Filters

Best Action Cam 2016

 

The action cam market is jam-packed with cameras from both top brands and smaller, lesser-known options. With all of the choices out there, what's the best action cam for 2017?

GoPro remains a top choice, with excellent image quality, though less-than-stellar battery life. This year, the GoPro Hero 5 ended the Black and Silver designation, instead going with the high-end Hero5 Black and less expensive Hero5 Session. The latest version of the action cameras adds voice control and image stabilization. 

But GoPro certainly isn't the only game in town. Sony offers a nice 4K performer with the X1000. The Ricoh WG-1 has an unusual design, but unlike the GoPro and Sony options, doesn't require extra housing. Garmin may be an odd camcorder brand, but the VIRB Ultra 30 offers a bunch of neat extras.

The best action cam for you depends a bit on your lifestyle and price point--here are the top options at multiple price points.

Thumb 51kmusyxdwl

Sony X3000R

Sony is bringing optical image stabilization to action cameras with the X3000R — and it’s a pretty big deal. Image stabilization is hard to come by in the tiny cameras, yet action cameras are the most prone to getting bounced around.Al...

Grade: A Price: $348.00

Thumb 41iavuucfgl

Nikon KeyMission 170

Nikon's entry into the action camera market with the KeyMission 360 earlier this year took most by surprise -- but apparently they weren't done. In September, Nikon introduced two more action cameras, each named for the angle of view their...

Grade: B+ Price: $12.00

Thumb 41b1tbcq99l

GoPro HERO5 Session

The original GoPro HERO Session was designed for portability, skipping out on a few key features to become the action camera giant's budget option. And while the new GoPro HERO5 Session follows the same body style, it doesn't follow the sa...

Grade: A- Price: $299.00

Thumb 41tkn 7v8vl

GoPro Hero 5 Black

GoPro promised their best action camera yet -- and they certainly delivered with the GoPro Hero 5 and the addition of several new features.The GoPro Hero 5 Black ditches the typical GoPro housing, waterproof to 33 feet without it. While not the fi...

Grade: A Price: $399.00

Thumb 41wh6wuh5 l

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

The Garmin Virb Ultra 30 wraps up everything you'd expect from a company that also manufacturers GPS units, and then some. The action camera includes several built in sensors, including a GPS, altimeter and speedometer, and embeds the details ...

Grade: A Price: $400.00

Thumb 51plphtryql

Olympus TG-Tracker

If Olympus' first action camcorder is anything like their tough cameras, the TG-Tracker should be an excellent performer. Taking the "TG" name of still cameras like the TG-4, the TG Tracker is named for the load of equipment it carri...

Grade: A- Price: $299.00

Thumb 41ib7fplmal

GoPro Hero Session

The leading action cam manufacturer is going big--with a tiny camera. GoPros have stuck with a similar exterior for several years, but the new GoPro Hero4 Session is completely different, with a cube-like design and a teensy, tiny weight of just 2...

Grade: B+ Price: $249.00

Thumb 31lp1jq4t 2bl

Sony HDR-AS200

Amid the buzz over Sony's 4K action cam, the manufacturer also quietly introduced a modest upgrade to their HD action cam, the Sony AS200. Though it doesn't pack in the 4,000 pixel resolution, the AS200 offers a good handful of features fo...

Grade: B- Price: $15.00

Thumb 31rvvxkadbl

Sony 4K Action Cam (FDR-X1000V/W)

Sony has been leading the industry in 4K resolution--and while the Sony FDR-X1000 isn't the first mountable camcorder with 4K, it's certainly set up to compete with the likes of the GoPro Hero 4 Black.At just four ounces, it certainly does...

Grade: A Price: $498.00

Thumb original

Ricoh WG-M1

Coming from a manufacturer with a history of rugged cameras, the Ricoh WG-M1 looks to compete with the likes of the Go Pro and Sony action cams. The WG-M1 has an unusual design to say the least, but unlike most action cams, it still manages to fin...

Grade: A- Price: $200.00

Thumb 41rmfuqjrcl

GoPro HERO4 Silver

GoPro has become a household name for action cams. The GoPro Hero4 Silver takes a few of the line's faults—like the lack of a screen—and turns it around. The first GoPro with a touchscreen, the Silver also has a more attainable pri...

Grade: A- Price: $309.00

Thumb 51xtoyzlzzl

GoPro HERO4 BLACK

The GoPro HERO4 BLACK is likely the best mountable camera on the market in terms of video quality--though, albeit, the most expensive. Introduced with the GoPro HERO4 SILVER, which is the only GoPro to include a touchscreen, it has the highest vid...

Grade: A- Price: $324.00

Thumb 41giitxcmzl

Panasonic HX-A500

4K has taken the world by storm--and now it's coming to wearable camcorders. The Panasonic HX-A500 shoots in 4k video at 30 fps (The Go Pro Hero 3+ shoots at just 15 fps in 4K). But perhaps even more exciting (especially if you don't own a...

Grade: A- Price: $220.00

Thumb 41ynqfl3tpl

Contour ROAM2

Contour is one of the top sellers when it comes to action cams and their latest ROAM2 has been met with positive early reviews. This cam shoots at 60 fps and doesn't need any add-ons to become water resistant. Plus it's lightweight and low...

Grade: B- Price: $134.00