Best Action Cameras
With GoPro spurring the “action camera” or sports camera explosion back in 2006 with their release of the digital video camera, the “HERO”, the action camera market has been flooded with similar cameras hitting the market. Ironically, around 2006 was the year when Youtube began to become popular among many internet users, and in turn many GoPro videos were posted online, fueling the their branding. GoPro has become a synonymous word for action cameras, meaning a waterproof and rugged camera that can be mounted to someones helmet, bike, surfboard or other recreational equipment. Now, over 10 years after the launch of the first digital GoPro, there are hundreds if not thousands of similar fully HD action cameras on the market. Many are cheaply manufactured in China and often lack the build and video quality one would want in an action camera, however there are some cameras that are priced far less than GoPros models, yet they still hold up in video clarity and build.
Below we have put together a list of the top 5 best action cameras currently on the market in 2017 and 2018, both high and low priced. GoPros and GoPro alternatives.
The TomTom Bandit 4k Action Video Camera is known for its user-friendly design. It claims to edit video created by the camera with a simple shake of a smartphone. This camera provides 4k video, a 3-hour battery life, and sensors that monitor speed, altitude, g-force, and rotation. The camera has a USB port for charging and transferring files and is waterproof for up to 40 meters with the dive lens. The main appeal to this camera is the compatibility with a smartphone. Speed, altitude, and location stats are embedded within the video and the smartphone app allows the user to drag and drop footage to create a film. Also included are video effects like time lapse and slow motion. Due to the fact that the editing takes place on a smartphone, videos taken by the TomTom Bandit are also easy to share on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. The camera itself costs $169.95 and comes with the camera itself, a user manual, and several mounts. There is also a premium pack option for $450 that comes with a remote control, a handle bar mount, dive lens cover, 360 pitch mount, power cable and Go-Pro mount adapter. SD cards are not included in either set.
TomTom Bandit Video Sample
The GoPro HERO5 Session is a small yet powerful camera. It costs less than other GoPro cameras but still has many features provided by the more expensive models. Like other GoPro models, it features voice control, 4K video and 10MP photo, advanced video stabilization, a two-hour long battery life, one-button recording, and a waterproof design to 33 feet without housing. Like most GoPro cameras, photos and videos can be uploaded to the cloud to view, edit, and share with a GoPro Plus subscription. The Hero5 Session is $100 cheaper than the GoPro Hero5 Black, coming in at $299, but it lacks the touch display of the Hero5 Black. The Hero5 Session is a middle-ground option when it comes to the GoPro brand. The plain Hero Session is $150 cheaper but some of the more advanced features of the more expensive models are missing. The price of the Hero5 Session gets you the camera, a standard frame, a curved adhesive mount, a flat adhesive mount, a mounting buckle, and a USB-C cable. SD cards are not included in any of the Hero models. This camera is a middle ground product that has many features desired of a small action camera at a cheaper price than models with similar functions.
GoPro HERO5 Session Video Sample
#3 AKASO EK7000
Lowest priced action camera on our list! The AKASO EK7000 4K WIFI Sports Action Camera shoots 4K video and 12MPS photo at a fraction of the cost of other cameras.This camera also includes a wrist remote that can control the camera from a distance, and waterproof capabilities extend to 100 feet, which is farther than most cameras extend. Like most action cameras, the AKASO also includes a built-in WiFi connection and an app that allows for editing and sharing of video. The camera costs $76.99 and the package contains the camera itself, the user manual, a remote control, 2 batteries that last 90 minutes each, a waterproof case, a bicycle stand, 7 mounts, 2 clips, a helmet mount, a bandage, 5 tethers, a protective backdoor, a USB cable, an AC charger, and a lens cloth. A micro SD card is not included but the camera can support one as large as 64 GB. Although the camera comes with numerous mounts, it also works with GoPro mounts and other GoPro accessories. This camera is cheaper than other action cameras with the same capabilities but also contains more accessories. The AKASO is an inexpensive, entry-level camera with most of the functionalities of higher-end cameras at a lower price point.
AKASO EK7000 Video Sample
#2 YI 4K
The YI 4K Sports and Action Video Camera focuses on a high-resolution video quality, a touchscreen, and a long battery life. The camera can shoot in up to 4k video and do it for 2 hours on one charge. The touchscreen is protected with Gorilla Glass, a common brand used in smartphones, to prevent screen damage. Electronic Image Stabilization is included, which means that there are built-in sensors that sense and compensate for tilts or shakes in video or photo. There is a multitude of recording options, featuring photo mode, timer mode, burst mode, video mode, time lapse, slow motion, loop, and video + photo mode. A YI smartphone app is available to edit video files and even add audio options. Additionally, the built-in WiFi has an upload speed of up to 30 Mbps. The camera costs $189.96 and the package contains the package itself, a rechargeable battery for the camera and a USB cable for transferring files and charging. No additional accessories are included and external mic support is not included, but optional accessories include a waterproof case, a leather case and lens cap, a travel case, a floating grip, multiple different types of mounts, and micro SD cards.
YI 4K Video Sample
It’s probably no surprise that our number one pick is the latest 4k action camer from GoPro. The GoPro Hero5 Black is one of the newest GoPro products. It shoots in 4k video, has voice control functionality, and is waterproof for up to 33 feet without housing. It also starts recording with the push of a button and has a longer battery life compared to older cameras. The camera costs $399 with free shipping and includes the camera itself, the frame, a rechargeable battery, a curved and a flat adhesive mount, a mounting buckle, and a USB-C cable. Memory cards are not included. The company also provides an extended warranty separate from the camera through their website. The things that differentiate the GoPro Hero5 Black from previous cameras are the improvements to the design of the camera and the intuitiveness of the software, as well as an increase in audio quality. The Hero5 Black is much more user-friendly than previous models. There is also a GPS feature that can track where photos and videos are taken, and the company has started a new cloud service for their users to upload their photo and video. In addition to the cloud service, there is a GoPro editing app called Quik for users to edit their recorded video on their smartphone.
GoPro Hero5 Black Video Sample