Disclaimer: If you purchase any products in this post, we may receive a small commission. We promote only the products which we test and recommend. Read our affiliate disclaimer here.
While smartphones are great for capturing photos and videos, capturing some precious moments of your life on a high-megapixel camera is more important.
Action cameras are increasingly being used not only by sports persons and adventure lovers but also by ordinary people these days.
From full HD to 4K with the functional sensor, auto-editing, and image stabilization, the best action cameras are perfect for every type of adventure. Extreme angles provided by these action cameras help you capture the entire experience of skateboard tricks, snorkeling adventures, ski runs or pets antics.
After testing more than 22 action cameras under different conditions, including a rafting adventure and a mountain biking trip, we consider the GoPro Hero 6 to be the best action camera on our list.
The reason this is the best choice is that it provides a quality video with image stabilization and is designed with the best technologies in place to respond to voice commands.
Table: Top 10 Best Trail Cameras
10 Best Mounted & Handheld Action Cameras Reviewed
1. GoPro HERO6 Digital Action Camera
GoPro hasn’t made any updates to the Hero6 structure, so its design looks just like the previous version. It still provides water resistance up to 33 feet for the camera, which means the camera is capable of protecting itself from the water up to 10 meters. Even if you want to do some serious diving, you can do so without any hesitation because the included case is rugged and you won’t have to buy an extra case.
Processor & Video Quality
The GoPro Hero6 4K Ultra HD Action Camera is equipped with the new GP1 processor, which is capable of recording videos at speeds of up to 60 fps at 4K resolution. Its slow-motion video is even more impressive, which means you can shoot 1080p resolution and 240 fps videos with this action video camera.
Hero6 vlogging camera seems to be slightly improved compared to its previous versions. With GoPro Hero6’s standard technical structure, the background noise is subdued, meaning the passing cars, wind, and other sounds are not overlooked by the camera, which is welcomed by most users. However, you can use an external microphone if you want to use the background sound recorded on your GoPro Hero6 for any other use.
The battery life of the Hero6 optical zoom camera is as durable as the previous generations. The battery lasted about an hour while recording video at 1440p and 60 fps during our study, which is similar to the previous generation camera. But when you use additional features like voice commands, Wi-Fi and GPS, the battery won’t last long.
2. Rylo 360 Video Camera
This camera is fitted with dual lenses so it has different orientations. Both the exterior facing facades are made of matte black plastic. It also comes with a constant piece of gently wiped aluminum that rings the side, bottom, and top of this camera, providing the camera a solid feel. The Rylo 360 included with the “Daily Case,” which is composed of a camera with a plastic frame and a compact, detachable handle with a GoPro mount underneath it.
There is a microphone on both sides of the camera, which gives you clear audio quality. Even in a loud environment, every commentary by the user when talking to the camera is clear and distinct from other sounds outside. The Rylo 360 camera doesn’t equip with a speaker, so you need your mobile device to download and play the clips recorded on Rylo.
Rylo comes with integrated gyro-based image stabilization to guarantee not only conventional action pictures but also a level range to produce visuals easier.
All video taken by this camera is filmed at 4K resolution, while all panorama photos are filmed at 6K resolution. Because of the overlapping field of view, Rylo grants unbelievable operational image stabilization even when you are doing complex adventures like mountain biking. Its use clearly shows how to select a person or an object to follow in the footage or to view at a distinct item within a 360° video.
The hyperlapse feature of the action camera resembles the time-lapse feature, but there is only one variation, here the camera moves without having to hold in one place, generating a surreal effect. Generally, hyperlapse take a lot of time and effort to create a scene, because it requires hundreds of photos. Its use is capable of sending video up to 2, 3, 4, 8, 12 or even 16X speed.
3. DJI Osmo Pocket Action Camera
The DJI Osmo Pocket is a camera gimbal you can carry anywhere, which is almost a smaller version of the DJI Osmo 2. Not only is it small, but it is also a handy, slip-free, sweat-proof grip action camera. This makes it easy to operate an embedded one-inch touch screen, which can be used to cycle through modes and settings.
With an F / 2.0 aperture, 100Mbps Max bitrate, and a 3-inch sensor, the camera offers 4K video quality, which is slightly better than top-end smartphones. This is fully stabilized by electronic image stabilization, optical image stabilization, or a combination of both. This is a practical solution for most people who want to smooth everyday video.
Surprisingly, the DJI Portable Mini Action Camera features of downtime and motion-lapse videos so you can set this camera in 2 to 4 paths.
The bitter truth is that the audio is good enough but doesn’t provide you with a clear sound like an external mic. But in most situations, it will take your voice when you want to describe something or to vlog. It also provides the user with adequate audio quality and good output with good stabilization.
According to the DJI, the Osmo Pocket’s battery capacity is an average of 875 mAh, and if it is performed at 1080p and 30fps, the camera can record up to 140 minutes without non-stopping. The battery life of this action camera is likely to decrease slightly during some complicated process such as selecting a superior 4K resolution and moving it around the gimbal.
4. GoPro HERO5 Digital Action Camera
The Hero 5 Cubic Action Camera is fitted with a matte black outer finish and is similar to the size of a miniature cube. The two-inch touch screen on the back of this cam is bright and easy to see, while the front offers a small screen shooting mode. There is a large red button on the top of the camera, which the GoPro refers to as its one-button control. By pressing this rubber square, the forces are turned on and the camera immediately starts recording.
Although the GoPro brand has recently launched new HERO6 and HERO7 cameras, the Hero5 has proven to be a strong competitor. With the integrated CMOS technology sensor widely used on professional-grade camera drones, the GoPro HERO5 does an excellent job of capturing efficient footage and videos. This action camera will permit you to generate masterpieces using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
Included with this camera is the Remo waterproof voice-enabled shutter remote button, a quick key USB-C mobile micro SD card reader for downloading files.
The GoPro HERO5 Black Action Camera features a responsive, very simple, and navigable menu. You can use a complete and comprehensive HUD to find out what type of mode you are in. The camera comes with all aspects of memory storage capacity, Wi-Fi signal, battery life, and GPS tracker location data. Overall, it is simple and professional.
This action camera comes with an innovative feature called Quickstories, a feature that turns your footage into an amazing video. You can also use the accompanying voice command to tell the camera what to do. This feature is welcomed by most users because it provides a complete experience for more control over how you want to create scenes. You can also do GoPro HERO5 Black Timelapse Face Single and Burst Mode.
5. DJI OSMO Action Cam Digital Camera
The Osmo Action Cam is made of a water-resistant metal frame and is attached to hardened rubberized sides to give it a better feel. It also features a water-sealed MicroSD card slot and USB-C port, along with a 1.4-inch compact and square-shaped display. Osmo camera equipped with a housing and adhesive mount, so the camera can be easily fitted to a helmet, car, or anywhere else, and if you prefer, you can remove the microSD card separately from the cam and record it.
Image & Video Quality
This image stabilization action camera is designed with a 12MP sensor and is coupled with an ultra-wide-angle lens to provide quality output. The camera features an f/2.8 aperture and 148° field-of-view, which competes with the Hero 7 Black and comes with a long-lasting rugged 1300 mAh battery. It possesses a capacity of video captures resolutions from 720p to 4K, 4: 3 or 16: 9. Everything other than the 4K, 4: 3, 60fps setting supports DJI’s proprietary image stabilization system.
When the camera is in sleep mode or it's in the power-off situation, it will engage in preset shooting mode by pressing the shutter button once.
All 4K footage captured in Osmo action packs in quality levels. As a result of its reasonable dynamic range, we can realize that the HDR mode is in full use. The front touch screen attached to this camera is incredibly useful for self-shooters in ergonomic viewing. Although its lens is large, it helps to get your face in the shot, and if you’re using a selfie screen, it allows you to design background elements and draw strong brightness and exterior visibility.
To the surprise of the user, the camera comes with an 8x Slow Motion feature, along with manual exposure control, which provides the user with standard 12MP photo support. It also offers a time-lapse video and many other unique features. And it is fully implemented with the help of a double-tap on the main touch screen.
6. YI 4K Action and Sports Camera - White
GoPro has some similarities with Yi 4k’s mobile applications and upgrading systems such as the waterproof case. The front of the Y4K is fitted with a rigid lens and is equipped with the Gorilla Glass for 2.2-inch wide LCD screen, which makes this camera popular among users. The speaker and dual microphone holes are mounted on the upper side for user preference. It also features a small micro USB charging port on the right side of the camera.
Image Quality & Video Quality
The images taken using YI 4K are sharp, crisp, and capable of capturing impressive details even in low light conditions. It takes pictures at 12 MP with good results. The time interval mode of this action camera is 60, 30, 10, 5, 2, 1 and 0.5 seconds respectively and allows this interval to be switched on automatically.
The Yi 4K lets you capture videos at 4K at 30 and 25 fps frame rate while allowing you to switch from 1080p to 25/30/50/60/100 and 120fps. It is recommended that you use 720p with 240fps to capture slow-motion videos. Furthermore, features such as time-lapse and fish eye reduction provide electronic image stabilization.
With this camera you can adjust the shutter speed according to your needs, thereby increasing the camera recording performance in the darkness. It is also made with auto low light mode.
Electronic Image Stabilization
The Yi 4K Action Camera’s fish eye reduction feature works well and its electronic image stabilization is only compatible with 30fps at 1080p resolution. Some users are not satisfied with the result of the image stabilization feature compared to GoPro devices, but this is best for beginners.
The camera features a 5.4Wh removable and rechargeable battery. If you want to shoot video with 3080p at 1080p, the Yi 4K action cam offers you the option of serving up to 2 hours and 35 minutes. The Yi 4K action cam supports a 128GB MicroSD card, but experts recommend using the 10theEdition for superior quality results.
7. Olympus Tough TG-Tracker Action Camera
The Olympus TG-Tracker action camera follows the styling of the tough and compact camera range and comes in black versions as well. The camera also comes with a built-in image stabilizer via the menu system, making it easy to use even in bad weather. While traveling the camera does a good job of reducing vibration, even if the camera doesn’t eliminate the bad vibration. With a small LED lamp attached to it, it can be used for illumination when recording in the dark.
Five Field Sensors
The TG-Tough is equipped with five innovative sensors, such as a compass, GPS, barometer, thermometer and acceleration sensor. These five special features are called Five Field Sensors. Inside the TG-Tracker is composed of a 7.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor. This stabilizer action camera is included with the ultra-wide 204° angle view lens.
If data recording is permitted, the TG-Tracker will continuously record GPS and sensor data when the camera is on.
Image & Video Capturing Ability
Recording can be done at various resolutions, such as 4K resolution at 30fps, 1080p resolution at 60fps, and 720p resolution at 60fps. With the help of its high-speed recording option, you can increase frame rates to 240fps at 720p and 480p. Stills can be captured at 8 million pixels if the user wishes.
There are two-phase locking doors on the back of the camera to handle the battery, USB and HDMI port, and microSD card slot. Besides, it gives you the option of charging the camera via USB and here the battery is interchangeable. According to Olympus, the TG-Tracker’s Lithium-928 battery allows you to shoot up to 490 shots or give you enough power for about 1 1/2 hours if you use 4K video.
8. GoPro HERO Digital Action Camera
The GoPro Hero gets the same physics design as its other versions, meaning it is built with a matte gray exterior finish, and the power mode button is located on the right side of the camera. On the front of the camera is a small, square-shaped display mode, which specifies the recording time, how much time is remaining, and the battery charge. An LED light will turn red in the upper-left corner to indicate whether the camera is recording or charging.
Switching modes of the camera can be done by two different methods, either by using the power button on the right or by touching the icon in the lower-right corner. When it’s in a specific mode, all the appropriate settings are
Compared to the sound quality in the video taken by Yi Lite, the GoPro Hero's audio quality is slightly better in the foreground voices and noises because of the use of air-noise reduction.
The GoPro has a frame to protect the camera from water so the system doesn’t need plastic housing. The advantage of this structure is that the audio quality provided by this camera is much better than a camera that needs waterproof housing. Of course, the disturbance caused by the air when recording footage can be damage to the quality of the video. But the built-in software of this camera helps to carefully manipulate the background noise and protect the quality of the audio.
Only two frame-rate/resolution combinations are offered by this GoPro HERO which are at 1440p resolution and 1080p resolution at 30 or 60 fps respectively. The front and rear cameras operate at 1080p/60 fps. The footage recorded from both cameras is accurate and clear so they can be used anywhere.
9. Kodak PIXPRO SP360 Action Camera
The SP360 4K camera is built of plastic material that incorporates sharp edges and corners to provide a strong grip to the camera. The body of this box-shaped action camera creates a platform that delivers 360° views horizontally. The controls for the shutter and setup adjustments are located on one side of the camera, and there is a small LCD on the front that you can navigate to the display using the system menu. On the other side of the camera, there is space to use micro HDMI ports, a MicroSD card slot, and a micro USB.
When this camera is turned on, it automatically enters the Wi-Fi pairing mode. You just need to press the mode button at the top to set the length of your recording time so that you can change the photo, time-lapse, loop recording, movie, Wi-Fi, and burst modes. You need to press the mode button at the bottom of the camera to make general setting changes such as adjusting the clock, formatting the memory card, and updating the firmware.
You can control two SP360-4K cameras simultaneously with the remote watch provided with the camera, combining the clock with the two cameras in the camera's menus.
The SP360 budget action camera has a variety of shooting modes and options, all of which are built into the LCD screen. The Kodak PIXPRO SP360 Action Camera has 6 superior shooting modes, such as Images, Videos, Time-Lapse, High-Speed Film, Loop Recording and Continuous. With this camera, the unique settings of NFC and Wi-Fi are configured so that you can see what you are recording through the mobile app.
Image & Video Quality
This camera is made with a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, f/2.8 lens, and 214° ultra-wide-angle view, so you can shoot scenes in 360° horizontal panoramas and capture even a fraction of the vertical view. This action camera’s sensor is capable of recording video up to Full HD 1080 resolution at 30fps. The 360° Panorama videos are releases at a maximum resolution of 1,440 × 1,440 at 30fps. Panoramic photos are recorded at a maximum of 10 megapixels.
10. GoPro Hero7 Action Camera – Black
The Ultra HD GoPro Hero7 Camera offers the rubberized and rugged body as the Hero6 action cam. This makes little difference in usage compared to its previous version. The build quality of this stunning camera is solid to provide perfect shots and smooth performance. It would be smart to open a two-phase door for SD card, battery, HDMI and USB compartments. This durable camera is composed of water-resistant instead of housing, so it can travel safely underwater up to 33 feet.
The most important feature of this camera is the Hypersmouth, which adds a gimbal-like confirmation to the video footage. The mixture of hardware and software retains this better space than the improved optical stabilization system, which was developed to respond to user feedback. Hero 7 can handle any situation, which works smoothly in rugged mountains or rain. On top of that, operations are a great addition to their reputation.
The Hero 7 camera has a new feature called Timewarp, which can capture ultra-stable time control videos or snaps.
While the GoPro features many different types of touch screens, the user interface in this Hero 7 is getting better and better. Key information such as resolution and frame rate are located at the bottom of the screen, while battery life and space for the remaining memory showing at the top of the screen. Image mode is a new feature of this camera, which allows you to shoot vertical photos and videos used on sites like Instagram or IGTV.
This action cam comes with well-developed audio options to give the user a better audio experience, and you can use this camera for your vlogging without adding any kind of microphone for extra sound. Other than that, it comes with many features including Raw Sound, Auto, and Wind. All this makes the Hero7 an extraordinary innovative underwater camera system for all kinds of atmospheres, and you can get high-quality audio with these new features.
The Most Rewarding Uses Of Action Cameras
An action camera has very rugged features, unlike the regular camera. It is suitable for a variety of accessories, including a helmet, or bicycle, and is used to record your underwater adventures. Action cameras are compact and lightweight and offer the opportunity to be installed with accessories. This type of underwater camera technology has the potential to increase island population estimates.
These image stabilization cameras are mainly used to provide a great point-of-view (POV) video to the user in outdoor adventures and sports. These cameras are surprisingly known for their time-lapse video feature, which makes for very explicit videos even in slow motion.
Usually, people use these action cameras on their cars, skateboard, and helmet or on the collars of their pets to record a stunt or ensure surveillance. These cameras offer far more advanced functionality than standard cell phone cameras or the use of camcorders and provide quality, clear output.
Not only Action Cameras, but Marine Thermal Cameras also help those who work in a large area like the ocean for the sake of their careers or interests. These marine cameras are patrolling the surface of the ocean.
This is the moment to conclude my review of the best budget action cameras on the market. Action cameras come in different shapes and sizes to suit your use, but whether you need a mini, or bullet, or some regular action camera, it depends on you and your app.
These action cameras are better than a true companion that saves your beautiful and memorable moments. Perhaps your budget permits you to capture high-quality video clippings, and then go for a 4K action camera.