Of course, a waterproof and shock-resistant smartphone with good photo capabilities can also shoot video, but it is better to use an action camera for this purpose, which is designed specifically for certain types of shooting. With the camera in extreme conditions, you do not risk losing or damaging the means of communication. In addition, it is much easier than a smartphone to fix it on your head, arm or your car, bicycle, etc.
From the actual in 2019-2020. CNet experts chose the best action cameras based on parameters such as video quality, durability, features and autonomy.
Best for Most: GoPro Hero 7 Black
Although the newer Hero 8 Black action camera, released in 2019, boasts the latest technology and advanced features, it is still not very far from the less expensive Hero 7 Black, the 2018 model. In addition, they both work on the basis of a single processor.
Hero 7 has almost the same functions, including the proprietary HyperSmooth image stabilization – the “killerfic” of these models. Yes, the G8 has several differences that are far from important for everyone: an improved user interface, more shooting options, including 1080p at 240 frames per second, vertical video and the ability to stream in higher quality.
By the way, the differences between Hero 7 Black and Hero 6 Black, which is no longer available, are also insignificant, so if you want you can pay attention to this action camera if you find it on sale.
Best for demanding users: GoPro Hero 8 Black
Today, this 2019 model is GoPro’s best single-lens action camera in both performance and performance. Compared to Hero 7 Black, it has a large number of settings and updates that make it easier to use and improve the quality of shooting, no matter what plot you shoot.
For those who regularly use an action camera, such moments as an updated waterproof case that allows you to connect the camera directly to GoPro mounts, a customizable interface with shooting presets and improved image stabilization are relevant. The lens of this model is made of Gorilla Glass, which is twice as strong as the glass on previous Hero cameras.
Best for easy selfies: DJI Osmo Action
Due to the fact that DJI is a company known for its drones, much has been thought out in its first action camera. One of the important features of Osmo Action, which was released in 2019, is the front color screen. It is not very large, but it is enough to make sure that you are in the center of the frame when the camera lens is pointed at you.
DJI Osmo Action settings can be switched using voice control, which is also convenient. The camera body is waterproof and shockproof, the lens has a removable cap. Electronic image stabilization has proven its worth – it is at the level of the best GoPro models.
The device shoots HDR video and offers customizable presets for different scenes, so you can simply turn on the shooting modes you need without going into the menu.
Best GoPro alternative for less: Yi 4K Plus Action Cam
By its characteristics and quality, the Yi 4K Plus Action Cam video is almost as good as the GoPro Hero 7 Black, but it costs only $ 220, and here you get a waterproof case for diving. Yes, electronic image stabilization in this camera is not at the best level and does not reach HyProSmooth in GoPro, but still its presence is better than nothing.
In this model, you get the opportunity to shoot 4K video at a speed of 60 frames per second (with image stabilization at 30 frames per second), slow-motion video at a speed of 1080p at 120 fps or 720p at 240 fps, streaming, as well as shooting in RAW, time-lapse and 90 minutes of battery life.
There is nothing in the kit except the camera itself, the battery, the charger and the cables. But if your task is to get high-quality photos and videos for a lower price than GoPro action cameras, this is a great option.
Best of the Cheap: Akaso V50 Elite
The V50 Elite is a good choice for those who need an inexpensive action camera for everyday or single use. For your $ 140 you will get quite a lot, including a rich bundle.
The V50 Elite records 4K video with high image quality at 30 frames per second, and electronic image stabilization is much better than you might expect at this price.
In addition, it boasts the presence of many shooting modes that are available on GoPro devices – time lapse, slow motion at a speed of 1080p at 240 frames per second. There is even a Drive mode, that is, the device can be used as a DVR: in this mode, the device automatically turns on when the car starts and turns off when it stops.
The V50 Elite case itself is not waterproof, but the kit includes a diving cover, as well as several mounts, two batteries (the autonomy of one battery is 90 minutes) and a charger that simultaneously supplies power to both batteries. The camera also has a built-in Wi-Fi module, so you can connect to your smartphone “over the air” and use the mobile application to control the camera and transfer pictures for sharing.