Best Action Cameras 2022

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Action cameras are a different breed of digital camera: ultra-compact, waterproof, and extremely durable. The best action cameras can capture high-resolution video and captivating stills during any adventure. Due to their small size and light weight, these cameras can capture unique and visually interesting content, going where larger cameras cannot.

Many action cameras have built-in electronic image stabilization to record ultra-smooth video up to 6K resolution at 60 frames per second. Plus, you can take vivid still images. These versatile cameras feature a wide range of specialized mounts to secure the camera to your body or gear. Many of these cameras have an LCD screen on the back for framing footage, as well as a second on the front so you can position yourself in the frame while vlogging.

Even if you’re not an outdoor adventurer or extreme sports enthusiast, these pocket action cameras are ideal for capturing memories wherever you go. We’ve done research and testing to compile the best action cameras you can buy today.


Best action camera overall

Endless versatility and creativity

Best Features

Video resolution: Up to 5.3K at 60 fps | Still image resolution: 27 megapixels | Waterproof index: Up to 33 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB Type-C | Display size: 2.3 inch (rear touchscreen), 1.4 inch (front)

Best for: Vloggers who occasionally battle the elements.

The new GoPro Hero11 Black cements GoPro’s place at the top of the action camera heap, with significant video and battery life improvements. It now uses an 8:7 aspect ratio sensor and supports 10-bit color, compared to 8-bit color on the Hero10 Black. The larger sensor allows for better image quality and shooting flexibility. For example, you can now record 5.3K video at up to 60 fps, 4K video at up to 120 fps, and 2K video at up to 240 fps, all options that offer greater cinematic and creative potential. It also has a range of specialized shooting modes for capturing slow motion, time lapse and low light video. And improved HyperSmooth 5.0 image stabilization effectively smooths out camera shake and now includes horizon leveling.

The advantage of the Hero11’s compact and rugged design is that you can use it almost anywhere, on icy slopes or in water up to 33 feet deep (and more with an optional case). It comes with an Enduro battery, optimized to last a long time even in cold weather. When you buy the camera directly from GoPro, you get the best price and a free accessories package (valued at $250) which currently includes a spare Enduro battery, handheld grip, head mount, 32GB microSD card and a one-year GoPro subscription (with unlimited cloud storage, access to GoPro’s Quik editing app, and camera replacement guarantee).

Advantages:

  • Variety of video shooting modes
  • Captures 5.3K resolution video at 60 fps
  • Front- and rear-facing screens

The inconvenients:


Best Interchangeable Lens Action Camera

Tiny, with multiple lens options

Video resolution: Up to 5.7K at 30 fps | Still image resolution: 48 megapixels | Waterproof index: Up to 16 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, USB Type-C | Display size: 1.3 inch LCD

Best for: Capture action videos and 360-degree perspectives with the same camera.

The Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition is more expensive than other action cameras, but it’s really two cameras in one since it comes with two different lenses. It has a unique, modular, snap-together design made up of three parts: a battery base, an interchangeable lens, and the touchscreen to frame your shots. Twin edition comes with the 4K Boost lens (without lens cap) found in the $300s Insta360 ONE RS and a 5.7K 360 degree lens. With the 4K Boost lens, the camera captures still images up to 48 megapixels.

You can position the touchscreen forwards or backwards, depending on what you’re shooting and how you’re doing it. The camera comes with a mounting bracket so you can easily attach the camera to a selection of optional accessories, including the Insta360 selfie stick, which the camera can automatically remove from your images and video footage. Another convenience: the camera can wirelessly transfer content to a mobile device or computer for editing and sharing. The rechargeable battery lasts between 60 and 80 minutes, depending on the shooting mode.

Advantages:

  • Unique modular design
  • Includes 360 degree lens
  • Capture still images up to 48 megapixels

The inconvenients:

  • Rubber lens cap (recommended) sold separately
  • Few specialized mounts available

Best 360 Degree Action Camera

Captures video at up to 6K resolution

Editor’s Choice

Video resolution: Up to 6K at 30fps | Still image resolution: 21MP | Waterproof index: IPX3 | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C | Display size: One-inch touchscreen (rear)

Best for: Shooting with a new perspective.

This unique 360 ​​degree camera is part of Insta360’s ONE RS modular platform. Co-designed with Leica, the camera module uses two 1-inch CMOS sensors to record detailed 360-degree 6K video at up to 30 fps. Like other 360 degree cameras, this model has the camera mounted vertically, with the base designed as a handle with its own built-in screen. The camera uses six-axis image stabilization and has horizon lock, so video looks super smooth whether you’re shooting while walking or participating in strenuous activities. The new PureShot HDR mode uses AI to improve exposure and dynamic range, especially for night shots.

Although the camera specializes in capturing 360 degree video in virtually any lighting situation, you can crop your content as traditional flat video and share it on social media. Likewise, the camera creates still images by automatically stitching the two views together into a single 21-megapixel ultrawide image. As with the Insta360 ONE Twin Edition, the camera automatically removes the Insta360 selfie stick from your photos and videos. The camera has IPX3 water resistance, but it’s not as rugged as other action cameras. When you’re not using the camera to capture the action, it can act as a webcam for meetings or live streams.

Advantages:

  • Easy one-handed operation
  • Capture 360 ​​degree 6K video
  • Transfer videos wirelessly

The inconvenients:

  • Dear
  • Limited waterproofing (not waterproof)
  • Small touchscreen

Best Budget Action Camera

Great features at a fraction of the price

Video resolution: Up to 4K at 30 fps | Still image resolution: 20 megapixels | Waterproof index: IPX8 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB Type-C | Display size: 2-inch touchscreen LCD (rear), small screen (front)

Best for: Low budget sports and adventure vlogging.

The Brave 7 offers a cost-effective way to capture vibrant video and photos in a compact, adventure-ready package. Akaso creates action cameras that look a lot like GoPro’s hero and perform at a lower price, without the services you get with the GoPro. The sports-optimized Brave 7 doesn’t match the shooting flexibility of the GoPro Hero11 (the newest and most expensive, Akaso Brave 8 ($290) comes close to this GoPro model). However, the slightly older Brave 7 still packs a mighty punch, capturing 4k video at 30fps using six-axis electronic image stabilization. Shooting modes include time-lapse and slow-motion video, and the camera lets you choose from four shooting perspectives (70, 110, 140, or 170 degrees).

The camera has a 2-inch rear touchscreen and a smaller front screen for framing vlogs. Housed in a rugged IPX8 waterproof chassis, the Brave 7 can go underwater up to 33 feet. The camera body is compatible with GoPro’s ecosystem of third-party mounts and accessories, an ecosystem that expands how you can place and use it. It even comes with a few accessories to get you started, including a 2.4GHz wireless remote, bike mount, helmet mount, extra mounting connectors, USB Type-C cable and more. GoPro charges extra for many of these accessories.

Advantages:

  • Records video up to 4K at 30 fps
  • Low price
  • Includes a variety of mounts

The inconvenients:

  • Average battery life
  • Doesn’t work as well in low light

Best action camera for vlogging

Record smooth video footage on the go

Video resolution: Up to 4K at 60 fps | Still image resolution: 64 megapixels | Waterproof index: N / A | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB Type-C | Display size: Small touchscreen LCD (rear)

Best for: Best video stability for non-hazardous conditions.

The DJI Pocket 2 camera is different from other action cameras. It has a vertical design, with a small touchscreen in the center and a small 3-axis gimbal-mounted camera at the top. This physical gimbal counteracts camera movement to produce consistently smooth video. Its design is conducive to holding in one hand; or you can use a stand for hands-free use. The Pocket 2 captures 4K video at up to 60 fps, with four-channel audio recorded from its four microphones. Moreover, it captures still images up to 64 megapixels.

The small screen is barely enough to adjust camera settings and frame your recordings. You can tilt and pan the camera with an additional joystick that is part of the Creator Combo, which also comes with a wireless microphone transmitter and a microphone windscreen among other accessories. The 20mm wide-angle lens provides a 93 degree field of view and the Pocket 2 supports digital zoom from 2X for 4K video up to 4X for 1080p. The camera also has a variety of specialist shooting modes including panorama, glamor effects, motion-lapse and hyper-lapse for additional creative angles; and it flips over the gimbal for first-person vlogging. Weighing just 4.1 ounces, this versatile camera is light enough to stash in a pocket and always on hand, ready to shoot. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 140 minutes of continuous shooting. It can’t withstand the elements, but it’s an ideal run-and-gun option for any other situation.

Advantages:

  • Easy one-handed operation for vlogging and filming
  • Integrated gimbal
  • Records video up to 4K at 60 fps

The inconvenients:

  • Waterproof case sold separately ($55)
  • Not designed to withstand harsh climates

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