5 Best Action Camera in 2023

Best Action Camera: Once upon a time, deciding on the right action camera was simple: GoPro is your best bet. Even while the GoPro is still our top selection and rates well on our list, we’ve finally located a few strong challengers.

We swam with them, climbed with them, biked with them, and gave them to careless 9-year-olds on bikes to determine which cameras are the best. You may capture and save your future trips with a variety of amazing products.

We also have recommendations for the best compact cameras, mirrorless cameras, and instant cameras if an action cam isn’t for you!

Best Action Camera

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GoPro HERO10 Black – Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens

On top of a new CPU that speeds up capture times and extracts greater detail from a 23.6-megapixel sensor, Hero 10 Black includes much-improved image stabilisation, earning it an 8/10 from WIRED. You may compare Hero 10 to Hero 9, but Hero 10 goes all the way up to 11.

Image stabilisation, which is frequently the most critical function in an action camera, has always been the Hero series’ strongest point. HyperSmooth 4 (GoPro’s image stabilization software) is now available in 5.3K, 30fps footage on the Hero 10 Black. Even at 5.3K, you’ll have plenty of space to trim and output to 4K, giving you a gimbal-like feel.

Video tone mapping and the ability to extract 19-megapixel still photos from the video are also included in this release. A water-shedding lens cover and enhanced noise reduction are also included in the Hero 10’s features.

When purchasing straight from GoPro, the price is cheaper and you receive a 1-year membership for free, but it renews for $100 each year.

Is an action cam on your wish list? A 360-degree camera would be ideal. In short, the answer is yes, and now you can have both in one bundle, too. By introducing interchangeable lenses to the action camera, Insta360’s One RS (8/10, WIRED Recommends) resolves the dispute.

One is a wide-angle Leica lens combined with a 1-inch sensor that can capture 5K video, while the other two are a dual-lens 360-degree camera and a 4K mod that replicates the other cameras on this page. Even if you can’t buy it, I’ve never seen better video quality from an action camera than when using the Leica 1-inch mod with a 4K mod.

Compared to its predecessor, the upgraded Insta360 One RS has a 5.2K video mode and a processor that delivers the company’s motion-smoothing algorithm to the camera, rather than relying on a separate software for that. Rather of producing a new camera body every year, Insta360 releases firmware upgrades that add new capabilities and enhance existing ones.

Product information

Product Dimensions3.2 x 4.8 x 9.4 inches
Item Weight15.8 ounces
Item model numberCHDHX-101-CN
Batteries1 Lithium Ion battery is required. (included)
Customer Reviews4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank#1,446 in Electronics
Date First AvailableSeptember 16, 2021
ManufacturerGoPro Camera
  • Powerful GP2 processor
  • New 4K/120p mode is fun
  • Front and back-facing displays
  • Shots can often be
  • Playback can also be an issue

GoPro HERO9 Black – Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens

When the Hero 9 (9/10, WIRED Recommends) came out, it marked a significant improvement for the Hero camera range. For the Hero 10, GoPro introduced an updated, 23.6-megapixel sensor.

You may save money on the Hero 9 by not needing the stabilised 5.3K video, higher-resolution JPG stills, or quicker frame rates. In spite of its lack of stabilisation, the camera nevertheless manages to take 20-MP still photographs and extract 14.7-MP images from 5.3K video (without stabilisation).

In comparison to the Hero 10, the Hero 9 can do around 80% of the functions of the Hero 10. That’s a fantastic deal for the money. GoPro’s cheaper pricing is that you receive a free one-year membership that will automatically renew for $100 a year when you purchase from GoPro.

Product information

Package Dimensions9.72 x 5.55 x 3.07 inches
Item Weight12.8 ounces
Item model numberCHDHX-901-TH
Batteries1 Lithium Ion battery is required. (included)
Customer Reviews4.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank#4,608 in Electronics
Date First AvailableAugust 24, 2021
ManufacturerGoPro Camera
  • Discounted package deal!
  • Front-facing display
  • A longer life for the battery
  • Build quality is still solid.
  • High-definition (HD) video and high-resolution images
  • A steady phone connection
  • Increased size of the back display
  • Larger than before, rendering several of the previously required attachments obsolete.
  • Touchscreen that is unresponsive
  • There is no backward compatibility with batteries.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Full Frame DSLR Camera

In comparison to DJI’s original action camera, DJI’s new Action 2 (review to come) is a major improvement. The Action 2 follows Insta360’s lead and is a camera system that can be reconfigured. For DJI, there’s no need for additional modules; you can shoot with the small lens and screen built right into the camera body.

Unfortunately, you can’t simply purchase just one piece. You’ll need either a power pack or a dual-screen combination to utilize the lens, although you may do it without either. The only drawbacks are the storage capacity (32 GB) and battery life restrictions (about 15-20 minutes shooting 4K). The Action 2 is the best choice if size is an issue. To use it underwater, you’ll need to purchase the underwater case (about $65). This camera isn’t water-resistant when used as part of a kit.

Several months after its introduction, DJI issued a firmware update which included stabilisation for 4K/60fps video, as well as horizon stabilisation, so that you can maintain your film level even when the camera is angled up to 45 degrees. A new stability setting and longer battery life have also been implemented by DJI. For those who prefer to travel light, this is a far better option than a DSLR.

Product information

Product Dimensions5.98 x 2.95 x 4.49 inches
Item Weight1.87 pounds
Item model number2764B003
Batteries1 Lithium Ion battery is required. (included)
Customer Reviews4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank#76,061 in Electronics
Is Discontinued By ManufacturerNo
Date First AvailableSeptember 17, 2008
  • Cheap
  • Lightweight
  • Low memory space

OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera

In terms of underwater photography, the Olympus TG-6 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is your best choice, even if it isn’t the kind of camera you want to strap to your head and shred with. The TG-6’s sensor is the biggest, resulting in the highest-quality photos and videos of the group.

It’s built to last: freeze-, crush-, dust-, and shock-proof (you can drop it from 7 feet). The “actual” camera functions, such as focus stacking for close-ups, a large variety of accessories, additional lenses, and even an underwater case that enhances the depth rating are all included.

Product information

Product Dimensions2.6 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches
Item Weight9 ounces
Item model numberOlympus TG-6 Red
Batteries1 Lithium Ion battery is required. (included)
Customer Reviews4.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank#1,521 in Electronics
Date First AvailableMay 22, 2019
Country of OriginVietnam
  • 4K and high-speed video
  • Brilliant Microscope mode
  • Shoots in the Raw format
  • Handy macro modes
  • Only 12MP image resolution
  • No fully manual control
  • Quite price

DJI Osmo Pocket – Handheld 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer with integrated Camera

Oclu’s design for an action camera is strikingly different from the norm, including a flat body with the main screen located on top. A camera that can go beneath a helmet visor or the bottom of a skateboard is the end result. 4K at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 120 frames per second may be captured by the Oclu. Video and picture quality is comparable to the GoPro Hero 8.

In terms of picture stabilization, the Oclu falls below the likes of Canon and Nikon. While it does offer stabilization, it falls well short of the capabilities of the GoPro Hero 9 or the Insta360 One R. On the other side, the sound quality is great, and I was able to capture significantly fewer wind noises than I had previously experienced with other cameras. When everything is said and done, Oclu’s price/performance ratio is hard to better.

Product information

Product Dimensions1.45 x 1.13 x 4.76 inches
Item Weight4.1 ounces
Item model numberOT110
Batteries1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)
Customer Reviews4.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank#4,014 in Electronics
Is Discontinued By ManufacturerNo
Date First AvailableFebruary 1, 2021
  • Lightweight
  • Live editing
  • Mot suitable for divers
  • Price

Despite its age, the GoPro Hero 8 Black (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is still a fantastic camera, and it can be had for as little as $250. Customizable menus, cage-free design, and better software are all included in this version. Even in time-lapse, the Hero 8 captures stunning photos thanks to HyperSmooth stabilization and RAW image recording.

The lens housing is not detachable, which was a design defect that GoPro corrected with the Hero 9. It’s still possible to secure your investment by pairing a Hero 8 with a lens cover package from GoPro ($19). Don’t spend more than $280 on the Hero 8; it’s still a good camera.

Distinguished Mention

It’s possible to get inexpensive action cameras that don’t have all of the features of our top selections, and they aren’t likely to last long. It is common for them to have worse quality, inferior lenses, no waterproof certification, and terrible chips and specifications. The Dragon Touch ($70) may be sufficient, though, depending on your requirements. It won’t provide GoPro-quality footage, but if you’re new to action cameras, this is a fine entry point.

We also tried the Mokacam Alpha3 and enjoyed it, but the firm hasn’t delivered even after many years of testing (and there are plenty of colourful comments from Indiegogo backers about it).

Many readers wonder why they should spend $400 on a GoPro when they can obtain a camera with 4K footage for $100 instead. Image stabilization software is the key to this question’s resolution. While skydiving, climbing and riding a scooter, action cameras are meant to be secured to helmets or attached to your chest. Even your closest pals won’t be able to stand the outcomes without stability. Even though you’ll be able to shoot in 4K with the less expensive cameras, you’ll be capturing material that no one will want to watch. If you have $100 to spare, we recommend upgrading to the GoPro Hero 8.

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