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(Pocket-lint) - The best action cameras should allow you to capture in great quality whether you're on the move or battling the elements, giving you more versatility and durability than a traditional shooter.

The good news is that anybody looking to invest in one of these dinky devices can now do so at a more affordable rate, with their popularity growing exponentially over the last decade.

Naturally, though, there are still plenty of things to consider before you try and make up your mind, such as what quality you want to shoot in, whether you require certain accessories and if premium features are worth the extra cost.

To help you decide between some of the best durable cameras, we've compiled some of our favourites for the average user. Let's explore further and get you on your way to capturing expert footage.

Best action cameras available to buy today

GoProBest action cameras 2021: Capture shots in the elements and underwater with these top choices photo 7

GoPro Hero 9 Black


GoPro's latest Hero is the culmination of years of stabilization algorithms, delivering us with perhaps the best waterproof action camera ever.

It lasts much longer than its predecessors, thanks to a bigger battery, and it finally adds a useful front screen. This allows you to easily line shots up when the lens is facing you, rather than just guessing, and, when you do press record, the Hero 9 Black can do so in 5K at 30 frames-per-second, 4K at 60 frames-per-second and livestream in 1080p.

Thanks to HyperSmooth 3.0, as well, playback can appear impossibly smooth.

It has an exceptional price tag to match its array of premium features - though, it must be said, not as high as previous flagships - but it's a top device that all professionals and content creators should be considering.

Dragon TouchBest action cameras 2021: Capture shots in the elements and underwater with these top choices photo 2

Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera


If you need an affordable way to get 4K recordings of your action, Dragon Touch's camera is a top pick.

It manages to combine excellent shooting capabilities - 4K or 2.7K at 30 frames-per-second, and 1080p at 60 frames-per-second, as well as 16-megapixel photos. There's also a driving mode, image rotation, time-lapse, loop recording, slow motion, exposure and white balance.

In the waterproof case, it can also work up to a depth of around 100ft, too, with wireless remote control available up to around 33ft.

Just be aware that this one isn't compatible with Mac devices, so you'll have to make sure you're using a different computer to export your files.

AkasoBest action cameras 2021: Capture shots in the elements and underwater with these top choices photo 3

Akaso EK7000


Akaso has plenty of waterproof video cameras for you to explore, but the EK7000 is one that still manages to remain budget-friendly while packing in the essential features.

It can shoot in 4K at 25 frames-per-second, 2.7K at 30 frames-per-second and 1080p at 60 frames-per-second,  with the 2-inch touchscreen giving you a glanceable view of what you're shooting. It's here where users can switch shooting modes, as well as access video playback.

It's slightly more expensive than some of the picks on this list, but what you get in return is excellent waterproofing - the EK7000 can still perform up to depths of 131ft, making it ideal for water sports, snorkeling and diving.

CamparkBest action cameras 2021: Capture shots in the elements and underwater with these top choices photo 4

Campark ACT74


Campark is another great way to experience 4K shooting at 30 frames-per-second without cashing in your life savings, with this colorful blue number also providing a slightly jazzier design.

Packed inside that small unit is a 2-inch HD screen, letting you tap into some playback and shooting options, with the 32GB Micro SD card slot allowing you to capture a really good amount of video and images before needing to export. 

When it comes to its waterproofing credentials, it can still operate up to around 100ft with the case wrapped around it. And, with battery life, you should be able to get around 180 minutes of shooting time from the dual setup included.

ApemanBest action cameras 2021: Capture shots in the elements and underwater with these top choices photo 5

Apeman A79


If you want a device that can travel deep underwater and still stay functional, Apeman's A79 is a great one to consider.

The palm-sized snapper can shoot at depth up to around 130ft, offering video capture resolutions of 4K at 30 frames-per-second and a 20-megapixel camera for photos.

For those who like to mix things up, there are also options on the touchscreen display to create time-lapse videos, burst photos, capture in slow motion or even countdown to group shots with the selfie timer.

VictureBest action cameras 2021: Capture shots in the elements and underwater with these top choices photo 6

Victure Action Camera AC700


Like Apeman's offerings, Victure is able to deliver incredible waterproofing depth up to around 130ft while still shooting in 4K at 30 frames-per-second.

This makes it another ideal choice for those who need versatility in shooting - one day it's acting as a vlogging camera, and the next it's strapped to your head while you dive or ski, all while an external microphone is able to pick up the sound around it.

Victure also employs some very respectable image stabilization to your shots, meaning that those inevitable bumps and shakes don't show up as clearly in the playback. 

Writing by Conor Allison. Originally published on 21 January 2021.