best action cameras

Best Action Cameras | Start Vlogging this Fall 2021

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For me, travel is a sort of therapy to refresh myself from within. And I love to document the memorable moments from my travels so that I can go back to visit them later. While my camera used to do a good job capturing nice footage, it wasn’t the best choice for taking on an adventure – I was always afraid that it would get ruined in extreme weather.

However, this all changed when I stumbled upon an action camera just before a trip, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier! These little travel-friendly devices are super-lightweight and enable me to capture stunning videos easily. And the best part is that I can now record videos in all conditions (even underwater!) without the fear of damaging my camera.

Editor’s Choice
GoPro HERO 8 Black

The perfect vloggers’ camera designed for smooth live-streaming.

If you are thinking of purchasing a tough camera to record your travel videos, action cameras are just the thing you need. Check out some of the best action cameras in this guide that all adventurous souls would love.

Best Action Cameras For YouTube and Vlogging

Vloggers and YouTubers are always on the lookout for ways to increase their follower base, and the easiest method for this is producing high-quality content. While you might say that a dedicated video camera or DSLR might be a better choice for vloggers, many of them still prefer an action camera over anything else.

The reason is simple – action cameras are small, lightweight, and easy to carry around anywhere. And compared to DSLRs, these are way cheaper and convenient.

The best action camera for professional vloggers and YouTubers needs to have high-quality video capabilities (preferably 4K), as well as decent resolution for taking stills. Here are some of my favorite action camera models you can check out.

GoPro HERO 8 Black 

The perfect vloggers’ camera designed for smooth live-streaming.

Megapixels: 12Video Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
Waterproof: Up to 33 feet (without housing)Weight: 14.4 oz
Stabilization: SupportedStorage: micro SD card

The GoPro HERO 8 Black is one of the best action cameras for vloggers, thanks to its amazing three-level video stabilization feature. Depending on the situation, you can choose between On, High, and Boost levels to get nice and smooth videos every time.

Of course, you get 4k video capability – perfect for all content creators. You can also use it for instant live streaming at a resolution of 1080p full HD. And the best part is that it is also equipped with 14 voice control features!

The upgraded design is lightweight and easy to carry. I just love the convenient side door that makes it super easy to change batteries. This is a much-needed feature since action cameras tend to run out of battery rather quickly!

Also, the camera body is quite tough and can take a few falls without much damage.

Usually, action cameras can be used up to a predefined depth underwater while housed within a protective case. However, in case you fail to properly lock the housing, the action camera may get damaged.

You won’t be facing any such issue with the GoPro HERO 8 Black though. This camera is waterproof up to 33 feet right out of the box! Of course, you can extend this depth by using the GoPro protective housing designed for this model.

You can record video underwater up to a depth of 196 feet using the housing – just perfect for your snorkeling and deep-sea diving adventures!

I would recommend this tough and reliable action camera to professional vloggers and YouTubers who prioritize high-quality video resolution. Travel enthusiasts would love this model, too!

Pros
  • 4k videonBattery life is decent
  • Touch-enabled LCD screen
  • Can recognize voice commands
  • Great image and video stabilization
  • Good image quality
  • Built-in mounting fingers
Cons
  • Has overheating issues
  • LCD screen is small

AKASO Brave 7 LE

A travel-friendly action cam perfect for all-weather use.

Megapixels: 20Video Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
Waterproof: Up to 131 feet (with housing)Weight: 24.64 oz
Stabilization: Supported (EIS)Storage: micro SD card

If you are a travel vlogger or simply interested in going on adventurous trips, a rugged and durable action camera is a must-have! The AKASO Brave 7 LE will be an amazing addition to your travel backpack thanks to its weather-resistant body.

This action camera comes with a unique body design that can withstand all climatic conditions with ease. It can also withstand splashes due to rain or snow – so you won’t be missing out on documenting your travel due to a damaged camera!

The camera itself is not totally waterproof though, so you can’t use it to record underwater without a protective case. But nothing to worry about here as the package comes with an included waterproof housing that enables you to dive up to a depth of 131 feet underwater.

It is designed with dual display screens, and I absolutely love this feature! While the larger back touchscreen makes recording quicker and easier, the smaller front color screen is convenient for shooting selfie videos and stills! This feature would especially appeal to travel vloggers as they can easily see what is being recorded in selfie mode.

Coming to the video quality, I have absolutely no complaints! The 4k video recording at 30 fps is clear and nicely detailed. In addition, you also get good motion stabilization, which is great if you are mounting it on a bike or helmet.

If you are interested in action photography, too, this camera won’t disappoint you at all. A versatile action camera, it is equipped with a 20-megapixel sensor to give you decent image quality in most lighting conditions.

All-in-all, this is one of the best action cameras that provides good video quality and stills resolution at an affordable price.

Pros
  • 20-megapixel stills resolution
  • Both back and front-facing display
  • 4K video
  • Enhanced motion stabilization
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • Audio quality is not up to the mark
  • Cannot be used underwater without housing

GoPro HERO 9 Black

A combination of versatile features along with 5k video recording capability. 

Megapixels: 20Video Resolution: 5K
Waterproof: Up to 33 feet (without housing)Weight: 11.2 oz
Stabilization: SupportedStorage: micro SD card

The GoPro HERO 9 Black is no less than a dream come true for professional vloggers and travel enthusiasts! This is one of the best action cameras to go for if you don’t want to go through the hassle of carrying along heavy DSLRs or mirrorless cameras (and the kit lens) while traveling.

Speaking of video quality, the GoPro HERO 9 is equipped with 5k video capabilities, which ensure that you get stunning, detailed videos to share with your followers. I tried out this action cam on one of my short trips, and am still in awe of how well the captured footage came out!

At the same time, this little power-packed model also lets you take decent stills thanks to the 20-megapixel sensor. Of course, you won’t be getting DSLR-like clarity, but I still found the shots to be good enough for casual photographers.

If you are looking for the best action camera with waterproof capabilities, this is probably the perfect choice for you! Similar to the GoPro HERO 8, this model, too, can be used underwater without any housing.

The dual screens of the camera, one each at the front and back, make it super convenient to shoot with, even when you are traveling solo. And it is equipped with advanced motion stabilization, ensuring smoother video footage. 

Also, I felt that the time-lapse feature is a great addition for vloggers who want to share innovative content with their followers on social media. 

In my opinion, this action camera offers great value for the price. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a travel-friendly compact camera especially for shooting videos.

Pros
  • 5k video capabilities
  • Class-leading stabilization for both videos and stills
  • Equipped with back and front-facing display
  • 20-megapixel sensor
  • Waterproof
  • Battery life is decent
  • Can function as a webcam
Cons
  • Has overheating issues
  • Touchscreen needs to be more responsive

Best Action Cameras For Beginners

Action cameras are very popular among beginners in photography and videography since they are small enough to fit in your pocket and are usually packed with features like HDR video and decent image quality.

Moreover, these aren’t as fragile as regular point-and-shoot cameras, making them a good choice for kids and teenagers interested in photography.

If you are looking for the best cheap action camera that is perfect for a beginner, here are a few options you can check out.

AKASO Brave 4

A low-budget action camera that packs in versatile features.

Megapixels: 20Video Resolution: 4K
Waterproof: Up to 100 feet (with housing)Weight: 5.6 oz
Stabilization: SupportedStorage: micro SD card

The action cam market has quite a few affordable options designed for beginners in photography and videography, and the AKASO Brave 4 is one of the best in this category. This action camera is equipped with a decent 20-megapixel sensor and 4k video capabilities to capture all your memorable moments.

It comes with built-in electronic image stabilization that reduces camera shake while you’re capturing videos. This means you can easily get decent videos even when you record by mounting it on your helmet.

While the camera cannot function underwater by itself, it comes with a waterproof case that enables you to use it up to a depth of 100 feet. This means you can easily record videos of your diving adventures as well as the beautiful marine life. Just a word of caution though, you need to ensure that the case is fastened properly so as to not damage the camera underwater!

In spite of being so small and lightweight, the camera packs in an IPS screen that allows you to view what is being shot. I would have preferred it more if the battery life lasted longer, but I guess it isn’t so bad considering the price range.

In my opinion, this is one of the best action cameras under 100 dollars that captures good quality images and videos. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent camera within a very limited budget.

Pros
  • 4k video capability
  • Built-in Wi-fi
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • Decent image quality
  • 5x zoom
Cons
  • Audio quality is unsatisfactory
  • Low battery life

Dragon Touch Vision 3

Combines amazing features at an incredibly low price.

Megapixels: 20Video Resolution: 4K
Waterproof: Up to 100 feet (with housing)Weight: 5.6 oz
Stabilization: SupportedStorage: micro SD card

The Dragon Touch Vision 3 is a very affordable action camera featuring 4k video capabilities and a 16-megapixel sensor. The video quality when shooting in 4k is acceptable, but I did not find it particularly impressive. The 1080p resolution worked much better in delivering nicely detailed footage in my opinion. The still images are better though – they were clear and nicely detailed. 

I think this action camera is great for capturing underwater shots – it comes with a waterproof casing that allows you to shoot up to a depth of 100 feet. The battery life is not as long as I would have liked, but I have nothing to complain about considering the price range.

The best thing about this camera is that it features several shooting modes – you can shoot videos in slow motion, loop recording, time-lapse mode, and many more! 

Moreover, it comes with a wireless remote control that enables you to record footage even without touching the camera. This makes it convenient to operate the camera while it’s mounted on a helmet. But unfortunately, the remote control isn’t waterproof, so you can’t use it to get underwater shots.

All in all, I feel that the Dragon Touch Vision 3 is a decent action cam for beginners and casual users. But if you are looking for highly detailed professional-quality videos, you better go for a different model.

Pros
  • 4k video capability
  • Built-in Wi-fi
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • Decent image quality
  • 5x zoom
Cons
  • Audio quality is unsatisfactory
  • Low battery life

PROGRACE Kid’s Action Camera

A compact full HD action camera designed for little users.

Megapixels: 5Video Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Waterproof: Up to 100 feet (with housing)Weight: 1.83 oz
Stabilization: SupportedStorage: micro SD card

The action camera market also has some pretty decent models made specifically for kids, and this action cam from PROGRACE is one of my personal favorites. It’s perfect for children between the ages of 4 to 12.

Featuring a 5-megapixel sensor and 1080p full HD recording capabilities, this is one of the best action cameras your child will ever own. It is designed with non-toxic, environment-friendly materials, which makes it safe enough to use by the little ones. 

Coming to video and image quality, I felt that both are pretty decent for the price. Of course, you can’t expect a children’s camera to capture images with stunning details and exceptional clarity! But it’s good enough to ensure that your kid is happy with what they capture. 

The battery life of the camera isn’t great but is probably enough considering the attention span children of this age group usually have.

I love the fact that this action cam comes with several nice features like face recognition, time-lapse videos, burst mode, and filters. This can actually be a great model for introducing your kid to the world of photography.

In my opinion, this is probably the best budget action camera that you can get for your little one. I feel that it offers great value within its incredibly low price range. This is a perfect gift for kids interested in photography.

Pros
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use
  • Decent video and image quality
  • Comes with a waterproof case
  • Made of non-toxic material
Cons
  • No 4K video capability
  • Low battery life

Frequently Asked Questions

Are action cameras good for vlogging?

Action cameras are a great choice for vlogging because they combine high-quality video resolution with a very compact and lightweight body. This makes it easy to use on the go. It also comes with fast sharing options so you can easily post the videos for your followers.

In addition, action camera models are far less expensive when compared to standard digital cameras and DSLRs with the same video resolution (full HD or 4k for instance). All these features make action cams a preferable choice over other cameras for vlogging.

Are action cameras waterproof?

Action cameras are built to be tough and durable, and can usually withstand slight impacts and water splashes. Not all action cameras are designed to be entirely waterproof, although these can be easily used to capture underwater scenes by housing them in a waterproof case.

How to mount an action camera on a helmet?

Mounting your action camera on your helmet is a great idea for documenting your travel through a scenic location. Many travel vloggers do this to get nice time-lapse videos of their experiences. 

To mount your action cam on a helmet, you need an accessory known as a helmet mount. These are available for different helmet styles and are compatible with most action cameras. Depending on your requirements, you can opt for either an adhesive mount or go for one with straps.

Which action camera is best to buy? 

The best action camera for you depends on your budget as well as what you intend to use it for. The GoPro HERO 9 Black is one of the best models if you are looking for awesome video quality and decent stills resolution.

But if you want the best cheapest action camera to take on an adventurous trip, the AKASO Brave 4 is an option worth considering. Check out the in-depth reviews above for more options!

Also read: Best 360 Cameras – Using action cameras for vlogging in 2D is fun but take it to the next level with 360 degrees!

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