Best Action Cameras Reviewed & Rated for Quality

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
AKASO EK7000
Test Winner: AKASO EK7000
Amazon Link
If you’re doing anything you think is remarkable, you’ve probably convinced yourself you need to record it for the world to see. This unique element of humanity is called being self-centered and generally, we applaud it. But, there are a lot of things that should never be recorded, much less broadcast to the world. But if you’re going to try to do something athletically outrageous, try to jump from your roof to the pool for instance, then, by all means, you need an action camera to record it. Not because we necessarily want you to succeed, mainly we want to see the funny video of your epic fail. But for those of you who have the chops and actually compete on a professional or semi-professional level, we do want to marvel at your abilities so for all of us get yourself one of these.

Standout Picks

AKASO EK7000 Action Cameras
The best model on the list is the Akaso EK7000. Of course, it had to go to a 4K model, but there is a lot more to this model than meets the eye. The company took some really good choices from other models and improved on it.
Amazon Link
$69.99
YI 4K Action Cameras
Now, this is where things really start to heat up on the list, with the YI 4k Action Camera setting the bar high. High not just relating to price, but the quality of all components as a whole. Balance is important with this model, and it has very little flaws.
Amazon Link
$250.00
Garmin VIRB XE Action Cameras
The Garmin VIRB XE offers a complete redesign on looks as well as appearance. Unlike some action models that only capture images, you can also capture GPS data such as location and speed. This takes capturing movement to a whole other level.
Amazon Link
$549.99
GoPro HERO6 Action Cameras
The GoPro isn’t a model that needs an introduction. The sixth edition of the GoPro HERO is no less than any of its predecessors, ideal for capturing the most intense and extreme moments. The GoPro HERO6 shoots incredible scenes in Ultra HD with a 60fps frame rate that delivers nothing less than 4K film capture. Its 5GHz Wi-Fi band allows for a super-fast wireless transfer of files to the desired device.
Amazon Link
Sony FDR-X3000 Action Cameras
Everyone has heard of Sony in the past. Not only do they make their own products, but they often are the original makers of the technology implemented by the other huge brands. Their quality in electronic products goes undoubted, and their FDR-X3000 has been no less. Record all the point of view in Ultra HD 4K format, with shots as clear as water and steady like never before.
Amazon Link
$694.51
TomTom Bandit Action Cameras
You may not know TomTom for their model, but you will now. Their Bandit release is a portable and compact solution to your extreme movement recording issues. Needless to say, the TomTom Bandit features Ultra HD 4K resolution – making your videos sparkle like the pros. Its long battery life will allow you to go as far as 3 hours of nonstop filming in full HD. Forget about battery replacement in the middle of your performance.
Amazon Link
$199.95
GoPro HERO 7
We do try to avoid putting a newer version of an old product on this list but this new Go Pro 7 is really nice and we think it belongs here as well as one other older version, simply put the Go Pro is the industry standard for action cameras so it’s hard not to show them off. There’s just so much going on with this, from picture stabilization to noise reduction to all kinds of little extras.
Amazon Link
$319.00
DJI OSMO Action Cam
This big old dual-screen lets you do almost everything you can imagine but at a lower price than a lot of its competitors. You get great stabilization technology and HDR video that keeps your images crystal clear and also allows super slow motion and speeding up technology.
Amazon Link
$374.90
Olympus TG-Tracker
This is a big unit that offers a bit selection of features that are going to appeal to almost anyone who is looking to capture their life. It shoots in 4k 30 p video capture so it’s crystal clear and will really allow you to focus on some high velocity, high action stuff. It also has built-in wifi and it’s waterproof.
Amazon Link
$350.00
SJCAM SJ7 Star
The first device from SJCAM is the SJCAM SJ7 Star. It has colorful and detailed 4K material that is displayed on a sizable 2-inch rear touchscreen, where you can easily navigate and view.
Amazon Link
$89.99

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Visibility

The whole reason you want one of these is so that you can capture moments of your life and adventures. This is why it's important that you get good quality videos and pictures. The majority of models come in either HD or 4K.

HD means High Dеfіnіtіоn, HD, Full HD аnd 1080р all mеаn thе same thing. Thіѕ means thаt your vіdеоѕ can be рlауеd оn TV’s, smartphones, YouTube, рrоjесtоrѕ, аnd соmрutеrѕ for еxаmрlе. Most асtіоn саmеrаѕ should соmе wіth thіѕ, іt’ѕ bеѕt tо mаkе ѕurе іt dоеѕ so уоu knоw you hаvе hіgh ԛuаlіtу video playback – thе last thіng уоu wаnt іѕ to hаvе epic footage ѕwіmmіng wіth turtlеѕ оnlу to fіnd out the at the video quality is ѕо рооr thаt уоur rесоrdіng іѕ bаrеlу vіѕіblе. HD оr 1080p gеnеrаllу gіvеѕ you a rеѕоlutіоn оf 1920×1080.

4K іѕ аlѕо knоwn аѕ Ultrа HD, уоu get where thіѕ is gоіng right?… Meaning it hаѕ аn еvеn bіggеr rеѕоlutіоn so images аrе еvеn сlеаrеr ѕо thеу саn be mаdе rеаllу lаrgе wіthоut lооkіng ріxеlаtеd. 4K vіdео fооtаgе соuld bе uѕеd on dіgіtаl tеlеvіѕіоn and digital сіnеmаtоgrарhу. It’s nоt еѕѕеntіаl but іf уоu wаnt vеrу hіgh quality vіdео make ѕurе thе асtіоn саmеrа іѕ a 4K type of a model.

Durability

While we can’t test all the products we review, we know that the people who use them every day do. The one thing that these should be able to do is to handle a lot of abuse. After all, it’s called an action camera. So how do we know how durable the device we evaluate is? We look at the reasons why real users like it. Every time a user says it’s durable, we throw it into our basket of the best in the market.

The words we look for when we think durability include the likes of waterproof and weatherproof. Some of the action models we saw while doing this review have an outer case which is waterproof, yet others have to be put in a separate waterproof case. We certainly think that the ones with a waterproof exterior are more desirable.

Style

For something like an action model, dimensions are important as you would want to ensure comfort as you use it. If you check almost all the photographing devices in our list, you will notice that they are box-shaped. We love these types of devices because they are great for mounting on the chest. We also prefer that the device should be lightweight. It’s a feature that good manufacturers of action models are taking seriously these days. The model should also be compact so that it offers maximum portability.

Capacity

If you have put in some years into video recording, you will agree with me that the memory card you use will impact on the outcome of your footages. The bigger the size of your memory card, the longer the hours you can capture in real-life footages. While having a spare memory card is always recommended, never forget that having a compatible memory card is the first prompt to watch out for, and confirm.

Yоu wаnt tо mаkе ѕurе уоu hаvе a dесеnt amount оf ѕtоrаgе аѕ уоu dоn’t want tо run out оf ѕрасе just аѕ you are filming something аmаzіng. If уоu аrе gоіng tо bе filming a lot (rather than juѕt tаkіng photos) this wіll tаkе uр more ѕрасе оn thе SD саrd so іt might bе a gооd іdеа tо gеt аn асtіоn саmеrа wіth a bіggеr capacity аlthоugh it’s nоt essential as уоu соuld just tаkе a fеw ѕрасе micro SD саrdѕ ѕо you саn сhаngе to a nеw оnе when the existing SD card іѕ full. Sоmеthіng tо keep in mind іѕ that іf уоu сhооѕе tо gо fоr a 4K асtіоn camera thе vіdеоѕ is a hіghеr dеfіnіtіоn whісh takes uр more rооm on thе dеvісе.

Features

These come with a set of features that makes them distinct and widely sought-after by users from all walks of life. They are used to capture moments that matter to us in our daily lives in the form of photos, videos, and live stream. Live activities have a newfound boost in the social media sphere that more people are now desirous to know how to get the best out of the wanted model in their possession.

When described, these models are referred to as the compact, portable and rugged gadgets which enable the user to re-live their recorded activities at any time. Whether you are involved in live sports, having a time of personal fitness schedule or going out on hunting expedition in the wild or ocean, you will find a use for this handy gadget.

This kind of model is capable of delivering high -resolution images as a result of lenses that are wide-angled. This is one reason why they are the best fit for live streaming across media platforms. These tips will enrich your mastery of the device.

It’s important that an action model comes with adequate accessories such as mounts. It’s not all devices you get in the market that will come with adequate mounts for all activities. To see the accessories that come with each of the action models we feature, we always go to the manufacturer websites. We then check whether the users of the product confirm these accessories.

We think that all modern action models should come with the latest technology. By technology, we are talking about connectivity. A good action model should allow you to connect your material to the web or other electronic devices. If a device doesn’t have connectivity and the playback feature, then it’s not good enough for our list.

Best Action Cameras Reviewed for Durability & Overall Quality

1. AKASO EK7000

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$69.99
AKASO EK7000 Action Cameras
AKASO EK7000
Amazon Link

The best model on the list is the Akaso EK7000. Of course, it had to go to a 4K model, but there is a lot more to this model than meets the eye. The company took some really good choices from other models and improved on it.

Possibly The Remote Control
This one was a toss-up since there are so many great features about the device. But just like the Campark, the Akaso has included a wireless remote control. Unfortunately, it is no different than the Campark model, missing yet another golden opportunity to create something special with the remote control. But it is still a great accessory to have around.

Waterproof
This one is perfect for all you watersport junkies out there. It provides you with a decent amount of waterproofing so you won't have to be wary of ruining your equipment when that big wave hits.

Cost and Value
The EK7000 hovers around the mid-price range but does come with a ridiculous amount of extras. The only step up from this would be the YI 4k as the only other completely balanced on the list.

Amazon Link
$69.99

2. YI 4K

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$250.00
YI 4K Action Cameras
YI 4K
Amazon Link

Now, this is where things really start to heat up on the list, with the YI 4k Action Camera setting the bar high. High not just relating to price, but the quality of all components as a whole. Balance is important with this model, and it has very little flaws.

Professionalism
The design of the device makes it look like a high-class DSLR rather than an action model. Just the black model, in particular, looks sleek, smooth and powerful. Other colors are available, and they all retain the same great professional look.

Cooling System
When those impossible feats need to be captured sometimes accomplishing them can take some time. Often times your equipment needs a heat break as much as you do. When going for one last try of pushing the limits, you can push this unit as well. It comes with a built-in cooling system to prevent overheating.

Cost and Value
The features are unmatched by any other on the list, even at #1. But the value for the normal everyday user that wants an action camera to record stunts may be lower. Factor in the features you will use, and decide whether it is worth getting the most expensive on the list.

Amazon Link
$250.00

3. Garmin VIRB XE

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$549.99
Garmin VIRB XE Action Cameras
Garmin VIRB XE
Amazon Link

The Garmin VIRB XE offers a complete redesign on looks as well as appearance. Unlike some action models that only capture images, you can also capture GPS data such as location and speed. This takes capturing movement to a whole other level.

Sensor Connectivity
Sensor information on this is displayed alongside the video, allowing you to show your heart rate or speed as it changes while recording video. In addition to heart rate and speed, temperature and power are also displayed. To connect external audio devices or some other sensors, Bluetooth technology is available.

Hands-Free
Some of you adventurers out there are lone wolves and that is totally fine. But how do you manage to maneuver yourself and work your equipment at the same time? This is where the hands-free technology of this model comes into play. With voice activation, you can dictate to this what you need done.

Cost and Value
The price on Garmin VIRB XE is a little high but that is to be expected with these novel features. While there are less costly options, it may be worth investing in order to not lose any of them.

Amazon Link
$549.99

4. GoPro HERO6

Where to buy
Amazon Link
GoPro HERO6 Action Cameras
GoPro HERO6
Amazon Link

The GoPro isn’t a model that needs an introduction. The sixth edition of the GoPro HERO is no less than any of its predecessors, ideal for capturing the most intense and extreme moments. The GoPro HERO6 shoots incredible scenes in Ultra HD with a 60fps frame rate that delivers nothing less than 4K film capture. Its 5GHz Wi-Fi band allows for a super-fast wireless transfer of files to the desired device.

Electronic image stabilizer
The GoPro HERO6 counts with its very own image stabilizer. The electronic stabilizing system keeps the mainframe in its place, countering the vibrations and inclination and reducing the impact it has on the frame stability. Normally, you would require an additional device for this task, but in the HERO6 it’s integrated. The stabilizer contributes to both image capture and recordings.

Built-in GPS
The GoPro HERO6 does much more than just record and take pictures. Its built-in GPS functionality allows users to keep a record of their path, speed, elevation gain and many other aspects. The GPS functionality also transmits the location of the device automatically in case it shall go missing. Adding the stats collected by the GPS to your videos is as simple as opening the Quick app.

Cost and Value
The GoPro isn’t cheap, but you already knew that. The HERO6, in particular, is a fresh release, and thus it carries a hefty price tag. While the price may intimidate some users, advance videographers will know the amount of technology and functionality that resides within this model. It is by far one of the best ones on the market, certainly durable and worth the purchase.

Amazon Link

5. Sony FDR-X3000

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$694.51
Sony FDR-X3000 Action Cameras
Sony FDR-X3000
Amazon Link

Everyone has heard of Sony in the past. Not only do they make their own products, but they often are the original makers of the technology implemented by the other huge brands. Their quality in electronic products goes undoubted, and their FDR-X3000 has been no less. Record all the point of view in Ultra HD 4K format, with shots as clear as water and steady like never before.

Adjustable FOV and zoom
Sony knows that not everyone has the same purpose for their devices. Which is why they allow users to adjust the field of view on their product. The FDR-X3000 has the option to expand or reduce the environment around you while filming any movement imaginable. Whether you want to focus on a single body during the shot or rather the whole environment around you, the Sony FDR-X3000 makes it possible.

New user interface
Buttons and switches are things of the past. The Sony FDR-X3000 counts with a highly intuitive and user-friendly interface. Accessing your media and adjusting the settings of your device is as easy as navigating through the panel. Change the way it operates and start building the action around your very own preferences. Capture the moments that matter to you in the way you like it the most.

Cost and Value
The Sony FDR-X3000 is the highest end of action model technology, and high-end technology is never cheap. While it certainly costs more than most users are normally willing to pay, it’s important to consider the quality. Sony incorporated every bit of filming and photography technology they own in this device. Regardless of its price, extreme quality is the only thing you can expect this.

Amazon Link
$694.51

6. TomTom Bandit

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$199.95
TomTom Bandit Action Cameras
TomTom Bandit
Amazon Link

You may not know TomTom for their model, but you will now. Their Bandit release is a portable and compact solution to your extreme movement recording issues. Needless to say, the TomTom Bandit features Ultra HD 4K resolution – making your videos sparkle like the pros. Its long battery life will allow you to go as far as 3 hours of nonstop filming in full HD. Forget about battery replacement in the middle of your performance.

Easy editing
It’s important to capture the moments of transition, but the TomTom Bandit is much more than just recording. This device connects to your phone or any other mobile device and allows you to edit hours of footage in a matter of seconds. The best part? You won’t need to download any of the footage first to do so. Navigating through your media and editing had never been this easy before. Edit what you like, discard what you don’t.

Instant mounting
The TomTom Bandit can easily become another piece of your equipment. Its versatile design allows you to strap it to your body before launching into movement. An innovative mounting system makes wearing this as easy as possible. All you have to do is mount, click, and go. The reliable mount allows you to perform freely without worrying about forceful movements that would normally detach a low-quality mount.

Cost and Value
The TomTom Bandit isn’t the most expensive on the list, but it’s not the cheapest one either. Its price rounds below the average cost of the products on this list. This is a great thing considering the TomTom Bandit features nothing but professional-level photography performance. Don’t confuse it with a recreational device – this counts with the technology and features of a professional photography one.

Amazon Link
$199.95

7. GoPro HERO 7

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$319.00
GoPro HERO 7
GoPro HERO 7
GoPro HERO 7
Amazon Link

We do try to avoid putting a newer version of an old product on this list but this new Go Pro 7 is really nice and we think it belongs here as well as one other older version, simply put the Go Pro is the industry standard for action cameras so it’s hard not to show them off. There’s just so much going on with this, from picture stabilization to noise reduction to all kinds of little extras.

Video Accessories
Motion stabilization pops to mind so no matter how jarring the hit or the bounce you’ll get a smooth image. You also get the ability to do time warp shots both speeding up and slowing down, plus it automatically keeps your volume optimal as it records the video.

Live Streaming
Nothing new here but it’s always nice to be able to show the world what you’re doing as you’re doing it. Live streaming is as simple as hitting the record button and then watching those likes multiply as the world watches you do your thing.

Cost and Value
This comes in at the midrange and we like what we see here. There’s just so much going on with each new iteration of the GoPro and the price seems to stay at a nice reasonably affordable price for such a high-quality that GoPro keeps surprising us and we keep upgrading.

Amazon Link
$319.00

8. DJI OSMO Action Cam

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$374.90
DJI OSMO Action Cam
DJI OSMO Action Cam
Amazon Link

This big old dual-screen lets you do almost everything you can imagine but at a lower price than a lot of its competitors. You get great stabilization technology and HDR video that keeps your images crystal clear and also allows super slow motion and speeding up technology.

Waterproof
The Osmo is water-resistant up to 11 meters and also resists all kinds of moisture and it’s temperature resistant as well so it won’t lock up in weather that’s too hot or too cold, and by cold we mean this will work up to -11 degrees Celsius. That should keep you working in the worst weather we can imagine.

Video Features
The Osmo comes with an 8x slow-motion feature as well as a timelapse capture and it’s all in HD. That means if you’re using this to grab screenshots or really want everyone to see all that air you caught in slow motion you can show it to them really, really slowly, and it also allows for really clear screen grab pictures.

Cost and Value
This price is a bit lower than some of the others on our list and we’d like to officially declare this a steal. It has all the features of more expensive models but at a price that won’t beat you up too much at the checkout counter.

Amazon Link
$374.90

9. Olympus TG-Tracker

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$350.00
Olympus TG-Tracker
Olympus TG-Tracker
Olympus TG-Tracker
Amazon Link

This is a big unit that offers a bit selection of features that are going to appeal to almost anyone who is looking to capture their life. It shoots in 4k 30 p video capture so it’s crystal clear and will really allow you to focus on some high velocity, high action stuff. It also has built-in wifi and it’s waterproof.

Fixed Fish Eye
This has two lenses one which gives you solid tracking of whatever it is you want to grab. It also ensures high-quality video capture that gives you crystal clear imagery even when you slow it down or speed it up. The other is a fisheye which will give you a much broader view if you’re shooting action on a larger scale.

Waterproof
Up to 100 feet, this should work just fine. Water being what it is, we don’t like to use our 3 figure action cam to test the theory of dive limits but if you’re using it to record your shallow diving or snorkeling adventures you’ll be just fine.

Cost and Value
A bit on the higher end but not more than anyone in the market should be able to afford. There are a few cheaper models but they don’t have all the features of the Olympus. Plus you get the Olympus name which has value.

Amazon Link
$350.00

10. SJCAM SJ7 Star

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$89.99
SJCAM SJ7 Star
Amazon Link

The first device from SJCAM is the SJCAM SJ7 Star. It has colorful and detailed 4K material that is displayed on a sizable 2-inch rear touchscreen, where you can easily navigate and view.

Several Recording Modes
This model features a large range of recording modes. To easily select one, you tap the rear touchscreen followed by Video Resolution. There is a 166-degree view from the lens, but you are limited to wide when in 1080. You can select medium or narrow while in most other modes.

Smooth Performance
You need your video to turn out just as smooth as your stunt. But in most cases, people will shake and jostle, causing poor video quality. This little beauty has remedied that situation by providing a stabilizing feature that will reduce the amount of shaking that appears during your video.

Cost and Value
The SJCAM SJ7 Star rivals GoPro’s Hero Black but for much less of a price. There is also much more accessories included than with the Hero.

Amazon Link
$89.99

Sources

  1. Jamie Carter, Digital Camera World, Buying Guide
  2. Editorial Team, World Sim, Travel Blog