Taking photos of people on the move requires great skills, but also proper equipment. Activities, sports events, cars, you name it – if you want to capture amazing photos, you need an action camera, not the “regular” device.
Action cameras have become quite popular, allowing you to capture action on-the-go, even in outdoor environments. Whether you are planning a ski trip up the mountain, hiking with a few friends, or simply want to capture your skateboarding tricks on film, an action camera can truly be your best friend when it comes to capturing a variety of events in the great outdoors.
Action cameras are specifically designed to record clear videos and capture high-quality photos while the subject is in motion. These cameras are compact, versatile, and it’s possible to find an ideal option regardless of your budget.
Today, we take a look at the best action cameras that you can find on the market right now. Some of these are great for you if you find yourself on a low budget, while others will be more costly, yet offer you access to more advanced features.
1. GoPro HERO7 Black
GoPro is probably the biggest name in the action photography equipment and their HERO7 action camera is a great device to consider if you want to take your experience to a whole new level. Compared to its predecessors, the GoPro HERO7 comes with significant improvements and upgrades.
The HERO7 comes with GoPro’s all-new HyperSmooth image stabilization technology. As a result, this camera gives smooth video footage, which is crucial for action cameras. Yet another new feature in HERO7 is TimeWarp which combines the idea of regular frame-by-frame time-lapse shooting and HyperSmooth.
Besides clear videos, the HERO7 also delivers great photos thanks to its Super Photo feature which intelligently applies HDR, local tone mapping, or noise reduction to optimize shots. After all, 4K60 video and 12MP photos are important features for a quality action camera.
It’s also worth noting that GoPro’s HERO7 is waterproof down to 10m on its own, but it’s possible to expand it to 30m with optional GoPro waterproof housing. A slight disadvantage is that you can’t live stream and record in 4K; the maximum you can do is 1080p.
See our in-depth GoPro HERO7 review to learn even more.
2. GoPro Fusion
The GoPro Fusion is another premium product from the popular GoPro brand. This product comes with a range of features that makes it ideal for any outdoor situation and compatible with many GoPro accessories.
The device has the capability to capture photographs with 18MP resolution, which is quite impressive for action cameras. You are also able to record video content in 5.2K HD.
The device also features OverCapture, plus the ability to easily share the photographs and video that you have captured with the action camera. The GoPro Fusion offers you the ability to capture 360 experiences as well, which can be viewed on VR headsets.
Head on over to our GoPro Fusion review to find out how the camera works in action.
3. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 action camera is yet another high-quality option that does come at a higher price. This product has the ability to capture video in 4K at 30fps, along with an alternative function that allows you to capture 1080p video at 120fps.
You can set the camera to slow-motion capture, which produces video content at 720p at 240fps. The camera comes with a built-in LCD touchscreen that measures 1.75 inches. Garmin has also built their G-Metrix feature into the device, giving you easy access to a GPS system.
The three-axis image stabilization allows users to capture smooth and steady videos, regardless of the terrain. The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 lets you shoot hands-free video and use voice commands to start and stop recording, capture a photo, and other actions. You can also live stream videos if necessary.
The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is suitable for winter sports, water sports, fitness and cycling, outdoor activities, aerial sports, and motorsports. While it has many useful features, Ultra 30 action camera could have longer battery life.
4. TomTom Bandit
Here’s an action camera with an interesting shape, but also comes with useful features. The bullet-shaped TomTom Bandit 4K action video camera is waterproof to 40m with its dive lens on. That means you don’t have to use dive cases which can be quite bulky and awkward. The TomTom action camera offers three hours of non-stop HD filming, and it’s easy to mount no matter how cold or wet your hands might be.
It’s useful to mention that iOS users will also have access to data visualization, which shows action stats, speed, location, altitude, and other useful parameters.
With Bandit, editing is made easy and users have plenty of options to enrich their content. However, the stabilization of this camera could be better.
Read the complete review of the TomTom Bandit to find out how it stands up against the competition.
5. DJI Osmo Action
If you’re a drone fan, then you’ve probably heard of DJI, one of the most popular brands in this business. But, DJI also has a great action camera that you may want to take into consideration. The Osmo Action camera is slightly bigger and heavier than the GoPro HERO7, but that’s not such a bad thing if we bear in mind it also has a 2.25″ touchscreen.
DJI’s action camera offers various control options, including voice activation. It also has two built-in microphones, but for optimal audio quality, you may be better off adding an external microphone.
In terms of specs, it’s worth noting that the Osmo Action has 4K video resolution and 12MP photo resolution. The camera is waterproof up to 11m, and its lens features three aspherical layers that effectively reduce glare and distortion.
Besides the various features it contains, the DJI Osmo Action doesn’t have a live stream option so it may not be suitable for people who would prefer to live-stream their activities. What we love about this camera is that it’s simple to use and produces excellent images.
Our review of the DJI Osmo Action dives deeper into the features and capabilities of this camera.
6. YI 4K+
The YI 4K+ action camera is a high-quality device that comes at a really great price and is often compared to some of the more popular brands on the market. This product allows you to capture 4K videos and has a 12MP camera system and captures clear images in RAW and JPEG image format.
You have the ability to control the device with your voice, as well as the built-in touch screen that is featured on the action camera. In addition to these useful features, the YI 4K+ also comes with built-in WiFi and allows you to stream your adventures live.
The YI 4K+ action camera also has built-in EIS which allows users to capture smooth and steady 4K/30fps video without the need for some stabilizers or post-production editing.
7. AKASO EK7000
Action cameras can be quite pricey, but it’s also possible to find great devices at lower prices. If you’re a beginner in the world of action photography or you’re just on a tight budget, there are plenty of affordable action cameras to consider and still have a positive experience. The AKASO EK7000 action camera features 4K HD video recording and delivers sharp and clear videos.
You can use the remote control to choose the mode you prefer when recording. For instance, users can easily shift from video to photo and from burst photo to time lapse just by pressing the button. While the camera is waterproof up to 30m remote control is not.
WiFi connectivity enables easy sharing of the content. Additionally, 170° wide-angle lens allows users to capture the wide-angle view. By returning loop recording and screen rotation, this action camera can act as a dash cam. AKASO’s EK7000 action camera comes with remote control, waterproof case, bicycle stand, mount, clip, helmet mount, bandages, USB cable, and more.
8. SJCAM SJ8 Pro
The SJCAM SJ8 Pro action camera offers similar features as GoPro but at a lower price. When it comes to the resolution, this action camera is equipped with 4K/60pfs for videos and 12MP for photos. Other features include 2.33″ touch screen, 7G lens, gyro stabilization, 8x digital zoom, external microphone, and remote support.
The housing of the SJCAM SJ8 Pro action camera is waterproof and there is a quick-release buckle. Thanks to the 1200 mAh capacity, the battery is made to last longer and enhance user experience.
Moreover, SJCAM SJ8 4K action camera enables slow-motion playback, and it’s also suitable for taking high-quality images and videos at night. It’s worth mentioning that SJ8 has a maximum bitrate of only 65mbps meaning it uses a lot more compression when recording in 4K mode, particularly at 60fps which lowers quality of the video itself.
9. AKASO V50 Pro
Another budget-friendly option that you may want to consider is the AKASO V50 Pro Native 4K/30fps 20MP WiFi Action Camera. This is a highly rated option that comes at an attractive price.
The built-in WiFi makes it easy to share your photos and videos on-the-go, while also allows you to live stream the action that you are experiencing on your adventures. The product is waterproof up to 30m and has the ability to record in 4K at 30fps.
When you take photographs, you can enjoy the high-quality 20MP resolution that the camera offers. The camera comes with an additional accessory kit.
10. Cyclops Gear CGX-LT
The Cyclops Gear CGX-LT is available at a decent price point and features a number of convenient features that you may enjoy on your adventures. The action camera offers 4K video recording capabilities at 24fps. For a better frame rate, you can switch to 1080p video recording, which features 60fps.
For slow-motion video content, the camera also features a 720p at 120fps mode. The Cyclops Gear CGX-LT 4K action camera is waterproof and comes with a built-in touchscreen that measures two inches in size. The built-in WiFi technology makes it easy to connect the camera to the internet. This camera offers a 170-degree viewing field.
11. YI Lite
Last up is the YI Lite action camera. If you are on a low budget, then this might be the perfect option for you. This little camera comes with a Sony sensor and a 16MP resolution.
You get the ability to record video in 4K at 20fps, as well as two 1080p video modes, one running at 30fps and another at 60fps. There is a 2.0″ LCD display that features touch capability, allowing you to navigate captured content and configure the device easily. The camera comes with a wide-angle lens with a viewing angle of 150 degrees.
12. Campark ACT74 (Budget Winner)
If you’re looking for an action camera that is specifically designed for underwater use, then this is the one. The ACT74 is affordable and also ideal for surfing, skiing, diving, and snorkeling, but also for other activities such as cycling, golfing, running, and whatnot. It’s even easy to mount the ACT74 action camera on a car.
The camera features ultra HD 4K video recording and has useful features such as time-lapse, slow motion, and loop recording. The built-in WiFi makes sharing of photos and videos to social media platforms easy.
When it comes to photos, Campark’s action camera has a 16MP resolution, which gives your images a crystal-clear and vivid look. Customers like the price and ease of use, but some of them were not quite satisfied with the quality of videos. Good news is that the Campark ACT74 action camera has decent battery life.
Bottom Line on Action Cameras
Having an action camera is perfect for people who frequently find themselves in the outdoors. These cameras can usually withstand dirt and even rainy weather conditions and can provide you with great quality photography and video capabilities at the same time.
Action cameras are usually compact, lightweight, and feature-laden. They allow users to capture photos and videos of various sports, activities, and other events that involve a lot of motion. Some cameras come with live stream feature while others don’t. Also, some of them are waterproof while others are not.
This just means that best action cameras aren’t equal, and it’s necessary to think about your needs first before you choose some device.