Best Action Cameras 2018

Editor's choice

Best Overall

GoPro Hero5 Black

GoPro's newest flagship camera sports a major redesign, and is now waterproof to 33 feet without needing a case. It has a rear 2-inch color touch-screen LCD that makes navigating the camera easy. And for those moments when you can’t reach it, you can...

Product Use case Rating
GoPro Hero5 Black Best Overall 9
Kodak PixPro SP1 Best Budget Action Camera 9
GoPro Hero5 Session Most Compact Action Camera N/A
Garmin Virb Ultra 30 Best for Data Junkies 8
Best Budget Action Camera
Kodak PixPro SP1
Most Compact Action Camera
GoPro Hero5 Session
Best for Data Junkies
Garmin Virb Ultra 30

Action cameras aren’t just ruggedized and protected against the elements, they offer ultrawide viewing angles to capture the full experience of ski runs, skateboard tricks, snorkeling adventures or just pet antics (several companies make harnesses for your dog). And after testing a number of action cameras in a variety of conditions, including a mountain biking trip and a rafting adventure, we have action cam recommendations for every budget.

The GoPro Hero5 ($399) is our pick for the best action camera overall, because it offers the best video quality, is waterproof to 33 feet without requiring a protective shell, has a built-in touch screen and responds to voice commands. If you're looking for something a bit less expensive, the Kodak PixPro SP1 is our current favorite budget action cam. For half the price of the Hero5, the PixPro SP1 features full HD video recording, the ability to shoot 14-MP stills, and the same 33-feet of water resistance.

Action Cam News

  • GoPro's newest camera, the Hero6 ($499), looks similar to its predecessor, but its new GP1 processor allows you to capture 4K video at 60 frames per second. And, you can also capture 1080p video at a rate of 240 fps, giving you lots of detail in your slow-motion clips. Other enhancements include a new digital image-stabilization system, and improved dynamic range and low-light performance. We are currently reviewing the Hero6, and will update this page accordingly.
  • Sony's DSC-RX0 combines the features of its RX-series cameras (a 15.3 MP6 Exmor RS CMOS image sensor, BIONZ X processor and a wide-angle ZEISS Tessar T 24mm F4 fixed lens) in a compact (2.4 x 1.6 x 1.2) case that weighs 3.9 ounces. The camera can record super slow motion (up to 960 fps), and can capture images in RAW format. It's waterproof to up to 33 feet, and can be dropped from as much as 6.5 feet. But it won't be cheap: The RX0 costs $700.
  • The Revl Arc uses a combination of both electronic and mechanical image stabilization to help ensure that your footage isn't overly shaky. This $400 camera records in 4K, and is waterproof to 33 feet. More importantly, the accompanying app automatically finds the best parts of your videos, so you don't have to sift through hours of footage yourself.

MORE: Which GoPro is Right For You?

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