While the image quality and features are important on an action camera, the battery life is also what we can consider an essential thing.
Action cameras are cameras that are meant to come in a compact form factor and be as portable as possible, due to the small size design the cameras suffers because only so much space can be made for the battery.
There’s nothing worse than having your action camera dying in the middle of shooting and stressing around to find an outlet or a USB port.
To prevent that, I have rounded up a bunch of action cameras that I think are the best action Cameras with the longest battery life.
If none of the cameras appeal to you, in the end, I’ll share some tips on how to increase the longevity of your action camera.
The Most Versatile
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The Most Durable
|Garmin VIRB Ultra 30|
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Best For Most People
|DJI Osmo Action|
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Best For The Money
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|Drift Innovation Ghost XL|
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Now let’s start listing.
Top 5 Best Battery Life Action Cameras:
5. GoPro HERO 9 – The Most Versatile
A list of action cameras, without the GoPro being included is not a list at all.
Starting things off with the prominent Hero 9, and before you start hating and telling me” Hey, old man GoPro 10 is already out “. I know, I am well aware of that, and I know that GoPro 10 has better capabilities than the 9, but this article is all about battery life.
I had the chance to set a Hero 8, 9, and 10 side by side and compare which one would last longer, and It was 9 who exceeded both of his siblings.
As soon as you put Hero 9 out of the box, it is instantly recognizable as an action camera from GoPro; it inherits the same hallmark design as the rest of its lineup.
The rear-facing 2.27inch display, which is touch-sensitive comes in quite bright and vivid also having a complete redesign built from its predecessor the Hero 8, it is more sturdy and robust now. It even feels, robust and in a way tells you that it is ready to take some beating.
The Hero 9 boasts a monstrous sensor of 20-megapixel, which insanely improves the image quality capabilities.
While not being professional-grade level, like the sensor of a DSLR or Mirrorless it is getting close to there.
Back when GoPro announced the HyperSmooth feature, it was touted as the ‘gimbal killer’ .
Basically, HyperSmooth is an in-built image stabilizator, you can simply walk with the camera and it will still look buttery smooth.
What’s more, with the Hero 9, GoPro even improved it further, now it is HyperSmooth 3.0 – if the first HyperSmooth was a gimbal killer, guess the 3.0 version is an annihilator?
While 4k is still breathtaking, it is something that belongs in 2019. “The future is now old man” , GoPro 9 pushed the boundaries of video recording on cameras, capable of recording 5k content at 30Fps, while its brother Hero 10 can do that at 60 Fps. However, you know well, the price the Hero 10 has to pay for that, and that’s an insane drain on battery life, hence Hero 9 took the spot instead.
The Hero 9 is being driven by a 1720mAh battery that is rated to last longer than it’s brother for 30% more. While the Hero 10 pretty much has the same battery , it’s capabilities put a bigger strain on the battery-life. Hero 9 is tested to last around 1 hour and 40 minutes.
4. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – The Most Durable
Next, we have an action camera from Garmin. A brand that is mostly known for their watches, but they did a pretty good job with their action camera too, the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
But if they can hold up to the main players of action cameras is another matter, so let’s see if they can compete.
It is a really well-built camera despite being fully plastic. Don’t let the plastic finish lie to you though, it is made to survive some knocks and drops. It sports waterproof housing; which gives the camera the chance to dive up to 40m (130ft ).
At the rear, you will be greeted by the IPS LCD screen that comes in a resolution of 320 x 240p. Thankfully, it is quite easy to see and operate through it, unlike the Hero 9, this one is not touchscreen sensitive, which is understandable.
Under its hood, it is driven by a CMOS imx078 sensor with Novatek 96660 chipset. As for recording, it can capture content in 4k in 30fps, or if you want more fps, 120fps at 1080p.
It also features something similar to GoPros HyperSmooth, the Electronic Image Stabilization and built-in EIS that detects the position when the camera moves or shakes.
It does exceptionally well for a budget action camera, I can’t lie I am quite impressed.
The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 uses a 1250mAh battery, that gives longevity of 120 minutes in Full HD (1080p). Note, if you switch to 4k, you will notice heavy drops.
3. DJI Osmo Action – Best For Most People
Yet again another brand that specializes in a different field, but does a great job offering us a great action camera. DJI is a company that is mostly known for their drones, but oh boy, they sure did make a wonderful action camera that gained huge popularity due to telling GoPro “to sit down”.
I remember back in 2016 when GoPro announced their first drone, the Karma lineup, people were hyped only to get disappointed in return. Trying to eat DJI’s launch in their specialty didn’t go well for GoPro, and they ended up discontinuing the whole drone thing in 2018. But things changed when it was time for DJI to horn on GoPro’s turf. With the release of Osmo Action, DJI showed and proved us that they were ready to take GoPro head-to-head.
Although GoPro still exceeds on some fields, Osmo Action it’s the only rival that gives the GoPro a hard time, thanks to the unbeatable value it brings to the table.
Design-wise, it is simply an action camera, rugged-feeling in a brick form factor with a lens that protrudes from its left side.
What makes the Osmo Action different, must be its bonus 1.4-inch front screen; meaning that this camera has a screen on both sides, while the front one is tiny it still offers a great display and it is really handy for selfie videos.
It has a 12MP camera sensor and RockSteady features which is in-built image stabilization, to rival the HyperSmooth.
It records content in 4k at 60 fps while the 1080p in a whole amount of 240fps. For the price it comes with, the video capabilities are terrific indeed.
It has a 1,300mAh battery cell that gives at least 2 hours of constant recording in Full HD, 1080p. If you want 4k you will have to settle for less than 2 hours.
2. AKASO V50X – Best For The Money
Next, we have an action camera from Akaso, the V50X.
Akaso is known for gifting their cost-effective cameras, nifty features that you find in high-end flagships.
Design-wise the V50X improved over its predecessors and now it has a more sporty look in a better compact form. It is made out of plastic while looking rugged and at the top, you have the shutter button standing out.
Although it is not waterproof, Akaso is quite generous with its packaging, like always; and includes waterproof housing for free, it is a great addition for scuba divers or underwater shots in general. By the way, you can also check, best camera for kayaking and best underwater cameras for fishing.
On the rear it has the 2.0 inch IPS touch screen, the touchscreen implement made it easier for users to navigate through the camera; you can swipe up, down, and go through different settings by simply tapping.
Under its hood, it has a Sony IMX458 sensor that is capable of a maximum of 13 megapixels and despite being a really budget-friendly camera, it can record the content of 4k at 30fps.
The battery is quite easy to charge, thanks to the included charger base, which fits two also included batteries.
What’s better, you can charge the AKASO V50X while using it, it lasts around 180-200 minutes if you record in 1080p and as always, less in 4k.
1. Drift Innovation Ghost XL – Best Overall
If you can cope with an action camera that doesn’t record in 4k, but in return it has an unmatchable battery-life than the Ghost XL is for you.
As the name implies it is the successor of the Ghost X which both are splendid choices for moto vloggers, simply put they are a dream for a biker that streams his drives.
You can easily mistake the Ghost XL for its siblings since it sports the same cool-looking bullet-shaped design. It measures 3.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches and weighs as little as 127 grams.
It also inherited the same dot-matrix screen at the back of the camera, which indicates the current mode of your camera.
The Ghost XL is also waterproof without the need for waterproof housing, unlike the option from AKASO. You don’t have to worry about sudden rains while you driving with your bike, being IPX7 rated means that it can survive immersion of 1 meter.
There’s nothing groundbreaking with its image sensor since it is a camera that is made to sit on your bike and record. It is driven by a 4MP CMOS sensor; made by OmniVision.
As far as the recording goes, it shoots videos at a maximum resolution of 1080p, on 30 fps. In case you want more fps, there are also lower resolutions available such as 960p and 720p. Both of them work in 60fps.
Overall the quality is great, the colors are bright and it gets in a lot more details than you can expect.
This is the part we all love, the key selling point of this bad boy. It packs a massive 3000mAh rechargeable battery, what’s more, due to lacking a touch screen and huge display it lasts even more than you can imagine; the competition can’t achieve even 30% of it.
Drift promises us a whopping 9 hours of battery life in Ghost XL, and it sure did live up to that when I had the chance to test it myself.
However, the battery is non-removable, but nothing to worry about since Ghost XL is unbeatable in the battery-life field.
How To Prolong Battery Life on Action Cameras
If you ever had the chance to own an Action Camera, or have seen one around, you know that it flattens out pretty quick.
Even flagships from GoPro, like the Hero 10, struggle with battery life; most of them will last about 120 mins maximum, and sadly, that is considered a lot.
For a sports person, or an average joe that is barely enough. That’s why many people purchase some extra batteries and switch them on the go.
Lowering Shooting Resolution
This is the crucial part that either drains the battery or makes it last longer.
And why is that,
Because the higher the resolution you are recording one, the faster the battery juice drains.
While a resolution of a minimum 480p will make it last longer. But don’t blame me when people tell you “Did you record this in the 2006”
To avoid getting hated for “144p” content, the best choice would be recording in 1080p.
It is the best resolution you can shoot and most social media support it and it looks more than good. 4k looks breathtaking, but it also takes the “breath” out of your battery.
Choosing the Right Settings
There are many setting options that hugely contribute to battery life, while settings differ from camera to camera, most of them have the same objective.
For example, you can try Switching off or lowering the beep volume, lowering the display brightness, turn off the LED indicators since they are just cosmetic stuff. You can also try switching Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off since you will be needing them only to transfer the files.
We all hate updates right, not only in our cameras but everything that has to do with an update.
An update is a really good thing though, it makes changes and shows us that the manufacturer cares about their products.
By updates, they usually remove bugs, which may affect the battery life.
Temperature is also a factor that might damage the battery itself. Best is kept at room temperature.
Do not expose it to cold temperatures or even worse warm ones, they gradually damage it.
Before buying the camera, make sure to check the battery type it uses so you will know what you should get later on.
And as I mentioned above, you will need some extras with you.
To avoid you failing your content or ending up with bad batteries, I would say always buy batteries that are produced from the original brand and not third-party retailers.
If you really want a really long-lasting battery-life action camera, you will be disappointed, they are not meant to have a long battery life due to the compact form factor.
The higher they can go is at the level of the Drift Innovation Ghost XL
You have to follow the instructions above and take some extra batteries with you, so you’re juice doesn’t run out in the middle of the content.
If you need a bag for your action camera, feel free to read the article regarding the best action camera cases/bags. If you need an action camera to motor vlog you can check out the, best action camera for motovlogging.