Best Action Camera | Guide & Reviews
Wouldn’t it be nice if every type of camera or video shot you take is just as easy as taking a family portrait with everyone arranged perfectly? But that’s not always the case, especially if you intend to take photos in the midst of extreme sports. You may want to take a photo or a video of how it looks like from your perspective, while you’re riding a bike, paddling on a kayak through rapids, or skiing down a steep slope.
You may want to take a picture while you’re underwater. You may even want to take an aerial photo with the use of a drone. In any of those situations, you can’t just use any standard camera. You need the best action camera that fits your circumstances.
How to Choose the Best Action Camera
But what does it mean to have the best action camera? To get the one you need, you have to consider the following factors:
1. Mounting and suitability
If you need an action camera, you will have to first make sure that the cameras you consider are suited for the task you have in mind.
- It’s really simple—if you plan to shoot videos from your bike or kayak, then it should be mountable on your bike or kayak.
- If you wish to shoot underwater videos, then the camera should be waterproof at the right depth. Some cameras can be brought deeper under the water so you can go scuba diving. Others are only okay against water splashes, so you can only use them for kayaking.
- If you plan on shooting aerial videos, then that means you can mount the camera on a drone.
- Some cameras are very versatile, so it may offer mounting options for a variety of situations. Other cameras even have harnesses so you can mount down on your pet dog.
- First you will to look at the size and weight, as these factors will determine just how easy to use a camera with you. This is especially true if you plan on mounting a camera on your helmet. It if it’s too heavy for you, it won’t be long before you feel uncomfortable. If it’s too bulky, then it may get in the way of the action.
- Portability also depends on battery life. It shouldn’t be too short or else you end up interrupting your recording while great action is going on.
- And of course, dependability is also crucial. You don’t want an “action camera” that can’t actually withstand the stress of all the action.
3. Image clarity
- One is frame rate, which is measured in frames per second (fps). A 30 fps rating is fine for standard playback, but when you slow the action down you’ll get blurry images. On the other hand, you can slow down a 120fps video and still get clear images.
- The other thing you have to consider is resolution. While 1080p resolution is standard, somehow the 1080p footage of one camera can look better than the same resolution video from another camera. Some also offer 4K recording, which can really improve the resolution.
4. Features and ease of use
Some cameras offer their own controls, while others also use apps. You’ll want a camera that’s easy to use especially while you’re in the middle of the action. Apps are great especially when you can use your phone as a live viewfinder. You can use your smartphone as a wireless remote with the right app.
Recommended Action Cameras
With these factors in mind, you can then gauge the following action cameras to see if any of them suit your needs.
For most people, the go-to brand for this type of action camera is the GoPro. The problem is that the price of that brand is a bit out of reach for a lot of folks.
And that’s why the DBPOWER Original EX5000 has a lot of fans. You’re basically able to do a lot of things that a GoPro can, except the price tag is about ⅓ of the GoPro price.
It offers terrific quality for daylight outdoor shots. However, night recording doesn’t really offer great results. You even get grainy shots when you shoot indoors at low light.
The ultra-wide view and the fisheye lens let you cover a lot of the action so you don’t miss things. You can even have use up to 4x zoom. But the fisheye lens may warp the image at the ends of the screen. Also while at 1080p you can only use 30fps. For 60spfs, you’ll need to lower the resolution to 780p.
You also won’t miss anything due to short battery life, as this can last for almost 3 hours. You even get 2 batteries as part of your purchase.In fact, you get a lot of accessories with this action camera. But you may have to take some time figuring out what these are for. Some of these things have obvious uses, while others will need you to investigate further.It’s very easy to use, as the LCD screen has a 2-inch display size.
Others in the DBPOWER EX line only offer a 1.5-inch LCD display.Wi-Fi is built in, so you can use an app to control it.It’s waterproof enough for snorkeling.It has lots of other features (such as stability features) that make it perfect to use when you’re on vacation.
First things first: the 4K recording that’s supposedly available with the SJCAM SJ5000X isn’t really the true 4K recording capability you were hoping for. It is “interpolated”, which basically means it simulates 4K recording quality by guessing what missing pixels are needed to make the picture quality good enough.
Now the quality of the 4K recording and the normal 1080p resolution is about the same when you only have a 1080p TV, but if you have a 4K TV then you may find this feature better for image quality.
With the Wi-Fi capability, you can use your smartphone to see what your camera sees. And the live feed is excellent, with easy syncing and minimal delay between the real action and what you see on your smartphone screen.You can get 60fps for your 1080p recordings, although that dips to 30fps when recording with 2K.
With 4K, you drop all the way down to 24fps.When you’re recording in 1080p, you can expect only about 80 minutes of use before you have to recharge. Recharging takes about 3 hours.It’s very easy to use, as the menu system is quite intuitive.You get a waterproof case for underwater action, along with lots of clamps and holders for different mounting capabilities.
Unlike many other action cameras, the audio quality is excellent. The mic picks up lots of sounds clearly even through the waterproof case.
This is another affordable action camera, but the quality isn’t cheap at all. In fact, at this price range many consider it the best, since it can match the quality of more expensive cameras.
This is very durable, so with the price tag it’s the perfect gift for a rambunctious kid who wants to take videos while riding a bike or swimming on the beach.
It takes great underwater shots. Just make sure you use the waterproof casing—there’s even an extra one.
You also get lots of different accessories for various mounting possibilities. There’s even an extra battery too.It’s easy to pick a setting to use for this camera. So you can use it as a body camera, mount it on a vehicle, or use it as a security camera.As a security camera, you even get to use its motion detector.
There’s a mic built in that records good quality audio, although that’s only if you’re not using the waterproof case.The picture quality is also almost GoPro quality, although when you try to zoom in you’ll get grainy results.The customer service is although commendable and helpful, so if you find a defective part you can get help as to how to get a replacement part.
I have to admit that I’m a bit of a brand name snob. While you have to pay more (and in this case a lot more), you also get not just the features by the durability you need to set your mind at ease.
The AZ1 is the smallest “splash-proof” Action Cam from Sony, but it’s still heavy too at almost 13 ounces. However, you get a lot of features you won’t find in more affordable cameras.
You have 5 video modes to choose from, and that includes 1080p at 60fps. There are even 2 slow-mo modes.You also get automatic stabilization features that compensates for blurring and for bumps.The built-in mic is good enough to get good quality sound, but there’s no option to stick another mic in so you can talk while the camera is mounted elsewhere.
With the waterproof housing, you can take it down underwater. But even without the waterproof casing, it doesn’t mind sprays and showers all that much with its IPX4-class rating.There’s also a power save option, although the battery life is still a bit iffy.
Even though this is a Sony, the instructions are also on the skimpy side with lots of missing info.Pairing the camera with the remote (you can also use your smartphone) isn’t really easy the first time. But after that, it works well.
Now we come to the brand that defines the category. This is the camera that seems to offer just about everything you’ll need to take it with you on your action adventure.
And it’s actually somewhat affordable too.With its more than 60 mounts and accessories, you can mount this to just about anything.The video quality is nice enough at 1080p at 30fps, and 780p at 60fps.
If you’re a YouTube fan, then you can just use 780p at 60fps for your videos, and that’ll give you more than 4 hours of battery life.
It can withstand many different types of extreme conditions. Don’t even worry about getting it wet or taking this underwater. It’s rated for a depth of up to 40 meters (131 feet).It can also take time lapse or burst photos.It’s very light, so mounting this in your helmet won’t make you feel uncomfortable with the weight. It’s just 3.9 ounces.
Its small dimensions also mean you can take it anywhere with you, as you can just put it in your pocket.It’s also very easy to use. Basically, all you need to do is to press a single button!The waterproof cover can mess with the audio quality, although you can always just replace that with a regular cover.There’s also no LCD viewer at all. And if you get the GoPro remote, that’s extra (and extra expensive too).There’s no Wi-Fi! The Problem with Go Pro, is the price, and it can often be a good idea to wait for some GoPro Promo Codes before buying a bundle.
This camera is also for all types of action adventures, and it can also go underwater up to a depth of 30 meters. With this you get a remote controller that’s on your wrist, while you can also use your smartphone too.
There’s also a nice carrying bag for the camera and all the accessories.
It is very light as it weighs a mere 2.1 ounces. So bring it along while you run and you won’t notice its weight at all.You can get 1080p resolution with 30fps, or 780p with 60fps.Lots of helpful features are available, including time lapse, continuous lapse,
This is a lot more affordable than a GoPro. So because of that it doesn’t have some nice GoPro features like the ability to use an external mic.
The manual doesn’t really give you a lot of useful info, and downloading the app is more troublesome than it ought to be.
You can get the YouMera or SJCAM app you need from the Google Play Store instead of bothering with the QR code on the manual.
Still even at this lower price point it offers a nice image 1080p quality. The quality is similar to what you get with a GoPro SJ7000.The menu is easy to use, so you don’t really need the manual all that much. Still, the manual would have been nice so you can use the High Dynamic Range more effectively.
It has a dash cam mode, it has motion sensors, and anti-shake stabilization features. You can also get 4x zoom. The motion sensors allow you to use it as a security camera around your house.You get lots of accessories, while you can also use your old GoPro accessories with it.It’s waterproof enough that you can take underwater pictures and video. For snorkeling and even for some not so deep scuba diving, it’s good enough.
Calling the Mobius ActionCam a “mini” camera is accurate, since this thing is tiny. It only measures 2 by 1 by 1 inches and it weighs a negligible 1.2 ounces!
The only problem here is that you may not notice anything different if you drop it from your pocket or from your helmet.Because of its small size, many people use this as a very discreet dash cam.
That means you can have an accurate recording of what transpired if you get into a traffic accident or you’re stopped by police.
The video quality is good enough for that at 720p resolution at 60 fps, although you can also get 1080p at 30fps.This comes with a Japan-built glass lens with a horizontal field of view of just 131 degrees. While that may not compare with the standard 170 degrees you see in other models, with this at least you get very little distortion at the edges.
The video quality is really good, and you can match the best quality you can find on YouTube.This is strictly for land use, as it doesn’t have any water0rsistance to speak of. While you can buy a waterproof case for it, some people have reported issues regarding the heat in the heat sinks.It offers a very long list of features, although it’s not quite as easy to use as it ought to be.
The video may get a bit shaky, as there’s no built-in image stabilization. While this is not a big deal if you use it as a dash cam, if you out it on your bike handlebars the results can be nauseating. It’ll be like watching The Blair Witch Project! That wasn’t fun for me, let me tell you.
The Garmin brand is famous in the fitness tech industry, so it’s not surprising that they’d enter GoPro territory. And they’re very good at it too.
If you’re looking for a GoPro alternative, this is a solid choice.Out of the box, it has am IPX7 rating, which means you can immerse it in water up to a meter deep and for about 30 minutes.
So that means you can use it while it’s raining or while kayaking. The dive case that lets you bring this down to 50 meters underwater is a separate purchase.
It offers a 1.4-inch display. It may be small, but it’s in color.The battery lifespan is impressive, as you can record at 1080p for up to 3 hours.There are 5 different HD video modes. They range from 1080p at 30fps to 480p at 120fps for clear slow motion action stills.The wireless technology lets you pair it up with your smartphone or with some Garmin wrist technology.
It also comes with GPS plus accelerometer and barometric altimeter. Basically, you can use the Garmin camera to determine your speed so you can brag about it when you’re riding your bike or when you’re skiing downhill.It’s very easy to use. In fact, it’s been designed so you can use it while you’re wearing gloves.
Pictures look great. It even has digital stabilization and distortion correction, so you don’t end up with useless video.The mounts let you set it up just about anywhere. The decks you put it on can be curved or flat. You can put it on your helmet, your shoulders, or your bike handlebar.
Again we come to Sony, and this time we have a rather large unit that weighs more than 15 ounces. But it does offer a lot of great features.Getting a high quality video or photo isn’t a problem, as you get lots of stabilization features.
You can even get photos at 4K.It’s easy to use too. The in-camera menus are intuitive and the button placement is convenient.
The angle of vision is adjustable, so you can get a narrow or wide view.The audio is great, but that’s not true if you’re using the waterproof case.Without the water-proof case, there’s really no water-resistance at all.
It isn’t splash-proof.The minimum focus distance is about a foot so you can’t really get close-ups.The battery life is decent at about 2.5 hours.There are plenty of features, with time lapses and loops.You have an option to get Live View Remote.
Now you may be thinking that an action camera isn’t really something that you have to have. But that kind of thinking doesn’t last long with the right action camera. You’ll find out that it can really make your life much more interesting. In some ways, it can make your life easier for you too.
Take it with you on your vacation, and you get a handy device that gives you great videos and photos of every exciting thing you’ve done. Or even if you’re not on vacation, you can use it as a dash cam in your car and as a security camera at home. You can also take great pictures of your kids at play. Get one, and you’ll be amazed at what it can do.
This is the modern of keeping souvenirs and mementos and recording great experiences. Just upload your photos and videos to your social media network. It will make all your friends and family feel as if they’re there with you on your adventures!
As a subscriber, you never miss a post and you get access to my exclusive free guide/weekly content/whatever benefits you offer. Sign up today to join over 20,000 happy subscribers!
Best Action Camera under $100
Meta description: Who says cheap action cameras aren’t good? We say differently, as we offer several action cameras that come in at less than $100.
Lots of action cameras offer great features and capabilities. They’re designed to capture footage right in the middle of the action, and that means they’re light, rugged, and utterly portable. The problem is that a lot of them are expensive.
In fact, many entry-level action cameras hover around the $200 mark. So does that means you’re out of luck if you’re unable to spend at least $100? As the following sub-$100 models have demonstrated, it’s actually possible to get a decent action camera with double-digit price tags.
Of course, at this price you will have to make some sacrifices. You should at least temper your expectations and not insist on 4K recording, or excellent quality for nighttime shoots. Still, there are some features that may surprise you.
Some of the action cameras on this list once retailed for more than $100. But that was when they were new on the market. Now they’re much more affordable since they’re older than the current bestsellers.
The point of an action camera is to record action footage, so the video quality should be at least good enough for online viewing. The best ones will offer 720p or even 1080p HD resolution, which is good enough to view on large LED TVs.
Ease of use
Many people who buy at this price range just want to try out these cameras, so they don’t want to risk too much of their money. So they need cameras that are easy to use so they’ll quickly see the benefits of having such a camera. The experience of owning one will also help them get the confidence to buy more expensive models later on.
These action cameras are meant to be mounted, so they need to be small and light enough that they’re not in the way. There should also be several mounting options available as well. It also helps if the camera is at least water resistant, so that you can use it outdoors without worrying about the rain or splashes.
With these factors in mind, we’ve listed down several excellent action cameras that may interest you.
There are lots of conflicting reviews about this GreatCool camera, and that’s because some sellers are fobbing off damaged or defective goods.
But if you do manage to get one that works as it should, you’ll find plenty of surprising features.
This is available online for about $84. That may be low when compared to the $400 price tags seen on other models, but this is actually the most expensive on this list.This offers 1080p resolution as default, although there’s a 4K resolution available 15 fps.
With 1080p, you can even get 60fps, which isn’t always available with $200 action cameras. Saturation and dynamic range are good too and you have a wide angle lens with 173 degrees of viewing angle.You will have to familiarize yourself with the controls at first, but after a while it should be much easier for you.
What’s great with this camera is that while most affordable models can only accommodate 32 GB SD cards, this one can use 64 SD cards. It also comes with a 2-inch LCD screen and it has Wi-Fi built in.
The camera itself is tiny, as it measures 2.5 x 1.54 x 2 inches. It also just weighs in at 2 ounces. As is, it is splash-proof but with the waterproof casing you can submerge it underwater with no trouble. It also comes with many different types of mounts and you can also use it with your GoPro accessories.
With so many sellers offering substandard knockoffs at this price range, this LightDow is a relief.
You even get a 1-year “hassle-free” return and replace warranty.
Its $59 price tag makes it the cheapest one on this list. But for many, it’s worth much more than what its price suggests.With this you can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps, and 720p videos at 60fps.
It also comes with anti-shaking features.It’s extremely convenient to use in many different ways. With its Wi-Fi, you can control it with your smartphone. It also comes with a 2-inch LCD screen.
There’s a motion sensor too, so you can use this as a security camera when you park your car in unsafe places. It can record 1080p videos for about 70 minutes.It measures 2.33 x 1.61 x 1.15 inches, which makes it absolutely tiny.
It weighs just 2.1 ounces. Your purchase gives you 9 different mounts plus 4 straps, so you shouldn’t have any trouble attaching this to a helmet or to an adventure vehicle. And you can even take this with you underwater down to a depth of 30 meters.
This is one ruggedly built model, as it’s designed to withstand dirt, sand, and water. It also offers a lot of features found on other more expensive models.
This is the strategy of many GoPro alternatives—to offer a price that’s only 20% of what a GoPro costs, and yet offer 80% of what you can get from a GoPro.
You can get this for about $70.The image quality is good enough, especially with the video. You can get 1080p videos at 30fps, which is the frame rate of most Hollywood films and YouTube videos anyway.
But if you want clearer images when you slow down the video, you can shoot at 60fps with 720p resolution. The quality of the video is what you’d get with older GoPro models.
Underwater, you can just press buttons to scroll through various modes, such as video, photo, time lapse, and burst mode. You can also use this with your smartphone because of the built-in Wi-Fi, although that should only be for land use.It’s also very discreet with dimensions of 2.33 x 1.62 x 1.15 inches.
Mounting it shouldn’t be a problem as you get a mount for a pole or a handle, 7 other different mounts, 2 clips, and a mount for your helmet. It also has a waterproof case that doesn’t let water in, even after 24 hours under the water. You also get a travel case for all your equipment and attachments.
It costs about $80, which is quite reasonable.The video quality is so-so, with 1080p resolution at 30fps or 720p at 60fps. But you may want to just record 720p videos at 30fps.With the Wi-Fi, you can use your smartphone to control the camera and to view the live images.
There’s also an LCD screen you can use to view the footage you just shot. Other features include time lapse photos, automatic shutdown, and loop recording. There are also several settings for different shooting environmentsPortability isn’t a problem, since it measures only 2.3 x 1.6 x 1.1 inches and weighs just 2.26 ounces.
You also get plenty of mounts, straps, clips, bandages, and tethers. All these fit inside a handy travel case. It also comes with a waterproof casing, which lets you videos down to 30 meters underwater.
The YI brand may be new to you, but more than 3.5 million previous buyers will be happy to tell you all about their cameras.
This one isn’t a knockoff or a clone at all. It’s very distinct from GoPro. This is the official US edition that meets international requirements.
This model is available for about $80. But it used to be for sale for an even $100.With this, you can shoot 1080p videos with a frame rate of 60fps. You can even shoot 2K videos at 30fos, or 240p videos with a frame rate of 240fps.
It has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in, so smartphone use is very easy. You can choose from 11 video modes and 4 photo modes, so you can get the best results in whatever conditions.
This is also extremely tiny at 0.3 x 0.6 x 0.9 inches and it weighs 0.37 pounds. However, you will have to buy the mounts you need, as well as the waterproof casing.
There are several possible reasons why buying an action camera at this price range makes sense. It’s a good step if you just want to dip your toes into the whole action camera scenario.
Later on, you can buy a more expensive model when you find out just how helpful this can be. Or you can buy one of these for a kid of yours. They’ll be very excited if they’re avid athletes and they can film all their escapades and put it on YouTube or Facebook.
If you already own a high end action camera, then you can just get the best action camera under $100 as a backup just in case. At least you can still get some high quality footage of the action while experts fix your more expensive model.
Best Action Camera Under 200
Meta description: Who says you need to spend many hundreds of dollars for a good action camera? Find out how to pick one for less than $200, and check out our recommendations.
The really great action cameras offer a ton of features with incredible image quality that can match the quality of more expensive cameras. They can offer you true 4K video at 30 frames per second, when you transfer your videos to your huge high-end TV the result is simply amazing in the details and lusciousness.
These cameras can also shoot 1080p videos at an astonishing 120fps, so that you can slow it down by 5x and you still get 24fps video quality. You can even shoot at night and get decent results, and the audio quality is superb. And you can attach this type of camera to your vehicle or to yourself and you won’t notice it much because they’re very small and light.
Unfortunately, you’ll notice the cost, as these things can go for up to $500.Now at $500 you may get a lot of bang for your buck, but for many of us that’s just too expensive.
Good for you, you actually have some rather decent choices for less than $200. To find a good one, you have to consider the following factors.
Well duh, but we’re not being a wiseass, ok? We just want to take this opportunity to point out that just because something is retailing for more than $200 on its official site doesn’t mean some seller isn’t offering it for much less.
So if you see that a good action camera has a suggested retail price of $250 on its official site, you may want to check websites like Amazon for discount sellers. More often than not, you can find it for sale at less than $200.
2. Wearability and mounting
An action camera, by definition, is something that you can wear as you go on your adventure. It shouldn’t be limited to just mounting on a single vehicle of some sort. At the very least, it should be mountable on many different types of equipment, from bikes to skateboards to helmets and shoulder straps. And it should be secure in its mount as well. Of course, this factor also takes into account the size and weight of the camera.
3. Image quality
Some cameras in this price range will give you washed out colors and muddy details. Obviously that’s not good. What you should aim for is to get a video resolution of 1080p, with a frame rate of about 60fps. Usually, however, at this price range the typical scenario is 1080p at 30fps, while 780p gives you the 60fps you want.
It may also be too much to hope for nighttime or indoor videos at this price range. You may want to temper your expectations to just getting great outdoor videos during the daytime.
4. Additional features
Here you can check and see if they have any features that let you take good quality videos more easily. Some features offer several preset modes, others offer image stabilization, and you can also find some distortion limitation features. And here you should also check if the camera is easy to use.
5. Durability and ruggedness
How long can you use this camera? Here the first thing you need to consider is battery life. Then you also check for ruggedness and durability. You should also check for waterproofing too, so that you can use this for underwater adventures. At the very least, with some form of water resistance you won’t have to panic if you’re outdoors and it suddenly rains.
With these factors in mind, we’ve compiled several good choices if you have a budget that doesn’t go past $200. We’ve already checked and we’re sure that all these are eligible for this price category.
Let’s look at each one and see how else they measure up with the crucial factors we’ve listed.
If you can’t spend more than $200, then this is the Hero you deserve. And in most cases, it’s the Hero you actually need.
This is the entry-level GoPro Hero that should suffice for most folks. At this price range, many people consider this the best of the lot.
It’s a bit on the bulky side at 9.72 x 4.09 x 4.02 inches, but it only weighs 3.9 ounces. And mountability isn’t a problem at all, since it works with the full range of GoPro mounts.The image quality is decent, with details that are better than many of the other cameras with similar prices.
You can opt for 1080p at 30 fps or for 780p at 60fps. But you need to mount it securely, because handheld videos will be very shaky.This is very easy to use, as its features can be very helpful.
Press a single button and you can power it up and start recording. For fast action sequences, you can get excellent photos in Burst mode, with 5 photos in just 1 second.The battery life is so-so at 1.5 hours, and then you’re going to need to plug it in. But it does offer the stereotypical GoPro toughness. The water resistance is also superb, as you can bring it underwater to a depth of 40 meters.
GoPro isn’t your only option these days. In fact, with so many alternatives GoPro sales have dropped precipitously. From 1.3 million units sold in the first quarter of 2015, in 2016 the sales figure for the first quarter is only a little of over 700,000.
The IMX117CQT from Ablegrid is a good example why you can now safely find alternatives to the venerable GoPro brand.
Its dimensions are okay enough at 9.5 x 4.2 x 3 inches, and the weight isn’t all that heavy at 1.2 pounds. It is a bit limited in mounting options, though. You won’t get a head attachment, but it will stick to a helmet.With its 4K capabilities, the image quality of the videos is nothing less than outstanding.
What this means is that if you have a huge 4K TV, you can watch these superb videos with great clarity.And if you have a 1080p monitor, the when you zoom in you can still see details without too much blurring.
That’s great if you want to see a license plate of a hit and run driver! You can also record 1080p videos at 60fps.It’s also much easier to use, since it has a multiple video and photo shooting modes.
You also get a 2-inch screen that shows what you’ve shot. And there’s Wi-Fi too, so you get live video on your phone.On a single charge you can get up to 2 hours of recording. And the waterproofing can reach up to 30 meters underwater. That’s still pretty good.
This is a cube action camera that measures less than 1.4 inches on each side. It’s very light at 2.1 ounces too. As for mounting it, you have a magnet at the bottom so you can just stick it to anything metallic.
You also have a mount for your helmet or bike, a suction mount, a tripod mount, and a 1-inch strap mount.The image quality is better than good, with 1440p resolution and various image stabilization features.
The Wi-Fi makes it easy to use, as you can use your smartphone as a controller. All you need is the app.It can support up to 128 GB micro SD. Others can only support 32 GB. But you will have to plug it in if you plan to use up the entire 128 GB for your videos at one time, since the battery life is only for 1.5 hours.
As is, it is weatherproof and splash-proof, but you need to buy the water casing separately if you plan to use this underwater.
Garmin, to no one’s surprise, has made a decent attempt to penetrate the action camera niche with this fine model. It’s small and light at 4.2 x 1.8 x 1.1 inches and 6.1 ounces. It also comes with very solid and secure mounting hardware.
It’s perfect for a helmet.It offers 4 distinct HD modes, ranging from 1080p at 30fps to 480p at 120fps. It also features digital stabilization and lens distortion correction to enhance the video quality.It comes with both Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities, so it is extremely easy to use.
It’s even designed to let you use it with no trouble even if you’re wearing gloves.It has an IPX7 rating, so you can submerge it a little for half an hour or so. You’ll have to buy the water casing separately if you want waterproofing up to 50 meters.But the battery life is impressive, as you can last for up to 3 hours even if you record 1080p videos.
Most action cameras aren’t meant for hunting. But this one was designed by shooters for shooters. You can mount it on most forms of hunting weapons, including rifles, handguns, or even bows.
It’s tiny at 2.6 x 1.3 x 1.8 inches and it only weighs a pound.You can use it to take videos of your prey as you take it down. You can get up to 5x zoom with the lens. It’s not a digital zoom so you retain the image quality. You can also record 1080p videos at 30 fps. Even at low light, the video quality is good.
What makes this easy to use is that it also features a laser, so you know precisely what you’re shooting at with your camera and with your weapon. There’s no screen, but then again you don’t usually look through the screen when you’re hunting.It’s not for underwater use, but it can stand a little drizzle with no problem. The battery life is superb, as it can last up to 4 hours.
As you can seem you can find an excellent action camera with decent image quality and features without having to spend too much money.
If you’re not sure whether you need this type of camera, then you can try these cameras out at first. When you find them useful (and you will), you can then save up for a more expensive model—and you can use these ones as backup or for your kids to use.
Best Action Camera Under 300
Description: This article lists down five good quality action cameras that are less than $300.
When it comes to recording outdoor experiences like river rafting, biking, and snowboarding, you no longer have to bring a mobile phone camera or risk your $500 DSLR. You can now record those adventures with an action camera. The good news is that you can have a very good one for less than 300 dollars.
A 300 dollar action camera will have everything you need to capture high definition clips or photos when you are outdoors. Moreover, the camera is likely to be waterproof and shockproof making it ideal for use in rugged environment. You can even connect to the Internet so you can easily upload your clips or photos online. You will also be surprised that despite all those advanced features, a 300 dollar action camera can easily fit into your pockets.
How to Choose an Action Camera Under 300 dollars
A. Image quality
A sub-$300 action camera should be able to capture high definition video of at least 1080 pixels and photos of at least 8 megapixels. Those are ultra clear photos and videos that you will be proud to share on your social media accounts and upload on YouTube.
Moreover, it has different shooting modes like quick capture and auto low light that would allow you to capture professional-quality shots and clips in different lighting conditions.
B. Wi-Fi Function
If you had a budget of less than $100, then Wi-Fi functionality wouldn’t be a top factor to consider at all. But action cameras worth $300 or less will have some sort of ability to connect to the internet through Wi-Fi.
This feature will let you to adjust the settings of the camera, view photos and videos, and upload your clips to the Internet with the help of an app. With this feature, there’s no more need remove the memory card, insert it to another PC or tablet, and then upload the files inside it online.
A $300 action camera is waterproof and thus can be used in virtually all outdoor adventure activities. So whether you love to bike, kick flip at the skate park, swim, or slide down a ski slope, you won’t have to worry about your waterproof camera getting damaged by the elements.
A $300 action camera should be waterproof for at least 100 feet. This makes the gadget the ideal companion in shooting your water sport adventures.
D. Ease of Use
While you will appreciate an action camera packed in features, everything will come to waste if the unit itself is difficult to use. This could be brought about by having confusing controls that will make you shoot or capture on the wrong setting, or worse, failing to record a fun or memorable moment.
Fortunately, a $300 worth of action camera will likely have both physical controls and wireless smartphone apps. That means you’ll be able to take a shot the traditional way by pressing on a button, or the modern way which is by controlling the camera through a smartphone app.
Other Factors to Consider
- Stereo microphone—this is a feature that will be helpful in recording sounds of your adventures, which make the entire clip more engaging and fun. Look for a unit with stereo microphone and noise reduction.
- Mounting Options—the ideal action camera is one that has different mounting options. You don’t want to get stuck with an action camera that only has one or two mounting choices. You should look for one with accessory mounts for almost any situation, from biking to surfing to skiing.
- Battery life--- action cameras aren’t really known for their long battery life, but you’d still want one that has at least 2-3 hours of battery life when shooting high definition videos.
- Compact size/shape--- the right action camera is one that is lightweight and compact enough that you can easily mount it on a helmet, place on your chest, or put on a selfie stick. The shape of the camera is also a consideration depending on your preferred way of mounting it.
If you are to mount it on your helmet, a bullet cam is the best choice. A box design is more stable if you are to mount it on your chest.
Recommended Product Reviews
If you have a budget of $300 for your action camera, then you will be in for a treat as you have lots of options to choose from. And these cameras are so good that your friends will be impressed with the photos and clips you will capture regardless of the model you choose.
But since there are lots of models that you can choose from, I have made things easier for you by picking five of the best action cameras under $300:
GoPro HERO+ LCD (Wi-Fi Enabled)
GoPro is basically the one that has set the gold standard in the action camera market. And you can’t go wrong with the GoHero+LCD.
Arguably its best feature is its built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that allows you to connect to the device through an app on your smartphone so you can control the camera remotely, adjust shooting modes and settings, and view and share your photos and clips.
It also has a touch display so you can preview your shots, play back content, navigate menus, and adjust settings easily.
Aside from capturing 1080 pixel videos and 8MP photos as well as multiple shooting modes, you will love that this GoPro is waterproof up to 131 feet or 40 meters.
Sony has always been one of the top electronic brands, so it is not surprising it has an entry here with the HDR-AS200V.
For starters, you can choose seven different video modes in this action camera including the high resolution 1080 pixels.
Plus it has a built-in stereo microphone that captures all the exciting sounds of your outdoor adventure.
Its wind reduction feature also lessens noise and interference, allowing the action camera to produce a clear and clean sound.
Once you’re done capturing all your adventures, you will have an easy time sharing them on social media thanks to this camera’s Highlight Movie Maker. This feature lets you make short movie clips in MP4 format that can be easily shared on social media.
One advantage of this product over the other items in the list is that it is not as expensive as the other action cams.
But it does have its own unique set of features that can satisfy you and any other outdoor adventurist for that matter.
Perhaps the most impressive feature is its ability to record ultrahigh definition clips in 4K pixels. Its 16Mpx Sony sensor is partly responsible for that, enabling the camera to shoot photos and videos in ultrahigh definition quality.
Moreover, it can offer a wider angle than other action cameras. Thus you can shoot more of the landscape, giving a panoramic feel to your clips. It is also Wi-Fi ready.
Like the GoPro Hero which was earlier discussed, the Hero 3 can capture videos in 1080 pixels.
You can also downgrade the video quality to lower resolutions of 960 pixels and 720 pixels which are still high definition and definitely would look clear and clean regardless of where you view them.
But unlike the GoPro Hero, the Hero 3 is capable of taking 10 megapixel photos. It can also take up to 10 shots in one second, which makes it a very formidable action camera particularly in capturing fast action sequences.
Expectedly the Hero 3 has a built-in Wi-Fi that will make it easier to transfer or upload files online, as well as to view photos and playback video clips.
The GoPro Hero is an older model from the world’s top producer of action cameras.
Thus it is cheaper compared to the Hero 3 and Hero with Wifi but it still has some pretty good features for an action camera.
While it doesn’t have Wi-Fi, the Hero is capable of capturing 1080 pixel videos and 5MP photos. Its built-in microphone also lets it record audio.
When recording videos in 1080 pixels quality, you can expect your recording to last around 90 minutes.The camera is waterproof up to 131 feet, and has an external memory that can be expanded up to 32 gigabytes.
Simply put, the GoPro Hero is a very basic action camera that should be a decent option if you’re hesitant to shell out $300 for a gadget of this kind.
As you can see, a budget of $300 is enough to buy a superior action camera that has bells and whistles you’ll appreciate. A $300 worth of action camera will have Wi-Fi connectivity which would allow you to upload the clips and photos right away.
At the minimum, a $300 action camera can capture 1080 pixel videos and is waterproof up to 100 feet.Any of the five action cameras I listed in this article should give you a quality action cam you can bring with you on your next outdoor adventure.
Best Action Camera Under 400
Description: This article discusses the best action cameras you can get for less than $400.
If you have a budget of $400 for an action camera, then you have tons of options to choose from. It’s very likely that the action camera you’re getting would be the envy of your friends and colleagues. Packed in features such as ultrahigh definition video, superb audio, and tons of mounts and accessories, an action camera within this price range is also durable and waterproof.
Because you’re likely getting a 4K camera, make sure you have a 4K TV or monitor. If you don’t own any, getting a camera with 4K resolution is pointless.Transfer of files and control of the unit itself are also easy as most of the cameras within this price range are Wi-Fi ready.
Moreover, the Wi-Fi capability would also enable you to upload the photos and videos online directly from the camera.
How to Choose the Best Action Camera
A. Image Quality
With a budget of $400, you won’t have to settle for a low video and photo resolution. You’d definitely get a camera that can capture video clips in ultrahigh definition of 4K or 4,000 x 2000 pixels. It’s a lot better in terms of quality than high definition or 1080 pixels. You’ll get sharper, more precise images.
While ultrahigh definition video is almost a given with a $400 action camera, you should also look for one that has multiple shooting modes. Having many modes to choose from will let you shoot crisp and clear photos in different lighting conditions.
B. Size, shape and weight
Whether you intend to mount the action camera on a helmet or place it on a selfie stick, you would want to have an action camera that is lightweight and compact. A small and lightweight action camera is easier to carry around, slip into your bag, or hold in hand.
The shape of the action camera may also affect your buying decision. If you plan to mount the cam on your chest, you might have to go with a box-shaped gadget. A bullet-shaped camera is more ideal for mounting on a helmet.
C. Battery Life
Since an action camera in the $400 range is packed in features, the easier it is for its battery to get drained. Battery life is important because the features of the action camera won’t work if there is not enough juice left. Thus you should look for a camera that can last for at least three hours, especially if you are to record in ultrahigh definition. Moreover, replacement batteries are great in case you intend to be outdoors for an extended period.
D. Wi-Fi function
You should definitely get an action camera that has a built-in Wi-Fi function. There are many reasons why you would want the camera to have such feature. One is that you can control the camera’s setting remotely through an app on your smartphone. You can make your smartphone act as a remote control, and use it to adjust settings and frame your shots. Another is that it is easier to transfer and upload files online with a built-in Wi-Fi.
Simply put, it gives a wireless way of controlling your action camera making it all the more easier to control.
There are other things that you have to consider when shopping for an action camera:
- Image stabilization--- the usual problem with most action cameras is the jerky videos they produce. But with an action camera with image stabilization features, you can produce clips or images that are not as blurred.
- Built-in stereo mic with noise reduction— this feature lets you capture all the sounds during your adventure, from the sound of the winds to the shrieks your buddy made.
- Durability—almost all action cameras within the $400 price range are waterproof. This feature makes them great for outdoor use. But you need to look into the construction of the camera itself.
Is the LCD screen made of scratch proof material like Gorilla Glass? Does it come with a casing? These are some of the things you can ask when shopping for an action camera.
- Ease of Use—the availability of a mobile app should make it easier for you to control the action camera.
Recommended Product Reviews
When it comes to video quality, the Sony HDR-AS200VR/W action cam can match up with the best of them especially those from the acknowledged market leader and innovator of action cameras, GoPro.
Video quality is at an ultrahigh definition of 4K, with images crystal clear and colors very accurate.
You can even record at high definition 1080p at 60 frames per second, so that quick turns and motions are captured very well.
The Wi-Fi function of this action camera is also very impressive. With it, you can adjust the frame rate and recording quality of the AS200VR. You can also get a real-time preview of whatever the camera is recording.
And with its bullet-shaped design, this camera is more suited for mounting on helmets.
Another Sony model that is being touted as a GoPro killer is the FDR-X1000V/W 4K action camera.
Like the other Sony cam, this is a shotgun-styled camera with a flat base enabling it to stand on its own.
The camera itself is splash-resistant. It can also reach depths of 33 feet as long as you cover it with its waterproof casing.
While it can record videos in 4K resolution, the action camera can also shot clips at reduced quality— 1080 p, 720 p, and 480 p.
A key feature is its image stabilization. It can compensate for various degrees of camera shake, making the action camera capable of shooting land-based sports activities to aerial shots on drones.
Another entry from Sony is the HDRAS50R. The main selling point of this action cam is its Live View Remote, a wearable that you can place on your wrist so that you can see what the camera is recording
.Another key feature is the Advanced SteadyShot technology, which is basically an image stabilization function that leads to smoother video clips with less blur.
Aside from capturing 4k videos, it can shoot stills at 8 megapixels.Its field of view can also be adjusted, depending on your needs.
You can change it from wide to narrow, if you want to capture a greater view of the surroundings. While it is not waterproof, you can buy a case for it so you can use it for skiing and water sports.
This product may not be from a brand that is as reputable as Sony but it is pretty good for its price.
It offers a nice package with no shortage of essential features, making it a good alternative to the other items listed here.
It can shoot stills at 16 megapixels and videos at a maximum of 4K. You can also opt for lower video settings of 960 pixels and 720 pixels.
After capturing videos or stills, you can upload them online through the built-in Wi-Fi connectivity of the camera.
This is a durable and tough camera that is waterproof at up to 300 feet. It can also endure extreme temperatures. Plus it has a hardy external case that can endure bumps and scratches, something you should look for in any action camera.
The GoPro Hero4 Silver is one of the best-selling models from the innovator of the action camera market, and its features will show you why GoPro has been considered as the best maker of action cameras.
Like all of the cameras in this price range, the Hero 4 Silver can shoot videos at 4K and full frame rate. It offers other resolutions, too, like 960 pixels and 720 pixels, among others.
With the numerous resolution settings offered by the Hero 4 Silver, you have lots of options to choose far when it comes to video recording.You can also capture stills at 12 megapixels with this action camera.
And with its Wi-Fi feature, you can upload images and clips with ease. This camera is also waterproof up to 131 feet.
With a $400 budget, there should be no problem for you to get a features-packed action camera. Your choices aren’t limited to GoPro, either, as other brands have come up with powerful yet compact action cams.
Sony and AEE Technology are two other brands that are giving GoPro a run for its money.
Because cameras in this price range tend to have the same features in terms of image quality, your buying decision may be affected by other factors like durability, ease of use, size, and image stabilization.
Whether you opt for the GoPro Hero 4 or any of Sony’s action cameras, or AEE Technology’s offering, you won’t regret buying any of the five models I listed in this article. All of them are loaded in features and lightweight, which are things you really want from an action camera.
Best Action Camera under 500
Description: What are the best action cameras for less than $500? Find out in this article.
Consider yourself lucky if you have a budget of $500 for an action camera. For one, you will be able to purchase any of the flagship models of the top brands with such allocation. These include Sony and GoPro, a pioneer of the sports camera market. Flagship models have the best features, which should impress you even if you are a picky shopper.
Perhaps the most standout feature of action cameras under 500 dollars is its excellent image quality. Whether you’re taking videos or still, you can expect to have crystal clear images and clips that you can share with your friends online. Plus, the ease of sharing them is noteworthy as a $500 sports camera usually has Wi-Fi functionality.
Upon reading this article, you’ll realize how fortunate you are to have a lot of money to invest in a high-end action camera.
How to Choose an Action Camera
There are many factors that will come into play when you shop for an action camera. One would be the image quality, but since it is already a given that a $500 camera will have a maximum resolution of either 1080 p or 4K, there are other factors that you might have to consider such as:
A. Ease of Use
Action cameras worth $500 or less will be packed in features. But if the camera itself isn’t user-friendly, then everything goes to waste.
An easy-to-use action camera is one that has a smartphone app, so you can adjust the settings, look at the viewfinder, and playback videos and view photos even if the camera is several feet away from you.
Having too many physical buttons doesn’t make the action camera easy to use. Buy a camera with a just three buttons. The fewer the physical controls there are, the less likely you will make mistakes especially if you aren’t used to controlling the cam.
B. Battery Life
All those great features of an action camera, from Wi-Fi connectivity to ultrahigh definition videos, will go to naught if your battery dies just after half an hour of use. This underlines the need for you to buy an action cam with decent battery life.
Buy one that can last for at least 2-3 hours, although you certainly want more juice from your battery. An alternative course of action would be to buy a couple of spare batteries for the action cam you chose.
Of course, there are lots of factors that can affect the battery life. Shooting at high resolution, particularly 4K, uses more power. Having the Wi-Fi turned on can also drain the battery faster. Shooting in sub-zero temperatures can also drain the battery quickly.
C. Mounting Options
With a high-end action camera, you will likely want your gadget to be mounted in different ways. If you’re biking, you would want it to be mounted on your helmet, or the bar of your bike. If you are carving into snow, you might want to place it on your side. And upon reaching the peak, you will surely want to capture the view by placing the cam on a selfie stick with you and your friend on the foreground.
As such, you should look for an action camera with different mounting options; one that can’t only be mounted in one or two ways.
D. Size and shape
Because you’ll be taking the action cam outdoors, you will want it to be lightweight and compact. It must be small enough that you can slip into your bag, and even in your pockets. Moreover, being lightweight means you won’t mind if you mount the camera on your helmet, or place it on your chest for an extended period.
There are two shapes that action cameras are often available in. One is the box-type which is best suited for mounting on the chest, and the other is the shotgun-type which is more appropriate for mounting on the helmet.
Other Factors to Consider
Here are some other factors that you need to mull over:
- Connections—you should buy an action camera with a mini HD connection so you can connect it directly to a flat screen TV.
- Waterproof/shock resistance—a good action camera should be waterproof especially if you intend to use it in capturing your water sports adventure like wakeboarding
- Storage capacity—buy an action cam with a storage capacity that can be expanded to 32 or even 64 GB. After all, an hour of HD video alone would consume 1GB of storage. Thus the bigger storage space that you have, the more videos that you can store on your gadget.
- Accessories—mounting options, waterproof casings, and clamps are some of the accessories that your action camera should have.
Recommended Product Reviews
You will realize that you have many choices when shopping for an action camera that is less than $500. But I picked five of the best action cameras within this price range. You will love the features, durability, and compactness of these action cams:
For many outdoor enthusiasts, this is the best action camera today, bar none. It helps that it comes from the firm that basically established the action camera market.
But looking at its features and you’ll understand why the Hero 4 Black is considered by many as the best action cam today.
Aside from being able to capture ultrahigh resolution 4K video, the Hero 4 Black has an innovative night mode.
It can adjust its settings for low light condition, hence, you won’t have to make any adjustments when posing for the cam just before the sun sets in. It’s also easy to use with its one-button camera enabling you to power on the gadget and start recording with a press of a single button.
It has pretty modest features when compared to the Hero 4 Black, but this one has a more budget-friendly price.
If you aren’t a very picky user, then you might even find this one a more practical choice than the Heron 4 Black.
Sure, it doesn’t capture 4K or ultrahigh definition video but 1080 pixel videos are clear, too.
The Go Pro Hero+ LCD can also capture 8MP photos, which may pale in comparison with the 12MP photos of the Hero 4 Black.
But like the Hero 4 Black, the Hero + LCD lets you upload your photos and videos directly through its built-in Wi-Fi function.
The said feature also facilitates the use of the GoPro app that you can download on your smartphone. It gives you full control of all the functions and settings of the camera, as well as easy shot preview and playback.
The TomTom Bandit action camera is the latest “GoPro killer,” a label that is often associated with any new gadget that is deemed to match up with the superior features of GoPro cameras.
But a closer look at this bullet-styled action camera reveals intriguing features that can make you think twice about purchasing the Hero 4 Black.
The camera has an integrated mount connector and a waterproof case. It also offers 4K filming and 16 megapixels images. Once you are done filming, you can easily upload your photos and videos with its easy editing feature.
Choose, drag, and drop highlights into a footage, which you can upload through its smartphone app.
While it doesn’t produce the best pictures while on the move as well as in low light conditions, the TomTom Bandit is a cheaper alternative to the pricey GoPro
This Sony action cam is very simple to use, which is something you’d want from any gadget. There’s a red dot button on top which you press to start recording.
Then there are two buttons for on-screen navigation.
There’s also image stabilization, which is very important if you are taking photos or capturing videos outdoors. It also has Wi-Fi functionality allowing you to control the unit remotely as well as to upload and share clips and images easily.
Another feature that comes in handy with this camera is the Highlight Movie Maker. Simply select the best scenes from your videos, and create a short movie clip that you can share with your social media friends instantly.
Although it is not a 4K action cam, the Garmin Virb XE is a quite a decent choice for the not-so-demanding user.
It has a built-in GPS and external sensors that enable it to connect to other Garmin devices. If you have the said accessories such as heart rate monitor, you can capture data like speed, elevation, and heart rate.
It can also capture 1080 p videos and 12 MP photos. Plus it is waterproof to 50 meters. Another key feature is its Bluetooth Audio, which can capture audio in high definition
Five hundred dollars is a good sum of money for an action camera, and you will definitely have no shortage of options when you have that much budget. For $500, you should clearly go for a 4K cam although you can also settle for one with 1080 pixels if you think you don’t need ultrahigh definition videos, or you don’t have the time or patience to edit such files.
You must not also overlook the other factors like ease of use, size, and battery life of the action cam. Anyway, the five items listed in this article will surely not disappoint you if you’re looking for a good quality sports cam.