Today, the underwater world is more accessible than ever before. If you aren’t a particularly confident swimmer or diver but want to see what the waters of the world contain, why not purchase one of the best underwater drone cameras?
These advanced drones can be piloted remotely, typically with a smartphone. They are also equipped with high-definition cameras, so you can record footage and take photos underwater. Below, we share our top seven underwater drone picks, including options for underwater photographers and videographers of all stripes.
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1. Gladius Mini Underwater Drone
Our first pick is the Gladius Mini underwater drone, an exceptional option that has made underwater exploration and recording more accessible to the average user. It has a great design that includes a 4K UHD camera, excellent diving capabilities, and FPV viewing.
The Gladius Mini features a 4K UHD underwater camera. The camera has a decent maximum aperture of f/3, which makes it great for darker underwater scenarios. And you can boost the light levels with the LED lights at the front.
The drone is operated via a remote controller that you attach to your smartphone. It has some advanced piloting options that make creating cinematic video footage easier.
The Gladius Mini can dive up to 100 m/330 ft – far greater than most action cameras with underwater capabilities. As a result, you can pilot the drone into underwater areas that are inaccessible to many diver photographers.
2. QYSEA FIFISH V6 Underwater Drone
- Omni-directional movement via thrusters
- 4K UHD camera quality with a maximum f/2.5 aperture
- Gaming-style remote control with a smartphone attachment
- Quite expensive
- The QYSEA FIFISH V6 is a highly sophisticated underwater drone that offers omnidirectional movement, 4K UHD recording, and excellent pilot controls.
This drone can dive up to 330 ft/100 m for unparalleled underwater exploration, and it has a 330 ft/100 m Kevlar tether that connects to the controller. This can also be enhanced via optional tether extensions that lengthen it to 200 ft/300 m.
This underwater drone also offers impressive flexibility. It has omni-directional movement thanks to its thrusters, so you get relative freedom when piloting and can easily track marine life.
The camera can record at 4K UHD and has a maximum aperture of f/2.5. This means it can also cope with lower-light underwater scenes. And the camera has a 166-degree field of view for impressive wide-angle recording.
3. PowerVision PowerRay Underwater Drone
The PowerVision PowerRay is right up there with the best underwater drone cameras thanks to its sleek design, great controls, and high-quality 4K UHD camera. The drone is tethered to a base station and the tether cable is an ample 230 ft/70 m. The drone also has an impressive diving capability of up to 98 ft/30 m.
It’s also one of the few underwater drones that offers FPV controls. The Wizard version of this drone comes with VR ONE FPV goggles, and this takes underwater exploration and recording to a whole new level. You control the drone via your smartphone.
For outstanding video recording and still photography, the PowerRay has a 4K UHD camera. It can shoot 12 MP still photos and can even fire off 5 FPS bursts. To ensure you can record plenty of footage and take lots of photos, it is equipped with a 64 GB SD card.
If you want to use this drone for marine research, you can grab several optional accessories that allow you to locate and attract fish for easy recording.
4. PowerVision PowerDolphin Water Drone
A great drone is the PowerVision PowerDolphin, and while it can only photograph and record video on the surface of the water, it’s very cool. It just looks fantastic and offers a whole new way of exploring oceans, lakes, and more.
The drone skims along the surface much like a dolphin. It travels quite fast for a drone and reaches top speeds of up to 10 mph. It should never crash or struggle thanks to its self-righting mechanism.
The PowerDolphin has a camera that can record 4K/30p footage. The camera also has an impressive viewing angle of 220 degrees. More importantly, the camera can be rotated and lowered beneath the surface to capture underwater shots.
The PowerDolphin also has some other interesting features. For example, it has a waypoint option, which lets you pre-plan routes and set waypoints at intervals. The drone will then follow the indicated path.
The only downside to the PowerDolphin? The drone itself doesn’t go underwater.
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5. CHASING DORY Underwater Drone
The CHASING DORY is one of the best underwater drones available, especially if you’re on a budget. It is just under $500 but still offers excellent performance and features.
Like other underwater drones, the CHASING DORY has a tether, which keeps it connected to a waterproof Wi-Fi buoy. The buoy is what anchors the drone so that you can easily track it in the water. The tether has a length of 49 ft/15 m, but while it isn’t as long as the tethers offered by other drones on this list, it should still give you plenty of freedom for underwater exploration.
The drone camera can record 1080p video. It also has a maximum aperture of f/1.6, which is great for low-light underwater scenes. We like that the camera has a 100-degree viewing angle and that the drone can be tilted up or down by 45 degrees. You can even stream 720p video directly to social media!
If you have multiple people interested in piloting your drone, you’ll appreciate the dual-play mode, which allows several individuals to connect their smartphones to the Wi-Fi buoy and take control of the drone.
6. G Geneinno Tether Titan
If you want a robust and durable drone for exploration and even industrial work, the G Geneinno Tether Titan is an incredible, if pricey, option.
This is an expensive drone, but it is well built and is meant for the exploration of tougher water and for industrial work. We like the drone’s movement and agility; it can travel underwater at a maximum speed of 2 m/s, and it has both lateral and vertical thrusters.
The drone also has some advanced controls. These include underwater hovering, self-balancing, fixed-depth gliding, and one-button floating. Due to its robust design and thrusters, it can also withstand strong water currents.
The camera offers 4K UHD recording, which allows you to capture underwater footage in fantastic detail. There is also a 3000-lumen LED light on the front. The G Geneinno Tether Titan can dive up to 574 ft/175 m, and it has an excellent battery that lasts up to four hours on one charge.
7. CHASING F1 Fish Finder Drone
Our last option is the CHASING F1, an unusual underwater drone and one of the cheapest on the market. For around $500, you get a fantastic drone with underwater recording and photography capabilities.
The drone itself does not go underwater. It sits on the surface and you pilot it like a boat. Attached to the drone is a tether and a fish finder; the latter is a 1080p HD camera that also has an infrared function. It allows you to record fantastic footage regardless of the time of day.
The fish-finder camera is waterproof up to 65 ft/20 m, and it also has a 65 ft/20 m sensor array. Therefore, it can be used as a fishing aid and to track schools of fish to video. We also like that this underwater drone has a single-touch return feature. Simply activate this function and the drone will return to you.
You control the CHASING F1 drone on your smartphone. It connects via Wi-Fi and should pair quickly with your device.
Find the Perfect Underwater Drone Camera
The world of underwater drone technology is steadily improving. While there is not a huge selection on the market, there are a handful of amazing underwater drone cameras to choose from.
If you want a budget option for simple underwater recording, something like the CHASING DORY or the CHASING F1 are great options.
Alternatively, if you want to dive into the depths of the ocean, models like the Gladius Mini and the QYSEA FIFISH V6 are fantastic choices.
Lastly, if you want a more durable drone for industry work, research, or underwater maintenance, the G Geneinno Tether Titan is a top choice.