The Best Waterproof Tough Camera

After 15 hours of testing and research, and dragging three top-rated versions over rocks and under pools, we recommend the Nikon W300 as the best waterproof tough camera to shoot with you whenever you go climbing, skiing, or snorkeling. It is tough, easy to use, captures 4K video, and carries good-looking photos without any futzing.

Our pick


Nikon W300
Nikon W300

Best waterproof camera for most of us

Made to resist abuse, dust, cold, and water, while capturing images with pleasing color and detail.


The Nikon W300 is the ideal value due to its versatility. Its lens gets the widest view of the cameras we tested, covers a 5x zoom range, and allows from the more mild than nearly all its rivals. Its still images have realistic colors and a great deal of detail when shooting full-auto mode and the camera is capable of capturing 4K video. We also like that you can send photographs to your smartphone via Wi-Fi to discuss on social networking. The camera survives down to 100 feet underwater, is shockproof up to 8 feet, and can be freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

Olympus’ TG-5 does not go as deep underwater as the Nikon (just 50 feet, in comparison to 100 ft), has a less versatile 4x zoom lens compared to Nikon’s 5x lens, and is significantly more expensive than the Nikon. However, it does have slightly superior image quality and includes some features that might appeal to photo enthusiasts like raw capture and much more innovative in-camera editing styles. Plus it can take drops around 7 ft and chilly down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a nice upgrade for more advanced shooters, but we believe most people would prefer the versatility and value of this Nikon.

The Ricoh WG-50 colors can be off sometimes in challenging lighting situations, but its colors are generally fine in natural lighting, and its images continue to be good enough for people who aren’t super picky about that. It may take falls from around 5 feet and may be used in freezing cold weather (14 degrees Fahrenheit) or down to nearly 50 feet underwater. It can’t capture video in 4K and lacks Wi-Fi to transfer pictures to your smartphone but for around $100 less than the Nikon, it’s a nice choice if you’re not picky about image quality and extra features. We think it might make a great camera for a child or teen to play around with as well.



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