November 2022

Action Video Cameras: Meta Ranking Report

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

Summary

As of 3 Nov 2022, GoPro Hero10 Black takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed action camera with 10 expert endorsements. 4 experts out of 10 recommended it as the '#1 action camera' this month. It is followed by GoPro Hero11 Black and GoPro Hero 9 Black , with 6 and 8 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - November 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Action Camera
TechRadar
WIRED
Camera Jabber
T3
Tom's Guide
PCMag
Wirecutter
Rtings.com
Pocket-lint
Digital Camera World
1
- $356
GoPro Hero10 Black
1
1
3
2
3
1
3
1
5
2
2
- $400
GoPro Hero11 Black
4
-
1
1
1
-
-
-
1
1
3
- $300
GoPro Hero 9 Black
6
3
6
4
6
5
1
-
-
7
4
- $495
Insta360 One RS
-
2
-
3
2
7
4
-
4
3
5
- $270
GoPro Hero8
7
7
-
6
-
2
2
-
-
11
6
+1 $240
Insta360 Go 2
12
-
7
-
4
-
-
6
3
5
7
+1 $329
DJI Osmo Action 3
5
-
2
-
5
-
-
-
2
8
8
-2 $347
DJI Action 2
8
4
-
7
-
3
-
-
-
4
9
- $140
Akaso Brave 7 LE
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
3
-
10
10
+2 $306
Dji OSMO Action
-
-
-
12
-
4
-
2
-
-
11
- $500
Insta360 One R
10
-
4
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
12
-2 $335
DJI Pocket 2
13
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
6
13
- $499
GoPro Max
11
-
-
11
-
6
-
-
-
-
14
- $399
GoPro Hero7 Black
9
-
-
9
-
-
-
-
-
-
15
- $500
Olympus Tough TG-6
14
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
16
- $290
Akaso Brave 8
-
-
12
10
-
-
-
-
-
-
17
- $330
SJCam SJ8 Pro
-
-
10
13
-
-
-
-
-
-

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

  • 10 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
  • Out of those, 4 experts ranked GoPro Hero10 Black as #1.
Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

Best overall action camera

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

Cons
Same sensor as Hero 9 Black
Pricier than rivals

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WIRED

Best Overall

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Camera Jabber

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T3

The GoPro Hero 10 offers almost everything the new Hero 11 boasts, for a considerably cheaper price

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

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Tom's Guide

GoPro's older, but still very capable action camera

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

Cons
Heavy

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PCMag

Best Action Cam Overall / Editors' Choice

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
Included battery drains quickly
Costs more when bought without a subscription
Heat limits long-form recording

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Wirecutter

The ultimate in frame rates and features

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Rtings.com

Best Action Camera

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Pocket-lint

.

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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Digital Camera World

We say it's still the best traditional action cam all round, with 5.3K video and 23MP stills / Editor's Choice

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

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We ranked GoPro Hero11 Black #2 in November 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Action Video Cameras” rankings.
  • Out of those, 5 experts ranked GoPro Hero11 Black as #1.
Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The best flagship action cam for social cropping

Pros
Versatile aspect ratio for cropping
10-bit mode useful for color grading

Cons
Still not great in low lighting
Budget rivals offer better value

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Camera Jabber

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T3

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

Pros
New sensor amps up the quality everywhere
Better battery life
Same physical dimensions as the Hero 10

Cons
Only incremental improvements over older model

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Tom's Guide

The best action camera overall

Pros
Innovative editing features
Larger image sensor
Amazing motion stabilization

Cons
Bulky

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Pocket-lint

Best Action Camera

Pros
Best in class stabilisation
10-bit colour video capture with high bitrate
Extremely wide HyperView digital lens

Cons
Fairly bulky
Quite expensive

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Digital Camera World

The TikTok-ready action cam adds simplicity, and a new 8:7 sensor / Editor's Choice

Pros
Captures versatile 8:7 content
Excellent image stabilization
Horizon locking at up to 5.3K
Simplified interface for beginners

Cons
Lowlight video isn't great
Front display is not touch sensitive
GoPro membership required to unlock features

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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 November 2022 ranking

We ranked GoPro Hero 9 Black #3 in November 2022 because:

  • 8 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:
TechRadar

An excellent GoPro action cam if 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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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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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

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Tom's Guide

An older GoPro

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

Cons
Heavy

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PCMag

Best Stabilization at a Midrange Price

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

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Wirecutter

The best action camera

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Digital Camera World

The 2019 GoPro flagship is not so far behind the Hero10 and costs less

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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We ranked Insta360 One RS #4 in November 2022 because:

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

Best for Those Who Want It All

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T3

The most flexible action camera

Pros
Compelling modular design
Outstanding image quality
Good battery life

Cons
Fiddly SD/Charge port cover

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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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PCMag

Best for Mixing 360 and 4K Footage

Pros
Compact design
Swappable lens modules
Waterproof to 16 feet
Stabilized 4K60 and 5.7K 360 video
HDR available at 4K30
2:35 wide-screen mode
Mobile and desktop app support

Cons
In-camera mics disappoint outdoors
Modular design can get in the way
Small touch LCD
Battery only good for 75 minutes of 4K
Heat can limit long-form recordings

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Wirecutter

The most versatile action camera

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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

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Digital Camera World

You might find the ONE RS's modular design more fiddly, but you get an action camera AND a 360 camera in one!

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

Cons
Small-ish touchscreen

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We ranked GoPro Hero8 #5 in November 2022 because:

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

Best on Sale

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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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PCMag

Best Budget-Friendly GoPro / Editors' Choice

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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Wirecutter

The best budget-friendly action camera

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Digital Camera World

Released in 2019, the GoPro Hero 8 can still shoot 4K 60p, so it makes a compelling mid-price buy

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

Cons
Screen is smaller than DJI

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We ranked Insta360 Go 2 #6 in November 2022 because:

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

Most Portable Action Camera

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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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Digital Camera World

It's not 4K or waterproof, but this tiny magnetic camera can go where others can't!

Pros
Tiny when used 'naked'
High resolution for its size
Charge case and mounts included

Cons
Short run time
Can 'flick' out of mounts

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We ranked DJI Osmo Action 3 #7 in November 2022 because:

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

The best value action camera for most people

Pros
Best-in-class diving specs
Convenient mounting setup

Cons
Poor low-light performance
Video quality can’t compete with GoPro

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Camera Jabber

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Tom's Guide

A great budget GoPro alternative

Pros
Solid video quality
Innovative mounting options
More affordable than a GoPro

Cons
Photo quality is limited to 12 MP
Upload and edit process is entirely manual

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Pocket-lint

Pros
Excellent magnetic mounting solution
Extremely wide FOV
Handy front touchscreen

Cons
Needs a bracket for vertical shooting
The rubber lens protector can easily be lost

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Digital Camera World

Does DJI’s 3rd generation action camera have what it takes?

Pros
Dual touchscreen control
Good vlogging tool in vertical or horizontal
No module confusion (compared to Action 2)
Extreme batteries included as standard
Cheaper than GoPro
No subscription payments required

Cons
12-megapixel images and 4K maximum video resolution
No period of cloud backup included
We’d like to see a start and stop timer
Vertical format use requires frame
Voice control somewhat spotty

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We ranked DJI Action 2 #8 in November 2022 because:

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

A unique action cam that's very modular and expandable

Pros
Versatile, modular design
Handy horizon-leveling

Cons
Overheating limitations
Not great in low light

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WIRED

Best Ultralight

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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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PCMag

Best Innovation in Form Factor

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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Digital Camera World

DJI's groundbreaking modular design makes the Action 2 a very clever bit of kit

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

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

The best action camera on a budget

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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Rtings.com

Best Budget Action Camera

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Digital Camera World

You wouldn't put the Akaso Brave 7 LE in the same class as GoPro, but it's way, way cheaper

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 Dji OSMO Action #10 in November 2022 because:

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

Good value, and a solid choice for vloggers

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

Cons
Specs getting dated now

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PCMag

Best 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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Rtings.com

Best Mid-Range Action Camera

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We ranked Insta360 One R #11 in November 2022 because:

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

An impressive, if imperfect, modular option with great quality

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

Cons
Very small screen
Significant bugs at launch

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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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T3

A cheaper version of the RS

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

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

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

Best Handheld Action Camera

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Digital Camera World

Not your traditional action camera, but we think the Pocket 2 is amazing

Pros
Sensational stabilization
Fantastic pocketability
Simple operation

Cons
Relies heavily on extras and accessories

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We ranked GoPro Max #13 in November 2022 because:

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

Best Waterproof 360 Camera

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 GoPro Hero7 Black #14 in November 2022 because:

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

An older GoPro flagship that's more now affordable

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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T3

Not new,but still great

Pros
Great image quality and stabilisation
Waterproof without housing

Cons
No frameless design, so cases needed

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We ranked Olympus Tough TG-6 #15 in November 2022 because:

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

An action camera disguised as a hardcore compact

Pros
Internally stacked zoom lens
Up to 4K video resolution

Cons
Quality drops in bright conditions
Small sensor at its core

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WIRED

Best for Underwater Action

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We ranked Akaso Brave 8 #16 in November 2022 because:

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

Pros
Good range of specifications
High-quality video
Touch Screen

Cons
Not great in low light
SuperSmooth is limited
App good but limited

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T3

A well-specced action cam that's worth a look

Pros
Strong spec list
Excellent package of mounts
Decent stabilisation

Cons
Buggy launch software

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We ranked SJCam SJ8 Pro #17 in November 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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