The digital explosion revolutionized the imaging industry. Using sensors to capture photos delivers instant gratification that film cameras never could, with quality levels that match or exceed older technology. The scale of manufacturing brings component prices down. With plentiful sensors, specialty applications began to emerge.
Underwater photography was once a field practiced by only a few, who could afford the expensive and bulky sealed housings required to take professional cameras into the depths. When disposable cameras gained popularity, underwater versions emerged, though these were mechanical cameras with no adjustments, plastic lenses, and marginal image quality. Nonetheless, the allure of affordable photography beneath the waves assured hefty sales.
The availability of digital image sensors meant that it was only a matter of time before affordable digital cameras intended for use underwater came along. Here we look at the 10 best waterproof cameras in 2019. There are still camera housings to adapt conventional cameras and other devices with built-in imaging to underwater use, but we’re looking solely at cameras designed specifically to work underwater.