Top 7 Best Surf Cameras | 2021 Reviews (GoPro, Sony)

Flo Farmer
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Surfing is one of the most exhilarating hobbies in the world — one that takes us far from the land and puts us surfing the biggest waves. (Granted, it can also happen on flat land as well…)

Going out with the guys or gals is great. You get to hang out with friends, challenge yourself, have a few drinks and a laugh — but it’s always best to have a camera with you to capture those special moments in case anything happens and you manage to capture video gold.

A camera is a great way to document a day, or even put together a short video for YouTube or Vimeo for all to see. So to help you capture the stories of your great surfing experiences, below you’ll find my list of the top 7 best surf cameras for 2019.

NameCategoryProduct
GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action CameraBest OverallGoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera
Crosstour Action Camera 1080P Full HD Wi-Fi 14MP PC Webcam Waterproof Cam 2" LCD 30m Underwater 170°Wide-Angle Sports CameraBudget PickCrosstour Action Camera 1080P Full HD Wi-Fi 14MP PC Webcam Waterproof Cam 2" LCD 30m Underwater 170°Wide-Angle Sports Camera
Sony RX0 II 1”Upgrade PickSony RX0 II 1”

1. GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera

Our rating: 9 / 10

GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera

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Pros:

  • Waterproof up to 33ft (10m)
  • Better stabilization thanks to GoPro’s new Fusion Sensor
  • It has auto GPS, which improves stabilization and enables you to see the GPS data on pictures and video
  • It has Voice Control
  • Decent image quality

Cons:

  • If you’re comparing video quality to a GoPro Hero5, then this is a step up, but not a dramatic one
  • Lacks burst mode (although it does have a 10-picture shot mode)
  • The touchscreen gets the job done, but it’s nothing special

Black.

The HERO6 Black is GoPro’s latest flagship action camera. A crucial upgrade from the Hero5 is the addition of hands-free control. Support is limited to six languages, but it covers the basics. The available commands depend on the camera’s location, so the most common one is “GoPro, take a photo.” This method is somewhat finicky and the voice pick-up is mediocre, so it’s not guaranteed that everything will work.

2. Crosstour Action Camera 1080P Full HD Wi-Fi 14MP PC Webcam Waterproof Cam 2" LCD 30m Underwater 170°Wide-Angle Sports Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

Crosstour Action Camera 1080P Full HD Wi-Fi 14MP PC Webcam Waterproof Cam 2" LCD 30m Underwater 170°Wide-Angle Sports Camera

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Pros:

  • Small in size and easily portable
  • Very cheap and affordable. You can easily purchase one for less than twenty dollars
  • Comes with two rechargeable batteries with the kit
  • Has a decent battery life
  • Doesn’t come with an SD card, which makes it cheap
  • Image quality is surprisingly good considering the price
  • Delivers quality pictures
  • Easy to use. It comes with a convenient and easy to use LCD screen. You’ll be able to change settings, modes, see your pictures, and playback through the LCD screen.

Cons:

  • Have a short battery life
  • Doesn’t come with memory storage
  • It’s not waterproof and can be damaged by even minor splashes of water
  • Have plastic casing and feel cheaply made
  • You can’t use it with a housing

3. YUNTAB Sport Action Camera Vlog DV

Our rating: 7 / 10

YUNTAB Sport Action Camera Vlog DV

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Pros:

  • This camera is very easy to operate thanks to one button film and multiple function buttons which can be accessed using your thumb even when you are wearing gloves.
  • The battery life is very long giving you a non-stop experience without having to worry about stopping to recharge.
  • This camera is built to commercial quality standards so it is quite sturdy.
  • The camera is built to be watertight up to 30 meters so you can take it half this depth without the need for a casing.

This camera takes high quality video but the audio is not as good. If you want to record a lot of video underwater then you may want to look at a camera that specializes in audio quality as well.

You can see a full review by clicking on the link below:

(Click Here to See Full Review)

4. HD Hero2 Surf Camera

Our rating: 7 / 10

HD Hero2 Surf Camera

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Pros:

  • Can shoot in 1080p full HD
  • Good build quality
  • Can be used for all you outdoor activities

Cons:

  • Relatively short battery life
  • A little heavy
  • Sometimes difficult to connect to computers

5. Sony RX0 II 1”

Our rating: 7 / 10

Sony RX0 II 1”

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Pros:

  • Waterproof to 25m (82ft,) with a twist-lock dustproof design
  • Equipped with a high-quality single 20.1-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor with a massive 20-1200mm lens
  • Pixel shift super resolution technology increases sharpness
  • New high-end features including 4K video recording, triple image sensing ISO 10006, and continuous shooting at up to 16 frames per second.

Cons:

  • Limited speakers onboard
  • No image stabilization
  • Slow and not effective Wi-Fi
  • Sluggish autofocus,

The Sony RX0 II may be the most powerful waterproof camera we’ve ever seen. It’s 1.0-type sensor with a ground-breaking 20 times optical zoom lens that is equivalent to a zoom of 20-1200mm. It’s a far more powerful camera than its predecessor, which was a great waterproof camera.

6. Ricoh WG-50 16MP Waterproof Still/Video Camera Digital

Our rating: 5 / 10

Ricoh WG-50 16MP Waterproof Still/Video Camera Digital

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Pros:

  • Good build quality
  • Most parts are tough and sturdy
  • It's a great value camera
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • It's not waterproof
  • Not great in low light conditions

The Ricoh WG-50 is a compact and lightweight camera that is waterproof equivalent to 33 feet under water. This camera features a 16MP sensor and a 5x optical zoom with a f/2.8-4.9 aperture. It's also powered by an 8mp sensor where you can choose to shoot video at 1080p or 720p resolution. The maximum video recording speed for the WG-50 is 60fps.

We like how Ricoh offers their own software to transfer data and videos to your computer. It supports Windows and Mac operating systems. This camera also has a GPS function that is enabled when you turn on its location-based shooting mode.

People who want a good outdoor camera will find this product interesting. However, if you want a pro camera, this is not for you.

7. Polaroid Cube+ 1440p Mini Lifestyle Action Camera

Our rating: 5 / 10

Polaroid Cube+ 1440p Mini Lifestyle Action Camera

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Pros:

  • Excellent value for the money
  • Easy to use
  • Basic but powerful features
  • Great companion for any outdoor activity

The Polaroid Cube+ is a digital camera that is small enough to fit inside most pockets. It has a 1.4-inch color LCD screen attached that makes it easy to use for beginners and advanced users alike.

While it doesn’t have as many advanced features as some of the cameras on the market, this should not put you off. Some of the most popular and stylish cameras out there are fairly basic by comparison, such as the GoPro Hero.

You can attach the Cube+ to your wrist using the supplied strap, although you can also purchase an extra strap to suit your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which GoPro is best for surfing?

Top Ranked Product: Best Overall GoPro for Surfers

The GoPro Hero4 Session… is a stunner, that’s for sure. It’s very small and relatively light, weighing in at just 2.65oz. The Hero 4 Session is the newest and best GoPro on the market, and it’s also the smallest. This is a huge advantage because most GoPro users complain about the bulkiness and appallingly inconvenient size of older GoPro models which wouldn’t allow you to wear them on smaller straps. You could use a smaller wrist strap but it still wasn’t the most ideal situation.

The GoPro Hero 4 Session is a saving grace for these type of surfers.

What is the best camera for surf photography?

Photographing surfing is a challenging endeavor. It is no mean feat to capture breathtaking images of a surfer as they hurtle down the face of a wave. Those participating in this difficult athletic endeavor sometimes have their own personal photographers to document their performances from start to finish, but for the rest of us, we need to rely on our own creativity and technical expertise.

A good surf camera will meet the following requirements:

  • It should be small and lightweight enough that you can mount it to your board or surf leash without causing trouble for yourself or your fellow surfers
  • It must have an opening in which to capture images or clips without getting wet
  • It must be able to withstand heavy use in ocean water from the salt, sand, and temperature shifts
  • If the camera has built-in memory, it should be large enough to record long surf sessions without running out of space
  • It should provide detail in either still images or video

Is there a better camera than GoPro?

What should I choose?

GoPro has been the leader in the action camera game, but its dominance starts to fray when you add a budget. If you’re looking for the best action camera that is still affordable, we recommend the Advanced GoPro Hero6. It is a feature packed, mid-price action camera for those looking for a simple no nonsense setup.

If you’re looking for something which is a step below the Hero6, Sony handily put out the world’s best action camera which comes with a ton of useful features.

While a great deal of people have gotten used to the convenience of having a GoPro on hand, there are problems with using it as your go-to camera.

The biggest problem with GoPro is that the audio quality is incredibly low. You generally can’t rely on it to capture video to be used in a video or podcast.

What is the best action camera on the market?

The GoPro Hero7 Black takes virtually flawless images in almost any seat of the house. It’s waterproof, so you can take it with you in the pool, in the ocean, on your boat, or any number of freshwater or even saltwater environments. GoPros are exceptionally durable. There’s a 12-megapixel still camera on this bad boy, as well as a built-in microphone.

Conclusion

This sport is soaring in popularity, so it’s no wonder that the demand for surfing videos has also skyrocketed. Whether you own a GoPro or a Sony, you can capture the magic of your surfing adventures with these top-rated cameras. Let’s face it, most of us surfers want a camera that’s going to be easy to use and lightweight but one that will do a good job of catching our moves on video. Many things to consider when buying a camera. We've narrowed down the choices to a few of the best.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action CameraBest OverallGoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera
Crosstour Action Camera 1080P Full HD Wi-Fi 14MP PC Webcam Waterproof Cam 2" LCD 30m Underwater 170°Wide-Angle Sports CameraBudget PickCrosstour Action Camera 1080P Full HD Wi-Fi 14MP PC Webcam Waterproof Cam 2" LCD 30m Underwater 170°Wide-Angle Sports Camera
Sony RX0 II 1”Upgrade PickSony RX0 II 1”