Top 15 Best Action & Sports Cameras Reviewed and Tested

Rating: 4.67 based on 3 Ratings
Pia Lopez
September 3, 2017 By Pia Lopez
Top 15 Best Action & Sports Cameras Reviewed and Tested www.sleeklens.com

Action Cameras are one of the many positive developments in digital technology and in the field of photography for the last few years. With a wide range of DSLR cameras and compact digital ones, there is no excuse to say: “I cannot take a picture”; and if all this wasn’t enough, we also find a wide variety of options in current smartphones whose cameras are even able to equip Carl Zeiss lenses. However, there are situations where our photography equipment can be dangerously exposed to elements such as water, rain, snow and much more. For this rea, on we must consider other capturing and recording devices better suited for the great outdoors and this is why we have written an article on the best action and sports cameras on the market today.

action camera comparison

Let us take, for example, going to the beach. Certainly, something that many people do is take their compact cameras, or worse still, reflex, when the idea is to go to hang out with friends, swimming, or have any sort of competition on the beach. The photographic equipment will be threatened by elements such as water (in case of not being weather sealed), salt water (that despite complying with the previous option, cameras are not capable of withstanding the impact of saltpeter) or sand. Is it really a necessity to spoil a photo kit, of perhaps over $1000, for a moment that’s supposed to be fun?

With the above considerations exposed, we could assume that the photographic industry has thought of such drawbacks, which were the first “off-road” cameras. Models such as the Nikon AW120 or the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX30 first come to mind, which was specifically intended to be used under water or in environments such as snow, mud, sand, etc. However, one of the main problems of these earlier pieces of equipment was the inefficient quality of their video filming (which in extreme sports are a necessity) or their ability to be portable without compromising power who recorded the time to live. For all this and much more, the industry went a step beyond, and born were the current models known as “Action Cameras”.

action camera reviews

Designed with the mindset of that fearless athlete who wants to keep memories of their workouts or competitions, and even those fans who think of the world as a vast landscape to be explored. Easy to carry, lightweight, resistant to outdoor elements, capable of shooting at a resolution higher than 1080 p… There are many reasons that we can think of to make us want to acquire an Action Camera; However, instead of stopping at such questions, how about going beyond and doing a review of what are thought to be the 15 best Action Cameras on market for 2017 – fully tested and with sample videos. It does sound good, right? Don’t miss this list!

GoPro Hero4 BlackGo to Amazon
A camera that needs no introductions. Speaking of Action Cameras, we all think of GoPro(s), especially since until today is still keeping firm the bastion of the adventure photography experience. So is there a better way to start this list than actually doing it by mentioning a GoPro as the first action camera review of these series?
Watch video review
Overall rating:
89
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Pros
  • Lightweight (89g / 152g (if using housing) )
  • Incredible image quality
  • Brand's reputation
  • Compact size
  • Lots of accessories
  • 4K Video Capable
  • Waterproof: Yes - up to 40m
Cons
  • Price
  • Confusing menu
Click to read the full Review
The GoPro Hero4 Black is by all means a tiny action camera but this should not be mistaken to mean that it is an under achiever. Every pro understands how remarkable this small-sized camera is and many people looking for the best quality videos definitely pick on this lovely piece for all their professional jobs. The most amazing thing is that despite its unique features and quality, the action cam is also reasonably priced and therefore ranks highly among other 4K video shooting action cameras.

The Hero 4 Black is an upgrade of the GoPro’s Hero 3 black and offers more than 30 frames per second therefore giving double what its predecessor was offering not to mention that there are also many other enhancements that pro photographers are guaranteed of. The Hero4 Black has some amazing shooting specifications reaching 4k and at a full frame speed with the resolution reaching Ultra Hi-Definition’s 3,840 x 2,160 noticeably different from the 4k film 4,096 x 2,160 resolutions offered by both the GoPro Hero 3 and 3+. The Hero 4 Black also offers different shooting options including 2,704 x 1,520 (2.7K) at 60 fps and 2,702 x 2,028 (2.7k 4:3) at 30 fps. And this is not all. The GoPro action cam has other bewildering resolution selection settings which allows you to shoot at high-speed with options ranging from 1,440p, 1080p and 720p at 80 frames/sec and 120 frames/sec and 240 frames/sec respectively.

Hero 4 also has time lapse option available and this allows you to speed up time if at all you do not want to slow things down. The time lapse has intervals ranging between 0.5 and 60 seconds, a perfect range that allows you to speed up time as you would prefer. On the other hand, you can use GoPro while riding your bike or driving your car, by simply mounting it on your helmet or dashboard and then turning on the looping. This mode allows the new files to replace the old ones whenever the memory is full thus helping you not to miss out on any action.

GoPro Hero4 Black features

The Hero 4 Black action cam has a number of features which make it unique from all others within the GoPro family. These include: -

Doubled Processor

The Hero 4 Black edition has a processor that is 2x faster that the Hero 3+ Black version. This feature gives you better quality videos and photos, something you will love as a pro photographer. You can expect sharper and more detailed images and expect double frame rate for your videos as well.

12 MP Photos

The quality of the photos shot using the Hero4 Black is always good. You can shoot clear 12 MP photos with the Time Lapse Mode making it possible for you to take continuous photos while in action and at intervals ranging between 0.5 and 60 seconds.

4k resolution

Every GoPro fan will definitely fall in love with this feature as it allows you to capture videos with 4k resolution at 30, 25 and 24 frames per second at a screen resolution of 3840×2160.

After dark settings

Whether you are taking a single shot or working with the Time Lapse Mode, it is easy to modify your exposure settings for up to 30 seconds thanks to the after dark settings. Even in the dark, you can capture high quality snapshots in the dark thanks to the Night Lapse and Night Photo modes which make the process easier.

QuikCapture Mode

With the GoPro Hero 4 Black, no moments will be missed and this is guaranteed by the inclusion of the QuickCapture Mode. While the camera is set in this mode, you only need to push a button and it will start recording. The same button can help you take Time Lapse Photos by simply pushing it for 2 seconds. This makes the action camera unique and ideal when you want to capture every moving thing during your adventure.

Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Share

Use your tablet or Smartphone as remote control or connect with different GoPro cams within 180 meters. The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are incorporated into the camera and they helps you to connect to the Smart Remote and GoPro App with ease. Whenever you want to do shot previews, share your media through Faceboo, sms, email or other platforms, the feature will definitely come in handy.

Video tagging

This feature allows you to tag different moments of your videos for easier access if you want to share or edit them using GoPro Studio or App. You can tag the videos using the GoPro Hero 4 Black or opt for the GoPro App or Smart Remote.

Automatic Low Light Mode

When you have no time to make calculations, this mode will come in handy. Just set the action cam into the Auto Low Light Mode and the GoPro Hero 4 Black will give you the best possible results when shooting in low light environments. During the recording, the camera will change the frame rates automatically thus giving you high quality results.

Manual Control

You can manually customize your Hero 4 Black using the ProTune settings which helps you to modify ISO Limit, color, white balance, sharpness and exposure value. This is a unique addition to the customization settings found in other GoPro editions and works well for professionals looking for easier controls.

GoPro Hero 4 Black Pros and Cons

As with every other electronic, GoPro Hero 4 Black has its own share of pros and cons. Here are some of the most notable pros and cons.

Pros

• High quality and sharp images

• Compact size and lightweight thus ideal for travelling and other adventures

• Manual control useful especially for customizable exposure value during the night.

• Wi-fi connection

• Improved menu navigation

• 12 MP photo shoots @ speeds of 30 frames per second

Cons

• Poor battery life

• No LCD screen

• Doesn’t connect to iMac or Mac Book

• Hard to make changes to the menu without GoPro App

Conclusion

By all standards, GoPro Hero 4 Black is a great camera to invest in. the pros heavily outweighs the cons thus making this action camera an ideal addition to your collection whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer. The waterproof camera will definitely help make your experiences highly enjoyable as you take your photos and record videos thanks to the fast and proficient filming modes.

((Video courtesy of Skydive Hawaii))

TomTom BanditGo to Amazon
A unique hybrid between a semi-professional camera and a top-level action camera, doesn't leave much doubt that the purchase of this camera will not be a disappointment. Its most noteworthy features include GPS, motion sensors and a heart activity monitor.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
93
Autonomy:
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85
100
Weight:
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100
Image Quality:
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Pros
  • Easy to mount and position
  • Fancy looking
  • Long battery life
  • 4K Video Capable
Cons
  • Heavier and bulkier in comparison with other models
  • Requires a lens swap to be waterproof
Click to read the full Review
When it comes to the purchase of an action camera, TomTom Bandit is definitely one of the highly rated products in the market today. The action camera is designed to use integrated sensors for tagging all the likely attractions within your clips thus making your editing work much easier. There are many factors that make this camera a worth investment especially when you consider its design, image quality, performance and features. TomTom Bandit action camera also has a mobile aopp that allows you to create a focus roll quickly by simply shaking your Smartphone.

If you are into action photography, you understand the importance of editing and also know the unpleasant editing downtime associated with many action cameras. With the TomTom Bandit, the editing downtime is something you can forget about since it allows you to edit your videos without the need to download them. The action camera also happens to be the first 4K HD action Camera ever, something that clearly gives the impression of what you should expect.

The TomTom is Splash-proof meaning you can capture all the highlight actions under light showers or snow, thanks to the lens cover which is included. In addition to this, the action camera offers a number of benefits including the following: -

TomTom Bandit Pros

High quality recording

TomTom Bandit action camera is the first to offer 4K HD recording which makes it possible for you to capture high quality recordings. If you are looking to forward to adventures captured with lively and professional quality, then this is the action camera to pick. The Bandit has 1080p60/720p120 fps which ensures that even the quickest of moments and the smallest details are never missed when recording. Not only so, but they will also be very clear. With the data visualization for iOS devices, the Bandit also helps you do an analysis or your location and stats for improved performance.

Easy edit system

The action camera stands tall when it comes to the editing process. You only need to shake the camera to edit your footages meaning that there is no need for you to disrupt your adventure so as to edit. The process is very simple and doesn’t require much of your professional input. Just connect the Bandit to a Smartphone, shake the device and you will have your best highlights edited and ready for sharing. In addition, you can also edit your highlights manually in a few simple steps. Just choose, drag and drop the highlights into the footage and you’ll have then ready to upload.

Cable-free operation

TomTom Bandit action camera uses Batt-stick technology which allows it to merge the battery with MicroSD card and USB housing. This makes it easier for you to connect the camera to a computer by simply removing the Batt-stick and then plugging it in.

On-the-go recording

With TomTom Bandit, you can continue recording while still going on with your action. The camera comes with a wide range of features that are guaranteed to help you do this even as the instant playback allows you to know where you are, thanks to the Built-in GPS receiver. During your recording process, you can tag different events thus making it easier for you to trace and sort them out later. You are always protected from mishaps while recording thanks to the lens cap which is splashproof.

Mounting versatility

Another feature that makes the Bandit unique is its mounting resourcefulness. The different shooting modes help bring some life to your footages while at the same time highlighting all the best moments. It also has Time Lapse to help you capture spectacular transitions such as sunsets. For optimal rotation and support, the camera offers versatile mounts which helps capture the best shots always.

Long battery life

TomTom Bandit comes with a Lithium Polymer battery which guarantees long life thus ensuring you do not miss any of the actions while out in the field. It lasts 3 hours while operating at 1080p and this is a great plus for any action camera.
Cons
While the Bandit truly offers some amazing advantages, it falls short in some areas especially when you consider previous user reviews. The major cons of the TomTom Bandit camera include the following: -

Bulkier and heavier

Compared to other action camera models, the Bandit is heavier and bulkier. This might be a downside for many people especially if you are looking for something lighter. However, this is not a major concern especially when you consider other great pros that the action camera has to offer. It’s weight somehow limits the kind of mounts with which it can comfortably work and this is something that almost every other legitimate competitor will challenge the action camera.

No LCD viewfinder

Although the Bandit has a small black and white LCD, it fails badly compared to other legitimate competitors. This is one thing that users might find missing. This together with the lack of digital image stabilization could come as a put-off to many photography lovers but there is so much to enjoy for the amount of money the camera is sold for.

TomTom Bandit Camera Specifications

• Dimensions: 3.7 in. x 1.5 in. x 2.0 inches/ 94mm x 38mm x 52mm

• Weight: 190g/6.7 oz.

• Camera 16MP

• Video recording: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/120fps

• Burst mode: 10 per second

• Video features: widescreen toggle/normal, slow motion mode and time lapse mode

• External microphone: via cable

• Internal microphone: Yes

• Phone connectivity: Through Wi-Fi

• Sensor connectivity: Via Bluetooth 4.0

• Recording time: Approximately 3 hours

• Storage: microSD with capacity of up to 128GB

• Battery life: 3 hours at 1080p (30fps)

• Charging: USB with male USB battery

Conclusion

The TomTom Bandit action camera is a real deal when all factors are considered. It addresses numerous pain points found in other action cams and with its versatile mounting system, quick and easy mobile editing and the removable battery there is no doubt that it is a handy camera. It is an excellent substitute for GoPro thanks to its various shooting options and other notable features. However, if the video quality is your concern, GoPro Hero4 Silver will be a great bet.

Garmin Virb XEGo to Amazon
Created by Garmin, giant of the geographic location industry, we will analyze what makes this compact camera designed for action and sports an ideal choice for purchasing.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
76
Autonomy:
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100
Weight:
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100
Image Quality:
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Design:
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Pros
  • GPS and other motion sensors
  • Precise data from devices
Cons
  • Expensive, really expensive
  • Doesn't film in 4K
  • Not Waterproof (Splashproof)
  • Somewhat heavy (Weight: 152g)
Click to read the full Review
The invention of action cameras by GoPro has seen a dozen other action cameras enter the scene and Garmin Virb XE is one of them. Manufactured by Garmin, the cam beats many others hands down owing to the inclusion of multiple features and superior design.

The Virb XE is undoubtedly one of the most innovative action cameras and even without a case, the gadget is waterproof. It also has some easy to reach and intuitive on-device controls which makes it unique even in fray of action, you will be able to collect abundant data to overlay on your videos for a deeper sense of the adventurous events taking place. Garmin Virb XE is ideal for pros, amateurs and the in-between but if you are looking for sharp quality videos, then you might be a bit disappointed. However, the poor quality videos do not take away the many other great features that the action camera has to offer.

Garmin Virb XE overview

Having been manufactured by the Garmin, one of the world’s best known GPS manufacturers, the Virb XE offers a unique connection between extreme outdoor activities and GPS technology. This gives it an edge over other action cameras while at the same time making it a unique gadget as an upgrade of the company’s original Virb Elite. The camera offers a host of unique features worth considering including the following:

Recording quality

Garmin VIRB XE shoots incredible, high definition 12 megapixel photos at 30 frames per second and HD footages at 1080p at 60 fps. Its G-metrix software also allows for you to capture more action while at the same time tracking and overlaying how high, far and fast your movements were. With its custom, all-glass lens, its zoom levels, high resolutions and high frame rates average at 480p (240 fps) thus giving you the kind of shots you need. You can unlock greater flexibility for your videos using the manual controls including exposure biasing and white balance. The XE tops out its Full HD to a maximum of 1440p at 30 fps but it is disappointing to note that it doesn’t have 4K. It is also capable of shooting 720p at 120fps, 960p at 100fps, and 1,080p at 60fps. It can also shoot 480p mode at 240 frames per second for full slow motion.

G-metrix

This feature is unique and is not available in many action cameras in the market today. The incorporation of Garmin sensors and GPS makes it easy for users to record and track their movements in real-time. The movements can be displayed in powerful graphs, gauges and more. The action camera displays the sensor info alongside videos thus helping you to see your heart rate and speed as it changes when recording the videos.
The feature allows for the use of ANT+ connection which is compatible for displaying the heart rate, speed, temperature and power. It also allows for connecting the action camera to an independent remove control from Garmin.

VIRB Edit

This is one of the most unique features offered by the Virb XE action camera from Garmin. The software helps to combine the sensor information with the video recordings and then producing the results. It also allows for direct publishing of your output results to YouTube. Garmin Verb XE has Bluetooth connectivity for connecting with some sensors and external audio devices.

Audio

The XE cam has an exposed microphone that allows for exceptionally clear audio recordings in different environments including underwater. In addition, it has a wireless HD audio that connects with Bluetooth enabled microphones and headsets.

Image Stabilization

The Garming Verb XE has motion sensors which are designed to identify camera movements while helping keep your images stable. The presence of electronic image stabilization works well to reduce camera shake and haziness even when you are involved in an action in tough terrains or diving through troubled waters.

Waterproof

VIRB XE is designed for tough environments and is absolutely waterproof without dive case for depths of up to 50 meters. It captures clear and noise-free audios underwater.

Garmin VIRB XE pros and cons

The VIRB XE has its own share of pros and cons based on different tests and previous user reviews. These include the following: -

Pros

• In-built GPS and Bluetooth sensor

• Automatic Metric Overlays

• ANT+ sensor compatibility

• Waterproof

• Generous mounting bundles

• High-speed and 1440p shooting options

Cons

• Poor video quality

• No 4K resolution

• Low battery life (2 hours). It however can save the battery through the sleeping mode provided for between shots.

The action camera also has other notable features which include MP4 recording capabilities at a maximum 1440p at 24Mbits per second. VIRB XE is arguably capable of operating at temperatures ranging between –ve 20° C and 45° C. this is possible thanks to the secure locking panel located on the front part of the camera which is hard to knock off accidentally.
Unlike the 2,000mAh battery found in the VIRB Elite, the Garmin VIRB XE comes with a removable 980mAH battery which provides approximately 2 hours of recording. This is a downside compared to many other action cameras which provide an average of 3 hours of battery life.

Additionally, you can lock the exposure when shooting under occasional extremes of lighting including cases where the camera could be facing the sun or passing headlights. Professionals who’ve used GoPro Hero action cameras will find these settings to be welcome. The settings can be controlled through Smartphone App that provides still image capture and toggle recording facilities as well as live previews.

Conclusion

Garmin VIRB XE is a great action camera offering the ability to overlay GPS & Sensor information on your recordings. It has a robust build and therefore handy for touch adventures. However, the lack of 4K resolutions puts it at a disadvantage when compared to other action cameras. However, you can still use the available frame rate choices and excellent resolutions available and take advantage of sensor connectivity, handy manual settings and good image quality.

GoPro Hero4 SessionGo to Amazon
A model that breaks the schemes of GoPro: Compact, lightweight, with reduced abilities, is waterproof and without as many video modes to submit an edit for dedicated athletes.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
89
Autonomy:
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85
100
Weight:
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Design:
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Pros
  • Single button operation
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Expensive, really expensive
  • Doesn't film in 4K
  • Not Waterproof (Splashproof)
Click to read the full Review
GoPro are known for quality action cameras and the Hero4 Session does not disappoint at all. The smallest in the family of GoPro’s action cameras, the device is designed in such a way that it is unobtrusive and thus can be attached anywhere if you want to capture your actions. Although the camera is a little bit pricey, there are many reasons as to why many photographers prefer it especially when it comes to its size.

The tiny cubed camera has a dimension of 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 mm and is also the lightest in the GoPro family of action cams. The GoPro Hero4 Session does not have a removable battery not to mention that it is also compatible with different Micro SDHC cards of up to 64GB. Although many users might be a little bit concerned with the lack of the removable battery, it is worth noting that this has helped take care of the size while at the same time giving the waterproof Hero4 Session a flat design.

When using the GoPro Hero4 Session, you do not need a waterproof case meaning there is nothing that is likely to make it bulkier when you hit the road. In addition, the camera does not need a case at all since the frames are fully open on the sides. The Hero4 Session only has 2 buttons which are located at the top and back of the camera. The top button is designed for recording and the back button which is small is used for turning Wi-Fi connection on/off thus giving you complete control while using a Smartphone. By tapping the top button 3 times, you will be able to take still images or start your recording in the currently-selected format.

GoPro Hero4 Session Features

The action cam offers a host of features which every photographer, both pros and beginners, will find attractive. These include the following: -

Waterproof

As aforementioned, the Hero4 Session is waterproof for up to 10m. This means you can easily capture your underwater actions and shoot some amazing images while within this range. In addition, the waterproof feature allows you to use the action cam under rainy and snowy conditions without any fears. The fact that you do not need to put an outer case to make it waterproof also means that you can operate it with ease no matter the conditions you are in.

HiLight Tag function

Although the Hero4 Session is a little bit different from the other GoPro action cameras, it still carries some of the features that you find in its other relatives. The HiLight Tag function is one of these features and allows you to add different marketers to the videos you record thus making it easy for you to review later. This means that as you engage in your adventures, you can easily highlight different events and find them easily later on during the review or edit process. The Automatic Low Light mode helps in that you do not have to be too much concerned by the changes in frame rate especially when you are in different environments where there are changes to the lighting conditions.

Quality resolutions

Compared to other GoPro and other competing action cameras, the Hero4 Session cam might fall short when it comes to video quality. However, it has the capacity to shoot high resolution 1080p60 fps which is not a very bad quality by all standards. It also captures sharp images with a high resolution 1440p30fps. The high frame rate video 720p100 helps you capture remarkably efficient slow-motion playback for all your best moments. You can capture 8MegaPixel single photos with the Time Lapse feature set at intervals of 0.5 to 60 seconds while the burst photos work at 10 frame rates per second. You can also capture ultra wide videos at 1080p30.

The GoPro Hero4 Session action camera is however capable of giving you better quality results when you use neutral Protune mode and then use your skills to process your videos to improve their quality. With the action cam, you can be able to access the SuperView, which is one of GoPro’s popular modes designed at a ratio mode of 4:3 but which can be compressed down to 16:9 thus making the video appear a little bit stretchy with more details.

Dual microphone

One of the features that GoPro has introduced to the Hero4 Session and which somehow compensates for the shortcomings in the video quality is the dual microphone. The microphones are skillfully positioned such that the camera will drain the water quickly whenever it gets wet. This also helps in wind noise reduction so that your videos are free from noise even as you engage in your adventures under very windy conditions.

Quality battery

Despite the battery being smaller that others provided by GoPro camera makers, the Hero4 Session doesn’t disappoint. The action camera is also designed in such a way that it will turn off whenever you stop recording and this works well in saving your battery life any time. The only unfortunate thing is that the battery can’t be swapped for a new one since it is not removable. It however comes with a micro-USB port which allows you to charge using Smartphone chargers thus making it possible to use solar panels and powerbanks for charging.

GoPro Hero4 Session Pros and Cons

Pros:

• Small-sized and also very light

• Waterproof even without a case

• Clear audio capture

• Long-lasting battery life

• Compatible with other mountings from GoPro

Cons:

• The battery isn’t removable

• Poor video quality compared to Hero4 Silver

Conclusion

The Hero4 Session from GoPro is a perfect action camera for different adventurous environments. Since it is waterproof and can be mounted on different surfaces, it will be ideal for activities such as swimming and surfing not to forget biking and mountain climbing. However, it’s price tag could be a little bit unimpressive but this could be compensated for by the small size especially if you are looking for something that is easily portable.

((Video courtesy of Chris Rogers))

Sony FDR-X1000VGo to Amazon
A cool, fashionable design that goes outside of the trend seen in most gopro styled cameras! As we saw earlier, it shares some of the characteristics of the other cameras that have been growing in popularity this year, for example the maximum of 170 degree opening angle.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
76
Autonomy:
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80
100
Weight:
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Image Quality:
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Design:
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Pros
  • Single-button operation
  • Compact design
  • 4K Video Capable
  • Waterproof (10m with Waterproof Case)
Cons
  • Expensive, really expensive
Click to read the full Review
Sony is a household name in the camera and gadget manufacturing industry. However, the company has upped their game over the past few years giving stiff competition to companies like GoPro especially when it comes to the manufacturing of action cameras. The Sony FDR-X-1000V is one of the action cameras that the company has introduced into the market and there is no doubt to say that it is absolutely giving other manufacturers a good run for their money. The action cam brings together both performance and features in a way that every photography lover will like.

Retailing at AU$599, $499 or £359, the camera is at par with the Hero4 Black edition from GoPro but has everything that will make both pros and beginners to smile. It comes with adhesive mounts, a waterproof case and micro USB cable but buyers might have to go back to the pocket to get live view remote. You can enjoy great view of your actions through a small color sceen by wearing the remote on your wrist. It is also designed for recording control.

Sony FDR-X1000V Design and features

As far as design is concerned, the 1000V action come isn’t much different from other sony action cams. It’s housed in a body that is shotgun-styled but with a flattened base thus making it possible for it to stand independently when outside the waterproof case. You will also find an external microphone and tripod mount at the base of the FDR-X1000V.

Resolutions

The Sony FDR-X1000V is definitely progressive and offers 4k (3,840x2,160) recording feature which can up to 30 fps. This is a great addition especially considering that this pint-sized device is capable of recording at much greater bit rate, with either 100Mbit/s or 60Mbit/s recording compared to GoPro Hero4 Black edition. This makes the Sony action camera more impressive and worth considering. It is however important to note that for you to record 4K at the two bit rates or record a video at 1080p, you will need to use a particular microSD which should be rated as UHS 3 and Class 10. This is important to consider during your purchase.

Waterproof

The 1000V action camera from Sony is splash-resistant and has an IPX4 rating. This is very necessary especially when recording under rainy or snowy conditions or in case you pour water on it accidentally. The camera comes with a waterproof casing which allows you to use the Sony FDR-X1000V underwater for up to 33 feet or 10 meters. You can however increase the depth to 197 ft (60m), by buying an optional dive door that has a flat front panel (necessary especially if you are a diver and want to venture deep underwater with the camera)

Recording modes

The Sony 1000v offers different recording modes depending with your preferred recording format. You can record at a maximum of 60fps at 1080p in MP4 format or drop to 720p for a maximum of 100fps. There is also an option for super slow motion videos at a maximum of 200fps in 240p (800x480). And as aforementioned, there is a 4k video which records at 60Mbit/s or 100Mbit/s and 30pfs if you are shooting your actions in XAVC S format. The XAVC is a video codec from Sony and is incredibly versatile since you can record to a maximum of 120fps in 240fps in 720p and 120fps in 1080p.

Sony FDR-X1000V comes with 170-degree Zeiss lens which allows you to record all your actions at f/2.8. You can reduce the view field degrees to 120 degrees but you should switch on the image stabilization to do this. This makes a huge difference between the Sony camera and the Gopro since integrated image stabilization makes up for the camera shake. This system balances across various vibration frequencies in x1000V including drone use.

LCD Screen

The FDR-X1000VR action camera has a glossy white finish and comes with a small LCD screen which is purely designed to help when changing your camera settings. It is worth noting that this display doesn’t work for playback or for frame shots. This however can be done using a wrist-based live-view remote RM-LVRs or Sony PlayMemories App in Android Smartphone or iOS. The remote viewer pairs with the camera directly through Wi-Fi and has a dedicated shutter button. The remote can be paired with up to 5 different cameras, something that is advantageous especially if you want to shoot at an action from multiple angles.

Image quality and performance

The image quality for Sony FDR-X1000V is definitely good and this can be attributed to the 4K resolution that this action camera has to offer. The blend between high bitrate recording and improved lens element makes for extremely smooth and sharp 4K footages if you have a gadget that has bandwidth for playback support. Additionally, still images are also good in quality with effective colors available on default quality. However, magnifying the images to a full 8-megapixel resolution somehow affects their clarity thus making them a bit hazy with some detail blurring and noise as well. This however isn’t a problem especially if you are likely to use them on the web at a reduced resolution.

Pros

• Splash-proof even with a casing

• 4k resolution

• Easy operation

• High bitrate recording

• Quality image stabilization

• Built-in GPS

• Stereo microphone

Cons

• Fewer frame rate/ resolution options compared to competing action cams

• Slower lens response time

• Display doesn’t work for playback and frame shots

Conclusion

Sony FDR-X1000V is undoubtedly a great development compared to many other action cams in the market today. Developed as a major improvement from previous action cameras, this unique device will definitely give you great results as you seek to capture those incredible images and moments while out there. It is specifically unique if you want great image stabilization, high bitrate recording and excellent performance. The design and size of the camera also comes in handy and you will definitely love this camera. However, if you do not want to spend on live view remote and optional dive door (to increase your depth underwater), then you should consider a different camera altogether.

Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPNGGo to Amazon
Is there any better combo than a camera capable of filming in 1080 p in an impact resistant and compact sized case? If you are looking for such a product over having a good aesthetic appearance, no need to keep looking, because the Veho Muvi is the Action Camera for you!
Watch video review
Overall rating:
84
Autonomy:
0
100
100
Weight:
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80
100
Image Quality:
0
85
100
Design:
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70
100
Pros
  • Clear 16MP images & video recording, Wi-Fi connectivity and MUVI phone app for live view and remote control, Longer battery life
Cons
  • A bit bulky, especially with waterproof case
  • Not every single mount will work on it
  • 4K Capable depending on the model
  • Weak Wi-Fi connectivity
Click to read the full Review
Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPNG is one of the newest action cameras that promise to give known competitors a good run for their money. The series is sleeker and smaller compared to the previous models including the MUVI HB thus making it more versatile. This action cam has a dimension of 2.7 x 2 x 1 inches but size is not the only thing that makes it a suitable option among other MUVI cameras as there are factors that will make you fall in love with it. To begin with, this is the smallest MUVI to offer high definition and this makes it possible for you to enjoy easier hands-free video capture compared to the others that have come before it.

This unique action cam records 1080p high definition videos at 60 frames per second. Muvi K-Series K2 NPNG can also record 720- at 120 frames per second thanks to the introduction of MUVI XA-7 Achilles. Amazingly, it also has a superb bit rate which works in default and offering 19Mbits per second. Adventurers will undoubtedly appreciate the great settings designed for hands-free capture and broadcasting of high quality videos suitable for pro-summer and professional use.

The MUVI K2 series captures still images at 16, 12 and 8 pixels while at the same time offering photo burst mode thus making it possible to take an average of 10 photos within a second. This is great and welcome especially when you do not want to miss anything during your actions. This sleek camera has many other great features which set it apart from many other action cams.

Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPNG features and performance

Some of the key features offered by the MUVI K2 NPNG include the following:

• 180 degree rollover.

• High definition video recording: 1080p at 60 Frames per Sec or 720p at 120 Frames per Sec at 19M/bits.

• Still images at 8 pixels, 12 pixels and 16 pixels with continuous and photo-burst photo thus allowing interval photos and Time Lapse videos.

• 1500mAh lithium battery which is rechargeable, interchangeable and lasts for up to 4 hours which recording continuously.

• Wi-Fi enable app that allows for remote recording and wireless streaming.

• Waterproof case for depths not exceeding 100 meters.

• Detachable viewing screen.

180 degree rollover

The mounting of the K series is one of the greatest features especially if you would like to mount it upside down. This is because your images will still be played back normally when they are correct way up. This is an amazing option and takes the action camera a stride ahead of many other legitimate competitors thus making it worth considering.

G-Sensor auto-start

The G-sensor comes as yet another unique feature for the Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPNG. This feature is designed to help you set the action camera in such a way that it’ll start recording whenever there are changes in gravity level. In addition, it is also possible to capture still images in intervals during your video capture by setting pre-defined periods thus making it easy for you to save the perfect photographs hands-free even as you capture your footage.

Interchangeable and rechargeable battery

Although there are other action cameras offering this kind of a lithium battery, it is worth noting that MUVI K-series has a capacity of 1500Ah which makes it the largest capacity so far when it comes to hands free camera industry. You can use it for up to 4 hours while recording continuously thus making this a great camera especially when you want to spend more time outdoors and in areas where you might not have access to power outlet. The fact that this battery is both rechargeable and interchangeable makes it unique and versatile.

Waterproof

You can dive and enjoy underwater adventures with the MUVI K-series. It comes with a waterproof case which enables for up to 100 meters. The Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPNG has operational buttons for use in still image capture and video control underwater. The waterproof case comes with a changeable back door which can be used with and without the removable LCD screen plus it also comes with port opening for use when recording and charging whenever the waterproof casing is mounted. The action cam works perfectly well with other MUVI HD mounts and accessories.

Wi-Fi connectivity

Muvi K-Series K2 has built-in Wi-Fi with a connectivity range of up to 60 meters thus making it possible for you to pair and connect with a Smartphone. You can easily use the Wi-Fi to connect your iPhone to the K-series camcorder for wireless video recording, live view, photo capture and sharing via Twitter, Facebook, emails among others. The app is downloadable from both Apple iOS App and Google play stores.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPNG is a great action camera and ranks highly among other action cams available in the market today. It is a great purchase and its price is relatively affordable and worth every bit of benefits you are guaranteed of. The interchangeable mounting system also makes unique and you do not have to spend more money on this. The K2 is worth its price.

iSAW EdgeGo to Amazon
If you are looking for an economical solution for acquiring your first action camera, you are looking in the right place. technically speaking, this model has its limitations in regards to filming speed, allowing a slow motion mode only for quality 720 p, and maintaining normal speed in full HD mode.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
76
Autonomy:
0
85
100
Weight:
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100
100
Image Quality:
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70
100
Design:
0
50
100
Pros
  • A budget solution
  • Compatible with GoPro mounts
  • 4K Video Capable
  • Waterproof (up to 40m with waterproof case)
Cons
  • Small Display
  • 4K works only in high speed mode
  • Unstable Smartphone app
Click to read the full Review
If you are conversant with the action camera industry, then you will appreciate when we say that iSAW Edge is an economical entrant into this highly competitive field. The small 4k series action camera has Sony Exmor sensor thus giving it a lot of potential and greater things to look forward to. It is however worth noting that the Edge looks more like GoPro HERO with the sparkly metal buttons located on the waterproof cover looking almost the same. The action cam however comes with a 1.5-inch display which has been built in, something that GoPro does not offer for free. In fact, people who don’t like GoPro Hero for lack of an in-built LCD screen will find the iSaw Edge to be an amazing alternative as far as this feature is concerned.

Another area where the Edge seems to be elbowing some of the GoPro HERO action cameras is in the provision of a top quality 4k video recording resolution. The box camera has a waterproof casing that allows for a maximum depth of 40 meters. While this might not be an impressive dive depth for many people, it is still something worth considering. It is hard to have any liquid sipping in thanks to the quality seals found on the cameras back door while the compression lever lock has a solid snap which guarantees that nothing can easily find its way in.

iSAW Edge features

• MP4 shooting at a maximum 4k Ultra High Resolution at 28Mbits per second.

• Sony Exmor CMOS image sensors with 16 Mega pixels

• All-inclusive mounting kit

• Waterproof for up to 40 meters with bundled housing

• Wi-Fi connectivity and remote control

While most other action cams have most of the features found in the iSAW Edge, there is no doubt that the Sony Exmor sensor gives the camera an edge but the company does not give much details in regards to its size. There are also other things that set the Edge apart including the following: -

Battery life

The Edge is designed to be small with a 22mm width. However, the lens is protruding a bit but this shouldn’t be a problem at all. In addition, the camera has a compartment for a 1,000mAh, 3.7v 1 removable battery with some ports being located on the side for mini HDMI, Micro SD and mini USB. It is however unfortunate that the camera battery does not last longer compared with many other competing action cams offering only 2 hours of battery life.

iSAW Viewer 2

The edge action camera comes with a completely feature app which is designed to work via Wi-Fi. This app enables different selection of features including the full control of settings, operations and Live View. This feature is great especially because it allows it makes it easier for user to swap from still images to video and back plus it activates the shutters of the camera remotely.

Smartphone app and shooting options

The iSAW Edge’s settings are accessible through the three buttons found on the camera and also via the LCD screen which is non-touch. This is a bit counteractive since navigation needs to combination of long and short presses and the functions of the buttons change based on where you are in the menu. However, they make logical sense once you are able to figure out the controls.

Resolution

The Edge action cam has multiple video resolutions ranging from 720p all the way up to 4k which is UHD at 3,840 x 2,160. The 720p is available at a maximum of 120 frames per second while the full HD is available at up to 60 frames per second. The 4K is available at only 10 frames per sec. This clearly shows that the GoPro HERO 3 has a higher 4K fps. The iSAW Edge also has Time Lapse option that has intervals of between 0.5 seconds all the way to 30 seconds. The color section has different settings including vivid, sepia, black& white and natural settings. It is easy to create some spectacular Time Lapse videos using the Edge without any need of exporting or editing them. The time lapse for videos offers a remarkable system that records objects and scenes with slow state-of-change turning them into videos with a high speed playback.

170-Degree View Ultra Wide View Lens

The Edge has a 170-degree supreme field and an ultra-wide tilt 7-element glass that guarantees that you don’t miss anything when recording. The glass lens has a sparkling F2.5 high-precision optical glass that produces ideal videos and images under different conditions while ensuring that you always enjoy clear and stunning images in High Definition.

Compact and lightweight

The iSAW Edge is compact and this is even reflected in its lightweight thus giving you the freedom to enjoy your actions anywhere, anytime. You can easily mount it on a drone or helmet and you won’t even feel the pressure. It has a dimension of 22mm height x 59mm width and weighs a meager 63 grams inclusive of the battery.

Conclusion

iSAW Edge is an absolute stunner for both pros and beginners. With its affordable price, the camera definitely rivals its competitors and stands out as a great option if you are looking for something stunning. Its multi language menu also endears it to many users and you too might find it to handy.


((Video courtesy of Joel de la Croix))

Kaiser Baas x100Go to Amazon
Looking for a budget solution for a GoPro like camera? Then don't miss this product!
Watch video review
Overall rating:
65
Autonomy:
0
75
100
Weight:
0
70
100
Image Quality:
0
65
100
Design:
0
50
100
Pros
  • Cheap action camera with a good performance for the price
  • Wide range of accesories
  • Quality battery life of up to 2 1/2 hours
  • Water proof for up to 30 meters
Cons
  • Limited range of exposure products
  • Doesn’t offer 4K recording
  • The field of view cannot be altered
Click to read the full Review
The world of action cameras has grown tremendously and it is now easier to capture every moment even as you enjoy your adventures and keep great memories of the same. With the family of action cams growing, Kaiser Baas x100 stands as one of the devices seeking for users’ attention and there are some good reasons for this. The Baas X100 is a great go-to-action camera with some great features which are a little bit different from those found in Kaiser Baas X80, something that makes its price a little bit higher.

To begin with, the Kaiser Baas X100 has a lens that is a bit larger plus it also has a wireless remote. Additionally, the beautiful action cam offers an option for users to connect with their Smartphones which work as a viewfinder, something that is amazingly advantageous and welcome. And although this camera is good, many users will agree that it doesn’t match the qualities and power of GoPro especially when it comes to image and sound. Readability is also a big issue with the action cam but these things are compensated for in the pricing, decency in images and toughness.

Kaiser Baas Features and Specs

Resolution

The X100 has a good video recording resolution which allows for high quality videos. Its high standard definition captures videos for up to HD 720p (720 x 1280) in up to 30 fps and 60 fps, and 1080p (1080 x1920) at 30 frames per second. However, this is short of the 2.7k or 4k recording which is available from the latest action cam models. The Kaiser Baas X100 also has a photo resolution of 5 Mega Pixels for wide angle photos in addition to the 150° Field View which makes it an ideal action camera whether you are in the air, on the ground or underwater. Kaiser Baas X100 also has a Time Lapse at intervals of 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds and 60 seconds.

Shutter speed

The shutter speed of any action camera is definitely important as it determines how long or short the exposure is. Faster shutter speeds work well but there is a need to have enough light to ensure that images are fully exposed. As such, Kaiser X100 offers a slow shutter speed of a maximum 1/30 second which is capable of capturing clear still images but unsuitable when you want to capture fast moving action images since they’ll appear blurry. However, this is not much of a problem especially when dealing with different shoot and point models allowing for 4-8 seconds capture with DSLRs of a maximum 30 seconds.

Waterproof

The X100 is designed with a waterproof housing which allows you to explore depths of up to 99 ft (30 meters). While this is a welcome provision, it is clear that some other available action cams in the market have greater capabilities and therefore more superior compared to this particular camera. However, you still can enjoy great scuba diving and swimming videos and images underwater for low cost without fearing that your device will soak in water especially if you are not looking for something very sophisticated.

Battery life

With 2.5 hours of continuous recording guaranteed, X100 is definitely a versatile action camcorder to consider. The 1060mAh battery is removable and well suited for the camera design thus allowing you an option of replacing with a spare on if you are away from power source where you do not want to miss any action.

Easy connectivity

It is easy to start recording, stop and play all your footages by simply touching a button located in a wrist remote. The wrist remote is normally included as part of the camera package thus making it possible for you to operate the camera from anywhere within the provided radius. Additionally, the Kaiser Baas X100 has built-in Wi-Fi that easily connects with your tablet or Smartphone to help you view your videos and photos. You can also use your tablet and smartphone as viewfinders to download your footages and share them without connecting the X100 to your computer. You can also play your videos directly from the x100 action cam to the TV by using the mini HDMI cable. The Wi-fi app is compatible with Android and iOS. The action camcorder also comes with a MicroSD card slot and a Micro USB input. The Memory Card is not provided however and you will need to buy separately. The X100 has an internal memory of 128 MB.

LCD Screen

The 2-inch LCD screen gives the X100 an edge over many other legitimate competitors within the action camcorder family. Despite the cheap price tag, this can has made a stride ahead of her competitors thanks to this provision.

Loop Recording Mode

Loop recording mode is also a great feature that you can enjoy from this Kaiser Baas action camera. It allows you to record your video footage continuously in intervals of 2 and 5 minutes.

Conclusion

Although Kaiser Baas X100 does not match up with most of its competitors, adventure lovers will accept that it is a handy action camera at its price tag. It is built with such that you will always have whatever you need to start your adventures thanks to features such as curved mount, waterproof housing, wrist remote, screw bolt and the 2 adhesive pads. The fact that it also allows you to control through your Smartphone also makes it great, although this is a basic feature common in almost every action camera today. When shooting your videos or capturing still images, it is always possible to choose your desired resolutions for the best results.

Drift Stealth 2Go to Amazon
The smallest solution for cheap action cameras! This tiny camera is able to take incredible shots since it works in 1080 p resolution, and it has been conceived to stimulate the passion of athletes in order to train properly, focusing on best results while the camera acts as a witness of those long days.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
73
Autonomy:
0
100
100
Weight:
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100
100
Image Quality:
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70
100
Design:
0
20
100
Pros
  • Cheap
  • Compact design
  • Easy change of settings and modes through built-in LCD screen
  • On-board controls: Amazing mounting options
  • Comes with a rotating lens
  • Splash-proof
  • Compact and lightweight
Cons
  • A bit complex to operate it
  • Doesn't film in 4K
  • Screen does not allow for reviewing or previewing of shots
  • Built-in battery
Click to read the full Review
A look at the action camera market reveals that these devices are available in either bullet or box designs. However, Drift Stealth 2 combines the two thus giving us a sleek but smaller design which looks more like the larger Ghost-S from the same company. The Stealth 2 comes with twist lock back, long rectangular form, rotating front lens and a screen on top. With these features, it is easy to mount the Drift action camera, something you will fall in love with when recording your adventures.

But there is something that sets the Drift Stealth 2 apart, making it better than the Drift Ghost-S; it is much smaller and light, slashing the two by almost half. This means it is 50 and 40 percent smaller and lighter than Ghost-S respectively measuring 97 grams (3.4 ounces) and 80x42x27mm(3.2x1.7x1.1 inches). When manufacturing the Stealth 2, Drift offer users some onboard controls and screen for mode and setting changes but one thing you will notice is that the action camera does not come with a removable battery unlike the Drift Ghost-S. In addition, the camera falls short when it comes to video quality and frame rates which are slower than Ghost-S. But this is not by all means a comparison between Drift Stealth 2 and Ghost-S. Let’s look at the Stealth 2 in details.

Features and specifications

Mounting

The Stealth 2 is easier to mount compared to many of its competitors. In addition, this action camera stands out in that it comes with a number of buttons and a screen which means you do not have to connect it with another divide whenever you want to change the settings or mode. This gives it an advantage over some of the most respected action cams including the GoPro Hero 4. Using the Draft Stealth 2 gives you more mounting flexibility owing to its design and the standard tripod mount 1 /4-20 located on the side and opposite the screen. This gives a wide range of mounting options plus the other options designed for work with the universal clip which is included by Drift. The Stealth video camera can also work with mounts from GoPro if you have a simple adapter that’s compatible with its tripod mount.

Resolution

The Stealth 2 doesn’t offer much in terms of the resolution especially if you compare it with other Drift cameras. To begin with, the action cam can only shoot in 1080p at 30fps with 18Mbps bitrate, and this is much lower compared to the 60 fps offered by the Ghost-S at similar resolution. The Drift Stealth can also do 4:3 aspect ratio, 960p at 30 frames per second and 720p at 60 frames per second. The Stealth 2 also falls short when it comes to slow motion footages, meaning that for you to get 120 fps, you will have to drop down to 848 x 480 WVGA resolution. There are different photo options including single shots of 3 megapixels, time lapse images at different intervals ranging between 0.5 and 60- seconds. You can also use the camera to record your videos at a continuous loop, meaning that the Draft Stealth 2 can be used as a dash camera in the car.

Wi-Fi connection

Although you can use on-board controls to change the settings and the mode, the Stealth 2 also provides you with the option of connecting to your Android and iOS devices as well. You can also buy a two-way wireless remote available from Drift. The two-way wireless remote comes with color LEDs which link to different shooting modes to help you monitor a number of things including whether you are shooting time lapse photos or recording videos. You can get a preview through mobile app or preview your photos and videos using the same. In addition, you can use the app to snap photos, start/stop your recordings or change your camera settings.

Photo and video quality

Although Draft Stealth 2 has some good video and photos, it is worth to point out that they are not all that up to standard compared to other devices in the market. These are however good in quality considering the cost of the action camera, which is half the amount you are likely to spend on some of its competitors. If you are concerned more about the video and photo quality, then you might have to turn to other options available in the market. The quality of the videos and photos is however alright if you intend to upload and share them on YouTube or watch then via small devices such as tablet and smartphones which are good at concealing the obvious mistakes. The Stealth 2 photos normally have a resolution of 3 megapixels and as long as you do not have the intention of making them too large, then they will be OK.

Conclusion

All factors considered, Draft Stealth 2 is a great low-profile camera which offers great features and results for its price. The full-HD camera is weather resistant and although it has its own share of compromises, these are compensated for by its usability, price and size. The design of the action camera also gives it an advantage over other super-small cameras which are similar in size and it would for a great buy if you are looking for something lightweight and small especially if you are tight on space.

GoPro Hero3 Black EditionGo to Amazon
Bearer of a lens with an aperture f/2.8 max value, this camera was at the time a major breakthrough from its predecessor, the GoPro Hero2, being considerably lighter and smaller.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
76
Autonomy:
0
75
100
Weight:
0
85
100
Image Quality:
0
65
100
Design:
0
80
100
Pros
  • Can find good deals
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Discontinued Model
  • Doesn't film in 4K
Click to read the full Review
GoPro is a household name when it comes to the action camera industry. While some of the company’s cameras are already famous and well-established within the market, the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition is one of the last generation action cameras but it has already been replaced by the Hero4 from the same company. This notwithstanding, the Hero3 Black Edition is a great camera by all standards only that it lacks the 4k/30 frames per second video which has been introduced in the Hero4 edition.

Being a top-notch model, the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition offers a number of shooting options which include a Protune mode which is designed for high bitrate videos with 24 fps and neutral color recording. This is an amazing feature for professional video producers and also comes with 4k video recording at 15 frames per second. The Black Edition also has Wi-Fi remote which you’ll find useful.

GoPro Hero3 Black Edition features and specifications

Although GoPro 3 is available in 3 editions, there are some significant differences when it comes to features and specifications. These are worth noting to avoid a mix-up during your purchase. Here are some of the key features and specifications offered by the Hero3 Black Edition:

• Large variety of quality settings including 1080/60p and 4k video recording

• 12 megapixels still image.

• 30 frame rate per second burst mode

• Built-in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi remote control

• Time Lapse still image shooting

• Ios and Android app compatibility

• Variety of specialist accessories

Resolution

The Black Edition offers a large 1/ 2.3 inch sensor which is capable of performing excellently in low light. The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition also has the capability of shooting 12 megapixel photos which makes it superior and better that what you get from the silver and white editions. The Black Edition also records video formats of 1080p at 60 frames per second in addition to 1080 at 30fps and 720p at 60fps. This means you will be able to share your videos on YouTube without problems and still maintain their clarity. The Hero3 Black Edition also supports 4k video recording at 12 frames per second which does not create a lot of differences from 1080p and 4k footage. The Black Edition also shoots still images up to 30 frames per second and this is greater than what you get from white and silver models. You can capture 3, 5, 0r 10 continuous shots per second with time lapse mode offering intervals of between .5- and 60 seconds.

Control settings

The controls of Hero3 Black Edition are normally done using 2 main buttons located on the top and front of the camera. The front button is used for mode selection and power toggle and tapping it takes you through the still capture, video recording, burst still capture cycles and setting menu. On the other hand, the top button is designed for grabbing photos, starting recording and navigation of the menu system. In addition, the Black Edition has loud audible beep and LED indicators (Red and Blue for recording and Wi-Fi status respectively) which make it very easy to record your actions even when it’s mounted on a helmet. The Hero3 Black Edition also two ports, (one for mini USB and the other one for mini HDMI) plus slot for MicroSD capable of supporting cards of up to 64GB.

Battery

The battery of the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition is a bit of a put off as it does not last long especially when the Wi-Fi is on. However, this can easily be prevented by putting off the Wi-Fi since you do not need to have it operational at all times.

Design

The GoPro Black Edition is designed for tough outdoor activities. It has tough polycarbonate housing which is capable of withstanding pressure as you bump up and down in tough terrains. At the back of the action camera, you will find a 1,050mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery which is released through a quick-release switch and doesn’t protrude to give the camera a bulky appearance. Everything about the design of the Hero3 Black Edition is just attractive and functional.

Waterproof

Although the camera is not waterproof, its housing allows you to dive for up to 60 meters without any problems. The polycarbonate housing works well in protecting against scrapes, bumps and accidental drops.

Conclusion

It is important to note that the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition has been discontinued but you still can find a good buy in the market. Despite this, the camera is undoubtedly one of the best action cams ho have ever come from the GoPro but other upgraded editions are available in the market today. The HD video quality offered by the Black Edition counts for a good reason to invest in this action camera not to mention that other features are also great and worth considering. However, it is clear that there are other action cameras selling at the same price as the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition but offering great features including the Contour+2 which has the capacity to record videos and embed speed data and GPS elevation into them. If you are looking for a camera with on-device controls and display, smaller chassis and quality resolutions, then the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition will be a great choice to consider.

Sony AZ1Go to Amazon
A compact camera design, especially when compared with its kin line, but nevertheless this does not imply that it contains less features or work potential.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
89
Autonomy:
0
95
100
Weight:
0
75
100
Image Quality:
0
85
100
Design:
0
100
100
Pros
  • Single-button operation
  • Compact design
  • Waterproof (10m with Waterproof Case)
Cons
  • Expensive, really expensive
  • Doesn't film in 4K
Click to read the full Review
This Sony camera operates, like the GoPro, in POV mode. It goes from being a simple camera optimized for action photography to be a whole new an element to creating new realities

The only drawback to notice with this camera is that it has a performance issue with SD cards - it's way better if you work with SDXC cards, which are much more expensive than the common SD.

Although the LCD could be of some use, given that its size is as compact as it is, it almost acts like a technological waste, and the same happens with the WiFi settings.

Perhaps this is not a camera for a dedicated photographer and maybe it seems to be ideal for a beginner who is just learning how to work with action cameras.

Polaroid Cube HDGo to Amazon
Always at the forefront, Polaroid surprises us again with this action camera design! Perhaps many of you would agree on how similar they appear to the GoPro Session4, the truth is that this camera speaks volumes for itself.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
66
Autonomy:
0
60
100
Weight:
0
75
100
Image Quality:
0
40
100
Design:
0
90
100
Pros
  • Cute design
  • Cult product
  • Waterproof (10m with Waterproof Case)
Cons
  • Still picture definition
  • Cannot record time-lapse videos
Click to read the full Review
Applying the aesthetic of a cube with rounded corners, followed by the classic rainbow that is the trademark of Polaroid, we find ourselves with a single button interface. For many it may be striking in its simplicity and ease of use. One push for an instant photo, two for filming and three for stopping the video recording.

It is able to capture images with a top definition of 6 mpx (nothing very amazing despite being a mid-2014 camera), but its most praised features comes to life when filming videos - its quality is even better than a GoPro Hero3 during night filming sessions.

In general terms, it is a camera that earns more reputation by the history of their brand and as an object of worship than by the true potential that it offers; however, it is true that there is a difference of more than $100 between this and the models of GoPro cameras with similar features.

As for accessories, we can find its waterproof case as an almost obligatory purchase, allowing us to dive to a depth of 10m, the suction mount to attach the camera in windows or on the inside of a car, accessories for tripods and helmets, and others among a long list of etceteras.

Something to keep in mind: the camera is not compatible with time-lapse filming.

Garmin VIRB EliteGo to Amazon
With a unique and exclusive design, Garmin takes a step beyond the competition for the best action camera, with a model that certainly reminds us of rangefinders for Golf. This model of action camera has the ability to sync with a Garmin watch... Fashion trends first, right?
Watch video review
Overall rating:
89
Autonomy:
0
85
100
Weight:
0
75
100
Image Quality:
0
95
100
Design:
0
100
100
Pros
  • Sophisticated design
  • Compact
  • Waterproof (Up to 10m with Waterproof Case)
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Doesn't have zoom
Click to read the full Review
Among the many advantages to consider with this model, and the reason why it may be one of the best action cameras that we can find, is the fact that has a color LCD, which can display the maps and compasses updated by the Garmin system. And if all this seems a like a lot, imagine complementing it with the quality of recording in Full HD and even WiFi connectivity.

A companion of adventures that will be by your side, with an estimated battery of 3 hours if you are filming, autonomy is greater if we decide to use it only in Compass mode.

Kodak PIXPRO SP1Go to Amazon
Again, another "Budget" option. For those seeking to establish a medium between the investment to be made and the quality of the final product, this Kodak camera can represent these values.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
80
Autonomy:
0
85
100
Weight:
0
60
100
Image Quality:
0
80
100
Design:
0
95
100
Pros
  • Does not require a case to get into the water
  • Cheap model
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Bulkier than most models
Click to read the full Review
It is one of the few cameras on the market that does not require a waterproof case to be submerged. However, its main fault is precisely its volume and weight, making it uncomfortable to manage when extreme agility is required.

It has an LCD display where you can view the videos or access configurations with ease; However, another weakness that we find is with its mobile app, which does not behave with the fluidity that you may require.

As a personal opinion, I find it to be a considerably economical camera for beginning photographers, which in the future may be deemed an equipment best.

Selection Criteria

These are the criteria we take into review when recommending a camera.

Most important things we consider before recommending a camera

Design – When you think about the design you think of how something looks. Sure, it’s nice to have a modern, cool-looking action camera, but there’s more to it than that. A smart camera design can save you a lot of headaches, especially when we’re talking about action cameras which are often mounted on objects in various positions.

Price/Product rate – Some cameras are cheap and some are expensive, but these are relative terms. It’s important to consider how much does a camera offer for the price. It’s price/value ration. We make sure to only choose cameras with a good price/value rate.

Weight – Action cameras are generally light compared to other types of cameras. But still, they too vary in weight and can mean a meaningful difference in ease of use. Depending on how you want to use your camera, we’ve prepared a wide variety of cameras with different weights.

Waterproof capabilities – Many action cameras are rugged by default which means they offer protection against water. This protection comes in various levels. Some cameras are merely resistant to water splashes while others can dive into the see 30 meters down. Other cameras need an extra water-proof casing to protect them from the water. This resistance to water is one of the most important factors we consider when reviewing a camera.

Grip – At the time when your camera is not attached to anything and you’re recording hand-held, it’s important to consider how good of a grip does it have so you can enjoy a firm grasp without much chance of accidental drops. Grip size and width is another thing we take into consideration when recommending a camera.

Image Quality – Image quality being one of the most important factors when selecting a camera, we make sure to carefully examine and review the quality of each camera’s sensor, lens, and other features. Action cameras should at least offer 720p HD video recording, while some go as high as 4K Ultra HD.

Adaptability – This is especially important when reviewing action cameras. These cameras need to be flexible and adjustable to almost any situation. In this case, adaptability is not only determining by the camera itself but also the accessories it comes with. Camera mounts and other attachments are important as the action camera itself, and we make sure to check it.

Ease of Use – Action cameras just like any camera out there, vary in ease of use. Some are designed with maximum simplicity in mind while other are more complex but also more powerful. Finding this balance is up to the user, but we are here to help you make that choice. We’ve made sure to include cameras with various of degrees of usage complexity.

Availability – We make sure to check if a camera we recommend in still in production or at least if it is available for purchase globally.

FAQ

What makes an Action camera, what are the differences from traditional cameras and other rugged cameras?

Action cameras are almost exclusively rugged cameras, which means they are resistant to water, dust, cold and heat. However, some action cameras are not water-proof out-of-the-box and you need to get a separate waterproof case if you want to dive in. Another key differentiator of action cameras is their small and light body, which along with mounting accessories allow them to be firmly mounted almost anywhere.

I want a decent action camera but I am on a limited budget. What would be a good option?

You should consider the Drift Stealth 2. It is a cheap entry-level action camera that can do 1080p Full HD recording at 30FPS. It is very versatile when it comes to mounting, as its flat design and 300-degree rotatable allows you to mount on almost any surface. The strong point of this camera is its battery life, which is very good for its class.

I need an action camera with strong navigational features. What are the best choices?

While many action cameras come with GPS and some sort of geotagging features if navigation is your priority you should really look at Garmin cameras. Garmin is known for their GPS navigation products, and that’s why we can be sure of these features in their cameras. You’ll get GPS and gyroscope along with a range of other sensors and external sensor integration option. The Garmin Virb XE and Elite will both record parameters like your speed, G-force, heart rate and display this information on your videos.

HD, Full HD, UHD. What is the difference and do I need 4K video recording?

HD stands for High Definition and usually refers to 720p (1280x720px) resolution. Full HD is 1080p or 1920x1080px. As far as resolutions go in 2017, 720p is already considered somewhat obsolete. Full HD has become a minimum standard. Higher-end cameras go much further than this, offering 2.7K or even 4K resolution. 4K means 1080p times four and is also called Ultra HD (UHD).

Higher resolution usually means more detailed and clearer picture, but there is more to video quality than resolution. If you really want the best look for a camera with 4K resolution and a very high bitrate. Sony FDR X1000V offers 4K recording at 30fps and 100Mbps bitrate.

Which accessories and attachments are supported by the camera?

You’re buying an action camera for a reason. Think about that reason and you’ll come to realize how you’re going to use your camera. That can be hand-held recording, or attached to a helmet, a handle or something else. You want to find a camera that has plenty of available accessories, such as mounts for different purposes, available for purchase.

Some accessories you might want to watch out for:

  • Handle attachment – for motorcycles, bicycle, and similar handles.
  • Head helmet attachment – So you can firmly fixate your camera on your head helmet.
  • Underwater casings – if your camera is not waterproof out-of-the-box or if you want to go deeper.
  • Remote control – Can the camera connect to a smartphone or other device via WiFi or Bluetooth for remote control?

If you want to be on the safe side, the GoPro series is probably the best choice. Being a popular action camera manufacturer, they have a wide range of available accessories for every occasion. Make sure to check out GoPro HERO 4 Black or the older but cheaper option, the GoPro HERO 3 Black.

Well, we hope that our comparison of these cameras was able to help you get a clear idea on what you should aim for as your first action camera.

See you with fresh new content in a couple of days!

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Rating: 4.67 based on 3 Ratings

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Pia Lopez

Pia Lopez

Pia Lopez is a self-taught photographer, architecture student and ArchViz artist. As Editor in Chief of Sleeklens.com, technology and art are two of her passions, which take active part in her professional training. Being an authentic Montevidean, travelling is daily routine; enjoying both the green meadows and urban surroundings as well as the beautiful beaches that are so characteristic in Uruguay's landscape.

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