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Waterproof Cameras and Camcorders

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Splash, dive or swim with a waterproof camera or camcorder

Any camera that is deemed “waterproof” out of the factory is completely sealed to protect internal components. Often times, that will include a locking mechanism to seal off the battery compartment and enclosed lenses to keep any water from seeping in.

Most waterproof cameras are resistant to freshwater, rather than saltwater, which usually has sand and salt content that could impact the camera. There are instances where even saltwater is okay, particularly newer models of the GoPro. Even when a camera can withstand saltwater, manufacturers always advise that you rinse it with clean water after use to wash away any leftover salt or sand.

Waterproof cameras and camcorders are given what is called an IP (ingress protection) rating with a number that determines how water-resistant they are. The first digit indicates the level of dust-resistance, while the second refers to water-resistance. The higher the number, the better protection the camera has.

There may be housings that can encase the camera and provide it with increased water protection, especially from saltwater. Other accessories, including straps and selfie sticks, can also make it easier to use cameras safely in the water.

Different types of waterproof cameras and camcorders

There are a variety of cameras and camcorders that offer waterproof capabilities. Some are compact point-and-shoot models that you can easily slip in and out of a pocket and take with you when swimming or snorkeling. Those cameras also have additional advantages in that they are usually also shockproof and freezeproof.

Action cameras, like those you can attach to various accessories or yourself, are designed for capturing adventurous footage, including any waterborne activities. Newer models offer better water-resistance, and may include modes and features with underwater photography in mind. These types of cameras also enjoy a greater abundance and variety of accessories with which to mount them, helping you get creative in how you shoot.

Not all will necessarily support saltwater, though all will work in freshwater. Depths may also vary, as that depends on the IP rating, which determines how deep you can go with the camera and for how long you can keep it submerged.

Waterproof cameras vs. traditional cameras

The biggest difference between a waterproof camera and a traditional digital camera is the fact you can use it in water. Cameras without protection can be easily damaged when submerged, regardless of whether the water has salt or not. Without some form of protection through a casing, a traditional camera should be kept away from water.

Traditional cameras may have higher optical zooms because lenses have more room to peek out from the body. Waterproof cameras must keep lenses hidden behind a protective cover that could limit how much it can zoom in on a subject.

A camera’s software may be very similar, either way. Simply being waterproof doesn’t necessarily mean a camera has a different interface or menu system. It can depend on the manufacturer, however, who might choose a different design, but modes and options should be alike.

Splash, dive or swim with a waterproof camera or camcorder

Any camera that is deemed “waterproof” out of the factory is completely sealed to protect internal components. Often times, that will include a locking mechanism to seal off the battery compartment and enclosed lenses to keep any water from seeping in.

Most waterproof cameras are resistant to freshwater, rather than saltwater, which usually has sand and salt content that could impact the camera. There are instances where even saltwater is okay, particularly newer models of the GoPro. Even when a camera can withstand saltwater, manufacturers always advise that you rinse it with clean water after use to wash away any leftover salt or sand.

Waterproof cameras and camcorders are given what is called an IP (ingress protection) rating with a number that determines how water-resistant they are. The first digit indicates the level of dust-resistance, while the second refers to water-resistance. The higher the number, the better protection the camera has.

There may be housings that can encase the camera and provide it with increased water protection, especially from saltwater. Other accessories, including straps and selfie sticks, can also make it easier to use cameras safely in the water.

Different types of waterproof cameras and camcorders

There are a variety of cameras and camcorders that offer waterproof capabilities. Some are compact point-and-shoot models that you can easily slip in and out of a pocket and take with you when swimming or snorkeling. Those cameras also have additional advantages in that they are usually also shockproof and freezeproof.

Action cameras, like those you can attach to various accessories or yourself, are designed for capturing adventurous footage, including any waterborne activities. Newer models offer better water-resistance, and may include modes and features with underwater photography in mind. These types of cameras also enjoy a greater abundance and variety of accessories with which to mount them, helping you get creative in how you shoot.

Not all will necessarily support saltwater, though all will work in freshwater. Depths may also vary, as that depends on the IP rating, which determines how deep you can go with the camera and for how long you can keep it submerged.

Waterproof cameras vs. traditional cameras

The biggest difference between a waterproof camera and a traditional digital camera is the fact you can use it in water. Cameras without protection can be easily damaged when submerged, regardless of whether the water has salt or not. Without some form of protection through a casing, a traditional camera should be kept away from water.

Traditional cameras may have higher optical zooms because lenses have more room to peek out from the body. Waterproof cameras must keep lenses hidden behind a protective cover that could limit how much it can zoom in on a subject.

A camera’s software may be very similar, either way. Simply being waterproof doesn’t necessarily mean a camera has a different interface or menu system. It can depend on the manufacturer, however, who might choose a different design, but modes and options should be alike.