Best action cameras iMore 2021

Today, the best digital cameras are fast, lightweight but tech-heavy, and more affordable than ever. Action cameras are one of those cool yet practical accessories that transform your shooting style. Unlike filming with your phone, an action camera is built to withstand the drops and dings that come with downhill skiing, jumping off waterfalls, gliding downhill on a skateboard, and following your kids around on the playground. Ready to get in on the fun? These are the best action cameras available this year.

Gopro Hero 9 Render Cropped

5K footage: GoPro HERO9 Black - Waterproof Action Camera

Staff Favorite

GoPro is the reigning leader of action cams, and their newest iteration is no exception. The GoPro Hero9 Black has a streamlined design that is more pocketable than ever. Smooth video, live streaming to social media, and distortion-free wide and SuperView captures are all a big part of GoPro's recent update. Other new features we love include 5K, Hypersmooth 3.0, Timewarp 3.0, and available mods. If you want gimbal-smooth footage in a rugged, waterproof build, go with GoPro.

dragontouch-vision3-render-cropped

A budget model: Dragon Touch Vision 3

It comes with a 16-megapixel camera and a 170-degree wide-angle lens, and it's known as the Dragon Touch Vision 3. This wallet-friendly camera comes with a remote, two batteries, and a ton of mounting accessories. The Vision 3 is a 4K action camera complete with a 4X zoom. When used with the waterproof case, you can take this bad boy down to 100 feet in any body of water without fear.

Dji Osmo Action Render Cropped

So stable: DJI Osmo Action

We're big fans of everything DJI puts out. You'll capture every angle and detail with the Ultra HD DJI Osmo Action. The DJI's 12.3MP sensor pulls in stunning dynamic detail while RockSteady delivers shake-free footage, whether you're biking, sailing, or running. We love the voice control on the DJI. Use five commands to film, snap photos, or perform other tasks without the need to move your hands. This action camera shoots at 60fps and is water-resistant down to 36 feet.

campark-x30-render-cropped

An underwater dream: Campark X30 Action Camera Native

The CamPark X30 shoots 60fps and takes impressive 20-megapixel stills. Anti-shake technology, coupled with electronic image stabilization, equals super-smooth footage. And the whole setup is waterproof! You can dive down to 131 feet with the CamPark and snap photos of underwater life or take a video of your kids in the waves. If you shoot under the waves, this is one of the best action cameras on the market.

akaso-brave-camera-render-cropped

Shoot on land and in the water: AKASO Brave 4 Ultra HD Action Camera

The AKASO Brave Ultra HD takes ultra-sharp 4K footage and 20-megapixel photographs. It's also waterproof up to 100 feet and shockproof so that you can go right to the heart of the action without worry. Built-in anti-shake technology produces smooth video on land, under the water, or from your bike's handlebars. The AKASO shoots wide-angle, as well, giving you the ultimate creative control.

Dji Pocket 2 Render Cropped

Ready for anything: DJI Pocket 2

We gave a thumbs up review of the DJI Pocket 2, extolling its small size, pro image output, 4K video. If you want a pocket-sized, affordable shooter, this is one of the best action cameras around. It has a battery life that exceeds two hours, fits in the palm of your hand, and has built-in 3-axis motorized stabilization. The Pocket 2 is a versatile cam that does everything from vlogging to action filming well.

Apeman 4k Render Cropped

A starter cam: APEMAN 4K

When you're just starting, building a kit of accessories is an expensive task. The APEMAN 4K A87 is a touchscreen 20MP action cam with an 8X zoom and onboard stabilization. This is a complete kit that comes with everything you need to get started, including waterproof underwater housing, mounting adapters, batteries, and a carry case.

Capture all your memories

What's the best action camera out this year? For everyday shooting, we can't say enough good things about the GoPro HERO9 Black. From the streamlined design to the available mods and accessories to the smoothest shooting experience available today; this is one of the best action cameras on the block.

If you're just getting your feet wet, the APEMAN 4K is a solid starter camera that comes with all the accessories you need to film on land and in the water.

And if you want an all-purpose camera, we recommend the DJI Pocket 2. It has pro-level video output, 3-axis stabilization, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.