Action Camera Review

camera

We spent over 48 hours researching and testing 10 different action cameras and found that focal distance and range, digital resolution, and video resolution were most important. The GoPro Hero4 action camera scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. The waterproof shell provides water protection up to 40 meters. It is the perfect camera for snorkeling, sport fishing, and lots of other water activities. The anti-corrosion properties prevent damage from sea water and the anti-rust screws made from stainless steel keep water damage from ruining the functions of the camera.

Best Action Camera

Action cameras are cameras designed to capture video and photos of action of all kinds. Whether you are shooting sporting events, wildlife or your child’s performance at school, having the right action camera can make all the difference in the world as to the quality and clarity you get.

There are many different types and styles of action cameras on the market. Deciding which one is the right one for you can be a daunting task if you do not have the information you need to make an educated decision. We have reviewed the top rated action cameras on the market today to give you three great options that you can look at to see if any one of them fit what you are looking for.

We will tell you what features they have as well as give you insight into what makes them top rated action cameras. Once you have read these reviews, there is also a buyer’s guide that will give you even more information about action cameras in general. All of this knowledge will give you the confidence to research the models out there that appeal to you and narrow them down to the one that you want for your action picture or video taking needs.

When you have the right camera, taking pictures or recording video becomes even more enjoyable, especially when you have such great video and photos to shoe for your efforts.

Top 10 Action Cameras

RankPictureAction Camera
HD Recording Time (Minutes)
Card Capacity (GB)
1
GoPro HERO4
245< 64
2ANART70< 32
3DBPOWER60< 32
4
GoPro HERO
117< 32
5
GoPro HERO3+
69< 64
6
GoPro HERO3
90< 64
7ASX108< 32
8GeekPro70< 32
9Campark90< 64
10
VicTsing
90< 32

Best Overall Action Camera

GoPro Hero4 Silver

There are many things that this action camera has that make it a customer favorite.  For starters, each waterproof shell has been thoroughly inspected to make sure it passes the strict inspection requirements to ensure it accurately and safely adheres to the 40m waterproof depth.

This makes it a great camera for snorkeling, swimming events, surfing, sport fishing and more.

It has anti-corrosion properties that keep sea water from ruining it and the shell has stainless steel, anti-rust screws to prevent any issues from occurring. The anti-shake feature makes it great for taking shots where movement can blur and ruin the shot. 

The video quality is sharp and crisp and allows for natural and vivid coloring of photos and videos that look beautiful.  The super view is a great feature to get the shots and video you want that will wow those who see them.

ANART® SJ4000 W8 Wifi Full HD 1080P Waterproof Helmet Sports Camera 12MP with Medium Shockproof Storage Bag Black

This action camera is feature rich and accessory rich as well making it a great all inclusive camera that gives you everything you need to shoot great action photos and video.

You get full HD 1080p video with 12MP and 170 degree wide angle fish eye lens.  With the convenient HDMI HD output you can play the video back on any TV, projector, etc so others can enjoy what you’ve shot as well.

The water-resistant and waterproof case allows for video or pictures under water up to 98 feet down which makes it a perfect camera for snorkelers, boaters and swimmers.

The 1.5” LCD screen on the back is full color and even though it isn’t very big, you can still see clear video or photos of what you’re filming and shooting.

It is a lightweight camera that comes with a lot of extras and is perfect to learn on if you’re motivated to start and grow with the camera.  Whether you’re filming the latest football game or doing some deep sea fishing, you will capture those action moments for a lifetime with this great camera.

Best Budget Action Camera

DBPOWER® SJ4000 Waterproof Action Camera, 12MP, 1080P HD, Free Accessories Kit

This is a great action camera to take with you scuba diving to 98 feet, boating, snowboarding, motor biking, horseback riding or any other action event or activity that you want to capture on video or photo.

The ultra wide lens gives you a great view of your subjects.  It is very user friendly and can help anyone make professional looking videos and pictures regardless of their skill level.

The 1.5” LCD display is perfect for previewing the photos and for helping you make sure you have the shot you want centered. The menus are easily navigated and you can adjust the setting with the buttons on the camera and the screen as well.

You get full HD 1080p 30 and 720p 60 video and 12MP to shoot still photographs that will wow friends and family. There is a time lapse mode that allows you to take a picture at set intervals of 2s, 5s, 10s or you can use Snapper.

The weight of the camera is a lightweight and portable 58g which is 27g lighter than the popular GoProHERO3.  It is super small, incredibly portable and works great for low profile mounting as well.  Battery life is great with a rechargeable 3.7v 900mAh rechargeable battery.   The 32g microSD card and 4GB card can take about 650 shots at top resolution.

This great action camera comes with a ton of useful accessories. If you want a camera that seems to be able to do it all and do it well, you’ll like this one!

Summary

Action cameras are great for anyone who likes to do a lot of outdoor filming or photo taking. Whether you are a complete beginner or an intermediate photographer, any one of these top rated action cameras will give you a ton of features that you can use to get some really terrific shots that will preserve memories for a lifetime.

Each camera has its strong points and all three are similar in their capabilities but one thing that is constant is that all three are customer favorites and you will get the kind of video and photos you have always wanted when you use them.

Red the buyer’s guide below to learn more about action cameras so you will be able to sort through the choices you are looking at and know what you need and want in your own action camera. Knowledge is important to prevent you from purchasing a camera that ends up not meeting your needs.

Action Camera Comparison Chart


GoPro HERO4
View

ANART
View

DBPOWER
View

GoPro HERO
View

GoPro HERO3+
View

GoPro HERO3
View

ASX
View

GeekPro
View


Campark

View

VicTsing
View
Focal Distance
(mm)

3.102.332.432.82.82.82.02.32.83.11
Focus Range
(mm)
30252428282820232428
Digital Zoom4X6X9X4X4X4X4X6X6X4X
Aperture Range
(mm)

3.02.332.432.82.82.82.02.32.83.0
Video FormatH.264 codec,
.mp4
MOVMP4H.264 codec,
.mp4
H.264 codec,
.mp4
H.264 codec,
.mp4
MOVMOVMP4, H2.64H.264 codec,
.mp4
Video Resolution4K,
2.7K,
1440P,
1080P,
960P,
720P,
WVGA
1080P
(1920*1080)
720P
(1280*720)
1080 FHD
/ 720P 60
/720P 30
/ VGA
/ QVGA
4K,

2.7K,

1440P,

1080P,

960P,

720P,

WVGA

4K,

2.7K,

1440P,

1080P,

960P,

720P,

WVGA

4K,

2.7K,

1440P,

1080P,

960P,

720P,

WVGA

1080P

(1920*1080)

720P

(1280*720)

1080P

(1920*1080)

720P

(1280*720)

4K(3264*1836)
/30fps, 2.7K
(2688*1520)
/30fps, 1080P
(1920×1080)
/ 60fps, 1080P
(1920×1080)
/ 30fp
1080P
(1920*1080)
720P
(1280*720)
Video
Frame Rate
30,

60

30,
60
  30,
60
 25,
60
25,

60

25,

60

 30,

60

30,

60

30,
60
30,
60
ISOAuto

/400

/800

/1600
/3200
/6400

Auto
/100
/200
/400
Auto
/100
/200
/400
Auto

/400

/800

/1600

/3200

/6400

Auto

/400

/800

/1600

/3200

/6400

Auto

/400

/800

/1600

/3200

/6400

Auto

/100

/200

/400

Auto

/100

/200

/400

Auto
/100
/200
/400
Auto
/100
/200
/400
Maximum
Card Capacity
64GB32GB32GB32GB64GB64GB32GB32GB64GB32GB
Output Interface Mini USB,
Micro HDMI,
microSD
USB 2.0 HDMI,
USB,
AV video
Mini USB,
microSD
Mini USB,

Micro HDMI,

microSD

Mini USB,

Micro HDMI,

microSD

Mini USB,

microSD

Mini USB,

microSD

Mini USB,
Micro HDMI,
microSD
Mini USB,
microSD
Screen Size
(inches)
1.51.51.51.51.51.52.01.522
Screen
Resolution
1080p1080p1080p1080p1080p1080p1080p1080p4K Ultra HD1080p

HD Recording
Time (Minutes)

24570601176990108709090
Voltage 3.8 V 3.7V 3.5V 3.8 V 3.7 V 3.7 V 3.5 V 3.7 V 5V 3.8 V
Battery
Capacity
1160mAh 900mAh 1000mAh 1160mAh 1180 mAh 1050 mAh 1000mAh 900mAh 900mAh

1180 mAh

Charging Time
(hours)
3 3.5

3.5

 

3 3 3 3.5 3.5 2

2

Dimensions
(Inches)
4 x 4.1 x 9.7 2.33 x 1.62 x 1.15 9.5 x 6.4 x 2.2 10.1 x 4.3 x 2.2 9.9 x 4.0 x 3.9 10.23 x 4.41 x 4.26 4.2 x 4.2 x 9.8 2.33 x 1.62 x 1.15 58 x 40 x 29 2.3 x 1.6 x 1.2
Weight
(Pounds)
1.5

1.6

 

1.4 0.8 1.45 1.3 1.35 1.3 2.1 1.1
Warranty1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1.5 Years

Action Camera Buying Guide

Action Camera Reviews

Why get an Action Camera?

If you’re not sure whether an action camera is for you, think about the types of things you take pictures of or film. Are they always high action activities such as sports, natures and wildlife, and other moving subjects? Do you have hobbies that put you outdoors often such as snorkeling, scuba diving, even sky diving? If the answer to any of those is yes, an action camera is exactly what you need.

Action Camera2These popular cameras enable users to capture incredible photos and video of all types of action from races to incredible sea life swimming underwater. Read more to learn about the features and other considerations you will want to take when choosing an action camera for yourself. They come is all shapes sizes and colors and can be mounted on your own body, helmet or bike. Some people use them for recording video in their car. We’re going to take you through some of the things you need to know about choosing the right action camera.

Features

Different models of camera have different features that they are known for. Think about the things you want to use your camera for and look for those features when you start researching available models on the internet.

Weather proofing/Waterproofing – There is a difference between weatherproofing and waterproofing a camera.  Weather proofing means that the camera can be out in extreme cold, and even get hit with some rain but it can’t be submerged underwater nor does it mean that it is shock or dust proof.  Depending on what you plan on taking video and pictures of with your action camera, one of the features will be better than the other for meeting your needs.  In general if you want to shoot in or around water, don’t take a chance, just go ahead and look at the waterproof models rather than the weatherproof ones.

  Mount Options – If you can’t mount an action camera to yourself or another vantage point then It becomes quite useless. One of the ways to use an action camera is to get first person vantage point shots which people really enjoy.  You don’t always have to attach it to yourself or someone else, but it sure gives some added options for great POV shots and video.  Rigid mounts eliminate wobble but don’t allow for much flexibility when you compare them to other types of mounts such as ball and socket or pivoting.

Controls – Different action camera models have different types of controls that they offer.  Some are simple and just involve start and stop buttons while others have color LCD displays and playback settings.   Some have built in Wi-Fi and wireless connectivity so you can share your videos and photos on your favorite social media venues.

Resolution – Resolution is always important to ensure excellent quality video and photos.  Most action cameras have full HD 1080p video or better.  Also look for cameras that can record video at 50-60 fps which will give you smooth, great quality video.

Battery and Storage – Battery life is always an important factor to consider so you never miss that great shot or video.  All action cameras record to microSD cards and most do not have adequate storage, so plan on getting an additional one that will give you plenty of room to record and store everything you want to.

Sound – Built-in microphones are commonplace with action cameras and all of them have one.  This enables you to capture audio as well although the microphones are so small that the sound quality isn’t up to par at all.  You will need an external microphone to capture better audio.  Make sure your camera has a microphone input jack.  Some are regular size at 3.5mm and some are micro which will be 2.5mm.  Having an external microphone allows you to record the audio that can go along with some of the activities that you want to film.

Video and Still Photos – The main purpose of an action camera is to shoot awesome videos but they can capture still photos as well.  You won’t be getting high quality images from the still photos but how good they are will be determined by the MP size of the camera. The more MP the camera has the clearer and sharper the photos will be.

Field of View – The wider the field of view is the more action your camera will capture.  Most action cameras have ranges from 17mm to 20mm.  Be sure to check the model you are interested in to see what the field of view is.

What do you need in a Camera?

Before you start researching take a few minutes and think about what you want your action camera for.  There are a few questions you can ask yourself that will help you determine what features you want to have and which camera will be the best one for your personal needs and preferences.

What are you shooting? –  What you plan on shooting with your camera is probably one of the biggest questions to ask yourself.  If you plan on doing a lot of POV shots of yourself riding a bike, snorkeling, or scuba diving, for example, you will want to look for a camera that is lightweight and that has good mounting options so you can mount it on your vehicle or bike.  If you will be doing a lot of underwater shooting, look for a camera that has a great waterproof depth and that has a good sealed housing to protect it.

Action Camera1What is your budget? –  Budget plays a part in the type of camera you can afford.  If you have a price in mind that you want to stay under, this will prevent you from looking at models that are outside of what you can afford.  There are some great models out there that are not too costly and you should try to get the best action camera you can for what you can afford but try not to stray from the budget you set.

Do you intend to share a lot? –  If you are an avid social media participant, you will want to look for an action camera that makes sharing your videos and photos easy.  Wireless connectivity and outputs that allow for easy transfer of the video and photos will make things much easier and faster for you when it comes to posting your work on your social media venues.

Just for Fun or Something More?-   If you are just wanting a camera for fun and to memorialize the things you shoot, you may not need the top of the line action camera.  If, on the other hand, you plan on selling your photos or videos or want to take professional grade shoots for other people, you will need to get a higher grade action camera that has the more advanced features and capabilities.  If you’re looking to go pro with it, it will be a great investment to buy a more expensive and better quality camera.  Make sure you do your homework though and look at more than just the price. The increased price should also include higher quality resolution, better batter life and a lot of options that a lower priced model doesn’t have to make it worth the extra money.

Conclusion

Action cameras are a great way to take pictures and video of those activities that a regular SLR camera just can’t get properly without blurring or because they are not waterproof. The information in this guide can help you narrow down the available choices so you are only looking at the models that offer what you need and want.

Action photography and action video is exciting and fun to take and to watch. It can become very addictive and you may find yourself with your camera in your hand all the time! The top rated models we reviewed here are great for those wanting to get high quality video and photos and not break the wallet doing it. You will love any one of them but if those don’t meet your needs, then be sure to use the information we have provided in this guide so you can choose a model that will match what you are looking for.

Resources

  1. Evoplus- http://vandsec.com/
  2. Anart – http://www.xtremo.pro/
  3. DBPower – http://www.aaii.com/