The 8 Best Action Cameras
This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in December of 2018. Ever since their invention, action cams have captured the hearts and minds of extreme athletes and casual users alike, as they can be taken along on adventures that many traditional cameras would not survive. The options on this list take it a step further by allowing you to livestream your experiences, so your family, friends, and fans can enjoy them at the same time as you. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 03, 2020:
While some of the lesser known companies in the sector have more or less disappeared, the big names like GoPro, Sony, and even Garmin remain. We upgraded one of our top selections to the GoPro Hero 8, which continues to improve upon the stabilization system that made their previous model so enticing, and they've upgraded the maximum resolution for live streaming through your smartphone to 1080p, so you can broadcast in full HD from anywhere within reach of a cell tower.
Of course, a lot of live streaming takes place from the home, and is often done solo, making it difficult to set up a frame and make sure you look good in it. That's why the DJI Osmo 4K has view screens on the back and the front, so you can see yourself with no problem. They also offer pretty fine stabilization, as well, which makes sense given their history manufacturing gimbals and drones.
One standout, at least ergonomically, continues to be the Sony FDRX3000/W, the long body of which can be more comfortable to hand-hold than some of the boxier models out there. That does mean it lacks a display for anything more than settings, memory, and battery life, meaning you'll have to hook it up to something to see your results. It does support a live connection to your smartphone, so you can use that as a display, but it won't let you live stream through it the way the GoPro does.
January 08, 2019:
Above all else, action cameras must be able to take a beating without becoming damaged. Any model that will break or stop recording because of an impact or being submerged shouldn't be allowed to call itself an action camera in our opinion. We made sure to only include the toughest models around. We also did our best to identify as many options as possible capable of shooting in 4k.