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Do GoPros work in the water? How watery can they get?

Consider bringing a camera if you’re new to hiking and short trips. The main problem is that you could damage your camera by wetting it in the rain or from another water source.

You will damage the camera if you buy or use a regular camera (like a DSLR or mirrorless) and shoot in heavy rain. But one of the best things about a GoPro (or an alternative to a GoPro) is that it’s made to work in even the worst conditions. Are GoPro max,7,9,10,11 waterproof? Even when they get wet, the newest GoPros usually don’t need any maintenance, but let’s find out more.

Read more: best gopro for hiking

Is gopro max waterproof?

Without a case, are GoPros waterproof?

Yes! All GoPro HERO models, starting with the HERO5, are waterproof up to 33 feet (10 meters). The only exception is the GoPro MAX, which is only waterproof up to 16 feet (5 meters). So, the answer is clear: a Gopro can go underwater.

GoPro’s older cameras were not made to be waterproof or even water-resistant. You would need an external housing to keep water from entering the camera’s body. This would make the action cam bigger than it was before.

Another problem with putting it in a big case was that it would cover up the microphone, making it hard to hear what was being recorded. Even though some instances have skeleton backdoors that help the microphone pick up more sound, there is still a big difference in sound quality between having no case and having a case.

The good news is that all the new GoPro camera bodies are tough and waterproof, making them great for underwater use. They can handle rain well and even submerge it to a certain depth.

Current models like the GoPro Max, GoPro Hero8, GoPro Hero9, and GoPro Hero10 can be used underwater, making them perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving to specific depths. Find out the best Gopro for snorkeling and the best Gopro for scuba diving.

Do all GoPros work well in water?

No! Older models like the GoPro HERO4 Black, Silver, HERO3+ Black, and HERO3+ Silver are NOT waterproof without an extra housing.

How deep can GoPro cameras go without getting wet?

GoPro makes a variety of cameras, and each one has a few different features. You’ll need to research which model’s features and price range are best for you.

GoPro Hero 10—33 feet/10 meters

The best video quality comes from the GoPro Hero10 Black, which can shoot up to 5.3K high-resolution video and up to 23-megapixel photos. The Hero10 comes with the latest stabilization technology from GoPro, called “HyperSmooth 4.0 Stabilization.” This will help make the video even smoother than it is in older models.

Like the other Hero series cameras, the Hero10 can be submerged to 33 feet without a protective case. The official GoPro “Super Suit” case for the Hero9 can also be used for the Hero10, and it can go as deep as 196 feet or 60 meters.

GoPro Hero 9—33 feet/10 meters

The GoPro Hero9 Black can record high-resolution videos in 5K and take photos with a 20-megapixel resolution. The Hero9 uses advanced HYPERSMOOTH electronic image stabilization to keep the camera from shaking while shooting. It also has a color preview screen on the front for the first time.

The Hero9 can be put in the water up to 33 feet deep without a case. As with the Hero8, if you put a dive housing on the Hero9, this will go to 196 feet.

GoPro Hero 8—33 feet/10 meters

The GoPro Hero8 Black can take 12 megapixels and 4K video photos. Image stabilization is built into the Hero8, which makes your videos look much better. The Hero8 can be submerged up to 33 feet deep without a particular case. You can get a waterproof case that lets you go as deep as 196 feet if you want to go even deeper.

GoPro Max – 16ft/5m

The GoPro Max has a 360-degree video with a high resolution of 6K and stabilization. Six microphones record the sound, giving the listener a 360° experience when they play it back. It can also be put in the water up to 16 feet deep without a special case.

GoPro Session—33 feet/10 meters

GoPro made the Session to be an easy-to-use version of the GoPro for new users. Interestingly, the GoPro HERO4 Session was the first naturally waterproof. The Session series is no longer being made, which is a shame.

GoPro Waterproof Housing Accessory—196 feet/60 meters

If you want to dive, you must take your GoPro deeper than 33 feet. It would be best to buy the official GoPro waterproof case, which can be submerged to a depth of 196 feet (60m).

What can I do with a camera that doesn’t get wet?

With a waterproof action camera, you can use it for almost any activity without giving it a second thought. You can take it with you to the pool on vacation with your friends to take pictures of relaxed dives, or you can take it snorkeling in the ocean to take pictures of coral reefs. For more information please read our article about: can gopro take pictures?

Bring a waterproof camera and all the other scuba gear if you like to dive. Because of how well new waterproof cameras are sealed, they can handle water and pressures down to 33 feet (10 meters) without a dive case.

If the camera didn’t have a case, you’d find it much easier to use because you’d be able to use the buttons directly. But the depth rating isn’t enough for scuba diving, so dive housing is highly recommended.

When you go deep-water diving in saltwater, it will also be much safer for you to use extra housing. We all know that salt water, glass, and metal don’t get along well, and the last thing you want is for your new GoPro camera to age faster than it should. So it is best to ensure it is well sealed and safe before putting it in saltwater.

Since these cameras are made to handle so much more, you can certainly use them for lighter activities. You can always bring it with you on a hike, and if it starts to rain, it doesn’t matter if it’s in your hand or your backpack.

You’ll always know your camera is waterproof and ready to take a picture, even if you must point it up in the rain. The seals are made so well that you won’t have any trouble putting them in a freshwater pool to catch any fish there. You’ll get great footage for your social media posts or private gallery.

When should I get a GoPro with a waterproof case?

Unless you have an older model, you don’t have to go out and buy a waterproof case for your GoPro right away. The GoPro HERO4 Black, Silver, HERO3+ Black, HERO3+ Silver, and older models are NOT waterproof without a separate housing. They can’t handle being wholly submerged or even just a little bit of rain.

But you just bought a relatively new GoPro. In that case, you don’t have to worry because all new cameras can be submerged to 33 feet or 10 meters without any problems.

You don’t have to worry too much if you don’t put your camera in salt water. But the GoPro will be in salty water for a long time. In that case, buying a waterproof housing makes sense to prevent corrosion from happening to the camera lens and metal parts. You want your GoPro to last as long as possible, after all.

gopro underwater with fish

Disadvantages of Using Waterproof Housing

There are some excellent things about waterproof housing, but there are also some bad things about it. Putting extra housing on the action camera loses its neat, sleek, and small feel.

The buttons and touch screen on your camera are also harder to use when they are in a separate housing. You’ll notice a big difference when you take the protective case off. This is because the feedback you get from a protective case is never as tactile as when you touch the buttons on the camera or touch the responsive screen directly.

Because of this, many scuba divers set up the camera, attach it to their chest, head, or arms, and press the record button right before diving. Using the camera through a protective case makes things a little more complicated, especially when diving at lower depths with less light.

Your GoPro is waterproof, but are its accessories as well?

It’s great that your GoPro is ready for your next wet adventure. Still, it would be best if you made sure that any accessories you plan to use with it also have a depth rating that is high enough.

Accessories like an external microphone or a gimbal will probably break if they get wet, so ensure your shooting gear can handle the water you’ll be dealing with.

gopro underwater with whale

How to Use Your GoPro Underwater: 7 Tips

Using your GoPro to record video or take photos underwater may seem easy. Still, keep a few things in mind before you do so to ensure the camera lasts as long as possible.

  1. Checking out

Before getting your camera wet, look at the seals more closely. If it’s been dropped or struck, a seal could have broken, letting water enter and damaging the electric parts.

If you’re using underwater housing, clean the dust and dirt off the rubber seal so there aren’t any holes that water could get through.

  1. Clean your lens

Before putting your lens into a watertight case, ensure it has no watermarks or fingerprints. The last thing you want to find when you look at your footage is that smudges or grease got on your lens and made it hard to see.

  1. Change your settings ahead of time.

Before diving, please set up your camera, so you don’t have to mess with it later. This includes changing everything from the white balance to the ratio of the picture.

Suppose you want to change the settings so you can shoot in less light while diving; you might want to set the camera to a lower frame rate for videos and a slower shutter speed for photos. This is because the deeper you go, the less light you’ll have to work with.

  1. Give your batteries a charge.

If you have extra batteries and your GoPro will be in a waterproof case, you want to keep the battery the same. Since a fully charged GoPro battery only lasts 1.5 to 2 hours, it must be fully set before recording some action.

  1. Learn the voice commands for GoPro.

Your GoPro can be controlled in more ways than just by fiddling with its body. In challenging situations where getting to the GoPro’s main controls might be hard, you should learn the essential voice commands to start/stop recording and take a picture.

  1. Accessories

Red Filter

When you can’t easily change settings underwater, taking pictures in low light can be challenging. You can do a few things, like add a red filter that snaps onto your GoPro.

Red filters are mainly used because red is usually the first color in the spectrum to disappear when the light starts to fade underwater. The filter makes up for that loss and makes your footage look slightly more dramatic than it would if you didn’t have a filter.


If the size of the GoPro makes it hard for you to keep it steady underwater, you might want to use a rig that you can hold much better to get a more controlled shot.

With one of these, holding and framing your photos will be much easier unless you like to use a wide-angle setting and mount the camera on your chest or head.


If you’ve decided to buy a rig for your GoPro, the next best thing to add would be a light setup to help you see what you’re trying to record underwater.

You can get lights for shooting underwater; using them correctly can make your footage even better. Remember to compensate for them when setting up your camera before diving.

Anti-fog inserts

If you go diving often, consider getting these. Without anti-fog inserts, the humidity within the case can tend to fog up the insides, especially the area around the lens.

When you put these into the protective case, the moisture is absorbed. This keeps condensation from ruining your photos. One thing to remember when using these is to ensure that your case still closes appropriately and has no gaps. If you go below a certain depth, a crack could make it impossible for your GoPro to work.

If you want to take a shot with half of the frame underwater and a half above the surface, you can get a dome port for your GoPro. When the water is a little farther away from the lens, it creates a split image in the photo, making it look much more dramatic.

Selfie stick 

A selfie stick is a great accessory when underwater because you can always get closer to your subject with your camera, should you want to keep your distance from it. You could also use it to take some excellent selfies.

Floating hand grip

A floating hand grip could help if you surf, go out on a boat, or do any other activity on the water’s surface. The hand grips are easy to use; just put your GoPro on it and point it in the direction you want to shoot.

If it falls or slips out of your hand, it won’t sink. Instead, it floats, which makes it easy to find or keep an eye on if it drifts away from you.

As new accessories come out, watching what might work for you and your trips is a good idea.

  1. Remember to clean up!

After you’re done diving, snorkeling, boating, or surfing, the most important thing is to rinse your gear with fresh water to ensure all the saltwater is gone before you take the camera out of its protective housing.

If you don’t do this, saltwater could get into your GoPro and cause it to break. Salts can do the most damage to the lens and metal parts.

Once rust starts to form on equipment, it’s almost impossible to get your camera to feel like it did when you first got it. This corrosion will reduce the device’s overall useful life, so taking care of your camera from the start is essential.

Now go out and make some awesome underwater videos. We hope this article helps!

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