GoPro For Snorkelling

5 Best GoPro For Snorkelling in 2024

|

It’s fair to say having a GoPro for snorkelling and scuba diving during my travels was the best decision I ever made.

Picture this:

You are out on your snorkelling tour and unbelievably you see a Whale Shark appear when least expecting it.

You try to film on your iPhone through your plastic waterproof wallet but the footage is fussy and you’ve lost the opportunity to capture the Shark as it swims away into the musky sea.

If only you had the Best GoPro for snorkelling to capture the phenomenon as it unraveled. Having a GoPro was crucial when visiting places such as Koh Tao, Similan Islands, Phuket and so on.

I have to be honest if I had left my travels without footage of some of the events that occurred, I would have been absolutely gutted and that’s why having an underwater action camera is essential to ALL travellers.

To prevent future travellers from potentially making the mistake of NOT taking an action camera with them on their aquatic adventures, I have put together a list of the 5 Best GoPro for snorkelling and tell you why it is essential you take one with you!

Stick to the end for a bonus action camera!

What Makes A GoPro For Snorkelling Essential?

A GoPro is indispensable for underwater adventures, ensuring cherished memories are saved. Underwater, where unique moments unfold, the absence of a reliable camera risks losing once-in-a-lifetime events.

Don’t return home regretting missed opportunities; the GoPro guarantees a visual narrative of your underwater journey, preserving unforgettable experiences.

The GoPro’s underwater prowess makes it a must-have tool for those who want to capture life underwater. Its waterproof design ensures that the vivid narrative of your travels aren’t confined to land. 

You can submerge into vibrant coral reefs, swim alongside various marine life, and unveil the mysteries of the deep all flawlessly captured in stunning high-definition

The compact size and user-friendly controls of the GoPro make it a seamless aquatic companion, allowing you to focus on life underwater rather than technicalities.

From tranquil lagoons to thrilling underwater adventures, the GoPro guarantees that every journey underwater becomes a visually immersive chapter in your travel narrative, making it an essential asset for those seeking to explore both the terrestrial and aquatic wonders of the world.

How To Judge The Best GoPro For Snorkelling

Capturing the perfect video/photo is the result we all want to achieve, so what variables play a part in capturing the perfect shot?

  1. Water Resistance (Essential for Protection): The capability of the GoPro to resist water infiltration is paramount. Snorkelling involves exposure to water, and a water-resistant design ensures the device remains fully functional, protecting it from potential damage caused by submersion.
  2. Image Stabilisation (Crucial for Clarity): Advanced image stabilisation technology is crucial to counter the turbulence of water, providing smooth and clear footage. This feature is vital for capturing the beauty of underwater scenes without the distortion caused by water movement.
  3. Resolution and Frame Rates (Optimal Image Quality): Optimal resolution and frame rates are essential for capturing the vibrant and intricate details of the underwater environment. Higher resolution ensures sharp images, while varied frame rates accommodate different lighting conditions and motion speeds. Basically, does the image look great?
  4. Durable and Compact Design (Ease of Handling): The GoPro’s design should be both durable and compact. Durability ensures the camera can withstand the challenges of underwater use, while a compact design facilitates easy handling and portability during snorkelling expeditions.
  5. Battery Life (Sustained Performance): Extended snorkelling sessions require a reliable power source. A good GoPro for snorkelling should feature a battery with sufficient life to support prolonged use, ensuring users can capture the entire underwater experience without interruption.

Keeping this in mind let’s look at the Best GoPro For Snorkelling.

What Are The Best GoPro For Snorkelling

If we break down the 5 Best GoPro for snorkelling, plus a bonus non-GoPro option, on a purely specification basis there is a clear winner.

For pure travel enthusiasts, these numbers and terms may have you confused. They certainly had me confused at first! 

Don’t worry I will explain what these terms mean in simple terms throughout the comparisons coming up. Look out for the areas highlighted in bold in the “Key Benefits” column for what it means to you.

GoPro HERO12 Black

The GoPro HERO12 Black is a highly suitable choice for snorkelling, offering features that cater specifically to underwater filming. Its waterproof design (up to 10 meters or 33 feet) eliminates the need for additional housing, ensuring durability and ease of use in aquatic environments. With 4K video capability, the camera captures vibrant and detailed footage, showcasing the beauty of the underwater world.

The new HERO Black’s image stabilisation technology addresses the challenges of movement in the water, resulting in smoother and more professional-looking footage. The wide-angle lens allows for the capture of more marine footage in one single photo.

Customisable settings adapt to different lighting conditions and environments, offering flexibility for optimal performance underwater. High frame rate options enable the recording of slow-motion footage, ideal for highlighting the graceful movements of marine life during snorkelling adventures.

The camera’s touchscreen interface provides a user-friendly experience, even underwater, allowing for quick adjustments to settings and framing.

In summary, the GoPro HERO12 Black’s waterproof design, 4K video capability, image stabilisation, wide-angle lens, customisable settings, high frame rate options, and intuitive interface collectively make it a standout choice for snorkelling enthusiasts seeking to capture the captivating beauty of underwater landscapes.

In my opinion, the GoPro HERO12 is the best option for all travellers taking the plunge into life in the ocean, it does everything any other GoPro camera has to offer and more! That is why I deem this camera the best of the best!

Key Benefits

  • HERO12 Black Camera Package (Included):
    • HERO12 Black camera
    • Enduro Rechargeable Battery 
    • Curved adhesive mount
    • Mounting buckle + thumb screw
    • USB-C cable
  • Enhanced Visuals with HDR:
    • Vivid Underwater Imaging: Enhanced Visuals with HDR means the camera captures both video and photos using High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. This results in more vibrant and detailed images, especially in challenging underwater lighting conditions.
    • Rich Colours and Details: HDR enhances the camera’s ability to capture a broader range of colours and details, allowing you to see underwater scenes with more lifelike clarity. This feature ensures that your underwater photos and videos are visually stunning and true to life.
  • Extended Runtimes:
    • Longer runtimes, including 1.5 hours at 5.3K30 and over 2.5 hours at 1080p30, ensuring extended underwater capture capability.
  • Ultra-Wide Angle Option:
    • Optional Max Lens Mod 2.0 lens accessory enables an ultra-wide 177-degree field of view in 4K60, perfect for fitting more into a single picture.
  • Wireless Audio Support:
    • Underwater Wireless Audio: Wireless Audio Support introduces Bluetooth compatibility for Air Pods and other Bluetooth devices. This means you can record audio wirelessly and even control the camera with your voice, providing a seamless and convenient experience even underwater.
    • Unrestricted Sound Capture: With wireless audio support, you can enjoy the freedom of recording clear sound without being tethered by wires. Whether you’re narrating your underwater adventure or capturing ambient sounds, this feature allows you to do so effortlessly and without any physical constraints.
  • Versatile Video Resolutions:
    • High-Quality Video Options: The camera supports versatile video resolutions like 5.3K60, 4K120, and 2.7K240. This means you have a range of options to choose from, allowing you to adapt to different underwater scenarios and capture videos in stunning detail
    • To find out more about 5.3k video to 4k video click the link
    • Flexibility in Shooting: With a variety of video resolutions, you can tailor your camera settings to the specific conditions underwater. Whether you want an ultra-high definition shot or smooth slow motion, the flexibility provided ensures you can adapt to various shooting needs.
  • Superior Video Stabilisation:
    • Shaky-Free Footage: Hypersmooth 6.0 video stabilisation is like having an invisible steadying hand on your camera. It eliminates shakes and jitters, ensuring your underwater footage remains consistently smooth.
    • 360° Horizon Lock: This feature guarantees that your footage stays level and steady, even if you’re moving in different directions underwater. It provides a visually professional look to your videos, enhancing the overall quality of your film.
  • High-Quality Imaging:
    • Large image sensor captures an ultra-wide 156° field of view in 8:7, producing high-quality 27-megapixel photos with 24.7-megapixel stills extracted from video.
    • Expansive Views: The camera’s large sensor captures a broad 156° field of view, ideal for including more scenery in a single shot.
    • High-Resolution Imagery: Produces sharp and detailed 27-megapixel photos, ensuring clarity and richness in captured visuals.
    • Versatile Stills from Video: Extracts high-quality 24.7-megapixel stills from recorded videos, allowing you to capture detailed moments even in motion, perfect for when you get caught up in a current!
  • Rugged and Waterproof Design:
    • Waterproof up to 33ft with legendary GoPro ruggedness, making it ideal for underwater adventures.
  • Advanced Features:
    • Seamless Multi-Camera Coordination: New Timecode Sync lets you effortlessly synchronise multiple HERO12 Black cameras wirelessly. This means you can capture events from various angles simultaneously without the hassle of manual coordination.
    • Advanced Tools for Pros: GP-Log and LUT support cater to advanced users. GP-Log enhances data logging capabilities, while LUT support provides more control over colour grading for professional-level video editing, giving experienced users enhanced creative freedom and precision. 
  • Storage Requirements:
    • Requires a microSD card (not included) for storage.

Pricing

There are 4 camera options when on the page:

If you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, the HERO12 is definitely the option you want to invest in!

Further attachments for the products can be found on the GoPro pages as well as a subscription. We will talk more about these later.

GoPro HERO11 Black

The GoPro HERO11 Black stands out as an exceptional choice for underwater enthusiasts, especially for snorkelling, offering significant advancements over its predecessors, the HERO9 and HERO10.

One key enhancement is the introduction of advanced image stabilisation technology, providing smoother and more professional-looking footage in dynamic underwater environments. In low-light conditions, the HERO11 excels, capturing vibrant colours with enhanced clarity compared to the previous models.

The integration of advanced wind noise reduction technology further enhances audio quality, a crucial improvement for snorkellers facing varied conditions. Durability is also elevated, with improved waterproofing and rugged construction tailored to the demands of snorkelling adventures.

Compared to the HERO9 and HERO10, the HERO 11 Black showcases noteworthy progress in stabilisation, low-light performance, audio quality, and durability, making it the preferred choice for those prioritising top-tier quality.

The HERO12 takes the legacy a step further.

The HERO12 features an upgraded image sensor for sharper and more detailed images, especially in challenging underwater lighting conditions. The advanced underwater colour correction algorithm delivers vivid and true-to-life colours, surpassing the already impressive capabilities of the HERO11.

With these enhancements, the HERO12 establishes itself as the epitome of technological innovation in underwater filming, making it an irresistible choice for those seeking the pinnacle of performance and features in an action camera.

Despite the drawbacks of the HERO11 to the HERO12, the HERO11 still offers snorkellers a fantastic option for capturing life at sea clearly and will leave you with lasting memories you’ll cherish forever!

Key Benefits

  • Exceptional Video and Photo Quality:
    • The HERO11 Black camera captures stunning, high-quality videos and photos, ensuring that even those with no camera expertise can effortlessly record and relive their snorkelling adventures with vivid detail.
  • Compact and Lightweight:
    • Designed with simplicity in mind, the HERO11 Black’s compact and lightweight build makes it perfect for snorkelling. Its user-friendly features allow anyone, regardless of camera experience, to easily handle and enjoy capturing underwater moments.
  • Extended Usage Without Battery Replacement:
    • The Enduro Rechargeable Battery significantly extends the usage time of the HERO11 Black camera, eliminating the hassle of constantly changing batteries during longer snorkelling sessions. This feature simplifies the experience for individuals who may not be familiar with managing camera power.
  • Evolution from HERO Models:
    • Building upon the HERO9 and HERO10, the Enduro Rechargeable Battery represents a notable advancement (improves battery life by 38% compared to the HERO10 Black battery). Its enhanced capacity ensures even more prolonged usage. This development reflects a commitment to improving user experience and convenience.
  • Curved Adhesive Mount and Mounting Buckle + Thumb Screw:
    • The curved adhesive mount allows for secure and flexible attachment to various surfaces, including snorkelling gear and underwater equipment.
    • The mounting buckle and thumb screw provides a quick and easy way to secure the camera in different positions, ensuring versatility in capturing the underwater experience.
  • Streamlined Connectivity:
    • The inclusion of a USB-C cable in the HERO11 Black package ensures efficient charging and fast data transfer, simplifying the user experience for snorkelers, particularly those without extensive camera knowledge. This modern connectivity standard adds convenience, allowing users to charge the camera and transfer footage with ease.
  • Effortless Cloud Storage:
    • Automatic cloud uploading with the HERO11 Black camera simplifies the storage process for snorkelling footage. This feature ensures that users, including those with limited camera knowledge, can easily save and organise their content in the cloud, preventing data loss and providing convenient access from any location.
  • Engaging Highlight Videos:
    • The highlight video feature is a noteworthy addition, automatically crafting captivating snippets from recorded content. This enhances the experience for users by effortlessly creating shareable and memorable moments, even for those who may not be well-versed in video editing. 
  • Large Image Sensor with Extra-Large Field of View:
    • The large image sensor enhances the camera’s ability to capture vivid and detailed underwater scenes.
    • An extra-large field of view ensures that snorkelers can capture a wide perspective, showcasing the beauty of the underwater environment.
  • Crystal-Clear Cinematic Videos:
    • With the HERO11 Black camera, you can shoot videos in 5.3K60 and 2.7K240. This means that your underwater videos will have a level of clarity and detail akin to what you see in movies, offering an immersive and lifelike representation of your snorkelling adventures.
  • Vivid High-Resolution Photos:
    • Capture still photos with incredible detail using the camera’s 24.7-megapixel and 27-megapixel capabilities. This translates to sharp and vibrant pictures of the underwater world, ensuring that every colourful aspect of marine life is preserved in your snorkelling memories.
  • Steady and Stable Underwater Videos:
    • Thanks to the Emmy® Award-Winning Hypersmooth 5.0 video stabilisation in the HERO11 Black camera, your snorkelling footage will be smooth and steady, compensating for the unpredictable movements in the underwater environment. This feature ensures that your videos look polished and professional, even if you’re not experienced with cameras.
  • No More Tilted Views:
    • The Horizon Lock feature is a game-changer, keeping your video horizon level and preventing distracting tilts. This means that even if your camera moves or rotates underwater, your footage will remain steady and visually pleasing, allowing you to focus on capturing the beauty of the underwater world without worrying about skewed angles.
    • Even the best features of the HERO9 have been improved! This new feature at the time was revolutionary for the snorkelling world.
  • Confidence in Water:
    • The HERO11 Black camera is designed with awaterproof rating of up to 33 feet, making it an ideal companion for snorkelling. This means you can confidently capture underwater footage without fear of water damage, allowing you to focus on the beauty beneath the surface without worrying about the camera’s safety.
  • Built Tough for Exploration:
    • Its rugged build ensures durability, allowing the camera to withstand the challenges of underwater exploration. This means the HERO11 Black is not only waterproof but also tough enough to handle the bumps and knocks that can occur during snorkelling adventures, providing reliability in various underwater conditions.
  • MicroSD Card Requirement:
    • While a microSD card is necessary for storage, it’s important to note that it’s not included. Users should acquire a suitable card to maximise the camera’s recording capabilities.

Pricing

Your best options are:

GoPro HERO9 Black

The GoPro HERO9 Black is an exceptional action camera for snorkelling enthusiasts, providing a versatile and user-friendly experience. Its design is a noteworthy feature, incorporating waterproof capabilities that are the same as the two previous action cameras also not requiring waterproof housing up to 33 feet.

Capturing the vivid beauty of underwater landscapes is where the HERO9 Black truly shines. With a powerful 23.6-megapixel sensor, this camera delivers high-resolution photos and 5K video recording capabilities. This ensures that every detail of the mesmerising marine life and coral reefs is clearly captured, making it an ideal GoPro for snorkelling.

The advanced Hypersmooth 3.0 stabilisation technology is a key asset for underwater videography. It ensures that footage remains steady and smooth, compensating for the natural movements in dynamic underwater environments. This feature significantly enhances the overall viewing experience, allowing users to relive their snorkelling escapades with cinematic quality.

The HERO9 was also inclusive of the first versions of the hindsight and horizon lock which has subsequently been improved on in later GoPros. 

TimeWarp 3.0 is another notable feature, offering the ability to create captivating time-lapse videos. This feature is particularly appealing for documenting the gradual movements and transformations of the underwater world, adding an artistic touch to snorkelling memories.

The modular design of the HERO9 Black further contributes to its appeal. Compatible with accessories such as the Max Lens Mod for ultra-wide-angle shots and the Media Mod for improved audio recording, users have the flexibility to enhance their underwater storytelling capabilities.

The HERO9 black is still in contention to be one of the best GoPro options available to you for the excellent software matched by the reduction in price from the newer versions now available.

Key Benefits

  • 5k/30fps and 4k/60fps:
    • You can choose to record videos in 5k resolution at 30 frames per second (fps) or 4k resolution at 60fps. Higher resolution (5k) provides clearer and more detailed videos, while the higher frame rate (60fps) ensures smoother motion capture, making your underwater footage visually appealing.
  • 1080p/240fps for Slow-Motion Shots:
    • This setting allows you to capture videos in Full HD (1080p) resolution but at an impressive 240 frames per second. This is particularly useful for creating slow-motion shots, adding a cinematic touch to your underwater moments. It lets you emphasise and appreciate details in slow-moving subjects, enhancing the overall storytelling of your snorkelling experience.
  • Live Streaming Capability (1080p)
    • Share your snorkelling adventures in real-time with friends and followers, enhancing the social aspect of your underwater experiences.
  • High-Resolution Photos (23.6MP) with RAW
    • The camera has a high-resolution image sensor with 23.6 megapixels. In simple terms, this means it can capture photos with a high level of detail
    • RAW lends more control over the editing process. Greater flexibility in adjusting elements like exposure, colour balance, and sharpness during post-processing, allowing you to enhance and personalise your underwater photos with ease.
  • Steady Underwater Videos with HyperSmooth 3.0
    • Enjoy shake-free and smooth underwater videos with advanced stabilisation technology, ensuring professional-looking footage. This is a downgrade from your previous action camera options.
  • Fast Photo Burst (12MP at 30fps)
    • This is particularly useful when there’s fast-paced underwater action, such as schools of fish swimming by or the sudden movement of marine life. Instead of capturing just one moment, the burst mode ensures you get a series of shots, increasing the likelihood of catching that perfect underwater moment.
  • 3 Microphones
    • Enhanced audio quality for your videos. The presence of multiple microphones helps in capturing clear and immersive audio, an essential aspect of creating engaging snorkelling videos.
  • LCD Touchscreen w/ Touch Zoom
    • The touchscreen interface makes navigating settings and reviewing footage intuitive. Touch Zoom enhances convenience, allowing you to zoom in on specific details without the need for complex controls.
  • Waterproof: 33 feet (10m)
    • Crucial for snorkelling, as it ensures the camera can withstand immersion in water up to a specified depth. 
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
    • Enables easy connectivity for transferring files to other devices and remote control functionality. This feature enhances the overall user experience, making it simpler to manage and share content.
  • TimeWarp 3.0 (Real Speed and Half Speed)
    • TimeWarp lets you play with time in your videos. You can condense your snorkelling journey or slow it down for a more dramatic and visually appealing storytelling approach, even if you have no prior experience with cameras.
  • Removable Battery for Extended Use
    • Ensure you never run out of power with a removable 1720 mAh battery, allowing for longer snorkelling sessions by carrying spare batteries. Not on the level of the Enduro batteries!
  • Hands-Free Operation with Voice Controls
    • Simplify your underwater experience by controlling the camera with voice commands, particularly useful when manual control is challenging.

Pricing

The Main options are as follows:

GoPro Hero10 Black

The GoPro HERO10 Black is a versatile action camera known for its advanced features and high-quality performance. Specifically designed for capturing dynamic activities, including snorkelling, it comes equipped with various attributes that enhance its suitability for underwater use.

The HERO10 Black boasts an improved 23.6-megapixel sensor, due to the new GP2 processor, providing better image quality and enhanced clarity compared to its predecessor, the HERO9 Black. The increased processing power, powered by the new GP2 processor, allows for smoother video recording at higher resolutions and frame rates. This is particularly beneficial when recording underwater scenes where capturing details is crucial. 

Additionally, the HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilisation technology, ensures steady footage even in the unpredictable underwater environment. Developing on from the HyperSmooth 3.0 technology within the Hero9 for even steadier footage. It’s now possible to pivot up to 45 degrees (previously it was 27 degrees) in the water and your video will stay intact.

Like all previously discussed GoPro, the HERO10 can withstand submersion up to 33 feet (10 meters) without external housing.

The TimeWarp 3.0 feature provides captivating time-lapse videos, further enhancing the creative possibilities for snorkelling footage.

In terms of design, the HERO10 Black maintains the form factor introduced with the HERO9 Black, with a front-facing colour display for convenient framing of shots. The user interface is intuitive, making it user-friendly for both beginners and experienced users.

Key Benefits

  • HERO10 Black Camera:
    • The HERO10 Black camera is the primary recording device. It’s a versatile and durable action camera designed for various outdoor activities, including snorkelling. Its compact size and rugged build make it suitable for underwater use.
  • Carrying Case:
    • The inclusion of a carrying case adds convenience and protection. For someone new to cameras, having a dedicated case helps in safe transport and storage, ensuring the camera and accessories are organised and secure.
  • Rechargeable Battery:
    • The use of a rechargeable battery eliminates the need for disposable batteries, making it cost-effective and environmentally friendly. This is beneficial for beginners who may not be familiar with battery types and replacements.
  • Curved Adhesive Mounts and Mounting Buckle + Thumb Screw:
    • These accessories provide flexible mounting options. For snorkelling, this means the camera can be securely attached to various surfaces, such as a snorkel mask or the body, capturing hands-free and stable footage.
  • USB-C Cable:
    • The USB-C cable facilitates easy charging and data transfer. This modern connector type is user-friendly, offering a reversible design that eliminates the frustration of plugging it in the wrong way.
  • GP2 Processor:
    • The GP2 processor enhances the camera’s performance, ensuring high frame rates and a smooth user interface. This is crucial for beginners as it guarantees that the camera operates efficiently, making it easier to navigate settings and capture quality footage.
  • Unreal 5.3K60 + 4K120 Video Resolution + 23 Megapixel Photos:
    • These specifications highlight the camera’s capability to record high-quality videos and capture detailed still images. For someone with little camera experience, having a camera that excels in resolution simplifies the process of achieving stunning visuals without delving into complex settings.
  • Advanced HyperSmooth 4.0 Video Stabilisation:
    • This feature ensures stable footage, even in challenging environments like underwater. For beginners, this means less concern about shaky videos, allowing you to focus on enjoying the snorkelling experience while the camera takes care of smooth recording.
  • Waterproof to 33ft + Built Tough:
    • The camera’s waterproof design is ideal for snorkelling, providing peace of mind for beginners who might not be familiar with the intricacies of underwater camera use. The robust build adds durability, withstanding the conditions of outdoor activities.
  • Automatically Upload Footage to the Cloud When Charging:
    • This feature simplifies the process of saving and sharing content. For beginners, it eliminates the need for manual file transfers, ensuring that their captured moments are securely stored in the cloud, ready for easy access.
  • TimeWarp 3.0, 8X Slo-Mo + Tons of Other Features:
    • The inclusion of creative features like TimeWarp and slow-motion options adds versatility for capturing unique and engaging footage. While these may be advanced for beginners, they provide room for exploration and growth as users become more comfortable with the camera.
  • Compatible with Quik App:
    • The compatibility with the Quik app simplifies the editing and sharing process. For those with little camera experience, having an intuitive app can make post-production more accessible, allowing them to create polished videos without a steep learning curve.
  • Compatible with Over 30 Mounts + Accessories:
    • This versatility in mounting options allows users to adapt the camera to various situations. For beginners, it means you can experiment with different angles and perspectives, enhancing your creative potential without the need for extensive technical knowledge.
  • MicroSD Card Required (Not Included):
    • While a microSD card is not included, it’s an essential component for storing captured media. This emphasises the need for users to purchase a compatible card, providing a clear understanding for beginners about the necessary additional equipment.

Pricing

The main options are as follows:

GoPro Hero8 Black

The GoPro HERO8 Black is a versatile action camera known for its advanced features and suitability for various outdoor activities, including snorkelling. Let’s delve into its merits for underwater use and its cost-effectiveness compared to newer HERO models, while also considering the drawbacks of choosing the HERO8 over its successors.

Advantages of the GoPro HERO8 Black for Snorkelling:

Waterproof Design: The HERO8 Black has the same capabilities as all the new GoPro models (up to 33 ft).

HyperSmooth 2.0 Stabilisation: This model features HyperSmooth 2.0, GoPro’s advanced video stabilisation technology. This is particularly beneficial when capturing footage underwater, as it helps to smooth out the effects of water movement, providing clear and steady videos. However, stabilisation technology has improved significantly in newer GoPro models.

TimeWarp 2.0: TimeWarp 2.0 is another notable feature that allows for stabilised time-lapse videos. This can be appealing when documenting the vibrant marine life and scenic underwater landscapes during snorkelling adventures. Again this has been significantly improved in subsequent GoPro HERO models so it offers a good alternative but not the best.

Customisable Pre-sets: The HERO8 Black offers customisable pre-sets, allowing users to quickly switch between different shooting modes while snorkelling, adapting to changing underwater conditions.

Compact and Portable: Its compact design makes it easy to carry and handle underwater, ensuring a hassle-free snorkelling experience.

The HERO8 Black, being an older model, often comes with a more budget-friendly price tag compared to the latest HERO models. As technology advances, newer models are released with incremental improvements, but for users seeking a cost-effective option without compromising on essential features, the HERO8 Black remains a compelling choice.

Drawbacks of Choosing the HERO8 Over Newer HERO Models:

Advanced Features: While the HERO8 Black is feature-rich, subsequent HERO models have introduced advanced capabilities, such as improved image sensors, higher resolutions, and enhanced shooting modes. Users looking for the latest cutting-edge technology might find newer models more appealing.

Compatibility and Accessories: Newer HERO models have updated accessories and compatibility with the latest GoPro ecosystem, providing users with a more seamless experience when it comes to expanding their camera setup with additional gadgets and mounts.

Firmware Updates: As technology progresses, manufacturers tend to focus on providing firmware updates and support for their latest models. While the HERO8 Black continues to be supported, newer models receive more frequent updates and optimisations.

Key Benefits 

  • Amazing Stability with HyperSmooth 2.0:
    • Experience incredibly stable videos, even in shaky conditions. Your videos will look smooth, not shaky, providing a professional touch to your snorkelling adventures.
  • Pro-Quality 4K60 + 1080p240 Video:
    • Capture stunning videos with high resolution and impressive frame rates. Your underwater videos will be sharp and detailed, making your snorkelling memories more vivid.
  • Rugged, Waterproof Design (33ft/10m):
    • Take your GoPro underwater without worry; it’s built to withstand water up to 33 feet.
  • Advanced Wind Noise Reduction:
    • Enjoy clearer audio by reducing wind noise during your snorkelling adventures.
  • Hypersmooth 2.0 Stabilisation Levels:
    • Choose from three stabilisation levels for different activities – On, High, and Boost. Adjust the stabilisation to fit your snorkelling intensity for the smoothest video results.
  • Wide Compatibility with Mounts and Accessories:
    • Explore various ways to use your GoPro with over 45 compatible mounts and accessories.
  • Optional Media Mod for Added Features:
    • Enhance your camera with additional lighting, professional audio, and an extra screen with the optional Media Mod.

Pricing

The main options for the GoPro HERO8 Black are:

DJI Osmo Action 4 

I thought I’d include, in my opinion, the best action camera competitor to GoPro which is the DJI Osmo Action 4

The DJI Osmo Action 4 is a versatile and advanced action camera designed to capture high-quality footage in various outdoor scenarios, including snorkelling. Its standout features make it a compelling choice for underwater activities.

Firstly, the Osmo Action 4 boasts impressive waterproofing capabilities, allowing it to withstand depths of up to 59 feet without the need for additional housing. This is a significant advantage maybe not for snorkellers but definitely scuba divers for a deep dive. So if you ever wanted to try scuba diving you would not need to purchase a new camera!

In terms of imaging capabilities, the Osmo Action 4 is equipped with a high-resolution sensor and advanced image processing technology, resulting in sharp and vibrant video quality.

The camera’s RockSteady stabilisation feature further enhances the quality of videos by reducing motion blur, even in turbulent water conditions. This stabilisation feature is particularly advantageous for snorkelers who may encounter varying water currents and movements.

However, the stabilisation and horizon-locking features of the HERO12 far outweigh that of the Osmo Action 4.

Comparing the DJI Osmo Action 4 to the GoPro HERO 11, the Osmo Action 4’s longer battery life is noteworthy. Extended battery performance is crucial for prolonged snorkelling sessions, ensuring that users can capture more moments without the need for frequent recharging.

Key Benefits

  • Large 1/1.3-inch Sensor:
    • Enhanced light capture: A bigger “eye” lets in more light, ensuring clear and detailed images.
    • Day-to-night reliability: Provides excellent image quality from the first light of dawn to the dusk of your adventure.
  • Stunning Clarity and Low-Light Performance:
    • Crystal-clear details: Sharp and detailed images for a vivid and lifelike representation.
    • Low-light prowess: Performs exceptionally well in dim conditions, perfect for snorkelling during various times of the day.
  • RockSteady 3.0 Electronic Image Stabilisation:
    • Smooth footage guarantee: Advanced stabilisation technology for steady and shake-free videos.
    • Ideal for challenges: Works seamlessly in tough conditions, like underwater currents, ensuring your footage remains consistently smooth.
  • Vivid, True-to-Life Colors:
    • Dazzling colour performance: Utilizes 10-bit & D-Log M for vibrant and true-to-life colours.
    • Enhanced brilliance: Particularly effective during golden sunrises and vibrant sunsets, adding a captivating touch to your footage.
  • Long-Lasting Power:
    • Extreme cold resilience: Functions reliably in temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F).
    • Uninterrupted recording: Records continuously for up to 150 minutes in challenging conditions, ensuring you capture every thrilling moment.
  • Impressive 4K/120fps & Ultra-Wide FOV:
    • Clear and Sharp Footage: High-resolution 4K captures detailed and crisp videos. 120 frames per second ensures smooth and lifelike motion.
    • Get the Whole Picture: Ultra-wide field of view (FOV) ensures you capture more in a single frame. Ideal for action: Perfect for dynamic activities.
  • Magnetic Quick Release:
    • Seamless Perspective Changes: Effortless transition between horizontal and vertical camera positions. No fuss, just a magnetic release for quick and smooth adjustments.
    • Unlock Your Creativity: Enjoy newfound creative freedom with the ability to adapt your camera orientation on the fly. Enhance your storytelling by effortlessly switching between different perspectives, adding a dynamic touch to your content.
  • Comprehensive Package:
    • Includes DJI Osmo Action 4, 1 battery, 1 Quick-Release Adapter Mount, and more.
    • Great introductory choice for first-time action camera users seeking 4K footage.
  • New Updates – Pre-Recording:
    • Capture footage from 5/10/15/30/60 seconds before pressing the Record Button.
    • Provides added flexibility and ensures you don’t miss a moment.

Pricing

These are the main packages for the DJI Osmo Action 4:

Best Underwater Action Camera Add-Ons

So you now know about the best action cameras available to you for snorkelling but are the any accessories that you may want to consider?

Not all of these are essential but will provide you with a unique and smooth experience should you opt to invest.

  • Waterproof Protective Housing:
    • Durable Shield: The protective housing safeguards the GoPro from water, debris, and potential impacts during snorkelling adventures.
    • Waterproof Capability: Designed for underwater use, it allows you to explore down to depths of 60m (196 feet).
    • This will cost you £13.99.
  • Dual Battery Charger + Enduro Batteries:
    • Extended Shooting Time: The dual battery charger ensures a continuous power supply, ideal for longer snorkelling sessions without worrying about running out of battery.
    • Quality: Two Advanced Enduro Batteries provide significantly improved performance in cold conditions compared to standard batteries.
    • This will cost you between £59 – £70.
  • The Handler (Floating Hand Grip):
    • Stability: The Handler, a floating handgrip, provides stability while snorkelling, minimising shaky footage and ensuring a more professional and enjoyable viewing experience.
    • Buoyancy: Its buoyant design prevents the camera from sinking, making it easier to retrieve if accidentally dropped. If you do happen to lose your camera the bright colours on the stick make it easier to retrieve.
    • This will cost you £20.99.
  • PolarPro DiveMaster Filter Kit:
    • Varying Sea Conditions: With three different filters use the red filter in blue water at depths of 15 to 75 feet, Magenta in green water at similar depths and so on
    • To use you will require the Protective Housing corresponding to your GoPro.
    • This will cost you £44.99.
  • 3-Way Mount:
    • Change the Angle: Gives you more options for underwater shooting and also folds out into an extension pole perfect for selfies! On land, it has a built-in tripod which quickly folds out for stable shots.
    • This will cost you around £90.99.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it the Best GoPro for Snorkelling in 2024.

For me, there are two standout options which compete for that number one spot:

The GoPro Hero 12 is by far the most advanced GoPro in the marketplace and is PERFECT for adventures underwater or on land. The DJI Osmo Action 4 is, in my opinion, the best action camera competitor to the GoPro and is sure to capture every second of your underwater journey in great detail. 

Any of the options found in this list are sure to provide you with an excellent way to relive the memories you create while on your travels. For beginner users, using a GoPro is simple once you get a hang of it. Make sure you don’t leave the memories you make abroad and bring them home with you!