Want to record videos that are great to watch later? It’s important to have smooth footage of your adventures. That’s why you need an action cam with image stabilization.
Action cameras that fit in your pocket used to have the downside of producing very shaky footage. With advances in technology, you no longer have to compromise between size and stability.
Electronic image stabilization (EIS) is the most common form of stabilization in action cameras and it takes each frame of the footage and counteracts the side-to-side and up-and-down movements. By doing it frame by frame, this digital process makes the footage look smoother.
There is a buffer zone of pixels on the outside of the frame but the footage within the frame will not be blurred. It is not to be confused with Optical Image Stabilization which occurs when physical parts of the camera move to compensate for overall movement when filming.
This is much rarer in action cameras as they are so small. The effect can be replicated by using a gimbal with your action camera.
Take A Look At Great Action Cams With Image Stabilization
Because of the need to get awesome and smooth videos we’ve written this article. We’ve gone and found the best action cams with image stabilization.
Let’s start with the best-known name in the business.
GoPro HERO7 Black
- TimeWarp Video
- Live Streaming
- Vertical filming
- HyperSmooth at 60fps
One of the many great products from GoPro, the HERO7 Black is an industry-leading action camera with superb image stabilization.
It uses “HyperSmooth” technology for a better video result which is exclusive to GoPro. This is available when filming at 60fps in 4K while previous GoPro models which could only utilize it at 30fps.
It has standard EIS available at higher frame rates as well, so you can still use it to capture smooth slow-motion footage.
The camera itself has similar specs to its predecessor, the HERO6, but there are a multitude of improvements and new features to set it above the rest.
The TimeWarp feature allows you to capture a timelapse with HyperSmooth. This means you can film your adventures for a long time, moving around while doing so, and the final results will be very impressive.
Typically when filming a timelapse it is best to have the camera on a tripod or solid surface to keep it steady but TimeWarp makes it possible to record one on the move.
A lot of reviews praise the steady filming, with some saying it would be worth buying the camera for that alone.
It’s surely not a coincidence that GoPro is the first name that comes to mind of most people when you mention action cameras.
It’s a top of the range product and does a great job if you’re willing to pay the higher price tag.
- Optical image stabilization
Sony’s FDXR3000 is a versatile, reliable action camera. It’s the only product in this review to feature Optical rather than Electronic image stabilization.
What does that mean? Electronic image stabilization is done by software. Optical image stabilization, on the other hand, is provided by hardware.
Optical image stabilization is common across digital cameras but not so much in action cameras. The main reason is that it is a physical component that requires some space and action cameras are quite compact. For the same reason, it’s rare to find it in a smartphone.
Sony has expertly crafted its SteadyShot technology to rival bigger video cameras and gimbals. They claim that this technology, which uses a gimbal mechanism, is up to 13 times more effective than other stabilization technology. You can read more about it here.
User feedback also supports this claim, with some reviewers reporting their amazement at the quality of the footage.
You can make the most of this incredible feature with a number of great video settings, including 4K and full high definition.
It also can reach underwater depths of up to 197ft (60m) and has a long battery life of 155 mins.
Another impressive feature is its compatibility with external microphones. This means that the footage you capture won’t just be easy on the eyes, it will also have incredible audio.
[su_pros_cons pros=”Compatible with external microphones;Long battery life” cons=”Expensive”]
SJCAM SJ8 Pro
- External microphone compatible
SJCAM has a great range of action cams that are a lot more budget-friendly than other companies. The SJ8 Pro is the top of their range and has some impressive features.
It uses Electronic Image Stabilization very effectively, with a 6-axis gyroscope. This gives you a smooth image, even with high-quality footage. This action cam also allows you to use an external microphone which lets you capture better sound for your videos.
It comes with many accessories which makes it an even better bang for your buck. These are compatible with other brands too, so if you already have a stash of accessories from another camera you can use them on your SJ8 Pro.
It has an impressive waterproof range when you put it in the external housing; up to 98ft (30m). This makes it great for taking on your aquatic adventures and a lot of people feel more comfortable taking it into more extreme scenarios because of the price.
That’s not to say that because it’s cheap it’s not worth taking care of, it is still a great camera and works anywhere. But it’s always easier to risk a piece of equipment which is not expensive.
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
- Voice control
- G-Metrix data
The Garmin VIRB Ultra is designed for adventure. This action cam has a number of unique features that make it a wonderful option for sports and activities.
One of the best features is voice control. You can take pictures and start recording by using voice commands rather than your hands. This is a huge advantage for when you’re busy enjoying the moment and you don’t have to reach up to use it. Being hands-free lets you focus on your adventure and takes out the hassle of physically controlling the camera.
Another notable feature is its G-Metrix technology. It uses GPS and built-in sensors to determine your speed, height, among other information.
It can even record your heart rate so you can see the moments where the adrenaline kicked in.
The camera’s Electronic Image Stabilization does not work at 4K unfortunately, it only goes up to 1080p at 60fps. 1080p is a very standard resolution for filming though and will still look clear on most screens.
Plus, filming steady footage at 60fps means you can create beautiful slow-motion shots.
[su_pros_cons pros=”Lots of unique features” cons=”EIS doesn’t work in 4k”]
DJI Osmo Action
- Dual screens
- Voice control
DJI is usually associated with its drones but they have recently broken into the world of action cams. It seems like a natural progression for the company and their expertise in cameras makes their Osmo Action a neat little option.
Its specs rival some of the top action cameras, including the ability to shoot 240fps at 1080p. This means your footage can be slowed down immensely and will still be clear on bigger screens.
Shooting at 240fps is far from common. Many action cameras only offer 240fps at 720p which is a much smaller resolution, or only have frame rates of up to 120.
The camera has RockSteady EIS which uses intricate algorithms to deliver smooth footage. It also features voice control so you don’t have to worry about pausing your activity to capture it.
The camera also features dual screens, one at the front next to the lens and one at the back. Now you can always see what you’re capturing and take better selfies.
- Waterproof up to 197ft (60m)
Another reliable action cam from Sony, the HDRAS50/B is a superb, low-cost option. It features Sony’s SteadyShot technology to reduce the shakiness of your footage.
This camera is much cheaper than others with similar specs from reputable companies which makes it hard to pass up. There are some limitations to it but what it does offer is still very impressive.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t shoot in 4k but it does shoot up to 1920p which is significantly better than the standard 1080p. It can also give you slow-motion footage as it shoots up to 60fps.
One of the areas where it excels is its underwater capabilities. This little camera can be used up to 197ft (60m) with external housing which makes it perfect for taking diving. It also has a long battery life of up to 150 minutes to give you more time to film.
[su_pros_cons pros=”Affordable” cons=”No 4k shooting;Not compatible with external microphones”]
Get a Great Action Cam With Image Stabilization now
You’ve just read a review on a pack of great action cameras. They provide a large range of features. And if you’re looking for great and smooth footage, you should definitely get one of these.
Do you feel unsure about what to look for when getting one of these products? Please check out the Action Cameras Buying Guide.
You liked these cameras. But something tells you there’s a better option for you out there. In that case, check out our other articles: