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Which? Don't Buy action cameras

by Ryan Shaw

Which? Don't Buy action cameras take low-quality video and stills, are tricky to use and may be light on useful features. Our reviews reveal the cameras to avoid.

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A poor action camera might not have the battery stamina to last you your snorkelling trip, or such terrible controls that you end up not recording your favourite holiday moments. Our in-depth lab tests separate the action cameras you should avoid from those that we recommend as Best Buy action cameras.

What makes a Don't Buy action camera?

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Which? has reviewed the latest action cameras, including models by GoPro, Panasonic, Ricoh and Sony, to help find the best camera for you. Our in-depth testing means we can recommend those action cameras that offer excellent video quality and are simple to use, and we can also tell you which ones will produce poor quality video.

  • Our lab experts put every action camera through the same set of tests, including testing video quality, ease of use, sound quality and how good the battery life is – so you'll know exactly what to expect.
  • We give every camera a Which? test score so you can immediately see at a glance, which are the best and worst, plus how each model compares in regards to features and specifications.
  • Our tests cover a range of brands, prices and action camera types; including Full HD and 4K ultra HD models.

Our Best Buy action cameras produce superb quality videos, no matter the lighting conditions. But we also find some cameras that fall short in our tests - from big brand models that are a nightmare to setup and use, to other models that suffer from below average sound quality or poor image stabilisation.

Unique camera testing by Which?

Which? tests action cameras from all the biggest brands you may be considering buying. Models of all shapes and sizes from GoPro, Sony, Ricoh, Garmin and more are all tested, and we can assure you that even the biggest names are capable of producing some disastrous cameras.

Which? tests approximately 25 action cameras a year and puts each model through a series of painstaking tests. These are designed to be both rigorous and repeatable, so you can trust in the quality of your next camera.

We don't show any bias towards more expensive models, either. Every action camera review is objective, and we've uncovered some brilliant bargains.

If we declare a action camera to be a Don't Buy, you can be sure that it's one you should 100% avoid. No matter how tempting its price tag might be, or how robust it claims to be, you'll inevitably end up regretting ever buying it.

Find out which action cameras are Don’t Buys and which are Best Buys by taking out a£1 trial to Which?.

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