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The unfortunate truth about many cameras is that they’re so expensive and delicate, that you might be afraid to actually take them anywhere you’d want to take pictures. If you’re an outdoorsy, adventurous type, lugging around a heavy SLR and risking dropping it might lead you to just take all your photos on a smartphone. Even that is not an ideal compromise, however. Phones are often just as easily broken, and the picture quality can leave something to be desired. Plus, if you want to take photos underwater, you better have a very big bag of rice ready to go.
That’s where action cameras come in. Compact enough that you can take them anywhere, waterproof for underwater excursions, and powerful enough to record amazing photos and videos, the best action cameras will see you through any kind of adventure. Best of all, it’s not hard to find affordable but durable cameras. Here are our picks.
1. AKASO EK7000 4K WiFi Sports Action Camera
With WiFi and HDMI connectivity and a lens that shoots 4K video, this camera makes taking amazing footage and sharing them a breeze. Plus, a wrist-attached remote control allows you to easily get the shot or photo you want.
Pros: High-quality photos and videos, can connect to an app to share to social media from mobile.
Cons: Remote control is not waterproof, and some found the app un-intuitive.
2. AKASO Brave 4 4K 20MP WiFi Action Camera
This camera, also from AKASO, makes modest improvements on the EK7000 for a higher but still affordable price. This model takes 20 megapixel photos, compared to the 12 of the EK7000. It also comes with image stabilization and an adjustable angle for taking wider shots.
Pros: Anti-shaking gyroscope. Many included accessories like rechargeable batteries, remote control wristband, and mounts.
Cons: Not as high-quality in low light situations.
3. Campark ACT74 Action Camera 16MP 4K
The Campark action camera has 4K recording, an optional wide-angle lens, and WiFI connectivity. Like the AKASO cameras, it comes with rechargeable batteries. Included are mounting kits for bicycles and helmets.
Pros: Very affordable, compact camera. Numerous accessories are included.
Cons: Only about 90 minutes of battery life.