Lights, Camera, Action – The Best Action Cameras For Every Budget

A go pro camera in action, attached to the handlebars of a bike with mountains in the background

Whatever kind of action you want to capture, whether it’s underwater or on top of a mountain, you need to know your equipment is tough enough to deal with whatever you throw at it, while also being light enough to carry around.

The action camera has replaced the traditional camcorder for both amateur and professional use; partly because, unlike a traditional camera, you can attach them to pretty much anything, from bicycles and cars to yourself, and even your pet!

But is it possible to get that GoPro experience without the GoPro price tag? We’ve done some of the hard work for you and chosen some of the best action cameras for every budget.

What Features Should You Look For?

Action cameras come with lots of extra features, such as replaceable lenses, voice activation, and social media connection, but there are some that are definitely worth having:

  • Size – small and compact is good, so they can fit where bigger cameras can’t and not take up too much room in your bag or pocket.
  • Touchscreen or buttons? – This depends on how, and where, you’re going to use your camera; a touchscreen can make it easier to use, but if you’re going to be wearing gloves physical buttons may work better for you.
  • Image stabilisation – a few wobbles often add to the footage, but it’s more watchable if your viewers aren’t getting travel sick from the camera shake.
  • Waterproof – remember to check the depth rating.
  • Portable – so it can be carried up a mountain, strapped to handlebars etc.
  • Wide angle lens and fast aperture – to capture as much as possible, even in low light.
  • Durable – so they can be used in a harsh environment, thrown into a bag, fastened to the top of a car etc without the fear of it being damaged.
Close up of a gopro on a tripod

Under £250

While there’s an element of compromise when it comes to choosing a budget camera, it can also offer a bit of peace of mind; after all, most of us would feel more comfortable strapping a cheaper camera to our dog’s collar than thousands of pounds of the best kit.

The Akaso Brave 7 LE has a lot of features for the price (£139); including dual screens, an intuitive touchscreen, and great audio.

The GoPro Hero 10 (£249) is great if you’ve got your heart set on a GoPro. It’s versatile and waterproof and has great image stabilisation.

Under £500

The DJI Pocket 2 (£339) has a built-in gimbal for great stabilisation. It’s small enough to fit in a pocket and ActiveTrack means it follows you as you move around in front of it.

Described by Techradar as “one of the best action cams around”, the Insta360 ONE R 1-inch Edition (£499) performs well in low light and is waterproof to 5 metres.

POV shot of a cyclist on their bike using an action camera

Over £500

The Sony Cyber-Shot RX) II (£730) is great in low light and delivers high-quality images while still being compact and portable. Waterproof to 10 metres and can withstand impact from a height of 2 metres.

The Sony RX100 VII  (£1049) can fit into the palm of your hand and is a great, all-round camera. It’s reported to be ‘crushproof’ and is waterproof to 1 metre.

If you want to capture your adventures when you’re out and about, then an action camera that can be used in a variety of ways, in many different locations, could be for you. Their increasing popularity means you’re guaranteed quality, at an affordable price, without compromising on the features that you need to get that perfect footage.

If photography is your thing and you’re inspired to make money from doing the thing you love, then take a look at our advice on how to grow your photography business.

If you are spending money on new equipment and accessories, it can be quite costly so it might be worth having a look at camera insurance. Choose between an amateur and semi-professional policy, or a professional policy and tweak it with our range of Optional Benefits such as Extended Worldwide Cover, and Helmet, Sports and Action Cameras. Take a look at our website for more information and get a free no-strings quote, it’s got to be worth a shot!

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