When people are out on a kayaking adventure, they love to capture the incredible things they see. There are amazing scenic views, as well as the opportunity to get close to wildlife out on the water. There are plenty of great camera manufacturers out there who understand the need for a stabilized camera that can handle the outdoor elements of kayaking.
Your smartphone may take photos and videos, but it isn’t made for the water, while the best waterproof camera for kayaking definitely is.
What to Look For Before Purchase
There are quite a few options in a good camera for kayaking, and they have different features. The best thing to do is look at what is available and choose the camera that is best for your needs. Take a look at the following.
First, you need to make sure that you choose the best waterproof camera for kayaking. You can expect your camera to get wet, and it needs to handle water for some of the best shots. The waterproof rating tells you how resistant the camera is to water. This is different from a camera being labeled as water-resistant.
The IP rating tells you how waterproof the camera is. You should look for one that is between 65 and 67. At this level, the camera will survive just about any amount of water exposure your camera has. If you find that waterproof cameras are outside of your budget, then look for a camera that is splash-resistant, and try to find a good waterproof case.
Another important feature to look at is the resolution. Cameras with higher resolutions will give you crystal-clear photos and videos. If you want to enjoy your memories, you should try to get one with full HD or 1080p. You can take it a step further and choose one that is an ultra HD camera. It just depends on what you are looking for.
When you are out kayaking, you won’t always be able to hold the camera in your hands. You need to mount it, and people usually do this on their helmets, their chests, or somewhere on the kayak.
When you choose a camera, it usually only comes with one mounting feature, but you might want to look for one that has multiple options. This way, you can set your camera for kayaking up in the ideal location when you are out on the water.
Kayaking photography is somewhat new, so there aren’t a lot of manufacturers involved in it yet. You may find cameras that claim to be great for kayaking, but they may not be truly suited for this sport. You should consider a brand that makes cameras specifically for kayaking, such as GoPro. Some may be more expensive, but you will get better photos with less trouble.
Ease of Use
It is also important that your kayaking camera is easy to use. You don’t really have the time or the setup to fiddle with the settings or try to learn how to change the focus. Some cameras will have an interactive user interface, and this is much easier to operate. They can be automated for many of the functions you will use. This makes it much easier to capture amazing shots without a lot of effort.
If you choose a camera with GPS tracking, it will help you locate your camera if you misplace it or if you drop it in rough waters.
Nine Best Cameras for Kayaking
1) GoPro Hero 9 Black
GoPro is a leader in outdoor cameras, and the Hero 9 is affordable and does everything you want it to do. You can shoot amazing videos with up to 5K resolution, which gives you all the details you can imagine. It has a 20MP camera with SuperPhoto, so you can capture crisp photos that are professional quality. The camera will choose the best way to process images, which makes it easy to use.
It has a front display and a rear touch screen. The touch screen has touch zoom, and it is easy to frame and control your shots. It includes many components, such as a curved adhesive mount, a mounting buckle, a USB-C cable, a thumb screw, and a camera case.
It offers live streaming in 1080p with HyperSmooth stabilization from HyperSmooth 3.0. If you want to record time lapse scenes, it has TimeWarp 3.0, and it is rugged and waterproof down to 33 feet. This makes it the best waterproof camera for kayaking.
- Excellent image quality
- Front display and rear touch screen
- Multiple mounting options
- Long battery life
- Doesn’t capture great images at night
2) Nikon COOLPIX W300 16MP 4K Ultra HD Waterproof Digital Camera
The Nikon Coolpix camera for kayaking is versatile and very easy to use. You get some great features, including WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth, and you can shoot photos in 16MP. The camera is also waterproof up to 100 feet. It is shockproof, freezeproof, and dustproof, so you can use it anywhere you go. The Nikon CoolPix W300 is one of the most durable cameras on the market, and it can handle the toughest conditions. It can even withstand being dropped from 7.9 meters.
This camera also does video in 4K resolution, and it has a high-quality time-lapse feature. With 5K optical zoom, the lens has telephoto power, and it has hybrid VR image stabilization. You can shoot pictures underwater or above, and the battery lasts 60 minutes when you are shooting video. It has vibration reduction to reduce any camera shake, and it incorporates SnapBridge wireless connectivity.
It uses Bluetooth and WiFi to seamlessly share images remotely and control the camera from a linked device. You can even geotag your images with the built-in GPS.
- Excellent resolution
- Crystal-clear, detailed images
- GPS that allows geotagging
- Waterproof to 100 feet
- No full manual mode
3) Ricoh WG-70 Orange Waterproof Digital Camera
The Ricoh WG-70 is an all-weather camera that is great for adventures of all kinds. It has a rugged chassis, and it can handle the harshest conditions. It has high resolution and all of the features you need. You get high performance image processing, as well as a back-illuminated CMOS sensor that has high optical efficiency. It has 16MP images, and it has low noise. You can also use the wide dynamic range to take amazing photos while you are kayaking.
This camera is waterproof to 14 meters, and it lasts for up to two hours at a depth of 14 meters. It has underwater mode, where it uses white balance that is optimized for underwater. The colors appear more natural because it adds reds that otherwise are lost. You can shoot full HD video at 30fps, and it has a high-speed movie mode that lets you do slow-motion video. You can also use the Underwater movie mode with shake reduction.
This camera also has a digital microscope mode, which makes it easy to take macro photographs that capture details you can’t see with your eyes alone. It has a 6-LED ring light to prevent blurring. You can choose from 25 different shooting modes, so there is truly a setting for anything that you want to photograph. This is a great camera that is loaded with features, and it is rugged enough to take on any outdoor adventure.
- 16 MP
- 25 shooting modes
- Rugged and durable camera
- Waterproof to 14 meters
- Built-in flash
- Manual focus option
- Some people find it less intuitive and harder to use
4) DJI Osmo Action Digital Camera
The DJI Osmo camera has dual-action screens, so you can frame yourself with the front screen effortlessly and you can use the back screen as a clear, responsive display. It is durable and versatile, and it has a lot of advanced features that make it easy to use so that you can spend time enjoying your excursion.
It has RockSteady technology that ensures that your images are stable and free of camera shake. The camera is 12 MP, and it has a wide 145 degree angle so you can shoot 4K HDR videos. It also has 8x slow motion so you can capture every detail. You can do time-lapse videos as well. It is waterproof to 11 meters and it can handle temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. It has a watertight seal and hydrophobic coating on the touchscreen. You will have no trouble using it underwater.
It comes with the camera frame, a flat adhesive mount, a quick release base, a battery, battery case, locking screw, and a USB-C cable. The DJI Osmo has a custom mode that simplifies use, so you can store, list, and choose your most frequently used shooting modes and exposure settings. It has voice control, and you can use five voice commands that make filming easy. The lens has three aspherical layers that reduce glare and distortion, so your images are clear, even when you shoot in direct sunlight.
- Great option for live streaming and vlogging
- Good image stabilization
- High-quality lens
- Rugged enough build to handle any conditions
- Not a lot of available accessories
5) Fujifilm FinePix Waterproof Digital Camera
This Fujifilm camera for kayaking comes with a complete bundle, so you get everything you need to get the most out of the camera. In addition to the camera, you get a memory card, a soft case, a lens cleaning kit, a compatible battery charger, a spare battery, card reader, a floating wrist strap, and more. It films video in UHD 4K, and it has full HD. It also has a 3” LCD monitor.
This camera is waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, and dustproof, and it has 16.4MP. It has 5x optical zoom with 2x digital zoom. It also has wireless connectivity and other features. The FinePix has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth LE, and you can geotag your locations. The camera has a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, and you can take amazing pictures underwater or in low-light conditions.
It has advanced SR auto mode, so it can detect your subject and your shooting scene and optimize the settings. It will detect and focus on your subject’s eyes for better portrait photos. You can use the continuous low-energy Bluetooth connection to share images from your camera to your smartphone or tablet, and you can print them out if you have a Fujifilm Instax Share Printer.
- Compact camera
- Buttons that can be customized
- Image stabilization
- Rugged, durable design
- UHD 4K
- Pictures underwater aren’t as clear
6) Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera
The Olymbus TG-6 is waterproof up to 50 feet. It is also shockproof and can fall up to 7 feet. It is crushproof and freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The TG-6 is anti-fog, and it has a high-resolution F2.0 lens. It has up to 8x zoom, true pic VIII, and a back-illuminated CMOS sensor. It also has a variable macro system that has four macro shooting modes, and you get magnified shooting of up to one centimeter from the end of the lens.
You also get five underwater shooting modes, including underwater microscope and three underwater white balance modes. It has 4K movie and full HD 120 fps high speed movie capabilities. The battery life is about 340 images or 50 minutes. You can continuously record for up to 29 minutes. This camera is built for adventure, and you can get amazing footage of your kayaking adventures with the best waterproof camera for kayaking.
- Durable enough camera to handle any conditions
- WiFi enabled
- Built-in GPS, compass, thermometer, altimeter, and accelerometer
- Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and more
- No touchscreen
7) GoPro Hero 7 Black
The GoPro Hero 7 is another great option from GoPro. It has HyperSmooth, so you get gimbal-like stabilization without having to use a gimbal. The version 7 corrects for camera shake, so you get smooth footage. It also has TimeWarp, so you can take stabilized time-lapse videos as you move about within a scene. You can speed up to 30x to make easy digestible scenes to share.
You can live stream in 720p and share it on social media. Also, you can also save the footage to your SD card and look at it later. This camera is also rugged and waterproof up to 33 feet. It has SuperPhoto, so you can get incredible photographs very easily. The camera applies HDR, local tone mapping, or noise reduction to optimize your shots. It also has voice control with 16 different voice commands. You can tell it to take a photo, turn it on, and more. You also get 4K video and 12 MP photos.
This GoPro has 8x Slo-Mo video with ultra-high frame rate 1080p240 video. It has an intuitive touchscreen. You can use it similar to how you would your smartphone. It has three capture modes, and it is easy to navigate. This camera has a ton of features, and you can capture all of your memories when you are out kayaking.
- Effective image stabilization
- Intelligent automatic settings
- Noise reduction when you have low light
- Voice commands are inconsistent
8) DJI Action Dual Screen Combo Camera
The Action 2 has an innovative and magnetic design that lets you change accessories as you need to. It is ultra compact and won’t take up any room in your bag. It has a magnetic lanyard and a magnetic headband that makes it easy to wear the camera and take the pictures you want to take. You can record smooth footage in 4K at 120 fps, and the video has amazing details. It has an ultra wide field of view that allows you to capture more in your frame.
You can share content quickly with the DJI Mimo app, and it has an AI editor that will automatically select and combine your best moments with great transitions and music. It is waterproof, so you can use it up to ten meters, and it can handle 60 meters if you get an extra waterproof case. It also has upgraded stabilization that detects and corrects camera shake and rotation in real time.
- Innovative magnetic design
- Small and compact build
- Ability to share content with DJI Mimo app
- Waterproof up to ten meters, and more with a waterproof case
- You need to use the Mimo app with it
9) Insta360 One Camera
Insta360 joined with Leica to give people a great camera for kayaking that is built for action. It has a premium one-inch sensor, as well as the legendary Leica optical design. It has a rugged and compact body. The Insta360 has ultra-high resolution in 5.3KJ so you can shoot day or night, and it will bring your shots to life in vivid detail. You can use it in shadows, highlights, and more.
It also has FlowState Stabilization to give you gimbal-like stabilization without the gimbal. It also has a scene detection algorithm, and your footage will stay even when you have low light. The one inch sensor brings out detail and color that other cameras lose in the shadows. It comes with a one-inch wide angle mod, a core, a battery base, and a mounting bracket. It has voice control and GPS enabled stats, and it is IPX8 waterproof.
- HDR photographs
- AI-powered FlashCut that finds your photos and edits them together
- Voice control
- GPS-enabled stats
- Image stabilization could be better
If you go kayaking, you can get a great camera to capture all of your moments. Make sure that you look through the features to choose the best waterproof camera for kayaking.