Best action camera 2023: Top cams for adventuring

If you're looking for the best action camera, then we've got you covered right here.

For people who are adrenaline junkies, or those wanting a versatile, go-anywhere camera for if they go on holiday, action cameras are a fantastic choice, especially given their powerful video shooting capabilities with wide angles lenses, and the plethora of mounts and accessories out there to go with them.

Knowing which is best to buy though can be a little fiddly, but if you're set on buying one, then there are a few things to look for. Of course, the first key thing is arguably price, and what you're going to be using the camera for. If you're a hardcore action camera user, then going for a more expensive, do-it-all device is likely to suit you better, and likewise, if you're a newbie then going for more of an affordable choice may offer a better path to entry.

Most action cameras will also have image stabilisation inside, so any video you shoot won't be shaky and out of focus, so it's worth checking out which resolutions the respective camera support with it, and in a more general sense, what resolution the camera will shoot at. Some more expensive models will give you 5K video, whilst others may give you 1080p.

Of course, creature comforts such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity will be nice to have, as well as good battery life and convenient software integration. More affordable offerings may skip out on some of these, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, so it's just worth considering what else you want your action camera to do for quality of life purposes.

With all this in mind, we’ve selected these action cameras based on their features, general reviews, and specs that we think make them worth considering, plus, we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions so you can pick the best one for you.

So, let’s get to it – here are some of the best action cameras out there today.

Best Action Camera

Best Action Camera - GoPro HERO 10 Black

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Image Credit: GoPro

Brand: GoPro | Megapixels: 23.6MP | Shooting Options: 4K/120fps, 5.3K/60fps, 2.7K/240fps | Image Stabilisation: Yes (HyperSmooth 4.0) | Battery Life: 2 hours

For the best all-round action camera out there, look no further than the GoPro HERO 10 Black.

This latest offering brings with it some notable internal upgrades including a brand new GP2 processor for speedier performance. This allows also for shots at 4K at 120fps, so you can get incredibly smooth and sharp video, and also take advantage of slow-mo footage.

Whilst the GoPro HERO 10 Black features the same 23 MP sensor as its predecessor, it should still give you some amazing clarity. As well as offering 4K 120fps, you can also shoot in 5K at 60fps and 2.7K at 240fps, giving you loads of options to work with.

Read More:Action Camera vs Camcorder: Which Is Better?

There's also some new HyperSmooth 4.0 image stabilisation, which now works at double the frame rates of the older Hero 9. It now works at 5.3K at 30 fps, 4K at 60 fps, and 2K at 120 fps.

It's waterproof to 10m, giving you the freedom to use it below the ground, and a 1720mAh battery should also allow you to shoot for around two hours before needing to charge the camera back up again.

Best Budget Action Camera - Akaso EK7000

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Image Credit: Akaso

Brand: Akaso | Megapixels: 12MP | Shooting Options: 4K/25fps, 2.7K/30fps, 1080p/60fps | Image Stabilisation: No | Battery Life: 90 minutes

If you're wanting more of an affordable way into the world of action cameras, the Akaso EK7000 looks like a fantastic choice.

It keeps things simple with 4K output at 25fps, but you can get 2.7K at 30fps and 1080 at 60fps with good clarity and great tone, too.

The interface looks to keep things easy as do the four buttons on the outside. Speaking of convenience, the Akaso EK7000 is also Wi-Fi-enabled so you can connect it up to your network and transfer files to your PC without the need of a cable or so you can view them on another device.

A 12MP sensor should also provide you with decent still images too if you want to use this as more of a compact camera and a quoted battery life of 90 minutes also gives you a good amount of shooting time. This particularly stacks up well against cameras a few times its price.

Best Action Camera For Beginners - GoPro HERO 9 Black

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Image Credit: GoPro

Brand: GoPro | Megapixels: 23.6MP | Shooting Options: 5K/30fps, 4K/60fps, 1080p/240fps | Image Stabilisation: Yes (HyperSmooth 3.0) | Battery Life: 85 minutes

The GoPro HERO 9 Black is a fantastic choice for beginners who want to dive into the world of action cameras with a rather capable option.

You'll find an amazing 23.6MP sensor here for both photo and video which should provide some super clear images, and gives the ability to shoot at 5K resolution at 30fps, as well as 4K/60fps and 1080p/240fps, too. In essence, it's quite a versatile camera with loads of good shooting options for photo and video.

Its HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilisation will also keep things steady and ensure all your images look rather smooth indeed. This works at 5K/30fps, so having stabilisation on won't mean you lose any video quality.

There are also some intriguing accessories available for the GoPro HERO 9 Black, including its fun Max Lens mod that can essentially fixate its focus on the horizon, so it looks as if images are rotating around a fixed point. This gives you another clever option for shooting video and is especially useful for the likes of rollercoaster POV footage, for example.

Battery life of around 85 minutes is an improvement over previous generations and the battery on offer here is larger than on older GoPros too, which is a nice-to-have.

Best Action Camera DJI - DJI Action 2

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Image Credit: DJI
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Brand: DJI | Megapixels: 12MP | Shooting Options: 4K/120fps, 2.7K/120fps, 1080p/240fps | Image Stabilisation: Yes (RockSteady, Steady, HorizonBalancing, HorizonSteady) | Battery Life: 70 minutes

DJI make some of the best drones out there that offer up crisp imagery, so it may come as no surprise that the DJI Action 2, their camera, is also one of the best in class.

First and foremost, it features a clever modular design that allows it to attach to mounts via the use of strong magnets, for the sake of convenience. The camera is positively dinky anyway but still packs in an OLED screen round back for choosing shooting modes and navigating around the menus.

As for its sensor, you're getting a 1/1.7 inch CMOS sensor with a wide 155 degree of FOV for both clear and vast imagery. It allows for shooting at up to 4K which should be plenty for most people giving you crisp and detailed shots. An aperture of f/2.8 should also allow for decent low light performance.

As for accessories, the DJI Action 2 can work with a front touchscreen module and an additional battery module, as well as a Macro Lens that can clip on too, giving you loads of different items.

Battery life of 70 minutes standalone is pretty good too, and do note adding the touchscreen module increases this up to 160 minutes and the additional power module to upwards of 180 minutes, which is rather useful indeed.

Best Action Camera For Low Light - Insta360 One R 1-Inch Edition

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Image Credit: Insta360

Brand: Insta360 | Megapixels: 18.6MP | Shooting Options: 5.7K/30fps, 4K/30fps, 1080p/200fps | Image Stabilisation: Yes (FlowState) | Battery Life: 65 minutes

The Insta360 One R 1-Inch Edition looks like a rather versatile action camera and an especially good choice for low light photography.

This comes courtesy of its particularly large 1-inch sensor that should allow plenty of light inside and mean if you want to shoot some action photography in the dark, then you certainly can do.

Even then, the video you shoot on the Insta360 One R 1-Inch Edition should be incredibly crisp with the ability to shoot at up to 30fps with a 5.7K resolution, as well as in 4K at 30fps and 1080p at up to 200fps. The same also goes for stills thanks to the 18.6MP resolution, too.

It's also a modular camera meaning you can switch up the lens from the standard 4K one to more of a 360-degree option if you want to shoot all-around you. This helps to make the Insta360 One R 1-Inch Edition rather versatile indeed.

A 1150mAh battery also should give you around 65 minutes of battery life which gives you plenty of time to take some short action-packed clips or take one piece of longer footage, depending on what you'd like to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are always a few questions that pop up time and time again, so here we’ll answer them the best we can, so you can make an informed decision on your next upgrade.

Is an action camera worth it?

We'd say that an action camera is absolutely worth picking up. This could be whether you're looking to capture everything from riding a rollercoaster to skydiving, and everything in between, or if you're looking for a small and powerful camera with great image stabilisation to take on holiday or use for vlogging.

They're quite versatile options and for the price, you won't find many other types of cameras that cram such a lot of power into a compact frame.

What is a 4K action camera?

In short, a 4K action camera is an action camera that can shoot video in 4K.

4K action cameras have been around since 2014 and have arguably become the standard for video shooting on that type of camera. They can come in all shapes and sizes, as is evident by our picks above, and have become so widespread that a lot of marvellous budget choices also have the power to shoot at the resolution.

Is a GoPro good for photography?

In short, yes. A GoPro camera such as the new Hero 10 Black should be great for photography thanks to their wide-angle FOV and handy resolution providing some great quality stills. 

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