freeze fast-moving subjects. While it’s still not full manual control, and there are some caveats to be aware of such as a corresponding Auto-ISO limit and flash setting limitations, this is still a huge leap forward for TG camera operators in terms of fundamental exposure control. The Olympus TG-6 allows you to set faster shutter speeds than before, perfect for darker backgrounds, fast-moving subjects, and fast-action scenes.Olympus TG-6 | 1/500 | ISO 400 | ƒ8 Of course the Olympus TG-6 is still waterproof down to 50 feet without a housing, as well as being crush-proof, shock-proof, and freeze-proof. This makes it a hard camera to kill, and for those shooters who spend the majority of their time in a marine or otherwise hazardous-to-electronics environment, this is a major advantage that is unique among other current compact cameras in our roundup. Shooting at higher f stops results in more depth of field, which was not possible with the Olympus TG-5 in microscope mode.Olympus TG-6 | 1/100 | ISO 100 | ƒ18 For multiple generations now, the Olympus TG cameras have been the ultimate balance between performance and simplicity. They have consistently been the go-to choice for both new underwater image makers and advanced shooters that are looking for a simple macro machine. The Olympus TG-6 has some major improvements to the focus options and exposure control that completely changes how to shoot the camera over previous models, making it a lot easier to use and get even better results. It’s the ultimate camera for the new shooter or first-time underwater photographer, and it’s our pick for Best All Around Compact Camera. The Olympus TG-6 can get great shots of a subject from full wide to macro without moving the camera.LEFT IMAGE:Olympus TG-6 | 1/500 | ISO 400 | ƒ8        RIGHT IMAGE:Olympus TG-6 | 1/500 | ISO 400 | ƒ18For more information on the Olympus Tough TG-6, check out our in-depth review article & best settings guide.READ THE FULL REVIEWWATCH THE TG-5 BEST SETTINGS GUIDEProsOutstanding image quality in both wide angle and macro from the smallest sensor in this review.Microscope Mode and new Super Macro focus options make it even easier than before to get insanely good super macro.Easily capture super macro in 4K video, something not available on previous generation.Camera can live in aperture priority and shoot wide, macro, video, and photo with no reason to change modes.Still the ultimate blend between simple operation, easy-to-learn menus advanced settings, and great image quality.The best choice for brand-new underwater shooters searching for a simple point-and-shoot that will grow with their skills .ConsAfter years of begging, still no manual mode.Olympus TG-6 Camera $449.99ORDER NOWOlympus PT-059 Housing $299.99ORDER NOWIkelite TG-5 Housing $299.00BUY NOWRecsea CWOM-TG5 Housing $525.00 BUY NOWIsotta TG-5 Housing $720.00BUY NOWRecsea WHOM-TG5 Housing $725.00 BUY NOWNauticam NA-TG5 Housing $800.00 BUY NOWOlympus TG-6 Minimalist Package $1,599.17BUY NOWOlympus TG-6 Whales & Waves Package $1,587.69BUY NOWOlympus TG-6 Nudi Hunter Package $2,365.02BUY NOWOlympus TG-6 Ultimate Package $4,107.28BUY NOWBest Advanced Compact CameraBACK TO TOPThe Panasonic Lumix LX10Camera & Housing starting at $1,250Watch our comprehensive video review of the Panasonic LX10.Key Info on the LX10:Our pick for Best Advanced Compact Camera, given its overall shooting versatility, controls, and video color Features an advanced SLR-like control set on a compact camera body Zoom range of lens makes it simple to swap between macro and wide angle accessory lenses without a port change Superb 4K 30p video with great color thanks to the accurate manual white balance at depth The stock lens of the Panasonic LX10 is perfect for fish portraits.Panasonic LX10 | 1/1000 | ISO 125 | ƒ11Summary From Our Complete Review The Panasonic LX10 is Panasonic’s answer to the 1-inch sensor sized Sony RX100 VI and Canon G7 X II. Thanks to the large sensor, image quality is excellent and comparable to other 1-inch sensor cameras. Where the Panasonic stands out is the highly customizable control set, accurate manual white balance, and 4K 30p video capability. The control set of the Panasonic LX10 stands out as being more customizable than it’s rivals and can be set up closer to the shooting style of a mirrorless or SLR camera. The biggest advantage is being able to set up autofocus on the back of the camera (function button 1 is our favorite for this) and separate autofocus from the shutter. When equipped with a macro accessory lens, the Panasonic LX10 produces tight macro with sharp image detail.Panasonic LX10 | 1/2000 | ISO 125 | ƒ11 What really makes this a great all-around camera is the 4K video and ability to execute an accurate custom white balance at depth. Neither the Sony RX100 VI or Canon G7 X II can do both of these tasks. Executing a manual white balance is a simple 3 button push and can be assigned one of 4 custom white balance banks making it easy to save different settings for shooting with video lights or at depth. This makes the Panasonic LX10 the only real choice for serious compact camera video shooters. The Panasonic LX10 excels in every area for a camera. Excellent image quality, 4K video, accurate white balance, and a control set that reminds us more of an SLR than a compact camera makes this the best advanced compact camera of the year. If you are a stills shooter, a video shooter, or do both, this is our top pick. The Panasonic LX10 fires relatively quickly allowing me to capture the fish in the shot as they swim by.Panasonic LX10 | 1/400 | ISO 200 | ƒ8For more information on the Panasonic LUMIX LX10, check out our in-depth review article.READ THE FULL REVIEWProsBetween sensor size, image quality, 4K ability, great underwater color, custom controls, and a shared port for macro and wide, the Panasonic LX10 packs the most into one package - and gets our pick for Best Advanced Compact CameraExcellent image quality, for both stills and video4K video with stabilizationFeatures like zebra striping, focus peaking, and back button AF remind us more of features from SLR, not a compactAccurate custom white balance even at depthConsNo manual flash controlMacro shooting requires powerful external macro lenses to overcome the lackluster native macro performance. Panasonic LUMIX LX10 Camera $699.99 BUY NOWIkelite LX10 Housing $550.00 BUY NOWIsotta LX10 Housing $950.00 BUY NOWNauticam NA-LX10 Housing $995.00 BUY NOWNauticam NA-LX10 Housing Package $1,255.00 BUY NOWBest Advanced Compact Camera Runner UpBACK TO TOPThe Panasonic LUMIX LX100 IICamera & Housing starting at $1,850Watch our comprehensive video review of the Panasonic LX100 II.Key Info on the LX100 II:Packs a large mirrorless-sized 4/3" sensor into a compact-sized bodyLarge sensor provides stunning underwater wide angle photoTons of customizable function buttons for SLR-like control set1/64 manual flash power for blazing fast recycle timeOld-school manual exposure controls make this camera feel retro while packing cutting-edge shooting chopsOur pick for Best Wide Angle Photo CompactWhen zoomed to 75mm, the native lens captures great fish portraits.Panasonic LX100 II | 1/250 | ISO 200 | ƒ16Summary From Our Complete Review The Panasonic LX100 II is a compact-body, fixed-lens camera with the large sensor and fast-shooting ability of a high-end mirrorless camera. We love it for producing the best wide angle image quality and fastest shooting speed from our current roundup of compact cameras. It captures 4K video at 30 frames per second and uses a stylish set of manual controls for a classic retro camera-style. The outstanding image quality that the Panasonic LX100 II produces is thanks to the Four Thirds sensor within. This is the largest sensor in the current roundup of compact cameras and is significantly larger than the 1-inch sensors found in other palm-sized compact cameras such as the Panasonic LX10, Sony RX100 VI, and Canon G7 X II. The resulting photos are packed with sharp resolution and great dynamic range detail. The Panasonic LX100 II does wide angle photo extremely well, and the image quality is the best currently being produced by a compact-body camera. Wide angle corner detail is sharp at f/8 and the Four Thirds sensor provides fantastic dynamic range detail. While most compact cameras do not allow for separation of the autofocus function and shutter button actuation, the Panasonic LX100 II does. This enables the user to custom assign the autofocus function to the AF/AE Lock button on the camera, resulting in an overall faster-shooting speed because the camera does not have to hunt for focus on every half-press of the shutter button. The compact body, housing, and optics of the Panasonic LX100 II allowed us to get into a tight space and shoot this grouper under a ledge where a larger camera system could not have fit.Panasonic LX100 II | 1/200 | ISO 200 | ƒ8 A somewhat unique aspect of the Panasonic LX100 II is the retro-inspired manual exposure control set. Aperture, shutter speed, and exposure compensation are all controlled by dedicated dials. These encourage shooting in full Manual mode (which Backscatter recommends for the best image results) but they can also be set to automatic values for Priority and Program Auto shooting modes. There are some quirks to be aware of due to the controls, so check out our full review for all the details on these. This blenny is a good example of the working limit for shooting the smallest subjects, as well as the dark background achieved by shooting at higher-than-normal shutter speed.Panasonic LX100 II | 1/1000 | ISO 200 | ƒ16 Overall, the Panasonic LX100 II is the Backscatter pick for ultimate compact-body wide angle still photo camera. The image quality of the larger sensor, rapid-fire shooting style, back button autofocus, and manual flash power give the Panasonic LX100 II the shooting horsepower of a camera twice its body size. Thanks to the Four Thirds sensor, the Panasonic LX100 II produces the best image quality and high dynamic range from any compact-body camera in our current roundup.Panasonic LX100 II | 1/250 | ISO 200 | ƒ8For more information on the Panasonic LX100 II, check out our in-depth review article.READ THE FULL REVIEWProsBest image quality from a compact-body camera (4/3 sensor)SLR-like rapid-fire shooting style is much faster than other compactsBest compromise between mirrorless and compact camerasGreat control options and extensive customization4k 30p video from a compact-bodyConsShutter speed requires two controls for fine-tuningPort swap required for dedicated wide angle or macro optics; cannot do both on the same divePanasonic LX100 II Compact Camera $999.99BUY NOWIkelite LX100 & LX100 II Housing $849.00BUY NOWNauticam NA-LX100II Housing $1,200.00BUY NOWBest Advanced Compact Camera Runner UpBACK TO TOPThe Sony DSC-RX100 VICamera & Housing starting at $1,695Watch our comprehensive video review of the Sony RX100 VI.Key Info on the RX100 VI:Our pick for Best Compact for Topside & UnderwaterAll new 24-200mm zoom lens is the most powerful zoom power you can fit in a pocketFirst RX camera with super macro capability Special housing & port accommodations are necessary for 200mm lens underwater The best speed & performance from a compact that we've seen yet 4K 30p video & extremely high-speed HD capabilities Custom white balance is improved from previous generations, but still requires some correction The wide angle capability of the Sony RX100 VI is its main strength. Blue backgrounds are spot on with sharp detail in the sun rays.Sony RX100 VI | 1/125 | ISO 400 | ƒ8Summary From Our Complete Review The Sony RX series has been around for quite a while now, and while improvements over the years in performance have been substantial, the Sony RX100 VI takes it in a radically different direction with an all-new lens. Because of the insane zoom power (twice that of any other camera in this review) found in the 200mm lens, this camera is our top pick for shooting both topside and underwater. When not in a housing, a super zoom lens like this is ideal for capturing birds in flight, concerts, or any time you need to close some serious distance between you and a subject. This is awesome when you need just one camera to shoot both topside and underwater, and that is our favorite aspect of this camera. The new 200mm lens makes underwater super macro viable when an additional macro lens is added on. It’s not the easiest camera to shoot for super macro because of the extremely limited depth of field, but at least we have the option now unlike with previous generations of the same camera. We can definitely say you’d have a much easier time shooting super macro with an SLR than with the Sony RX100 VI, so if macro is your main shooting style it may not be the most ideal camera option. On the wide-angle side, photos look absolutely stunning with great colors and sharp detail. The fast and accurate focus of the Sony RX100 VI is critical for getting in-focus shots of fast-moving subjects.Sony RX100 VI | 1/125 | ISO 400 | ƒ8 Manual white balance has been improved for 4K video color, but it still needs more work to match the standard that Canon has set for underwater ambient light color. Video with lights look great, so if you prefer shooting with video lights to ambient you’ll be very pleased. Having a camera with a 200mm lens that can fit in your pocket with the level of quality you get from the Sony RX100 VI is really an incredible thing. Combine that with 24 frames per second RAW with over a 100 shot buffer, and there is no better compact camera for carrying around for all of your land adventures. For someone who wants this level of versatility on land and has something they can take underwater all wrapped up in one, this is the best camera for the task. While it isn't our favorite overall advanced compact camera for underwater, it definitely is our favorite for both topside and underwater use. This scorpionfish on the left was shot with just the stock camera lens and the one on the right shot with the Nauticam SMC-1. The stock lens allows for plenty of working distance for fish portrait shots like this with less risk of scaring off the fish. The shot using the Nauticam SMC-1 was the widest and furthest away I could shoot using that lens, which is still pretty tight. For shots that would be framed in between these two shots, a less powerful macro lens will be needed. Sony RX100 VI | 1/800 | ISO 100 | ƒ11Both of these shots were at the full zoom of 200mm, with the Nauticam SMC-1, lens at minimum focus, photo uncropped. This is the maximum optical reproduction ratio possible with this particular setup. The depth of field is SLR like thin, where the eye and stripe above the mouth couldn’t be in focus at the same time.Sony RX100 VI | 1/1000 | ISO 100 | ƒ11For more information on the Sony RX100 VI, check out our in-depth review article.READ THE FULL REVIEWProsMaximum topside shooting power in a minimum sized body makes this our pick for Best Compact for Topside & Underwater24 FPS in RAW, with focus24-200mm lens allows super tight macroLens zoom range is fantastic for dual topside/underwater use, but still fits in your pocketVideo quality is excellentAF speed and tracking in continuous mode rivals top-end mirrorless and SLR cameras Cons24-200mm lens requires different ports for true wide angle and macro Long or multiple back to back clips in 4K video can lead to overheatingImproved, but not great manual white balanceNo manual flash output controlVersatility and compact size comes at a price that’s not far off from an SLRSony RX100 VI Compact Camera $1,199.99BUY NOWFantasea FRX100 VI Housing $399.95BUY NOWIkelite RX100 VI Housing $495.00BUY NOWNauticam NA-RX100VI Housing $1,100.00BUY NOWNauticam NA-RX100VI Housing Package $1,350.00BUY NOWBest Advanced Compact Camera Runner UpBACK TO TOPThe Canon Powershot G7 X IICamera & Housing starting at $1,100Key Info on the G7 X II:Our pick for Best Manual White Balance Color1” sensor produces sharp, detailed images Produces the best white balance color out of every camera in this review1080p maximum video resolution Requires separate ports for wide angle and macro lens compatibilityThe 1-Inch sensor of the Canon G7 X II produces outstanding color, contrast, and clarity especially in bright wide angle scenes.Summary The Canon G7 X II is the oldest camera model in the current compact roundup, and the only camera lacking a 4K video option. While we absolutely love the color produced by the camera when executing a custom white balance for video, the process to do so is the most convoluted and requires the most button activations (10+) out of any camera in this review. The 1” sensor produces a beautiful 20.1 megapixel still image with great image quality, and if using this camera as purely a still shooter then there is little doubt the user will be pleased with the photo results. Similar to the Sony RX100 VI and Panasonic LX100 II, the user must swap between dedicated ports for macro and wide angle, preventing in-water shooting style swaps. For now, our fingers are crossed that the next iteration will meet the bar of 4K video capability and an easier to execute white balance procedure. As of July 2019, the Canon G7X III has been announced, and we will be comprehensively testing that as soon as it is available. Check back on this page soon for the latest updates on the performance of the newest generation. With its relatively large 1-inch sensor, the Canon G7 X II can have a more out of focus background to make the foreground subject pop off the background.Canon G7 X II | 1/500 | ISO 125 | ƒ11ProsGreat custom white balance colorImage quality in both wide angle and macro is vibrant and sharpManual flash exposure option for rapid fire shootingCons10+ button push custom white balance procedureShort port required for wide angle accessory lensNo 4K videoCanon G7 X II Camera $699.99BUY NOWCanon WP-DC55 Waterproof Case $399.99BUY NOWFantasea FG7X II Housing $399.95BUY NOWIkelite G7X II Housing $549.95BUY NOWIsotta G7XII Housing $920.00BUY NOWNauticam NA-G7XII Housing $1,100.00BUY NOWRecsea WHC-G7XMKII Housing $1,120.00BUY NOWCONCLUSION We hope you have enjoyed this in-depth survey of the underwater compact camera market. At Backscatter, our team is staffed with active divers who get out and shoot with all of the equipment that we sell. Our sales staff have direct experience with the gear you purchase with us and are just a phone call away if you ever need help. It's that level of expertise that we put into this annual roundup of compact cameras so that we can share with you what we've learned, and why we recommend certain cameras over others. Please support the development of more content like this by purchasing your gear from us. Why buy direct from Backscatter?Free lifetime tech support with every purchase. We will beat any advertised price. Free shipping to USA and Canada and low cost international shipping. BACK TO TOPRelated PostsOlympus TG-6 Review: The Easiest Underwater Compact Camera We love the Olympus TG-6 for its extremely simple operation, outstanding macro ability, and the great image quality produced in both photo and video. It’s our pick for the Best All-Around Underwater C... Read More Panasonic LUMIX S1 Underwater Camera Review The Panasonic S1 is the first full-frame mirrorless camera in the Panasonic Lumix camera line. It joins a crowded field of other full-frame mirrorless heavy hitters, like the Canon EOS R, Nikon Z7, an... Read More Canon EOS R Underwater Camera Review The Canon EOS R is Canon’s debut in the full-frame mirrorless arena. It’s got outstanding image quality that’s so good, you can essentially consider it a mini-5D4. It feels right at home performance-w... Read More New Canon G7 X III Camera Announcement Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, introduces the Canon G7X III camera. Successors to the PowerShot G7 X II, this new camera usher in a plethora of new and innovative functiona... Read More Olympus TG-6 Underwater Camera Review We were able to get our hands on a prerelease Olympus Tough TG-6 camera and Olympus PT-059 housing and spent a few dives with it in our home waters of Monterey. On paper, the Olympus TG-6 looks very s... Read More Panasonic LX100 II Underwater Camera Review The Panasonic LX100 II is a compact-body, fixed-lens camera with the large sensor and fast-shooting ability of a high-end mirrorless system. We love it for producing the best image quality and fastest... Read More 