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Choosing an action camera can be daunting, but you can find the right one with careful consideration. This article is packed with practical tips to help you find the right camera to get you started on your videographer journey!


What is an Action Camera Good For?

Action cameras are great for recording high-intensity activities, like sports or outdoor recreation! Beginners and experts alike will benefit from choosing a compact camera with good image quality, excellent stabilization, and weather sealing.


Action Cameras for Sports

With small, durable action cameras, it's now possible to share the excitement and thrills of winter sports like snowboarding, skiing, and ice climbing. Other high-speed sports like downhill mountain biking, go-cart racing, and dirt biking have also taken advantage of these cameras. Recording every twist and turn in as much detail as possible is a must! A camera with fast and accurate autofocus and a large sensor will be your best bet for capturing all the fast-moving action. When choosing an action camera for sports recording, look for the following:

  • A sensor, at least 22mm - 25mm large, that can shoot in 4K
  • Support for 60fps - 120fps , so you use crisp slo-mo

Action Cameras for Daily Vlogging

Vlogging has been popular for a while. Now that such capable compact cameras are available, getting started has been more accessible than ever. If you plan to shoot videos and pictures daily, you'll want a durable, easy-to-use camera. Capturing every critical shot without worrying means you can still be in the moment as you record. A camera that can handle difficult situations no matter how intense and doesn't require complicated controls to get great footage will make everyday shooting a breeze. Additionally, good battery life and a comfortable in-the-hand feel will be ideal for everyday use. When choosing a vlogging action camera, look for the following:

  • Good audio quality and external microphone compatibility
  • A wide aperture (f/1.8 or wider)
  • Long-lasting battery life

Action Cameras for Cinematic-Style Shots

Action cameras are often more affordable than traditional video cameras, making them a good choice for filmmakers on a tight budget who still want to capture high-quality footage. Action cameras are built to withstand harsh conditions, making them a good choice for capturing footage in challenging environments, such as underwater or extreme weather. The small, lightweight design of action cameras makes them easy to carry and use in various settings. This makes them a good choice for capturing footage in tight spaces or on the go, where a larger camera might not be practical. Pay attention to these specs when choosing an action camera for cinematic videos:

Action Camera Specifications Explained

We've already mentioned some ways to use an action camera; you've also got plenty of ideas, but how can you tell if the action camera has the specs you need? Here're six things you need to know about action camera specifications:

  • Video Resolution: For action cameras, the most common video resolutions are 1080p (1920 x 1080), 4K (3840 x 2160), and 2.7K (2704 x 1520). The choice between resolutions will depend on the user's preference for image quality and the intended use of the footage.
  • Frame Rate: A typical range of frame rates for action cameras is between 24 and 120 fps. Higher frame rates, such as 60 or 120 fps, are recommended for slow-motion footage, while lower frame rates, such as 24 or 30 fps, are suitable for general use.
  • Image Stabilization: The most common image stabilization technologies used in action cameras are electronic image stabilization (EIS) and optical image stabilization (OIS). EIS uses software to stabilize footage, while OIS uses physical hardware to stabilize the camera lens.
  • Waterproof Rating: Action cameras often have a waterproof rating of IPX8, which means they can be submerged in water up to 10 meters (33 feet) for 60 minutes without damage. Some cameras have higher waterproof ratings, while others are not. The required waterproof rating will depend on the intended use of the camera.
  • Battery Life: Battery life for action cameras can range from 1 to 4 hours, depending on the camera model and usage. Longer battery life is essential for extended shoots or outdoor activities. Some cameras have removable batteries, allowing spare batteries to be used, while others have built-in batteries.
  • Connectivity: Action cameras often have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options, allowing for easy footage transfer to a computer or smartphone and for remote camera control. Other connectivity options, such as GPS or NFC, may be available on some models.

Best Action Camera Options and Alternatives of DJI in 2024

The key to choosing an action camera is determining what you will use it for, how often you will use it, and how much editing you want. By keeping these factors in mind, you can be sure to choose a camera that is a good fit for your creative needs.

Osmo Action 4

Recently, Action 4 was ranked as 2023's #1 action camera by Digital Camera World. Let’s explore its' standout features and what sets it apart from the competition.


Key Features:

  • 1/1.3-inch Sensor & Stunning Low-Light Imaging
  • 10-bit & D-Log M Color Performance
  • Deep-Freeze Resistant & Long-Lasting Battery Life
  • 4K/120fps & 155º Ultra-Wide FOV
  • Magnetic Quick Release & Native Vertical Video
  • 360° HorizonSteady
  • Waterproof up to 18m
  • Dual Full-Color Touchscreens


With a 1/1.3-inch sensor, the Osmo Action 4's best-in-class image quality excels in various scenarios, like cycling, diving, and hiking. Capture the raw exhilaration of any moment with striking image quality and unmatched flexibility, even when the lights dim.

Unleash your creativity with the Osmo Action 4's range of accessories and shooting modes. Mount it on your helmet, handlebars, or chest harness with DJI's versatile mounting options, and capture unique perspectives that showcase the thrill of biking. With features like slow-motion, timelapse, and custom exposure settings, you can create cinematic videos that truly capture the spirit of your adventures.

Osmo Action 4 Standard Combo

Osmo Action 3

Key Features:

  • 4K/120fps & Super-Wide FOV
  • HorizonSteady
  • Cold Resistant
  • 150-min Long-Lasting Battery Dual Touchscreens
  • Quick-Release Vertical Mount
  • 16m Waterproof

Experience the thrill of capturing moments in stunning detail with Osmo Action 3! With 4K/120fps filming and 10-bit color depth, you can record over a billion colors for exquisite color gradations and creative post-production options. The super-wide FOV and innovative quick-release design, with impact-resistant magnets and a positioning clip, make it ready for even the most intense scenarios. Switch between horizontal and vertical shots with the protective frame. Connect, sync, and edit your footage with the LightCut App.

You might expect Osmo Action 3 to have a price tag as large as its impressive feature list, but that's where you'd be wrong! We designed the camera to ignite expression, not set your wallet on fire. Creating and sharing memories and adventures has never been more accessible or affordable. We're excited to recommend the Osmo Action 3 as an excellent action camera for the budding adventure videographer.

Osmo Action 3 Standard Combo

DJI Action 2

Key Features:

  • 4K/120fps & Super-Wide FOV
  • HorizonSteady
  • Magnetic Versatility
  • Portable & Wearable
  • Large Touchscreen
  • 10m Waterproof
  • AI Editor

The DJI Action 2 camera is a powerhouse with intuitive features to capture memories from everyday moments to breathtaking experiences, even in harsh conditions. With a magnetic design for easy accessory swaps, it can quickly transform into a vlogging tool with the right accessory. And editing and transferring your files is a breeze with the AI Editor app.

With six combo options, the DJI Action 2 is the perfect action camera for adventure vloggers with diverse content capture needs. The Dual-Screen and Power Combo are excellent choices for starters. We designed the camera and its accessories to be ready for any adventure, so you can easily capture and share your memories and adventures. Whether starting or a seasoned pro, the Action 2 is a versatile and transportable for all your content creation needs.

DJI Action 2 Dual-Screen Combo (32GB)

Pocket 2

Key Features:

  • Pocket-Sized
  • 3-Axis Stabilized Camera
  • ActiveTrack 3.0
  • AI Editor
  • Excellent Image Quality
  • DJI Matrix Stereo
  • Mobile Phone Compatibility

DJI Pocket 2 is compact, portable, and always ready to capture your adventures. It features ActiveTrack 3.0 to keep you in the shot and a Story Mode for easy mini-movies. The gimbal camera delivers cinematic footage and can connect directly to your phone for easy file transfer and sharing.

The DJI Pocket 2 and Creator Combo put the power of high-quality cinematic-style footage in the palm of your hand. The suite of creative tools you'll get at this competitive price will help elevate your content in the crowded creator marketplace without spending extra on expensive, cumbersome equipment. DJI Pocket 2 puts you in control of how you share your story.

Lastly, what about editing action camera footage?

Making captivating videos doesn't have to be complicated! Consider a camera with more dynamic automatic settings if you want minimal editing. Point and press record and the camera's software does the rest. A camera with a robust editing app should also be a top priority for the editing minimalist. A powerful app streamlines the process of turning your footage into shareable content. If you want to do more editing after you've captured your footage, you'll need an action camera that records RAW high-resolution footage. This will give you more control over the final look of your footage and allow you to tailor the final result with greater detail.