Action cameras are an exceptional way to create unique, varied and exciting still images and videos while on the move and taking part in a variety of activities. The devices are designed to withstand a variety of different conditions and are more durable and lightweight than a standard camera. Often used by extreme sports enthusiasts, professional photographers, and travelers, action cameras can secure images in restricted settings and at the same time under greater pressures.

The following article reviews a collection of currently available models, highlighting their range of features, ease of use and any shortcomings when compared to alternatives.

1. Garmin Virb XE

Garmin Virb XE

What We Like:
As can be expected of devices produced by Garmin, the Virb XE is a camera that is reliably inclusive of some required features, sleek and durable design and impressive capabilities. With the aim of producing professional standard images, the Virb XE can create video footage in HD 1080p/30fps or 120fps in slow-motion. This enables users to create a range of images and footages and maintain full control over final edits and recordings. With built-in digital image stabilization, time lapse options and zoom levels, the user will also have greater control over quality, production and focus at all times.

Unsurprisingly from Garmin, the referencing capabilities of this model are also impressive with GMetrix built-in Garmin GPS and sensors; the user can record and reference their adventures in real-time. Additionally, this impressive device is also able to display recordings in powerful gauges, graphs and more. Garmin takes this camera one step further than most other available devices of the same price range by offering a waterproof capacity of up to 50m and ensures that usability underwater is just as easy thanks to the lightweight and durable design. The Garmin Virb XE can also be used with a remote control, offers smartphone playback and live video preview.

What We Don’t Like:
Although this is a superb camera, reports have indicated that the supporting software is somewhat lacking and sluggish. This is a nominal complaint as the software absolutely works, but it’s not as swift as we’d have hoped.

The Takeaway:
We are really impressed with this model and believe that customers will be pleased with the purchase. Ranked at #1 because of its exceptional range of features, commitment to consumer satisfaction, extended waterproof ability and superb GPS settings.

Buy on Amazon


2. TomTom Bandit

TomTom Bandit 4k

What We Like:
The TomTom Bandit is a camera that is designed to ensure that users will enjoy highest quality images through exceptional levels of recording and memory capacity. The camera is capable of 4K video resolution and 16MP photos, meaning that photographers of all experience levels can be assured of capturing impressive images every time. The TomTom Bandit also allows users to film up to 3 hours of footage in one recording and in full high definition thanks to the exceptional in-built battery. What is more, the Bandit supports multiple compatible microSD cards and so it additional memory is needed, this can be achieved with little cost. The TomTom Bandit offers simple and quick editing through the mobile phone app, without the need to download footage first. The Bandit comes with an adapter that makes it compatible with GoPro mounts and this means users benefit from click-and-go mounting, which is instant and secure. The camera is waterproof up to 40m, enabling the user to produce exquisite underwater shots. These can be further enhanced with the inclusion of a waterproof dive lens cover. The technological advancements of this model don’t end there, the Bandit also boasts built-in motion sensors which automatically identify and record impressive and epic moments.

What We Don’t Like:
The 4K model is only available at a rate of 15 frames per second and so this is disappointing when compared to alternatives.

The Takeaway:
Overall, this is a thorough, reliable and highly functional camera that is sure to impress. Ranked at #2 because of the extensive and impressive range of features and superb memory and storage capacity.

Buy on Amazon


3. Sony FDR-X1000V

sony fdrx3000

What We Like:
The Sony FDR-X1000V is another example of Sony’s ability to create an action camera that is reassuringly durable, versatile and produces high-quality images every time. With 4K Ultra HD for four times the detail of Full HD, the FDR-X1000V is one of the best cameras for those seeking professional quality at exceptional value. Panoramic shots are achieved with ease thanks to the 170 degrees ultra-wide ZEISS Tessar lens, yet another reflection of Sony’s ability to integrate some of the highest specs without compromising cost, efficiency, and usability. Sony also includes SteadyShot technology in this model which offers reliability for clarity and focus. The enhanced Full HD further ensures that all images are of the highest quality and richest colors. The camera is capable of fast moving action shots as well as slow motion options, giving users versatility and originality for their video productions.

What We Don’t Like:
The response time of menu selections can be slow in comparison to other models. There are no pauses or crashes, but the menu is less responsive than alternatives.

The Takeaway:
An impressive camera that offers reliability, high performance and clear results. Ranked at #3 due to its range of features, exceptional quality and super reliability. As can be expected of Sony, this is a camera that guarantees first-rate images, excellent value for money.

Buy on Amazon


4. GoPro Hero4 Black

GoPro HERO4

What We Like:
The GoPro Hero4 Black is marketed as the most advanced GoPro ever. Users of this camera will benefit from the significantly improved quality of images and doubled processor power. What is more, the GoPro Hero4 offers double the speed of video frame rates than previous models. The high resolution offered by this camera ensures that users enjoy an exceptional quality of their images and clarity of the scenes in which they are taken. The high-frame-rate of 1080p120 is remarkable and guarantees satisfaction no matter which pursuit the user undertakes. The Hero4 Black is waterproof up to 40m and offers 12MP photos at a truly impressive 30 frames per second. The improved audio ensures that videos captured by the Hero4 Black are thoroughly captivating and clear.

What We Don’t Like:
One downside of the audio clarity on this model is that occasionally, external noises will be picked up, and operational noises may be recording, particularly when the camera is controlled via Wi-Fi.

The Takeaway:
In general, this is a pleasing model that offers sound and reliable results, but those who prioritize audio are likely to be disappointed. Ranked at #4 because of its superb image quality, technological ability but reflective if the potential audio shortcomings.

Buy on Amazon


5. GOPRO HERO 4 SILVER EDITION

GoPro HERO4 Silver

What We Like:
The GoPro Hero4 Silver Edition leads the list of GoPro’s action camera range to benefit from integrated touchscreen displays. This allows users to immerse themselves in their activity while being assured of superb shots from the ease of use. Control of the camera, frames, and instant playback is so simple with the Hero4, with all actions made with just one finger. HERO4 Silver Camcorder enables the user to record in 1080p60 and 720p120 for pictures from 12 MP at a rate of 30 frames every second. New technological developments have significantly improved the user experience through impressive features, such as HiLight Tag, which enables easy recording and referencing, QuikCapture, which allows the use of the camera with one button and water safe up to 40m. The HERO4 Silver camera is a device which maintains professional quality of images and features with the innovation and convenience of a touchscreen.

What We Don’t Like:

Although this is a reliable camera that produces clear images, the video production is not as clear or high quality as alternatives and as such, some videos were disappointing.

The Takeaway:
The GoPro Hero4 Silver Edition is an all-rounded camera that offers a decent level of quality, a fair range of features and is convenient to use. However, video quality is somewhat temperamental. Ranked at #5 because of its ease of use and touchscreen benefits.

Buy on Amazon


6. Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPNG

Veho Muvi K-Series K-2

What We Like:
The MUVI K-Series is a sleek and discreet device which enables the camera to be adaptable and easily transportable. Measuring just 2.7in x 2in x 1, the Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPN is the smallest camera in the K-Series range and is non-compromising on quality. The camera records superior quality 1080p video at 60FPS. Inclusive of handsfree video-capture, the K2 also is a highly capable model. While it captures stills at 8, 12 and 16 megapixel, it also comes furnished with a photograph burst mode that allows users to take up to 10 photos every second, a superb feature for action shots and high-speed motions. Additional new features include 180-degree rollover which allows users who are mounting their K-Series upside down, and the footage will playback the right way up. The MUVI K2 now has a compatible, rechargeable lithium battery which has a limit of 1500mAh, the biggest on the handsfree camera market, which will permit up to 4 hours of consistent recording. The NPNG model also includes 8GB of memory to kick you off and besides other mounting choices.

What We Don’t Like:
The color capture of images is somewhat lacking in this camera and perhaps not as bright or true as they could be. Alternatives offer greater clarity of colors and as such, we have reflected this in our ranking.

The Takeaway:
An impressive and reliable device but lacking in color capture. Ranked at #6 because of the innovative features that are included, the impressive battery life and speed of image capturing.

Buy on Amazon


7. Sony HDR-AS200V

Sony HDR-AS200V

What We Like:
The Sony HDR-AS200V is a camera that has been developed through the feedback from users of previous models and is reflective of the needs of the consumer. This device benefits from being 3 times more stable due to the advanced SteadyShot technology that is in-built and the new Live-View Remote offers the user full control at all times or filming. Users can swiftly edit videos without having to use a computer due to the in-built Highlight Movie Maker. This is an excellent option for those who want to amend and produce their footage no matter where they are. Additionally, the HDR-AS200V comes with GPS data overlay, allowing users to promptly and easily reference and record their outings and pursuits. This model is aesthetically and ergonomically rich as it has been designed to withstand high levels of use and transport. Its sleek and durable design is marketed as being ‘slashproof’ and means that users need not buy a case for protection.

What We Don’t Like:
The battery life is disappointing and to obtain a longer battery life, users need to minimize functionality. For those who cannot charge regularly or need to make maximum use of features, this is likely to be a significant shortcoming.

The Takeaway:
Raked at #7 for its commitment to usability and its consumer consciousness as well as the reliability of features. The HDR-AS200V encapsulates the commitment of Sony to excellent value, but other models surpass it due to lack of additional features.

Buy on Amazon


8. Drift Stealth 2

Drift Stealth 2

What We Like:
The Drift Stealth 2 is the smallest and lightest of the Drift cameras to date, making it a superb choice for those who intend to carry the camera extensively. Measuring in at 80mm x 42mm x 27mm and only 97g, the impossibly small camera is easily transportable and discreet, but does not compromise on the quality of images produced. The high-quality 7-element lens offers an optical 137 degrees perspective for image capture and Drift have done away with a digital narrow-angle which mean that objects appear closer and clearer. The Stealth 2 films in 1080p at 30fps through the use of its Aptina CMOS sensor and this guarantees crystal clear high definition recordings. The Drift Stealth 2 benefits from 3 hours recording time, an excellent feature for those who want to produce lengthy videos or make multiple, shorter recordings in one sitting. The camera also has a rotatable lens, color-coded screen and LED and aerodynamic design to ensure that it is one of the most user-friendly and transportable options currently available.

What We Don’t Like:
Even though the Drift Stealth 2 does live up to its name as one of the lightest action cameras on the market, it lacks additional features and as such seems somewhat dull in comparison to alternative options in our review. Plus, while the offerings of the Drift Stealth 2 are fair, and the function is reliable, it’s not an exciting device and offers nothing especially innovative.

The Takeaway:
A reliable and simple to use camera that lacks exciting features or innovative design. Ranked at #8 due to its lightweight design, transportability and high quality image production. The Drift Stealth 2 has fewer features than many alternatives but is an ideal model for those who want to produce reliable footage from a compact camera.

Buy on Amazon


9. Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

What We Like:
The Olympus TG-Tracker is a highly developed camera that boasts a range of features which enable users to produce excellent quality images in a host of environments and settings. With 5 Sensors built in, the camera is capable of capturing all states and movements and with a 204-degree wide angle lens, images can be produced from a wide range of settings. The Olympus TG-Tracker is designed to withstand the potential knocks and bumps of travel and high-use and is a device that accommodates that ability of inexperienced photographers. The camera is waterproof to a distance of 30m, able to withstand being crushed from weights up to 100kg, can maintain use at temperatures below -10 and is 2.1m shockproof. For users who seek a versatile, durable and reliable camera and who are less concerned with an extensive range of features, the TG-Tracker is a wise choice.

What We Don’t Like:
This is a comparatively heavy camera than alternatives. While the weight doesn’t have an impact on the performance of the device, it does affect the convenience of transporting and attaching the camera.

The Takeaway:
This is a highly functioning camera but is not the most convenient due to its weight and size. Ranked at #9 because of its strength and durability but reflective of a lack of features and user editing options.

Buy on Amazon


10. iSAW Edge

iSaw Edge

What We Like:
The iSAW Edge is a lightweight and compact camera that is ideal for those who expect to transport the device regularly or are likely to carry the camera extensively. The sleek and slimline device is suitable for all levels of camera experience and offers exceptional quality. The camera shoots 4K at 10 fps / 1080P at 60fps / 720P at 120fps and with the inbuilt 16MP Sony Exmor image sensor, the model surpasses many other examples that are currently available. The built-in Wi-Fi enables users to quickly and easily stream and send files to a host of recipients, making the camera one of the swiftest examples and perfect for those who want to share their adventures quickly. Users of the iSAW Edge can use the intuitive viewfinder LCD screen to produce superb quality and impressive clarity for videos and photos. Irrespective of the photographer’s activity, the Edge’s 7 x elements glass, 170° wide angle lens means that no critical moment need would ever be missed. The iSAW Edge offers a host of accessories to support image capture and comes with a long-lasting battery for user convenience.

What We Don’t Like:
The 4K model only offers a rate of 10 frames per second and as such, the performance of this camera is significantly lower than alternatives in our review.

The Takeaway:
Ranked at #10 because of its ease of use, reliable features but reflective of minimal innovation of features and lack of supplementary benefits when compared to other options.

Buy on Amazon

Related posts: