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Waterproof cameras are usually not known for top-notch photo quality. With advancements in technology though, manufacturers have truly managed to pack in plenty of features, and waterproof is an extra attractive feature thrown in. So your budget can get you the best waterproof digital camera that will routinely deliver great photos, while you take it down to 30 feet or lower. Apart from image quality, your camera should feature 3D shooting abilities, digital filter effects, even 1920 x 1080 full-HD video, and quite a few outdoor-friendly features like built-in GPS function, compass, altimeter and barometer, LCD with anti-reflective coating, and ISO range of 80 - 6400.

The best waterproof digital cameras under $300 are available in bright colors such as blue and provide you ease of use, and most of them come with 5x optical zoom.

Browse All Top Waterproof Digital Cameras Under $300 »

Olympus TG-850

Olympus TG-850


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Olympus TG-850
Ricoh WG-4 GPS
Fujifilm FinePix S1
Nikon Coolpix AW120
Ricoh WG-20
Olympus TG-850
Ricoh WG-4 GPS
Fujifilm FinePix S1
Nikon Coolpix AW120
Ricoh WG-20
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Release Date
Jun 2014
Jun 2014
Mar 2014
Feb 2014
Jun 2014
Waterproof
Waterproof
Waterproof
Waterproof
Waterproof
Waterproof
Camera Type
Compact
Compact
SLR-like (bridge)
Compact
Compact
Optical Zoom
5.0 x
4.0 x
50.0 x
5.0 x
5.0 x
Resolution
16.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
14.0 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
BSI-CMOS
BSI-CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
CCD
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
2.7 in.
Image Sensor Size
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
2.5 mm

  • The Olympus Tough TG-850 is a tough camera with a wide-angle lens that is a fine choice for photographers on a budget.


  • Arguably, the biggest surprise of the TG-850 is how good the image quality is. That's by no means a derisory comment towards Olympus, but more towards Tough style cameras as a concept. Typically – and based on other reviews of similar style cameras from all manufacturers – image quality is low down on the list of priorities, but here Olympus seem to be getting it right in most places.

  • Rating Unavailable

    The Olympus Stylus TG-850 is a compact and versatile "Tough" digicam. It has been built to go anywhere that you can go. It is easy to use and performs very well, but it lacks in image quality.


  • The Ricoh WG-4 has a lens that matches that of our favorite rugged camera, but its performance isn't quite as good.


  • There’s no doubt that the Ricoh WG-4 makes a very good rugged camera. Its toughness credentials may not be the best on paper, but in the hand the WG-4 feels like it’ll survive almost anything you could throw at it.
    But exactly the same could be said of its predecessor, the WG-3, which is a virtually identical camera. That means image quality is unimproved and shows more detail loss and colour speckling at higher ISO sensitivities than you may expect from a ‘new’ camera.


  • Great build quality and useful features make the WG-4 GPS a capable action camera that also performs well and usually produces attractive images. However, it's little more than a rebranded Pentax WG-3 GPS.


  • The Fujifilm FinePix S1 is a solid 50x zooming camera thanks to quick autofocus and a weather-resistant design.


  • The Fujifilm FinePix S1 is an impressive do-it-all camera that will satisfy a lot of people's needs, although the more discerning pixel-peepers may be disappointed by the high levels of noise at low ISO speeds.
    The S1 really is an all-in-one camera that will cope with virtually everything that you can throw at it, from macro photography to sports and wildlife, safe in the knowledge that its weather-resistant construction should withstand most things that you subject it to.


  • The S1 is hardly the perfect super-zoom camera, but it definitely is in the top of the 2014 class. In fact, its positives outweigh the negatives by a wide margin, so we’ll easily give it Recommended status. The fact it costs around $500 and is the only weather-resistant mega-zoom makes it even more appealing. Just don’t expect DSLR performance.


  • With Wi-Fi, GPS, and an OLED display, the Nikon Coolpix AW120 is one of the better rugged compact cameras you can buy, but it's not quite an Editors' Choice.


  • So should you buy a Nikon Coolpix AW120? As far as its features go, it’s up there with the best cameras in the toughened compact class. Its GPS geotagging and world map navigation are useful for the aspiring adventurer, as is the compass, altimeter and depth gauge. The AW120’s Wi-Fi capability is a little more limited, but nonetheless a welcome inclusion.


  • A good compact camera with plenty of features, but only really worth the price if you need its waterproof, shockproof qualities.


  • When producing a camera at this price level, the manufacturer has a tough decision to make. You see, the camera has to be able to perform in low light or it's no good as an extreme camera. So they add on the high ISO settings. But the noise is so bad from the small sensor with all those pixels crowded in together, that they have no choice but to lower the resolution so that the pixels in use are spaced further apart.


Top 5 waterproof digital camera under $300:

  1. Olympus TG-850
  2. Ricoh WG-4 GPS
  3. Fujifilm FinePix S1
  4. Nikon Coolpix AW120
  5. Ricoh WG-20