two girls swimming underwater in the ocean waving at a camera

Best Kids Underwater Cameras to capture the action in 2021 • Our Globetrotters

Kids keen to capture their own underwater action on your vacation?

An underwater camera is a fabulous way for kids to connect with their surroundings on your next water-based adventure, be it their first snorkeling experience or even just playing in the pool.

As well as their snorkel sets and new wetsuits, we’ve invested in a new underwater kids camera for our upcoming summer adventures – not without a lot of heart ached and research to work our best value for money!

A lot of tech improvements have been made since we first researched best kids action cameras and we’ve narrowed down our search to those that specifically have an enclosed waterproof casing, ideal for capturing their beginner snorkelling trips.

Having their own camera minimizes the possibility of damaging your expensive photography gear and lets them capture their holiday memories THEIR WAY.

So if your kids want to take their underwater adventures to the next level, here’s what we recommend you invest in:

This post is part of our tried and tested family travel products series as well as our travel photography series


What to look for in a great kids underwater action camera

There are a lot of tech specs to consider when looking at an underwater kids camera. The important distinction to look at is, is the camera itself waterproof or is it an action camera that sits in a waterproof housing. All the cameras we look at here can take still images as well as video.

Image quality – MP and fps

Generally speaking, the higher the number the better! For still images, this is measured in megapixels (MP) and for video fps (frames per second).  If you want to print and enlarge images, you’ll want a higher MP. If the photos are just for fun or social media, a lower MP will suffice.

Equally, if your videos are just for personal use 1080p would be fine but for making YouTube videos you may want a higher resolution, “4K” is extremely high resolution.

Memory – GB

How many photos or videos can the camera hold? All underwater cameras mentioned here use an SD memory card (don’t forget to format them before use) but most you need to purchase the SD card separately. 8GB is relatively small while 128GB you’ll fit a huge amount, just check what the specified maximum size is. This is a cost to consider in addition to the camera itself.

Screen size

Little hands work better with slightly bigger screens but most of the underwater cameras we’ve reviewed have similar-sized rear touch screens. As a bonus, some also have front screens too for selfie mode.

Kids swimming underwater with an action camera

Durability

Let’s be honest, accidents DO happen – all our products mentioned here have a sturdy design for kids.  You may want an extra protective case for transportation so the camera doesn’t get scratched or damaged in the depths of your beach bag.

Handle & attachment

How will they be holding the camera underwater? Does it come with its own easy-to-use extendable arm or will you need to buy this as an accessory? How does it attach to their wrist so it doesn’t float away?

Most only come with a wrist strap for underwater use, strongly consider a waterproof camera float when giving kids an underwater camera so you don’t immediately see your investment wash away.

Battery Life

It’s all fun and games until the battery dies… All of these models have a rechargeable battery through a USB cord. 600mAh is quite small – maybe 60 minutes of use whilst 1500mAh should last several hours. It’s great if a camera comes with spare batteries for all-day use, or it could be another additional cost on top of the camera.


The best kids underwater cameras

Price $ = under $40USD; $$ $40 to $80UD; $$$ – over $80USD

Best overall kids underwater camera: Ourlife Kids Camera

This inexpensive kids’ underwater camera certainly does everything you really need including photos and videos, in water and on dry land! Compact, easy to hold and difficult to break!

The 180-degree rotating lens means kids can shoot forwards and in selfie mode. The fill-light function enables kids to capture bright photos even in dull light and there are some cool filters and effects to play with.

Key Features of Ourlife Kids Camera:

  • Still Pictures: 8 MP resolution
  • Video resolution: 1080p/30fps Full HD
  • Waterproof up to 30m/100ft in the waterproof case
  • 2.4″ screen
  • 12 built-in photo frame effects
  • 7 color shooting modes
  • Fill-light function for shooting in the dark
  • Rechargeable battery 600mAh (about 1 to 2 hours use)
  • Comes with an 8GB memory card
  • Weight 2.4 oz
  • Available in purple pink and blue
  • With extra silicone case and mounting kit

Extras: You can additionally purchase a carry case for storage when not in use. We’d definitely recommend adding the case for keeping the camera protected and in good nick (we have more on underwater camera maintenance below!)

Runner Up underwater action camera for kids: YINDIA Waterproof Underwater Camera

A sleek, multi-purpose point-and-shoot style camera you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck. Use it underwater or on dry land, the dual screens front and back are great for selfies and framing your own action with a built-in anti-shake function for better images.

A larger battery than most will keep the action lasting longer with a handy wrist strap included. It does come in at a slightly higher price point but you will get longevity out of this camera, suitable for younger and older kids in a bright yellow that (shouldn’t!) get lost too easily!

Key Features of the YINDIA Waterproof Underwater Camera:

  • Still Pictures: 48 MP resolution
  • Video resolution: 2.7K Full HD
  • Waterproof up to 10m/30ft in the waterproof case
  • 2″ screen front / 3″ screen back
  • Flash functionality
  • Rechargeable battery 1500mAh
  • Supports a 128GB memory card
  • Weight 2.4 oz
  • Available in purple pink and blue
  • With extra silicone case and mounting kit

Cons – it only comes with a wrist strap no additional mountings and is only waterproof to 10ft without additional casing – this prevented it from getting top billing. It’s ultra-small and light so we’d recommend also purchasing a camera float and you need to additionally purchase the 128GB SD Card, so the costs start to add up.

Worth another look: YISENCE Waterproof Digital Camera

Another great waterproof point-and-shoot style camera perfect for all of the family to use. Amazing quality images and high-resolution video it can work to 10ft without additional housing required and has a flashlight, great for when it’s dim underwater. With a large screen, timer and large SD card capacity (not included), you’ll certainly get your money’s worth as a family investment.

Best value kids underwater camera: Prograce Kids Camera

Coming in under the $40USD mark, this is a pretty decent all-rounder well worth considering for your active kids that enjoy everything from bike riding to snorkelling. Available in chamo green through to bright pink, there are several colour choices to suit your little ones taste.

It’s smaller than some of the models we’ve mentioned above which can make it a little fiddly for smaller hands but it’s packed full of features for your amateur YouTubers to enjoy!

Key features of the Prograce kids camera:

  • Still Pictures: 5 MP resolution
  • Video resolution: 1080P/30fps Full HD
  • Waterproof up to 30m/100ft in the waterproof case
  • 1.77″ screen
  • 40 built-in photo frames
  • 7 color video modes
  • Time-lapse function and burst shooting mode
  • Made with non-toxic materials
  • Rechargeable battery 750mAh
  • Supports a 32 GB memory card (not included)
  • Weight 1.6 oz
  • Available in green, blue, red, pink, yellow
  • Comes with two mounts

Extras: We love that this kids action camera comes with loads of extras for mounting and underwater use; though the image resolution is pretty poor compared to the more expensive models and the screen is tiny. It makes for an affordable special treat though, still durable and plenty of fun.

Worth another look: GAKOV Digital Childrens Camera 

A super-affordable fun addition can still work to a depth of 20m and records to 1080p/30fps, a good beginner option until they’re ready for more functionality.

Best underwater camera for younger kids: Gofunly Kids Camera

This really easy to hold and use camera is ideal for smaller children who still want to record their own action. The pictures are surprisingly good quality for the price and it’s ultra-durable for rough handling that we know toddlers and pre-schoolers can subject their toys too!

As well as coming with a waterproof casing for underwater use, it can be used as their everyday kid’s action camera with a sturdy shockproof casing and easy-grip handles, as well as mounting accessories for bikes and helmets. We love that it comes with a neck teether and a wrist strap for underwater use, though we’d still recommend a float if they’re taking it in the water.

Key Features of the Gofunly kids camera:

  • Still Pictures: 12 MP resolution 4x Zoom
  • Video resolution: 1080P/30fps Full HD
  • Waterproof up to 30m/100ft in the waterproof case
  • 2″ screen
  • 5s and 10s timer and 3 image burst
  • Built-in 3.7V 600mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery, USB charging (90 minutes recording time)
  • Comes with a 32 GB memory card
  • Weight 12.3 oz
  • Available in green, blue, red, pink, yellow
  • Comes with two mounts

Worth another look: Agoigo Kids Waterproof Camera Toys

The slightly larger size makes it easier for little hands to grip, some decent quality images to be had and a good price point for a fun kids underwater point and shoot.

Best underwater camera for older kids: Campark X20 Action Camera

Your older kids will undoubtedly want better quality images from their underwater camera and more added features, which surprisingly doesn’t come at a huge extra cost. The Campack offers 4K/30fps images and can work by remote so your tweens and teens can really up their underwater game!

We love the fact it comes with an extra battery, remote control, external microphone and a host of accessories so you’re not left adding dozens of more items to your basket to make this underwater camera fully functioning! The only extra you will need is an SD memory card NOT built-in. For water use, you may also want a float or selfie stick.

Key Features on the Campack 4k:

  • Still Pictures: 20 MP resolution
  • Video resolution: 4K/30fps, 2K/30fps, 1080P/120fps, 720P/240fps
  • Waterproof up to 40m/131ft in the waterproof case
  • 2″ intuitive touch screen
  • 170-degree wide-angle lens
  • Continuous shooting mode
  • Built-in gyroscope for anti-shaking
  • Wireless 2.4G remote (to 10m)
  • External microphone
  • 2 Rechargeable Li-ion batteries 1050mAh (each lasts 60 to 90 mins depending on shooting mode)
  • Supports 8 to 64GB memory card
  • Weight 1.25 lbs
  • Comes with mounting kit

Worth another look: Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera 

Another really good choice for teens, this 4K action camera shares many similar features with the Campack and would another solid investment for kids seeking higher quality footage in their waterproof action camera.


Best of the best action camera

Undoubtedly the GoPro has an outstanding reputation in the action camera market for its enduring quality as a multipurpose action cam, and it’s not hard to see why. So compact yet high-quality images. If the budget will stretch and you trust your little one with an action cam of this calibre this will undoubtedly deliver the highest quality video images underwater; their latest top model is the GoPro Hero9 Black

(Do note they update their latest “must-have” models quicker than my kids change their favourite color; even a model or two down will still suffice as a brilliant underwater camera for kids but comes in at over $200USD)

The other downside of the GoPro is you still need to buy further mounting kits too, and spare batteries, extra memory card.

GoPro is great. I still use my GoPro Hero6 all the time for my blogging work, and my kids haven’t broken it – yet – but I do feel they exceedingly price themselves out of the family market.

Honestly, though, most kids won’t be disappointed with the quality they can get from the Campack 20X, or even upgrade to the Campack X40 you’ll still come in under $100USD before memory cards & accessories.


Some alternative underwater camera options

Most smartphones these days are well equipped for tackling water – but note this is water resistance rather than waterproof – your phone can survive an accidental dip in the pool but should NOT be taken underwater, especially in saltwater. You will likely find any warranty does not cover saltwater damage.

But you can absolutely still use your smartphone in water, with a protective casing. This can be a hard fitted case or a soft generic brand pouch. These can then be tied around your wrist or neck, but like waterproof cameras, we recommend kids use them with a brightly colored camera float.


Underwater kids camera maintenance & common issues

Whilst yes, these cameras are waterproof, it’s not necessarily all set and forget after the water action is finished.

You’ll, of course, want to download your photos but don’t forget to clean your camera after each use too and store it in a way that will prevent damage. If properly cared for, your kids underwater camera can last several years (or until the latest tech exceeds it!).

Here are some general maintenance tips to be aware of (equally these apply to your grown-up underwater cameras too!)

Checks to make before using your underwater camera

Before you jump into the water with your camera for a new season – or even with your brand new camera straight from the box – check the seals before you’re too far from shore.

Make sure no hairs or sand particles are blocking the battery door or the housing from closing and sealing tight, then submerge the camera and check all around for leaks.

In the event water HAS gotten into your camera or seals have perished, turn off the power and remove the battery and memory card immediately (at least your photos can be salvaged).

If you have a bag of rice handy, submerge the camera in a sealed bag with the rice (tell me you’ve not had to do this with a phone!) and you may be a chance of saving it before you can get it to a professional cleaner. Though to be honest with the cost of a kid’s underwater camera vs repairs, it’s probably goodbye camera.

Cleaning your kids underwater camera between uses

To prevent seals from becoming worn or damaged from sand particles or grit, take proper care of your kids underwater camera after every use. Always rinse it in fresh water first before wiping it dry with a microfibre cloth so you don’t get abrasions.

Another way to keep your kids underwater camera protected is to use a proper camera case between uses. This will teach kids to take proper care of their belongings, keeps all the parts together (charger cords, extra mountings, cleaning cloths) and I’ll admit, they’re kinda cute too.

Cleaning your kids underwater camera after your beach trip

  • After you’re finished using the camera on your beach trip, it’s best to let it sit for an extended period (30 to 60 minutes) in freshwater, this will help remove the tiny sand and salt particles.
  • The camera can be rubbed dry with a lint-free microfibre cloth (never use chemicals or abrasive scrubbing clothes), check all seals are completely free of water.
  • Store your underwater camera in a dry, ventilated place at room temperature.
  • If you’re not planning to use the camera again for a long period of time, it’s best to store it without the battery and memory card inside (just remember where you left them!!)

Dealing with camera lens fog

Camera lens fog is a common problem for all photographers in hot and humid climates – and can no doubt lead to moans and groans from the little ones when their camera isn’t IMMEDIATELY ready to use!

Camera fog happens when condensation forms in the inner lense, no doubt from significant changes in temperature – living in the desert we know this happens A LOT! – so here’s what we do:

  • Don’t leave setting up your underwater camera to just before you jump in – if its been kept in your room or somewhere airconditioned, it’s highly likely the fog is coming from the camera being much colder than the outside air.
  • You need the temperature on the inside and outside of your camera to equalise so it needs to sit out, shaded for 5 to 10 minutes before use.

Trust me – if you’ve ever had to fully equip three kids for getting in the water (sunscreen, wetsuits or rashy’s, hair tying, snorkel gear) there will be enough time – just make sure you deal with the camera as one of your first jobs before hands are full of sunscreen and sand!


We hope your kids will enjoy the experience of recording their own underwater snorkeling adventures with their very own camera. Make sure you check out our comprehensive guide to the best beaches around the world for beginner snorkelers – ideal for families.


More family beach vacation advice

Looking for more great advice and product reviews before heading to the beach? Check out more ideas from our beach travel collection:


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