Choosing a GoPro for snorkeling is a good idea? Compact size, waterproofing, easy usability and high-quality footage – these features make this action camera, especially the latest Hero11 Black and 10 models an excellent choice for snorkeling. If you want to know what functions these tiny action cameras offer and learn the differences between the latest series to decide if such a camera will meet your needs, you are in the right place!
We have been using GoPro cameras for more than 8 years; our first model was a Hero4Black, and we were amazed by the quality that such a tiny camera can provide. Our excitement is still the same every time there is a new release, and we can’t wait to see what upgrades a new series brings. In this article, we share our thoughts on what GoPro to use underwater and how to take your footage to the next level!
- GoPro is a perfect choice if you want to record your snorkeling holiday
- Compact, Waterproof, Good video quality and User Friendly
- Choose the latest model (Hero11 Black) as first buyer
- If you have Hero8 or older model it is worth upgrading to Hero10 or 11
- Boost your footage using accessories (pole, dome port or red filter)
Table of Contents
- Why GoPro is a good camera for snorkeling?
- GoPro Hero11 Black – Is it really the world’s most versatile camera?
- GoPro Hero 11 Black vs Hero 10 Black – What’s new or improved?
- Conclusion – What is the best GoPro for snorkeling?
- Pro tips for using your GoPro for snorkeling
Why GoPro is a good camera for snorkeling?
These waterproof action cameras go beyond your expectations and record your adventures, whether you explore under or above the water. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned snorkeler or a scuba diver, capturing stunning underwater footage is guaranteed using one of the latest models, such as the Hero 11 or 10 Black.
One of the most significant advantages of using a GoPro for snorkeling is that these cameras are waterproof without an additional case so they can be taken underwater including saltwater without worrying about damage. Moreover, the latest GoPros (10 and 11) also have a hydrophobic coating that keeps water droplets off the lens.
Note that this waterproofing is valid up to 33ft/10m, which is OK for snorkeling, but if you plan to dive deeper, for example going to scuba dive, using an additional case is needed.
Compact, travel-friendly size
If you are looking for the best action camera that is lightweight and fits even the smallest carry-on bags, then a GoPro is a must-have accessory for your next snorkeling or diving trip.
The latest GoPro cameras offer extremely high-quality video and photo capabilities. For instance, Hero 11 Black can capture 27MP photos and record 5K60fps/4K120fps videos. Advanced features such as HyperSmooth image stabilization and TimeWarp timelapse video stabilization support you in creating professional-like content above and underwater.
GoPro cameras are designed to be used in extreme conditions, including saltwater environments. Thanks to their durable construction, they are built to last and will withstand shocks and drops, so you can use them for a long time.
User-friendly interface, advanced pre-set modes
Many people buy a GoPro instead of a waterproof snorkeling camera thanks to its pre-set modes that help you record clear and bright footage no matter the conditions. Using a GoPro for snorkeling or diving provides you with outstanding image quality, even if you don’t know much about photography.
On top of these awesome features, the wide variety of accessories available strengthens GoPro’s market position. While the camera is fully functioning and creates amazing footage on its own too, it is a huge advantage that it is possible to make it even better by adding some accessories so you can stand out from the crowd with your photos and videos.
GoPro Hero11 Black – Is it really the world’s most versatile camera?
5.3K60fps videos, 27MP superb sharp still photos, Emmy® Award-winning HyperSmooth 5.0 video stabilization, HyperView digital lens, 10-Bit color images, extended-life Enduro battery. If we wouldn’t tell you more about the new Hero11 Black, maybe these extreme features were already enough to convince you that the latest flagship model is a big deal if you are looking for the best GoPro for snorkeling or any other extreme activity, no matter it happens above or under the water. But let’s see the details!
The design remained the same with clear lines and well-known colors, making it easily recognizable among other alternative action cameras. It weighs only 153 grams and features 2 LCD screens (a super responsive rear touch screen and a full-color front touchscreen).
Although remaining the same regarding the look, Hero11 brings some technical improvements. It has a completely new, larger image sensor that can deliver 8:7 aspect ratio extra-large field of view, HyperView digital lens for ultra-immersive, extra-large field of view videos, and upgraded HyperSmooth 5.0 with 360° horizon lock.
The quality for still snaps is up to 27MP with 24.7 frame grabs; the video quality is the same with both models: 5.3K/60fps. One of the most significant changes pros will love is the 10-bit color processing that results in more detailed, natural footage with colors like what you see with your own eyes.
To support the performance, the 11 Black comes with 1720 mAh Enduro batteries that provide approx. 38% longer battery life; moreover, it works better in low-temperature environments (while skiing or in cold ocean water, for example). The built-in mounting solutions and the waterproof feature (33ft/10m) remain the same.
GoPro Hero11 Black Key Features:
- 27MP still shots, 23MP frame grabs
- 5.3K/60fps, 4K/120fps, 2.7K/240fps videos
- GP2 processor
- 1/1.9″ sensor, 8:7 aspect ratio
- HyperView digital lens
- HyperView 5.0 with AutoBoost
- 10-bit color images
- 360 degrees horizon lock at up to 5.3K
- 1720 mAh Enduro battery
- Waterproof to 10m/33ft
- 153 grams
GoPro Hero 11 Mini is also available, but we don’t recommend it for underwater use. Since it doesn’t have a screen, you can’t frame your shots properly and need to use the GoPro Quik app to customize the settings. It suits those who most times mount the camera on a helmet and usually use the same mode.
GoPro Hero 11 Black vs Hero 10 Black – What’s new or improved?
Although the Hero11 Black uses the same GP2 processor that was introduced with the Hero10 series and both cameras shoot 5.3K60/4K120/2.7K240 videos, there are a couple of improvements you can enjoy when choosing GoPro’s latest family member.
The main differences between GoPro Hero11 and Hero10 Black are:
New 1/1.9″ sensor: a larger 1/1.9″ Sensor allows you to capture 8:7 aspect ratio perspectives (which is a 16% increase in vertical field compared to the predecessor) and crop your photos/videos whenever you like depending on what social media platform you want to post them.
HyperView: using the 8:7 aspect ratio, the new HyperView digital lens of the Hero11 delivers ultra-immersive videos which are perfect for point-of-view POV action shots.
27MP image quality: 11 Black now shoots 27MP (5568×4872) photos compared to 23MP with Hero10. Moreover, you can easily grab high-resolution, up to 24.7MP images from videos too!
10-bit color images: Bit depth means how many numbers of colors can be stored for an image. An 8-bit photo displays about 16.7 million colors, while a 10-bit one has up to 1.07 billion colors. For someone not into photography, this might not seem a big deal, but there is a big difference between 8-bit and 10-bit images. With 10-bit color, your images and videos will have more color depth so they will be more vivid, natural and life-like.
HyperSmooth 5.0: first introduced with the GoPro HERO7, the electronic image stabilization is the best built-in camera stabilization that works like a gimbal and ensures that your footage is smooth and stable even when conditions are rough.
This function was already awesome in the predecessor 10 Black (called HyperSmooth 4.0), but now it has been further improved; as a result; there is no shaky footage anymore!
HyperSmooth is an extremely useful option if you use your GoPro for snorkeling! One of the biggest challenges when filming underwater is to hold your camera steady to avoid blurry footage. Since there is no waterproof gimbal on the market, it is almost impossible to get smooth footage while swimming on the surface if there are waves, and it is even more difficult underwater.
Thanks to the improved HyperSmooth 5.0 stabilization function, GoPro Hero11 Black is now one of the best GoPro cameras for underwater usage that provides you with stable and sharp footage in all conditions!
360 Degree Horizon Lock: get ready for more awesomeness! Part of the new HyperSmooth 5.0, the horizon lock keeps the shooting position and the horizon level steady even when the camera rotates 360 degrees. With Hero10, the horizon level tilt limit is only 45 degrees.
New night modes: although the new modes don’t make the Hero11Black more desirable for snorkeling, those who love creating at night will love the added night functions that make capturing star trails, the light of moving vehicles or fireworks easy-peasy.
Extended battery life: while both models have 1720mAh batteries, 11 Black comes with Enduro Battery as default, offering 38% more battery capacity and better performance in cold conditions.
Easy Control Modes: introducing Easy Controls, Hero11 simplifies how the menu works. With Easy Modes, you can select pre-set Auto modes which is a huge help for non-professionals who don’t want to spend time studying the settings. Full customization is also possible of course, by switching to Pro Mode.
Conclusion – What is the best GoPro for snorkeling?
No question, GoPro introduced serious upgrades in the latest series and took their action camera line to the next level. The improvements and extra functions make all models we discussed here a good choice for everyday users and content creators who have previously worked with compact cameras and DSLRs.
If you are about to buy a new GoPro for snorkeling, we believe the latest two models are worth buying. They feature similar image quality and are the same regarding waterproof capabilities (you can take them underwater up to 10m/33ft without housing).
If you want the best action camera for land and underwater use, today’s top choice is Hero11 Black. If we have to pick the one that gives the best value for money, that would be the Hero10 Black. The upgraded features of the 11 compared to the 10 are cool but not so significant that an everyday user should spend the extra bucks to have the latest version.
Find here a summary what we think who should buy a Hero11 Black or a Hero10 Black:
Hero11 Black: recommended for pro users and those who expect excellent image quality and love playing around and capturing their moments using the best available techniques (in terms of action cameras). --check the price!--
Hero10 Black: a great choice if you look for a great all-rounder action camera at a fair price that the whole family can use in all situations from taking birthday photos to filming a vacation movie and capturing underwater scenes. --check the price!--
What if you already have a GoPro?
If you already own a GoPro, you might ask if it is worth upgrading to 11 Black? Well, it depends on what model you have.
If you own the previous version, there is no need to buy the new model as the improvements between the 11 and 10 are not so noticeable that the change is worth the hassle and money.
However, Hero10 and Hero11 bring significant upgrades, including a new GP2 processor and many new features compared to the older models from 9 backward, so the upgrade is recommended and will definitely bring you improvement in terms of quality.
Pro tips for using your GoPro for snorkeling
These GoPro snorkeling tips will show you what extra GoPro underwater accessories you can buy and how they can make your underwater photos and videos even better!
Use a color correction red filter
A GoPro red filter can significantly improve your underwater video quality in instant! Using a red or magenta filter is a fast and simple way of color correction. You just need to attach a filter to your GoPro SuperSuit case so when you use your GoPro for snorkeling or diving and will get a bright, naturally colored underwater footage.
GoPro underwater filter kits include different types of snorkel and dive filters that are all designed to be used in different conditions (blue water, green water) and at specific depths. Check out our detailed guide where we and tell you how exactly red filters work and what is the best GoPro filter for snorkeling.
Mount your camera on a GoPro snorkeling pole
Originally, GoPro doesn’t come with a stick, so you need to buy a pole to mount your camera on to avoid hand-holding. Like this, you can hold it more stable and won’t lose it easily. There is a wide selection available from the simplest floaty hand grips to telescopic poles and professional trays, so it depends on your filming habits what will work the best for you.
The most important is that if you will use your GoPro for snorkeling, make sure to buy a waterproof selfie stick that can go into salty water. Alternatively, you can mount your camera on a GoPro snorkeling mask too!
Take creative half-underwater photos with a GoPro Dome Port
It is so much fun to take over-under split photos with a GoPro camera! A half-underwater GoPro photo is a cool-looking shot when a certain part of the image shows the underwater scene while the other half of the image displays the above the water level surrounding.
If you want to take such images, read our special tips on how to capture split images easily and see what best GoPro dome ports are!
As mentioned, all the newest models are waterproof up to 33ft/10 m without any additional case, but to be on the safe side, we recommend getting a dive housing if you will use your GoPro for snorkeling. For diving, the GoPro underwater case is a must because you will go deeper than 33 ft (10 m) for sure, but also for surface swimming it is a safer set-up to prevent accidentally leaking.
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GoPro Hero11 technical details: https://gopro.com/en/us/shop/cameras/hero11-black/CHDHX-111-master.html
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