Is GoPros Waterproof Without a Case? (2023 Guide)

Is GoPros Waterproof Without a Case? (2023 Guide)
Read Time:13 Minute, 3 Second

If you’re new to trekking and quick adventures, you’ve probably thought about bringing a camera with you. The main issue with this is that you run the risk of having your camera damaged by water from the rain or any other source you may come into contact with.

Up to 33 feet (10 meters) of water resistance is provided by all GoPro HERO models. The GoPro MAX is a small exception in that it is only waterproof up to 16 feet (5 meters).

Older GoPro models were not waterproof. This meant that if you wanted to use your GoPro while scuba diving, you would need to purchase an external case. Do things differ now? Let’s find out.

Are GoPros Waterproof Without a Case?

Is GoPros Waterproof Without a Case? (2023 Guide)

The earlier GoPro camera generations weren’t designed to be waterproof or even water-resistant. In order to ensure that water never got inside the camera’s body, you would need external housing, which would make the action cam feel larger than it actually is.

The fact that the microphone would be covered if it had to be used in conjunction with a sizable protective case was another drawback. The audio quality difference between a case and no case is still noticeable even though some cases have skeleton backdoors that allow the microphone to pick up more sound.

The good news is that every new GoPro camera body is rugged and waterproof, making them excellent underwater cameras. This indicates that they can withstand light rain and even be submerged to a certain depth.

Current models like the GoPro Max, GoPro Hero8, GoPro Hero9, and GoPro Hero10 can be used underwater, making them the ideal companion if you’re going snorkeling or scuba diving to specific depths.

Waterproof Depth Ratings for GoPro Cameras

It will take some research for you to determine which model’s features and price range best suit your requirements because GoPro offers a variety of cameras, each of which has slightly different features.

GoPro Hero 10 – 33ft/10m

The GoPro Hero10 Black produces the best video quality, capable of recording up to 5.3K high-resolution video and taking photos with a maximum resolution of 23 megapixels. The Hero10 has the newest “HyperSmooth 4.0 Stabilization,” which is the latest iteration of stabilizer technology from GoPro. Even smoother footage than what comes with older models will result from this.

The Hero10 can be submerged up to 33 feet without a case, just like the other cameras in the Hero series. The Hero9’s official “Super Suit” housing, which has a depth rating of 196 feet (60 meters), is also compatible with the Hero10 thanks to its similar design.

GoPro Hero 9 – 33ft/10m

Is GoPros Waterproof Without a Case? (2023 Guide)

The GoPro Hero9 Black can take pictures with a resolution of 20 megapixels and record videos in 5K high definition. For the first time, a color front-facing screen for previews was introduced with the Hero9, which also employs sophisticated HYPERSMOOTH electronic image stabilization technology to prevent camera shake while shooting.

Without a case, the Hero9 can be submerged up to 33 feet. Using dive housing on the Hero9 will increase this to 196 feet, just like with the Hero8.

GoPro Hero 8 – 33ft/10m

The GoPro Hero8 Black can take photos and 4K video at a resolution of 12 megapixels. The footage from the Hero8 will look much better thanks to the camera’s built-in image stabilization. Without additional housing, the Hero8 can be submerged up to 33 feet beneath the surface. A waterproof case that will allow you to dive as deep as 196 feet is available if you want to go even further.

GoPro Max – 16ft/5m

The stabilization and high resolution 6K 360-degree video on the GoPro Max are both impressive. Six microphones were used to record the audio, giving the listener a 360° experience. Additionally, without the need for special housing, it can be submerged in water up to a depth of 16 feet.

GoPro Session – 33ft/10m

The GoPro Session was created by GoPro to be an accessible, entry-level model of the GoPro. It’s interesting to note that the first naturally waterproof GoPro was the HERO4 Session. The Session series, regrettably, has been stopped.

GoPro Waterproof Housing Accessory – 196ft/60m

It goes without saying that you must take your GoPro deeper than 33 feet if you plan to go diving. In these circumstances, you should buy the official GoPro waterproof case, which is rated for depths of up to 196 feet (60 meters).

What Can I Use a Waterproof Camera For?

The benefit of owning a waterproof action camera is that you can use it for almost any activity without giving it a second thought. You can bring it along with you when you go on vacation with your friends to the pool to capture some wild dives or even out to sea to capture some coral reefs while snorkeling.

If you enjoy scuba diving, a waterproof camera will undoubtedly go diving with you, along with all the necessary scuba equipment, of course. The new waterproof cameras are so well sealed that they can withstand pressure and water down to 33 feet (10 meters) without a dive case.

Since you’ll be able to interact with the camera’s buttons directly, not having a protective case will make it much simpler for you to handle. However, the depth rating isn’t really sufficient for scuba diving, so dive housing is strongly advised.

Additionally, using additional housing while deep-diving in saltwater will make you much safer. The last thing you want is your new GoPro camera to age prematurely because, as we all know, saltwater does not get along with glass and metal. Therefore, it is best to have it protected and well-sealed before exposing it to any saltwater.

Since they are made to withstand so much more, you can undoubtedly use cameras like these for simpler tasks. You can always bring it along on hikes, and if it starts to rain, it won’t matter if you have the camera in your hand or in a bag as long as it’s dry.

If you need to point your camera upwards into the rain, you’ll always be confident that it is waterproof and ready for a shot. Because of how well the seals are constructed, dipping it into a freshwater pool to catch any fish in it won’t be a problem, and you’ll get some fantastic footage for your social media posts or private gallery.

When Should I Buy Waterproof Housing for My GoPro?

Is GoPros Waterproof Without a Case? (2023 Guide)

Unless you own an older model GoPro, you don’t need to rush out and purchase waterproof housing right away. The GoPro Without a separate housing purchase, the HERO4 Black, Silver, HERO3+ Black, HERO3+ Silver, and older models are NOT waterproof. They cannot withstand being drowned or even just being exposed to light rain.

There’s no need to worry, though, if you recently purchased a GoPro, as all of the new cameras can be submerged trouble-free up to a depth of 33 feet (10 meters).

It shouldn’t cause you too much concern if you don’t use your camera in salt water. But if the GoPro will be submerged in salt water for an extended period of time, it makes sense to purchase a waterproof housing to guard against corrosion of the metal components and camera lens. Remember, you want your GoPro to last as long as it can.

Disadvantages of Using Waterproof Housing

Protective housing that is waterproof has some benefits, but it also has some drawbacks. Once you wrap the action camera in additional housing, the feeling of it being neat, sleek, and small vanishes.

The smooth operation of your camera’s touch screen and buttons is also hampered by separate housing. The tactile feedback you receive from a protective case is never as good as using the camera’s buttons or interacting with the responsive screen directly, so there will be a noticeable difference between wearing it and not.

For this very reason, many scuba divers wind up setting up the camera, mounting it to their chest, heads, or arms, and only pressing the record button just before diving. Things become a little more challenging when interacting with the camera through a protective case, especially when diving at lower depths where there is less light.

Your GoPro is Waterproof, But Are Its Accessories?

It’s great that your GoPro is prepared for your upcoming wet adventure, but you must make sure that any accessories you intend to use with it have an adequate depth rating.

Make sure your entire shooting kit is compatible with the amount of water you’ll be dealing with. Accessories like an external microphone or a gimbal will almost certainly experience issues when in contact with water.

7 Tips for Using Your GoPro Underwater

Although using your GoPro to capture underwater video or photos might seem simple, there are a few considerations you should make in order to protect the camera’s longevity.

1. Inspection

Before submerging your camera in water, always take a closer look at the seals. A seal might have broken if it was dropped or bumped with enough force, allowing water to seep inside and reach the electrical components.

If you’re using underwater housing, make sure the rubber seal is free of dust and debris so there are no gaps that could allow water to enter the housing.

2. Clean Your Lens

If using a watertight housing, make sure your lens is free of any watermarks or fingerprints before securing it inside the case. When reviewing your footage, the last thing you want to find is blurry video brought on by dirt and grease on your lens.

3. Adjust Your Settings Beforehand

Before a dive, set up your camera so you won’t have to fiddle with it later. From changing the white balance to changing the aspect ratio, everything falls under this category.

If you want to adjust the settings for lower light conditions when you dive, you should think about setting the camera up for a slower shutter speed for photos and a lower frame rate for videos since the lower you dive, the less light you’ll have to shoot with.

4. Charge Your Batteries

Assuming you have extra batteries, you don’t want to hassle with changing the battery if your GoPro will be placed inside additional waterproof housing. It’s crucial to fully charge your GoPro’s rechargeable battery before taking it outside to record some action because it only has a limited battery life of 1.5 to 2 hours off a full charge.

5. Learn GoPro Voice Commands

There are other options besides fiddling with the GoPro’s body to control it. It is strongly advised that you become familiar with the most crucial voice commands for tasks like starting and stopping recording and taking pictures in order to avoid situations where access to the GoPro’s primary controls may be problematic.

6. Accessorise

  • Red Filter: When changing settings underwater is difficult, shooting in low light can be challenging. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do, like attach a red snap-on filter to your GoPro.

Red filters are used in particular because they typically lose their color intensity first when light levels drop underwater. The filter helps make up for that loss and gives your footage a slightly more dramatic appearance than it would otherwise.

  • Rig – Using a rig that is much easier for you to grip will result in a steadier shot if you find that the GoPro’s size makes it difficult to maintain stability underwater.

If you don’t like shooting in wide-angle and prefer to mount the camera on your chest or head, one of these will be much easier to hold and frame your pictures with.

  • Lights – If you’ve made the decision to purchase a GoPro rig, the next best accessory to include on it would be a light setup to help illuminate the subjects you’re trying to record underwater.

For underwater photography, lights are provided, and when used properly, they can greatly improve your footage. When you set up your camera before your dive, don’t forget to account for them.

  • Anti-fog inserts – If you dive frequently, having these may be something you should think about. Without anti-fog inserts, the humidity inside the case has a tendency to cause interior fogging, particularly near the lens.

By putting them in the protective case, the moisture they contain is absorbed, preventing condensation from ruining your shots. One thing to bear in mind when using these is to make sure your case still closes properly and without any gaps. If you choose to dive deeper than a certain depth, a gap may spell doom for your GoPro.

  • Dome ports are another neat accessory you can pick up for your If you want to capture a split-frame image with half underwater and half above the surface, use a GoPro. Because the water is a little further away from the lens and appears to be split into two images, these photos tend to look much more dramatic.
  • Selfie stick – If you want to keep your distance from your subject while taking selfies underwater, a selfie stick is a great accessory to have because it allows you to always get a little closer to them with your camera. You could always use it to take some lovely selfies!
  • Floating hand grip – If you’re surfing, boating, or just enjoying surface water activities, getting a floating hand grip may be beneficial to you. The handgrips are simple to use; all you need to do is mount your GoPro on them and point them in the desired direction.

It won’t sink if it falls out of your hand or is accidentally released because, as its name implies, it floats, making it simple to locate or keep an eye on if it drifts away from you.

Keep an eye out for new accessories that might work for you and your adventures because they are constantly entering the market.

7. Don’t Forget to Clean Up!

The most crucial step after a session of diving, snorkeling, boating, or surfing is to rinse your equipment with fresh water to remove all of the saltwater before removing the camera from its protective housing.

If you don’t practice, your GoPro may end up getting damaged by saltwater contact. The areas of metal and lenses that are most susceptible to salt damage.

Final Thoughts

The majority of GoPros are not waterproof, despite popular belief. Only a small number of more recent models come equipped with waterproof features. Some models lack this feature, including the Hero4 and the Hero3.

The best way to make these models water-resistant is to buy waterproof housings, which make it simple to protect your GoPro from spills and moisture. And yes, you can purchase external housing even if your camera is already waterproof.


Are GoPros Waterproof Without the Case?

Yes, these cameras are waterproof down to 10m (33ft) without a housing as long as all camera doors are closed.

Is the GoPro Really Waterproof?

The GoPro HERO11 Black is indeed waterproof; no additional waterproof housing or case is required. The camera has a 33-foot/ten-meter maximum working distance by itself. So you can paddle board, swim, surf, or snorkel while wearing it comfortably.

Is GoPro 11 Waterproof Without Case?

The GoPro HERO 11 is waterproof up to 33 feet (10 meters) out of the box (both the regular and mini models), making it ideal for snorkeling and other water sports or situations where you anticipate the camera will get wet. If you don’t intend to dive deeper than 33 feet, there is no need for an additional housing./10m.

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

What Do You Wear Under A Wetsuit - How to Store It
Diving Equipments

What Do You Wear Under A Wetsuit – How to Store It

Bikinis, diving shorts, and other minimally covered undergarments are an option.) or nothing at all in warmer locations and waters.

Read More
Paralenz Dive Camera Review 2023 - Is It Worth It?
Diving Equipments

Paralenz Dive Camera Review 2023 – Is It Worth It?

The Paralenz Vaquita is a point-and-shoot underwater camera designed exclusively for scuba diving. The Vaquita is a high-end camera designed for more professional photographers and videographers. It has a cylindrical chassis and can be easily adjusted while submerged without the need for an additional waterproof housing. Based on your depth, the Depth-Controlled Color Correction (DCC), […]

Read More
The Best Way to Clean Your New Dive Mask | Scuba Diving
Diving Equipments

How Do You Clean Snorkeling Gear with Simple Steps

One of the cheapest, simplest, and fastest ways to enjoy the ocean is to snorkel. You only need 3 inexpensive and easy to carry items: a mask, fins, and snorkel. The most crucial aspect of the activity is your mask. It serves as your window into the aquatic world. It requires routine cleaning. So how […]

Read More