We regularly tests action cameras – ideal for spectacular shots on the go. You can see the top models in the leader-board. In this list of the best you will find all tested top products.
- Our place 1: GoPro HERO 10 Black
- Our 2nd place: GoPro HERO 9 Black Standard
- Our 3rd place: DJI Action 2 dual-screen combo
- The best action cams for your next adventure
- Action cams from GoPro etc comparison
- Buy accessories for action cams
- Questions before buying: which action cam is the best?
- The best action cams in comparison
Our place 1: GoPro HERO 10 Black
The GoPro Hero 10 Black is the best action cam on the market to date. While the predecessor was already strong, the latest generation is stepping up, especially when it comes to working pace. This ensures even fancier shots – and quieter ones, thanks to the even stronger image stabilizer. Control is simple and quick, as is the transfer of data. So many highlights gnaw at the battery life.
Our 2nd place: GoPro HERO 9 Black Standard
The Hero 9 is not a new milestone, but a bit better than its predecessor. The video quality is good as usual, the image stabilizer is excellent, the battery life is slightly longer – that rightly earned it the test mark of 1.7. Owners of a Hero 8 or Hero 7 do not necessarily have to upgrade, because the leap of the Hero 9 is not big enough in comparison.
Our 3rd place: DJI Action 2 dual-screen combo
If you are looking for a small, light and inconspicuous action cam, you have come to the right place with DJs. The modular system is clever, depending on the area of application, the appropriate accessories may dock on. Magnet modules with a second screen or additional battery can turn it into a selfie cam if desired, but it could be more durable and heat up less during longer films. In terms of video quality, the Action 2 can keep up with the competition. 4K recordings look sharp and natural at the same time, and the reliable image stabilization forgives most shakes and stutters. GoPro can hardly do better!
The best action cams for your next adventure
Small, light and robust: Action cams are ideal companions on sporty tours and outdoor adventures. Capture the best moments during rapid ski descents, mountain bike tours or dives with a model from GoPro, Sony, Rollei or other brands. In addition to the processing, the image quality and the control of the action cam are decisive for a top placement in the leader-board. With the right accessories, every compact camera becomes the ideal device for underwater and can easily be attached to a car, bike or helmet. Good but cheap action cams are already available for around 200 euros, most of the test winners cost 400 to 700 euros.
Action cams from GoPro etc comparison
The manufacturer GoPro has long established itself as one of the most popular action cam brands with its small cameras. But Sony, Garmin and Rollei also bring good models onto the market. What actioncams convince in the test:
- Dimensions and weight: Good action cams should be small enough that you don’t get in the way on the helmet or on your chest. The lightest models weigh just around 100 to 200 grams.
- Workmanship: Since the camera can withstand water, snow, sand and dust, but also extreme temperatures and vibrations, the devices should be robust. Some action cams are watertight by default, others are made fit for diving with a separate housing.
- Image quality: Action cams should above all make good videos, but also allow photos with a sufficient resolution and natural colors. The best models naturally record videos in Full HD (1,920×1,080 pixels), Ultra HD or 4K (at least 3,840×2,160 pixels) is also possible. The image repetition rate is particularly important for fluid movements: test winners manage 40 frames per second in 4K and up to 240 frames per second in Full HD. The higher the value, the better, for example, recordings are also played back in slow motion.
When it comes to photos, good action cams have an effective resolution of 8 to 12 megapixels. A strong image sensor, a lens with the largest possible angle (i.e. the lowest possible values for the fixed focal length) and, if necessary, an integrated image stabilizer are also decisive. With the latter, however, it should be clear that even the best stabilizer cannot properly compensate for falls or large potholes.
- Microphone: In order to have the right sound for the video recording, the best action cams are all equipped with a microphone.
- Operation: Many mini cameras come with a touchscreen that can be used to make various settings and take photos. But if the GoPro, Sony or Rollei is sitting on the helmet, this is of little use to you. Additional control elements, such as a remote control, control via an app and / or voice control are therefore more important.
- Connectivity: The top models on the leaderboard have WiFi so that they can upload pictures and videos directly online even when they are on the move. There is space for storage media in an SD card slot. In addition, all action cams actually have at least one USB port, and some also have an HDMI port.
- Battery life: So that the mini camera does not run out of breath when you are out and about, the battery should run for at least 1.5 hours. The actual value of course also depends on whether you only want to take photos every now and then or film continuously. Some action cams have a built-in battery, other models can be exchanged.
Buy accessories for action cams
GoPro, Garmin, Sony & Co. sometimes offer their action cams with different accessories. For special sports you can sometimes find complete sets that are a little cheaper overall than if you were to buy each part individually. So think in advance where you mainly want to use the small camera and buy a complete action cam set if necessary.The charger and / or the cables required for charging are usually included with the purchase of the mini camera. Action cams rarely have an integrated hard drive – videos and photos are saved on a (micro) SD card. When comparing the cameras, make sure that the memory card is already included in the scope of delivery of your desired model. You can often find sets of action cam and remote control.Since many Actioncams are helmet cameras, they often come with the right bracket or strap that can be attached to the helmet. But you can also buy separate helmet mounts so that you can take pictures and videos from the first person perspective. There are other special brackets and straps available for flexible attachment to a car, bicycle or even a drone. A selfie stick is a useful accessory for taking a bird’s eye view.If you are looking for an underwater action cam for diving, you should pay attention to the information on water resistance. Many models are waterproof to a depth of 10 to 15 meters even without an extra housing. If you want to dive deeper, you should buy an additional housing, so depths of 30 to 60 meters are possible without any problems.
Questions before buying: which action cam is the best?
The selection of small cameras at GoPro, Rollei and other brands is large. To find out about the quality of the various action cams, it is worth comparing the test winners. In addition, answering the following questions can help you choose:
What do you want to do with the action cam?
Snowboarding, diving, cycling or driving a car: different criteria are important depending on the activity. While all action cams should convince with a good image quality, the processing, operation and mounting are decisive when making a comparison. Should the camera mainly sit on a helmet holder or over a belt in front of the chest? How deep do I want to dive and what temperatures does the camera have to withstand? If you stay away from water, you don’t need a model with a waterproof housing, for example.
How important is the quality of the photos?
Above all, action cams should and can make excellent videos. If you then do without the maximum resolution for photos, you can possibly fall back on a cheaper mini model.
Which accessories do I definitely need?
With a complete set you can possibly save some money and are optimally equipped for the next adventure from the start.
How much money do I want to spend?
Not everyone can or wants to spend an unlimited amount of money on an action cam. If you set a fixed budget in the first step, you can limit the comparison to cameras in the affordable price range right from the start. You can find very good action cameras on the best list for as little as 200 to 400 euros.
The best action cams in comparison