Since 2018, GoPro has been inviting its camera users to show off their athleticism and adventurous spirit with their Million Dollar Challenge. This year’s 4K highlight reel is not only packed with some exceptional action footage but serves as a testament to just how amazing action camera technology has become.
THE BEST Action Cameras
Another year, another GoPro. The HERO9 Black shoots 5K video and 20 mp stills. It has a front-facing selfie monitor, improved battery life, upgraded stabilization with 360º horizon locking, 1080p live streaming, and an available Max lens mod for an even wider angle perspective. The HERO8 Black is still available for $299.
When it comes to extreme action video, Mad Media is at the top of their game. The guys behind the Mint 400 dirt race have now released a pro tool from their arsenal to the public. This adjustable aluminum roll cage mount ensures your GoPro won’t move or fall off while traversing even the most punishing terrain at speed.
Drone photography expert DJI takes on GoPro with a powerful standalone action cam. The Osmo Action captures 4K HDR video, offers built-in stabilization, is waterproof to 11m, shoots 8x slow motion, and has screens on both rear and front for shooting selfies. Plus, it’s compatible with GoPro mounts.
Insta360’s action cameras are all about versatility. They feature a modular design that lets then switch between 4K wide angle and dual-lens 360º recording. They offer HDR capability, a reversible screen, super-smooth FlowState stabilization, and come in both a twin-mode kit and a version with a pro-grade 1″ sensor and Leica lens.
This compact action camera captures sharp 4K/30fps footage, and can also shoot 1080p slow-motion at 120fps. It’s got electronic stabilization, snaps 12 mp stills, and is IPX7 water-resistant without need for a case. It’s also got a standard 1/4″ tripod mount, and wind-reducing microphones. Save 19% in The Awesomer Shop.
The latest GoPro Hero has a fold-out mounting bracket built in, improved image quality, and even better HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilization, three mics and wind reduction for improved sound, and is 14% lighter than the last model. A series of upcoming mods add inputs and outputs, a flip-up selfie screen, or an LED light.
The versatile Boondoo mount is designed to provide maximum flexibility in mounting angles. It’s got a total of 56 different mounting positions via its 360º pan and 180º tilt functions, and can change angles on the fly with the push of a button. Plus its base is designed to attach to any standard GoPro mounting point.
A specialized multitool for users of GoPro and other compatible action cameras, the pocket-sized Quist offers several functions in one accessory: tripod, MicroSD card holder, lens remover, screw tightener, carabiner, keychain, and its screw head doubles as a bottle opener.
While the latest GoPro cameras have digital stabilization, the tech crops a portion of the image, and nothing is as smooth as motorized gimbal. Slick’s stabilizer works with all GoPro models since version 3, and mounts to existing accessories like selfie sticks, chest harnesses, and more for buttery smooth cinematic shots.
Night vision cameras shoot muddy green images. Action cameras do terribly in the dark. SiOnyx claims its action camera can shoot night scenes in full color. While its 720p resolution is barely hi-def, its jumbo-sized CMOS sensor makes twilight and low-light shooting possible.
A compact and versatile camera for recording everything from action shots to monitoring your home. It’s waterproof up to 20 feet, and can send images via Wi-Fi. Captures video at up to 1080p through a f/2.0 140º wide angle lens. Save 50% off the MSRP in The Awesomer Shop.
Sony’s shockproof, crushproof, waterproof RX0 offers the versatility of action cameras, but with high-end features like 4:2:2 4K video, 960fps slow-mo, 4K clean HDMI output, multi-camera control, and more. It stores 1080p/60 internally, but needs an external recorder for 4K.
A compact interchangeable lens camera with 4K support. Works with a variety of Micro Four-Thirds lenses from Lumix, Sigma, Olympus, and Leica. It supports both automatic and manual focus, and is small enough to be mounted on a drone gimbal. Sample video content here.
Waterproof, crushproof, shockproof, dustproof, and freezeproof, this action camera is ready to take on whatever you throw at it, shooting 4K video via a wide-angle F2.0 lens, with 5-axis image stabilization, and built in GPS, compass, altitude sensor, and accelerometers.
Nikon jumps head first into the crowded action camera market with the compact KeyMission 360. It packs two sensors, allowing it to capture 360º video and stills in 4k resolution. It’s also waterproof, and resistant to dust, shock, and cold, and has electronic vibration reduction.
Originally seen as the Aétho, this gyroscopic handheld video stabilizer is now raising funds on Indiegogo. It provides buttery smooth motion shots, and has a built-in LCD viewfinder. The sample videos shot with the prototype are truly impressive. Early birds save $50.
Providing tremendous value compared to GoPro’s entry-level action cam, the Activeon CX shoots 1080/30p HD video through an f/2.4 lens, has a built-in LCD viewfinder, Wi-Fi, interchangeable batteries and faceplates, and a multitude of available mounting options.