With the recent explosion in usage of GoPros and action cameras, what was once a camera designed for niche hobbyists has now well and become a phenomena. Cameras and mounts are available for a huge range of uses; skating, biking and extreme sports; surfing and snorkelling; even action shots from motorsports track days. They have even started to be adopted by Hollywood film makers looking for insert shots that would destroy a more expensive camera. But the wide range of variations and options can lead to confusion when choosing the right action camera for you. We have pulled together a list of some of the important features and differentiating points to look out for when comparing models…
To GoPro Or Not?
One of the most common questions we get is whether it’s worth shelling out for a GoPro branded camera- that does command a slight premium- or whether the similar models on offer are a better value option. Ultimately, the frustratingly non-committal answer is that it depends on what you are looking for. GoPros provide industry leading support, software options for editing, and their Protunes capture mode that can be essential if you want to use the footage in a professional context. If however you just want a camera that can get HD quality footage from a unique perspective for your own use, then some of the models from other manufacturers can offer a great value alternative.
All of our Action Cameras are capable of recording in 1080p Full HD, ensuring the footage looks great even when played back on a large flatscreen. If you need even more performance than this however, one option stands out over the rest. The GoPro Hero 4 Black edition is capable of recording in an amazing 4K ultra HD mode, capturing 4x the detail of even Full HD, and making it ideal for viewing on the next generation of monitors and televisions.
Most of our range of action cameras can be dropped down to 720p resolution in order to record at 60fps. Once this is played back it can be slowed down to half speed, for smooth slow motion. Again however, the Hero 4 Black eclipses the others and allows 720p recording at an insane 240fps! That means you can play footage back up to 8 times slower than real life.
Some of the more advanced cameras in each range also have a WiFi connection feature. Whilst this doesn’t quite let you browse youtube on the camera, it does unlock a key feature that makes it far more practical to use in many situations. By downloading the corresponding free app, you can use your phone as a remote monitor and controller to trigger recording. This can be essential in situations where the camera is inaccessible, such as if it’s attached to a car bonnet.
One of the most important things for any action camera is to be able to mount it where you need to in order to get a shot- whether it’s on a bike frame, helmet or surfboard. One of the benefits to the GoPro range is that they have what is probably the largest range of mounts and connectors for any camera available on the market. Not only that, but our non-GoPro cameras will also fit these same mounts! Be aware of this when comparing to cameras from other manufacturers, as this quite often is not the case.