Best Action Camera

Best Action Camera 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the best action camera in 2020 can be quite a hassle when you have so many options presented to you, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.

There are a lot of factors that you have to consider, and you also have to know what you want to do with your action capable camera so that you can choose the best action camera that suits your needs.

Without a doubt the most popular brand is GoPro, but there are also plenty of other options that offer different features for different situations at different price points.

Various characteristics like compactness, quality of the video and image, zooming, night imaging, frames per second, waterproofness, durability, and connectivity can help shape your decision according to your wants and needs.

In the following article, we have undertaken extensive research to come up with the best action cameras for a range of budgets. We highlight the features, advantages, and disadvantages, for each action camera so that you can weigh your options and make the optimum choice for your purchase of the best action camera for 2020.

The 8 Best Action Cameras in 2020

CameraLCD SizeWaterproof DepthPrimeBuy
GoPro Hero6 Black2″33 ftPrimeCHECK AVAILABILITY ON AMAZON
Sony RX01.5″33 ftPrimeEligibleCHECK AVAILABILITY ON AMAZON
YI 4K Action Camera2.19″131 ftPrimeEligibleCHECK AVAILABILITY ON AMAZON
GoPro Hero5 Black2″33 ftPrimeCHECK AVAILABILITY ON AMAZON
Sony FDR X30001″197 ftPrimeEligibleCHECK AVAILABILITY ON AMAZON
GoPro Hero5 Session0″33 ftPrimeEligibleCHECK AVAILABILITY ON AMAZON
Garmin VIRB Ultra 301.75″132 ftPrimeEligibleCHECK AVAILABILITY ON AMAZON
Kodak PIXPRO SP11.5″32 ftPrimeEligibleCHECK AVAILABILITY ON AMAZON

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 22nd February 2020

1. GoPro Hero6 Black – Best Action Camera 2020

GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP PhotosThe GoPro Hero6 Black comes with a 12-megapixel lens that shoots 4K video at 60 frames per second.

The 2-inch screen with touch zoom allows you to preview, review and edit footage right on the camera.

It also has a built-in GPS letting you add data to your images with your computer and GoPro’s Quik desktop app. With this capability, you can tag your photos with the date and an accurate location.

The GoPro Hero6 Black also comes with a GP1 processor to improve the image quality and stabilize your videos.

It’s also waterproof down to 10 meters underwater without an external case.

It comes with a 5 GHz built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to upload your content instantly to your social media accounts.

You can control the camera remotely with voice commands, and enjoy several shooting modes: single shot, burst and time-lapse.

Stills are shot in RAW and HDR mode to show the most intricate details.

QuikStories sends media to your phone where it’s turned into a time-lapse of your day by default. There is also a free GoPro mobile app to offer remote control of camera functions.

With a total pixel count 12 MP, as well as effective pixel count for video, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD footage and 4:3 for a regular one.

It comes with a year’s warranty on parts, labor and image sensor and a size 1.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches and weighs 0.26 pounds.

However, to upgrade you’ll have to spend some cash and all the new features and faster operations don’t do the life of the battery any favors, so it needs to be recharged more often than usual.

Pros

  • Better quality of images
  • Higher rate of frame and combinations of resolution
  • Amazing digital image stabilization
  • Better EIS, dynamic range and performance in low light

Cons

  • Voice control isn’t very reliable

The GoPro Hero6 Black brings a lot of upgrades to the Hero family. With top-notch features and mind-blowing image stabilization.

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2. YI 4K Action Camera – Best Value Action Camera

YI 4K Action and Sports Camera, 4K/30fps Video 12MP Raw Image with EIS, Live Stream, Voice Control - BlackThe YI 4K is a great choice for anyone looking to buy an action camera in 2019 but has a limited budget.

It comes in 3 colors: Black, white, or rose.

So much technology is packed into this small-sized device, with the new generation Ambarella A9SE75, Sony IMX337 sensor, and seven layers of high-quality LCE optical glass lenses combined with F2.8 large aperture to increase light intake and capture the most intricate of details.

It also has an integrated 2.19 inches LCD Gorilla Glass Retina touchscreen customized with a 330ppi high resolution and high sensitivity, resists scratches and daily impact, and is viewable from a 160-degree angle.

The widescreen is 640 x 360 allows you to preview and see what you’re shooting.

It also has Broadcom’s dual-band high-speed Wi-Fi, with download speeds up to 30 Mbps.

You can connect it to the YI action camera app, which enables fast and convenient video editing, image and video filters, and music options.

It can record up to 120 minutes 4K 30 frames per second video at 60 Mbps with a single charge of its 1400 mAh battery, which makes it the best in its class.

It also has electronic image stabilization with a 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer which identifies changes in motions and positions.

When there is any instability in the footage of the camera, the sensors use an image cross-border compensation algorithm to make up for the changes of position and produce stable videos.

With a total pixel count of 12 MP. It comes in a size 1.2 x 1.7 x 2.6 inches and weighs 0.21 pounds.

However, if you want to shoot underwater, you’ll need to buy an extra waterproof case.

The microSD card slot is not that easy to access, and some bits of the English app are still in Chinese but it won’t cause any real problems for you.

Pros

  • Amazing image quality
  • Durable and elongated battery life
  • Interactive touchscreen display
  • Reliable Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Great Price

Cons

  • The waterproof case is not included
  • The difficulty of underwater use

The quality of the YI 4K is superb, and then when you check the price you find that it’s an astounding deal. It has great features at a very affordable price, making it the best value action camera for 2019.

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3. Sony RX0 – The GoPro Rival

Sony RX0 II 1” (1.0-type) Sensor Ultra-Compact Camera

The Sony RX0 is small like an action camera with a one inch CMOS sensor.

At first sight, the RX0 looks like Sony’s version of the GoPro. It is waterproof, tiny, and is shock resistant.

With a one inch stacked CMOS sensor, the RX0 can record up to 1080 HD internally, but with an external device that can capture at 4K, that makes it unique and quite different than other cameras on the market.

The RX0 is exceptionally small, weighing only 110g and measuring just 59 x 40 x 30mm. This a smidge smaller and lighter than GoPro’s current Hero 5 Black, and it does not have the lens protruding from the front, either.

In short, it is a compact little camera that’s capable of being mounted in even the smallest of spaces.

The RX0 is well suited for your go-getting lifestyle, with waterproofing up to 3m and up to 2m of shockproof protection. It can also withstand crushes of up to 200kg of pressure.

This is a hardy action camera, no doubt about it, and you’ll be able to shoot in all sorts of environments.

Pros

  • One inch sensor
  • HFR Mode
  • Timecode sync

Cons

  • Easily overheats
  • More expensive than its competitors

All in all, the Sony RX0 is small and light, can easily be mounted onto all sorts of accessories and is capable of producing top-notch footage; It offers good low light performance and HFR shooting.

This device is best for journalists and travel videographers, along with people who are looking for a Jack of all trades kind of camera.

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4. GoPro Hero5 Black – Less Pricey, Still Great

GoPro Hero5 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos

The Hero5 Black sets itself apart with some great features, with a 12-megapixel ultra HD (30 fps) camera, 4K video shooting at 30 frames per second, a 2-inch touch screen to let you preview, review and edit the media you capture.

Furthermore, it’s waterproof up to 10 meters without an additional case, and it has a single-button action mechanism.

It has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to update your social media instantly and with absolute ease.

It also has advanced video stabilization to keep handheld shots clear and sharp.

The Hero5 Black can be controlled with simple voice commands and has various modes: single shot, burst, and time-lapse photos.

There is also a built-in GPS to gather exact location information to tag photos.

You can control on-screen exposure to fine-tune every shot you capture. The noise rejection is advanced and records stereo audio.

You can also connect to the cloud and upload all your media automatically, so you don’t lose any of it.

With a total pixel count 12 MP, as well as effective pixel count for video, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD footage and 4:3 for a regular one.

It comes with a year’s warranty on parts, labor, and the image sensor. Its size is 1.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches and weighs 0.26 pounds that make it extremely portable.

It has a lovely combination of features that are satisfactory both for audio and visual output.

But of course, it’s not perfect, the battery life – especially with GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, EIS – on isn’t the longest, and it’s not compatible with older batteries.

Pros

  • Amazing image quality
  • Effective Electronic image stabilization
  • Superb microphones
  • Waterproof (up to 10 meters) without any external case.

Cons

  • Not compatible with older batteries
  • The touchscreen isn’t very responsive

The Hero5 Black combines a lot of excellent features and adds to the Hero4 cameras, so it makes a great device for capturing every intricate detail around you and I consider it one of the best action cameras to buy for 2020.

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5. Sony FDR X3000 – Most Steady Action Camera

Sony FDRX3000R/W 4K HD Recording, Action Cam, Live View Underwater Camcorder, White

The Sony FDR X3000 is your ideal tool for recording high-quality 4K videos with unprecedented motion steadiness.

Using SteadyShot technology to reduce shake, the Sony FDR X3000 allows you to capture stable images and videos like never before.

It’s also equipped with an Exmor R CMOS sensor with intensified sensitivity to allow you to shoot in darkness or very subtle lights, and a BIONZ X image processor to record quick moves and smooth action up to 4K at 100 Mbps.

It comes with a ZEISS Tessar lens to decrease the distortion of landscape footage. You can freely adjust the field of view and zoom.

The Sony FDR X3000 allows you to team up remotely with live-view, wherewith similar user interfaces you can connect the Action Cam and Live-View remote.

You can turn the camera on or off to save battery power, and the Play Memories Mobile on a smartphone allows you the same control over the camera.

So not only is it wristwear, but the remote controller acts as a tool for controlling various optional accessories such as Finger Grip.

No need to worry about protecting the camera because its body is splashproof, freezeproof and supplied with an underwater case that is dustproof and shockproof and of course waterproof up to 60 meters.

You can also customize it with add-ons, like the Finger Grip (AKA-FGP1) or the MC Protector (AKA-MCP1) to protect the lens from dirt or being scratched.

With a total pixel count of 8.57 MP, and 8.2 effective pixel count for video, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD.

It comes with a year’s warranty on parts and the image sensor and 90 days on labor and a size 1.2 x 1.9 x 3.3 inches and weighs 0.26 pounds.

But with all of these advantages, the X3000’s menu response can be relatively slow and the lens can be easily smeared and have water droplets cling to it after shooting in water.

Pros

  • High quality of both audio and visual
  • Good optical image stabilization
  • Durable battery life
  • Improvements in design

Cons

  • Turns on very slowly when using a remote control
  • The waterproof case is big

All in all, the Sony FDR X3000 offers an amazing set of features with great operational quality, and its advantages outweigh its disadvantages, making it worth the price.

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6. GoPro Hero5 Session – Most Compact Action Camera

GoPro Hero5 Session (Renewed)

The Hero5 Session excels at its job with a couple of attributes like a 10-megapixel ultra HD (30 fps) camera, 4K video shooting at 30 frames per second.

Furthermore, it’s waterproof up to 10 meters without an external case, and it has a single-button action mechanism.

It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to update your social media instantly.

Moreover, It has advanced digital video stabilization to keep handheld shots clear and sharp.

The Hero5 Session can be controlled with simple voice commands and has various modes: single shot, burst, and time-lapse photos.

You can control on-screen exposure to fine-tune every shot you capture. The noise rejection is advanced and records stereo audio.

You can also connect to the cloud and upload all your media automatically, so you don’t lose any of it.

With a total pixel count 10 MP, as well as effective pixel count for video, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD footage and 4:3 for a regular one.

It comes with a year’s warranty on parts, labor and image sensor. Its size is 1.4 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches, and weighs 0.28 pounds that make it extremely portable.

Its small size and light-weight make it easy to carry around, its compactness is astounding.

But to see what you’re capturing, you have to connect to a phone or tablet.

Also, the built-in battery forces you to stop using the camera if the battery dies so you must recharge it first or connect it to a power source to continue recording or taking pictures.

Pros

  • Dual sensitive microphones
  • Very portable and easy to carry
  • Perfect image and video quality
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • 4K resolution

Cons

  • No GPS
  • You can’t remove the battery
  • No support for still images through WDR or RAW

The GoPro Hero5 Session adds to an existing great design and complements it with amazing features.

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7. Kodak PIXPRO SP1 – Best Budget Action Camera

Kodak PIXPRO SP1 Action Cam with Explorer Pack 14 MP Water/Shock/Freeze/Dust Proof, Full HD 1080p Video, Digital Camera and 1.5" LCD Screen (Yellow)No need to spend a fortune for a great device since the Kodak PIXPRO SP1 offers the ideal balance between quality, usability, and affordability. With 1080p HD videos, and a 14 MP CMOS lens.

It’s waterproof up to ten meters and shockproof up to two meters, dustproof and freezeproof resisting temperatures down to -10 Celsius/ 14 Fahrenheit, it is built for durability.

The Kodak PIXPRO SP1 is great for capturing movements with 10 frames per second, and it has a 1.5 inch LCD screen for a good display.

It also has built-in wireless connectivity, so you don’t have to wait to share your fantastic captures with the world.

The Kodak PIXPRO SP1 has different fields of view, ranging from ultra-wide, medium, narrow, and water ring for underwater shooting.

With a 1,250 mAh battery which is rated for around two hours and ten minutes of 1080p video or 350 shots, it surpasses the average battery life of other action cameras of a similar price range or even higher!

With a total pixel count of 15.31 MP, and 14.24 MP effective image sensor pixels, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD.

It comes with a year’s warranty in case of defects in materials or workmanship under regular use, as long as it’s purchased directly or from one of JKI’s authorized dealers and resellers.

Its size is 9.3 x 6.1 x 5.9 inches and weighs 0.33 pounds.

Generally, all the upsides and advantages of the Kodak PIXPRO SP1 make up for how it feels like baggage to carry around due to its relatively heavyweight.

Pros

  • Superb quality of videos and photos
  • Great price
  • LCD screen for menu navigation
  • Wireless controlling
  • Specialized underwater lens

Cons

  • The bulky design makes it heavy
  • Video recording is limited to 1080 pixel or 30 frames per second

The Kodak PIXPRO SP1 is undeniably the best action camera 2019 in its price range, with great quality and built-in display and no need for a waterproof case. It is quite a bargain.

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8. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Great for Fitness & Data Tracking

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action CameraThe Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is a great tool for recording high-quality 4K videos.

Ultra HD 4K, 30 frames per second footage with a 1.75 inches touchscreen to display captures and let you see what you’re recording.

It has 3-axis image stabilization which captures smooth and steady videos, regardless of the terrain that surrounds you.

Voice control that reaches up to 40 meters allows you to start or stop recording, take photos or remember moments.

There are built-in sensors and GPS capture G-Metrix data to show you how far, how fast, and how high you’re going and even heart monitoring when paired with compatible Garmin sensors or Garmin devices that offer heart rate monitoring.

The microphone is highly sensitive, capturing audio in and out of the waterproof case which is usable up to 40 meters. It also has live streaming so that you can share the adventures you’re living in second-by-second.

You can also connect the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 to a mobile app on a compatible smartphone or tablet to prepare the perfect shot, control multiple cameras, edit or share footage.

The 1250 mAh battery lives up to 2 hours and 15 minutes at 1080p 30 frames per second, and 1 hour 15 minutes at 4K/ 30 frames per second, which can be considered quite durable.

With a resolution 12 MP and 8 MP, and burst frames up to 60 frames per second. It comes with a year’s warranty on parts and an image sensor and 90 days on labor and a size 2.4 x 1.2 x 1.6 inches and weighs 0.2 pounds.

The design is quite retrograde though, but that’s not all that significant when you consider all of the features it offers.

Pros

  • High-speed shooting options with 4K
  • ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor connectivity
  • Live streaming to YouTube
  • WiFi Smartphone control
  • Overlays data on video

Cons

  • Doesn’t stabilize the image in 4K
  • Needs a case to be waterproof

The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 shoots great 4K videos and has great image quality which makes it a good action camera especially for fitness and data tracking.

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Action Camera Buyer’s Guide

Now that you’ve got all the information about the best in class cameras, it’s time to decide on what you are looking for. In this buyer’s guide, we identify some of the key features and characteristics that you should consider when making a decision about which is the right camera for you in 2019.

How to Choose a Good Action Camera in 2020:

Of course, after considering price, size, and dimensions to match your own preferences, the things you want to look for include:

LCD screen size: This is so that you can see the images you’re capturing and videos you’re recording.

Total Pixel Count: This is the number of picture elements an action camera has, the more pixels, the higher the image resolution will be.

Effective Pixel Count for Video: These are the number of pixels that are actually used when a picture is taken, and this one is a more accurate way to measure the pixel count and image quality of the action camera.

4K Video: This refers to whether the action camera records in 4K Ultra High Definition resolution, which is even better than the 1080p formats. An action camera without 4K video has some limitations.

High-Definition: This is to show whether the camera records in high definition.

Image Stabilization: This is to counteract shaking and jittering with handheld shots, where the problem can be solved using optical or digital means.

Aspect Ratio: This refers to the shape of the recorded image expressed as width: height. Standard definition video traditionally has a 4:3 aspect ratio and high definition video traditionally has a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Night Imaging: This is to help you capture shots and footage in extremely low light.

Max recording time with included battery: The longest duration you can record with the battery that is included with the action camera, it depends on a lot of factors, but it gives you an idea of how durable the battery life is.

Built-in memory and external memory: The larger the better to make sure you have enough space to store all of the great imagery you are capturing.

The strong build of the action camera: Usually GoPros are used to capture adventures, so the more durable their build is, the better. Most action cameras come with a waterproof feature, some even offer dustproof, freezeproof, and shockproof features.

Connectivity: If you like sharing your adventures with the world, you might want an action camera with Wi-Fi connectivity. There is also connectivity to apps that allow you to remotely control the camera.

Modes: There can be different modes for capturing images built into the action camera like single shot, burst, and time-lapse photos.

Voice and remote controlling: These help you start and stop recording to capture your once in a lifetime moments.

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