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The Best Action Cameras Tested & Fully Reviewed

last updated: Aug 29, 2019
If you are on the hunt for the best action cameras, then you have come to the right place. Nowadays, if we don’t have a picture then it didn’t happen—so might as well take the absolute best picture we can take, right?!

The best action cameras are a great option for those of you who are always on the go. If you want to document your adventures so you remember every moment and share it with your family and friends, then an action camera is an absolute must-have.

A good action camera is small and lightweight enough for you to take it with you wherever you go. They are also typically east to mount and have compatible waterproofing cases you can purchase separately if the camera itself is not waterproof.

Check out our top picks and get back to your adventures!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
GoPro HERO5
94.4/100 our score
Features
96
Durability
95
Portability
98
Battery Life
85
Ease of Use
98
GoPro HERO5
Why is it better?

Great image and video quality

Water-resistant without needing a case

More than one editing app

Lots of shooting modes

GPS

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
GoPro HERO5
Test Winner: GoPro HERO5
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Researched Sources
4
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
2.2K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
21
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Features Durability Portability Battery Life Ease of Use By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Features
96 %
Durability
95 %
Portability
98 %
Battery Life
85 %
Ease of Use
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Features
88 %
Durability
91 %
Portability
98 %
Battery Life
95 %
Ease of Use
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
Amazon Link
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Features
94 %
Durability
85 %
Portability
98 %
Battery Life
92 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
Amazon Link
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Features
90 %
Durability
94 %
Portability
95 %
Battery Life
85 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
Amazon Link
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Features
90 %
Durability
92 %
Portability
91 %
Battery Life
90 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
Amazon Link
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Features
88 %
Durability
86 %
Portability
88 %
Battery Life
96 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
Amazon Link
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Features
85 %
Durability
86 %
Portability
90 %
Battery Life
85 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
Amazon Link
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
Features
80 %
Durability
90 %
Portability
90 %
Battery Life
88 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
Amazon Link
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Features
80 %
Durability
90 %
Portability
88 %
Battery Life
87 %
Ease of Use
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
Amazon Link
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
Features
81 %
Durability
81 %
Portability
81 %
Battery Life
81 %
Ease of Use
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.03.20)
Amazon Link

Our Favorite Action Cameras

1. GoPro HERO5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
GoPro HERO5
Amazon Link
Features
96
Durability
95
Portability
98
Battery Life
85
Ease of Use
98
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Pros:

Great image and video quality

Water-resistant without needing a case

More than one editing app

Lots of shooting modes

GPS

Cons:

Battery dies quickly with long use

Water-resistant, but may still be safer with case

Action Cameras get hot with long use

The action cameras are among the cream of the crop when it comes it its image and video quality. It shoots video in 4K and 12MP images, with burst and time-lapse modes as well. The user can preview their images, edit the footage and use voice control for hands-free shooting.

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Features

Its highest speed setting is at 1080p and 720p, but it also shoots 4k in SuperView at 30fps, which will look smooth and vibrant, as well as many other options such as 4:3 Wide in 2.7k at 25 or 30fps. It has support to film in Linear, Medium, and Wide, as well as take 12MP photos. It is equipped with image stabilization, has RAW photo capture, and Wide Dynamic Range photo capture.

The HERO5 has a large, 2-inch touch display that allows the user to playback, edit and change settings. It has a matte black color and the iconic box shape. It comes with a curved adhesive and flat adhesive mounts, as well as a mounting buckle.

Durability

GoPros are among the most durable action cameras on the market, but when used with its homing frame case. The case will keep it safe from scratches and dents, but it is waterproof on its own up to 33 feet (10 m).

Portability

It is light at 4.2 ounces and is about as small as a matchbox. It features a large, red button on the top that makes it easy to turn on an start recording.

Battery Life

A popular option for shooting action pictures and videos, the HERO5 action cameras are durable, waterproof and have a 60-90 minute battery life.

Ease of Use

The HERO5 has burst modes that can take 5, 5, 10 or 30 pictures per second, as well as a time-lapse mode, video looping, Proton for both photo and video, Night Lapse photo, and more. The action cameras have a GPS with data overlay, three microphones to ensure great audio, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and has the QuiStories feature that automatically sends the footage to the user’s phone already edited.

2. TomTom Bandit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
TomTom Bandit
Amazon Link
Features
88
Durability
91
Portability
98
Battery Life
95
Ease of Use
93
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Pros:

Built-in media server for edits on the camera

App creates highlight reel easily

Integrated USB port means no cables

Easy to mount

Cons:

No stability control

Mounts add to shaking

The TomTom Bandit action cameras record at a high-resolution1080p60/720p120 fps, and transfers to the phone with a 1,280x720-pixel resolution at a bitrate of about 7.5Mbps. There is also the option to record at a 2.7K at 30fps, as well as 1080p at 60fps and 30fps along with 720p at 120fps and 60fps. Modes include time-lapse and slow motion.

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Features

One of the best things about the Bandit is that when used with its accompanying app, filming and editing videos is easy. The app creates a highlight reel from the footage with the simple shake of the smartphone. More impressive is the camera’s GPS and motion sensor functionality that allows the user to tag their clips to be able to find these moments easily later. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, has a built-in mic and the ability to attach an external mic.

Durability

The Bandit action cameras are splash-proof, so a little water flying up when cycling on the dirt trails won’t mess it up. It is waterproof to a depth of 40m with its dive lens on for surfing or underwater shots.

Portability

The action cameras are tiny, with a round and long design opposed to the box-shape of options like the GoPro cameras. It mounts easily and has a quick-release clip. It also is compatible with the GoPro Mount Adapter, as well as other mount accessories that is comes with and isn’t bulky since it doesn’t have an additional protective case.

Battery Life

Ideal for capturing bike rides on the trails, this 4K HD action cameras have an impressively long battery life of three hours of non-stop filming.

Ease of Use

They have built-in sensors to monitor speed, G-force, altitude and rotation, an accompanying app for instant playback and quickly sharing footage, and mounts easily.

3. YI 4K

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
YI 4K
Amazon Link
Features
94
Durability
85
Portability
98
Battery Life
92
Ease of Use
95
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Pros:

Video/image quality comparable to the GoPro Hero5

Large LCD

Live stream option

Cons:

Not water-resistant without a case

Heats up during long use

These action cameras feature Ambarella dual-core A9SE75build-in and Sony IMX377 image sensor. It has instant editing and sharing and multiple modes including slow-motion and time-lapse.

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Features

Expect great video quality with this option, being similar in performance to a GoPro. It records 4k video at 60fps, as well as 1080p at 120fps, and 12MP photos. It has image stabilization to provide smooth content, but not when shooting in 4k.

Durability

The Gorilla Glass Retina on its touchscreen wards off scratches, and it is waterproof up to an impressive 132 feet when using its case. The consumer will need to use a case in order to protect it from damage from accidental drops.

Portability

These action cameras have a large touchscreen that is easy to navigate through the settings and control, with great display quality. It is sleek, begging for it to be shown off. It is lightweight and compact and features a socket for a tripod.

Battery Life

With a battery life of two hours, users can get all the action shots they need clearly thanks to its electronic image stabilizer. It records 2.7k/60fps, 4K/30fps (100mbps), 720p/240fps video, 1080p/120fps, and 12MP raw image.

Ease of Use

The YI 4K action cameras allow the user to Livestream their footage to social media with its accompanying app and built-in Bluetooth support. Other features include the ability to create impressive images in low-light, burst, slow motion, time-lapse and more modes. It also has voice control functionality.

4. FITFORT 4K Ultra HD

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
FITFORT 4K Ultra HD
Amazon Link
Features
90
Durability
94
Portability
95
Battery Life
85
Ease of Use
90
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Pros:

Extremely affordable

Decent video quality

Comes with many accessories

IP68 certified waterproof

Cons:

Accompanying app isn’t great

Wi-Fi issues for some

For an extremely affordable price, users can shoot video in 4K at 25 fps, and images with a 12MP resolution using these action cameras. It has a 170 super-wide lens to capture the full action. It’s extremely durable, waterproof at up to 100 ft and is iP68 certified rugged, making it great for water sports.

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Features

With its super wide-angle lens, the action cameras from FITFORT capture 4K video at 25fps, 2.7K at 30FPS, 1080p at 60fps, 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 120fps, and 12MP images. While the 4k video quality isn’t bad, many prefer 1080p for even crisper quality. The quality, in general, is only slightly lacking behind a GoPro, but for a fraction of its cost, it will be more than satisfactory for those on a budget or beginners into the world of action sports filming.

Durability

The housing of this option is IP68 rugged waterproof certified, allowing consumers to use it up to 100 feet underwater when its case is on. It’s best to be used in its case to protect it from the elements when shooting.

Portability

The FITFORT action camera design resembled the GoPro camera. It has a box shape, comes in black and is ultra-light at 2.24 ounces.

Battery Life

It comes with two rechargeable batteries with a life of 90 minutes of recording each. It has a wireless remote control to make commands via the wrist and features Wi-Fi.

Ease of Use

This action camera comes with a wireless remote control to be able to control it when mounts on a helmet. It has an accompanying app for editing footage and has a screensaver functionality that helps to save battery life.

5. GoPro HERO6

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
GoPro HERO6
Amazon Link
Features
90
Durability
92
Portability
91
Battery Life
90
Ease of Use
85
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Pros:

4k with image stabilization

Faster Wi-Fi means faster upload speeds

New in-house made GP1 processor with 2x the performance compared to HERO5 Black and better quality content

Touch Zoom feature

Cons:

Expensive

Software can be buggy

Sporting the same look as the HERO5, make no mistakes that the HERO6 features many upgrades making it a worth-while buy. This includes a faster GP1 internal processor for speed, enhanced performance, such as shooting 4K video at 60 fps and 1080p Full HD video at up to 240fps for even better slow-motion filming. It’s cheaper than its predecessor, has more stabilized video functionality, supports faster Wi-Fi and a new touchscreen zoom feature.

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Features

The HERO6 is all about improvements, starting with its 4k video frame rate at 60fps. It can also shoot 1080p Full HD video at 240fps. This is all thanks to its GP1 processor that is more efficient and improves performance. This also adds to the action cameras overall better image stabilization. This means fast-moving objects or action shots can be captured with less blurring.

The HERO6 has three times faster the Wi-Fi speed compared to the HERO5. Along with its 5GHz support, the Wi-Fi speed also makes it even quicker for the user to use the automatic editing tool QuikStories.

Durability

GoPros, in general, are among the most durable action cameras made. They are waterproof up to 33 feet (10 m) without a case but has a separate housing that allows the user to go as deep as 196 ft (60 m). The protective case also protects against drops and scratches.

Portability

The design of this GoPro remains unchanged to its predecessor. It is the same size at 1.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches and weighs 4.2 ounces. The HERO6 has a 2-inch touchscreen on its rear and a front LCD. It has a black matte finish with the logo under the lens in grey.

Battery Life

Just like its predecessor, which is also featured on our list, this one has excellent battery life.

Ease of Use

It can also shoot 2.7K video at 120fps and 1440p at 120fps, and 12MP photos at 30 fps Burst. The HERO6 also has Linear, Wide and SuperView Field of View for photo and video and Proton for photo and video. Images, in general, look better compared to the HERO5, and the Hero6 has the new Global Tone Mapping mode that gives greater dynamic range than WDR mode.

The Hero6 has three zoom levels that are easily used by sliding a finger on the touchscreen, it has updated voice control functionality, and multiple modes like Night Photo, and time-lapse.

6. Sony FDR-X3000

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Sony FDR-X3000
Amazon Link
Features
88
Durability
86
Portability
88
Battery Life
96
Ease of Use
85
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Pros:

Impressive optical stabilization

Water-resistant without case

Cons:

Camera gets hot

Pricey

Quality slightly lacking compared to GoPros

Providing consumers with optical image stabilization that the GoPro HERO5 doesn’t, the action cameras from Sony takes 12MP still images and up to 10 fps in burst mode, as well as 4K videos with a 100Mbps bit rate. It has a built-in tripod mount, multiple viewing angles, and sound with wind and noise reduction. It is durable and comes with a waterproof case that makes it safe to use up to 197 feet.

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Features

The Sony FDR-X300 is equipped with Balanced Optical SteadyShot technology that helps to reduce the amount of camera shaking internally. This results in stable and clear content that is free from shaking and blurs. It has a back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and an acclaimed BIONZ X processor that produces high resolution with vibrant colors.

It captures 12MP photos up to 10fps, and 8,3MO still over regular intervals for an extended period of time. It also shoots 720p, 1080p at 120 or 100fps and 4K video at 30 or 24fps.

Durability

Although the action cameras are splash-proof, it does come with a waterproof housing case that can be used up to 200 feet (60m) underwater. This makes it stand out since waterproof housing is typically only made for action cameras with a boxed design. The camera is also dust-proof.

Portability

Sony ditched the boxed look for a more camcorder design for this option. It’s still lightweight at 4.2 ounces and is 1.9H x 1.2W inches. It comes in white with a shiny finish.

Battery Life

This action camera has a battery pack with a battery life that will make it through your favorite adventures.

Ease of Use

This action camera features time-lapse, lopping, live streaming and burst photos. The user can select Wide, Medium or Narrow viewing angles, it has 3 smooth zoom mode, a built-in stereo microphone with noise and wind reduction, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, and can capture an entire sequence of action in a single frame.

7. Crosstour CT700 Action Camera

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Crosstour CT700 Action Camera
Amazon Link
Features
85
Durability
86
Portability
90
Battery Life
85
Ease of Use
90
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Pros:

1080p Full HD 30fps

170 degree wide angle lens

Adjustable white balance

Waterproof up to 98 feet/30 meters

Comes with 18 accessories for mounting

Cons:

Helmet mount doesn't work well

The action cameras come in a waterproof case and are able to go underwater up to 98 feet/30 meters. With 1080P Full HD video with 30 fps, you will get quality pictures and videos. Has a wide-angle lens view of 170 degrees which allows you to shoot wider scenes so you are able to catch all of your surroundings.

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Features

The Crosstour CT700 comes with 1080P which means you are getting Full HD video and picture quality. It also has 30fps which means 30 frames per second so you won't miss a thing with a 2 inch LCD screen for viewing.

Durability

It is waterproof up to 98 feet or 30 meters. It comes with two rechargeable batteries so you get double the recording time. The batteries last about a half-hour each. There are 18 accessories included to mount the camera to your helmet, bicycles, wrist, and so on. Although the helmet attachment is just a stick on a piece so if you plan on doing things that are a little more extreme, you may want to get a better mount.

Portability

Crosstour CT700 action cameras weigh only 2.24 ounces so they're lightweight and easy to carry. It is 2.3x1x1.6 inches so it is small and doesn't take up a lot of room. Nice design and easy to use. It is also compatible with GoPro mounts.

Battery Life

The Crosstour CT700 action cameras come in a waterproof case that allows you to take it underwater up to 98 feet or 30 meters. It comes with two rechargeable batteries so you won't have to miss a thing.

Ease of Use

You can control it all by downloading the app ISmart DV to playback videos, edit, and or delete your material. The app is compatible with Android, and iOS devices. With options to adjust the white balance of the camera such as auto, daylight, cloudy, etc., you can capture your pictures by choosing the best lighting for where you are recording.

8. SJCAM SJ6 Legend

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
SJCAM SJ6 Legend
Amazon Link
Features
80
Durability
90
Portability
90
Battery Life
88
Ease of Use
85
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Pros:

Great quality and features for a lower price than a GoPro

Touchscreen LCD

Advanced gyro stabilization

Cons:

4K has no image stabilization

Similar to a GoPro, but with a cheaper price tag, this compact action camera is tiny and lightweight, but packed with impressive specs like 16MP high-definition photo and Ultra HD 4K video capabilities at 24fps. It has a 2-inch touchscreen, connects to WiFi, as support for an external microphone and advanced gyro stabilization and distortion correction to make sure that action shot looks perfect.

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Features

With its 166 degrees adjustable wide-angle lens and its 2.5 aperture, the SJ6 Legend action cameras deliver 4K videos at 24 fps, 2K at 30fps, and 16MP HD photos. The 4K videos provide a cinematic look while still being crisp and sharp, and has a fish-eye look. The camera has distortion correction—which comes in handy when filming in 4k.

The resolution improves at 1080p at 120fps and this resolution and lower taps into its advanced gyro stabilization functionality that smooths the footage. Other features include timelapse, burst images, and slow-motion. It also has a cool car mode that can record video using the LCD located on the back of the camera.

Durability

The SJ6 is waterproof up to 100 feet (30 meters) when used with its case. It also comes with another case that isn’t waterproof, perfect for using to protect the camera when shooting on land (or in the air!).

Portability

This camera as a touchscreen LCD that is 2-inches, as well as a touchscreen 0.9 front LCD screen (that displays battery life, the shooting mode, and memory). It is box-shaped, comes in black, silver or rose gold and weighs 2.89 ounces.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, this one has a pretty good one, so you can count on it to get through your favorite adventures.

Ease of Use

The action cameras have external microphone support, remote control for the wrist, and an accompanying app for easily sharing clips. The distortion for fisheye correction keeps images flat without having to edit with third-party software or apps.

9. AUKEY AC-LC2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
AUKEY AC-LC2
Amazon Link
Features
80
Durability
90
Portability
88
Battery Life
87
Ease of Use
84
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Pros:

Affordable

Design similar to GoPro

Wide-angle fisheye lens

Comes with lots of accessory

Cons:

No image stabilization

No touchscreen

The Aukey action cameras take 12MP photos and 4K Ultra HD 25fps video with its 170-degree HD wide-angle fisheye lens. They connect to the user's phone via Wi-Fi and come with a wrist remote to make shooting moving images easier. It includes a waterproof case for water sports, is lightweight and comes with 20 accessories—all for an affordable price.

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Features

The AC-LC2 takes 12MP stills and has the ability to capture video in 4K. However, this does come at a price—its speed. The 4K video has a slower 25fps bit rate compared to the 60Mbps bit rate when filming in 720p. The action cameras connect to the user’s smartphone via Wi-Fi, allowing them to control the camera even when mounted to a helmet. They include many different modes such as burst photos, timer photos, timelapse, and looped videos.

Durability

To best prevent against dings, scratched and water damage, it’s best to use this waterproof case. This will keep it safe from rain, mud, sand, and impacts that may occur during filming.

Portability

Compact and light at only 2.2 ounces, the AUKEY AC-LC2 features the similar boxed shape of the GoPro. At a fraction of its cost, this action camera is simple to use since it only has four control buttons, but doesn’t feature a touchscreen on its LCD, which can make navigating a bit slower.

Battery Life

Speed aside, this camera has a wide-angle lens that is perfect for getting that sports and great outdoors footage, with a continuous recording time of up to 90 minutes.

Ease of Use

It is waterproof when used with its case, up to the depth of 30 meters (98.4 ft). Plus the camera comes with various accessories including a bicycle bracket and helmet mount.

10. Sony RXO II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
Sony RXO II
Amazon Link
Features
81
Durability
81
Portability
81
Battery Life
81
Ease of Use
81
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Pros:

Waterproof

Packed with features

Durable

Rechargeable battery

Comes with a wrist strap

Screen tilts

Cons:

Expensive

While the Sony RXO II action camera definitely cost a pretty penny, it is worth the investment. It is compact, lightweight, and sleek. This camera has tons of features available and is really easy to use. Overall, this is a perfect option for those of you who are always on the hunt for another adventure!

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Features

As far as features go, this action camera has a 24mm lens and a 7.9 wide-angle display, which allows it to deliver beautiful, crisp, and high-resolution pictures and videos. This is also a 4k camera and features focus range to stabilize your image—so you don’t have to worry about any blurriness. This camera also features a slow-motion option, a microphone input jack so you can use an external microphone and a lot more features.

Durability

Made of high-quality and ultra-durable duralumin, this action camera is waterproof, shockproof, and crushproof. It is small and compact, but it is definitely built to last. The memory card protector also adds more durability to this camera.

Portability

Incredibly lightweight, this action camera is built for optimal portability. You can easily mount this camera and use it on the go.

Battery Life

This camera features a rechargeable battery pack and comes with a USB cable and adaptor charger—so you can edit while you charge if you want to.

Ease of Use

Since this camera is waterproof, you won’t have to get a case if you don’t want to, but most users get some sort of mount. It does come with a wrist wrap so you can easily carry it with you while you aren’t using it.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Features

Not all action cameras offer the same features, so you need to take a look at everything the camera you are considering before you make your final decision.

First and foremost, it must shoot and play the footage back in high definition. There is no point in filming if the footage is lagging or blurry. Having 4K capabilities is also a major plus for its quality. What is the frame per second rate? Does it feature image stabilization needed for movement shots? What other features does it include?

It’s also important that the gadget and its accompanying app are user-friendly. We looked at all of this and more while choosing the products for our list. Another thing you might want in a camera is the ability to take time-lapse pictures. In our opinion, having a ton of features isn't great if it means that it makes the camera more difficult or confusing to operate.

Simplicity is key for this type of product as you want something that will give you the pictures and video you want but won't be so hard to use that you are stifled when it comes time to actually capture the image. All in all, you need to make sure you get the action camera that offers all of the features you are looking for an that works for you.

Durability

We all want an action camera that is built to last so we can get the most out of the camera that we end up purchasing it.

This might seem like a no-brainer when it comes to action cameras, but these types of products really do need to be able to take some bumps and bruises along the way. Accidents can happen even to the most careful of us and it would be unfortunate to get to your adventure destination and not have your camera work because of some tiny bump in the road.

Fortunately, camera makers understand this and have done a good job to design and manufacture their products so that they're able to withstand the normal wear and tear and bumps and bruises that come with being taken along on your adventure. Nonetheless, some products are tougher than others so we looked at each product's specifications and construction quality.

We also took a look at user reviews to determine a score for each one in this category. If you really want to up the durability factor for your camera, you may want to consider also buying housing for it. These are pretty much what they sound like, a tiny little house that the camera fits in to give it additional protection against the elements as well as accidental drops and such.

Some of the products on this list come with housing included and some don't, so consider how rough you are with your gear, what type of adventures you want to take your camera on, and choose accordingly.

Portability

The whole point of getting an action camera is to be able to take it with you on all of your adventures--no matter what they may be. Here we took a look at the size, weight, and how easy it is to carry.

Since you'll be taking your action camera with you on your adventures and possibly even mounting it to your helmet, handlebars, surfboard, etc. you obviously want a product that is small, lightweight and travels easily. Action camera makers understand this so they've designed their products accordingly.

Obviously, however, some products are better than others when it comes to this so we ranked each one accordingly. Another thing that a lot of people don't think about when it comes to this but really should is whether or not the camera has buttons or switches that are likely to be activated accidentally when it's traveling inside of a bag or even your pocket.

We looked at the design of the camera as well as reader reviews, and any products that could be easily activated accidentally were either left off the list altogether or given a lower score in this category. The best action cameras should definitely be really portable and easy for you to take with you wherever you go!

Battery Life

The last thing you want is for your action camera to die while you are recording--so, take a look at the battery life to ensure that it will work for your adventures.

This is obviously a very important factor to consider before you buy an action camera. You don't want to be out doing your favorite sporting and adventure activities and not be able to get the shot because your battery dies. Obviously, it's up to you to remember to charge the battery before going out, but it also matters how good the battery is in your camera.

While writing the reviews for each product we considered the type of battery that it comes with as well as user reviews to see what type of experiences actual people had while using their cameras. There are also several things you can do to extend the life of the batteries that come with your camera.

You can remove the batteries from the camera when you aren't using it, turn off any connectivity features (ie. wifi) when you don't need them, and update the firmware on your camera consistently. If you want to make sure you get your shot, you may also want to consider buying an extra battery or two.

Most of the products on our list use batteries that are actually made by another, dedicated battery maker, and are widely available for purchase. Whatever you choose, don't overlook this essential part of your equipment.

Ease of Use

Getting an action camera that you can easily use while you are on the go is a must--which is why we used it as a top factor when we evaluated each of our top picks.

This is one factor that a lot of people forget to think about before buying an action camera. Think about it, action cameras are meant to be used while you're in action, so there's a good chance you'll be out of breath, perched on the edge of a mountain, or otherwise distracted and/or in a hurry when you're trying to get your shot.

Because of this, you'll definitely want a camera that is easy to use. Fortunately, action camera makers have thought of this and have done a pretty good job making their products simple and intuitive to operate. That doesn't mean however that some aren't better than others in this respect.

To determine how simple it is to operate the products on our list we looked at the camera and its controls to see for ourselves if it can be used without a lot of fuss, and we also considered reviews from actual users to see what a variety of different people had to say. After all, just because we think something is easy, or difficult, to operate, doesn't mean that's the case for everyone.

After all, we're all coming from different backgrounds and experience levels and what is easy for one person might not be for another and vice versa.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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Chances are everyone knows GoPro

But it takes more than a big name brand to determine which product is truly the best. There are various factors that make some products stand out fro others.

Along with its image and video quality, it must be durable, have the option of being waterproof and have a decent battery life.

Practice

No matter how great the product is, the consumer will have to practice a bit with their filming skills in order to achieve what they aim to do. Make sure to familiarize with the editing software, or get an option that allows editing right from the device.

Try different angles when filming, and keep clips short and sweet for easy editing and uploading.

Other Factors to Consider

Accessories

Many options, including GoPros, come with accessories that either come with your action camera or that you can purchase separately. Make a list of the additional accessories you think you need and research your product. As far as accessories go, we took a look at the following different options you have to choose from.

Waterproof cases

If you like to hit the water and film every second of your water adventures, then you will probably want to get a waterproof case for your action camera. These cases are specifically made for the camera you decided to purchase and completely seal your camera so you can take those underwater pictures and videos you have been wanting to film.

Common types of mounts

Helmet/head attachment- Used for surfing, skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing, zip-lining.
Handlebar attachment- Used for bikes and biking adventures, you can track your favorite trails and share with your family and friends when you get back!
Protective housing- Used to waterproof, dust-proof, damage-proofs the device.
Chest mounts – Great for running, hiking
Wrist mounts – Used for diving and underwater activities.

The Lens

The kind of lens is important because the user will want to be able to capture the full scene or surroundings. Many feature a wide-angle lens, and some even include a fisheye lens to give wide images with a cool effect.

Other additional accessories

Your action camera will more than likely also come with a USB-C cable you can hook up to your computer to upload all of your videos and pictures. Some also come with a remote control so you can easily control it and snap certain shots while it is mounted--or so you can get yourself in with all of your family or friends.

Bottom Line

All in all, you need to make sure you get an action camera that covers all of your needs. Only you know what you need so, while you need to take everything we have to say in our buying guide into account, you need to ensure you apply that information to your own specific needs and what you expect to get from your action camera.

Evaluate the value

Before you make your final decision, take a look at your budget and see how much you have to spend. If you have a strict budget, this will have to be your deciding factor but just make sure that your monetary investment matches up with everything the camera has to offer and that you feel you are getting what you are looking for.

What does it have to offer?

The features of the camera should fit your needs--so make sure you don't get something that has too many or too few features. The action camera should also either come with the accessories you need or have the option to purchase those accessories separately--so, if you know you need a waterproof case, make sure you purchase an action camera that is compatible with one.

The whole point of these action cameras is that you are able to take them with you wherever you go--which is why portability is key. Make sure they are also durable enough to withstand the use that you will put them through and that they offer the batter life that you need. And, last but not least, make sure you get an action camera that you can use easily!

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Why should I use an action camera?

a:

Action cameras are perfect for those of you who are always on the go and piling on those adventures to your repertoire. They are great for recording sports tricks or to take on adventures when trying new activities. Used by pro athletes and everyday users, these are ideal for skiing, surfing, biking, running, hiking, and more.

q: What type of SD does an action camera require?

a:

The type of SD you get will depend on what you need, your preferences, and the type of action camera that you decide to get in the long run. It’s best to purchase an SD card from a well-known brand in either 16 or 32GB sizes. Examples include Sandisk C6 16GB, Sony C10 32GB, and Samsung EVO C10 32GB.

q: Are action cameras typically waterproof?

a:

Although there are some action cameras that are waterproof themselves, not all of them are. If you know you want to get that perfect underwater shot or document of every bit of your water adventures, then you will have to get a waterproof case if you get an action camera that is not waterproof itself. These housings will protect your camera from water damage and allow you to use it in the water.

q: How do you mount an action camera to a helmet?

a:

Many options come with a helmet mount with the product or sell them as a separate accessory. Attach the mount to the helmet using its adhesive and allow it to stick. Then attach and adjust accordingly for the best angle. Make sure you follow your camera's instructions and mount's instructions to ensure you mount it properly.

q: Can I charge the camera while filming or editing?

a:

Depending on which of the best action cameras from our list, you may or may not be able to do this. A lot of models do offer the ability to do this, but not all of them do. This isn't an essential feature for an action camera but if it is important to you, then make sure to get an action camera that allows you to charge while you film and edit.

Sources

  1. Samuel Horti , 21 tips from the pros on getting the most from your action cam, Informational Tech Website
  2. Liz Pelker, The Beginner’s Guide to Buying an Action Camera, Camera Buying Guide
  3. Editorial Team , How To Choose An Action Camera For Your Next Trip, Camera Buying Guide
  4. Kai Ferng Low, How to Use Action Camera: Tips and Tricks for Beginners, Informational Tech Website