Best Sport Camera
A sport camera, an action camera or camcorders are no longer rare and expensive products. The constant technological evolution of cameras has entered a new horizon, giving birth to new and innovative ways of taking pictures and recording videos. Worn by the likes of funny videos gone viral, world-class surfers doing daredevil stunts, and even your favorite characters in the movies, these tiny yet rugged little gadgets have truly become mainstream. Just when you though video cameras couldn’t get any better, the best sports action camera or camcorders came to the picture. These classy equipment let you capture the most action-adventure and then upload them to the various social media sites for everyone to look.
Unlike the DSLRs or point-and-shoot cameras, this tiny, rugged yet versatile piece of equipment is built to resist. They are small, they are compact, they are tough, and they are efficient. They fit in your pocket, they mount wherever you want them to be placed, they shoot whatever you point them at, and they perform well in extreme conditions. After all, we call them action cams for a reason. Despite their light design and form factor, they’re well recognized today viable tools for creating professional video footage. Even though they are generally used by extreme sports enthusiasts and professionals, they are equally addictive for almost anyone.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a never-ending road trip or flying down a ski slope, put some daredevil show at your nearest skate park, or just recording your daily activities, action cameras are incredibly versatile devices capable of capturing the finest memories of your life. With demand for the first-person adrenaline recaps on the rise, the market for action cams has vastly expanded. Thanks to these action cameras, pretty much everyone with a knack for the outdoors is taking these high-resolution shooters for hi-definition footage of breathtaking stunts and stunning scenery.
- Lightdow LD6000
- Dash cam mode
- Apeman Action
- Compact design
- Akaso EK7000 Sports
- 4x resolution
10 Best Sport Camera Models
With the built-in Wi-Fi, you can connect your camera directly with your smartphones, tablets or laptops. The Lightdow LD6000 is waterproof which makes it perfect to shoot and capture underwater. It’s designed to withstand extreme conditions and environments. It also several other features like motion detection, anti-shaking, screen rotation, car DVR mode, date stamping, dash-cam mode and much more. It also comes with different mounts and accessories, which makes sure you don’t have to carry additional mounts while taking an adventure photography trip. So, if you’re looking for full-fledged action sports camera without breaking the bank, look no further.
- 4x digital zoom
- Dash cam mode
- The case the camera comes is too thin
The detachable battery makes it easy to replace which prolongs your camera’s service life and the expandable storage supports up to a maximum of 32GB. With the built-in Wi-Fi mode, it allows you to control your camera through your smartphone. The CMOS sensor is great for capturing crisp photos and shooting high-quality videos with vivid colors, and the improved 2.0 inch LCD display to view HD pictures and videos in real-time. It also comes with a special portable package that includes a lot of accessories. The APEMAN Action Camera is the best camera with all the required features of a well-equipped sports camera in this price range.
- Compact design
- The app has some glitches
It has built-in Wi-Fi which allows you to connect your camera with your mobile devices from a distance of up to 50 feet. Use the remote control of the camera to switch different modes accordingly. Shift from video mode to photo mode, burst to time lapse with a single press of the button. It’s also compatible with GoPro mounts and the waterproof housing is great and lasts up to 8 hours. The camera has 4 times the resolution compared to almost all traditional HD cameras which allow you to capture your experiences in higher resolutions. So for those who want a taste of action cameras at competitive prices, the AKASO EK7000 is one of the best choices for a beginner.
- Wi-Fi that works up to 50 feet
- 4x resolution
- The spare back which is not too waterproof
Go Pro Hero6 Black
The Hero6 Black has a useful 2-inch touchscreen, voice commands, and an updated app with QuikStories that automatically transfers and edits your footage for you. This is definitely among the top action cameras on the market.
- Waterproof up to 10 meters
- 4K videos
- Weighs 118 grams
- Great image quality
- Refined design
- 1-3 hrs battery life
Though it might not be as good as a GoPro, but for the price, you really won’t be disappointed. The camera is available in many colors which gives you so many options to choose from. The camera itself is handy and compact so you can easily carry it anywhere you want. This sport camera provides good value for your hard earned money plus the video quality is great, and it also comes with many accessories and mounts which are hard to come by in this price range. For a camera which can take crystal clear pictures and capture full HD quality videos, it’s always countable in the eye of any photographer.
- 1080p full HD videos
- Waterproof up to 30 meters
- Affordable camera
- Not for professional use
Capture more of your favorite city with the exceptional 155-degrees ultra-wide angle lens. The CMOS lens with an F2.8 aperture guarantees a complete immersive experience. Other cameras at this price offer only a fraction of options and typically shoot videos at a maximum of 1080p at 30 fps and 720p at 60 fps, but YI can capture 1080p videos at 60, 48, 30 or 24 fps; 960p at 60 or 48 fps; 720p at 120, 60 or 48 fps; and 480p at 240 fps. The Travel Kit helps you take photos and videos conveniently without missing out on your favorite moments while on-the-go.
- Wide angle lens
- Excellent precision
- Comes with a Travel Kit
- The battery is not too durable
Nikon KeyMission 360
While this isn't the best 360 camera on the market it is among the easiest to use. The footage is ready to upload online immediately off the memory card, without the need for any time-intensive conversion process. It delivers strong video quality even for a new product that could make this type of camera more versatile.
- High-quality videos
- Pre-stitched 360 degree video
- 4k quality
- Wi-Fi remote control
- Electronic Vibration reduction
- Short battery life
- No mic
ODRVM 2.0-Inch Underwater
Because it’s waterproof up to 30 meters, you can use it for outdoor sports activities, especially water sports like diving and snorkeling. Additionally, you can use this camera to record footage of your road trips. With different accessories, it makes for a perfect travel companion. Multiple video recording modes and photo capturing modes make it convenient to use, and the detachable battery prolongs the camera’s service life. The Wi-Fi Remote control allows you to turn on/off the camera without actually touching the camera. Additionally, you can preview your photos and videos on the decent 2.0-inch LCD screen.
- Wide-angle lens
- Compact design
- Wi-Fi remote control
- The case is not too suitable for snorkeling
You can either wear it or mount it while capturing images both indoors and outdoors. This action camera is designed to withstand extreme environments and conditions. For a basic action camera, it works definitely well and if your budget is limited, this is the best you could get. Though the camera really beat the odds when it comes to affordability, that doesn’t mean it skimps on the performance. The Lightdow LD4000 also comes in handy when learning the basic principles of photography. So if you’re looking for something practical yet inexpensive which gets the job done just perfectly, then look no further.
- Novatek image processing chip
- Superb image quality
- Not so durable
ActionSavvy 007 HD
Now that you know the our top ten sport camera selection, it’s time to decide which one will best suit your needs. Take into account the kind of adventure you wish to indulge in while recording, to help you make the right choice. Still, action cameras aren’t synonymous with GoPro anymore. Nearly a dozen companies offer models with cool features or tempting prices that GoPro can’t match. There’s always something for everyone, with big names like Sony and GoPro, as well as less popular names like Polaroid, Lightdow and ActionSavvy.
- High-quality videos
- Wide-angle lens
- Additional 64GB storage
- The Wi-Fi app is not working perfectly
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
Why Should You Buy A Sport Camera?
If you’re one of those who spends a quality time outdoors and wants to enjoy and relive those crazy moments you shared with your loved ones, an action cam is essential. What sets an action camera apart from other video cameras is its extra compact size and an ample number of mounting options when compared to a point-and-shoot, or a DSLR. Go cliff jumping into water, sky-diving, caving, snorkeling, surfing, go-karting, and capture as much of the action you can. This makes them perfectly suited for capturing all the action from a first-person perspective.
Not only a sport camera is equipped with a very wide- angle lens to capture as much of the slopes or tracks you throw at it, but they also can be mounted literally anywhere – be it on a head gear, tip of a surfboard, on a bike or atop a tripod stand. You can capture your passion for adventure sports with these handy action cams and share them with the world. Use it the way you want, the sky is the limit for you. Capture images like never before and shoot anywhere with these rugged action cams.
Whether you’re looking to capture outdoor sports or underwater excursions, or documenting your skateboarding skills, an action cam is your ticket. Remember, action cameras aren’t just protected against the natural elements, they offer ultra-wide viewing angles to capture the full experiences of skateboard stunts, ski runs, snorkeling adventures or road trip chronicles. Action cameras are small, lightweight, wearable, mountable and sometimes waterproof cams. They come in handy because you can mount them to pretty much anything – from skateboards, surfboards, and drones to your head gear.
What to Look For in a Sport Camera?
Before you start digging into the reviews of the best action cameras, you’d want to consider a few things first before making the decision. The most important stuff is not to hang up on making sure you’ve got the best because there’s nothing as the best. There is no specific spec that tells you this camera is the best – a higher resolution (more megapixels) and more zoom doesn’t make the camera better. Every camera beats the rest in its class on four major criteria – picture quality, features, performance, and design. Your choice of camera depends on what activities you want to document.
- Size and Weight
Size and weight matter, especially if you’ll be mounting the camera on your headgear or any mounted equipment. Weight varies from 2.6 to more than five ounces. Go with the lightest and the smallest model you can afford, and also take into account your adventure preferences before making the final decision.
- Frame Rates
You’d definitely want to consider frame rate, better known as frames per second (fps). Some well-known cameras are capable of recording at the maximum of 120 fps, while others can go up to 30 fps. For a standard playback, 30 fps is just perfect. But for more intense recording, shooting at 1080p and 60 fps is the ideal setting. Some cameras are even capable of shooting 4K videos if the resolution allows. The thing is the footage captured at 120 fps can be slowed down and played back at one-quarter speed.
Then there comes resolution and video quality, which is just as important as other factors. In general, the better the quality of the video, the more expensive the sports camera. A camera that delivers best-quality images and fast-action-shooting performance is good enough to sell to a knowledgeable buyer. In simple terms, resolution refers to as megapixels and the number tells you exactly how many pixels the camera uses to produce an image. Every modern-day camera comes with more than enough pixels to cater to any need.
- Field of View
Every sports action camera has a fixed wide-angle lens with focal length basically in the range of 17mm to 20mm. Depending on the sensor size; this gives a field of view of up to 170-degrees from around 140-degrees. The larger the number, the larger and wider the field of view and the more action you’ll be able to capture. Ultra-wide angle lens is perfect for large scenes, while the wide-angle lens is good for group captures, landscapes, and street photography.
- Still Photos
Action cameras are specially designed to take videos, but they are also capable of capturing still photos. They don’t produce ultra high-resolution images as you would normally expect from a high-end DSLR camera, but generally, a good action camera with a higher megapixel rating will take sharper and crystal clear pictures.
- Light Sensitivity
An action camera’s sensitivity to light is described as ISO sensitivity. The higher the number, the better the camera is susceptible to shooting in low light conditions. However, the amount of noise increases as sensitivity rises, which results in colored speckles you normally see in night photos. They use noise suppression to eliminate those speckles, but that might result in smeary photos.
This is one important factor to consider especially if you’ll be shooting underwater or even around water bodies. Few cameras are water-resistant on their own, while others require a special waterproof casing. Many models are also described as “splashproof”, while you can still place your camera in a housing to increase the water protection. Weatherproofing, on the other hand, means you can take your camera out in extreme cold and even get hit with a moderate rain but it cannot be submerged underwater.
- Form Factor
When it comes to design, smaller and lightweight models are most definitely preferred. This is a natural process in the evolution of the technology, as modern equipment are generally lighter than the previous generation models.
- Mounting Options
You’d want to keep your specific needs in mind like where you’re going to mount the sports camera. Not all cameras are suitable for every action sport, and certain form factor tends to excel at certain activities. Also, different shapes and sizes require different mounting accessories and possibilities. It also needs to be flexible enough to work well with your other equipment. If you’re going to use it when surfing, cycling or skiing, you obviously need a way to mount the camera to your board, bike, or helmet. If you want to use it handheld, attach it to your drone or harness for better coverage. With a handful of options and accessories, you can mount your camera literally to anything.
- Battery Life
Even the best action cameras with long battery life, offer anywhere between one and three hours of use. So, if you’re on a multi-day backpacking trip or an expedition tour, you’d want to keep additional rechargeable batteries with you all the time. The battery life of a camera varies considerably depending on many factors. Shooting high-resolution videos, especially at 4K, use more power than usual, as do higher frame rates. Extreme temperatures and having the Wi-Fi turned on drains the battery much quicker. You can also expect minimal battery life when shooting in sub-zero temperatures.
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
Many cameras offer built-in Wi-Fi capabilities so that you can easily zap all your favorite videos from your camera straight to web. Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t just for the transfer of videos or pictures from your camera to your mobile devices, but it can also be used for live video streaming. So, if you want to share your adventures and experiences and put them before the audience to see, then you must look for a camera with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. A Wi-Fi enabled camera can also be controlled remotely via your smartphone.
Different action cams have different types of controls. While most of the controls are simple and involve only START and STOP buttons, few come with LCD displays and playback settings. Some have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity so that you can easily share your videos and pictures on your favorite social media sites.
- Memory Card
Equally important is the storage option when looking for the best action camera for documenting your adventures. Almost every action cam records videos onto removable memory cards. Most cameras use MicroSD cards, while some use those conventional over-sized memory cards. Either way, keep additional memory cards at your disposal all the time so you will have ample amount of space for your treasured memories. The higher the number (GB), the more space you’ll get.
This is an additional feature which usually comes in high-end action cameras. If you want to know exactly where you are when you capture a moment, you’ll need a camera with a built-in GPS receiver. The GPS cameras leverage satellite positioning to get a fix on your location. This location data can further be read with the help of some software as well as photo-sharing sites to map the exact location where you took the photos. However, it drains the battery faster as the GPS has to be kept on so that it can update your location.
There are a lot of choices and options when it comes to action cams and you shouldn’t just go for the brand value – think about what you actually want from your sports action camera and how you intend to use it. Because a camera for a professional photographer is miles apart from an action video camera suitable for an adventure sports enthusiast. So what makes the best action camera and what makes them stand out?
More factors to consider when choosing a sport camera
What Do You Need In an Action Camera?
These features are just a starting point to assist you in identifying what you want or need in your action camera. It is true action cams continue to get smaller and more powerful with the rapid jumps in resolution and frame rates. But at the same time, they’re gaining new skills and features such as the ability to communicate with external sensors, editing and sharing, mapping location and much more. Then, of course, there are all the other features like Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS, and don’t forget about the price tag. Action cams are almost the opposite of regular video cameras, so you have to choose the features widely before making the final decision. After all, unlike other cameras, they’re built for almost anything you throw at them.
What Are You Shooting?
Before you start on your quest to finding the best sports action camera, take a few minutes and think about what you plan on shooting with your sport camera. This is probably the most important question you should ask yourself before proceeding. If you wish to take lots of POV shots of yourself in action, for example, you’ll need a camera that is lightweight and with good mounting options so you can mount it on your bike or helmet. On the contrary, if you plan to do a lot of underwater shooting, go for a camera with a proper underwater depth or with a great water-resistant housing.
What’s Your Budget?
Your budget always takes the toll on all the other major factors because the budget plays an important part in the kind of camera you can afford, which further narrow down the options for you. If you have a certain price range in mind, you can plan accordingly and filter the ones that are out of your budget. There are also some great models out there that you can easily afford without compromising the quality and your preferences.
Do You Plan to Share?
If you’re one of those vivid social media fans who like to share everything, you’ll need an action camera that makes sharing your experiences easy. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and outputs that make for easy transfer of videos and pictures will make you post things much easier on various social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram.
Just for Adventure or More?
If you just need a camera for fun or documenting your experiences, you may not need a top-of-the-line action camera. On the other hand, if you plan on making it professional like if you want to sell your photos and videos or enroll for professional grade shoots, you’ll need a top-notch camera with all the advanced features and controls. If you’re planning to go pro, go for a more expensive camera. Do your homework beforehand and look at more than just the price tag.
Action cameras are just great for taking pictures and videos of the activities that a regular video camera just cannot get properly without compromising the quality of the images. Action photography is definitely exciting and fun, and it can become quite addictive with time and you may find yourself with your companion all the time. That’s not a bad thing, right? Photography is interesting when you know what exactly you are doing. It’s all about choosing the right action camera.
Evolution of sport cameras
Action cameras have come a long way since the first GoPro hit the market in 2005 – which used a 35mm film back then, if you can believe that – and since then they’ve increasingly shrunk in sizes, but video and image quality have improved dramatically. First came the HD sports camera, then comes the next-gen 4K, and no one knows what comes next. It’s a big leap forward. Capturing moments has become a part of the modern world. Everybody wants to become popular and these online video portals like YouTube have created a wonderful window of opportunity for them to become known to the world. And you are no exception.
There is an awful range of action cameras out there with fresh players following in the footsteps of industry leader GoPro, but each new entry is capable of offering a new experience that caters to best of your needs. The real problem is finding the best camera for your requirements. Fortunately for you, we’ve narrowed down the list to the top offerings based on performance, features, and price. Plan your next adventure right now, but first, take a look at the ten best action cameras available now. We have included cameras for both beginners and professionals.
Action cameras have become more popular amongst adventure travelers, students, and extreme sports enthusiasts, and being a relatively new phenomenon, you might have a lot of questions in your mind you want to ask.
Q: Which is the right fit for me?
Though there are lots of options out there when it comes to action cameras, finding the right fit depends entirely on what kind of quality and features you want in your action camera. Most of the action cams are capable of almost anything, of course, with a few exceptions. If you want to shoot in extreme conditions, you’ll need a waterproof and weatherproof action camera to withstand harsh conditions. Or if you want to shoot at night, you’d want a camera with low light settings.
Q: I don’t do anything extreme…should I go for a professional camera?
Sure, you can! There are many casual photographers who just want to capture memories of hanging out with friends, filming their beloved pets, or to take wonderful landscapes. So an extremely professional camera can definitely be of use, but you don’t necessarily need them. Any action camera with a decent picture quality and field of view is capable enough.
Q: What kind of batteries does the sports camera use?
A camera generally runs on a pair of AAA batteries. We highly suggest using LITHIUM or Rechargeable NiMH (900mAh or higher) batteries for better performance and efficiency. A fully charged battery gives you approximately 2.5 hours of video recording in mild and warmer temperatures, but we suggest you always carry a few additional batteries with you all the time. Battery life depends on various factors and environments, so you’d want to be prepared for the worse.
Q: What size memory card does the camera use?
A camera usually supports MicroSD/MicroSDHC cards up to 32GB or higher, depending on the capacity of external storage. We suggest you choose at least a 32GB card to avoid running out of space while on-the-go. We recommend a class 6 or a class 10 memory cards for better file transfer and reliability.
Q: How much video can I shoot on a single card?
Depending on the storage capacity and the screen resolution and the quality of images and videos, playback time varies accordingly. The battery also comes to the picture when shooting high-resolution videos. A 32GB card can give you anywhere between 2 to 5 hours of video recording, depending on temperature and other factors. If you’re shooting at 1080p, the number eventually decreases.
Q: How long does it take to charge the battery?
If you’re charging through the AC power adapter, it takes somewhere around 2-3 hours until fully charged. The computer USB port, on the other hand, takes a little longer to charge.
Q: For how long can I record on a full charge?
Like we said, you can use your camera for about 2-3 hours on a single charge, and that too, when you don’t consider external factors. Keeping the Wi-Fi on while recording decreases the recording time considerably. The battery consumes more power when shooting in extreme temperatures.
Q: How do I connect my action camera with my phone/tablet?
First, install the app (Android or iOS version) on your smartphone/tablet, then press the Wi-Fi button on the camera to turn it on. After that, connect your camera with the smartphone, using the Wi-Fi settings on your phone. We suggest you disconnect any WLAN connection close to you because your phone may give priority to the WLAN connection instead of the camera. You’ll need to enter a password you probably will find in the manual before connecting. The password is only required for the first time use and you won’t have to type the password again. After you’re connected, open the app to access the content on your camera.
Q: Does the camera stream live video?
Yes, almost every action camera with Wi-Fi connectivity is capable of streaming live video over a Wi-Fi connection up to 100 meters (actual number may vary with the models) with a 2-second delay.
Q: Can I charge my camera while recording?
Yes. While charging through a USB port, you must turn on the camera first and start recording, then connect to the USB port via the sync cable provided with the package.
Q: Are there any special drivers needed for using the camera on Windows 10?
No special drivers are needed for Windows 10, but you may want to use the recent version of the app or the setup. No specific procedure is required either while connecting the camera to a Windows 10 PC.
Q: Why do I see a wobble in my video footage?
It happens usually depending on where your camera is mounted while in use. If, let’s say your camera is mounted on a vibrating thing or mount, you’ll most likely get a wobble in the videos due to the vibration. There are specific mounts available for this purpose so choose accordingly.
Q: My Camera is not recognized when plugged into the USB port. What should I do?
Check if the camera power is turned on or the USB cable is connected properly or if the MicroSD card is properly inserted. Then connect the camera to your computer and if the problem still comes, use a separate SD card reader.
That being said, if you’re not desperate and crazy enough for an extreme experience, then what good a sports action cam is and you’ll likely be better off with a cheaper camera. It doesn’t matter if you’re surfing along the toughest tides, jumping out of planes, skiing down the impossible terrains, or getting on a joyride – unless you’re capturing all of it, it might as well not have happened altogether. That’s why there’s never a good time to buy a sports action camera. They’re not only getting smaller but they also last longer nowadays, and a lot of them perfectly capture whatever you point them at, and that too, in glorious 4K. Isn’t that cool! But which one to choose?
Ultimately, your preference in action cameras should come down to performance and ease of use because you obviously want something that’s best for you. The most important thing is it should fit comfortably in your hand and something that’s not too big or heavy that you won’t carry it anywhere you want. Easy access to the commonly used functions and menus and controls should be conveniently structured. There’s also a plethora of options for those who enjoy photography and like to play with the settings but want something sturdy. Action cameras are just perfect for those who want something better and faster than a compact, but equally small to be used with ease. After all, what good is action camera if it cannot withstand action?