The Best Action Cameras (2023)

In a world where every epic moment deserves to be captured and shared, action cameras have revolutionized the way we document our adventures. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie scaling towering peaks, an underwater explorer discovering hidden depths, or simply a weekend warrior chasing unforgettable moments, the right action camera can make all the difference.

With a plethora of options flooding the market, choosing the best action camera can be an overwhelming task. That’s where we come in. In this comprehensive product review, we’ll take you on a journey through the rugged landscapes and turbulent waters of the action camera world to help you find the perfect companion for your escapades.

We’ll dive deep into the features that matter most: image quality, durability, ease of use, battery life, and, of course, the latest technological innovations that set these action cameras apart from the competition.

It’s not just about the cameras themselves; it’s also about the accessories and software that enhance your filming experience. We’ll provide insights into must-have add-ons and software recommendations to help you get the most out of your action camera setup.

Moreover, we understand that everyone’s budget is different. So, we’ve curated a selection that caters to a wide range of price points, ensuring that there’s an option for every adventurer, from budget-conscious explorers to those who demand nothing but the best.

OVERVIEW

Insta360 One RS

Best for Mixing 360 and 4K Footage

DJI Action 2

Best Ultralight

Insta360 X3

Best 360 Cam for the Action Enthusiast

Akaso Brave 7 LE

Best budget action camera – under 200$

GoPro Max

Best Audio in a 360 Cam

Olympus Tough TG-6

olympus-tough-tG-6

Insta360 Go 3

The best modular action camera

DJI Osmo Action 4

Best Low-Light Action Cam

Oclu Action Camera

Best for Tight Spots
  1. GoPro Hero12 Black

gopro-hero12-black
Key Specs
  • Type 1/1.9 (6.3 x 5.5mm) CMOS sensor with native 8:7 aspect ratio
  • 5.3K at up to 60p, 4K at up to 120p
  • 8x slow-mo (2.7K at 240p)
  • ‘HDR’ video mode
  • Vertical video support (9:16 ratio)
  • 10-bit video, and new GP-Log video option
  • 24.7MP still photos from video
  • 27MP photos, including Raw + JPEG
  • Ultra-wide 177° field of view with optional new Max Lens Mod 2.0
  • 2 times longer runtime than the Hero11 Black: 70min at 5.3K60, 58min at 4K120
  • Improved image stabilization
  • Wireless audio support for Apple AirPods and other Bluetooth headphones
  • Waterproof up to 10m (33ft)
  • Standard 1/4-20 mounting thread on the bottom

The GoPro Hero12 Black, the company’s newest flagship action camera, builds on the enhancements made by the Hero11 Black model from the previous year. The new Hero12 Black has the same nearly square 8:7 aspect ratio sensor and GP2 CPU as its predecessor, but it can now run for longer periods of time, do image stabilization tasks more effectively, produce 10-bit Log video, connect to wireless audio, and do other things.

gopro-hero12-black

The GoPro Hero12 Black boasts an astonishing 4K resolution, delivering crystal-clear footage that captures every detail of your adventures. Whether you’re tackling the toughest terrains or diving into the deepest waters, this action camera ensures that your memories are immortalized in breathtaking quality.

Shaky footage is a thing of the past with HyperSmooth 6.0 stabilization technology. It’s like having a professional camera operator with you on every adventure, ensuring your shots remain steady and distortion-free, even in the most challenging conditions.

Adventure knows no boundaries, and neither should your camera. The Hero12 Black features improved low-light performance, allowing you to capture stunning footage in challenging lighting conditions.

With a waterproof rating of up to 33 feet (10 meters) without the need for an external housing, the Hero12 Black is ready to dive into the action, quite literally. Take it snorkeling, kayaking, or simply for a swim, and rest assured that it’ll perform flawlessly.

GoPro has made operating the Hero12 Black a breeze with its intuitive touchscreen interface. But what truly sets it apart is its voice control feature. Simply speak your commands, and the camera will respond, making it perfect for hands-free shooting when you’re in the midst of the action.

Easily transfer your footage to your devices using the GoPro app. Edit, share, and relive your adventures with friends and family in real-time. The Hero12 Black’s connectivity options make it a versatile tool for content creators and social media enthusiasts.

The last thing you want on an adventure is to run out of power. With the GoPro Hero12 Black, you can record for longer with confidence, thanks to its extended battery life. Capture more of your adventures without the constant worry of recharging.

2. Insta360 One RS

insta360-one-rs
Key Specs
  • Swappable lens modules
  • 4K Boost Lens: F2.4. 360 Lens: F2.0 / 35mm Equivalent Focal Length – 4K Boost Lens: 16mm. 360 Lens: 7.2mm
  • 4K Boost Lens: 8000×6000 (4:3), 8000×4500 (16:9), 4000×3000 (4:3), 4000×2250 (16:9). 360
  • Lens: 6080×3040 (2:1)
  • HDR available at 4K30
  • Stabilized 4K60 and 5.7K 360 video
  • 2:35 wide-screen mode
  • Waterproof to 16 feet

Insta360 has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation and creativity. Their latest offering, the Insta360 One RS, is a game-changer that promises to redefine your content creation experience.

insta360-one-rs

One of the standout features of the Insta360 One RS is its interchangeable lens system. This groundbreaking innovation allows you to switch between a traditional 4K wide-angle lens and a powerful 360-degree lens, giving you unprecedented flexibility in your content creation.

The Insta360 One RS delivers breathtaking 5.7K resolution, ensuring your videos and photos are incredibly sharp and vibrant. The built-in FlowState stabilization technology guarantees buttery-smooth footage, even in the most challenging conditions.

The Insta360 app harnesses the power of AI to automatically identify the best moments in your clips, allowing you to create engaging and polished content with minimal effort. Whether you’re a seasoned editor or a novice, the Insta360 One RS streamlines the post-production process

The Multi-View feature takes your storytelling to the next level by enabling you to capture two angles simultaneously with both lenses. This innovative tool is perfect for reactions, interviews, or simply showing multiple perspectives in a single shot.

The Insta360 One RS offers a variety of mounting options, from traditional tripod mounts to innovative magnetic mounts, ensuring you can capture the perfect angle for every shot. Its compact and lightweight design makes it easy to take anywhere.

Designed for adventurers and thrill-seekers, the Insta360 One RS is built to withstand the elements. Its rugged design is not only waterproof but also dustproof and shockproof, making it an ideal companion for your outdoor escapades, no matter how extreme.

3. DJI Action 2

dji-action-2
Key Specs
  • 1/1.7″ CMOS sensor
  • F2.8 lens with a 155º FOV
  • Video: 4K/120p (16:9, 3840×2160), 4K/60p (4:3, 4096×3072), 2.7K/120p (16:9, 2688×1512), 2.7K/60p (4:3, 2688×2016), 1080/240p
  • 12MP photo (Raw or JPEG, but not at the same time)
  • 4x digital zoom with HorizonSteady off, 2x digital zoom with HorizonSteady on
  • 32 GB of internal memory
  • micro SD card slot on front-facing camera and battery pack modules
  • 1.76″ OLED touchscreen
  • One built-in microphone (increases to three when paired with front-facing camera module)
  • Electronic image stabilization up to 60fps
  • Waterproof down to 10m (33 ft.) without a case, down to 60m with a case
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The DJI Action 2 is a modular action camera with a very small body and amazing 4K video capabilities. It is an updated model of DJI’s Osmo Action camera and comes with a range of magnetic modules so customers may adapt it to their shooting requirements.

The DJI Action 2 defies its small stature with incredible performance. Its compact design ensures it goes unnoticed until you need it. The Action 2 uses a 1/1.7″ CMOS sensor, which is larger than the 1/2.3″ sensor in the original Osmo Action camera. A new color temperature sensor lets the camera swiftly adapt as shooting conditions change, and its F2.8 lens provides a 155o field of view (FoV).

One of the standout features of the DJI Action 2 is its modular system. With the core module housing the camera and battery, you can expand its capabilities with additional modules such as the front touchscreen, audio module, and more. This flexibility allows you to tailor the camera to your specific needs, making it a versatile tool for various shooting scenarios.

Additionally, the camera has DJI’s RockSteady 2.0 to reduce shake and a new stabilization mode called HorizonSteady that claims to keep horizon lines stable regardless of camera angle.

Don’t let the elements hold you back. The DJI Action 2 is waterproof up to 10 meters without the need for an external case. Its rugged build can withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures, ensuring it stays with you through thick and thin.

Navigating the DJI Action 2 is a breeze with its responsive touchscreen interface. Transfer and edit your footage effortlessly with the DJI Mimo app. The camera’s wireless connectivity options ensure that you can share your adventures in real-time with friends and followers, all while editing your content to perfection.

4. Insta360 X3

insta360-x3
Key Specs
  • 1/2” 48MP sensors deliver big resolution and image quality improvements.
  • Shoot first, point later in stunning 5.7K 360, now with innovative Active HDR.
  • 72MP photos for ultra-detailed stills.
  • 4K single-lens mode for epic first-person views at 4K30fps or MaxView at 170°.
  • Capture third-person views and impossible, drone-like shots with the Invisible Selfie Stick.
  • FlowState Stabilization and 360 Horizon Lock.
  • Tempered glass touchscreen for easy adjustments and previews.
  • Waterproof to 10 meters (33 feet).
  • Record audio straight to your AirPods.

The Insta360 X3 is designed to deliver immersive experiences like never before. With its ability to capture everything around you, it transforms viewers into participants, making them feel like they’re right there with you.

At the heart of the Insta360 X3 is a high-resolution sensor that produces breathtaking 5.7K video quality. The result? Crystal-clear footage that preserves every detail and nuance of your surroundings.

The Insta360 X3 features Insta360’s FlowState stabilization technology, ensuring your videos are buttery-smooth, even when you’re on the move.

Take the Insta360 X3 wherever your adventures lead, including underwater. With its waterproof design, it can handle depths of up to 10 meters (33 feet) without an additional housing.

The compact design of the Insta360 X3 makes it easy to take anywhere. Slip it into your pocket or mount it on your gear without adding unnecessary bulk. It’s the perfect travel companion for adventurers and content creators who are always on the go.

The Insta360 app complements the X3 perfectly, providing powerful editing tools that allow you to create, edit, and share your content seamlessly. Turn your raw footage into captivating stories with ease.

5. Akaso Brave 7 LE

akaso-brave-7-le
Key Specs
  • Waterproof: IPx7(no case needed), 40M (with case)
  • 4K video: up to 30fps
  • 1080 video: up to 120fps
  • 720 video: up to 240fps
  • Stills resolution: 20MP
  • Battery life: 120 mins
  • Weight: 127g

The Akaso Brave 7 LE stands out as a versatile and budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on performance. It’s the ideal companion for adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts, and content creators seeking to capture life’s most thrilling moments in vivid detail.

The Akaso Brave 7 LE boasts impressive 4K Ultra HD video recording and 20MP photo capture, ensuring your memories are preserved in stunning detail. From breathtaking landscapes to fast-paced action, this camera delivers exceptional image quality that brings your adventures to life.

One of the standout features of the Akaso Brave 7 LE is its dual-screen design. With a rear touchscreen and a front-facing display, framing your shots and capturing selfies has never been easier.

This action camera offers a variety of shooting modes to suit your creative needs, including time-lapse, burst photo, slow motion, and more. Experiment with different modes to capture the perfect shot for any situation.

With a durable waterproof case included, the Akaso Brave 7 LE is ready to dive into underwater adventures, with a depth rating of up to 131 feet (40 meters). Capture the mesmerizing world beneath the surface with confidence, knowing your camera is protected.

The Akaso Brave 7 LE offers outstanding value for its price point, making it an accessible option for those who want a capable action camera without breaking the bank. It’s a testament to Akaso’s commitment to delivering quality without compromise.

6. GoPro Max

gopro-max
Key Specs
  • Shoot HERO mode or go with 360 mode for stunning 6K.⁵
  • Unbreakable stabilization from Max HyperSmooth
  • Waterproof to 16ft + built tough
  • Premium 360 + stereo audio from 6 mics
  • Vlog to the max with 1080p live streaming
  • Max TimeWarp, PowerPano, 4 digital lenses + so many other features to nail any shot
  • Compatible with Quik app
  • Compatible with over 30 mounts + accessories

The GoPro Max takes the lead in redefining the way we capture and relive our most exhilarating experiences. As a 360-degree camera that can also shoot traditional Hero-style videos, it offers a level of versatility and creative freedom that is unmatched.

gopro-max

At the heart of the GoPro Max is a powerful sensor that delivers breathtaking 5.6K 360-degree video quality. The result? Crystal-clear footage that preserves every detail of your surroundings. Your content will come to life with vibrant colors and remarkable sharpness.

Switch seamlessly between 360-degree and Hero-style shooting modes. The Hero mode lets you capture regular videos and photos, ideal for those times when you want a more traditional perspective without changing cameras.

The GoPro Max features Max HyperSmooth, an advanced image stabilization system that ensures your videos are incredibly smooth, even during fast-paced activities. From mountain biking to skiing, your footage will be free from jitters and shakes.

Navigating the GoPro Max is a breeze thanks to its responsive touchscreen interface. With simple taps and swipes, you can adjust settings, preview shots, and edit your content on the go.

gopro-max

Built to withstand the rigors of adventure, the GoPro Max is rugged and waterproof up to 16 feet (5 meters) without the need for an external case. Despite its powerful capabilities, the GoPro Max maintains a compact and portable design. It easily fits in your pocket or mounts on your gear without adding unnecessary bulk, ensuring it’s ready for action whenever you are.

Create mesmerizing time-lapse sequences and dynamic TimeWarp 360 videos that condense hours of action into captivating moments. It’s a fantastic way to showcase your adventures in a unique and engaging format.

7. Olympus Tough TG-6

olympus-tough-tg-6
Key Specs
  • 12MP, 1/2.3″ BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 25-100mm equivalent F2.0-4.9 stabilized lens
  • Waterproof to 15m (45ft), shockproof from 2.1m (7ft), crushproof to 100kgf (220lbf), freezeproof to -10°C (14°F), dustproof
  • 3″, 1.04M-dot display (non-touch)
  • Raw support
  • 1cm (0.4″) minimum focusing distance
  • 20 fps burst shooting
  • Pro Capture mode saves photos before and after the shutter release is pressed, to help you capture the right moment
  • 4K/30p video
  • Built-in GPS, altimeter, compass, thermometer and accelerometer
  • Optional conversion lenses and flash accessories

When it comes to capturing life’s wildest moments, the Olympus Tough TG-6 stands as a formidable ally. This rugged, adventure-ready camera is built to withstand the elements, and its impressive features ensure that you can document your escapades with stunning clarity.

The Olympus Tough TG-6 is designed to excel where most cameras fear to tread. Waterproof up to 50 feet (15 meters), shockproof from 7 feet (2.1 meters), and freeze-proof down to 14°F (-10°C), it’s your go-to camera for extreme adventures, underwater explorations, and everything in between.

olympus-tough-tg-6

One of the standout features of the TG-6 is its exceptional macro capability. With a unique Microscope Mode, it can capture tiny subjects with astonishing detail. At the core of the TG-6 is a high-resolution 12-megapixel sensor paired with a versatile 4x optical zoom lens. This combination ensures that your photos and videos are sharp, vibrant, and packed with detail, even in challenging lighting conditions.

Take the plunge with confidence, as the TG-6 offers an array of underwater shooting modes and accessories. From underwater white balance adjustments to underwater HDR, it’s a camera that’s as comfortable beneath the waves as it is on land.

The camera features five underwater shooting modes that automatically adjust settings for various aquatic environments. Whether you’re snorkeling, diving, or shooting in murky waters, the TG-6 ensures you get the best possible shots.

Capture your adventures in stunning 4K resolution and experiment with high-speed modes for slow-motion sequences that add drama to your footage.

The TG-6 excels in low-light conditions, thanks to its bright f/2.0 lens. Capture vibrant images and videos even in dimly lit environments, making it an ideal choice for nighttime adventures and low-light photography.

Transfer your photos and videos to your smart devices seamlessly using the built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. Share your adventures instantly with friends and followers, or use your smartphone as a remote control for the camera.

8. Insta360 Go 3

insta360-go-3

Key Spec

  • Weighs 35g
  • Hands-Free Filming
  • Flowstate Stabilisation
  • 360° Horizon Lock
  • Easy Mounting
  • Quick Capture
  • Voice Control 2.0
  • Extended Battery Life
  • Flip Touch Screen

With a weight of about 35g, the new Insta360 Go 3 was deigned to be among the world’s smallest action camera, making it effortless to take it anywhere and record anything. The GO 3 was designed to work with a variety of mounts and accessories, including first-person POV footage. designed with the new Action Pod system, which has a flip touchscreen with wireless image transmission and control over charging the GO 3 Camera. Additionally, the Insta360 GO 3 features a sizable 64GB of storage space, enabling you to record hours of video.

Don’t let its size fool you; the Insta360 Go 3 packs a punch with its ability to capture 2K video and 9-megapixel photos. The footage and images are surprisingly crisp and vibrant, ensuring your memories are captured in high quality.

The Insta360 Go 3 is not only waterproof but also magnetized, allowing you to attach it to various surfaces with ease. Whether it’s your shirt, a metal object, or even a pendant, the Go 3 sticks securely, opening up creative shooting possibilities.

Shaky videos are a thing of the past with the Insta360 Go 3’s advanced FlowState stabilization technology. Whether you’re running, biking, or simply on the move, your footage remains smooth and professional.

Despite its small size, the Go 3 boasts a surprisingly long battery life, allowing you to capture up to 150 clips on a single charge. Spend more time recording and less time recharging.

The Go 3 should pique the interest of creators looking for a wearable camera or adventurers seeking a device they can attach in intriguing locations to capture distinctive viewpoints. However, since the Go 3 requires you to run footage via its app to produce time lapses or add digital stabilization, make sure you are familiar using video editing software.

9. DJI Osmo Action 4

dji-osmo-action-4

Key Spec

  • 1/1.3-inch Sensor & Stunning Low-Light Imaging
  • 10-bit & D-Log M Color Performance
  • 4K/120fps & 155º Ultra-Wide FOV
  • 2.4μm Pixel size
  • f/2.8 Aperture
  • 360° HorizonSteady
  • 18m Waterproof
  • Deep-Freeze Resistant & Long-Lasting Battery Life

When it comes to capturing the most thrilling moments of your life, DJI has consistently set the standard for excellence. The DJI Osmo Action 4 is the latest addition to their impressive lineup, promising to take your action-packed adventures to the next level.

The DJI Osmo Action 4 is engineered to deliver breathtaking 4K resolution, ensuring that every detail of your adventures is captured with stunning clarity. The Osmo Action 4 features dual screens—a front-facing screen for effortless selfies and vlogging and a rear touchscreen for intuitive navigation and easy settings adjustments.

Adventure knows no limits, and neither should your camera. The Osmo Action 4 is equipped with improved low-light performance, allowing you to capture stunning footage even in challenging lighting conditions.

Say goodbye to shaky footage with the DJI Osmo Action 4’s advanced RockSteady Pro stabilization technology. It keeps your shots buttery-smooth and distortion-free, even in the most demanding conditions.

With its rugged design, the Osmo Action 4 is waterproof up to 59 feet (18 meters) without the need for an external housing.

10. Oclu Action Camera

oclu-action-camera

Key Spec

  • 4k 30 FPS 1080P 120FPS
  • IPX7 standard (1M for 30mins).
  • Super smooth footage
  • 1080P @ 30 / 60 FPS.
  • Interchangeable 1000 mAh battery.
  • Standard 1/4” tripod mount & universally compatible accessory mount.
  • Microphones on both front and top

Oclu has a very different take on the action camera, eschewing the usual design for a flat body with the primary screen on top. The end product is a camera that can fit in spaces where others cannot, such as the deck of a skateboard or the visor of a helmet. If you desire slo-mo footage, the Oclu can shoot 1080p at 120 frames per second or 4K at 30 frames per second. The image and video quality is comparable to that of the GoPro Hero 8.

Navigate the camera’s settings and preview your shots with ease using the intuitive OLED touchscreen. It’s responsive, user-friendly, and ensures you have full control over your shooting experience.

The one area where the more well-known brands surpass the Oclu is imagine stabilization. Although it has stabilization, it isn’t quite as effective as what you get from the Hero 9 and upwards or the Insta360 One RS. On the other hand, sound is fantastic, and you’ll have significantly less wind noise than with other cameras. All things considered, it’s hard to beat the Oclu’s performance for the price