Best Action Cameras 2017

Last update February 16, 2017
If you adore extreme sports or want to shoot videos of your activities, you need to use an action camera. Thanks to this gadget,

you will be able to shoot anything all daredevil stunts you are making. We've decided to help you out and compared the best action cameras for you!

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BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Coupon
Resolution
Video Formats
Max Still Resolution
Battery Life
Viewing Angle
Protection
Interface
Mounts and Accessories
 
PROS
Smooth video recording in 4K Ultra-HD, voice commands control, touchscreen, single-button operation, integral digital stabilization, and more.
CONS
Battery drains quickly while recording in Ultra-HD.
OUR VERDICT
GoPro Hero5 Black is an ultimate action camera that will capture most dynamic actions in the incredible, smooth 4K video. It also supports shooting photos in RAW format, so you can leave your photo camera at home.
detailed parameters
Coupon

-

Resolution
3840x2160 - 30 FPS, 2704x1520 - 60 FPS, 1920x1080 - 120 FPS, 1280x720 - 240 FPS
Video Formats
H.264 MPEG4
Max Still Resolution
12 MP, CMOS sensor
Battery Life
Up to 2 hours, 1220 mAh Li-Ion
Viewing Angle
170°
Protection
Shock-proof, dust- and waterproof up to 33 ft.
Interface
Supports up to 64 GB microSD, SDHC, SDXC cards, Micro HDMI, Micro-USB, 3.5mm mic input, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Mounts and Accessories
Frame (HERO5 Black), Rechargeable Battery (HERO5 Black), Curved Adhesive Mount, Flat Adhesive Mount, Mounting Buckle, USB-C Cable
PROS
Has an option to broadcast live events online via YouTube in HD quality, 3-axis image stabilization, decent recorded sound quality inside the waterproof case.
CONS
4K videos might require post-processing due to the low image stabilization.
OUR VERDICT
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is an ideal choice for shooting 4K videos and photos under most severe weather conditions. It has a lof of different sensors for you to easily track your progression.
detailed parameters
Coupon

-

Resolution
3840x2160 - 30 FPS, 2704x1520 - 60 FPS, 1920x1080 - 120 FPS, 1280x720 - 240 FPS
Video Formats
H.264 MPEG4
Max Still Resolution
12 MP, CMOS sensor
Battery Life
Up to 2 hours, 1250 mAh Li-Ion
Viewing Angle
123°
Protection
Waterproof up to 131 ft. in a special case (included)
Interface
Supports up to 128 GB SDHC cards, HDMI, Micro-USB, 3.5mm mic input, ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Mounts and Accessories
Waterproof case, Lithium-ion battery, Charging/data cable, Flat and curved adhesive mounts, Standard and vertical mount adapters, Short and long screws, Short and long extension arms, Wrench, Anti-fog kit, Garmin VIRB sticker
PROS

Apart from scores of accessories, the package includes an extra battery, adding 90 minutes of the play time.

CONS

The battery has a smaller capacity than that on other action cameras.

OUR VERDICT

It's a fantastic action camera with a handy 2-inch screen, high-speed hardware, and the Full HD sensor. All of these features and a really attractive price make this device really popular.

detailed parameters
Coupon

57D46EEE

Resolution

1920x1080 - 30 FPS, 1280x720 - 60 FPS, 848x480 - 60FPS, 640x480 - 60 FPS

Video Formats

H.264 MPEG4

Max Still Resolution

14 MP, CMOS sensor

Battery Life

Up to 1.5 hours, 900 mAh Li-Ion

Viewing Angle

170°

Protection

Waterproof up to 100 ft. in a special case

Interface

Supports up to 32 GB microSD, SDHC, SDXC memory cards, Micro HDMI; Micro-USB; Wi-Fi

Mounts and Accessories

Waterproof case, Waterproof case clip, Multi-function clip, Bicycle mount, Camera clip, Helmet mount, Belts, Wiper, 2x 3M stickers, USB cable, 2x batteries

PROS
Free GoPro app allows you to control this action camera from a smartphone or tablet. Moreover, you can watch videos and share them with your friends online.
CONS
No image stabilization.
OUR VERDICT
This best action camera supports 4K resolution, so you can enjoy an extra-wide image. Lots of mounts and durable case allow you to enjoy shooting awesome extreme videos and take amazing quality photos.
detailed parameters
Coupon

-

Resolution
3840x2160 - 15 FPS, 2704x1520 - 30 FPS, 1920x1080 - 60 FPS, 1280x720 - 120 FPS
Video Formats
H.264 MPEG4
Max Still Resolution
12 MP, CMOS sensor
Battery Life
47 minutes, 1160 mAh Li-Ion
Viewing Angle
170°
Protection
Waterproof up to 131 ft. in a special case (included)
Interface
MicroSD (class 10 or UHS-1 up to 64GB), HDMI, USB
Mounts and Accessories
Standard waterproof casing (40 meters), Skeleton + Touch Backdoors, Li-ion battery, Curved adhesive mount, Flat adhesive mount, Quick release buckles, 3-Way pivot arm, USB cable
PROS
Crystal Clear technology for improved photo clarity. The 8-point G-sensor stabilizer effectively reduces vibrations for a smooth video shooting.
CONS
Requires a special app to reset the configurations.
OUR VERDICT
If you want an inexpensive, yet reliable action camera for different occasions, iON Camera Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi is exactly what you need. It has all the proper functionality, and on a calm day, it can simply use it as a dashcam inside your car.
detailed parameters
Coupon

-

Resolution
1920x1080 - 60 FPS, 1280x720 - 120 FPS
Video Formats
H.264 MPEG4
Max Still Resolution
12 MP, CMOS sensor
Battery Life
2 hours 30 minutes, 1220 mAh Li-Ion
Viewing Angle
160°
Protection
Waterproof up to 49 ft.
Interface
Supports up to 64 GB microSD, SDHC class 10 or better cards, HDMI, 3.5mm mic input, Micro-USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Mounts and Accessories
Wi-Fi PODZ, CamLock, Short Ball Joint, USB Cable, Helmet Mount and Adhesive Strips, Tripod, Storage Tin

What Is It

Nowadays, video shooting technologies are developing very quickly, allowing millions of people all over the world to capture any activities. No need to say, lots of us want to shoot videos while doing some sports, but it's difficult to control a camera - it vibrates so much that the video is usually very poor. That's why action cameras have been developed - they are compact and have a sophisticated stabilization mechanism in order to provide stunning videos. Most action cameras are fully protected against dust, moisture, and shock, so that you can even dive and capture the underwater world. Equally, any action camera can shoot a video of your crazy bike ride or, for example, a daredevil parachute jump. Any person practicing extreme sports should have such a camera! Everybody has probably heard about GoPro cameras, but there are more HD action cameras on the market. That's why we picked the best action cameras and compared them by the most important features only. Now, go ahead and read our action camera review!

However, if you want to get a camera for recording the road conditions when you're driving, we recommend you to read our comparison of the best car cameras.

Also, make sure to read our new review of waterproof cameras. These devices allow making stunning photos even underwater without any cases or accessories.

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What To Look For

Design

An action camera isn’t similar to a regular gadget designed for capturing still images and thus, becomes a spotlight of all those personalities who are engaged in extreme sports. Action cameras are usually attached to bikes, cars, clothing and equipment and therefore, designed to be lightweight, compact and impact-resistant. Consider different shapes and dimensions to find the camera that would fit your setting. They aren’t made to be equal so you better go along with your own needs, while choosing among multiple models.

If you don’t want to be limited to shooting capabilities, it’d be better if you choose a waterproof cam. With one of those attached to your diving suit, capturing videos and photos of the underwater world would be a breeze. Some action cameras are wrapped in protective cases (removable and not) to allow immersion in the water up to 60 meters in depth. That’s quite impressive properties most of us could only dream about even a few years ago. For users’ convenience, a lot of cameras are equipped with displays using which in some situations is absolutely invaluable help. From there you’ll also find information on battery life.

Tech Specifications

Among the most important tech specifications that cannot go unnoticed are resolution and frame rate per second. If you seek for an action camera to set off down true breath-taking adventures, you surely need to opt for the highest available 3840 x 2160 resolution (also known as 4K). For most average users who plan to use it only now and then, Full HD would suffice the needs. Consider the frame rate if you’d like to shoot professional video clips. 60 fps for motion capture will be good for most users while for those who’d love to dive and do extreme cycling taking pictures on the go there’s no other way rather than get a cam with the yield of 120 frames per second. Check out a viewing angle to know how much scenery it’s possible to capture. A small angle, by the way, isn’t necessary a bad specification for it allows video shooters to put smaller objects in the forefront.

Usability

Action cameras support a number of modes and options to enhance users’ experience and provide them with the right tools to make shooting much more exciting and pro-like. So, make sure that you consider all available options and find them suitable for your activities and needs.  Like being mentioned above, action camera is used mostly by extreme personalities who practice jumping, climbing, driving and other sports activities, willing to capture slow motion of their tricks. Therefore, it’s got to be simple to use and control. Most models on the market have only one or two buttons to navigate through modes and settings, and that’s pretty handy. 

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Review of GoPro HERO5 Black

GoPro HERO5 Black

GoPro HERO5 Black

The Best Here Is What It Does

GoPro is one of the main reasons why action cameras are so popular nowadays. HERO5 Black continues releasing sensational series of HD cameras for all kind of activities. The key feature of this model is the voice recognition that allows users to control the basic functions of the camera simply by voice. Now, you can turn on the camera right before the exciting part of your adventure saving battery charge, keep hands free and skip unnecessary preparations on taking videos. It's worth mentioning, that video and photo shooting here can also be controlled with just a single button whenever you can't use its bright 2" touch display to do this.

Among other improvements, the new stabilization system has got a necessary update. Owing to the new processing algorithm, now you can get even sharper videos under extreme conditions. As we've mentioned before, you have the option to take photos with it too. You can get even ultra-wide shots in RAW or high-contrast WDR formats with 170° viewing angle. The long-awaited manual shutter lock and ISO settings for compensating the lighting conditions are welcomed as well. Additionally, by subscribing to the GoPro Plus service, you will be able to upload your footage to the cloud storage via your mobile phone directly to your camera.

What are you waiting for? GoPro Hero5 is one of the best action cameras currently available. Waterproof, shock-resistant, and overall awesome.

Review of GoPro HERO5 Black

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


GoPro HERO5 Black
GoPro HERO5 Black
 
Review of Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera

Proof of You Achievements

Action cameras by Garmin are the main competitors to the GoPros in the market. The VIRB Ultra 30 boasts the 4K video recording at 30 FPS as well as voice control based on the Sensory TrulyHandsFree technology. Alternatively, you can control it by pressing the buttons or the knob without taking your gloves off. The advanced options are also available via a bright 1.75" touch screen. The compact camera also comes with several adapters and a waterproof case made of fully transparent plastic. Therefore, you can get unbelievable clips underwater or in the pouring rain. Just like the GoPro Quick app, the Garmin camera has the VIBR® Mobile app for editing shot material. Of course, it is available for both Android and iOS for free. In this app, you can quickly edit your videos, accentuating most memorable moments of your life, upload them on YouTube and share with the others. For real adventurers, this action cam can offer the G-Metrix technology. It allows you to track the altitude, speed, location, and even G-force or your heart rate due to its numerous sensors. All in all, the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is a solid alternative to the GoPro Hero5 action camera and in some regards with an edge over it.

Review of Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera
 
Review of DBPOWER WIFI  HD 1080P Waterproof Action Camera

DBPOWER WIFI HD 1080P Waterproof Action Camera

DBPOWER WIFI HD 1080P Waterproof Action Camera

The Choice of Reason

The DBPOWER EX5000 action camera combines impressive tech specs, ultra-rich package, and a really wallet-friendly price. The 14MP CMOS sensor ensures high video recording quality. There are several video quality options, hence you can choose the one you need. The smaller resolution you pick, the smaller the file will be (though, the quality will be lower). The model is fitted with the connection interfaces you need, including the microSD slot (supports cards up to 32 GB), a micro-USB, and a micro-HDMI. Also, the device is equipped with a built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to pair it with your smartphone. Download and install a special app to stream the image from the camera to the screen of your phone or tablet. The supply kit the EX5000 comes with is abundant since you get lots of accessories, including a waterproof case, multiple mounts, an extra 900 mAh Lithium-ion battery that adds around 1.5 hours of play time. To carry your action camera along with all other accessories, use one of the camera bags from our review.

Review of DBPOWER WIFI  HD 1080P Waterproof Action Camera

Additional Info

User Manual


DBPOWER WIFI  HD 1080P Waterproof Action Camera
DBPOWER WIFI HD 1080P Waterproof Action Camera
 
Review of GoPro HERO4 Silver  Action Camera

GoPro HERO4 Silver Action Camera

GoPro HERO4 Silver Action Camera

Anytime Within 24 Hours

Action cameras allow us to shoot videos so that we can watch them afterwards and recall the best moments of our lives. And you will certainly agree that it's necessary to have a camera capable of shooting quality videos at daytime and at night. And GoPro HERO4 Silver is the right choice! With the help of this action camera, you will be able to take a stunning image of a night starry sky while being on a backpacking tour with your friends. You just need to attach a camera to one of the mounts, choose the right mode, and leave the rest to GoPro HERO4 Silver. You can use Night Lapse and Time Lapse modes at the FPS rate of 30. Moreover, this best action camera automatically adjusts the settings to the light conditions. Thanks to the ultra-fast wireless Wi-Fi (50% faster than on previous versions) and Bluetooth connections, you can control the camera remotely. Just download and install the GoPro app on your mobile device. Thus, you can view each picture or watch videos right from your smartphone or tablet!

Review of GoPro HERO4 Silver  Action Camera

Best Moments

You can use the Highlight Tag function to mark the most important moments of any video so that it's possible to find them in no time. Moreover, you can edit your videos in GoPro Studio which is a part of GoPro app. We would also like to draw your attention to the 4K resolution this GoPro action camera supports. GoPro HERO4 Silver really creates the effect of presence!

If you wish to download the GoPro app, it's available for iOS and Android.

GoPro HERO4 Silver  Action Camera in the use

Interesting Fact

GoPro tested the durability of its HERO4 action cameras by capturing the launch of the SL-10 missile. UP Aerospace Inc. launched the missile on November 6, 2015. The missile flew as high as 120.7 kilometers and the speed reached mind-blowing 6,000 km/h. Then, the missile released a test capsule which got back to the ground on a special parachute. Several GoPro HERO4 action cameras were shooting the whole process and each of them bore this challenging test.

Detailed review of GoPro HERO4 Silver  Action Camera

More Products to Consider

If you wish to shoot high-res videos on the GoPro HERO4 action camera, make sure to use a high-capacity and super-fast micro SD card.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
GoPro Hero 4 Silver Edition Review
GoPro HERO4 Silver  Action Camera
GoPro HERO4 Silver Action Camera
 
Review of iON Camera Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi

iON Camera Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi

iON Camera Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi

Balanced Solution

Camera's weather-proof qualities are as important as image stabilization and quality shots. The iON Air Pro 3 has got all these, packed in a small 8.5" long cylinder body which looks like a flashlight by sight. Owing to the small and compact design, this camera is easy to grip, hold and carry either on you, inside the pocket, or in a bag. There is a large power button and a slider switch on the camera to start or stop video recording. Speaking of it, you can shoot spectacular videos at either 60 FPS in 1080p or 720p at 120 FPS. The lens of the camera has an ultra-wide angle of view at 160° for capturing all things around you. The camera has a special mount that you can attach to a bike helmet with the included adhesive strips or with nylon straps (not included) through the vent holes. Owing to the 8 Point G-Sensor stabilization system, the recorded videos look sharp and crisp even from underwater. The waterproof body can withstand the submersion at up to 49 ft. Therefore, if you are looking for an inexpensive and reliable action camera to have on you while being on travels, the iON Camera Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi can be your best investment.

Review of iON Camera Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


iON Camera Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi
iON Camera Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi
 

SOURCES:

1. Eric Angevine How to Choose an Action Camcorder, Crutchfield.

2. How to Choose an Action Camera, Eastern Mountain Sports.

3. Ryan Shaw How to Buy the Best Action Camera, Which?

4. Action Camera Buying Guide, Boys' Life.

5. How to Choose a Great Underwater Camera, SwimOutlet.

6. David Nield The Best Wearable Action Cameras for Extreme Sports and More, Wareable. June 7, 2016.

7. Dan Havlik Camera Buying Guide, Tom's Guide. April 28, 2016.

8. Brent Rose, Mike Perlman The Best Action Camera, The Wirecutter. August 1, 2016.

9. Richard Easton How to choose an SD card - class and speed ratings explained, expertreviews. February 11, 2016.

10. W. H. Bourne Action cam accessories buying guide, Videomaker Inc. April 20, 2015.