January 2022

Action Video Cameras: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Action Camera rankings posted by key online experts, as of January 2022.

At a glance - January 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Action Camera
Rtings.com
WIRED
Camera Jabber
Wirecutter
Tom's Guide
T3
TechRadar
Digital Camera World
Pocket-lint
PCMag
1
- $410
GoPro Hero10 Black
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
- $330
GoPro Hero 9 Black
2
3
2
1
2
2
3
2
5
5
3
+1 $470
Insta360 One R
-
2
4
4
4
9
9
6
4
-
4
-1 $288
GoPro Hero8
-
8
-
2
3
3
4
4
-
2
5
+1 $470
DJI Action 2
-
4
3
-
-
6
-
3
3
3
6
-1 $299
Dji OSMO Action
-
7
-
-
6
8
8
5
-
4
7
- $270
Insta360 Go 2
-
-
5
-
7
-
11
-
2
-
8
- $278
GoPro Hero7 Black
-
-
8
-
5
4
7
-
-
-
9
- $140
Akaso Brave 7 LE
4
-
-
-
-
-
5
8
-
-
10
- $698
Sony RX0 Mark II
-
-
7
-
-
11
-
7
-
-
11
- $429
GoPro Max
-
-
-
-
-
7
10
-
-
6
12
New * $320
DJI Pocket 2
3
-
-
-
-
-
13
-
-
-
13
-1 Check price
Oclu Action Camera
-
6
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
14
-1 Check price
YI 4K Plus
-
-
9
-
-
12
-
-
-
-
15
-1 $219
SJCam SJ8 Pro
-
-
10
-
-
10
-
-
-
-
16
-1 Check price
Olympus Tough TG-Tracker
-
-
13
-
8
-
-
-
-
-

We ranked GoPro Hero10 Black #1 in January 2022 because:

  • 10 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
  • Out of those, 9 experts ranked GoPro Hero10 Black as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Rtings.com

Best Action Camera

Go to ranking

WIRED

Best Overall

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Camera Jabber

Go to ranking

Wirecutter

The ultimate in frame rates and features

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Tom's Guide

The best action cam overall

Pros
Excellent image stabilization
Removable lens
Media “Mods” add functionality

Cons
Heavy

Go to ranking

T3

The current flagship GoPro is the best action camera you can buy

Pros
Speedy and slick thanks to new processor
Higher resolution and framerate than H9
Water-repelling lens cover
Horizon leveling up to 45-degree tilt

Cons
Most expensive option
Battery can struggle to keep up

Go to ranking

TechRadar

The most versatile action camera ever

Pros
Powerful new processor
Handy 4K/120p mode
Class-leading stabilization

Cons
Same sensor as Hero 9 Black
Pricier than rivals

Go to ranking

Digital Camera World

The new flagship action camera with a new processor

Pros
Faster user interface
Increased frame rates
Hydrophobic lens coating

Cons
Incremental upgrade on Hero9 Black
Bigger than the Hero8 Black and Hero7 Black
Not compatible with older batteries

Go to ranking

Pocket-lint

Our Top Pick

Pros
The best image quality around
Incredible image stabilisation
Extreme high resolution and frame rate options

Cons
Relatively heavy
Can be prone to overheating

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PCMag

High-Res 5.3K60 and 4K120 Slow-Mo

Pros
5.3K capture at up to 60fps
120fps 4K for slow motion
Class-leading video stabilization
Front-facing color screen
Waterproof without an add-on case
Media Mod support
Wi-Fi and USB transfer for phones and tablets

Cons
Battery drains quickly
Costs more when bought without a subscription
Heat limits long-form recording

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We ranked GoPro Hero 9 Black #2 in January 2022 because:

  • 10 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked GoPro Hero 9 Black as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Rtings.com

Cheaper Alternative

Go to ranking

WIRED

Best Value

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Camera Jabber

Pros
No need for waterproof housing
Dual Screen
8X Slow-motion

Cons
Mods are expensive
Not great in low light

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Wirecutter

The best action camera

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Tom's Guide

The next best action camera

Pros
Front-facing screen
Removable lens
Media “Mods” add functionality

Cons
Heavy

Go to ranking

T3

Not quite the newest GoPro, but still an outstanding action camera

Pros
Integrated front-facing screen
Removable lens cover
Native horizon levelling
Very easy to use

Cons
Not quite as slick as the HERO 10
No hydrophobic lens cover

Go to ranking

TechRadar

Still a fine choice if you don't need 4K slo-mo

Pros
5K video captures lots of detail
Front display for vlogging
Improved battery life
New software skills

Cons
Rear screen currently unresponsive
Little improvement to 4K video

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Digital Camera World

2019’s flagship is now excellent value

Pros
Front-facing screen
20MP photos
14.7 MP grabs from video

Cons
Larger physical size than other GoPros
5K video takes up a lot of memory

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Pocket-lint

Pros
Cheaper now thanks to its successor
Fantastic image quality
Great stabilisation

Cons
Even heavier than the Hero 10
Can still be pricey

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PCMag

Records at 5K30 and 4K60

Pros
Up to 5K quality at 30fps
Front-facing color LCD
Exceptional video stabilization
Up to 240fps HD slow motion
Time-lapse, buffering, and HDR imaging
USB-C charging
Strong app support
Compact and waterproof

Cons
You'll likely want to carry extra batteries
Subscription service adds recurring costs
Discounted pricing not available from all retailers

Go to ranking

Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Action Video Cameras.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Action Video Cameras, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for January 2022 ranking

We ranked Insta360 One R #3 in January 2022 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
WIRED

Best for Those Who Want It All

Go to ranking

Camera Jabber

Pros
Modular design
Incredible image quality
Both standard and 360º video

Cons
Joins get filled with mud
App home screen cluttered

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Wirecutter

The most versatile action camera

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Tom's Guide

This 360 camera has a modular design

Pros
Innovative modular design
Multiple lens options including 360 lens
Reversible screen for front facing option
Impressive in-camera stabilization

Cons
Small screen size
Needs frame for mounting

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T3

A modular 360-degree camera to rival the GoPro Max

Pros
Clever modular system
360-degree live previews on device
Flippable screen for vlogging
Easy to upgrade or replace modules

Cons
Stitching errors on 360 content

Go to ranking

TechRadar

An imperfect but impressive modular option with solid quality

Pros
Modular design offers unrivaled versatility
Solid 4K and 360-degree image quality

Cons
Very small screen
Significant bugs at launch

Go to ranking

Digital Camera World

A unique proposition of both 4K and 360 action cams

Pros
4K and 360º lens options
RAW photos and 100mbps video
Optional 1-inch action cam mod

Cons
Small-ish touchscreen

Go to ranking

Pocket-lint

Pros
The most configurable of the bunch
Robust and waterproof despite modularity
Up to three cameras in one

Cons
Small screen
Can't compete with GoPro on image quality

Go to ranking

We ranked GoPro Hero8 #4 in January 2022 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
WIRED

Best on Sale

Go to ranking

Wirecutter

The best budget-friendly action camera

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Tom's Guide

The third best action camera

Pros
Much-improved audio quality
Sleeker accessory mounting system
Media “Mods” add functionality

Cons
Battery door is awkward to close
Lens is not removable

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T3

There's no front-facing screen, but this camera delivers plenty of bang for your buck

Pros
Extremely capable and easy to use
Frameless design with folding mount fingers
Feature-packed and hugely robust

Cons
No front-facing preview screen
Not quite as good as the H10 or H9

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TechRadar

A good all-rounder if you don't need a front-facing screen

Pros
Best-in-class digital stabilization
Time-saving Capture Presets
Built-in mounting arms
Improved mic

Cons
Poor low-light performance
No front display

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Digital Camera World

A great value and smaller,lighter alternative to GoPro’s new flagship

Pros
Super image stabilization
Crisp, smooth 4K video
Built-in acccessory mounts

Cons
Screen is smaller than DJI

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PCMag

GoPro's Best Budget Option

Pros
Stabilized 4K at up to 60fps.
Rugged, waterproof design.
Crisp touch LCD.
Integrated mount.
Improved user interface.
USB-C charging.
Companion app with automated editing.
Promising Mod expansion system.

Cons
Wi-Fi video transfer can take some time.
Cramped memory card slot.

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We ranked DJI Action 2 #5 in January 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
WIRED

Best Ultralight

Go to ranking

Camera Jabber

Pros
Compact size
Fast video transmission
Modular design

Cons
Limited to 4K

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T3

An innovative, modular action cam

Pros
Compact and lightweight
Modular, magnetic system is inspired
Excellent image stabilisation

Cons
Overheating cuts off video clips
Not great in low light

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Digital Camera World

2019’s flagship is now excellent value

Pros
Use compact or with combo unit
Dual touchscreen interface
Live streaming

Cons
Internal storage in camera (microSD cards need secondary unit)
Secondary unit must be attached to charge or use memory cards

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Pocket-lint

Pros
Awesome versatile design
Can be configured to be lightweight and compact
Handles an impressive 4K 120FPS

Cons
Expandable storage requires module
Gets hot when recording 4K

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PCMag

4K120 With Magnetic Mounts

Pros
Tiny, go-anywhere form factor
Magnetic mount and snap-on accessories
Effective digital stabilization
Up to 4K120 video
12MP photos
Waterproof to 33 feet
Works as a webcam

Cons
Front screen option pushes price high
Overheating is a concern
No card slot or charging port on main camera module
Front screen and battery aren't waterproof

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We ranked Dji OSMO Action #6 in January 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
WIRED

Best Bargain

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

The best action camera for selfies

Pros
Good motion stabilization
forward-facing screen
rich colors in video

Cons
Motion stabilization doesn't work with HDR
No livestreaming

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T3

GoPro's fiercest competition yet,and a solid choice for vloggers too

Pros
Impressive image stabilisation
Colour front-facing screen
ease of use

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TechRadar

More than just a GoPro clone

Pros
Forward-facing color monitor
Good motion stabilization
Rich color reproduction

Cons
No motion stabilization for HDR video
No livestreaming

Go to ranking

Digital Camera World

DJI's original action cam market offers a front-facing selfie screen

Pros
Front color LCD monitor is great for vlogging
Excellent image stabilization

Cons
Doesn't have all the accessory options of the GoPro range
The app needs some work

Go to ranking

PCMag

Front LCD for Vlogging on a Budget

Pros
Rugged, waterproof build.
Stabilized 4K footage at up to 60fps.
1080p slow-motion at up to 240fps.
Easily swappable filters.
Supports HDR and flat profiles.
Front and rear color displays.
Filters included.

Cons
Battery life could be better.
HDR video isn't stabilized.
Stabilization not as good as GoPro.
No tripod socket.

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We ranked Insta360 Go 2 #7 in January 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Camera Jabber

Pros
Miniscule size
Easy to use
Waterproof
Good video quality

Cons
No 4K video
No microSD card slot

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Tom's Guide

The best really small action camera

Pros
Very small
Takes good photos and videos for size
Charging case doubles as remote

Cons
Gets hot in use
Shorter battery life than other action cameras

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TechRadar

A tiny action cam with a very clever case

Pros
Truly tiny form factor
Tripod charging case

Cons
No display for framing
Only waterproof to 4m

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Pocket-lint

Pros
The tiniest action camera around
Versatile magnetic mounting options
Great stabilisation

Cons
Battery life can be limiting
Maxes out at 1440p 50fps

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We ranked GoPro Hero7 Black #8 in January 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Camera Jabber

Pros
HyperSmooth Image Stabilisation
Incredible Price
Ultra high-quality video

Cons
Still requires cage for waterproofing
No framerate or resolution boost since the Hero6

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

Still one of the best action cameras

Pros
Shoots impressively smooth video
Improved touch controls on viewfinder
Sharp 4K videos

Cons
Livestreaming could use some tweaks
Still images can be hit-or-miss

Go to ranking

T3

Not new,but still great

Pros
Great image quality and stabilisation
Waterproof without housing

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TechRadar

Now officially discontinued, but still available to buy

Pros
Great 4K video and image quality
HyperSmooth is very effective

Cons
Can struggle with voice commands
Screen unresponsive at times

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We ranked Akaso Brave 7 LE #9 in January 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Rtings.com

Best Budget Action Camera

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TechRadar

A great budget alternative to the DJI Osmo Action

Pros
Dual screens
Case-free water resistance
Class-leading build quality

Cons
Poor 60fps footage
Jumpy electronic stabilization
Cheaper options have better 4K

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Digital Camera World

A twin-screen action cam for less

Pros
Front LCD screen
4K video capture
6-axis stabilization
Low price

Cons
Needs to be put in case to be fully waterproof

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We ranked Sony RX0 Mark II #10 in January 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Camera Jabber

Pros
1-inch sensor
Very lightweight
Flip-out monitor

Cons
Very expensive
Tricky to handle

Go to ranking

T3

A one-inch sensor in a 'tiny tough' camera? Say hey to incredible imagery

Pros
Huge sensor
Flip-up screen for vlogging
Very rugged build

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Digital Camera World

The RX0 Mark II gets much needed internal 4K recording

Pros
Large Exmor 1-inch sensor
Super-slow motion available
Front-facing selfie/vlogging screen

Cons
Very expensive

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We ranked GoPro Max #11 in January 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
T3

The best dedicated 360-degree camera on the market

Pros
Stunning 360-degree video
360 degree photos
Sturdy construction

Cons
Conventional video resolution is lower than rival
Image stitching can look glitchy

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TechRadar

The best waterproof,360-degree action camera

Pros
Shoots 5.6K, 360-degree video
In-camera stitching

Cons
Low-resolution 2D footage
Not the best in low light

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PCMag

360-Degree Video and Superb Audio

Pros
360-degree capture
Also works as a single-lens camera
Intuitive software tools
Strong stabilization
Good in-camera audio
Waterproof without a case
Integrated mounting clips

Cons
Effective resolution is really 1080p
Single-lens capture tops out at 60fps
Requires more editing time to get the best results from spherical footage

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We ranked DJI Pocket 2 #12 in January 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Rtings.com

Best Handheld Action Camera

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TechRadar

What it lacks in ruggedness it makes up for with great stabilization

Pros
Useful gimbal stabilization
Impressive tracking

Cons
Poor low light performance
Can get hot while filming 4K

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We ranked Oclu Action Camera #13 in January 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
WIRED

Best for Tight Spots

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T3

A great value and slightly unconventional action camera

Pros
Easy three-button operation
Fantastic build quality
Delete on the fly

Cons
Image stabilisation at 1080P only
App will drain your battery

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We ranked YI 4K Plus #14 in January 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Camera Jabber

Pros
Market-leading resolution and framerate
Exceptional 4K video quality
Large touch screen

Cons
Requires waterproof housing
Hasn't been updated

Go to ranking

T3

A well-rounded action cam that won't break the bank

Pros
4K at 60fps
USB-C

Cons
Only waterproof with housing
Temperamental voice command control

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We ranked SJCam SJ8 Pro #15 in January 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Camera Jabber

Pros
Excellent value
Large clear screen
Decent video quality

Cons
Waterproof housing
The app interface can be clunky when used with Gimbal

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T3

Pro video quality on a tighter budget? This is the action cam for you

Pros
Excellent video quality
Large 2.33-inch IPS touchscreen
Includes dashcam ‘car mode’
USB-C charging

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We ranked Olympus Tough TG-Tracker #16 in January 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Camera Jabber

Pros
Waterproof, shockproof, crushproof, freezeproof
4K at 30fps video
Flip-out monitor

Cons
8MP resolution

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

Camcorder meets action camera

Pros
Good color and definition
Waterproof to 100 feet
Built-in 60-lumen lightFold-out monitor

Cons
Awkward mechanics
Hard to change field of view

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