The best action cameras for your next adventure

From the best budget action cameras to insanely good drones, we shortlist the hottest extreme products right now.

Black Go Pro in action on selfie mode sticking outside of a helicopter over the sea

by Kirk Schwarz and Curtis Moldrich |

The best action cameras are a feat of modern technology. Small, powerful and capable of fitting in your pocket, they’re often waterproof and dustproof, plus capable of taking a few knocks as well. Throw in the ability to capture crisp footage, and it’s no surprise action cameras are frequently used for capturing extreme sports such as surfing, skating or cycling. I guess this answers your question; how does an action camera differ from other cameras? They are truly revolutionary.

Rewind a few years, and GoPro would be your only real option – but now there are hundreds of action cameras on the market, from brands such as Osmo, Sony and Insta360.

Related: The best cheap DSLR cameras with super high resolutions

What is an action camera?

The best budget action cameras are built to take an absolute beating from all kinds of elements.

So whether you want to record the pure shores as you catch a gnarly wave or scale the face of a rocky cliff, an action camera is the only serious choice for recording your adventures.

What to look for in an action camera?

The first features of an action camera include recording resolution and whether it can film in 4K or Full HD. Some models are fully sealed, while others require a separate casing to withstand the elements. You may also want to know whether they can shoot stills and what size they are.

Related: The ultimate gear guide for beginner photographers

So, which action cameras should you be considering in 2021? From beginner to advanced photographers, here’s our list of the best action cameras you can buy right now:

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