TOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choose

TOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choosePhoto and video recording devices are updated faster than we can imagine.

If earlier action cameras were mostly found only among mountain climbers, divers, and people involved in extreme sports, now such a camera is not uncommon. The market for action cameras is vast.

How to choose? Our ratings and reviews of action cameras will help you decide.

Rating of the TOP 15 best action cameras of 2021

Place Full name
TOP 5 best action cameras in terms of price-performance ratio
1 GoPro HERO8 Black Edition
2 GoPro HERO7 (CHDHX-701)
3 Sony HDR-AS300
4 DJI Osmo Action
5 Sony FDR-X3000
TOP 3 best budget action cameras up to 5000 rubles
1 SJCAM SJ4000
2 SJCAM SJ4000 WiFi
3 EKEN H9R
TOP 3 best action cameras with stabilizer
1 GoPro HERO8 Black Special Bundle (CHDRB-801)
2 DJI Osmo Pocket
3 GoPro MAX (CHDHZ-201-RW)
TOP 4 best action cameras with 4K resolution
1 Sony FDR-X3000R
2 GoPro HERO7 (CHDHC-601)
3 YI 4K Action Camera
4 Mijia Mi Action Camera 4K

What should I pay attention to when choosing?

Such gadgets are expensive and complex in their structure.

In order not to make a mistake and buy a good action camera, you should pay attention to the following criteria::

  • the quality of shooting– for Amateur shots, no 4K modes are required;
  • viewing angledefines the capture width of what is happening;
  • the presence of the screen– most often, the screen is missing from budget models;
  • protection from moisture– this is especially important if you plan to shoot outdoors in various weather conditions, as well as shooting underwater;
  • battery– the problem of low power consumption is often solved by an external battery;
  • availability of fastenersthis is necessary if you are planning trips or hikes.

TOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choose

Review of the best models in the price-quality ratio

GoPro HERO8 Black Edition

The model was released at the end of 2021, but it looks almost like its predecessor. However, technical and electronicTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choosethe component has undergone a lot of changes.

The camera received a new mounting system without the need to purchase an additional frame. The improved microphone reduces wind noise at high speeds.

An updated stabilization system and improved software became the basis for the new model. The camera is considered the leader among action cameras for any event: both home parties and extreme sports.

It is worth noting that this is one of the best models of 2021.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 12MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/30 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: HDMI output, USB interface, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 103g;
  • Battery life: 0.5 hours.
  • the updated mounting system;
  • the quality of shooting;
  • build quality;
  • voice control;
  • loop recording.
  • price;
  • autonomy.

GoPro HERO7 (CHDHX-701)

The 2018 model is considered one of the best cameras with 4K support. Advanced digital image stabilization providesTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choosesmooth shooting, so the need for mechanical stabilizers is almost eliminated.

The “superfoto” function makes images bright and clear, because artificial intelligence mode is used to improve their quality. A large number of interfaces allow you to conduct live broadcasts.

The case is made of waterproof shockproof plastic. Additionally, the model has voice control.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 12MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/30 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: HDMI output, USB interface, microphone input, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 116g;
  • Battery life: 1.5 hours
  • all modern interfaces;
  • three-axis stabilization;
  • high-quality audio;
  • build and material quality;
  • voice control.
  • warms up during operation;
  • low autonomy.

Sony HDR-AS300

A relatively inexpensive model with high ergonomics, no sensor systems, and a practical body.TOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to chooseyou can use the physical buttons to use the camera while wearing gloves, without feeling any problems with the controls.

The camera is equipped with all modern interfaces, including wireless ones. Thanks to a high-quality sensor with optical stabilization and triple zoom, you can record video not only in a static position, but also in active motion.

Microphones are very sensitive to wind. Of the minuses, users also note the lack of a lens cap in the kit.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 1920 × 1080;
  • Sensor: 8.20 MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/30 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: HDMI output, USB interface, headphone output, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 109G;
  • Battery life: 2.55 hours.
  • all modern interfaces;
  • ergonomics;
  • value for money, quality and functionality;
  • autonomy.
  • microphones are sensitive to wind;
  • no cover for the lens in the kit.

DJI Osmo Action

Camera with high-precision stability for smooth shooting while driving. The firmware has no bugs, and in GeneralTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choosethe camera is comparable to the well-known leaders of GoPro, although it is slightly inferior to them in viewing angles.

Ergonomics are ensured by its light weight, comfortable appearance and high-quality display. The model supports both Full HD and 4K shooting. In the aquabox, the camera can shoot at a depth of up to 11 m.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 12MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/30 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: USB interface, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 124g;
  • Battery life: 2.3 hours.
  • the quality of shooting;
  • stabilizer bar;
  • two displays;
  • voice control.
  • there is no GPS sensor.

Sony FDR-X3000

A high-quality model with a white plastic case looks minimalistic. Ergonomics at height – the camera does notTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to chooseit falls out of the hand, fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, does not slip out and does not let your joints get tired.

The model supports all modern interfaces, including wireless ones. The active noise reduction system and two microphones allow you to shoot even in very noisy places.

Optical stabilization works at altitude and reduces shaking even when running or riding on mountain bike roads. Protection from dust and splashes is practically sealed, for shooting under water, an aquabox is included.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 8.20 MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/30 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: HDMI output, USB interface, microphone input, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 114 g;
  • Battery life: 2.35 hours.
  • autonomy;
  • availability of modern interfaces;
  • high-quality optics;
  • ergonomics.
  • missing screen;
  • high price for accessories;
  • works only with high-speed memory cards.

Review of budget models up to 5000 rubles

SJCAM SJ4000

One of the best low-cost cameras with good functionality. Lens with a 170-degree viewing angle and increased brightnessTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choosecolor sensitivity will allow you to shoot video even in poor lighting conditions.

Supports three recording formats: FullHD, HD and 868x480p. The camera is equipped with a 1.5-inch LCD screen. The waterproof case allows you to submerge the device to a depth of up to 30 m.

Low weight is provided due to the lack of a stabilizer and a low-power battery.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 3MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/33 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: HDMI output, USB interface;
  • Weight: 44g;
  • Battery life: 1.3 hours
  • light weight;
  • price;
  • cheap accessories;
  • equipment.
  • quiet microphone;
  • average shooting quality in low light conditions.

SJCAM SJ4000 WiFi

This budget model practically does not differ from the previous one, but the advantage is an improved matrix and the presence ofTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to chooseWi-Fi-a module that allows you to conduct live broadcasts if you have access to the wireless Internet.

The camera comes with a large number of different mounts for bicycles, scooters, handlebars, and soft surfaces. The Russified interface is clear and simple, so the gadget is suitable even for a child.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 12MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/33 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: HDMI output, USB interface, Wi-Fi;
  • Weight: 44g;
  • Battery life: 1.3 hours
  • light weight;
  • price;
  • cheap accessories;
  • equipment.
  • quiet microphone;
  • average shooting quality in low light conditions.

EKEN H9R

The budget model with 4K support has gained popularity due to its good shooting quality and price ratioTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to chooseboth quality and compatibility with GoPro accessories.

A 170-degree viewing angle lens, a 2-inch display, a remote control, and a Wi-Fi module are good features for low – cost cameras.

Only the battery capacity suffers – with such a size and weight, it is impossible to put more energy-intensive options without raising the price.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 4096 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 4MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/33 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: HDMI output, USB interface, Wi-Fi;
  • Weight: 64g;
  • Battery life: 1.1 hours
  • equipment;
  • monolithic housing;
  • compatible with GoPro accessories;
  • loop recording.
  • no lens cap;
  • a quiet sound.

Overview of models with a stabilizer

GoPro HERO8 Black Special Bundle (CHDRB-801)

Extended delivery of the eighth version of the camera additionally includes a set of accessories.TOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choose

The kit includes two batteries, a headstrap mount, a mini monopod tripod, and a SanDisk Extreme 32GB microSDHC. Otherwise, the model completely repeats all the characteristics of the GoPro HERO8 Black Edition.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 12MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/30 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: HDMI output, USB interface, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 103g;
  • Battery life: 0.5 hours.
  • the updated mounting system;
  • the quality of shooting;
  • build quality;
  • equipment
  • voice control;
  • loop recording.
  • price;
  • autonomy.

DJI Osmo Pocket

A camera with a non-standard appearance is designed mainly for recording events from the outside.TOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choose

A three-axis mechanical gimbal can give any electronic stabilization a head start. Additional party modes will allow you to follow the subject while holding it in the frame.

The mechanism is not very strong and is not intended for shooting active activities in the form of mountain climbing or Cycling. It is most suitable for shooting at home.

This is one of the highest quality models for 2021.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 12MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/33 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: microphone input;
  • Weight: 116g;
  • Battery life: 2.2 hours.
  • mechanical stabilization of the gimbal;
  • price;
  • autonomy;
  • the quality of the image.
  • flimsy mechanism and case;
  • no water resistance;
  • a faint sound.

GoPro MAX (CHDHZ-201-RW)

The model with two screens, two matrices and the ability to shoot in 5.6 K is an unusual option. LensesTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choosefisheye cameras allow you to shoot in all directions. The video is characterized by high frame quality.

The camera stitches the footage itself, reducing the need for additional processing. You can also use the camera as a regular one. Stabilization supports smooth and stable video.

Six built-in microphones will ensure the quality of audio recording.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 4992 × 2496;
  • Sensor: CMOS 16.60 megapixels;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/33 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: USB interface, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 154g;
  • Battery life: 1.45 hours.
  • a lens “fish eye»;
  • two matrices;
  • two screens;
  • equipment
  • the resolution is 5.6 K.
  • the high price;
  • autonomy.

Overview of models with 4K resolution

Sony FDR-X3000R

A popular model with a complete set in the form of a remote control, aquabox, mounting pad, holder, adapterTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choosefasteners and cables.

The camera’s sensor has high sensitivity thanks to advanced technologies, and allows you to conduct high-quality shooting both during the day and at night. A special app will also allow you to control the camera from your smartphone.

In addition, the model has the ability to recharge from an external battery, which significantly extends the operating time.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 8.20 MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/33 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: HDMI output, USB interface, microphone input, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 114 g;
  • Battery life: 2.35 hours.
  • high-quality optics;
  • large number of wireless modules;
  • supports external battery;
  • high level of autonomy.
  • the high price;
  • works with high-speed memory cards.

GoPro HERO7 (CHDHC-601)

The most inexpensive model in The gopro line brings the functions of expensive cameras to a more accessible level.TOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choose

The model does not have a front display, the shooting mode is only 4K, there is no stabilization, the non – removable battery will not allow you to increase the shooting time, but the video quality is maintained at a high level.

Build quality, water resistance and durability – no worse than the more expensive options.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 12MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/30 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: USB interface, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 94g;
  • Battery life: 1 hour.
  • ergonomics;
  • strength;
  • build quality;
  • price.
  • there is no stabilizer;
  • non-removable battery;
  • autonomy.

YI 4K Action Camera

A minimalistic device with a complete set in the form of a cable looks like a GoPro. Built-in tripod connectorTOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to chooseallows you to secure the camera if necessary.

The quality limit in video recording for the device is limited by its technical data – FullHD 60K / sec, but in this mode, the gadget quickly heats up. The viewing angle of 155 degrees is quite good for a budget model.

The camera imposes small dimensions and lightness due to the low quality of the microphone, the lack of a screen and stabilization. Management is carried out through a special application on your smartphone.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: 12MP CMOS;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/30 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: USB interface, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 95g;
  • Battery life: 1.5 hours
  • ergonomic housing;
  • price;
  • many features in the app.
  • poor equipment;
  • there is no screen.

Mijia Mi Action Camera 4K

The Xiaomi brand keeps up with the trends and launched its own development at a low price and average quality.TOP 15 best action cameras: 2021 price-performance rating, performance review, and tips on which one to choosetechnical equipment.

The Sony Exmor IMX317 sensor, 145-degree lens angle, 2.4-inch screen and non-energy-intensive battery are the main features of the model. At the same time, the camera is able to support shooting 4K, but in the absence of stabilization.

Smoothness of the image can only be obtained in Full HD, so many users consider 4K in the camera only to please fashion.

Technical specifications:

  • Maximum resolution: 3840 × 2160;
  • Sensor: CMOS 8MP;
  • Excerpt: 1/10000 — 1/30 sec;
  • Aperture: F2. 8;
  • Photo mode: Yes;
  • Interfaces: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth;
  • Weight: 99g;
  • Battery life: 1 hour.
  • lots of features;
  • easy to operate;
  • high-quality photos and videos for your level;
  • availability of accessories.
  • problems with processing certain types of memory cards;
  • it gets very hot.

Customer reviews

Below are customer reviews of the models presented here:

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