5 Best Action Cameras of 2017

 

Nowadays, action cameras become increasingly popular with people as action cameras can go where your average camera or smartphone wouldn’t even dream. Thanks to it’s tiny appearance and waterproof design, you can enjoy adventures and shooting anywhere anytime you like.

There are an awful lot of action cameras out there, though, so it can be tricky to find the right one for you. Now We list the 5 best action cameras,  you can buy for capturing all life moments you want it last forever.

The 5 best action cameras you can buy 2017

So, let’s crack on with our list of the best action cameras you can buy anywhere today!

1. GoPro Hero5 Black

Key Specifications:

Video quality: 4K                      Screen: 2″
Stills: 16MP                                  GPS: Yes
Waterproof: Yes                        Weight: 118g

If you are looking for a versatile action cam that’s simple to operate yet offers advanced features, no doubt that the Hero5 Black is our favorite.

GoPro Hero cameras’ easy usability has been a big selling point, but it’s even better with the coolest new feature, voice control. Just say, “GoPro,” plus one of several preset commands, and the camera automatically does it. This frees you up from having to fumble with the camera while, say, zooming down a mountain on your bike or running through a trail.

A first for GoPro cameras, the Hero5 has electronic stabilization, which helps to steady vibrations. It won’t cancel out forceful shaking, but it’s a nice option for regular movements. As for image quality, in ideal lighting conditions the camera captures sharp and colorful photos. More advanced users can take advantage of the new RAW format and Protune adjustable settings, plus GPS for location data and telemetry. With built-in Wi-Fi, the Hero5 Black can share content to social media or back up to GoPro’s new Plus subscription-based, online cloud storage service.

Despite the increased competition in the action camera market, GoPro still makes the best. There are plenty of accessories to go with the Hero5, including the new Karma Grip three-axis gimbal and upcoming Karma Drone. And with GoPro’s new developer program, third-party companies are incorporating Hero cameras into their applications for new uses.

2. Sony FDR-3000

The design of the FDR-X3000 remains consistent with Sony’s previous action cameras, such as the HDR-AS50 Action Cam. Rather than creating another “me too” rectangular camera such as the GoPro, Sony’s action cameras have always resembled little camcorders.

Key Specification:

  • Dimensions: 83x47x29.4mm / 3.27×1.85×1.16″
  • Weight: 114g / 4.1oz
  • Video resolutions: 4K 30/25/24fps; 1080p 120/100/60/50/30/25/24fps; 720p 240/200/120/100fps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Modes: Loop, Burst, Motion Shot, 4K Time-Lapse, Live Streaming
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Small LCD screen, Balanced Optical, Image Stabilization
  • Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
  • Battery life: 60 minutes of 4K 30fps recording with WiFI turned off

VIDEO & FEATURES

The Sony FDR-X3000R is currently the most powerful action camera available. Yes both the GoPro Hero5 Black and the Sony can recording in 4K resolution and similar frame rates. The difference is the video recording rate. While GoPro is capable of recording at a bitrate of 60Mbps, Sony FDR-X3000R can do up to 100Mbps. That means that the Sony can save more data faster and while 60Mbps can be enough, the extra 40 can definitely help when recording in 4K. 4K has includes so much data that the Sony should perform better there. Just make sure that you use a microSD card that supports this high bitrates. If you don’t then it won’t record in 100Mbps.

Just watch this video and see for yourself how good the Sony FDR-X3000R is. The video quality is just amazing. Everything is super clear and sharp. Notice how smooth the video footage is even in 4K? That is again thanks to the next generation image stabilization system. You won’t see this kind of smoothness on the GoPro Hero5 Black as it can only stabilize up to 1080p.

So besides the crazy good video quality, Sony has also added some interesting features. For example you can live stream everything via Ustream. You can also connect up to 5 FDR-X3000R’s to your iOS or Android device via the PlayMemories Mobile app and control them all. You can also enable GPS which will save all of the data while recording and later on overlay on your video. For example create a map of the distance you covered.

In my opinion, the Sony FDR-X3000R is currently the best action camera available. The fact that it has an image stabilization system that works with 4K and records at 100Mbps, is more than enough to make it the best. Not to mention that for $469 you also get a live view remote.

3. Olympus Tough TG-4

If you want to take pictures when you’re out kayaking, hiking or biking but you don’t want to subject your smartphone to the kind of punishment those activities usually entail, then it’s time to check out more outdoor-friendly cameras. That’s where Olympus’ TG-4 comes in. This $330 camera is made to withstand water depths of up to 50 feet and drops from up to 7 feet high. And with a 16-megapixel sensor that’s made for both land and sea, the TG-4 can easily keep up with your active lifestyle while snapping sharper and more detailed pics than its competition.

Features

As far as shooting modes and controls go, the TG-4 has almost everything you’d want. Olympus includes built-in GPS and Wi-Fi to help you track and share your adventures, as well as a full-featured shooting mode with a dedicated scene dial. While some users may complain that the camera’s Settings menu can be a little overwhelming, I’d rather have more controls than be limited to a handful of settings, as is the case with Canon’s PowerShot D30.

Design

In order to live up to its rugged cred, the TG-4 features two flaps with a dual latching system to make sure dust, water and other harmful elements stay away from the sensitive parts of the camera. On the right side, there’s a small grip, so you have a little extra something to hold on to. However, even if you have smaller hands, it’s pretty easy for your fingers to stick out into your field of view when shooting.

At 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 inches and 8.7 ounces, the TG-4 is just barely larger than Canon’s rugged offering, the PowerShot D30, which measures 4.31 x 2.68 x 1.08 inches and 7.69 ounces.

Image Quality

In our tests, it became pretty clear that the TG-4 captures sharper details and brighter, more saturated colors than its competitors. During our underwater testing, in which we submerged the camera in an indoor pool and took photos of a test scene featuring a synthetic coral aquarium decoration, the TG-4 captured much more detail. The TG-4 also adjusted white balance, which resulted in a more accurate and attractive bluish color cast.

4. YI 4K

The YI 4K Action Cam kicks the cane right out from under that elderly camera by using the newest versions of the tech found in the Hero4, including an Ambarella A9SE75 chipset, a Sony IMX377 image sensor and a high-speed Broadcom BCM43340 dual-band Wi-Fi module.

These specs translate into a camera that has the same shooting options as the Hero4 Black, such as recording high-bit-rate 4K-resolution video at 30 frames per second (fps), 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240fps, but it runs cooler and has better battery life. The performance is so much better that YI even put a touchscreen on the back — something only available for the Hero4 Black as an attachment or on the step-down Silver model.

Unfortunately, what it doesn’t correct for is the amount of chromatic aberration (purple fringing) around high-contrast subjects, such as the buildings against the sky in the above video. In general, you probably won’t see it when squeezed down for viewing on a smartphone or tablet. But blown up on a computer screen it’s easy to see. Also, like most small-sensor cameras, highlights can easily be blown out, costing you details in bright scenes.

5. GARMIN VIRB ULTRA 30

KEY FEATURES

  • 1/2.3-inch CMOS with 12 megapixels
  • MP4 recording at up to 4K at 60Mbits/sec
  • Image stabilisation (except 4K)
  • Built-in GPS receiver, accelerometer and altimeter
  • Sensor and peripheral connectivity via ANT+ and Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi remote control functions via smartphone

If you’re looking for an action camera specifically for sports, the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 might be the action camera for you. Not only does it have 4K resolution at 30fps, it also has a GPS sensor inside to capture telemetry data.

This means while you’re hitting the slopes you can capture route, speed and distance data to bring an added layer of information to your videos. The VIRB Ultra 30 also supports external sensors through ANT+ and Bluetooth. These include heart rate monitors and bike sensors.

Image quality is also right up there with the best. You get plenty of resolution and frame rate options, including 1080p at 120fps or 720p at 240fps – perfect for impressive slow-motion footage.

You’ll find a display on the back for framing your shots and changing settings, otherwise you can pair with the companion apps.

At the time of review the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 was available for £400.

 

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