Best Action Camera For Drones, Diving & Extreme Sports

Capturing moments has become part of the modern world. Youtube and other video portals have created a chance for almost everybody to become known and this is where action cameras can help!

So for all of you who don’t know what an action camera is, it’s just your normal consumer camera with 1 exception: it can be attached anywhere. They are used for shooting extreme sports, underwater and lately even aerial photography!

The real problem is finding the best action camera for your needs. Personally, what I look for first is the image quality. I want the colours to look real and image sharp and crisp. Next what I look for is the mountability, can I attach it everywhere I need to? And finally the weight and ofcourse the price.

But that is just me and for my needs, below we have put together a list of the best action cameras we have found for every category!

OVERALL BEST

GoPro Hero5 Black

GoPro Hero5 Black Review

PROS:

  • Great video quality
  • Digital Image Stabilization
  • Lots of accessories and mounts, incl. drones (GoPro Karma)
  • High build quality and durable
  • Built-in touch LCD screen

CONS:

  • Not so good battery life
  • High $399 price

If you are not entirely sure what you are planning to use the camera for then the GoPro Hero5 Black is the best action camera for overall use. It’s not even because of the GoPro hype. What really makes the Hero5 Black stand out is the whole package: the 4K video quality is amazing at 30fps, colors are rich, mounting accessories are endless, waterproof without a case and it even comes with a built-in touch LCD screen! Main reason why I have put the GoPro as the best is the mounting capabilities which most others sadly lack. For more in-depth information check out our GoPro Hero5 Black Review.


Technical specs & features

  • Video Resolutions: 4K 30/25/24fps; 2.7K 60/50/48/30/25/24 fps; 1440p 80/60/50/48/30/25/24fps; 1080p 120/90/80/60/50/48/30/25/24fps; 720p 240/120/60/50fps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Memory: Up to 128GB MicroSD
  • Features: WiFi+Bluetooth, Electronic Image Stabilization, Advanced Wind Noise Reduction, Voice Control, GPS, Linear Field Of View, RAW & WDR Photos
  • Battery: 1 hour 40 minutes of 4K 30fps recording
  • Waterproof up to 33ft /10m without case


Only downside of the Hero5 Black in my opinion is the price – $399 which can be quite pricey. However the overall package and the insane selection of mounting options makes it currently the best choice available. Also you might argue that the Sony FDR-X3000 is better due to the higher bitrates (100Mbps vs 60Mbps) and next generation stabilization, and that is true. However, for a person looking for a great action camera for traveling and not super demanding extreme sports, the GoPro is much easier to use. You will also save around $70 and get a camera with a much better and user friendly LCD touch screen. I know that so many of you will be using it a lot. Having to take out your smartphone to watch what you have captured every single time can get annoying. You really can’t go wrong with this.

Check Best Price On Amazon!

BEST BANG FOR BUCK

Xiaomi Yi 4K

Xiaomi Yi 4K review

PROS:

  • Great video and photo quality
  • 4K video resolution at 30fps
  • Digital Image Stabilization
  • Best bang for buck with its $249 price tag

CONS:

  • The phone app is a bit complicated

Xiaomi Yi 4K, with it’s $249 price tag, is definitely the best bang for the buck action camera! It is actually an upgraded version of our previous choice, the original Xiaomi Yi. Sadly though that model has been discounted. The new 4K version is more than worth of an upgrade however. It comes with 4K video resolution that can be captured at 30fps and 60Mbps. That is basically the same as the GoPro Hero5 Black on paper. It can easily be compared with the titans in the $400 price range. And the best part, mounting isn’t really an issue. You can even purchase GoPro adapters that come with a tripod threaded screw. The Xiaomi Yi 4K has a tripod threaded hole underneath it. If you want more information on this amazing action camera, then check our Xiaomi Yi 4K Review.


Technical specs & features

  • Video Resolutions: 4K 30/25fps; 2.5K 30/25fps; 1440p 60/50/30/25fps; 1080p 120/100/60/50/30/25fps; 720p 240/200fps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Memory: Up to 128GB MicroSD
  • Features: 2.2″ LCD touch screen, WiFi, Electronic Image Stabilization, Dual Microphone, Gyroscope/Accelerometer, 1/4″ Tripod hole
  • Battery: 2 hours of 4K 30fps recording
  • Waterproof with special case up to 60m


As you can see from the technical specification and the video, it’s definitely as good as the GoPro Hero4 models! I did compare it to the GoPro Hero5 Black, and I must say that in real life, the GoPro did look a little bit better. But the difference is so little that if you’ll get a just as good action camera if you don’t want to spend that much on a GoPro. You can also check other videos people have taken with it and even comparisons between Hero5 in our video section.

Check Best Price On Amazon!

BEST EXTREME SPORTS

Sony 4K FDR-X3000R

sony fdr-x3000r review

PROS:

  • Amazing video quality
  • Next generation Image Stabilization (works up to 4K)
  • Accessories and mounting for extreme sports
  • Best audio recording

CONS:

  • High $469 price
  • Not possible to use on drones
  • Not so good battery life

Sony has one very important feature that makes it the best action camera for extreme sports –  Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. It greatly reduces vibration and is the only action cameras to have this next generation stabilization system. It even works when recording in 4K! The 4K image quality is as good as on the GoPro Hero5 Black, if not better and crazy good audio recording. It also has a very good selection of mounting accessories for snowboarding, skateboarding, skydiving, cycling and other extreme sports. [Full review]


Technical specs & features

  • Video Resolutions: 4K 30/25/24fps; 1080p 120/100/60/50/30/25/24fps; 720p 240/200/120/100fps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Memory: Up to 128GB MicroSD
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Small LCD screen, Balanced Optical SteadyShot with Active mode Image Stabilization
  • Battery: 60 minutes of 4K 30fps recording with WiFI turned off
  • Waterproof with special case up to 60m


Perhaps the biggest downside is it’s $469 price tag, which is more expensive than the GoPro Hero5 Black. However for that you do get a Live View Remote and better video quality. So for extreme sports you can’t get better than this.

BEST FOR DRONE

3dr solo gopro

With drones the most important camera feature is the weight and that there are gimbals available for it. That is why we would go with any of the GoPro Hero3+/4 or Xiaomi Yi products, because they are what 90% of the gimbals on the market are made for. To be more precise then the GoPro but we have also added the Xiaomi Yi because it has basically got the same dimensions. Below are the technical specs of the cameras we have picked out.


GoPro Hero4 Black

  • Price: $500
  • Video Quality: 4K 30fps / 1080p 120fps / 720p 240fps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Features: WiFi, Auto-Low light mode, Night photo, Burst, Time-Lapse, Pro-Tune
  • Battery: 45 minutes

GoPro Hero3+ Silver

  • Price: $300
  • Video Quality: 1080p 60fps / 720p 120fps
  • Photo: 10MP
  • Features: Wi-Fi
  • Battery: 45 minutes

Xiaomi Yi

  • Price: $88
  • Video Quality: 1080p 60fps / 720p 120fps / 480p 240fps
  • Photo: 16MP
  • Features: Wi-Fi
  • Battery: 2 hours


As you can see from the comparison here, Xiaomi Yi is definitely the best action camera for aerial photography for beginners. If you are looking for a camera for FPV flying or more info about aerial solutions then we recommend reading through an article we published here.

SOCIAL EVENTS

HTC Re

HTC Re Camera

PROS:

  • Good video quality
  • Unique design makes it easy to hold
  • Decent $120 price

CONS:

  • Not really much use other than for social events

HTC Re is an excellent camera for capturing every day moments. Let it be hanging out with friends, a bon fire at the beach, HTC Re has a unique and simple design that allows you to use it fast and easy. It’s fully waterproof so you can even use it at a pool party! This is a truly social camera and with it’s $120 the best in it’s category! [Full review]


Technical specs & features

  • Video Quality: 1080p 30fps / 720p Slow Mo
  • Photo: 16MP
  • Memory: Up to 128GB MicroSD
  • Features: Wi-Fi, GPS
  • Battery: 45 minutes
  • Waterproof up to 1m for 30 minutes


Check Best Price On Amazon!

BEST FOR DIVING

GoPro Hero4 Black

GoPro Hero4 Black Review

PROS:

  • Best 4K video quality
  • Lots of accessories and mounting options
  • High build quality and durable

CONS:

  • Not so good battery life
  • High $500 price

First of all, the high GoPro image quality and underwater housing makes it the best action camera for diving by far. Secondly the reason I chose the Black version is because the images look sharper underwater compared to the Silver edition. Also the LCD screen isn’t that much of a use in that environment. This is why we have chosen the GoPro Hero4 Black as the best action camera for diving.


Technical specs & features

  • Video Quality: 4K 30fps / 2.7K 60fps / 1080p 120fps / 720p 240fps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Memory: Up to 64GB MicroSD
  • Features: Wi-Fi, Built-in touch LCD screen, Auto-Low light mode, Night photo, Burst, Time-Lapse,Pro-Tune
  • Battery: 45 minutes
  • Waterproof with special case up to 40m


The $499 (Now $300!) price tag makes it one of the most expensive action cameras available but the price is there for a reason. You can also go with the GoPro Hero4 Silver if you feel it fits you better. The difference between the 2 cameras isn’t really that big.

Tips For Finding The Best Action Camera

If the above options didn’t meet your needs and you would like to find the best action camera tailored just for you then below are some guidelines to help you further.

  • Firstly set the price limit for yourself. There are a lot of different models out there and expensive isn’t always the best.
  • Secondly make sure it has all the features and accessories you need. Such as that it’s waterproof if you need it for diving, required mounting options for extreme sports and other accessories for drones.
  • Thirdly the video quality, which I consider to be the most important part of action cameras. My advice here is to watch videos that others have taken with the camera of your choice and decide if you are happy with the quality.

Conclusion

Finding the best action camera for you can take time and an expensive product isn’t necessarily the best! If you have any more questions then we have more indepth camera information at the review and video section. We hope you can find the all the help needed from us! If you have any videos you’d like to share with us then feel free to use the contact us page and we will gladly feature you!

We hope you will enjoy your stay on our website and become a regular visitor!