The Best Waterproof 360 Cameras: 2021 Update

14th January 2021

A while ago I created a popular post about the best waterproof 360 cameras. It’s been a while since that post was made and many new waterproof cameras have been released. If you are looking for a 360 camera specifically for shooting in underwater or wet conditions then continue reading to see your options.

Shooting underwater with a 360 camera can result in some amazing footage, however you’ll need to check whether an extra case is required or if the camera is natively waterproof. Ideally you’ll want a camera that doesn’t require a case.

Best Waterproof 360 Cameras in 2020

Insta360 One X2

insta360 one x2 review

This is one of three Insta360 cameras on this list. You’ll find that most Insta360 cameras are waterproof which is why they dominate in this category. The One X2 is the newest and most advanced of the Insta360 cameras and it fully waterproof without requiring any extra case.

The One X2 body is comprised of rubber and hardened plastic which is durable and fully water resistant; you can go swimming with the camera and it will be fine. The One X2 can shoot 5.7K 360 video which looks great.

Insta360 software features an editing mode that can boost the quality of underwater shots called Aquavision. Using this mode makes underwater video look clearer and more vibrant.

Best waterproof 360 camera

This is just a few of the features in the One X2, but if we just focus on underwater video the One X2 is a clear front runner thanks to its high quality build, small size and full water resistance.

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Insta360 One R

Best waterproof 360 camera

The One R (review here) is the first camera on our list and potentially the best for anyone looking for a waterproof 360 camera. The One R is fully waterproof up to 5 metres without any extra case or protection. The One R is both a 360 camera and an action camera thanks to its modular design which allows you to physically change the lenses.

You can shoot 5.7K resolution 360 video as well at 4K normal video, both of which you can use underwater. The camera also comes with an awesome app that automatically detects the best part of your shots using AI.

If you want to take your One R deeper than 5M then there is also a dive case available which will allow you take the camera much further underwater. Without the case the camera will survive any amount of rain, snow or even full submersion in water.

waterproof 360 cameras

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GoPro Max

The GoPro Max is another 360 camera that is entirely waterproof without the need for an extra case. The Max can survive up to 5 meters underwater where you can shoot in both  360 mode and “Hero Mode”.

The GoPro shoots excellent quality video thanks to GoPro’s excellent lens and processor technology. The Max also features a rubber protected body that makes it extra durable, perfect for sports like skiing, snowboarding, surfing etc.

The max features an excellent app which allows you to create full length videos on the fly. You can add music, titles, transitions and much more. If you are a fan of GoPro products in general then this is one of the best they’ve ever made, it’s a near perfect action camera that can easily survive in wet conditions.

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Insta360 One X

The Insta360 One X is among the most popular 360 cameras ever. It’s reasonably cheap, easy to use and can shoot pretty good quality 360 video and photos. One downside is that it had zero protection against water.

Thankfully Insta360 released two cases that allow you to use the camera underwater. The firs tis the venture case which provides water resistance and protection for the lenses against scratches.

The venture case allows you to take your camera 5m underwater, if you want to take the One X deeper then you need to purchase the Dive Case which allows for water resistance up to 30 meters.

While it’s not ideal to buy an extra case for your camera, the lower price of the One X may still result in a cheaper camera overall.

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Ricoh Theta V

The Ricoh Theta V is another camera that requires an extra case to be waterproof, it also only shoots 4K resolution 360 video which is lower than the other cameras we have looked at so far.

The advantage of this camera is that it’s now pretty cheap, so if you were looking for a budget friendly alternative the Theta V might be worth a look.

Ricoh are well known for the quality of their lens technology, so while the video resolution may not be impressive the image quality is still decent.

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Garmin VIRB 360

The VIRB 360 is the oldest of all the cameras in this post however it’s not to be overlooked. This is a camera that can survive underwater without any extra case, it also features replaceable lenses and a shock proof body.

You can take the VIRB underwater up to 10 meters, the deepest of any camera that doesn’t require an extra case. Due to its age you will notice lower quality video compared to more recently released cameras, however when viewed on a phone screen the difference isn’t huge.

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Which Should You Buy?

I would certainly recommend a 360 camera that is natively waterproof, i.e. a camera that doesn’t require an extra case. The waterproof cases can sometimes be expensive and can even interfere with the video being shot by the camera.

Baring that in mind I would personally opt for the Insta360 One R as the top waterproof 360 camera available right now. Not only is it waterproof without a case it also has the optional extra case if you really want one. The One R can shoot great quality 360 video as well as high quality 4K video; all in all it’s a great all-round action camera.


Owner of Writer, photographer and videographer. You can see my YouTube channel for guides of how to shoot 360 video. I've written for The Times, Digital Photography School and Sunday Express. 

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