The best action cameras to buy in 2021 | TechBuyGuide
Best of

The best action cameras to buy in 2021

The best cams to capture your action experience.

action-cameras-header

All the best action cameras we selected below are made to capture moments that would otherwise be missed.

Tiny rugged action cameras are designed to be as light and compact as possible. The camera is also designed to be tough and durable to capture their adventures without worrying about the camera getting damaged in the process.

When we say action camera, most of us will imagine a GoPro, as the brand was basically the first company that established itself in the action recording community in partnerships with major brands such as Red Bull, Wimbledon, Real Madrid, Ford and others.

Yes, they are rightfully a leader of the action cam market, thanks to its good built waterproof quality, high-resolution video recording hardware or even supporting software and additional branded mounts.

There are plenty of features that make an action camera-worthy, such as image stabilization, 4K (or higher) resolution, high frame rate, remote control or slow-motion.

See also: 5 Best Free Video Editing Software in 2021

One of the other important aspects might also be how the camera behaves during actual recording as it might have a laggy user interface, messy menu or freezing during actual recording (looking at you GoPro Hero 9).

While choosing the right action camera, look at its features, built quality and price to value ratio. As the market is now more saturated than ever, we have prepared a list of, what we think, are currently the best action cameras available.

The action cameras we reviewed today and that we believe are the best the market can offer now are:

The products we reviewed here are not ordered in any order by any specifications.

GoPro Hero10 Black

GoPro Hero10 | TechBuyGuide
GoPro Hero9 Black

As the new GoPro Hero10 just hit the market, we know it certainly deserves a place in our list of the best action cams for this year.

A major difference between the GoPro Hero10 and older GoPro’s is its brand new GP2 processor which replaces the old GP1 which has been powering all GoPro’s since Hero6. This results in better overall performance, faster start-ups or a more seamless touch interface.

GoPro Hero10 Black side
GoPro Hero10 Black from back

The Hero10 shares almost the same casing as the Hero9 and supports all of its additional accessories, including a 1720mAh battery.

The Hero10 Black is very light, weighing only 153g and has a removable lens cover.

The main reason people are buying action cameras is certainly video recording. The powerful GoPro Hero10 Black offers a more advanced video to up to 5.3K resolution at astonishing 60fps and 100Mbps, 4K at 120fps and 2.7K video at 240fps slow motion. It also performs better in poor light conditions for example during dusk, sunset or while in a forest.

GoPro Hero10 Black Specs

ProcessorNew GP2
Video resolutionup to 5K at 60 fps or 4K at 120fps (24 fps for cinematic effect available), FHD at 240fps slow-motion, 1080p (FullHD) Live streaming
Photo resolution23MP
Water resistance10m without a case, 60m with protective waterproof housing
Screen2.27″ LCD display (1.4-inch front display)
FeaturesAuto Offload to Phone or to the Cloud (sith GoPro Subscription), Slow-motion, Hypersmooth 4.0 stabilization, voice and remote control, scheduled capture, HDR
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, USB-C, microSD card slot (also supports microSDHC cards)
Battery1720 mAh (lasts around 2 hours, depending on recorded resolution)

The Hero10 Black has also upgraded features we know from Hero9 – HyperSmooth 3.0 to 4.0 or TimeWarp 3.0 to 4.0 and offers horizon levelling up to 45° during 4K 60fps shooting. (to compare, Hero 9’s gets to 27°).

The GoPro Hero 10 Black can be connected via USB-Type C cable to any computer, laptop as well as to supported Android and Apple devices (USB-C included in the box).

Go Pro Hero10 Black Price:

The GoPro Hero10 starts at £479.99/$499 if you don’t wish to signup to a GoPro subscription or £379.98/$399 with a one-year subscription.

GoPro Hero9 Black

GoPro Hero9 Black
GoPro Hero9 Black

We can start right at the top, as it won’t be a surprise to anyone that we chose the Hero 9 to be currently one of the best action cameras on market.

The GoPro Hero 9 is currently the company’s one of the finest single-lens action camera in features and performance. In comparison to Hero 8 Black, the Hero 9 features some new photo and video functions such as being able to programme or specify recordings for a certain time period – from 15 seconds to 3 hours – at a speed of 5K at 30 frames per second. It may sound like a bit too much, but you can take high-quality photos from the video, making the 5K video even more usable.

GoPro Hero9 Black from back
GoPro Hero9 Black from back

The biggest change you notice when you see the new GoPro Hero 9 Black is that it is larger, allowing more space for a bigger, more powerful battery. A very nice feature is a removable lens cover, which can be easily replaced if scratched or damaged or to add additional lenses such as Max Mod Lends for ultrawide view and Hypersmooth stabilization.

The rugged camera is also waterproof featuring detachable lens covers and boasts excellent electronic image stabilisation, HDR video, and customisable presets, allowing you to choose the shooting modes you desire without having to go dig through menus.

GoPro Hero9 Black Specs

Video resolutionup to 5K at 30 fps or 4K at 60fps (24 fps for cinematic effect available), 1080p (FullHD) Live streaming
Photo resolution20MP
Water resistance10m without a case, 60m with protective waterproof housing
Screen2.27″ LCD display (1.4-inch front display)
FeaturesAuto Offload to Phone or to the Cloud (sith GoPro Subscription), Slow-motion, Hypersmooth 3.0 stabilization, voice and remote control, scheduled capture, HDR
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, USB-C, microSD card slot (also supports microSDHC cards)
Battery1720 mAh (lasts around 2 hours, depending on recorded resolution)

For those seeking a waterproof camera, which is a tad more affordable than the GoPro, yet keeps an outstanding quality this is a great choice.

Go Pro Hero9 Black Price:

The recommended retail price is set at £379.99 with occasional discounts (for example £20 off on Amazon now at the time of posting).

DJI Osmo Action

DJI Osmo Action
DJI Osmo Action

DJI, a firm known for camera drones got a lot right with its first action cam.

One of the most notable characteristics of the DJI Osmo, which has a rightful place among the best action cameras this year, is its front-facing colour screen. In spite of its small size, it is enough to ensure that you are centred in the image when the camera lens on a selfie stick is facing you. The DJI Osmo Action also responds to voice commands, allowing you to change the preset views with a spoken command.

DJI Osmo Action from back
DJI Osmo Action from back

DJI Osmo Action Specs

Video resolutionup to 4K at 60fps (24 fps for cinematic effect available)
Photo resolution12MP
Water resistance11m without a case, 60m with protective waterproof housing
Screen2.25″ LCD display (325ppi) (1.4-inch 300ppi front display)
Featuresup to 4K Timelapse, Slow-motion, Hyperlapse, Rocksteady stabilization, voice control, remote control via mobile phone, scheduled capture, HDR
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, a microSD card slot for up to 256GB
Battery1300 mAh (lasts around 135 minutes at Full HD 1080P/30fps or up to 63 minutes at 4K/60fps). The charging time is about 90 minutes

DJI Osmo Action Price:

The recommended retail price is set at £329.99 with occasional discounts (costs £279.19 now at the time of posting).

GoPro Hero8 Black

GoPro Hero8 Black
GoPro Hero8 Black

There is nothing wrong with buying an older model, especially when has such good built quality as the GoPro Hero 8 Black. This HD action camera has a customizable interface with multiple presets and improved image quality and video stabilization from its even older predecessor Hero 7 Black. The Hero 8 Black is very close to what you get from the new Hero 9 in terms of quality.

It hasn’t got the 5K resolution same as the Hero 9 has, but the 4K is as good as is its successor. Its lenses are not removable, however, ar at least covered by an impact-resistant Gorilla Glass.

GoPro Hero8 Black from back
GoPro Hero8 Black from back

The Hero 8 is waterproof to 10m even without the protective case. It also features an improved image HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilization available for all of its resolution and frame rates options which highly reduces the need for a gimbal for standard shooting.

GoPro Hero8 Black Specs

Video resolutionup to 4K at 60fps (24 fps for cinematic effect available)
Photo resolution12MP
Water resistance10m without a case, 60m with the protective waterproof housing
Screen1.95″ touchscreen rear display + small front-facing status screen
FeaturesTimelapse, Voice Control, Slow-motion, HyperSmooth 2.0 image stabilization, Live streaming at 1080p and SuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow views
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, GPS and a microSD card slot
Battery1220 mAh (lasts between 67-74 minutes at 4K30 recording, 47 minutes at 4K60 or 60 minutes at 2.7K60)

GoPro Hero8 Black Price

The recommended retail price is set at £275.97 with occasional discounts across various retailers.

Akaso Brave 7 LE

Akaso Brave 7 LE
Akaso Brave 7 LE

The Akaso Brave 7 boasts a front display and a good 4K video for a very affordable price.

The Brave 7 LE has got all the basics what the action cams need. It’s protected by a waterproof case for a depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes or up to 40 meters with the protective housing, got a variety of mounts, two batteries or wrist remote control. Thanks to its rear touchscreen, you can, same as with the more expensive model of its competitors, control your camera in the simple interface with just a few taps. It also has a front-facing display so you can always make sure you stay inside the shot.

The recording quality of up to 4K videos at 30 fps or Full HD at 60fps is accompanied by a powerful 6-axis gyroscope stabilization to smooth out vibrations while on move. It also features slow motion at 120fps in Full HD resolution.

Akaso Brave 7 LE from back
Akaso Brave 7 LE from back

As with other major action cams, even Akaso Brave 7 LE features multiple shooting options and modes such as time-lapse, slow motion or loop recording. It also has a driving mode so you can use the camera in your car.

Akaso Brave 7 LE specs

Video resolutionup to 4K at 30fps / 1080p FullHD 60fps (24 fps for cinematic effect available)
Photo resolution20MP
Water resistance1m without a case, 40m with the protective waterproof housing
Screen2″ touch screen display + 1.2″ front selfie display
FeaturesTimelapse, Slow-motion, Self-timer, Driving and Diving modes, image stabilization, remote control
ConnectivityWi-Fi, micro-USB, micro HDMI and a microSD card slot
Battery1350 mAh (lasts between 1.5 – 2 hours, depending on the recorded resolution)

Even though the Akaso Brave 7 LE doesn’t proud of itself with plenty of features or high resolutions with high frame rates, given its more than twice as low price what its competitors are sold for and what you actually get for it, we believe it deserves to be among the best action cameras available on the market right now.

Akaso Brave 7 LE Price

The recommended retail price is set at £169.99 with occasional discounts (costs £139.99 on Amazon now at the time of posting).

Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *