Best Action Cameras 2018

Editor's choice

Best Overall

GoPro Hero6 Black

Product Use case Rating
GoPro Hero6 Black Best Overall 9
Yi Lite Best Value 9
GoPro Hero5 Session Most Compact Action Camera N/A
Garmin Virb Ultra 30 Best for Data Junkies 8
Best Value
Yi Lite
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 Hero6 ($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 Yi Lite ($99) is our current favorite budget action cam. For less than $100, you get electronic image stabilization, a responsive touchscreen, and 4K video at 20 fps—though you'll want to stick to 1080p.

Looking for something in-between? The GoPro Hero ($199) has many of the same features as the Hero6, such as a waterproof body and a touchscreen, but shoots video at a max of 1440p/60 fps, which for many, will be more than enough.

Looking for a camera that can capture everything around you? Check out our best 360-degree cameras.

Latest News & Updates (August 2018)

  • Drift introduced the Ghost X ($129), an action cam that the company claims will provide up to five hours of battery life. It doesn’t shoot 4K or 1080p/60fps, but it does capture full HD 1080p video at 30fps video recording, which should satisfy many consumers. It shoots 12-MP photos and can capture timelapse videos. It also has Wi-Fi, a low-light mode, and lets you adjust the ISO sensitivity.

MORE: Which GoPro is Right For You?

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