DJI Osmo

An action camera physically unsuitable for “action”? The well-known manufacturer of quadcopters once took a chance. and won: the popularity of the Osmo model is hinted at at least by the fact that its external clone is already being riveted by Xiaomi and other neighbors in China, and DJI now has a model of a similar layout in the premium segment. 2.

So what is an Osmo? In fact, the camera is divided into two blocks: the camera itself and a handle connected to it through a hinge, in which the electronic filling, the display and the battery “live”. over, the hinge is never simple. in fact, the camera stands on a full-fledged stabilizer, which is not surprising. the company’s theme is very familiar from the stabilizers of quadrocopter cameras. That is, DJI “shot” exactly the target audience, which, in principle, did not use action cameras for their initial pleasure, but filmed themselves on the go or on the run, at best, screwing stabilizers or simple handles to the usual “bricks”.

The camera is equipped with a 12-megapixel matrix of the usual standard size 1 / 2.3 ”and can shoot video with a resolution of up to 4K / 60 fps at a bitrate of up to 100 Mbps. that is, in terms of numbers, we have the level of the” eighth “GoPro. But in fact, it is even more interesting: shooting in the “flat” D-Cine profile and the ability to manually control the sensitivity and shutter speed when shooting are already attributes of “serious” cameras and a thoughtful attitude to shooting. Another thing is that you will have to control this with gestures, which is not very convenient. But you can also use a special port to which the complete Type-C and Lightning adapters are connected. by connecting to a smartphone on which the DJI proprietary application is installed, we get quite convenient and full control over settings and framing, and without increasing battery consumption. Well, and the camera can easily fit into your. it can track faces and much more. in general, an ideal “travel” tool for all kinds of video blogs, especially with good image quality.

SJCAM SJ4000 WI-FI

Next in our ranking of the best action cameras. inexpensive model SJCAM SJ4000 WI-FI. Externally, SJCAM SJ4000 WI-FI looks like a famous action camera from a completely different price segment. GoPro. This device also received a rectangular body with a minimum number of controls. The set includes a waterproof case that helps you splash around the beach or plunge into the pool with the action camera. However, inside the model there are completely different components, much more modest. Shooting is carried out using a three-megapixel CMOS matrix. The lens has a focal length of 2.8 mm, so that everything that happens around you gets into the frame. The picture is recorded with Full HD resolution, but the frequency does not exceed 30 frames / s. You can only increase this parameter by lowering the resolution to normal HD. But then the video will be filmed in interlaced. A distinctive feature of SJCAM SJ4000 WI-FI is the presence of a 1.5-inch screen, although in most cases the user will turn it off. This model is endowed with a wireless module that allows you to realize remote control or transfer of material to another device.

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What is good about an action camera?

The very concept of “action camera” came into circulation together with the already legendary GoPro brand. it was here that, in fact, a new direction of video filming was created. Prior to that, no manufacturer offered devices so compact and “unkillable” that with them one could dive, jump with a parachute and so on without the risk of breaking, losing or drowning an expensive gadget. GoPro cameras were launched into the stratosphere and near space, attached to the gimbals of trucks and the blades of helicopter propellers Now, action cameras have even “leaked” into the cinema, not to mention amateur filming of extreme lovers, motorcycle travelers, hunters and tourists.

The key features of action cameras are not only a durable and often waterproof body (if there is no such protection, then aqua box comes to the rescue), but also the characteristic fisheye ultra-wide-angle lens. This is not done in vain: you will not see the fragile autofocus mechanism in any camera of this kind. The lens is fixedly focused to provide the camera with the maximum depth of field, and the wide field of view ensures that everything you need gets into the frame without precise aiming, which is often impossible with an action camera. However, the video recording resolution severely imposes restrictions on subsequent cropping. which is why 4K format for extreme shooting is not a whim, but a necessity.

The emergence of the 360-degree filming format (and especially its support on YouTube) in the world of action video did create a miniature revolution: shake your head at the rider during a motorcycle chase or see what happens in the flight of a group of parachutists from all angles? It is difficult to oppose something to such a depth of immersion. Therefore, cameras for “spherical” shooting, we must also mention.

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So, which action cameras are considered the best in 2021 and which model should be attached to a motorcycle helmet, ATV wheel or bicycle?

450 GoPro HERO 9 vs 200 DJI Osmo Action! (Updated Comparison Review)

best action cameras

It should be noted that before filming, all cameras were transferred to the PAL system, which is the standard in Russia. Of course, no one forbids the user to shoot in NTSC, which has a slightly higher frame rate, but in this case, one should not be surprised later at the “blinking” of mercury lamps in the frame that came from nowhere. Also keep in mind that when used as a comparative counterweight, the GoPro 4 shoots in 4K at a low, cartoonish 12.5 frame rate. Here you need to remember that the GoPro brand differs from Sony in that it has nothing to offer the market besides action cameras. Accordingly, the GoPro marketers have tried their best, inventing several modifications of their camera, which have some conditional. more often artificial. differences. And if we also recall the different sets of supplies designed for different action conditions, then the number of “modifications” of the GoPro, perhaps, can be compared with the number of models of Sony camcorders, including even Sony-cameras of the professional segment. Therefore, there is no need to be surprised at our choice. yes, we took an obvious middling, which does not know how to shoot in 4K the way the older modification with the Black Edition does, but has a built-in color display that seriously helps in operation.

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I would like to note that the Sony FDR-X1000V camera, in comparison with the GoPro 4, captures the picture more roughly and rigidly. As a result, objects have jagged edges, noticeable color noise, and pixelation artifacts. At the same time, thanks to such sharpness, the picture looks a little more detailed, although we understand that the point is not in the resolution of the camera, its optics and matrix, but only in the program level of sharpness. Which, we emphasize, seems overpriced. It would be softer, more plastic.

Best Action Cameras 2020. GoPro, Osmo. One R &

But here, in Full HD mode, the Sony FDR-X1000V picture seems to be more preferable in comparison with the GoPro, which clearly overdid it with Gaussian blur. Sony HDR-AS200V gives a slightly less detailed frame, but here there is much more geometric distortion and, moreover, an obvious error in measuring the white balance.

Amazing. Despite the obvious blurring of the picture, which we observed in shooting a real scene with the GoPro 4 camera, here, in the table, this blurring almost does not manifest itself in any way. It is “almost”. This very “almost” just reduces the GoPro’s visible resolution by about 100 conventional TV-lines horizontally in comparison with the Sony camera: 1550-1600 lines for GoPro and 1650-1700 lines for Sony FDR-X1000V. In any case, from these pictures alone, we can conclude that the 4K recording mode is “native” for both devices. The one for which both the optics and the matrix and the processor are designed (yes, in the GoPro 4 the frame rate in this mode is deplorable. but I think, in fact, the potential of the electronic filling allows you to shoot at a normal frequency).

Probably, we won’t be mistaken if we say that the resolution in Full HD mode is the same for all three cameras, and is 800-850 conventional TV lines horizontally. With the difference that in 4K cameras this detail is achieved artificially, by means of downscaling or skipping lines when removing information from the matrix.

The compared cameras are equipped with CMOS matrices, which means that a certain manifestation of the effect called “rolling shutter” is indispensable when shooting (for more details, see the material Rolling shutter in video. a description of the defect, examples, explanations). We have the opportunity to visually assess the level of the rolling shutter of each camera, simultaneously comparing these levels. all three cameras, fixed on one metal plate, rolled on a toy electric car. This “ride”, as we have seen long ago, provides the same level of random vibration required to identify all rolling shutter manifestations.

So the secret was revealed, more precisely, the method of removing information from the matrix in the Sony FDR-X1000V camera. Obviously, Full HD video is obtained here not only and not so much by changing the original frame size to 1920 × 1080, but by reducing the readable area of ​​the matrix (CMOS technology allows address scanning). Thus, the Sony FDR-X1000V camera has the highest rolling shutter level in the compared trinity, but only in 4K mode. In all other modes, including high-speed shooting, this camera shows a lower level of the rolling shutter than the “competitors”.

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And here’s how these tilts manifest themselves in real-life photography:

It can be seen that the rolling shutter looks unobtrusive, but this is only due to the large viewing angle and strong geometric distortions that visually move the picture away.

The next issue to be examined is stabilization. Weird question. Strange because an action camera and a stabilizer are seemingly incompatible things. Well, what other stabilization can there be in an action camera? Of course, only electronic, that is, software. This technology is only available in two of the cameras under consideration: Sony FDR-X1000V and Sony HDR-AS200V.

For some reason, in the bulk of the official descriptions of the benefits of stabilization, there is only one positive factor that it brings: it eliminates blurring of objects. In such a statement, the camera’s idea of ​​the subject is clearly traced. Since it is in cameras that stabilization is intended solely and only in order to avoid the so-called blur when pressing the shutter, at the very moment of taking a photograph, and even then this applies only to cases when photographing is carried out with an insufficient amount of light. But the camcorder shoots the video! And in video filming, the main role of the stabilizer is primarily to stabilize the frame, no matter how trite it sounds. Eliminating motion blur in high frame rate videos simply doesn’t make sense. over, video filming can take place at such high shutter speeds (if, of course, the illumination level allows) that the notorious blur in freeze frames will not be, and if it does appear, then insignificant.

Thus, despite the well-established beliefs, we will evaluate the work of the stabilizer as a means that compensates for excessive movement and eliminates frame shaking. The next video contains six video clips at once with explanatory captions.

Well isn’t it splendid? We are talking, of course, about Sony action cameras equipped with an electronic stabilizer. This software aligner simply grabs the line of the horizon and prevents it from wobbling while the GoPro video “dances” with the operator’s hands. Let’s do another experiment, similar, but filmed while walking fast.

BEST Action Camera of 2021! | VERSUS

The smoothness of movement in Sony cameras is sometimes slightly disturbed due to sharp jerking of the picture to the side. this is how the cameras compensate for the shift of the picture over the free area of ​​the matrix. But this happens quite rarely, and is not very striking. At least not as much as the constant shaking of video from a GoPro without a stabilizer.

The stabilizer in Sony cameras is also designed for an even greater level of shaking, therefore, there is a solid margin of free matrix area. By the way, in the Sony FDR-X1000V camera, you cannot turn on the stabilizer if the device is switched to 4K shooting mode, and the reason lies precisely in the absence of this free area.

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