The Best Action Cameras for 2017

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With the younger generation (and even some of the older folks) getting more and more adventurous today, it only seems natural to see imaging companies churn out better (and more) action cameras.

Why get an action camera?

The biggest benefit of an action camera is that it allows you to take great photos even at the most extreme conditions. On a 30-feet dive in the middle of the ocean? No problem. Skiing at 40 – 60 miles per hour? An action camera has got you covered. They also offer ultra-wide angle views, so you are sure to capture all the action. And the small size of most action cameras make them easy to pack and take with you wherever and whenever you’re traveling.

Sure, action cameras can’t replace your traditional interchangeable lens cameras in terms of image quality and creative control, but they’re a great option for those who want to capture good images and great videos without having to bring heavy equipment.

The best action cameras today

There was a time when action camera is practically synonymous to GoPro, but that’s not the case anymore. While GoPro still produces some of the best action cameras around, many other imaging companies have released their own action cameras that can take on the GoPro action cameras head-to-head.

Without further ado, here are some of the best action cameras money can buy today:

GoPro Hero5 Black

GoPro’s newest flagship model definitely packs a punch. With the GoPro Hero5 Black, the company has cemented its spot as one of the leaders in the field up to now.


Unlike the Hero4, the Hero5 Black is waterproof up to 33 feet without a case. It also has a rear touch screen for easier controls, and it’s capable of shooting 4K videos at 30fps.

Kodak PixPro SP1

Kodak PixPro Sp1

The Kodak PixPro SP1 is a really good action camera that comes at a bargain price. It’s more than half the price of the GoPro Hero5 Black, but it’s also packed with plenty of nice features. At max resolution, it can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps. It’s also waterproof up to 33 feet without needing a case, so it’s a great budget action camera for watersports lovers.

Garmin Virb Ultra 30

Want exceptional video quality? The Garmin Virb Ultra 30 can shoot 4K+ (Ultra HD) videos at 30fps. It rivals GoPro Hero5’s video quality, although the battery life is a bit shorter. It also needs a case to be completely waterproof, so it might not be your best choice for underwater shoots.

Nikon KeyMission 360

The Nikon KeyMission 360 is a pretty new entry in the action camera world, but it has pretty exciting features. The 360 is the flagship among three rugged action cameras in the KeyMission series. The 360 is particularly noteworthy because it offers two 21.1mp sensors that allows you to shoot 4K videos with a 360 angle. It also rivals the durability of the GoPro and is waterproof up to 100 feet.

YI 4K+ Action Camera

Technically, the YI 4K+ Action Camera isn’t available for purchase yet, but it definitely deserves a spot on this list just for being the first of its kind in the world and probably the best action camera at the moment.

YI 4K+ Action Camera

The YI 4K+ Action Camera is the world’s first 4K/60fps action camera. It’s equipped with amazing image stabilization as well, and has low power consumption so you can keep taking photos and videos for a long time.

Whatever your purpose for getting an action camera is, you will definitely have a lot of fun with them. Make sure to remember the names above when you’re on the lookout for an action camera so that you can get the most bang for your buck.


George Finlayson

Article by George

George Finlayson is an educator and professional writer with a BA in Creative Writing. He was born in London, England but currently resides in Shanghai, China. He has recently developed a great interest in photography and 360 camera videos. He begun a new venture into writing about photography and videography for beginners, and related topics. With so many technical details in digital photography, George likes to keep things simple so that everyone can understand and feel a part of the ever-growing global photography community.

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