The 7 Best Action Cameras in 2021
Capture your life in motion with the best action cameras in 2021.
When you’re having an outdoor adventure or playing a sport, regular cameras don’t cut it. Photos or videos captured will be blurry and won’t highlight you or your friend in all the glory possible. Plus, normal cameras aren’t all that durable and are rarely waterproof.
That’s why we took it upon ourselves to find the best action cameras in 2021. Action cameras are usually waterproof and have special sensor suites to help them stabilize images and eliminate blurriness as they capture photos and videos of moving targets. Let’s take a look at the cameras we tested and loved.
Dragon Touch 4K
Best Overall Action Camera
- Great visuals for video and photos
- Good wireless range for the wrist remote
- Decently sized 2-inch screen
- Pretty affordable for most
- Some cameras can go into deeper water
- Case isn’t the most durable around
Why should you buy this? The Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera is versatile and comes with several excellent accessories that more than warrant its affordable asking price. It’s also incredibly easy to control thanks to a wireless wrist remote control.
Dragon Touch 4K
Why we picked the Dragon Touch 4K:
Great Visuals – The camera competes with the best of the best without breaking the bank, with 4K resolution at 30 FPS or the ability to transition to 1080 P at 60 FPS. It even delivers quality photos with 16-megapixel photo resolution and zoom ranges from 1X to 4X.
Lots of Accessories – Another distinguishing aspect of this camera is the high number of accessories that come with the purchase. It comes with two rechargeable batteries, several mounting accessories that also work with GoPro cameras, a waterproof casing, a wrist remote control, and other mounts to secure it to your car dashboard or bike.
Conclusion – All in all, there’s nowhere this action camera can go and nothing it can’t get on video or picture. It’s an ideal pick if you need something that works for every other occasion rather than a more specialized capture device.
APEMAN A79 4K
Best 4K Action Camera
- Has super high photo resolution compared to others
- Remote control has great range
- WiFi connectability is easy and quick
- Multiple video and photo modes
- Microphone itself is durable
- A bit pricey compared to other cameras
- Microphone cord is a bit weak
Why should you buy this? The APEMAN A79 4K Action Camera delivers phenomenal video and photo quality combined, partly thanks to its advanced sensors. It also features a fantastic external microphone so you can capture all of your outdoor moments in their auditory glory.
APEMAN A79 4K
Why we picked the APEMAN A79 4K:
High-Quality Photos and Videos – The camera can record video at 4K resolution at 30 FPS: perfect for getting even vibrant or fast-paced moments in lots of detail. Even better, it delivers 20-megapixel photos thanks to its advanced sensor suite. You’ll be able to see every fine detail of your environment or midair shot thanks to the quality of its lenses and other construction aspects.
Microphone and Accessories – We really like the remote control, which works within 10 m, and the external microphone. The microphone is included with the accessories that come with the purchase, so you have everything you need to start capturing your outdoor adventures right away. Add to that the ability for it to take multiple types of photos or video modes, and you have a top-tier action camera that isn’t limited in any way.
Conclusion – It’s a little pricier than the Dragon Touch, but well worth the cost if you want the best of the best when it comes to video and photo quality and functionality. The included microphone is even decently durable.
VanTop Moment 3 4K
Best Cheap Action Camera
- Very reasonable asking price
- Good durability despite affordability
- Includes wireless wrist remote
- Has good quality photos
- GoPro compatible accessories
- Not as waterproof as other cameras
- Not as many photo or video modes as others
Why should you buy this? The VanTop Moment 3 4K Action Camera is an affordable and effective piece of equipment. It features several GoPro compatible accessories, including a carrying case, and a phenomenal 16-megapixel sensor to help you capture fantastic pictures.
VanTop Moment 3 4K
Why we picked the VanTop Moment 3 4K:
Ultra-Wide Angle Lens – The camera’s lens reaches 170° in total, which allows it to capture truly astounding 4K 30 FPS video and 16-megapixel pictures. The quality and color are excellent even compared to other cameras on the market which are more expensive. To make things better, it includes single, burst, and time-lapse modes to let you customize every moment you capture.
Durable and Includes Case – The camera is fairly durable and includes a waterproof case that’s effective down to 30 m. This allows you to capture aquatic adventures just as easily as landlocked ones. The included carrying case will also make traveling with this action camera a breeze.
Conclusion – Ultimately, this camera is a fine choice if you want to grab a decent action camera without breaking the bank. It comes with competitive features and an excellent construction that’s comparable even to pricier devices on the market.
Best Waterproof Action Camera
- Waterproofing is very good
- Comes with additional batteries
- Has lots of mounting accessories
- Lens is fantastic and can be adjusted
- Good video and photo quality
- Not many customizable modes
- Normally a little pricy
Why should you buy this? The Campark ACT74 Action Camera is the device of choice if most of your outdoor adventures take place near water. When it comes to capturing the action in all its glory in wet environments, it has you covered in more ways than one.
Why we picked the Campark ACT74:
Wide Lens and High Quality – The camera comes with a 170° ultra-wide-angle lens that’s intense enough to capture 16-megapixel pictures and 4K resolution video. The lens is even highly adjustable, so you can fine-tune the capturing experience and collect your experiences in ways that best suit the moment. You can use the Wi-Fi remote control to capture things in real-time from a distance.
Waterproof Case – While the waterproof case goes down to a competitive 30 m, it’s particularly well sealed and does an admirable job of protecting the camera’s innards from water damage. But we also like the ability for the camera to adapt to watery environments, dispelling any distortion you might experience in your videos or photos. It’s not just waterproof; it’s meant to be used in water!
Conclusion – Overall, this action camera does a great job in general but especially if you want to head to the beach or swimming pool. Thanks to its excellent waterproof case, you won’t even need to worry if you drop it for quite a while, which might save you some money in the long run!
BOIFUN 4K 20MP
Best Low Light Action Camera
- Has advanced sensors to adjust for lighting conditions
- Very good waterproof depth
- Comes with lots of mounting accessories
- Has good remote control/WiFi
- Can stabilize images
- Sensors are sensitive, can be damaged
- A bit pricey compared to others
Why should you buy this? The BOIFUN 4K 20MP Action Camera comes with all of the advanced features and sensors you need to capture quality videos and photos in any light environment. It’s also integrated with a Wi-Fi receiver to seamlessly connect your smartphone in seconds.
BOIFUN 4K 20MP
Why we picked the BOIFUN 4K 20MP:
Sensor Suite – Many action cameras have sensors to help them collect great videos and photos. But few have the ISO sensors equipped on this camera, which allow it to work in a variety of light environments, including dawn or dusk. It also has anti-shake technology thanks to electronic image stabilization features. In other words, even normally shaky videos can be smoothed out and enjoyed upon capture.
Lots of Recording Modes – The camera can record videos and photos at 4K resolution and 20-megapixel quality respectively. Even better, you can enjoy several different recording functions like time-lapse, slow mode, burst photo, and even self-timing. Combined with 20 mounting accessories, you have everything you need to make your own film or capture your adventures from any angle and in any style.
Conclusion – It’s a quality camera through and through that has tons of features and advanced tech packed into its small chassis. We feel it’s the camera for anyone who captures photos and videos in a variety of outdoor lighting environments, not just the brightest part of the day.
AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K
Best Sports Action Camera
- Comes with image stabilization tech
- Very easy to connect to your phone or device
- Good wireless remote control
- Has lots of mounting accessories
- Several modes to compensate for distortion
- A little pricier than most
- A little blocky to hold
Why should you buy this? The AKASO EK700 Pro 4K Action Camera should be the camera of choice for anyone wanting to capture their sports feats from any angle. Thanks to its mounting accessories and durable build, it’ll survive any encounter you throw at it and capture excellent videos and photos all the while.
AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K
Why we picked the AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K:
EIS – Like the last pick, this camera comes with electronic image stabilization tech. This allows it to shoot fast-moving objects with ease, and without any motion blur: a perfect combination for any sports-related video or picture captures. It even has an adjustable view angle so you can capture the footage you want in the way you need it every time.
Remote Control and Mounts – It also comes with a 2.4 GHz wireless wrist remote control. As such, it’s easy to use this camera even from a distance or without taking your hands away from what you’re doing. You can mount it on your helmet or on virtually any other surface thanks to the included accessories. In short, it has everything you need to capture quality videos and photos on kayaks, bikes, motorcycles and more.
Conclusion – In the end, this action camera is the perfect choice for anyone who needs something fairly durable and easy to control. It can go practically anywhere you can and has the top-tier photo and video quality you need to justify its higher asking price.
GoPro HERO 8
- Very high-quality photos and videos
- Plenty of personalization options
- Comes with microSD card and extra battery
- Has excellent image stabilization tech
- Very high asking price
- Not as waterproof as some others
Why should you buy this? The GoPro Hero8 Action Camera is a flagship representative of the brand as a whole. It comes with an extra battery for two total, as well as a SanDisk microSD card. The bundle here has everything you need to begin capturing videos or photos in any situation.
GoPro HERO 8
Why we picked the GoPro HERO 8:
Lots of Value – You don’t just get a quality action camera with this bundle; you also get the stuff you need to store your photos and videos and transfer them to your computer for editing or sharing. The additional battery included with the purchase is another excellent benefit, as it means you won’t need to purchase the battery elsewhere and you’ll always have power when you need it. Both batteries or rechargeable to boost your time out capturing instead of waiting.
Streamlined Capture – As we’d expect from GoPro, the Hero8 comes with a streamlined design and three levels of stabilization: perfect for capturing blurry or fast-paced video. It’ll turn even jittery captures into stable, enjoyable footage. Time-lapse videos or live burst modes are also included. Video or photos are both captured in their highest-quality thanks to the fantastic and distortion-free lenses. The camera uses a proprietary algorithm to create phenomenal action shots in superb detail.
Conclusion – Ultimately, the Hero8 represents everything you could want in a GoPro action camera. It’s quite pricey but well worth the cost when you consider the value for money both in the camera itself and in the included accessories.
How we test
When we decided to find the best action cameras around, we considered what made a great one first and foremost. To that end, we always chose action cameras that could provably last underwater down to at least 30 m. We even found some, like the Campark ACT74, that had even better underwater durability.
We also looked for cameras that had phenomenal features and image stabilization sensors. The BOIFUN 4K 20MP is a great example of this, as is the GoPro Hero 8. Overall, we tested out the above cameras and more in a variety of settings, checking out their ability to remove blurriness and deliver quality videos and photos even as we ran around or jumped in the air.
Action Camera FAQ
What is an Action Camera?
An action camera is a typically small, dedicated camera that uses advanced software and special lenses and sensors to better capture moving targets in both pictures and videos. They’re not to do similar from regular cameras in how they operate. They’re simply packed with specific features, software or hardware to make them especially good at getting rid of blurriness in photos. As a result, they’re not quite as detail-oriented as traditional portrait cameras, but they’re still great.
What Action Camera Should I Buy?
The right action camera for you depends on what you’re looking for. For instance, anyone who wants to take pictures of them or others during sports would benefit from picking up the AKASO EK700 Pro 4K. Or you could go with something more budget-oriented with the VanTop Moment 3 4K.
Finally, the Dragon Touch 4K was what we chose as the best overall. It represents excellent value for money and comes with plenty of accessories without breaking the bank. Pick this up if you don’t need anything specific but want a quality action camera overall.
What is the Best Camera for Action Shots?
The BOIFUN 4K 20MP or AKASO EK700 Pro 4K action cameras are likely the best if you want raw image stabilization and quality photos of people in motion. Alternatively, the GoPro Hero8 is another solid choice thanks to its phenomenal software and specially-designed lenses. These cameras arguably deliver the best action pictures in the market.
Which GoPro to Buy is Right for Me?
It all depends on your budget and needs. Try to figure out which aspects of an action camera matter most to you and then work out a realistic budget. Don’t try to go for something that has everything if you won’t use all of the included features.
How Much is a GoPro?
GoPros are usually quite pricey since they’re market leaders, and GoPro produces some of the best lenses and casings on the market. More modern GoPros usually cost a bit more than older models. These days, you can find budget GoPros for around $100-$150 and modern models upwards of $400 or even more.