You are spoilt for choice if you want the best action camera. Many people would just go for the best GoPro, but there are plenty of cheaper, smarter, and better quality alternatives (but not all three, which is why GoPro is always the highest!).
The GoPro Hero9 Black is the best action camera right now. It is fitted in 5K video at 30fps, is watertight up to 10 meters without a case and has a front-facing vlogging screen. Yet the arrival of the first DJI action camera, the Osmo Action, means that GoPro now has a strong and respected competitor in the action cam market.
Ultimately, choosing the best cam for action will very much depend on what you intend to use it. Do you need maximum resolution, impermeability, shock protection, slow motion, a front-facing screen or ultimate flexibility? It’s worth taking some time to get to know all these different action cameras and what they offer.
You might get an action camera which is waterproof up to 30 meters per house, or a camera that requires a housing or an action camera that isn’t too waterproof and can batter seriously without breaking up. Maybe wireless features are the most important thing for you or you can use an intuitive app to prize a camera you can control via your phone?
So you know, we also have guides for the best vlogging cameras. Maybe you want to check out our list of the best underwater cameras here.
In this article, we have now compiled our best picks from the best cams – and we can also show you some of GoPro’s best accessories.
10 Best Action Cameras 2021
1. GoPro HERO8 Black - Waterproof Action Camera
4 used from $239.97
- HyperSmooth 2.0: HERO8 Black has three levels of stabilization – On, High and Boost. Get the widest views, or boost to the smoothest video ever offered in a HERO camera. Works with all resolutions and frame rates, and features in-app horizon leveling
- Streamlined Design: The re-imagined shape is more pocketable, and folding fingers at the base let you swap mounts quickly. A new side door makes changing batteries even faster, and the lens is now 2x more impact-resistant compared to previous models
- Expandable Mods: Vloggers, pro filmmakers and aspiring creators can do more than ever imagined with our HERO8 Black mods (sold separately). Media Mod gives you shotgun-mic performance and lets you attach Light Mod and Display Mod to up your capture game
- Live Streaming in 1080p: Share while you’re there. Live stream in 1080p on social media, get HyperSmooth stabilization as you broadcast via the GoPro app and save footage to your SD card to check out later
- TimeWarp 2.0: Capture super-stabilized time lapse videos while moving through an activity. Automatically adjust speed based on motion, scene detection and lighting. Slow the effect to real time – savoring special moments – and then tap to speed it back up
2. GoPro HERO 7 Black Action Camera
4 used from $214.97
- HyperSmooth: Get gimbal‑like stabilization—without the gimbal. HERO7 Black corrects for camera shake to deliver insanely smooth footage
- TimeWarp: Capture super stabilized time lapse videos while you move about a scene. Increase the speed up to 30x to turn longer activities into shareable moments
- Live streaming in 720p: Share while you’re there. Live stream in 720p on social, get HyperSmooth stabilization as you broadcast via the GoPro app and save footage to your SD card to check out later
- Rugged + Waterproof: Share experiences you can’t capture with your phone. HERO7 Black is rugged, waterproof without a housing to 33 feet (10m) and up for any adventure
- SuperPhoto: Get brilliant photos automatically. With SuperPhoto, HERO7 Black intelligently applies HDR, local tone mapping or noise reduction to optimize your shots
3. DJI OSMO Action Cam Digital Camera
- Dual Screens: Osmo Action’s dual screens allow you to capture it all with the touch of a button. A vivid front screen lets you frame yourself effortlessly in any setting, while the back screen delivers a crystal-clear, hyper-responsive display. This durable, versatile action camera is jam-packed with advanced technology that lets you spend less time worrying about equipment and more time living the action.
- The RockSteady technology combines EIS with complex algorithms, delivering stable, shake-free footage no matter how heavy the action gets.
- Action camera with 1/2.3" CMOS Sensor, 12MP, wide-angle 145° that allows you to shoot 4K HDR videos.
- 8x Slow Motion: Capture every epic move with jaw-dropping clarity and detail when you use 8x slow motion with 1080p resolution and 240fps. Time-lapse: Condense time and movement for stunning, easy-to-achieve results.
- 11m Waterproof, -10℃ Temperature Resistant Sporting a watertight seal and a hydrophobic coating on the back touchscreen, Osmo Action is waterproof at depths of up to 11 meters, making it the perfect underwater companion. Versatile batteries perform well even in extremely cold environments with temperatures as low as -10℃.
4. YI 4K+ Action Camera, Sports Cam with 4k/60fps
4 used from $309.95
- Impressive Video Quality - The world’s first action camera to record 4K/60fps video; Built-in Sony IMX377 image sensor captures 12MP pictures and films high-quality full HD footages.
- Superb Image Stablization - Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) delivers spectacularly smooth and steady videos in up to 4K/30fps resolution, ensuring excellent experience in shooting fast-moving objects.
- Intuitive UI Design - Ultra responsive 2.2” Gorilla Glass retina touchscreen shows everything crystal clearly and brightly, easy to change settings, switch shooting modes, preview and playback footage.
- Long Battery Life - 1200mAh high capacity battery supports video recording at 4K / 60fps for up to 70 minutes; USB-C connector offers more efficient power delivery and faster data transfer.
- Versatile Travel Camcorder - Packed with features including voice control, RAW image capture, built-in Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi, and external type-C microphone support. Note: Always update your 4K+ action camera to the latest version of the firmware(v1.3.11). By updating, you can enjoy additional features, keep your hardware healthy and system stability.
5. Sony RX0 II 1” (1.0-type) Sensor Ultra-Compact Camera
3 used from $548.99
- 1” (1.0-Type) stacked back-illuminated Exmore RS CMOS sensor
- 24mm F4 Zeiss tessar T* lens delivers high-resolution images. Battery life (STILL IMAGES)(CIPA) - Approx. 240shots / Approx. 120 min. Battery life (MOVIES ACTUAL SHOOTING)(CIPA) - pprox. 35minch. Battery life (MOVIES CONTINUOUS SHOOTING)(CIPA) - Approx. 60min
- Internal 4K movie with Pro features and image stabilization; Focus Range (From the Front of the Lens): Approx. 50 cm
- Matchbox sized durable Duralumin, water/shock/crush proof body
- 15.3MP raw up to 16Fps continuous and interval REC. For time-lapse
6. Olfi One.Five Waterproof 4K Black Edition Action Camera
- Ultra HD 4K and Full 1080p HD amongst 15 filming resolution options
- Waterproof and Light - Camera only 60g (mountable), or 125g inside 30M Waterproof case (mountable)
- FREE 32GB Ultra Fast Memory Card and FREE 12 months Accidental Damage Cover
- FREE iOS/Android Olfi App to remotely control Camera using a Phone/Tablet – Also compatible with Olfi RF Remote Control (sold separately) and Olfi External Battery Charger
- Rear view Screen for playback and easy navigation, as well as a wide range of Settings and Modes available to bespoke the camera to your individual needs
7. Tomtom Bandit 4K Action Video Camera
- 4k HD video camera provides the highest resolution action footage
- Long battery life allows for 3 hours of nonstop filming with cable free batt stick
- The sport action camera contains built in sensors to monitor speed, G Force, altitude, and rotation and appears in playback videos to prove your performance
- Use the bandit app (iOS & android) for instant playback and to easily drag, drop and share all action footage
- Easily mount the action camera with the go pro mount adapter (included). Waterproof to 40 meter
8. SJCAM SJ8 Pro 4k Action Camera WiFi Digital Ultra Full HD
- 4K Ultra HD camera, equipped with SONY IMX377 recording native 4K/60PFS video and 12MP photos. shoot more wonderful photos, more rich videos. Using the latest Ambarella H22 S85 action camera chipset solution, better at handling and achieving high quality video and photos with ease.
- USB Type-C connector, faster transfer than all previous models with external Mic-support. 1200mAh high capacity battery, lasts 90mins while shooting on 4K/60PFS.
- Supports RAW format, you can save image files in lossless format, more convenient for post-editing, Makes it easier to create professional photos.
- Submersible to 30 meters with waterproof case, 170-degree wide angle, best for sports enthusiasts like snorkeling, riding, swimming and other, perfect for capturing amazing moments.
- Large 2.33'' UHD touchscreen, operate the camera with better comfort. Supports 2.4GHz & 5GHz Wi-Fi communication with mobile devices, uses gyro EIS stabilization, clear 8x digital zoom, and a more user-friendly dual UI interface.
9. Garmin Virb XE Action Camera
4 used from $319.99
- G-METRIX-Built-in GPS and external sensors with connectivity to Garmin devices to capture performance data like speed, elevation, heart rate and G-force
- ADVANCED VIDEO - Capture thrilling footage with high definition 1080p resolution at 60 frames-per-second, or capture up to 240 frames-per-second slow motion
- BURST CAPABILITY - The VIRB X and VIRB XE offer a burst shooting mode that will capture several photographs in quick succession so that you don’t miss the action.
- WATERPROOF - Waterproof to 50 meters without a case, allowing control of cleaner and clearer video and audio. Weather proof contacts allow for rugged charging and powering
- BLUETOOTH AUDIO - VIRB X and VIRB XE can connect directly to wireless Bluetooth headsets or microphones to capture audio in high definition