Action cameras are great, but they are often the subject of a lot of shocks that can damage it. If you’ve read my recent review of the five best action cams under $200, then you know that going the cheap route is always an option. You’ll find some great products, but they are more than likely not going to last for long.

When you go with a premium camera, you bet on quality. Their build quality is robust so that they will have a longer life. You can trust that every time you pick up the camera, it will function the same way it did during the first days of use. You can just expect them to do what they are built to do, over and over again, probably until you decide to change it.

The image quality and video framerate also matter. Unfortunately, though, it is tough to find an action camera under $200 that comes with 4K video recording at 60 frames per second… and doesn’t suck. If you want the best quality, there are other important factors to keep in mind as well. Such would be live-streaming capabilities, the distortion, the speed, and accuracy of the focus, the reaction to sunlight, the optical and/or software image stabilization, voice control, and many more.

The optics of the camera, as well as their build quality, is what most people would look at. Additional specialized firmware, other software, and unique features often come with premium action cameras. If you have a specific aim in mind, you should look at what is the cam build for and what special features it comes with.

Even then, you still might find it tough to find the right action camera for you. There are many options, coming in many sizes with different sample rates, optics, features, software, etc. The descriptions of products are more than often misleading, and that could make a person doubtful. To help you find the right products, we’ve tested a number of devices and compiled a list of the five best premium action cameras that you can get right now:

# Image Product Price
1 GoPro $399
2 YI $220
3 Garmin $398
4 SJCAM $230
5 Nikon $309

1. GoPro HERO7

  • 4K60
  • Smooth video stabilization
  • Shock and waterproof (up to 33ft/10m)
  • 12 MP lens
  • 8x Slow motion
  • Automatic image processing (“Super photo”)
  • Live-streaming functionality

It is not surprising that the industry leader has some of the best tech on the market. One of the best features of the GoPro Hero7 is its video stabilization. It is capable of predicting your movements and corrects for camera shake to deliver insanely smooth footage. The build quality is amazing. It has a rugged design, protecting from shocks. The camera is also waterproof — it can survive up to 33 ft or 10 meters under the water. When it comes to the video quality, as you would expect, the Hero7 supports 4K video recording at 60 frames per second, among others. Overall, you can be sure that the Hero7 will live up to its promises.

2. YI Action Camera with Waterproof Case

  • 4K60
  • Electronic Image stabilization at 4K30
  • SONY IMX377 12 MP f/2.8 lens
  • 155-degree wide angle
  • Voice control
  • Live-streaming functionality
  • With waterproof case (Up to 130ft or about 40 meters underwater)

The YI camera comes with state-of-the-art technology such as the Ambarella H2 system-on-chip, the SONY IMX377 Image sensor, and an integrated 2.2” highly responsive touchscreen. The touchscreen is protected by Gorilla Glass, the world’s strongest mobile device glass. What is special about this one is that it can survive underwater up to 130 ft or 40 meters, thanks to its special waterproof case. The camera supports most UHS Speed Class 3 MicroSD cards between 16 and 64 GBs of storage with FAT32 and exFAT formats.

3. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

  • 4K30
  • Built-in GPS and external sensors
  • 1.75-inch fully interactive touchscreen display
  • 3-axis image stabilization up to 1080p60
  • Voice control
  • Live-streaming functionality
  • The best option for snow, water, aerial and motor-sports

Unlike the previous two, this one does not support 4K recording at 60 frames per second. Rather, they have focused their attention and technology towards the image stabilization. With its unique 3-axis image stabilization, you will be able to record stunning 1080p videos at 60 frames per second. Thanks to its built-in sensors and GPS, the device can stay connected with the Garmin ecosystem and give as well as use other data, in a way that you’ve probably never thought was possible. Imagine your heart rate, your speed, jump hang time, elevation, acceleration, distance, torque, etc. displayed on your photos, images, and live streams? With the VIBR Ultra 30, this is exactly what you would able enjoy.

4. SJCAM SJ8 Pro

  • 4K60
  • SONY IMX377 12 MP f/2.8 lens
  • 170-degree wide-angle
  • 1200 mAh battery (equal to 90 minutes of 4K60 recording)
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 2.33-inch interactive touchscreen display with UHD quality
  • Waterproof housing survives up to 100 ft or 30 meters underwater

Equipped with the powerful Ambarella chipset and Sony’s IMX377 lens, the SJ8 Pro delivers amazing quality and processing in every shot. The camera supports 1080p recording at 240 frames per second, allowing you to do amazing slow-motion videos of your action! The package comes with two 3M adhesive tapes and four camera mounts for your convenience. A cleaning cloth, as well as a USB Type-C cable are also included.

5. Nikon KeyMission 170

  • 4K recording
  • NIKKOR 170-degree wide-angle f/2.8 lens
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Stereo microphone system
  • Waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof

The KeyMission 170 comes with the NIKKOR 170-degree wide-angle lens with a light aperture of 2.8. The camera supports time-lapse and loop recording. The package includes a remote control and comes with more than 10 mounting accessories.