Choosing the Best HD Action Cameras for FPV Drones

by Oscar

Ready to capture some breathtaking aerial footage with your FPV drone? Look no further. We’re here to guide you through the most important considerations when choosing an HD action camera for your FPV drone. We’ll also recommend some of the best products available, ranging from budget options to high-end models, along with an explanation of their pros and cons.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these affiliate links. This helps support the free content for the community on this website. Please read our Affiliate Link Policy for more information.

Why Putting Action Camera on FPV Drone?

Flywoo Venom H20 Mini Fpv Drone Hexacopter Gopro Hero10 Bones Camera Led

Action cameras are small and durable, yet capable of capturing high-quality footage, even in challenging lighting and weather conditions. This means you can capture every detail of your flight, from the scenery to the tricks you perform. You can relive your experience over and over again, and share your adventure with others.

When you’re flying an FPV drone, weight matters. Adding too much weight to your drone can affect its performance, speed, and agility. HD action cameras are incredibly lightweight and compact, which means you can add them to your drone without sacrificing performance.

HD action cameras often come with advanced features that allow you to take your footage to the next level. For example, many cameras come with stabilization features that help reduce shaky footage. The latest cameras even come with 10-bit color which offers more flexibility in color grading.

In my opinion, the five most popular brands of HD action camera for FPV drones in 2023 are GoPro, DJI, Insta360, Runcam, and Caddx. In the following sections, we’ll dive into each brand’s latest and most popular cameras and what makes them stand out from the competition. So, buckle up and get ready to explore the world of HD action cameras for FPV drones!


GoPro sets the bar for action cameras with its superior image quality, advanced features, and user-friendly design. Its rugged, waterproof design and versatile mounting options make it the go-to choice for FPV drones.

GoPro Hero 12

Gopro Hero 12 Action Camera Fpv Drone Preview

  • Max Resolution: 5.3K 60fps
  • Max FPS: 2.7K 240fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: HyperSmooth 5.0, Reelsteady, Gyroflow
  • Weight: 154g

Building on the Hero 11’s foundation, the GoPro Hero 12 introduces advanced filming capabilities, including 5.3K and 4K at 60fps, and a versatile 8:7 aspect ratio for diverse cropping options. Its Hypersmooth V5 stabilization ensures shake-free footage, while the horizon locking adds a professional touch. The camera’s extended battery life and hydrophobic lens further enhance its usability. Compatible with previous GoPro accessories, and offering features like 10-bit video for post-production flexibility. Learn more here:

Get the GoPro Hero 12 from

GoPro Hero 11

Gopro Hero 11 Lens Cap Nd Filter Change Protect

  • Max Resolution: 5.3K 60fps
  • Max FPS: 2.7K 240fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: HyperSmooth 5.0, Reelsteady, Gyroflow
  • Weight: 153g

The GoPro Hero 11 Black offers a range of advanced features that make it ideal for FPV drone pilots.

Its nearly square 8:7 aspect ratio sensor allow for flexible cropping without the need to physically rotate the camera, making it ideal for social media such as Instagram, Youtube and TikTok. With the ability to film in 5.3K at 60fps and 2.7K at 240fps, the Hero 11 Black offers exceptional image quality and versatility. The camera’s 10-bit color, HyperSmooth 5.0 stabilization, HyperView mode (widest ever FOV in all GoPros) and slow motion up to 8x also provide exceptional editing flexibility.

The Hero 11 Black is compatible with previous GoPro accessories and ND filters, and has both easy and pro modes for users of all skill levels. And it’s one of the best in terms of image quality for a compact action camera, if not the best.

Find the GoPro Hero 11 from

GoPro Hero 11 Mini

Gopro Hero 11 Mini Hd Action Camera Fpv Drone

  • Max Resolution: 5.3K 60fps
  • Max FPS: 2.7K 240fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: HyperSmooth 5.0, Reelsteady, Gyroflow
  • Weight: 133g

The GoPro Hero 11 Mini offers the same great image quality and features as the Hero 11 Black, but in a smaller and lighter form factor. This camera is more suited for FPV pilots who want to capture the best image quality footage without adding extra weight to their drone.

Thanks to its removal of the touch screen, the Mini is about $100 cheaper and a more compact alternative to the full-sized Hero 11. At 133g, it’s still heavier than previous GoPro models like the Bones, but the 20-gram weight decrease may still be a favourable option for those who prioritize lightweight gear.

Find the GoPro Hero 11 Mini here:

GoPro Hero 10

Naked Gopro 10 Hero10 Black Bones Fpv Camera Compare Full Size

Hero 10 on the left

  • Max Resolution: 5.3K 60fps
  • Max FPS: 2.7K 240fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: HyperSmooth 4.0, Reelsteady, Gyroflow
  • Weight: 153g

The GoPro Hero 10 is capable of shooting 5.3K video at 60 frames per second, making it a professional-level action camera. The Hero 10 Black also features advanced image stabilization, Hypersmooth 4.0, which offers smoother and more professional-looking footage. Additionally, the Hero 10 Black is equipped with a range of useful features, such as voice control, time-lapse, and slow-motion, and is compatible with a range of mounts and accessories for versatility and ease of use.

Find the GoPro Hero 10 here:

GoPro Bones

Naked Gopro 10 Hero10 Black Bones Fpv Camera Lens Protector

  • Max Resolution: 5.3K 60fps
  • Max FPS: 2.7K 240fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: HyperSmooth 4.0, Reelsteady, Gyroflow
  • Weight: 60g

The GoPro Hero 10 Bones is a stripped-down version of the GoPro Hero 10. With the same image quality and performance  but lighter and more compact form factor, it’s perfect for FPV drones. Weighing in at only 60 grams, it can be used with smaller drones such as 3-inch cinewhoops.

See my review of the GoPro Bones for more detail.

Designed for reliability, the Hero 10 Bones features built-in heat sinks to dissipate heat while recording in high-resolution modes, reducing the risk of overheating and damage. Additionally, it comes with a plug that can be connected directly to the flight controller or drone battery, eliminating the need for a dedicated camera battery.

Find the GoPro Bones here:

Naked GoPro

Naked Gopro 10 Hero10 Black Bones Compare 9 8 6

The term “Naked GoPro” refers to a stripped down version of a GoPro camera, either created through DIY methods or purchased as a ready-made product from reputable FPV manufacturers.

You can find naked GoPro in Hero 8, Hero 9, Hero 10, and even Hero 11:

The most popular and cost-effective naked GoPro is perhaps the GoPro Hero 9, because it’s a lot cheaper. Although it’s an older model, it still offers decent image quality with 4K 60fps support and is a reliable choice for both Gyroflow and Reelsteady stabilization.

Flywoo Naked Gopro V2 Hero 9 Action Camera Lens


The DJI Osmo Action series has been a popular choice for FPV pilots who are looking for an alternative to the GoPro lineup. The OSMO Action offer similar features to the GoPro, but at a more affordable price point. While some argue that the image quality and color science is not quite up to par with the GoPro lineup, DJI has been working hard to improve their cameras and the gap is getting smaller.

DJI Osmo Action 4

Dji Osmo Action 4 Hd 4k Camera Fpv Drone Front Lens

  • Max Resolution: 4K 120fps
  • Max FPS: 1080p 240fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: Rocksteady, Gyroflow
  • Weight: 145g

See my full review of the DJI Osmo Action 4 here:

The DJI Osmo Action 4 is externally identical to its predecessor, which means it’s compatible with Action 3 accessories and batteries. However, it boasts significant internal improvements, notably an improved 1/1.3 inch sensor (also seen in the DJI Air 3 drone), dynamic range, reduced low-light performance, 10-bit color, 4K 120FPS footage, and the Rocksteady stabilization system.

Its front display is touchscreen enabled, enhancing usability for vloggers. It also has a commendable built-in microphone and is waterproof up to 16 meters. Its battery life lasts up to 160 minutes of recording.

In comparison, while the GoPro Hero 11 offers better image quality and features, the DJI Osmo Action 4 provides stability and impressive performance, making it a top choice for both FPV enthusiasts and vloggers. Current Osmo Action 3 owners might not find enough advancements to upgrade, but new users might find it a compelling option.

Get the DJI Osmo Action 4 camera from these vendors:

DJI Osmo Action 3

Dji Osmo Action 3 Camera Fpv Drone

  • Max Resolution: 4K 60fps
  • Max FPS: 1080p 240fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: Rocksteady
  • Weight: 145g

The DJI Osmo Action 3 is a good option for those who are looking for a high-quality action camera without breaking the bank. The camera boasts a 10-bit color, which was added in recent firmware update and puts it arguably on par with the GoPro Hero 11 in terms of image quality. The DJI Osmo Action 3 offers great value for money, with its Adventure Combo priced at $439 and the Standard Combo priced at $329, compared to the GoPro Hero 11 which is priced at $499 without any accessories.

In terms of waterproof rating, the DJI Osmo Action 3 can go down to 16 meters without a housing, while the Hero 11 can only go down to 10 meters. The DJI Osmo Action 3 also comes with a touch screen on both the front and back, while the Hero 11 only has a touch screen on the back. The front screen on the DJI Osmo Action 3 is bigger and more useful, as it is a touch screen, and it also comes with a removable lens protector that can be swapped out for ND filters.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 has a 4:3 sensor, while the Hero 11 has an 8:7 sensor, and the differences in field of view are not significant. The DJI Osmo Action 3 also has a Pro mode, which allows for adjustments in exposure, white balance, and color, and has different field of view options, similar to Protune in GoPro.

In comparison to the GoPro Hero 11, the DJI Osmo Action 3 camera has a 4K 60fps, while the Hero 11 can do 5.3K 60fps, but the DJI Osmo Action 3 is more affordable.

Find the DJI Osmo Action 3 here: 

DJI Osmo Action 2

Dji Osmo Action 2 Camera Fpv Drone

  • Max Resolution: 4K 60fps
  • Max FPS: 1080p 240fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: Rocksteady, Gyroflow
  • Weight: 56g

This is one of the most popular cameras among FPV pilots for several reasons.

It’s the first camera to feature a magnetic charging support, making it a more compact option than a typical GoPro camera. It also allows users to switch between powerful modules and accessories quickly.

The camera’s size is only slightly larger than the GoPro session, the aerodynamic design makes it an excellent option for FPV. The camera is small, portable, and weighs just 56g, making it lighter than the Hero 10 Bones. It also has a built-in battery that lasts for approximately 75 minutes, eliminating the need for an additional power source like the Bones.

The DJI Osmo Action 2’s image quality is excellent and can shoot 4K 60fps. It features a built-in digital image stabilization called Rocksteady that works well, which is similar to Hypersmooth for GoPro. This camera is also a more affordable option compared to the GoPro, but it has some limitations, such as a lower dynamic range and a tendency to produce wobbly footage when flying in harsh conditions.

Additionally, the DJI Osmo Action 2 comes with a touchscreen display that allows you to adjust settings and preview footage, a feature that the Hero 10 Bones does not have. It is much lighter than the GoPro counterparts, and is known for its durability against crashes.

Update (Mar 2024): DJI recently introduced an updated version of the Action 2, surprisingly maintaining the same camera specs but upgrading the onboard storage from 32GB to a more generous 128GB. This change, while not addressing all the previous concerns (such as fragility of its built-in glass screen and aluminum housing), notably ameliorates the issue of storage space, making it a tad more appealing for FPV pilots who prefer not to offload footage between flights.

Find the DJI Osmo Action 2 here: 

DJI O3 Air Unit

Creator: Gd Jpeg V1.0 (using Ijg Jpeg V62), Quality = 70

If you want to combine both FPV and HD recording into a single unit, the DJI O3 would be your best bet. It offers decent footage up to 4K resolution, which supports post-production stabilization. In my opinion, the image quality of the O3 is comparable to a GoPro Hero 6, and it can significantly reduce the weight of your FPV drone setup without compromising durability. However, one main downside with this solution is the shared camera settings—optimal settings for HD recording aren’t necessarily great for flying. Additionally, some people might prefer the higher quality footage from the latest action cameras.

Learn more about the O3 in my review:


Insta360 is best known for their innovative 360-degree cameras, but they also offer a range of veratile and budget-freiendly options that are packed with features, that make them ideal for FPV drones.

Insta360 Go 3

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Fpv Drone Mount

See the full GO 3 review here:

The Insta360 GO 3 is a compact action camera capable of filming in 2.7K. Its unique selling point is its charging case with a touchscreen, making is ultra versatile not just for FPV drones, but for vloggers and outdoor activities as well. When detached from the case, its thumb-sized design is ideal for small FPV drones.

The GO 3 retains its thumb-shaped design, though it is slightly larger than its predecessor, the GO 2. It comes with a touchscreen “Action Pod” for charging, controlling and previewing. Its magnetic body makes it versatile for mounting.

In terms of video quality, the GO 3 captures up to 1440p at 50fps or 2.7K at 30fps. However, its performance in low-light could be better. It features built-in digital image stabilization and offers decent audio quality. The user experience is enhanced with a longer battery life, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and compatibility with the Insta360 mobile app.

You can purchase the Insta360 Go 3 camera from these vendors:

Insta360 Go 2

Insta360 Go 2 Camera Fpv Drone Geprc Rocket

  • Max Resolution: 1440p 50fps
  • Max FPS: 1440p 50fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: Flowstate
  • Weight: 27g

The Insta360 Go 2 is a tiny, lightweight camera that offers a range of unique features and accessories. With its built-in Flowstate stabilization, this camera is capable of capturing smooth and stable footage even in challenging conditions. Its small size makes it easy to mount on a wide variety of micro drones, and the internal battery and memory eliminate the need for external power sources and SD cards. The Insta360 Go 2 has a resolution of up to 1440p, which is suitable for social media and other casual uses.

See my review of the Insta360 GO 2 here.

One of the standout features of the Insta360 Go 2 is its compatibility with the Insta360 app and Studio software. This allows users to transfer footage to their phones and edit it with ease, making it an excellent option for those who want to capture and share their adventures quickly and easily.

However, the Insta360 Go 2 is not without its limitations. The camera’s battery life is one of the biggest downsides, and users may need to carry a USB-C cable and battery bank with them when using the camera for extended periods. Additionally, the camera struggles with vibrations, which can lead to jello and motion blur in the footage. If your drone has a lot of oscillations, the Insta360 Go 2 may not be the best choice.

The audio quality of the Insta360 Go 2 has also improved from the previous model, making it suitable for quick pickup shots. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a small, portable, and versatile camera for capturing unique perspectives, the Insta360 Go 2 is definitely worth considering.

Find the Insta360 Go 2 here:

Insta360 ONE R

  • Max Resolution: 4K 30fps
  • Max FPS: 1080p 200fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: FlowState
  • Weight: 121g

The Insta360 ONE R brought with it some of the most innovative ideas in the world of action cameras. With its modular design, it offers the versatility to switch between a traditional action camera and a 360-degree camera module. This means that you have the freedom to capture immersive VR footage, as well as traditional action shots like a GoPro does.

See my review of the Insta360 ONE R to learn more.

The 360-degree lens has a flat profile, making it more durable and easier to handle. Additionally, the camera supports multiple resolutions, including 3K at 100 fps, which is perfect for slow-motion shots. With advanced image stabilization technology, the ONE R can also shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second, providing smooth and stable footage.

The camera is compact and similar in size to a typical GoPro, so it won’t weigh down your drone.

Find the Insta360 ONE R here:


Runcam is a popular budget camera brand that is worth considering. While GoPro, DJI, and Insta360 are the most well-known brands in this space, they can be quite expensive and out of reach for many people. Runcam offers a more affordable alternative that still provides decent quality video footage.

Runcam Thumb Pro

Runcam Thumb Pro Hd Action Camera Fpv

  • Max Resolution: 4K 30fps
  • Max FPS: 1080p 120fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: Gyroflow
  • Weight: 16.5g

The Runcam Thumb Pro is a compact and affordable action camera that is well-suited for micro FPV drones. With its extremely lightweight design and 4K capability, the camera is perfect for FPV drones and capturing high-quality flight footage.

The camera is powered by a 5V power source from the flight controller or an external voltage regulator, and can be configured using the Runcam smartphone app, which allows users to adjust settings like resolution, volume, shutter, ISO, and more. The Runcam Thumb Pro also features detachable ND filters that snap onto the lens, ensuring they stay in place during flight.

One of the key benefits of the Runcam Thumb Pro is its versatility. It does require soldering a power lead to the flight controller, but it can also be powered by USB, making it possible to move from drone to drone. The latest version of the Thumb Pro 4K camera features a wider angle lens with a field of view of 155 degrees and improved optics, but it does have a slight color cast that gives everything a pink hue, which might requires a bit more work in color correction in post.

Find the Runcam Thumb Pro here:

Runcam 5 Orange

Runcam 5 Orange Action Camera Fpv Drone

  • Max Resolution: 4K 30fps
  • Max FPS: 1080p 120fps
  • Image Stabilization Options: Gyroflow
  • Weight: 56g

The Runcam 5 Orange is a budget action camera that is often considered as a substitute for the more expensive GoPro Session 5 or Hero 6 Black. This camera weighs only 56 grams and costs approximately $100, making it a great option for those who are looking to save weight and money on their drones without sacrificing too much on image quality.

The Runcam 5 Orange has onboard stabilization but it’s not that good. It also has a built-in gyro sensor and it can work with Gyroflow for stabilization which is the preferred method. Although the image quality is not quite as good as the GoPro Session 5 or Hero 6 Black, it is still by far the best action camera ever released by Runcam.

Despite RunCam cameras recording gyro information, stabilizing the footage, particularly on FPV drones, can be challenging due to issues with duplicated or dropped frames causing synchronization problems. Additionally, their lightweight nature makes them susceptible to motor vibrations, potentially necessitating multiple mount trials for optimal results.

Due to the absence of a display screen, all settings must be adjusted through the Runcam smartphone app. Although it lacks some of the advanced features of the more expensive GoPro or DJI cameras, it’s still a good option for those who are looking for a decent camera that doesn’t break the bank.

Find the Runcam 5 Orange here:

Recommended Settings for Runcam

For both the Runcam Orange and the Thumb Pro cameras, the following settings are recommended for optimal performance:

  • Video quality: Set this to ‘High’ for the best possible video footage.
  • Resolution: Choose either 4K@30FPS(XV) for a 16:9 stretched image from the full 4:3 sensor or 1440p@60fps for a native 4:3 image. The stretched XV resolution provides the highest resolution and field of view (FOV). If you use the XV resolution without additional processing, adjust the width to 75% in the video editor for a 4:3 image. If you prefer 60fps, use the 1440p setting. Using one of the 16:9 resolutions will reduce the available FOV for stabilization.
  • Shutter: A shutter speed of 45° to 90° is ideal. For 30 fps, this would be 1/240 to 1/120, and for 60 fps, it would be 1/480 to 1/240.
  • ISO: Keep this as low as possible. Some auto gain appears to be present, regardless of settings.
  • Color style: Choose ‘Normal’. The ‘Flat’ style compresses the range and does not offer more dynamic range.
  • Distortion correction and Electronic Image Stabilization: Both should be disabled.
  • Saturation: Set to ‘Medium’.
  • Exposure compensation: Keep this at 0.
  • Contrast and Sharpness: Both should be set to ‘Low’.
  • Metering: Set to ‘Average’.
  • White balance: Use ‘Sunny’, adjusting it based on the scenario. Avoid using the auto setting.
  • Low light enhancement: This is a personal choice and depends on your particular needs.

Remember, while these settings generally work well, it’s always advisable to do some testing to find the most suitable settings for your specific requirements.

When using Gyroflow, synchronizing RunCam cameras can be challenging due to frame duplication or dropping, necessitating manual adjustment of sync points in Gyroflow. Despite sync point color indicators, the ultimate test of correct synchronization is playing the stabilized video.


Caddx is another well-established brand in the FPV scene, renowned for producing affordable, high-definition action cameras designed specifically for FPV drones. These cameras cater to enthusiasts who seek better quality aerial footage than DVR without without putting a dent in their wallets.

Walksnail Moonlight

Walksnail Moonlight Vtx Camera Kit

The Moonlight is a similar solution to the DJI O3 Air Unit but designed specifically for the Walksnail Avatar FPV system. It supports 4K 60FPS HD recording and post-production stabilization. It’s a great way to keep your FPV drone weight minimal while still providing decent onboard recording. However, some might prefer the better image quality from the latest, dedicated action cameras.

Learn more about the Moonlight here:


Hawkeye Thumb 4k

Hawkeye Thumb 4k Fpv Camera

See my full review of the Hawkeye Thumb 4K Camera here:

The Hawkeye Thumb 4K Camera is an affordable and ultra-light option ideal for budget micro FPV drones. It provides an alternative to using a hefty GoPro, boasting 4K resolution with built-in gyro for image stabilization. This camera offers a competitive price point, making it a worthy contender against the Runcam Thumb Pro.

Notably, this camera can function as an FPV camera, setting it apart from other thumb-sized action cameras. This function simplifies drone builds, as it can directly connect to an analog video transmitter. However, some users might find the higher latency and field of view in FPV mode more zoomed in than desired.

One compromise in its design is the absence of a built-in battery, which means it isn’t standalone like the Insta360 GO 3. Yet, its ability to save gyro data makes it compatible with Gyroflow, offering high-quality stabilization for footage.

In terms of video settings, 2.5K at 50FPS with a 4:3 aspect ratio is recommended. The camera’s image quality is decent for its price, and its stabilization is commendable. Minor issues like ‘jello’ in the footage were observed, but this might be attributed to external factors like the drone mount.

You can purchase the Hawkeye Thumb 4K camera from these vendors:

Hawkeye Thumb V2

Hawkeye Thumb 2 Camera Lens

The Hawkeye Thumb V2 is marketed as an upgrade to the original Hawkeye Thumb 4K camera. However, I found it less ideal for FPV applications. Therefore, I recommend sticking with the V1 if you plan to use it on your FPV drone. Check out my review of the Hawkeye Thumb 2 camera for more details:

Essential Considerations in Choosing an Action Camera for FPV

When choosing an HD action camera for FPV drone flying, prioritize factors such as image quality, frame rate, image stabilization, durability, and compatibility with your drone and accessories. Additionally, consider the size and weight, battery life, and ease of use to find the perfect camera for your FPV needs and preferences.

Image Quality

Image quality is a critical factor when selecting an action camera for FPV drones, as it directly impacts the final outcome of your FPV footage. High-quality cameras should capture sharp, high-resolution images with vibrant colours and proper exposure, even under challenging lighting conditions. For cinematographers who wish to colour grade their footage, it’s essential to choose a camera that allows flat colour profile and advanced features such as 10-bit colour would be desirable.

While having 4K resolution can future-proof your investment, it’s not a strict requirement for casual flyers. Ultimately, your decision should come down to the desired resolution for editing and uploading your content. Many budget-friendly cameras today can record in 2.7K or even 4K, providing an excellent balance between cost and quality.

Arguably, bitrate is as crucial as resolution when evaluating image quality. A higher bitrate translates to more detail in the image.

Lastly, it’s important to have the ability to set shutter speed and ISO, which allow you to maximize the benefit of using ND filters to create cinematic footage. In this tutorial I explain why and how to use ND filters for your action camera.

Frame Rate

A higher frame rate results in smoother footage, especially with the support of higher frame rate videos from social media platforms. Cameras that can record at 60 FPS or higher are recommended for capturing fast-paced drone flights. Also websites like Youtube tend to retain higher bitrate for uploads with higher frame rate which reduces the compression.

Higher frame rates also enable slow-motion effects, which can enhance your videos by showcasing intricate details and capturing breathtaking moments in your drone flight. For instance, recording at 120 FPS allows you to slow down footage to 1/4th speed when played back at 30 FPS, while maintaining smooth motion.

Cameras with a wide range of framerates are just more flexible in capturing various types of footage. You can switch between frame rates for different shots depending on your creative vision.

Digital Image Stabilization

Gopro Player Reelsteady V2 Settings

Digital image stabilization is a vital aspect to consider when choosing an action camera for FPV drones. It effectively counteract vibrations and sudden movements that occur during agile FPV flights, ensuring smooth, stable footage and enhances the overall viewing experience for your audience. For professional-quality, cinematic shots, image stabilization is a must-have feature.

Having at least one of following image stabilization technology supports would be desirable.

Major camera brands have their own proprietary stabilization technology, for instance, GoPro’s Hypersmooth and Reelsteady, DJI Action’s Rocksteady, and Insta360’s Flowstate.

Hypersmoth and Rocksteady are built-in stabilization, which means it’s applied on the raw footage recorded in the camera. You have to decide how much stabilization to use before the flight, and the stabilization cannot be undone.

Some cameras offer software-based stabilization, like GoPro’s Reelsteady and Insta360’s Flowstate. These stabilization are applied by the users in post editing, which is more flexible as you can decide how much stabilization to apply based on the raw footage.

Gyroflow is an open source project and it supports a wide range of cameras from different brands. It utilizes built-in gyroscope data from cameras (or from an external gyro logger on the drone) to stabilize footage during post-processing. By analyzing the camera’s movements, it crops and repositions video frames to maintain a centered, steady image. This versatile solution often matches the quality of proprietary stabilization systems, but it depends how well those 3rd party cameras support Gyroflow, sometimes it’s a hit and miss.


FPV drone flying can be rough on your gear. Look for action cameras with rugged designs to withstand crashes and harsh conditions. It ensures that the camera can withstand the rough conditions and potential crashes that often occur during flights. A durable camera saves you money on replacements and repairs, and helps protect your investment, allowing you to capture high-quality footage consistently without interruptions or technical issues.

Size and Weight

Eachine Wizard X220 V3 Pnp Fpv Drone Gopro Tpu Mount

Weight and size are crucial factors when choosing an action camera for FPV drones, as they directly influence the drone’s aerodynamic, performance, flight time, and maneuverability. Compact and lightweight cameras minimize the impact on the drone’s balance and efficiency, allowing for smoother, more agile, and longer flights.

Additionally, the camera’s form factor determines how easily it can be mounted on the drone. Compatibility with your drone and its mounting system is essential. Some cameras may necessitate specific mounts or adapters, so it’s important to ensure the camera you choose can be securely attached to your drone, or there are compatible 3D printed mounts available.

The camera must fit on your drone frame securely. While this is less of a concern for freestyle frames with a long body, it can be challenging for certain racing-style frames. You can learn more about FPV drone frame shapes in this article.

Battery Life

GEPRC Naked GoPro 8 Case mount

Battery life is an essential consideration when choosing an action camera for FPV drones, as it affects the duration of recording sessions and the overall user experience. Longer battery life allows you to capture more footage without interruptions.

Cameras with internal batteries offer a self-contained power source, eliminating the need for additional wiring and connections to the drone. This can make the setup more beginner-friendly, although it adds weight to the drone and requires regular recharging. Furthermore, there’s a risk of the battery running out during flight, potentially resulting in lost recordings.

On the other hand, cameras without internal batteries rely on the drone’s power source, reducing the overall weight but requires extra wiring. In this case, it’s crucial to ensure the correct voltage is supplied to the camera to avoid damage.

Ease of Use

Flywoo Gp9 Naked Gopro Fpv Action Camera Back Display Screen

Ease of use impacts the overall experience and efficiency of using the camera. Cameras with user-friendly interfaces, intuitive controls, and easy-to-navigate settings allow pilots to focus on flying and capturing great footage without getting bogged down in complicated menus or configurations.

An onboard screen, or accompanying app that provide real-time footage viewing and setting adjustments can be a major advantage. This functionality enables you to quickly check and fine-tune camera settings, such as exposure and white balance. This is particularly useful when deciding on the appropriate ND filter to use, ensuring that your footage is well-exposed and of high quality.

Using Action Camera As FPV Camera

Dji O3 Air Unit Install Nazgul

FPV Drone with DJI O3 Air Unit

A common question I receive is whether an action camera can double as an FPV camera. Although it’s technically possible with certain action cameras that have analogue video output, it’s generally not recommended. The reason is that most action cameras have high latency, which negatively impacts your ability to precisely control your drone during FPV flights.

However, there are exceptions. Some cameras, like the Runcam Split (now discontinued), were designed to provide low-latency FPV functionality while simultaneously recording HD footage. As the market has shifted towards HD FPV systems, the demand for these analog based dual-function cameras has decreased.

If you’re interested in combining FPV and HD recording, the DJI O3 system and e Walksnail Moonlight are currently the best options in 2024. They both provides low-latency FPV feed while offering 4K onboard recording, though it’s by no mean the perfect solution as there are some downsides compared to using a dedicated action camera.

Choosing a Good SD Card

If you are new to SD cards and have no idea what the specs mean, you can learn about the basics here.

When choosing an SD card for your action camera in FPV drones, there are several factors to consider:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the SD card is compatible with your specific action camera model. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the maximum supported card capacity and the card format (SD, SDHC, or SDXC).
  • Storage Size: Choose an SD card with adequate storage capacity for your needs. If you record high-resolution videos like 2.7K or 4K, or plan to fly for extended periods, opt for a larger capacity card (e.g., 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB). However, if you mainly record short flights or lower-resolution videos such as 1080p, a smaller capacity card (e.g., 16GB or 32GB) might suffice.
  • Writing Speed: Select an SD card with a suitable speed class to ensure smooth recording and playback. For recording 4K or high-resolution videos, you’ll need a card with a U3 or V30 rating or higher. These cards can handle higher write speeds, reducing the risk of dropped frames or stuttering during recording.
  • Brand and Reliability: Choose a reputable brand known for producing reliable and durable SD cards. Look for cards with positive user reviews and consider checking for any known issues with specific card models. This helps ensure that your card will perform well over time and reduce the chances of data loss or corruption.

By selecting the right SD card, you’ll ensure a smooth recording experience and safeguard your valuable footage. If you are not sure what to buy, you can check out my SD card recommendations.

Tips on Video Editing

How To Use Davinci Resolve 17 Delivery Export

Video editing is crucial for turning your raw FPV drone footage into captivating and engaging content.

If you want to add effects (e.g. transitions and subtitles) to your videos that go beyond simple cuts, you will also need a good software for this. DaVinci Resolve is an excellent free option for video editing, which I personally recommend. I have a short tutorial on how to use Davinci Resolve. There are many other options available too, including Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and HitFilm Express. Select a video editing software that suits your needs and skill level.

Before starting the editing process, organize your video clips and categorize them by location, date, or theme. This will make it easier to locate specific clips when editing.

Enhance the visual appeal of your footage by adjusting the colors, contrast, and saturation. This can help create a cinematic look and make your video stand out. DaVinci Resolve is particularly well-known for its powerful color grading tools. I have a tutorial on how to do basic color grade:

Choose music that complements the style and pace of your video. Be sure to use royalty-free or public domain music to avoid copyright issues. Sync your video clips to the beat or specific moments in the music to create a more immersive viewing experience.

Here are some places where you can get music for your FPV videos:

  • Youtube Audio Library (free)
  • (free)
  • (free)
  • (free)
  • (not free, subscription)

Adding sound effects can help bring your FPV drone footage to life. Use ambient sounds or drone-specific sound effects to enhance the realism and depth of your video.

Finally, export your video in the appropriate format and resolution for your desired platform (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, or social media). Exporting in 4K (Upscale if in lower resolution) and matching the bitrate of the original footage works well for me personally, you can read more why I do it here.

Choosing the Right Action Camera for Your FPV Drone: Top Picks and Recommendations

Ultimately, selecting the right HD action camera for your FPV drone depends on your needs and preferences. Here are some options to consider:

  1. GoPro Hero 12 and DJI Osmo Action 4: These cameras offer outstanding image quality, advanced features, and impressive image stabilization. They’re excellent choices if you prioritize high-quality footage and cutting-edge capabilities. Personally I prefer the color science of the GoPro, but the Action 4 has better low light performance thanks to its larger image sensor.
  2. DJI Osmo Action 2: This is a more budget-friendly option that still delivers solid performance. With its reliable image stabilization and user-friendly interface, the DJI Osmo Action is perfect for those who want a quality camera without breaking the bank.
  3. Insta360 ONE R: If you’re interested in capturing both traditional wide shots and immersive 360-degree footage, the Insta360 ONE R is a versatile choice. Its modular design allows for easy swapping between different lens modules, making it a flexible option for various shooting scenarios.
  4. Runcam 5 Orange: For those on a tight budget, the Runcam 5 offers decent footage quality for everyday flying. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of pricier cameras, it’s a solid choice for pilots who want an affordable and durable option.
  5. Hawkeye Thumb 4K: If you’re after the cheapest and smallest camera that still supports image stabilization and 4K video recording, the Hawkeye Thumb 4K is an ideal choice. Its compact size and lightweight design make it perfect for minimizing the impact on your drone’s performance, you can even use it on some of the smallest micro drones. It has a few handy features that makes your drone build easy and clean.

When choosing a camera, ensure it’s compatible with your drone, mounting system, and any accessories you plan to use. Consider your filming needs and prioritize features that are most important to you. With the right camera in hand, you’ll be well on your way to capturing stunning FPV drone footage. Happy flying!

Edit History

  • Oct 2016 – Article created
  • Nov 2017 – Article revised, added a few more new camera options and updated all images
  • Mar 2023 – Article re-written, updated product list
  • Sep 2023 – Added two new cameras, DJI Action 4, GoPro Hero 12
  • Jun 2024 – Updated.

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Nvrmor 10th August 2023 - 9:39 pm

Unless you are using it to make money, why bother?
Just setting yourself up for oh no i just crashed my $500+ drone with my $500 camera.
Or maybe you just want to look cool with a big heavy gopro ruining your performance?
For 90% of flyers the 03 air will be more than enough quality.

Jad C 23rd March 2023 - 3:08 am

You can also remove the bottom half/or the battery of the one r, and use an USB C with a 5v regulator for the oneR and unlike a go pro, it makes the dimensions much smaller

Marc Frank 15th March 2023 - 5:13 pm

My little conclusion:

I don’t think makes much sense to buy the Walnut.
If you want something cheap, you could just buy the Thumb Pro, too.
Comparable image quality and a decrease in weight.
If you “need” the camera to have its own battery for non-FPV tasks, you could use a power bank.

Similar story with the Peanut, just that it’s not cheap, for that price you could get something better.
And if you want something light – Thumb Pro.
Additionally, it’s not in stock, even on Caddx’s Website.
I could imagine Insta being a bit annoyed with them making the Walnut.
Wouldn’t be surprised if the Peanut was discontinued soon.

That leaves the Action 2 and Hero 11 *Mini* (because what do you need the screen for?).
I’m not up to date on the latest updates to the dji camera, but I remember it having issues with overheating.
In TPU mounts, the bare durability of the camera itself doesn’t factor too much, I would imagine, so Hero 11 Mini it is.
They have a similar price, too.

light & cheap: Thumb Pro
good image: Hero 11 Mini
360 degree: Insta360 ONE R

All others are meh …

Paul D. 15th March 2023 - 12:03 pm

Hi Oscar,
I was wondering if it’s a good idea to buy a 3.5″ cinewhoop like the cinelog 35 or protek 35 and mount a hero 7 on it, can these cinewhoops carry the weight of a gopro if I fly on 4s?
Thanks in advance

Oscar 15th March 2023 - 4:27 pm

Yea I think they should be able to handle a full size GoPro. It’s going to feel heavy in the air like a tank, but they are designed for cruising and not freestyle or acrobatic so the extra weight shouldn’t be a problem.

Matt A. 23rd July 2018 - 1:12 am

“FPS over a certain level is undetectable to the human eye, so it’s a waste of memory card space unless you are using the footage specifically for slow motion. If you compare a 120FPS footage to 60FPS, you probably can’t tell the difference”

The reason for that is most people don’t have monitors able to display above 60 fps therefore they “Probably can’t tell the difference” The most common refresh rate is right around 60hz with gaming monitors reaching up to 240hz while only displaying at 1080p. There are however new 4k monitors reporting a 144hz refresh rate but at an astounding price tag.

Adithya 21st April 2018 - 5:30 am

How does the image resolution in terms of MP of the image make a difference?
What is the ideal resolution for a camera mounted on a racing drone? If you have a smaller resolution, will the quality be bad if the drone is flying really fast?

Oscar 23rd April 2018 - 4:34 pm

The measure of MP is usually used to measure the resolution of still images.
1080p is the minimum you would want for video resolution, and it’s usually good enough for most people.

Michael 16th January 2018 - 3:18 am

How do you get the sessions 5 video to the osd or vtx?

Oscar 16th January 2018 - 3:58 pm

You can’t. It doesn’t support analogue TV Out.

Andrius 9th November 2017 - 7:13 pm

Gopro still sells gopro session (or gopro hero 4 session), it does 1080 wide image at 50fps, which is more than enough for most pilots needs. I got mine for about 120$, but sometimes you can find them for 99$.
Absolutely the best option on a budget, imho.

rcschim 8th November 2017 - 2:06 pm

Good article – found many known cams here. Awesome how this all developed since the first Gopros. My first Gopro1 was attached to a glider 2009 :)

Oscar 12th November 2017 - 4:32 pm

Yea, also amazing how the GoPro still remains the “King” of all :) But really the gap is closing!

DeeCee 4th November 2017 - 7:27 pm

Runcam 3 is extremly popular, you have pictures but its not featured

Oscar 6th November 2017 - 6:35 pm

It was discontinued few months ago and replaced by the Runcam Split

Slava Chrome 9th November 2017 - 7:26 am

It’s discontinued in USA, not in whole world!

Oscar 12th November 2017 - 4:34 pm

it is, Runcam has confirm the production has stopped.