Best action cameras for 2021: GoPro, Insta360, DJI and more compared

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When it comes to action cams, GoPro is often the first and only name that comes to mind, as it evolves into a complete solution – from camera to devices to services to device replacement, cloud storage, a streaming platform, GoPro app and more. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a good mountable, rugged, high-resolution Waterproof camera To take on your adventures, let us help you find the best camera for your needs.

There are a bunch of really good action camera options if you want to video-record your most incredible outdoor adventures. Some features, such as image stabilization and a waterproof case, are a must. Others, such as remote control compatibility, a touch screen and 4K resolution do not necessarily make or break for a sports camera.

With this in mind, here are the best action camera models we’ve tested. All of these devices have a wide range of uses and can capture photographs, shoot video, and capture audio. The video quality on all of them is very good, depending on the shooting mode. Check out which is the best action camera to meet your needs for battery life, durability and video quality and video resolution. If you have a good result from the action camera not mentioned here, please share it in the comments.

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This is the best single-lens action camera that you can get from GoPro right now in features and performance. Compared to the Hero 8 Black, there are new tools for photos and videos such as scheduling recordings or setting them to a specific duration – from 15 seconds to 3 hours – and it now records 30 frames per second at 5K. This may sound like overkill, but you can draw high quality pictures from videos, making a 5K video good when you can’t choose between getting a movie or stills.

However, the biggest changes are in the design of the GoPro camera. The Hero 9 Black is larger to accommodate a larger, more powerful battery. The lens cover is also now removable, so that it can be easily replaced when scratched. This allows you to add lenses including the new Max Mod lens which gives you an ultra-high view with hypersum stabilization. The action camera is currently on sale for $ 400, but if you sign up for GoPro’s service, the camera price increases to $ 349 and includes service costs. Read about GoPro Hero 9 Black.

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While GoPro has long called itself the most versatile camera, the Insta360 One R takes versatility to another level. The modular design of the OneR lets you swap camera modules for various features and shooting options. At the moment, module options include a 4K video wide-angle camera for 4K footage with a traditional 4K action camera experience; A dual-lens 360 degree camera; And a Leica-engineered camera with a 1-inch sensor for best image quality even in low light conditions.

Each camera has its own unique capabilities that really let you pursue your creativity. However, should you get stuck, the company’s mobile app and Insta 360 community are a constant source of inspiration. Talking about the mobile app, it has superintelligent editing features that make it easy to create sharble clips. And when you use its flowstate image stabilization, all your views will look incredibly smooth.

But one of the best parts of the Insta 360 One R is that the company never stopped improving it and adding features. For example, it just updates the device so it can be used as a webcam, and with the camera’s WiFi you can now livestream with the 360 ​​camera. There is no shortage of accessories for this, either, including a dive housing and a selfie stick that disappears from view when used with a 360 camera.

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The image quality, stabilization and features of the Hero 8 Black are not far from what you would get with the Hero 9 Black, but its price is definitely very affordable. It was the first of a 4K video camera company to feature a redesigned waterproof housing body with built-in fingers to attach the camera directly to a GoPro mount. This HD video camera features a customizable interface with shooting presets and improved video stabilization and image quality from the Hero 7 Black. The lens, not removable like the 9K, is made with Gorilla Glass which is twice as impact resistant as the glass on previous Hero models. Read our GoPro Hero8 Black review.


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For a company known for its camera drones, DJI got one very right with its first action cam. One of its stand-out features is its front color screen. It may be small, but enough to ensure that you are focused in the shot when the camera lens is facing you on a selfie stick. Another great feature of the camera is that it responds to voice commands – the view can be switched by voice control. It is also waterproof and rugged with a removable lens cover, has great electronic image stabilization, shoots HDR video and has customizable presets so you can control the shooting mode without diving into the menu. This is an excellent waterproof camera for those who are looking for better control when shooting photos and videos. Read our DJI Osmo action preview.

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Good 4K video for less than $ 120 And It has a front display. Brave Le is quite a bargain. The body is water resistant, but with a variety of mounts, two batteries, a charger and a wrist remote, the Akaso includes a dive housing good for 40 meters (131 ft). A touch screen on the back lets you tap your way through its simple interface to change modes and camera settings. A long press on the mode button at the top lets you switch to the front display so that you can see yourself while shooting.

You get several shooting options including video and photo time-lapse modes, slow motion and loop recording. It has a diving and driving mode: To compensate for the lack of red lights in underwater scenes, the latter will turn on and off with your car when you have a camera attached to your car for power.

However, for picture quality, you may want to set it to 4K30, as image stabilization and quality are set to high for best results. Furthermore, while it offers a solid mix of resolutions and frame rates, not all of them have image stabilization including 1080p120 for slow motion.

Read more about all types of cameras

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