In quest of the best action camera through 11 reviews

Action cameras market has been recently flooded with all sorts of these devices, so it’s not that easy to choose the one you need among all this diversity. You might be wondering how to buy the best action camera?

Despite that all of them are completely simple in use and their task is just “to record video of maximum quality under any conditions”, still it’s quite easy to make the wrong choice.

What’s the bottom line? I’ve tried to dig into this stuff and I’ve made a list of the best action cams as well. There also some recommendations as for choosing an action-cam and a summary of all above mentioned – all of these is here, in this review.

Here’s a short summary for those who are in a hurry and have no time to read long articles:

  • Now here is the absolute leader – it is GoPro HERO4 Black. This action camcorder has maximum functions that you can only expect from such a device. But not everyone is ready to pay its price and not all of the users need all these super functions.
  • If you are looking for something a bit cheaper, you can consider Xiaomi Yi 4k/W. Yi 4K – is a well developed device with lots of filming and photo shooting modes. The video quality is quite good for an action camera and 4K videos filmed at half-lights appear to be of rather acceptable quality. Remote control of the camera by means of Wi-Fi performs proper as well; the device operation duration in off-line mode is above all praise. This Xiaomi camera turns on quickly and it has a self-explanatory menu which is beneficial for its user as well.

    As for the camera price – shall it be considered as its downside or benefit? When contrasted with prices for SJCAM M20, GitUp Git2 and AKASO EK7000 4K cameras, which have rather sufficient price/quality ratio, Yi 4K price seems to be rather high.

    It is two fold higher than that of the above mentioned camcorders. However, we should keep in mind that this camera is of completely different level. It is capable of filming in full-scale 4К, 2.7K modes at 60 FPS and 1080 up to 120 FPS, which the aforementioned cameras can’t perform and it makes Xiaomi camera a rival to those higher priced ones – such as GoPro Hero4 Black Edition and Sony FDR-X1000V.

    Furthermore, their price is almost twice higher than that of Yi 4K. Therefore, this camera won’t become a mass-market one because of its price. However, if you do need a camera with filming quality of such level – in this case its price turns into a substantial advantage when compared with its highly expensive rivals.

  • Among the budget choices we should mention Xiaomi Yi Action Camera. This model offers bearable image quality and almost the same can be said about the sound it provides. Even Wi-Fi module hasn’t been forgotten – it allows synchronizing the device with a smart phone. However, here it gets worse – this camcorder won’t offer you neither high resolution image, nor slowmoVideo option.

Now: what is an action camera and what is it for?

An action camera is a digital camera for recording video in aggressive media while you are being involved in the motion and it’s not intended for manual filming.

Mostly it is used by travelers, thrill-seekers, journalists, military officers and so on. The device is put on cars, helmets, serf-boards, bicycles, clothes and sports equipment.

Camcorder has to record the brightest and most interesting events of your life.

The device features are: its small weight and size, it is waterproof and it has dirt-guard system as well as different fixations for different surfaces. Due to the latter feature the camera can be put anywhere and so you can get video from incredible camera angles.

Most models can even be used for filming under water.

First action cameras were developed by GoPro Company and it has become a leader in this room in the market. Though besides its products a lot of other camcorders have appeared on the market and quite often they are of the same quality and cheaper.

What’s the bottom line? Well, when choosing which action camera to buy you should pay attention to the following:

Facts you should know:
  • Dimensions. Almost all extreme cameras are quite compact, but still it should be a tiny one for mounting it on a helmet, for example. Therefore, keep in mind how and where you are going to use this camera;
  • The screen. Its necessity is rather controversial. From one hand it helps to control the camera, but the camera’s energy usage rises in this case. From the other hand the screen is a very useful thing – you see what you’re filming and you can adjust the camera settings without using any additional devices.
  • Sensors. The presence of G-sensor allows activation of the filming process immediately – it senses the tiniest movement of the camera or the object that is being filmed. If you are planning to use your action camera quite often – as a drive recorder, for example, then it wouldn’t be superfluous to have G-Sensor and GPS in it.
  • Possibility to connect directly to TV through HDMI port and to watch all recorded video – not all of the camcorders have it, so it’s better to clarify this point in advance, if you need it;
  • Camera remote control – it’s a very necessary function therefore you should buy a small remote control device in advance;
  • Optional interfaces mean additional features such as connection to remote control device, external microphone and mobile devices. All of these widen your action camera application range.
  • The sound quality is quite different for each model, so if it matters, you should watch some utube video reviews in advance and choose the camcorder model from more expensive ones. However, to record clear sound it’s desirable to use stand-alone microphones;
  • Ways of the camera fastening. Rather often the action camera has only several fasteners, the others you should buy on your own. These cameras can be mounted on a hand, light stand, mask, glasses, helmet and on flat or cambered planes. You may also choose a multipurpose fastener. The most spread fastener type is a standard one used by Gopro. Keep this in mind if you are planning to buy lots of additional camera accessories.
  • Check how often the manufacturer produces firmware upgrade for its cameras and when the last version was released. This will make you feel more secure that any software problem that arises will be settled and that, eventually, the filming quality will be improved.
  • Find the camera source files in the internet and check their properties for maximal bit rate. The higher the bit rate is, the higher quality video-images you get.
  • If you aren’t planning to use SlowmoVideo (slowed down video), then 30 frames per second will be quite enough.
  • Stabilization isn’t luxury, it’s a necessity. No one likes watching a shaking video, so choose a camcorder that has a stabilizer.
  • Differences in action cameras shape and weight aren’t as crucial as they seem, but in some cases you should pay attention to these.

Action camera reviews

GoPro Hero4 Black: just the best one!

  • Weight: 89g (152g with housing)
  • Waterproof: 40m (case included)
  • 4K video: 30/25/24fps
  • 1080: up to 120fps
  • 720: up to 240fps
  • Stills resolution: 12MP
  • Features: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Battery life: 1-2hrs est

Let’s face it, GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition is quite an expensive stuff. But for this money you get a highly protected device which is capable to record video with the highest resolution Ultra HD in a wide range of operation environment, use slowmo mode, create TimeLapse and a lot more.

In other words the GoPro model has no rivals and this means that if you are looking for an action camera that meets the highest requirements, then GoPro Hero 4 is the 1st device you should set your eyes on.

However, if you need a camcorder just to memorize some important events of your life, then «GoPro Hero4 Black» is kind of luxury you may not need.

In HERO4 series this is the best camera as for recorded video quality. Its filming modes allow recording with resolution 4K or full HD (in slow motion mode at 120 fps), which is close to a standard full HD 1080p mode. The camera supports filming in Time Lapse, Night Photo and Night Lapse modes, to create photos and video simultaneously, there is ability to record video in H.264, and HiLight Tag mode allows pointing key moments while filming.

SuperView mode allows capturing quite wide scenes, which is rather important when recording seascapes and sky views as well as spots competitions. The camera can also shoot photos series at 30 frames per second; it has Time Lapse function that puts delay between the frames from 0,5 to 60 seconds. When shooting the sky at night, it’s better to use Night Photo and Night Lapse modes with optimized exposure settings.

Add extra-wide camera angle on top of all of that and we get the best action camera as for reliability and performance. The camera standard equipment includes GoPro Standard Housing that preserves its leakproofness when diving up to 40 m.

Besides this protective containment housing prevents the camera damage when riding on a motor bike and when doing other extreme sports; there is a wide range of accessories for this camera on the market as well.

Pros:

  • Possibility to shoot Ultra HD-video
  • It is perfect for shooting from on drone
  • Leakproofness (it has a special case)
  • Light weighted
  • High speed filming, up to 240 fps
  • Embedded Wi-Fi
  • It has high range of accessories
  • The newly produced action camera has a QuikCapture button that is placed on top of the gadget to perform snap shot/recording
  • The updated processor delivering up to twice of its earlier efficiency now is responsible for all numerous innovations
  • There is a branded app for watching the filmed video and sharing photos and video in the Internet
  • It has a unique ability of the camera remote control by means of Wi-Fi (it works at a distance of 180 meters) and Bluetooth
  • You can use tags for maximally comfortable processing of the filmed video
  • PROTUNE mode! Perhaps it is the most important advantage of this action camera. Due to it you can obtain a perfect image when post-processing your video. When this mode is on the camera is shooting at maximal bit rate without compressing or processing the image. If you’d like to realize the camera potential then shoot using this mode together with the flat color profile

Cons:

  • The plug caps can be easily lost
  • Short duration of offline mode operation; the battery runs down fast when using WiFi.
  • It has a new type of battery which isn’t compatible with the previous GoPro camcorder generations
  • No exposure locking
  • Inconvenient control
  • Not user-friendly touch screen (an optional one)

GoPro HERO4 Silver: an alternative to Hero4 Black

  • Weight: 83 gramm (147 gramm with housing)
  • Waterproof: 40m (case included)
  • 4K video: 4K – 15 fps
  • 1080: up to 60fps
  • 720: up to 120fps
  • Stills resolution: 12MP/4000х3000, 7 МР/3000х2250, 5 МР/2560х1920
  • Battery life: 1-2hrs est
  • Features: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

The action camera for low light and for motorcycle.

The camera is for those who don’t need all the professional functions of Hero 4 Black Edition. As for the action camera technical characteristics it resembles Black version but at 120 bps its maximal resolution is equal to 1280*720. The main difference is that apart from external black-n-white 5 lines display (that Black version has), the camera has a small full-color touch screen.

It has a small resolution (320*240), but it’s bright and sensitive, it allows looking through all filmed images and arraying them not blindly. Though, when the display is on the battery runs down essentially faster, but you can turn it off if necessary and control the camera in a usual way.

If you need a 4K camera with an increased fps rate, then you should surely choose Black version. If such a quality is not required, then choose Silver and additionally you get a convenient in use display. Each GoPro Hero 4 camera modification has its own advantages.

In Silver version it is an embedded touch screen, more moderate price and ability to record HD and Full HD video with optimal parameters.

However, Black version allows shooting quality video with ultra high 4K resolution and managing the device is available by means of a smart phone. But for all that, if you record video professionally it’s better to opt for Black Edition, but Silver is a good choice for newbie.

The camera is popular not only for its perfect filming quality and reliability, but also for the number of gadgets it has. For example, SuperView function is used to maximally increase camera angle when shooting, AutoLowLight activates “smart” settings adjustment when the light level changes, QuickCapture almost immediately turns on the camera and starts filming.

Action camera GoPro has the most user-friendly software for smart phones and allows transferring photos for 180 meters distance without any delay. Significant number of fasteners lets you place the camera on any spot equipment – on a helmet, or a bike, or a snow board etc. It’s not the best camera in GoPro product line for sure, but only due to its technical characteristics which are a bit lower than that of the others. The most noticeable its drawback is 15 fps rate at 4K resolution; therefore you’ll have to record at 2.7к/30 and it is quite enough for a basic user.

Pros:

  • 60 fps
  • Supports 4K-resolution
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi units
  • Large number of gadgets
  • Complete water resisting and high impact value
  • The battery is not embedded
  • It can be controlled by means of a smart phone
  • Quite good filming quality under lack of light
  • Very user-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Not the best high-NA objective
  • Expensive accessories
  • Doesn’t have a stabilizer
  • Wi-Fi runs down the battery even when the camera is off
  • The camera gets warm when shooting at 4к
  • Sound recording quality.
  • White balance acts differently for photo and video

YI 4K Action Camera (US Edition) Night Black: best choice

  • Weight: 95g
  • Waterproof: 40 m in a waterproof case
  • 4K video: Yes
  • 4K (3840 x 2160) — 25 FPS
  • 1440 (1920 x 1440) — 25 FPS / 50 FPS
  • 1080 (1920 x 1080) — 25 FPS / 50 FPS / 100 FPS
  • 960 (1280 x 960) — 50 FPS / 100 FPS
  • Stills resolution: 12MP
  • Battery life: 2hrs
  • Features: LCD touchscreen, Bluetooth, stabilizer

After putting on the market its previous model Xiaomy decided to consolidate the success and at the end of 2016 the company created Xiaomi Yi 4k.

Xiaomi Yi 4k action cam – is a new 4К action camera for sports. It has 12 megapixel matrix Sony IMX377, its pixel’s size is 1,55 mkm, aperture is equal to f/2,8 and the camera angle is rather wide – 155 degrees.

Xiaomi Yi II allows 4K filming at 30 fps. You can also record video in slow motion mode with 1080p resolution at 120 fps as well as 720p at 240 fps. Due to 12-MP sensor Sony IMX377 and Ambarella A9SE75S chipset the camera is capable of filming 4K video at 30 fps as well as slow motion 1080p video at 120 fps and 720 p at 240 fps.

Unlike the first version of Xiaomi Yi the new device is equipped with 2,19-inches touchscreen with 330 ppi pixel density. Which means that now you can adjust the device and watch the filmed video right on the camera screen without connecting to a smartphone. The device case has a portrait orientation, however, at that its size doesn’t exceed the one of its rivals.

Xiaomi Yi II has a dismountable battery of 1400 mA/hrs capacity, which ensures 110 minutes of 4К video recording, 2 hours of 2K video filming or 8 hours in a standby mode.

This new Xiaomi Yi model offers you the following features:

high resolution ability and coding quality, numerous number of filming and operation modes, standard screwed fixation, longstanding 4K video filming without any extreme overheating, perfect touchscreen according to action camera standards, quite good electronic stabilizer (keeping in mind that most of mini camcorders doesn’t have any at all), quite low rolling shatter effect, wide range of settings, affordable price.

The company programmers deserve a special credit for the camera software and its mobile application. One may hardly ever encounter such a functional software.

However, it is quite difficult to discuss any demerits of the device, since, to do this we’ll have to compare this camera with other similar devices. Though, rather poor package contents of Xiaomi Yi II can be considered as its drawback as well as the device nonstandard size.

Nevertheless, the first issue actually becomes a plus for the camera buyers – because due to a small range of accessories the whole camera set is cheaper. As for the camera size that doesn’t allow using it in waterproof cases made by other companies – it is due to the device internal design and, sadly, nothing can be done in this respect.

Perhaps, a waterproof case for Xiaomi Yi II is the only branded accessory that those fans of underwater filming will have to buy, because the camera is already equipped with all the rest.

Pros

  • Photo and video quality (including night shooting)
  • Rather efficient hardware: Ambarella A9SE95 processor and Sony IMX377 sensor
  • The camera records full-scale 4К video, 2.7K (2704×1520) up to 60 FPS, 1080 (1920×1080) up to 120 FPS
  • All filming modes have high resolution and FPS values
  • Quality case design; a thread to mount a stand is right on the device case
  • Stereo sound and sensitive microphones
  • Wide camera angle
  • High off-line mode operation duration at one battery charge
  • Automatic video rotation of 180 degrees
  • Correction of camera lens distortion
  • Gyroscopic stabilization
  • Convenient and user-friendly menu with sensor control
  • Regular firmware upgrade by the manufacturer
  • Wi-Fi 2,4G/5G, BT 4.0 and a branded application
  • International version
Cons

  • There is no protective cap for the camera lens
  • Smooth case of the camera has no anti slip sections on it for hand-held shoot
  • SlowMotion mode provides the image quality (1280×720@240 FPS)
  • Xiaomi Yi 2 screen can be barely readable under bright direct sunlight

Garmin Virb XE: waterproof action camera for diving and hunters

  • Weight: 152g
  • Waterproof: 50m
  • 4K video: No
  • 1080: up to 60fps
  • 720: up to 120fps
  • Stills resolution: 12MP
  • Battery life: 2hrs
  • Features: Bluetooth, stabilizer
When using this action camera you’ll be able to both record your location defined by the embedded GPS unit and dive up to 50 meters deep without using a waterproof case!

Probably this is the best hunting action camera.

Garmin Company is another one manufacturer of camcorders who demonstrates ambitions and aspiring plans to capture the action cameras market. The company has upgraded its Virb product line quite noticeably by presenting Virb X and Virb XE models.

Their main difference is the ability of XE major version to film video in 1080p format at 60fps, and the minor one is capable of the same thing but at 30fps. First that thrills any fan of extreme filming is that you can dive with camcorder Virb XE up to 50 meters deep without any additional cases or boxes.

The camera is already manufactured in a waterproof firm case that can stand 5 atm pressure. Due to such a convenience the camera has become a hit among those who love recording their underwater adventures.

Another additional bonus is an embedded digital stabilization and GPS-sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microphone, USB-port, proprietary plug connector, small display. The camera operating life on one battery charge equals 2 hours, when all wireless modes are on simultaneously.
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It can synchronize with any mobile device that allows controlling it remotely by means of some special free software. The second generation of Garmin action cameras turned out to be quite innovative and advanced product capable to press its rivals essentially on the market.

«Garmin Virb Elite» camera is supplied with an adapter for GoPro fasteners, so it can be easily used with any of GoPro accessories. In general the whole package of the camcorder is great including the software set «VIRB Elite App», apps for iOS and Android, as well as the possibility to edit the software for Mac and PC.

The camera is equipped with GPS, which traces the user location when the device is on and it applies your route coordinates to the video. The action camera has a Wi-Fi unit that allows managing shooting process or watching the filmed video. The device has the function of image stabilization which sufficiently decreases the number of distortions appearing due to vibrations on poor roads.

Pros:

  • Quality video
  • High optical sensitivity for shooting at low light (very important under the water)
  • Performs HD quality sound without the case unsealing
  • It has both embedded and external microphone
  • Continuous waterproof external power supply without the case unsealing
  • It has the ability to function as a drive recorder and recharge at any moment without unsealing
  • Waterproof glass. Water splashes don’t leave any sign on the screen
  • It has branded free program for processing and editing video with the ability to add data from all the sensors, location on Google maps and satellite images
  • Embedded GPS and other sensors (acceleration, overloads, location in space) in a waterproof case made by a reliable manufacturer
  • Perfect stabilizer
  • Possibility of shooting series of photos at 30 fps and slow mode filming
  • PRO mode for more precise image settings
  • Gadgets can be connected wirelessly
  • Multifunctional free software
  • It has a stand-alone button for “photo” mode, possibility to photo and record video simultaneously
  • Simple process of firmware upgrade

Cons:

  • When charging the battery the camera switches off itself
  • It has no display (only the display to adjust setting)
  • High price
  • Heavy (it shows, when the camera is put on a helmet, for example)
  • Very small number of fasteners that come in camera set

Polaroid Cube – best budget action camera 2017

      • Weight:45 gramm
      • Waterproof: 5 m in a waterproof case
      • 4K video: No
      • 1280: up to 30 fps
      • 720: up to 45
      • Stills resolution: 6MP
      • Battery life: 1.5 hrs est
      • Features: magnetic holder
Actually, this device is for extreme sports fans, which are just beginning and have a limited budget.

They’ll especially enjoy dust and water proof covering of the camera as well as the possibility to put Cube into the water up to 5 meters deep (but only in a waterproof case!).

Polaroid Cube is rather specific action camera within budget ones. Possibly, it is the easiest camera to master: it has only one button (1 click turns on “photo” mode and 2 clicks – “video”). Its resolution is fair 1920 x 1080 p. Modern H.264 is used as a codec in it.

It became possible to obtain these parameters by using 5MP CMOS matrix. An increased rapidity is ensured by F2 diaphragm. The lens focal distance is 3.4 mm, which indicates very wide camera angle. Everything that goes around will surely be filmed.

The camera doesn’t have an LCD display – this ensures rather longstanding offline mode operation. The image stabilizer is also missing here. But the case has rather good-looking design with branded multi-color stripes. This small camera weighs 45 grams and it can be put under the water up to 5 m deep.

The gadget has a magnetic holder which makes buying some other accessories unnecessary and you can use the camera when riding a bike, for example. However, be careful here, since the camera doesn’t have a motion sensor and if you turn it upside down the image will do the same.

In 90-s Polaroid Company was famous due to its snapshot cameras. Many years have passed since then and the brand has been forgotten by quite a lot of users. Nowadays this manufacturer is trying to draw attention to itself. The company has started from producing the simplest action cameras for sports. First of all Polaroid Cube attracts with its low price – it costs the money you may spend to buy a simple camera.

This camcorder has two large advantages. Firstly, is its weight – it is the lightest one from all – 45 grams. Secondly, it has the best price. Yes, it’s true, that the camera is far behind its main rivals as for many parameters, but it costs 3-4 times cheaper. As a budget device the camera does frankly good work. It allows taking photos and recording videos maybe of not the best quality, but still they are quite good. Polaroid Cube appearance is quite attractive for users, especially for woman.

Pros:

      • Low price
      • Attractive appearance
      • Damp proof case
      • Minimal size and mass
      • Quite high rapidity
      • Very comfortable in use
      • Strong magnetic holder which ensures reliable sticking to metal surfaces
      • Only one operation button
      • It saves photo and video files into separate folders
      • Its case is covered with soft touch plastic.

Cons:

      • It shoots at just 30 frames per second
      • It’s not supplied with any fasteners
      • No stabilizer
      • The battery capacity is quite small (720 – 90 min, 1080 – 40 min)
      • It runs hot when shooting and charging the camera simultaneously
      • It doesn’t shoot when connected to a PC

SJCAM SJ4000 WiFi: best action camera under 100

  • Weight: 58g
  • Waterproof: up to 30 meters
  • 4K video: No
  • 640×480: up to 60fps
  • 1920×1080: up to 30fps
  • 1280×720: up to 60fps
  • 848×480: up to 60fps
  • Stills resolution: 12MP
  • Battery life: 2hrs
  • Features: LCD display, WIFI

It is a perfect and, what’s important, a budget choice of action camera having all necessary functions and parameters.

It has widescreen video recording mode, Full HD shooting, small 1.5 inch display, able to film in H.264, HDMI-output and W-Fi unit allow using the camera for any purpose.

Apart from this the camera is supplied with lots of accessories: waterproof case, fasteners for bike handlebars, helmet, light stand, a belt clip, stickers, metal and plastic adjuster screws and etc. This camera is second to nonе as for its package content and considering the price it becomes a unique offer on the market.

Shooting is performed by means of 3MP CMOS matrix. The lens focal distance is 2,8 mm due to which everything around you is filmed. The image has Full HD resolution at 30 fps. It is possible to increase the latter parameter only by decreasing the resolution up to the ordinary HD.

Though the sound the camera provides isn’t quite perfect and because of its small size the battery has small capacity, that’s why you won’t without the supplementary one. SJCAM SJ4000 WiFi feature is its 1.5 inch display although in the majority of cases the user will turn it off.

This display will serve those who don’t want to use their smart phone for nothing, since if you are shooting in the rain, for example, no one will take an expensive gadget out of the pocket to take a few pictures. This model has a wireless unit that ensures remote control or transferring the files to some other device.

Pros:

      • LCD display
      • Minimal size and mass (46 g)
      • WiFi unit and possibility to control the device using a smart phone
      • Reasonable price
      • Huge number of fasteners and their compatibility with GoPro
      • High build quality

Cons:

      • 30 fps
      • Sound recording quality. Low microphone volume, if the camcorder is in the case nothing is heard at all
      • Photo quality is bearable (there is no 12 Мрх there). The pictures it takes can be compared with the ones taken using some third-rate phone
      • No remote control device
      • The camera is poorly fixed within the waterproof box.
      • Stated 720p and 60 FPS aren’t reachable here. Use 30 FPS and 1080р
      • When being compared to GoPro: the camera looks like GoPro, but that’s it. Photo and video quality is lower, components are very poorly performed. So if you can afford buying GoPro, then it’s better to buy it

Sony FDR X3000/W: perfect stabilizer and microphone

  • Weight: 89g
  • Waterproof:in waterproof case to 33 feet, or 10 meters
  • 4K video: Yes
  • XAVC S – 3840 x 2160 – 30 fps – 100Mbps
  • XAVC S – 3840 x 2160 – 30 fps – 100Mbps
  • H.264 – 1920 x 1080 – 60 fps – 28Mbps
  • Stills resolution: 8,8 MP
  • Battery life: 1-2hrs est
  • Features: Digital image stabilizer, GPS
This is another one very-very good camera. It shoots with high resolution, takes perfect pictures, but what is especially cool it is 240 fps with HD quality and 120 fps with Full HD – this is something incredible! If you intend to record video at high bit rate with image stabilization (only at 1080p), this camera is the best choice!

Photo and video compilation quality performed by Sony FDR X3000/W impresses. The camera shoots 4K Ultra HD video at 100 mb/s, as for the photos and frames obtained from Sony FDR X3000/W camera they are incredibly good from POV of camera standards. All these are insured by such camera functions as embedded exposure compensation and image stabilization. 4K Ultra HD video mode in Sony is filmed in highly efficient format from Sony XAVC S 100 mb/s, but it also means that this camera requires SDXC card.

This is crazy – Sony FDR X3000/W has an embedded stereo microphone. Not many 4K UHD HD action cameras have it. Sony can produce quality audio recording which perfectly completes its high quality video. The camera has very good noise damping to turn down wind or water sounds when shooting, which surely be appreciated by many users.

The camcorder also has image stabilizer, white-balance is set automatically, there is a small display, H.264 and MPEG4 video formats are supported. The action cam has a microphone input, embedded NFC and Wi–Fi units as well as GPS – this is a complete set of all possible technologies. The manufacturer supplies the camera with a supplementary battery, waterproof case and a set of stickers-fasteners.

The beginners will appreciate the device small size and solid construction. Of course, Sony Sony FDR X3000/W doesn’t have such fasteners as GoPro Hero, however the camera is for hiking, diving, cycling, jogging and so on, which is possible only when the camera case besides its nice appearance can resist dust, splashes and severe weather events.

Finally, Sony FDR X3000/W waterproof case broadens the shooting possibilities – 10 meters under the water – no matter if it is a sea or a freshwater pond – how do you find this characteristic?

The quality of obtained video is also great, even better than that of GoPro HERO4 Black. Duration of offline mode operation is perfect, too: the camera can work more than 2 hours. High price of the camera and its accessories can be considered a drawback though.

Pros:

      • 4K mode
      • Digital image stabilizer
      • Dust and water proof case
      • GPS (recording of the shooting route)
      • Rather good quality of high-speed record
      • High resolution
      • High sensitivity providing proper shooting at low light
      • Remote control device comes in the package
      • Shooting quality
      • High serviceability
      • Operation time (it is about 1.5 hrs when having fully charged battery and recording video of maximal quality)
      • Commutation with other devices (iOS, Android) and remote control
      • Software for the video editing
      • Loop recording
      • Multi-purpose threaded fastener (just like any common camera or video camera has)
      • Possibility to plug in an external microphone
      • Sound recording in stereo format
      • Noise damper for wind
      • Mist- and dust-proof without the protecting case (not for diving)

Cons:

      • Expensive branded fasteners and at that any other fasteners produced by different companies are almost missing
      • Necessity to buy a case (glass) for underwater filming (it is possible to shoot under water in its standard case, but because of round protective glass the camera doesn’t focus under the water). After buying the waterproof case you’ll be able to dive up to 60 m deep (comparing to 10 m with the standard case and 40 m diving that indicates its main rival)
      • Absence of stabilization at 4К and FullHD mode shooting at more than 30 fps
      • All mechanical sounds are clearly heard in recording: if you change the light stand length – it’ll be heard in the video
      • It runs hot while longstanding filming at maximal resolution
      • Smart phone and remote control device don’t work simultaneously with the same camera
      • After buying this camera you should start planning to buy the best SD card, supplementary battery, selfie stick and some more fasteners

Xiaomi Yi: the best action camera for beginners

  • Weight: 72 gramm
  • Waterproof: 30 m
  • 4K video: No
  • 1080P (1920*1080) 30FPS
  • 720P (1280*720) 60FPS
  • 720P (1280*720) 30FPS
  • WVGA (848*480) 60FPS
  • Stills resolution: 16MP
  • Battery life: 1 hrs est
  • Features:Wi-fi

I see Xiaomi Yi as some kind of starter device for those who want to try and get some idea of what a camcorder is.

So, do you travel a lot? Do like scuba diving or snorkeling? Or maybe you are keen on hiking and parachute jumping? Then why not trying this device? Maybe it’ll be rather useful and later you won’t be able to imagine your lifestyle without it?

And this is crazy, but moreover, after that you’ll decide to open your own channel on Youtube and become a famous thrill seeker?

This action camera is currently the cheapest, however, at that its parameters are not the lowest, but even vice versa. It is Xiaomi YI that is now being called GoPro “killer”, since it shoots a quality video and costs times less.

So, to the camera advantages list we can add ability to film Full HD video, at maximum fps rate video is recorded in HD, which is rather cool considering the camera price. It has a widescreen video format; it can film in H.264 format, take perfect photos that are by the way much better than that of above mentioned SJCAM SJ4000. The camera is compact sized, it has stylish look and the camera angle is 155 degrees.

The manufacturer has delivered it with minimum number of functions, but they perfectly do what they are supposed to. The buyer first sees a small unicolored package that has inside a booklet with QR-code for software download, USB-cable, a battery and the camera, of course. The gadget is made of riffled and matted plastic, smooth to the touch.

Despite that the package contents have no accessories for the camera, Xiaomi Yi can be used with a light stand, waterproof case and display (the camera doesn’t have it). The video is recorded on MicroSD-card, A7LS processor (by Ambrella) is responsible for video compressing (GoPro uses it as well). Shooting is performed in 480p, 720p and 1080p format, at that minimal fps rate is equal to 60. At HDR in 1080p the image becomes a bit blurred.

Now, Xiaomi YI Action Camera 2: is there any sense to find faults in the camera with such price?

I don’t think so, but still I should mention that the camera has no display – it is controlled by means of the buttons and indicator lights. B

By the way, after surfing the Internet for a while you may find a display that can be connected to this camera, but the question is – is it really necessary? The camera battery is of quite average capacity and it ensures camera offline mode for about an hour, therefore it’s desirable to buy a supplementary one.

You’ll have to buy a selfie stick, waterproof case, remote control device, fasteners to install the camera on a helmet and other accessories as well. However, they aren’t very expensive: complete accessories set and the camera itself together will cost a bit more than 100 $.

A lot of users complain about the recording sound: I should note that it’s quite bearable for an action camera and if required this can be fixed and you’ll get completely ideal sound quality. Well, IMHO it’s a perfect camera for this money.

Maybe the most crucial drawback of the camera is its low offline mode durability. When the battery is fully charged it works for an hour maximum. At the same time you shouldn’t consider this camera as an equal rival to GoPro HERO4, especially if the user intends to process video everywhere and film in slowmo when processing the video in high quality.

Not all GoPro users do this kind of video processing, since they are happy with their video and share it on Youtube right away after filming. In this case Xiaomi Yi surely isn’t the worse choice and it looks like it has been made just for such users. The action camera is for everyday events – walks with friends, parties and so on.


Pros:

  • The case materials are just perfect. High quality plastic
  • Filming quality
  • Compatibility with Go Pro accessories
  • Diode indicator of the battery charge
  • It can be easily disassembled
  • Waterproof case, selfie stick with fasteners for remote control come in the camera set
  • Wi-fi unit, you can control the camera from a phone and download video and photo onto mobile phone directly from the camera without any wires and USB flash drive
  • You can use it as a drive recorder
  • 2К and 1080p
  • It has an input for ordinary photo accessories

Cons:

  • Accessories don’t come in the camera set – you have to buy them on your own
  • The software fails sometimes (but it is quickly fixed and updated)
  • The battery capacity isn’t very large — it ensures 1 hour of operation without using Wi-Fi.
  • The USB flash drive cap can be easily lost (they should have fixated it somehow)
  • The objective lens a sticks out a bit and it may be damaged due to this
  • The camera isn’t ready to film once it is on. About 7-10 seconds pass from the moment it is turned on till the moment when shooting starts (probably some internal camera software needs time to download and etc.)

TomTom Bandit: an alternative to GoPro

  • Weight: 97g
  • Waterproof: 40m with case
  • 4K video: Yes
  • 1080: 30/25fps
  • 720: up to 60fps
  • Stills resolution: 12MP
  • Battery life: 3hrs
  • Features:Wi-fi

TomTom Bandit is kind of equipment beyond classical action cameras for sports.
It has GPS receiver, overload indicator and ability to integrate with an external heart rate monitor. The camera can also record video in 4K and slow mode.

Bandit camera produced by TomTom is a perfect alternative to GoPro and other similar cameras, due to multi-functional system of fasteners, portable battery and numerous recording modes. Video quality deserves the highest possible praise. And this is it.

If all above mentioned properties of the camera haven’t impressed you, then you can spend the same money and buy Hero4 Silver by GoPro or X1000V produced by Sony. But if you dig a bit deeper you may find cheaper cameras with the similar characteristics.

Pros:

  • Perfect build quality
  • Well designed system of fasteners
  • Convenient in use
  • Good quality of recording in 2.7K mode
  • Good mobile application
  • Quick and easy application for video editing

Cons:

  • Quite small weight
  • Waterproof cap for objective lens doesn’t come in the camera set
  • Bad quality of Full HD
  • Slowmo modes doesn’t look good
  • 4K works only at 15 fps
  • Motion sensors and GPS receiver are disappointing

Drift HD Ghost-S: action camera for sports

  • Weight: 171 g or 6 ounces
  • Waterproof: to 9 feet (3 m) without an extra housing
  • 4K video: No
  • 1080: up to 60 fps
  • 720: up to 120
  • Stills resolution: 12MP
  • Battery life: 3,5 hours
  • Features: WiFi unit, CMOS SONY sensor
This camera is for sportsman in case of dynamic loads.

It is a perfect camera with embedded display, offline mode durability about 3 hours and camera angle equal to 170 degrees. «Ghost-S» is a heavyweight camera among the others – it seems that it was designed especially for some military actions.

The camera is waterproof up to 3 meters depth; it easily deals with snow, hits, dust and so on. It can be controlled remotely and perform shooting in H.264. Firm camera fasteners let install the camera where it is necessary and it looks trimly and compact. However, at the lack of light the photos aren’t very good, apart from that the camera is great.

Another plus is that it has a small display and ability to connect via Wi-Fi. But what is really cool is its control simplicity and convenience. «Ghost-S» doesn’t care much about 4K or GPS: it was designed just for recording actions and preventing possible crashes and troubles.

Drift HD Ghost-S is a modern action cam that twice exceeds its predecessors in power. It has the newest processor, Sony CMOS-sensor, 7 elements of aspherical lenses; supports shooting 1080p at 60 fps, it takes 12 Mpx photos and perfectly deals with filming at low light. As a result of the device operation you get incredibly clear and vibrant image.

The camera is easy and self-explanatory at that it has huge number of functions with user-friendly interface and it provides user access to a wide range of settings that he can adjust (bit rate, tenfold digital zoom, resolution, fps, exposure). By means of turnable objective Drift HD Ghost-S camera provides an ordinary user with a complete set of professional functions.


Pros:

  • The camera can be fixated at any angle
  • Convenient
  • Nice form factor
  • Widescreen shooting
  • Well designed system of fasteners
  • Huge numbers of shooting modes
  • Waterproof case without some additional box, though it has a branded waterproof case (it doesn’t come in the set)
  • Remote control device, if there are several such cameras, you can control them by means of the same device
  • The camera is small sized and light weight
  • It can be used as a dash cam and motorcycle video recorder
  • Video of high quality and fps rate — FULL HD 1920 x 1080
  • The battery capacity ensures about 3,5 hours of filming
  • WiFi unit
  • Equipped with CMOS SONY sensor
  • Remote control device comes in the camera package case

Cons:

  • Rather bulky waterproof case
  • It is impossible to use the remote control device under the water
  • The camera angle can be changed only at 1080p
  • Low quality video at lack of light
  • Buttons are difficult to push

HTC Re: a highly simple device for everyday

  • Weight: 68g or 2.4 ounces
  • Waterproof: No
  • 4K video: No
  • 1080: up to 30fps
  • 720: up to 30fps
  • Stills resolution: 16MP
  • Battery life: 2 hrs
  • Features:Wi-Fi
HTC RE Camera is an action camera for everyday use, for ordinary people who will hardly ever go snowboarding or diving. Obviously, RE Camera allows doing all of these, but still the camera is stylish, good-looking and fashionable device IMHO. The company has designed a nice and unusual device capable of taking pictures and filming at different conditions and to download these into the Internet or some cloud storages.

So, who is a potential user of this camera? Let’s try to describe him: he is young, he has no time to get into all technical details of network technologies. This person is not very interested in video quality as well, what means more is the camera mobility, connection and control simplicity, the camera is ready to film or take pictures once it is on.

HTC Re is an example of completely different design and style concept for action cameras.

HTC Company having designed its latest offer has relied on ordinary customers. Year after year videos of some thrill seekers become popular. They record how they fly, ride, jump and other crazy things. But what should the others do? Those who don’t go out often and don’t test themselves by doing any of above mentioned.

HTC has thought about these people and created for them this camera, which resembles more a periscope or an inhaler. Its case is made of smooth glossy and very nice on the tough plastic. The camera can easily fit into your pocket. It’s not longer than 10 cm and it weighs 65 grams.

The camcorder has 146 degrees widescreen objective lens and it has 16 Mpx matrix. Despite that it doesn’t have automatic image stabilization and auto focus still it perfectly deals with its tasks. HTC Re is equipped with Grip-sensor, accelerometer, Blutooth 4.0LE and Wi-Fi unit.

The charged battery ensures 2 hours of continuous filming. The action cam is so small, that it has neither a display, nor “on” button. It looks very nice. Grip-sensor automatically turns the camera on right when you take it into your arms. It has only two buttons – with one of them you take pictures or turn video recording on and the second one turns Slow motion recording mode on.

The filming itself starts when simply pushing the main button and when pushing and holding the button the video recording mode switches on. HTC Re case is made of quality glossy plastic which allows using the device under the water at about 1 meter deep for about half an hour.

To adjust some parameters of the camera you’ll need a smart phone or a tablet, where you should install a special app first. However, this adjustment process can be done only once and the camera will remember it.

You can set video quality (HD or FullHD) and photo resolution. You can also control the camera remotely via any smart phone, using its display as an object finder. By means of the app you can turn on the camera TimeLapse mode as well.

Possibly, someone would like to compare RE Camera with GoPro one, but it won’t be a meaningful comparison.

Yes, – both devices are compact action cameras for filming all the stuff around you, but this is where their similarity ends. GoPro is an action camera for professionals, it is a protected device, often used for filming extreme sports, where first of all protection and basic functions are important.

Pros:

  • Good quality case materials and building
  • Self-sustainability
  • User-friendly app RE for Android and iOS
  • Dust- and waterproof
  • Timelapse mode
  • Can be controlled with one hand

Cons:

  • It is quote troublesome to film in the dark
  • Low quality of sound recording
  • Almost no image stabilization
  • Loss of connection between a smart phone and camera is possible
  • Low capacity battery which is not portable
  • You can’t plug in a supplementary battery on a standard light stand

360fly: this action camera is for extreme sports

  • Weight: 172g
  • Waterproof: No, need to buy separate housing
  • 4K video: Yes
  • 1504 х 1504 p at 30 FPS
  • 2880 x 2880 @ 30FPS Max
  • Battery life: 1,5 hrs
  • Features: Shockproof, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
The camera angle is 360 degrees; however, 360Fly isn’t the only one action cam on the market that performs widescreen filming at 360°. But its price (rather low than that of its rivals) and unique design – these make the device really the one and only that is being bought by a thrill seekers.

A potential owner of the above mentioned widescreen action camera seems to be a young man with active lifestyle and he is eager to share all the beauty of the places he’s seen with his friends.

A businessman and a big fan of extreme sports – Peter Edderton is sure that his 360fly camera is to become the main rival to GoPro and it’ll popularize the virtual reality technology which is starting to pick up stream nowadays. 2017 is considered to become a landmark for this direction on the market and it looks like the camera designer has foreseen it.

In fact, such companies as Facebook and Google are already launching the process of spherical video support on video services.

As for 360fly camera characteristics – it has a quality sensor to film video with resolution 1504 х 1504 p at 30 FPS. Spherical shape of the gadget and the lens with f2.5 aperture allow creating solid video frames. The modes supports microSD up to 32 Gb and it has a waterproof case.

Surely the device supports wireless Wi-Fi functions, Bluetooth for synchronization with a tablet or a smart phone to control the camera remotely. The camera battery capacity is 1600 mAh that insures about 2-3 hours of offline mode operation.

The fact that the camera battery and SD card aren’t portable is disappointing for sure. However, as the camera service has shown both the battery charge and SD card are quite enough for 1,5 hours of continuous filming. This time is quite enough even though you’ll be editing the video later. As for the 1st generation model 360fly is rather well designed without any unnecessary stuff, it’s the camera where additional settings may only get the video worse when shooting at 360°.

Pros:

  • 360Fly HD main feature is that it has no alternatives. There are similar devices, but there is no exactly the same device with some different characteristics on the market. This is what makes this camcorder a unique one
  • User-friendly
  • Can be used for underwater filming
  • Shockproof
  • Modern futuristic design
  • Camera angle
  • Relatively high battery capacity

Cons:

  • It’s impossible to adjust settings to change video and photo resolution
  • If you aren’t divers you won’t need this rubber cap to protect the microphone input from water ingress. But if you are, this small thing may just get lost
  • Apart from the widescreen filming at 360° sadly the video quality is rather low with poor detalization

You might be wondering – then how to choose an action camera?

It’s simple – ask yourself a question: «where will you video find itself in the end?». If you are filming videos for family use with Full HD resolution, you don’t want to edit or correct anything. Or if the main task of the camera is to be used as a drive recorder, then action cameras with resolution up to 1080р and 30 fps will do.

But if you are a blogger or you want to become one you should take into account that most of utube content is being watched with resolution not more than 1080р.

However, when editing the video SlowMo mode may be required and here you’ll need cameras with 1080р at 60 fps. As a rule, such cameras have maximal resolution not less than 2К.

If your intension is to film some detailed additional stuff with unique camera angles: views from quadrocopter, for example, and then edit them and add some video from other more professional cameras – in this case you definitely need action camera 4K.
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And it’s not just about that you are still going to use this video format, it’s about the matrix quality which will give you more detailed image even when filming with lower resolution. And what is more – in case of 4K camera you’ll always be able to crop a picture to be 1080р without any loss of quality.

The higher is the resolution and the more frames per second a camcorder can film, the more expensive it is. Any digital videocams can be conditionally divided according to their filming maximal resolution and frames per second rate.

For action cameras these values will be the following: 720р, 1080р, 2К, 2.5К, 4К and fps correspondingly: 30, 60, 120, 240 and values equivalent to these in PAL system. Such a gradation sufficiently affects the camera price within one brand.

Vast majority of modern action cameras record video with maximal resolution Full HD – 1920*1080. There are cameras that can film with higher resolution – 3840*2160, for example, GoPro Hero 4.

However, I can’t help mentioning that resolution of the resulting image obtained from different cameras with the same stated parameters may differ; therefore it would be nice to watch some videos filmed by the owners of the device you are interested in before buying it.

You also should consider how the camera behaves not only under some ideal conditions, but also if the light is not sufficient or etc.

Action cameras have several important parameters that influence the filming quality directly. Below I’ll give them in details, but if you need your camcorder asap, then you can skip this part. However, I’d better read these.
Now, here are the important components of an action camera:

A camera glass – the amount of light that gets to the matrix depends on this component. The more light passes through the camera glass per second, the higher quality image is obtained. And this is directly proportional to the camera lenses quality. Manufacturers don’t specify which optical components are being used, but SONY, for example, states that they use optics made by world-wide known ZEISS.

Wide view angle is important since you always want to capture as much as possible details of what is going on. Most models offer camera angle 100-170 degrees and some even a bit more. On the other hand narrow camera angle allows concentrating and focusing on some details, but this isn’t what is required from an action camera in the majority of cases.

But the wider the angle is, the shorter the lens is and wide-angle lenses cause perspective distortion. The lines become curved, so having the function of image correction won’t hurt. After receiving the image the camera automatically aligns curved lines.

A matrix this is the most important camera component which directly influences photos and videos quality. It can be considered the same as film in old photo cameras.

Wow, what do you need to know about the matrix?

The larger are the matrix and its elements-pixels physical dimensions, the more light they capture and the more high quality image you get correspondingly. The matrix size equal to 36?24 mm is a good one for reflex cameras.

Frames per second rate: 24 fps is regarded to be enough to get the main picture with the human eye. But the images given with 50 fps seem to be smoother. The matrix ability to capture video with high fps rate not only makes the final video smoother, but also provided with corresponding video processing it allows applying SlowMo effect.

This is when the video is being slowed down twice or more. In the matrix and action cameras technical characteristics this parameter is always indicated separately for each resolution. The higher is the resolution, the more efficient the matrix has to be to save maximal number of frames per second.

The lower is the resolution, the higher is fps rate. The majority of cameras record video in such formats as MP4, AVI, MOV, which is quite enough. H.264 video format is necessary to film the highest quality video.

You might be wondering – what else should I know about the matrix?
Different matrixes vary in their dynamic range – this is the ability to show simultaneously dark and light colors of the scene. The wider the dynamic range is the more details you get on a contrast image. For example, when filming in sunny weather the sky pattern and the filmed object details will be seen both.

A processor is a “servicing” camera component and it has to correspond to the matrix abilities in order to perform maximum quality results. Sometimes it happens that the matrix is capable of much more but it is limited by the processor abilities and due to this the quality of the image obtained by the matrix forcibly decreases to lessen the processor load. That’s why 4K matrixes with high resolution of video recording require a powerful processor such as Ambarella A9.

For matrixes with lower resolution a processor can be less powerful correspondingly. But images processing isn’t the only task for this device. All action camera components are connected with each other by means of a processor to provide complete functionality of a camcorder.

The main thing you should know about the processor is that it has to be powerful enough to manage all the above mentioned responsibilities and at that generate as less as possible heat.

Camcorder software quality is very important as well. Quite a lot depends on the company programmers: namely, what maximum parameters they’ll obtain from the available hardware by means of their software. Sometimes a company releases a “raw” product on the market and after that updates it by improving its key features and removing the existing errors by firmware updates.

Therefore, when buying an action camera make sure that its manufacturer provides technical support for its products by releasing new firmware updates continuously. This is true especially for nameless brands.

Extra features of action cameras

The smallest models don’t have a screen at all and you can adjust camera’s settings only by connecting it to a mobile device. The other models have a screen which is black-n-white and it serves only to set recording modes.

However, there are full-color led displays where except for the recoding settings you can select the camera angle by using the screen as a viewfinder and to watch the video footage as well. Screens also differ in their size – the large the screen is, the more comfortable it is to use it.

But if the camera doesn’t have a screen, then some models have a stand-alone unit, though it increases the camera dimensions a bit and makes it impossible to use the camera in a waterproof case or with other accessories.

But the best model ever is the one with embedded display and touch-screen, where you don’t need any special buttons, since you manipulate it by touching the screen. Gopro cameras and Xiaomi Yi 4K new model have such screens.

WIFI and Bluetooth

WIFI and Bluetooth units make the life of camera owners much easier. Using these units you’ll be able to transmit direct video signal right into your mobile device. It’s very helpful when a camera is installed in such a place where you don’t have the ability to look at the camera screen and select better camera angle.

Or, when the camera is far from you, so you have the ability to start and finish recording by means of remote control.
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Except wireless modules there are embedded plugs that broaden camera’s features. For example, when connecting your camcorder by means of USB to your computer you’ll be able to use it as a web-camera or as multimedia-player with the image output onto the TV screen via HDMI port.

If there is a mini USB port in the camera, you can plug in an external microphone and improve the recorded sound quality by this. If the sound is important then pay more attention to this property since not all camcorders have high level of sound recording.

Stabilization

When filming handheld you’ll face continuous shaking of the frame. To avoid this you just can’t physically hold an action camera steady. To compensate these vibrations an embedded stabilization systems are used. By means of electron gyroscope the camera defines its location in space and fixates the tiniest changes in the environment. In expensive cameras a floating lens is used.

The info obtained from the gyroscope directs how to deviate the lens more efficiently to compensate any given vibration. So, as a result you get a stable “floating” image. Cheaper cameras don’t have this floating lens and to transmit the image not the whole sensor (matrix) diagonal is used, but just its half.

The image that overrides the border is used to compensate the vibrations. I.e the active zone of the matrix is sort of “floating” within it. When activating this function you may notice that the camera angle of view becomes a bit narrower and this is what gives the spare space for shifting in case of the frame shaking.

Sensors

Nowadays an action camera has become a multi-purpose device. In particular, they are more often used as drive recorders. Usually, in this mode the camera records separate video fragments of a pre-set duration: 3, 5, 10, 15 minutes. This is done to enable re-recording when the storage is lack of free space.

Not to delete quite a large video file which may contain some important data, the file is divided into several parts. G-Sensor – is what helps to save the necessary part of the information without deleting it accidentally.

In case of a car crash the sensor responds to a hit and makes it impossible to delete the part of the video file, where the crash was filmed. To delete it you’ll have to format the flash-card using computer.

If your camera has a GPS-sensor, it’ll record the coordinates of the place where the car crash happened. All this information has to contribute to legal decision-making during the trial and to increase evidence base.

Some models of action cameras such as Garmin Virb X manage to add recording of heartbeat data into their features as well as the travelled distance and a span distance and if it is necessary to measure a rider, wind or a ship velocity and lots of other things that allow comparing such camera with an on-board computer.

Fasteners type

Gopro Company is an ancestor and popularizer of action cameras. As the time went by lots of different accessories for action cameras appeared with a corresponding fixing standard. The majority of modern manufacturers don’t take risks trying to create their own types of fixation since this will lead to the necessity to produce their own product line of competitive accessories for their cameras.

That’s why they are using the standard used by Gopro Company.

When choosing an action camera you should take into account the above mentioned not to limit yourself with the decision contents when selecting accessories for it. Different manufacturers use different approaches when supplying their devices.

For example SJCAM Company is very generous when equipping all its cameras with lots of additional installation hardware. As for Xiaomi the situation is quite the opposite – quite a lot of things, even the necessary ones – such as waterproof case you’ll have to buy yourself. Therefore, when talking about the price of action camera consider the set of additional accessories it has.

Wight and form factor

These may vary.

The most popular ones are rectangular, cylindrical and cubic shaped action cameras. It’s pretty difficult to give any particular recommendations in this respect – just keep in mind how you are planning to use your camera when selecting which one to buy.

For example, a cylindrical shaped camera will do best for installing on a motor bike helmet, because at high speeds it creates less resistance to wind. It may appear that a camcorder weight is so small that it may not play any part when choosing one.

However, if you’d like to install the camera on your head or just to film handheld for a long time you’ll feel the difference in camera weight even if it is several grams. However, it’s not worth chasing neither small sizes nor light weight of a camera. The drawback of a camera small size starts from absence of display and ends with the battery size and as a result it affects the camera operation time.

Though, in some particular cases it’s possible to sacrifice all other features for the camera size.

Recording duration

Special focus should be put on the accumulator capacity and the duration of camera offline work, since it’d be rather disappointing if the camera works for about 40 min and turns off, when there’s so much left to film. It’s desirable for the camera to perform at least 2 hours of offline work, but there are some models that can even demonstrate 5 hours of continuous offline operation. The auxiliary battery will also be helpful, so when buying a camcorder it’s better to buy one at once.

When selecting the device study the battery capacity (mA/h) and the offline operation time indicated by the manufacturer. In real life Sony camcorder models outrun GoPro and Garmin cameras as for this parameter, but there are less popular models such as Liquid EGO that is capable of offline filming for 5 hours.

Now: which SD card to choose for an action camera?

Here is another one parameter that may influence the filming duration and this is the SD card capacity.

It’s desirable to buy SD cards of 10-th class at that taking into consideration that a standard microSD has 32 Gb and it can hold about 200 min of recorded video with resolution Full HD 1080p or it’s about 34 thousand photos with resolution 2560×1920 pixels (5 megapixels). It’s better to choose SD card of one of these manufacturers: SanDisk, Lexar, Delkin, Transcend.

And it’s better not to save on SD card to avoid further problems with recording and reading video files. It’s clear that the larger the capacity is, the better. We advise to buy at least 32 Gb SD card, but 64Gb is still better)

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