Last updated: August 18, 2021

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In today's article we will talk about the new darling of the photography market, the action camera. Ideal for shooting motion or travel situations, action cameras are becoming increasingly popular for the variety of accessories and shooting angles they offer.

Because they are small in size, they can be easily carried anywhere and still guarantee image and video quality. Want to buy an action camera and are not sure which one to choose or what aspects to observe before buying yours? We explain everything to you!




Summary

  • Before buying your action camera, keep in mind your purpose for using the equipment. Only then you will be able to buy the most suitable product at a fair price;
  • Take a good look at the features related to image resolution, audio quality, image stability, light sensor and battery life;
  • You can find equipments with prices from low prices, to products with much higher prices, similar to those of a professional camera.

The Best Action Camera: Our Picks

Buying Guide

The action camera is the darling of adventurers. Being compact and resistant to dust and water, it has become very popular among extreme sports enthusiasts. They are usually attached to a person's equipment or body, and this gives them the freedom to keep moving while the camera records everything. In this guide, learn all about an action camera before you buy one.

registro com câmera de ação de garota mergulhando em água cristalina

One of the features of the action camera is underwater recording. (Source: WhyNot82 / Pixabay.com)

Action Camera: Pros and Cons

Famous among those who love outdoor activities, action cameras are designed with practicality in mind. To meet this requirement, some features of these cameras point to advantages over traditional cameras. Other features, however, still leave something to be desired when compared to professional cameras.

Because of their compact size, they are easily carried anywhere. In addition, many of them have stands, which allows them to be attached to their owner, who does not need to worry about carrying the equipment. Sports with a lot of movement and maneuvers, such as skateboarding, go very well with action cameras.

However, due to their small size and dive cases, audio and video resolution may be compromised when compared to DSLR cameras. Many action cameras already record video in Full HD and even 4K, but when in low-light locations, they compromise the recorded image. The audio from action equipment also has lower quality than other cameras, presenting noises and often muffled.

Advantages
  • Cheaper price
  • Easy to carry and handle
  • More dynamic images
Disadvantages
  • Poor resolution in low light
  • Noise in the audio

Camera protection - What to watch out for?

When action cameras were first developed, they all came with a case to protect the product from water and dust. This was one of the great attractions of the equipment, as it made it possible to record footage outdoors and in unusual situations that could not be recorded by a normal camera.

Case de uma câmera de ação em close

The first action camera models came with a case for protection against water and dust. (Source: olafpictures / Pixabay)

The use of cases, however, limited the use of the equipment in a certain way. With this in mind, manufacturers started to produce action cameras that do not need a case, because the gadget already comes with dust and water protection. Check the table below to see the difference in the use of the two types of equipment:

PROTECTION WITH CASE PROTECTION WITHOUT CASE
Limitation of the use Freedom of use
Increase of the equipment No change in the size of the equipment

How much does it cost?

More affordable than DSLR cameras, action cameras can be found for varying prices, depending on the brand and the features it has. Cameras with better resolution, light sensor and battery, such as the GoPro, come at a little more expensive, while lesser known brands offer prices that easily fit in your pocket.

Desenho estilizado de uma GoPro Hero 4

GoPro is the best known brand of action cameras, but also one of the most expensive. (Source: Madlccy / Pixabay)

Buying criteria: factors to compare different action camera models

The use of action cameras depends a lot on the intention of its owner. For this reason, at the time of purchase it is necessary to keep in mind what your goal with the equipment, to then know exactly what features and details to observe in each product. Below, we will list some important aspects when buying your action camera.

  • Accessories
  • Audio and video resolution
  • Light sensor
  • Image stabilizer

Below, check out each of the factors in detail.

Accessories

When deciding to buy your action camera, keep an eye out for accessories that you may/will need to buy later on, so that you can make the best use of the product. Most cameras are compatible with mounts to use the camera attached to your head, chest, drones or of course on the poles, which are much more common. Define what your action camera will be used for and research the accessories available for each model before you decide to make your purchase.

Audio and video resolution

Although most action cameras come in Full HD and now also 4K models, the image and video quality in practice may differ slightly from the videos presented by the manufacturers. Because it is an equipment that records images in motion, the more video and sound resources, the better the result.

It is for this reason that you should observe the resolution of the photos and the support of the camera. Pay attention to these features when buying the models of action cameras to not regret later.

Brightness sensor

As pointed out in the topic above, action cameras can fail in certain moments when it comes to resolution. Compared to professional cameras, action equipments deliver much inferior results in low light environments. Not surprisingly, manufacturers of these products are increasingly investing in light sensors to maintain image quality in any recording location. If your goal includes recording images in dark environments, pay attention to the new releases with proper technology for these situations.

Image stabilizer

Because it is an equipment suitable for use outdoors and in motion, many manufacturers of action cameras have implemented in their products image stabilization technologies. This way, they ensure that the dynamically recorded videos do not present shakes, which leaves the image more uniform and pleasant to look at.

Featured Image Source: Gabriela Palai / Pixabay

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