Scuba divers out there are most likely aware that underwater photography can be a little bit difficult of a task. Nonetheless, if you’ve got the right tool, then for sure, taking some crisp and clear photos and videos while underwater is piece of cake. The tool we’re talking about here is GoPro.
Nowadays, there are a number of underwater GoPros that you can use to take some underwater shooting with excellent quality. Now, in this review, we will specifically tackle GoPro HERO line because they have awesome features that surpass most underwater equipment out there.
To learn more about these tools, let’s take a look at what they’re capable of. Along the way, we will also share you some valuable information that you can use on your buying process.
First of all, the GoPro Hero5 Black comes with same rectangulare shape that is almost similar to its older versions. In addition, it comes with some physical changes. It is now waterproof for up to 33 feet without the help for any housing. Also, this unit now features a GPS.
On the other hand, the GoPro Hero6 Black is also similar to the Hero5 when it comes to design. In particular, it has dimensions of 2.44” x 1.75” x1.26”. In terms of weight, it only weighs 4.16 ounce. This unit also offers up to 33 feet of water resistance, which means you don’t need to spend more for a casing.
And last is the GoPro Hero4 Black. As for this one, its performance is to the next level because of its image quality as well as its two times more powerful processor that can give super slow motion frames per second of 240. Additionally, it comes with an incredible high-resolution of $K30 and 2.7K60 video combined with 1080p120 and 720p240 slow motion to produce excellent quality footage. (Source)
Who Should Get This?
Most probably, scuba divers out there will appreciate a decent underwater GoPro. See, these tools work wonders because they can provide great picture quality even in reasonable depths in every shot. Moreover, GoPro are pretty easy to use and will surely improve your scuba diving photography experience.
Even though it’s for sure that deep scuba divers will always appreciate the ability to capture long trips, all GoPro listed in this review will be very helpful for regular users who most of the time stick to shallower depths. Also, because they also work well on land, these GoPro is your perfect companion for all your travels.
Overall, if you want to get quality shots underwater, then make sure to use a GoPro HERO Line. With that said, let’s proceed even further.
What to Consider?
Before even purchasing a GoPro, make sure that you will be able to use it. Functionality is a factor that a lot of consumers tend to overlook when looking for a new GoPro. And if it’s neglected, this might cost more. Now, there are a lot of whistles and bells tied to GoPros. Even though they may seem amazing, you don’t need a unit that you won’t be able to use effectively. However, that doesn’t actually imply that you need to acquire the simplest model in the market. But you must acquire one that you can easily use.
This factor is not totally essential when looking for a camera. However, it is crucial to learn what accessories you can utilize with your GoPro. See, GoPro are prominent for their mix-and-match capabilities, and this implies that you must be able to switch add-ons in and out whenever you see it suitable. Well, for the most part, there are a lot of methods to significantly improve your underwater experience. That’s why make sure that your GoPro can handle all of them.
If you didn’t know, GoPro cameras are prominent for their high-end shooting capabilities. However, not all GoPro cameras can do their things underwater. There are some units that are quite blurry. And some don’t have the capabilities to go deeper. That’s why always make sure that the GoPro you’ll take along with you in diving is capable of shooting and getting premium shots. Also, it would be a smart decision to get one that will also work on land. Overall, if it can produce great image quality underwater, for sure it will also give you great outputs on land.
3 Best GoPro for Scuba Diving in 2020 (Detailed Reviews)
1. GoPro Hero5 Black
Design and Construction
This unit comes with same rectangular shape similar to its first versions. However, it comes with few prominent physical changes. First of all, this unit is now waterproof to 33 feet without the need for any case. Moreover, this unit is the first GoPro Hero that comes with an integrated GPS.
However, all the GPS functionality can do is geo tag the images you capture. Also, when it comes to videos, you don’t get and amazing overlays that display your elevation or speed. This unit is actually a true flagship camera from GoPro because of all of its shooting functions from its first versions.
Image Quality Output
In addition, it comes with raw and wide dynamic range photo capture as well as linear field of view video, option for auto cloud uploads, voice controls, stereo audio, electronic image stabilization, GPS, a waterproof body, a touchscreen, and the most ideal photo and video quality for a Hero line.
What We Like:
- Now waterproof up to 33 feet without any case
- It comes with integrated GPS
- Durable design even without housing
- Stunning 4K video and 12MP photos
- Raw and wide dynamic range photo capture
What We Don’t Like:
- Its battery life is a little bit short
- The waterproof casing seems to make the doors hard to open and close
2. GoPro HERO6 Black
The GoPro HERo6 Black looks very similar to the GoPro Hero5 when it comes to design. It has dimensions of 2.44” x 1.75” x 1.26” and it only weighs around 4.16 oz. Moreover, this unit offers up to 33 feet of water resistance. This implies that users don’t have to purchase any kind of housing unless they want to do some super depth diving.
Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, you won’t have trouble using it if you already use any of its predecessors. On the flip side, if you are still new to the action-camera world, then the touch screen may not really be intuitive. Of course, there are some tutorials that you can use if you’re a newbie.
Processor and Video Quality
TheHero6 Black is the latest upgrade to the HERO line, and its biggest development is its processor. It is integrated with a new GP1 processor, which is much faster and can capture video at 4K resolution at 60 fps. Compared to the GoPro Hero5, this is certainly a huge advantage.
Overall, with this unit’s upgraded processor as well as its capability to shoot at higher resolution and higher frame rates, this unit is a great pick. Also, Hero5’s accessories and batteries is compatible with Hero6 which is a huge help.
What We Like:
- Waterproof up to 33 feet without a housing
- Features higher frame rates and resolution combinations
- Enhanced image quality
- Comes with superb electronic image stabilization
- Three times faster offload speeds compared to Hero5
What We Don’t Like
- Its HVEC playback is not supported in iOS app
- It’s not really compatible with any gimbals
3. GoPro Hero4 Black
Performance and Features
This unit offers performance to the next level with its image quality and its two times more powerful processor that can provide super slow motion at 240 frames per second. Furthermore, this model comes with an amazing high-resolution of 4K30 as well as 2.7K60 video amalgamated with 1080p120 and 720p240 slow motion in order to produce awesome and excellent footage.
In particular, with its two times more powerful processor as well as its two times much faster video frame rates and its improved image quality, this unit offers more detailed, richer, and shaper output. It is one of the most innovative GoPro from the Hero line because of its improvements in wireless connectivity, usability, audio, and many more.
Image Quality Output
Furthermore, with this unit’s 12MP burst photos at an incredible 30 frames per second, this model will aid you capture precious moments. With this unit, you can capture single photos or select Time Lapse mode in order to shoot photos automatically at particular times. This feature is particularly helpful for gear-mounted shots when you can’t reach its shutter button.
What We Like:
- Features night photo and night lapse that offer personalize exposure settings for nighttime shooting
- Provide advanced manual control and cinema quality because of its Pro tune with Super View
- Features upgraded camera control with an integrated video trimming
- Integrated with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- 12MP photos at up to 30 frames per second
What We Don’t Like:
- Tend to heat up a little bit
- Battery life is not that great when shooting high frame rate footage
Useful Tips before Bringing Your GoPro Outdoors
Before even heading to you wherever place you want to go, make sure to take note some of these helpful tips.
Prevent Water Drops on Your Lens
After surfacing from underwater, you will most likely want to do some more shooting. However, if there are some droplets on your lens, you might just ruin the footage so make sure you how to fix this it.
Don’t Go Against the Light
Make sure to always shoot with the sun at your back. You see, if you don’t use a flash, it’s quite difficult to acquire a decent shot shooting under the sun.
Unless you are using a macro lens, make sure to keep your subject at least 12 inches away from you. If you get closer, the footage might get blurry.
Utilize a Lens Filter
If you want to correct the color, make use of the lens filter. Even though it sounds like nonsense, having a red lens filter can make your underwater cover much better. For green water, get a magenta filter. On the other hand, get a red filter for blue water.
Check Your Underwater Settings
You can use two settings based on what you want to capture. The first setting is video. For this one, you can opt to 1080 Super View at 80FPS. On the other hand, you can use the time lapse for photos. We suggest shooting at the highest resolution at either one image each 0.5 second or 1 second.
Cleaning the Lens
Make sure to clean the lens before even closing the housing and ensure that there are no dust particles or fingerprints on your GoPro’s lens. Also, make sure to check out the housing lens in and out.
Cleaning the Gasket
Be sure that there’s not dirt on the white rubber gasket. You see, if there’s dirt on the gasket, it might case a leak. So, in order to guarantee that you’ll get a decent seal, be sure that the backdoor is fully pushed into the casing before even clamping the black latch.
If you haven’t tried scuba diving, then we want to tell you that it’s an amazing experience. It’s so much fun that you would want to boast your experience with other people and invite them to join you on your next adventure. In addition, shooting crisp and clear videos from your trips is one good thing to preserve awesome memories.
Even though we presented GoPro that are in the same line, all three of them have their own respective strength and weakness. So, just make sure to pay attention on their difference and determine which will suit your needs, and of course your budget.
How about you? Have you have any experience in scuba diving while using a GoPro? If so, kindly share your experience with us.