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Here are the 12 best adventure cameras from GoPro in 2022

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Here’s our list of the top action cameras that you can purchase in 2022. Each adventure camera on our list has been thoroughly tested to ensure it is worthy of its place, regardless of whether it’s for image quality or value.

This guide is updated regularly and will help you find the right action camera for your budget. There are many rugged 4K cameras available at all price points. We’ve reviewed all of them based on real-world testing.

GoPro is still the most popular action camcorder brand. The latest GoPro Hero 10 Black is our choice for best action camera overall. If you are looking for something less expensive, the Akaso Brave 7 LE offers a great feature list and value for the price. It is one of the most affordable action cameras.

The Insta360 One R 1 Inch Edition is a great option for those who shoot in low light. It has a unique 1-inch sensor that’s almost as large as the GoPro.

Are you unsure what to look out for when shopping for the best action camera? You can find our guide below on what to look for when purchasing a new action cam.

1. GoPro Hero 10 Black

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 153g

Waterproof: 10m

5.3K video: 30fps

4K video: 120fps

2.7K video: 240fps

Stills resolution: 23MP

Battery life: 1,720 mAh

Although the new flagship GoPro isn’t an enormous leap from its predecessor, it is the best action cam available if you are looking for the most powerful and polished camera around. The Hero 10 Black’s major upgrade is the GP2 processor. This unlocks a variety of useful features. Some of these, such as its ability to capture 4K/120p video are truly impressive. Others, like its responsive touchscreen, feel like improvements for the Hero 9 Black’s shortcomings.

This action camera is more versatile than its predecessor and offers waterproof capabilities that make it ideal for outdoor adventures and 4K video vlogging. GoPro’s highest-quality HyperSmooth stabilization is still a huge advantage over your smartphone. While there are better value options, especially in older GoPros such as the Hero 8 Black and Hero 10 Black, we believe the Hero 10 Black is the best choice for most people.

 

Are you unsure what to look out for when shopping for the best action camera? You can find our guide below on what to look for when purchasing a new action cam.

1. GoPro Hero 10 Black

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 153g

Waterproof: 10m

5.3K video: 30fps

4K video: 120fps

2.7K video: 240fps

Stills resolution: 23MP

Battery life: 1,720 mAh

Although the new flagship GoPro isn’t an enormous leap from its predecessor, it is the best action cam available if you are looking for the most powerful and polished camera around. The Hero 10 Black’s major upgrade is the GP2 processor. This unlocks a variety of useful features. Some of these, such as its ability to capture 4K/120p video are truly impressive. Others, like its responsive touchscreen, feel like improvements for the Hero 9 Black’s shortcomings.

This action camera is more versatile than its predecessor and offers waterproof capabilities that make it ideal for outdoor adventures and 4K video vlogging. GoPro’s highest-quality HyperSmooth stabilization is still a huge advantage over your smartphone. While there are better value options, especially in older GoPros such as the Hero 8 Black and Hero 10 Black, we believe the Hero 10 Black is the best choice for most people.

 

2. Insta360 One R 1-inch edition

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 158.2g

Waterproof: 5m

5.3K video: Up to 30fps

4K video at 60fps

1080p video at 120fps

Stills resolution: 19MP

Battery: 1,190mAh

The modular Insta360 One R, already a strong competitor to GoPro’s Hero series is now available with a large 1-inch sensor. This gives it better low-light capabilities, which are more vibrant, cleaner, and more detailed than the GoPro Hero 9 Black. It also has a greater native dynamic range than any other action cam. Raw stills look great, and videos are sharp and punchy in both the 5.23K/25p or 4K/60p mode. However, GoPro’s processing power is superior overall. Insta360 One R video suffers from shimmer and fizz in specific areas. The One R lacks the same point-and-shoot simplicity as a GoPro and has slower software for exporting. The Insta360 One R still produces the best stills, and video that you can get from an action cam. The 1-inch sensor handles cropping of image stabilization much better than other cameras. The Insta360 One R, a flexible 5K camera that excels in low-light photography, is one of the most popular action cameras.

 

3. GoPro Hero 9 Black

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 158g

Waterproof: 10m

4K video at 60fps

1080: Up to 240fps

720: Up to 240fps

Stills resolution: 20MP

Battery: 1720mAh

The Hero 10 Black has succeeded it, but the Hero 9 Black is worth looking at if you don’t require the latest features such as 4K/120p video and a better front screen. The price difference between these two models is not significant. We believe the Hero 10 is more worth it for its improved useability. However, this model still has the same sensor, design, and most of the same features.

This model debuts the ability to shoot 5K video with great detail thanks to a 23.MP sensor. A handy front color display is also available (albeit one that is a bit slower than the Hero 10) as well as the option of HyperSmooth Boost (GoPro’s strongest stabilization) for all shooting modes. Thanks to the ‘Power Tools’, which include scheduled captures (setting a time for the camera to begin recording) and HindSight to capture action that occurred between 15-30 seconds before your shutter clicks. The Hero 10’s new processor and shooting modes make it more versatile and polished.

 

4. GoPro Hero 8 Black

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 126g

Waterproof: 10m

4K video at 60fps

1080: Up to 240fps

720: Up to 240fps

Stills resolution: 12MP

Battery: 1220mAh

The GoPro Hero 10 Black Black and Hero 9 Black have succeeded it, but this model may be more affordable for you, especially if you don’t require a front-facing display. What other features are you missing with the GoPro’s new models? These two new models also offer 5K video modes and improved slomo options. If none of these are important to you, the Hero 8 Black can shoot 4K video with almost identical HyperSmooth stability (except in the most challenging modes), and has one less color screen that you have to worry about breaking. It is compatible with GoPro Labs which the manufacturer’s platform to test out new beta features. This gives it a lot of versatility. The Hero 8 Black is a great all-rounder at a bargain price. It has the same folding “fingers” on the underside that allow it to attach accessories to it without a case. It also waterproofs down to 10 meters.

 

5. Akaso Brave 7 LE

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 127g

Waterproof: IPx7 (no case required), 40M (with case).

4K video at up to 30 fps

1080 video: Up to 120fps

720 video: Up to 240fps

Stills resolution: 20MP

Battery life: 120 minutes

The Brave 7 LE has an amazing range of features, and it is a very affordable one. If you value a front-facing screen or weather-sealing more than video quality, the Brave 7 LE should be on your shortlist. This model had superior audio quality than any other non GoPro (in quieter environments), and it also has an intuitive touchscreen interface.

Only problem is the video quality. While it’s good at 4K resolution, it doesn’t match the other Brave 7 LE features. The Brave 7 LE’s video quality is a compromise between noise reduction and electronic image stabilization. This gives your footage a soft, class-leading look. It’s still a great action cam for the money.

 

6. Apeman A100

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 74g

Waterproof: 40m (with case)

4K video at up to 50 fps

1080p video at 60 frames per second

Video at 720p: Up to 120fps

Stills resolution: 20MP

Battery: 1,350mAh

Its underwhelming exterior shouldn’t fool you. The Apeman A100 is a plastic brick that lacks the finesse and finesse of the GoPro, but it’s still the best budget action camera you can buy. Stock seems to be limited. The A100 is still a great deal if you can find it. It can produce sharp 4K footage at 50fps under the right conditions. The detail is comparable to a GoPro Hero 8 Black, but without its charming color profile. The A100 can also shoot in low light and panned motion is smoother that almost any other budget action cam. The stills look solid, especially if you have the patience to adjust the color balance after-production. The A100 isn’t as effective at image stabilization as a GoPro. There is noticeable footfall judder and poor audio quality. This limits the A100’s utility for vloggers. It’s an attractive little package, however. It weighs in at 74g and is easy to carry around. Port covers and soft-click buttons make it a great value for money. It’s hard to find a 4K action camera experience that is better in this price range.

 

7. GoPro Hero 7 Black

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 118g

Waterproof: 10m

4K video at 60fps

1080: Up to 240fps

720: Up to 240fps

Stills resolution: 12MP

Battery life: 1-3 hours (est).

The Hero 8 Black is now the entry-level GoPro option. There are still plenty of Hero 7 Black stock available at great prices. It’s worth looking into if you’re looking for a basic action camera with GoPro’s superb HyperSmooth stabilization. The Hero 7 Black can shoot 4K video but not in the ‘Linear’ mode. This corrects fish-eye distortion that you get when shooting in wider modes. There is also no high bit rate 100Mbps mode.

If you prefer to shoot in 1080p or 2.7K, the Hero 7 Black can capture excellent video at frame rates up to 120p. It also features the original versions HyperSmooth and TimeWarp for shooting hyperlapses. This model does not have built-in mounting fingers like other recent GoPros. You will need to use the included mounting frame to attach it. This is not a major issue and the Hero 8 Black’s Hero 8 Black model is comparable in other aspects (battery life and ruggedness, waterproofing, 12MP SuperPhotos), this model is very similar.

 

8. DJI Osmo Action

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 134g

Waterproof: 11m

4K video at 60fps

1080: Up to 240fps

720: Up to 240fps

Stills resolution: 12MP

Battery life: 1-2.25 hours (est).

Although DJI is best known for its drones of the highest quality, the Osmo Action is an appealing GoPro alternative that offers some clever tricks and a low price. However, rumors are circulating that DJI may soon launch a DJI Action 2 — so unless you have an urgent need, we recommend waiting to get an Osmo Action.

For vloggers who want to take a lot of photos, the Osmo Action is a better choice than the GoPro Hero 8 Black. The Osmo Action has a front display that’s bright and easy to use. It also offers a great video quality that rivals the best 4K action cameras. You also get a lens cover and a removable battery with the Osmo Action. We’re hopeful that we will see these and other features in the rumored successor. However, if you don’t have the time, it’s still a great value, especially if your priority is the front-facing screen.

 

9. Insta360 One R

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 130.5g

Waterproof: 5m (with case)

5.7K video: Up to 30fps

4K: Up to 30fps

1080: Up to 200fps

Stills resolution: 18.5MP

Battery: 1150mAh

While the GoPro Hero 9 Black might offer some useful add-ons to its camera, the Insta360 One R action camera is fully modular. It includes a battery, control, and a camera block. You can choose between a 4K or 360-degree action cam by switching the camera block at will. You can even get a 1-inch sensor block (see Insta360 One R 1-Inch edition at number 2). Is this the base model able to deliver on its promise of three cameras in one, or is it just a gimmick? The answer is yes in many ways. When clipped together the One R is slightly smaller than the Hero 8 Black, and it feels very sturdy. However, you will need to attach the mounting case to make the One R waterproof. The image quality is sharp and stable with excellent detail in dark areas.

It’s also less successful in other aspects. The image processing (at least for the 4K module), can’t match Hero 8 Black and Hero 9 Black while the 1.3 inch touchscreen is too small to frame 16:9 footage. The dual-lens bundle is less expensive than the GoPro Max. You get a flexible, well-executed modular approach, which delivers great 4K video as well as solid 360-degree footage. The Insta360 One R is worth a look if software updates are able to fix some processing issues.

 

10. GoPro Max

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 163g

Waterproof: 5m

5.6K spherical Video: Up to 30fps

1440p 2D Video – Up to 60fps

Stills resolution: 16.6MP

Battery life: 108 min (1440p), and 78 min (5.6K).

The GoPro Hero 8 Black or Hero 9 Black are better options if you want to capture traditional action camera footage at the highest quality. The Max is worth looking at if you enjoy the idea of being able reframe your videos once they have been shot and want great audio quality.

GoPro’s most expensive camera shoots spherical video at 5.6K resolution using two fisheye lenses. You can then crop the video into standard 2D video with OverCapture software. The camera also features six microphone audio, which records great audio, even if it is not up to GoPro’s claims of’shotgun mics’, shooting modes such as TimeWarp, and built in mounting fingers that allow you to attach it to any mount.

It has some drawbacks, such as the fact it isn’t able to offer 2D video quality due to the need for conversion from a fish eye image and the maximum 1440/60p resolution. Also, it isn’t able to match the Hero 8 Black and Hero 9 Black in low-light situations. It is still the best waterproof 360-degree action camera.

 

11. Insta360 Go 2

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 26.5g

Waterproof: 4m

Video at 1440p: Up to 50fps

1080p video at up to 50fps

Stills resolution: 9.2MP

Battery life: 30 minutes, 150 minutes when charged with the case

The Insta360 Go 2 is described as the “world’s smallest action cam” and allows for fast and easy recording. The Go 2 is a small camera that can record excellent 1440p video at 50fps. It has good detail and decent dynamic range, despite its tiny build. Although its image stabilization abilities aren’t as good as the GoPro Hero 9 Black’s, the Go 2’s FlowState smarts can still smoothen walking motion quite well.

The updated charging case is probably the most significant upgrade to the original Insta360 Go. The case can be used as a remote control by using buttons and a small mode screen. This case doubles up as a tripod and can significantly increase battery life. The Go 2 is a portable, easily accessible, and well-designed action camera that can be waterproofed to 4 metres.

 

12. Akaso EK7000

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 59g

Waterproof: 30m (with case)

4K video at up to 25fps

1080 video: Up to 60fps

720 video: Up to 120fps

Stills resolution: 12MP

Battery life: 90 minutes

The Apeman A100 (see number 4) is our choice for best budget action camera. However, the EK7000 may be a better option if you are looking for something more affordable that can shoot 1080p footage. There is no stabilization and the camera cannot be adjusted from the native wide angle. It is easy to use, and the 1080p seems decent considering the EK7000’s low price.

It can capture 4K/25p footage but it is very jerky. We would only consider it a 2.7K/1080p action camera. The audio quality is not great and we missed the electronic stabilization. The EK7000 is a great helmet cam if you can afford it and are willing to accept its limitations.

 

13. DJI pocket 2

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Compact

Sensor size: 1/1.7 in

Resolution: 64MP

Effective focal length: 20mm

Viewfinder

Connectivity: Wi-Fi

Maximum movie resolution: 4K 60p

Size, weight: 124.7 x 38.1 x 30.0 mm, 117g

Although it is not an action camera, the DJI Pocket 2 can be a great option for solo travel filmmakers or vloggers. The built-in 3-axis gimbal can be used to stabilize footage. When combined with the Pocket 2’s face-tracking it will allow the camera’s auto-follow function to follow you as you move around in front of it.

The Pocket 2’s larger sensor, 1/1.7 inches, can capture 64MP stills at 60p and 4K/60p video at 100Mbps. This is in contrast to the original Osmo Pocket. The Pocket 2 includes four microphones as well as an optional Creator Combo, which includes an external wireless mic and a Creator Combo. This will allow you to capture high-quality audio. The Pocket 2 is not waterproof, but you can purchase a waterproof case to keep it safe to up to 60m.

Although the Pocket 2 is not as tough or durable as a GoPro out of the box, it is still a simple and versatile vlogging option that can be kept safely in your bag between shots.

 

14. GoPro Hero 7 Silver

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 118g

Waterproof: 10m

4K video: up to 30fps

1080: Up to 60 fps

720: Up to 60fps

Stills resolution: 10MP

Battery life: 1-3hrs est

The Hero 7 Silver was once GoPro’s mid-range action cam when it launched in 2018. It is no longer available for purchase, though it is still available at tempting prices. Do you think so? It’s possible to get a point and shoot model with minimal manual controls and good 4K image quality.

It’s waterproof to 10 meters, and has a 2-inch touchscreen as well as voice controls. The video stabilization is not as strong as HyperSmooth, and it can only shoot at 4K/30p instead of the 60fps available on models like the Hero 7 Black. It is still a great value option for beginners and those who are looking for an action camera with basic features, provided it is in stock.

 

What should I look out for when purchasing an action camera

The best action camera for you depends on your preferences and shooting style. However, there are some essential skills that every action camera should possess. It must be durable enough to withstand rough and tumble as well as waterproof to a minimum of a few metres. You should find it easy to use, even in harsh conditions. While touchscreens make it easier to use an action camera, if you intend to photograph while wearing gloves it may be more practical to choose a model that has physical buttons.

Using an action camera on the go is likely, so Image Stabilization should be a priority. For more viewable footage, this will smoothen out camera shake from hands or handlebars. Image stabilization quality can vary greatly. It’s worth considering how smooth you want your video to look (or if you are willing to accept some wobbles). Digital image stabilization can be more effective with a higher resolution sensor. It will often crop the frame to remove movement. A 4K video will look better than a 1080p video.

 

Many action cameras that are top-of-the-line in 2021 offer smartphone connectivity. This allows you to quickly edit and share your videos. Some models support live streaming to YouTube and other platforms. Although this can drain battery life, it is useful if your goal is to vlog directly to social media.

Many action cameras can capture slow motion footage at speeds up to 120fps. Some of the best models offer more creative shooting modes such as hyperlapses. You can replicate some in-camera effects with editing software. However, it is worth looking into a camera that has creative presets if your goal is to add variety and interest to your videos.

Most models come with a variety of mounting options. You should ensure that the appropriate attachments are available if you plan to use it for a niche activity. Some action cameras offer a modular design that allows you to add accessories such as lights, microphones, or 360-degree lenses.

 

However, not everyone uses action cameras to record extreme sports. Many vloggers shoot videos on social media using models such as the GoPro Hero 10 Black. They are simple to use, have creative shooting modes, and offer great connectivity options. They are great for walking and talking. Their compact size makes them ideal for recording on the go.

Many content creators use action cameras as a second camera to shoot slow-motion b/roll and capture additional angles in order to create variety.

How to test action cameras

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We put action cameras through their paces. They are some of the most difficult cameras available.

 

Each model is put through a variety of real-world tests, including swimming, cycling and, if necessary, an adventure course. These tests not only provide a clear indication of the model’s ability to withstand extreme weather conditions, but also how easily they can be used in challenging environments.

We record footage in various resolutions and frame rates to gauge the camera’s strengths. Then we review these clips on a calibrated screen. We examine the default color reproduction, noise levels in shadows, highlights, and any other image quality issues such as clipping, softness or barrel distortion.

We use a similar method to examine each camera’s image stability. This is critical for maintaining image quality when the camera moves. Also, we look at any special shooting modes, such as slo-mo or timelapses.

We record continuously at various resolutions and frame rates to test battery life. We track how long each action cam lasts, and when it needs to be shut down due overheating. We also test the companion apps and touchscreen interfaces of each camera to determine how user-friendly they are.

 

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