The B&H Action Cam Roundup

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Action cams remain the go-to option for adventurers, athletes, and extreme-sport enthusiasts who want to capture and preserve all their astonishing exploits—preferably in crisp, stunning detail. However, with so many quality action cams to choose from, selecting the right one can be tough. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top-performing action cameras on the market.

DJI Osmo Action

Best Features: 4K60 Video, 12MP, RockSteady Video Stabilization, HDR Support

Looking back, DJI’s jump into the action-cam scene makes total sense. As the number-one drone maker in the world, the company is more than familiar with the technology that goes into a top-tier action cam: high-res video, effective stabilization, all-weather design, and so on. Still, we were admittedly caught a little off guard when the Osmo Action was announced. What was even more surprising was how well the Action performs, despite the fact it’s a first-generation device. What wowed us the most? For starters, it packs a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor that can record up to 4K60 video and capture 12MP stills. That’s impressive, but how stable is the footage? Well, using DJI’s RockSteady electronic stabilization system, your footage is about as smooth as it gets. We’ve traversed record-setting inclines, braved bumpy whitewater rapids, and our footage looked clean and stable. We're also big fans of both the design and ruggedness of the Osmo Action. It's very easy to carry or mount, and it’s tough enough to handle just about anything life throws its way. All told, the DJI Osmo Action stands toe to toe with the best action cams on the market and, in many instances, comes out ahead of the pack.

DJI Osmo Action 4K Camera

GoPro HERO7 Black

Best Features: 4K60 Video, 12MP, HyperSmooth Video Stabilization, HDR Mode

GoPro is a name that’s synonymous with action cameras, so much so that they make up half the entries in our roundup. The crown jewel of the collection is the HERO7 Black, which incorporates and bolsters the best of previous generations and adds new modes and features, to boot (HyperSmooth, for example). These new and improved features make the HERO7 feel less like an upgrade and more like an ascension into a league of its own. Capable of shooting stabilized UHD 4K60 video and 12MP stills with selectable HDR and offering user-friendly features like scene detection and voice command, the HERO7 Black is one of the most sophisticated action camera available today.

GoPro HERO7 Black

GoPro HERO6 Black

Best Features: 4K60 Video, 12MP Photos, HDR Photo/Video Mode, Waterproof

In many ways, the GoPro HERO6 Black is the standard bearer for what an action cam should be: It captures hi-res photo and video, it’s easy to mount on a person or vehicle, and it’s rugged enough to take just about anywhere. Add in that it’s incredibly easy to set up and use, and you pretty much have an ideal action machine. Beyond its main highlights, the HERO6 also features plenty of nice-to-haves, including voice control, multiple shooting modes, intuitive editing tools, and a sharp touchscreen display. If you’re serious about capturing great-looking action footage and you want the software tools to edit that footage easily into a cohesive narrative to share with others, the HERO6 Black is the camera for you.

GoPro HERO6 Black

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

Best Features: 4K30 Video, 12MP Photos at 60 fps, 3-Axis Video Stabilization, 130' Waterproof Housing

Garmin jumped into the action camera game more than a decade after GoPro but, in only a few short years, the company has taken some serious strides to become one of the top names in the category. The VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera is one of the reasons why. With 3-axis-stabilized UHD 4K video at 30 fps, 12MP stills at 60 fps, and a large suite of features that includes voice control and GPS data capture, the VIRB Ultra 30 is one of the most capable action cams on the market today. On top of its ultra-long list of modes and features, the VIRB also comes with a waterproof housing that allows it to be operated safely in up to 130' of water. Even better: The VIRB Ultra 30 plays well with other wearables and devices, opening additional remote-control possibilities; it even pairs with select Garmin heart-rate monitors, so you can simultaneously document your exciting adventure and just how fast your heart was pounding.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera

Sony FDR-X3000 Action Camera

Best Features: 4K30 Video, 12MP Photos, SteadyShot Stabilization, Live View Remote, 197' Waterproof Housing

Thanks to its built-in Balanced Optical SteadyShot (B.O.S.S.) tech, the Sony FDR-X3000 Action Camera offers some of the smoothest action footage you’ll ever see in a consumer-grade action cam. In addition to optically stabilized footage, the FDR-X3000 also features a handy live-view remote. This smartwatch-like device mirrors the FDR-X3000’s display, so you can see exactly what the camera sees; it also gives you remote access to camera functions, enabling you to control the action from your wrist. Add those unique features to a bevy of other highlights—including a waterproof housing rated to 197'—and you have an action cam worthy of any adventure.

Sony FDR-X3000 Action Camera with Live-View Remote

GoPro Fusion

Best Features: 5.2K Spherical Video, 18MP Spherical Stills, 1080p Video with OverCapture Mode, Waterproof

As the only camera on our list that shoots spherical video, the GoPro Fusion is the obvious choice if you’re looking to capture immersive 360-degree content. However, just because the Fusion is our de facto spherical shooter, that doesn’t mean it’s light on specs or features. Capable of shooting up to 5.2K30 spherical video and 18MP stills, and using a staggered-lens setup that minimizes the stitch lines dramatically, the Fusion is one of the top stand-alone spherical shooters on the market. It’s not limited to just 360-degree photos and video, either. Thanks to its innovative OverCapture mode, you can “punch out” traditional 1080p video from your spherical content, essentially giving you full HD video quality.

GoPro Fusion

Have a favorite action cam we missed? In the market for a new camera, but still have questions? Talk to us in the Comments section, below.

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