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 Hero4 Silver

GoPro Hero4 Silver Review

PROS:

  • Great video quality
  • Lots of accessories and mounts, incl. drones
  • High build quality and durable
  • Built-in touch LCD screen

CONS:

  • Not so good battery life
  • High $400 price

If you are not entirely sure what you are planning to use the camera for then the GoPro Hero4 Silver is the best action camera for overall use. It’s not even because of the GoPro hype. What really makes the Hero4 Silver stand out is the whole package: the 2.7k video quality is amazing at 30fps, colours are rich, mounting accessories are endless, waterproof 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 Hero4 Silver Review.


Technical specs & features

  • Video Quality: 4K 15fps / 2.7K 30fps / 1080p 60fps / 720p 120fps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Memory: Up to 64GB MicroSD
  • Features: Wi-Fi, Auto-Low light mode, Night photo, Burst, Time-Lapse, Pro-Tune
  • Battery: 45 minutes
  • Waterproof with special case up to 40m


Only downside of the Hero4 Silver 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 GoPro Hero4 Black is better due to the 4K 30fps video capability and that is true. However that is literally the only difference between the 2 cameras so we find that the $100 save and free LCD screen is a much better deal. You really can’t go wrong with this.

The GoPro Hero4 Silver is our favourite and Amazon.com best selling action camera! It comes with plenty of accessories and a built-in LCD.

BEST BANG FOR BUCK

Xiaomi Yi

Xiaomi Yi Review

PROS:

  • Great video and photo quality
  • Fits all the GoPro mounts
  • Best bang for buck with its $84 price tag

CONS:

  • Might need to fix focus

Xiaomi Yi, with it’s $84 price tag, is definitely the best bang for the buck action camera! The video quality is satisfactory and can easily challenge cameras in the $200-$300 area. The tripod mount and GoPro look makes it easily mountable everywhere. Check our Xiaomi Yi Review.


Technical specs & features

  • Video Quality: 1080p 60fps / 720p 120fps / 480p 240fps
  • Photo: 16MP
  • Memory: Up to 64GB MicroSD
  • Features: Wi-Fi
  • Battery: 2 hours
  • Waterproof with special case up to 60m


As you can see from the specs it’s as good if not better than the older GoPro models! You can also check other videos people have taken with it and even comparisons between Hero3+ in our video section.

Xiaomi Yi is our best bang for buck action camera. For the price you get video quality that can easily compete with 3x more expensive cameras.

BEST EXTREME SPORTS

Sony 4K FDR-X1000V

Sony FDR-X1000V 4K

PROS:

  • Amazing video quality (Image stabilization)
  • Accessories and mounting for extreme sports
  • Best audio recording

CONS:

  • High $500 price
  • Not possible to use on drones

Sony has one very important feature that makes it the best action camera for extreme sports – SteadyShot image stabilization. It greatly reduces vibration and is one of the only action cameras to have such a feature. The 4K image quality is as good as on the GoPro Hero4 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 Quality: 4K 30fps / 1080p 120fps / 720p 240fps
  • Photo: 8.8MP
  • Memory: Up to 64GB MicroSD
  • Features: Wi-Fi, GPS, Image-Stabilization, Airplane mode, Interval recording
  • Battery: 50 minutes
  • Waterproof with special case up to 60m


Perhaps the biggest downside is it’s $499 price tag just as on the GoPro Hero4. But 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


HTC Re is in our eyes the best camera for capturing social events. It doesn't have the best video quality but it is small and easy to carry around everyday.

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 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!