Best Action Cameras in 2021
Updated 13-02-2021 – Mia Cohen
Smartphone cameras are awesome but they are not always practical. For the times when you can’t take your smartphone with you, a great action camera will fill in the filming duties. A good action camera is the companion you can take on adventures. Sure you can take some great photos and footage with your latest Android or iPhone but you can’t risk dropping it down a mountain while mountain climbing.
There are a ton of great action cameras for the UK readily available. Not all of them are going to be inexpensive though, the more the features the more the cost of the device. However, the top of the line action cameras for the UK are worth the admission price. If you are serious about documenting your travels and adventures, a reliable action camera is a justified expenditure.
If you are familiar with action cameras, you’d probably heard about GoPro. GoPro makes some of the best action cameras around, and we absolutely recommend their devices. However, there are other companies making compelling devices as well, DJI recently came into the action camera market, and they have some good offerings as well. The only problem with the GoPros and DJIs is the expensive pricing. Thankfully if you are willing to check out some lesser known brands, you can find great budget action cameras as well.
|GoPro HERO 8 Black||Dimensions 66.3 x 28.4 x 48.6 mm, weight 126 grams, sensor pixels 12 MP, recording resolution 4K 60 fps, slow motion, battery life 1-3 hours estimated, waterproof up to 10 m.||£££|
|DJI Osmo Action Camera||Dimensions 42 x 65 x 35 mm, weight 134 grams, sensor pixels 9 MP, recording resolution 4K 60 fps, slow motion, waterproof up to 11 m, battery life 1-2.25 hours.||££|
|Apeman Action Camera A80||Dimensions 6 x 4.2 x 2.5 cm, weight 499 grams, sensor pixels 20 MP, recording resolution 4k 24 fps, waterproof up to 40 meters, record 180 minutes.||£|
|Insta360 One R Sports Camera||Dimensions 72 x 32 x 48 mm 4K module, 72 x 43 x 48 mm 360 modules, weighs 128g 4K, 131g 360, 1-inch sensor, max recording 5.3K at 30 fps, 4K 60 fps, camera resolution 19 MP, waterproof up to 5 m, touch display.||£££|
|GoPro HERO 7 Silver||Dimensions 23.5 x 18 x 6.9 cm, weight 118 g, image stabilization, 10-megapixel photos, memory card slot, 4K 60 frames per second, waterproof up to 10 m.||££|
|DJI Osmo Pocket||Dimensions 12.2 x 3.7 x 2.9 cm, weighs 118 grams, gimbals built-in, focal length 26 mm, still resolution 12 MP, memory card slot.||££|
|Campark X30 Action Camera||Dimensions 5 x 2 x 4 cm, weighs 449 grams, 4K 60 fps, sensor resolution 20 MP, slow motion, electronic stabilization, 170-degree field of view, SD card support, waterproof.||£|
|Sony DSC-RX0M2 Cyber Shot||Dimensions 15.6 x 11.8 x 6.8, weighs 132 grams, max focal length 24 mm, 180-degree tilt screen, 4K 60 fps record, super slow-motion 960 fps, sensor resolution 15.3 MP, crush proof, waterproof.||£££|
|GoPro Max 360 Camera||Dimensions 23.4 x 10.4 x 7.1 cm, weighs 163 grams, focal length 8.9 mm, still resolution 12.1 megapixels, waterproof.||££|
|Polaroid Cube+||Dimensions 3.6 x 3.6 x 3.6 cm, weighs 59 grams, needs one battery, camera resolution 8 MP, max video resolution 1440p, stabilization, 124-degree wide angle lens.||££|
1 GoPro HERO 8 Black
If you are looking for the king then the GoPro HERO 8 Black sits at the throne of action cameras. The device has a long legacy of bringing new features and the latest iteration brings everything to the table. The only gripe we had with the older GoPro cameras was the weird cage mount which is replaced by something more intuitive. The fold-out feet means you have a mount built right into the device.
The GoPro HERO 8 Black weighs only 126 grams, it is waterproof up to 10 meters and has 4K video recording at 60 FPS. That’s not all, the footage is also stabilized with the new stabilizing features. Want to shoot some cinematic slow-motion footage? You can shoot up to 240 fps in 1080p with this tiny bad boy. There is a better lens and a touch screen on the back of the GoPro HERO 8 Black. Overall, all these features are going to cost you money but you already knew that. It is a great device for people who regularly need it.
- Can capture 4K at 60 FPS
- Has three levels of stabilization
- Can capture 12MP stills
2 DJI Osmo Action Camera
We are huge fans of DJI camera drones so naturally, we were excited about the DJI Osmo Action Camera as well. Thankfully, the action camera is just as great as their drones and excels at providing almost everything you’d ever need from an action camera. The DJI Osmo Action Camera is equally great as the GoPro but comes at a lower cost. This is exactly why we are calling it the best pick on the list.
The DJI Osmo Action Camera can record 4k footage with 60 frames per second. The camera is not only great for recording your adventures but also for vlogs thanks to its front-facing colored LCD. Don’t worry, there is an even bigger colored LCD found on the back of the device. The unit is also waterproof up to 11 m without even needing a dedicated case. The image stabilization of the camera is also excellent, as well as the trail cameras also seen in our guides.
- Smooth 60 frames per second in 4K
- Waterproof up to 11 m depth
- Exceptional stabilization
3 Apeman Action Camera A80
You don’t always need an expensive action camera, sometimes a budget option can do a great job. The Apeman Action Camera A80 is capable of providing 4K footage at 24 frames per second which is quite enough for most people. If you just want to have a handy action camera and don’t want to spend lots of money, this is the best option for you. Just pack your camera, camping gear, a great electric shaver (if you want to shave on the go) and you are ready for your camping trip.
The Apeman Action Camera A80 also brings a 170° wide-angle lens which will make all your landscape shots look stunning. There is also a 2-inch screen on the back, and the shaking for videos and image stabilization. While the stabilization is not as great as other options, it is a serviceable job. This budget action camera is also IP 68 waterproof and you can take it 40 m underwater. The camera is capable of recording up to 180 minutes which is a very respectable number. Overall, if you don’t want all the fancy features and want to save a lot of money, this is one of the best options available.
- IP 68 waterproof
- comes with a 170° wide-angle lens
- can record up to 180 minutes
4 Insta360 One R Sports Camera
The Insta360 One R Sports Camera is a unique device and so is its modular design. What this means is that you can interchange the important units and completely change how the camera works. With this action camera, you can easily shoot 4K footage with up to 60 frames per second and then switch a module to shoot 360° footage. You can also opt for a pro version that comes with a 1-inch sensor with better low light performance.
The image quality you get out of the Insta360 One R Sports Camera is quite good. While it doesn’t reach the levels GoPro, it is still remarkable in its quality. The main advantage of the Insta360 One R Sports Camera is that you’ll be getting 2 modules for the price of one. There are some unique features on the action camera like the tracking mode. In 360° footage, you’ll be able to track a person or a pet and the camera will follow them around, our guide on the best cat cameras are a must see.
- a modular build
- comes with 2 camera modules
- some unique 360° features
5 GoPro HERO 7 Silver
If you don’t want to spend a lot of cash on the latest and greatest, then the GoPro HERO 7 Silver is going to be a great choice for you. The GoPro HERO 7 Silver offers 4K recording at 30 frames per second has advanced wind noise reduction thanks to its 2 microphone processing. The rugged exterior makes it perfect for your outdoor adventures. We highly recommend this action camera for your camping trips along with a good quality travel cot for your baby.
The GoPro HERO 7 Silver is waterproof and can be submerged up to 10 m. The camera is capable of capturing 10-megapixel photos with 15 photos in one second. This makes it a perfect camera to capture some real high-speed action. This also comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that is capable of recording for at least 80 minutes. For cameras that have long battery life, check out our guide on the best trail cameras.
- a rugged waterproof design
- captures stunning 10-megapixel photos
- advanced wind noise reduction
6 DJI Osmo Pocket
The DJI Osmo Pocket takes the stabilization to a whole another level thanks to its 3 axis gimbals. That’s right, the action camera comes with superb stabilization and can fit easily in pockets as well. The camera is capable of shooting 4K footage at 60 FPS as well.
You can also shoot slow-motion videos with the DJI Osmo Pocket at 1080p and 120 Fps. The camera captures 12 MP stills as well. Despite its unorthodox shape the DJI Osmo Pocket is easy to use and produces some great quality footage thanks to its ½.3 inch sensor.
- A relatively wide 80-degree angle
- Can capture 4K footage at 60 fps
- Amazing video stabilization
7 Campark X30 Action Camera
The Campark X30 Action Camera may not be very well known but it does bring a ton of features you’d want in an action camera. It has 4K recordings at 60 and 30 fps. It can even do 120 fps slow motion on 1080p and 240 fps on 720p. The 20 MP sensor comes with built-in electronic stabilization and gyroscope. While it is not as stable as other cameras, it does an admirable job. The Campark X30 Action Camera is also waterproof up to 40 meters making it a perfect companion to your deep sea dives.
- Robust and sturdy design
- Multiple recording options
- Waterproof up to 131 ft
8 Sony DSC-RX0M2 Cyber Shot
The Sony DSC-RX0M2 Cyber Shot brings in some serious image quality, we were blown away by how amazing the footage and photos from the camera came out. The price is also incredibly high though which is the only downside of this rugged image processing beast. The 1 inch Exmor CMOS sensor brings out details and can even be used as a stills camera. If you are a vlogger that needs a great companion, the Sony DSC-RX0M2 Cyber Shot is perfect for you.
- Incredible image quality
- Zeiss wide-angle lens
- Great video logging features
9 GoPro Max 360 Camera
Want to shoot 360-degree footage while retaining the option to shoot standard footage? The GoPro Max 360 Camera is made for you. The superbly stabilized camera brings 360 capturing and live streaming to one package. The camera shoots cinematic footage no matter what you are doing. The GoPro Max 360 Camera is also capable of capturing incredible 270-degree panoramas. There are 6 mics on the unit that deliver amazing stereo sound recording.
- Smooth 360 videos
- Can capture amazing panoramas
- Well built and waterproof
10 Polaroid Cube+
Yes, this is the same company that made instant photo cameras back in the days, and they are back with the Polaroid Cube+. To be fair, it is not that great of an action camera. It is more of a style statement, and we only recommend it for its unique looks and its ability to capture videos with ease. The 8Mp still images look sharp enough and you can record up to 1440p footage on it, The Polaroid Cube+ provides 107 minutes of continuous recording on one charge. The device also comes with a 124-degree wide-angle lens.
- Cute looking cube shape
- The stills are clear and sharp
- The device can record for over 100 minutes
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