Everything you need to know about action cameras

action, camera

What is it and what is it for?

Action camera. it is a special device for shooting in extreme conditions. It differs from its classic counterparts in the presence of a compact body, excellent image stabilization, and a wide viewing angle. The name of the gadget fully defines its function: action in English means “action”. This is a camcorder for shooting in motion.

Unlike conventional technology, this technique has a stationary mount. on the handlebars of a bicycle, clothes, helmet, wrist, and sometimes even built into glasses.

Most often, an action camera looks like a compact monoblock with a lens located on the front or front side of the body. It is designed for shooting “on the go”, on the move, when it is impossible to spend a lot of time on long focusing or setting.

It is the perfect tool for capturing stunts, sports performances, and online reporting on video. The set usually comes with a protective case that can protect complex equipment from dirt, moisture and other external influences.

The device is usually supplied with an ultra-wide-angle lens with an increased depth of field. In this case, the technique does NOT need autofocusing, and models with two fish-eye cameras (“fisheye”) provide an opportunity to obtain a spherical view. Such devices work almost autonomously, they can create both videos in 4K quality and photographs. The memory can be built-in or external using microSD cards, some models are equipped with a Wi-Fi module.

Let’s outline the main advantages of action cameras.

  • Compactness and light weight. They are really miniature, weighing less than 100 g, which is very important in conditions when any excess weight turns out to be critical. When jumping with a parachute, performing dizzying stunts on a bicycle, such a gadget will not become an additional hindrance.
  • High degree of protection. When using the aquabox with an action camera, you can dive to a depth of 60 m.Without additional protection, it easily tolerates shaking, too high or low temperatures, shocks and high humidity.
  • High adaptive abilities. The action camera allows you to get a high-quality picture due to the use of digital stabilization systems and Special modes for night or poor visibility conditions.
  • Viewing angle in the range of 90-170 degrees. This eliminates the formation of “dead zones” when shooting, increases the coverage of the picture. This is important because the operator has practically NO control over the shooting process.
  • High write speed. In top models, it reaches 240 frames per second. This is a valuable quality for fans of extreme sports, as it allows you to capture a series of movements or shoot slow motion videos.
  • Convenience of fastening. Action cameras are adapted to be fixed to almost any surface. They can be attached to a drone, mounted on a car fender, motorcycle or bicycle handlebars, helmets, garments.

There are also disadvantages associated with the features of such a compact technique. Action cameras have limited battery life. usually the battery lasts for 2 hours of continuous use.

Also, while using the camera, the lack of full access to Zoom functions and the truncated possibilities for changing the settings can interfere.

Where are applied?

The use of action cameras is quite varied. They are used for filming, especially where action takes place with a lot of dynamic scenes. Some directors just get by with one action camera. The smallest models often replace the DVR in the car. In addition, they are used in the second types of technology. from ATVs to bicycles.

In diving, when diving to a depth of no more than 60 m, action cameras can help you cope with photography or create videos. This technique is especially often used in places with a large number of fish and marine animals. When adding a monopod on land, the camera easily adapts for sequential shooting.

This is handy when traveling or vlogging.

The main field of application of the action camera is still in extreme sports. Here it is used in skydiving, motorcycle trials, freestyle, when performing tricks. Even the most rapid events are reliably captured.

Besides, there are some rather unusual ways of using action cameras. For example, they are used as a baby monitor with picture tracking via a mobile phone if a Wi-Fi module is available. When hunting or during search operations, this device is attached to the dog’s collar.

Species overview

There are many types of action cameras that can be suitable for the amateur shooting on the move. Depending on preferences and specific wishes, this can be a model with optical image stabilization or with a large battery, wide-angle or sports. If size matters, a mini camera is the best choice.

For sound recording, it is better to choose a model with an external microphone, for use as a video recorder. with zoom, GPS and Wi-Fi.

Comparing different types of action cameras helps to understand exactly how each of the options works. Despite the general functions, they still have quite obvious differences that deserve a separate description.

Classic

Classic action cameras are versatile and compact. Their distinguishing characteristics include:

  • Easy to attach;
  • Variety of accessories;
  • Image stabilization;
  • Viewing angle 120-170 degrees;
  • Shockproof housing.

Models of the basic type are convenient for shooting small clips, tricks, they can be mounted on sports equipment. FOV may not be wide enough for serious shooting.

For panoramic shooting

Action cameras with a 360-degree field of view create a “sense of presence” in the process of shooting. At the same time, the operator remains behind the frame, which allows ensuring the absence of interference in the lens. There are 2 of them in models for panoramic shooting, each with a wide-angle lens. The 360-degree view is in demand when creating video in the air, in the mountains, on the waves. where it matters most. Video content shot with panoramic action cameras is aimed at viewing with glasses or virtual reality helmets.

With night mode

Action cameras with night shooting function allow NOT to stop recording video even after daylight hours. The degree of shade can be from twilight to complete darkness: the level of sensitivity varies depending on the model. An external light is often used when the night mode is turned on. In addition, there are cameras that use infrared or ultraviolet radiation. Choosing the right solution depends on your budget and preference.

For quadcopter

Using an action camera in combination with a quadcopter allows you to solve the problem of shooting video, and if you have a Wi-Fi module, also broadcast it to your smartphone. Many fans of self-assembly drones prefer to buy additional equipment. In addition, some quadcopters are NOT initially equipped with cameras, they must be purchased separately.

Most models of action cameras that are equipped with a mount to a drone are equipped with other adapters. for helmets, handlebars (the mount is sold with a waterproof box included). This is useful if the owner is NOT limited to aerial photography. The Wi-Fi module is considered a must-have. even with a signal reception range of up to 50 m, you can control turning the device on and off from a smartphone.

Some models have a live video mode. it is suitable for FPV control.

In the form of glasses

Ultra-compact action cameras housed in a special protective goggle case. a great solution for creating videos in motion from the first person. With such models, hands remain free, the operator does not need to select mounts. This design option is especially in demand in professional or amateur sports. The lens is most often located in the area of ​​the bridge above the bridge of the nose; sound recording is not provided. Cameras with glasses have the most modest technical characteristics, despite their futurism.

Popular models

The lineup of action cameras is quite diverse. Among them there are options for equipment from China, as well as more prestigious American or European brands with impressive characteristics. Among the most popular are several models.

  • Gopro Hero7 CHDHX-701. The world’s most famous action camera series captures 4K video at up to 240 fps in its next incarnation. It does not need mechanical stabilization, and with the “superphoto” function, even static images look bright and clear. Ideal for live streaming with a waterproof shockproof housing.
  • Sony HDR-AS300R. The model in a compact, ergonomically designed case is a premium product. Includes mounts for a helmet, bicycle handlebars, remote control, aqua box. Provides an optical image stabilization system, a large battery supply, a slot for microSD cards, a Wi-Fi module and an external microphone connection. The device weighs 109 g.
  • AC Robin Zed5. Model in a classic compact body with a matrix stabilizer. It has a 170-degree viewing angle, can shoot 4K video, but the maximum speed of 120 fps is achieved at 1080p. The model is equipped with professional iSHOXS mounts, external microphone.
  • Xiaomi YI action 4K. Action camera from China with good functionality, but limited basic configuration. It only includes a monopod and a remote control. The camera weighs 95 g, has a viewing angle of 155 degrees, there is a Wi-Fi module and a touch screen.
  • Sjcam sj4000 WI-FI 2.0. Action camera for shooting from drones, underwater diving and other activities. In the presence of a 2-inch display, Wi-Fi module, motion detector, time-lapse function, but the frame rate is limited to 30 per second. The model provides a viewing angle of 170 degrees, the device weighs only 46 g.
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The color scheme is also quite diverse. The white case is not very practical, but the silver and black models are the most popular among buyers.

Components

Finding the right accessories for your action cameras. process, which operator simply cannot pass. Among the necessary components, the first is the aqua box. waterproof cover for submerged and extreme conditions. In addition, for everyday use, a silicone case can be useful to protect the lens from damage, scratches, and shock. A replaceable battery is worth taking care of too.

The second useful accessories include:

  • Spider tripod;
  • Head mount;
  • Suction cup holder (to work in the DVR mode)
  • Clamp for steering wheel;
  • A set of adhesive pads;
  • Swivel wrist strap.

Depending on the method of shooting, the set of necessary accessories may be supplemented. For example, static operation requires a tripod and an external microphone. To create selfies or video reports, use a monopod tripod with a button or an external remote control.

A camera float and lens filters can help make shooting on the water more effective.

How to choose the right one?

Choosing an action camera can turn into a serious problem if you don’t get it as serious as possible. Reviews of many models are contradictory, so it is better to rely not only on the opinion of fans of this or that brand, but also to consider specific parameters and characteristics. The most important parameters can be highlighted.

  • Hull protection. For extreme sports, this factor is fundamental. If you have to shoot in the “stone jungle” of a big city, it is better to give preference to an all-metal case made of aluminum alloys or a combination of polyurethane with other materials. Models in an impact-resistant plastic shell have to be additionally protected with covers, especially if you have to shoot in the cold.
  • Frame rate. It significantly affects the quality of video recording. The higher this indicator, the smoother and smoother the dynamic picture on the screen will turn out. But the same factor affects the rate at which battery power is consumed. sometimes it is worth sacrificing too high rates or immediately purchasing a replacement battery.
  • The presence of the display. It is absolutely necessary for vlogging or filming, since it allows you to quickly view the footage, more accurately choose the angle. In this case, a device with a liquid crystal color display will be the best choice. But the screen is optional, moreover, it noticeably increases the weight and dimensions of the device. The smallest action cameras can be configured and output directly to a smartphone.
  • The duration of the battery life. It may come as an unpleasant surprise for a novice operator that the lithium-ion battery is completely discharged after 2 hours of operation. If you plan to shoot longer videos, you should pay attention to the possibility of purchasing an additional battery along with the camera.
  • Memory size. The built-in can store up to 32GB of video. this is enough for 3 hours of continuous shooting. But far more important is the support of external media. With it, it will be much easier to expand the capabilities of technology. It is this factor that is worth paying attention to when choosing.
  • Useful options. The GPS sensor is useful for fixing the geo-position of the shooting, the G-sensor is simply irreplaceable for automatically starting recording when you start moving. Other useful options include an HDMI connector for outputting video to a large TV screen via cable, the presence of a control panel.
  • Appointment. For cycling, snowboarding, skiing or mountaineering, action cameras in the form of glasses with first-person shooting are more suitable. For other extreme sports, you can choose from the standard series. Options with a panoramic view are suitable for shooting video for broadcast and viewing on devices with the creation of virtual reality.
  • Resolution. Overpaying for 4K isn’t always advisable. For most videos, 1920 × 1080 is sufficient.

It is worth considering that for beginners, many of the functions of action cameras are simply not needed. If the goal is not to create festival-level video content, you can refuse the screen, which makes the structure heavier and increases its dimensions. A recording speed of 60 frames per minute is also sufficient.

What to save on is not worth saving on battery capacity and case strength.

How to use?

When using an action camera, you have to follow certain rules. The first time you turn on the gadget, you need to configure it. Despite the general differences between the models, the principles of operation at this stage are practically NOT different. To set up and run the technique correctly, you should adhere to the recommendations of experts.

  • When using for the first time, insert the battery and memory card. It is imperative to charge the battery, for this there is a special device in the kit. Sometimes manufacturers only put in a USB cable. In this case, you will have to use the Corresponding port of the laptop or purchase an adapter. Continue the first charging procedure in the configuration of the indication signals on the case.
  • Power on. It is carried out with a special button on the body. In the camera on mode, you can select the language and view the training or advertising screensavers from the manufacturer. In some models without a display, you can start the setup only after pairing with a smartphone or other mobile device.
  • Explore the menu. View available modes, settings. sometimes a gear icon is used to represent it. It is better to understand them at the beginning of the active use of technology. Premium-class models may have Advanced settings that allow you to establish a wireless connection or lock the display, change the white balance, select different modes.
  • With a remote control. establish a connection to it.
  • Install and activate the mobile application on your smartphone. Sometimes it is possible to access settings that are not available in the normal menu. For example, video editing, sending materials to social networks, broadcasting content. The connection is carried out through the application with the discovery and search for a new device. the action camera must be turned on, then you need to follow the prompts on the screen.
  • Master management. It is best done using physical buttons, but they will be useless underwater or when placing the device on a helmet or clothing. From the remote control or smartphone, you can start shooting without touching the body. And also you can use the driving mode (with auto start), voice control.
  • Choose a mounting method. The fisheye lens provides wide-angle shooting. It can be attached to the body, head, helmet. For extreme activities, you should always use aqua box.
  • Choose the optimal mode. Most often, action cameras used as a video recorder use loop recording with a certain length of the video. for 1, 3, 5 or 10 minutes. It is worth considering that the most popular length. average, these are the most popular videos. This mode is especially convenient for athletes, as it allows you to set a timer.
  • Master the effects. Popular slow motion videos can be recorded at the highest frame rate. Choosing a time-lapse, you can make a very fast change of frames by gluing the taken photos. The choice of the shooting frequency depends on the speed of the subject. the less often the picture changes, the greater the interval.
  • Connect to PC or TV. If you have an HDMI cable, you can use it. Via USB, you can connect to a PC or laptop to charge the battery or copy files (when putting the device into storage mode).

Using an action camera is NOT too difficult. Even a beginner can master shooting, but it’s better to figure out the settings in advance. During operation, there may simply not be time left for this.

How to break a GoPro action camera

So, let’s give an answer to our riddle and understand how you can accidentally break a GoPro action camera so that it won’t show any signs of life.

And the answer lies in one word: battery.

Yes Yes. It is the battery in 80% of cases of failure that is a prerequisite for a malfunction, and they disable it, no matter how strange it may sound, by the users themselves with their NOT correct actions and treatment.

There is only one breakdown option: the battery was left discharged This is the most common reason for failure. All GoPro action cameras, as well as remote controls and battery packs, have the same type of rechargeable battery. But this protection does NOT save from a strong discharge of the battery, which leads to the “stuck” of the battery and the termination of its work.

Often this happens in the following way: you use the device, the battery is completely empty, you come home and leave your GoPro, or one of the above accessories, in a discharged state for more than three days or more. After that, one day, they decided to use the device and put it on charge, but nothing happened after a while, or two or five hours later. The battery remains “dead”.

Possibilities to fix the battery or somehow revive it. No. Therefore, if you come home or to your room, be sure to charge your camera or accessory, at least for 10-20 minutes. This is enough to maintain a positive charge in the battery.

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NEVER LEAVE YOUR GOPRO ACCESSORIES AND ACCESSORIES UNDER AED.

Breakdown option two: charging a cooled battery A very actual way to “kill” your GoPro and its accessories. After a long stay outside with an air temperature below 0 degrees, the camera cools down and the battery, of course, too.

And here you are, all joyful, you came home and immediately connected the camera to your computer to copy photos and videos, but you need to remember that when connected to a computer, the GoPro action camera automatically starts charging.

And the following happens: if the battery (and the whole camera) is cooled and you put it on recharging, then in just 5-10 minutes of such a charge, you can inflict non-repairable damage to your battery in a GoPro worthy of accessories. It can simply lose its power and “hold” the charge for only 15-20 minutes, no matter how much you charge it.

Correct decision. This is to come home and put the camera or accessory on any open place and let it warm up at room temperature for a couple of hours. No need to put the camera on heaters. This can lead to the formation of moisture inside, which will definitely “finish off” the camera.

And if you can’t wait to download photos and videos, just take out the memory card and insert it into the computer, through a special adapter.

NEVER charges GoPro action cameras or ACCESSORIES AFTER STAYING OUTDOOR in temperatures BELOW 0 degrees.

Breakdown option three: using too powerful chargers We often charge equipment, do not look at the power of the charger itself, and this is a very, very important point.

It must be remembered that the maximum amperage of the charger for GoPro action cameras should not exceed 1.5 amperes. This is the allowable power. Therefore, pay attention to what is written on the charger itself. In most cases, chargers with a capacity of 1-1.5 amperes. These are chargers from mobile phones and smartphones, as well as the power of your computer’s USB port. But the power of 2 or more amperes is often found in chargers from tablets and other computer equipment.

NEVER charge GoPro action cameras AND OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES with charger MORE THAN 1.5 AMP.

We also filmed a video tutorial that will help you understand all the intricacies of GoPro batteries:

Getting started with a 4k Ultra HD camera

Press the Power / Mode button to turn on.

Press and hold the Power / Mode button to turn off.

Turn on the 4k Ultra HD camera and press the Power / Mode button several times to view the camera modes and settings. The modes will appear in the following order:

Video. Video recording

A photo. Taking one photo

Burst shooting. Taking Burst Shots

Time-lapse shooting. Take a series of photos at a specified time interval

Settings. Change camera settings, resolution, etc.

Installations

Press the Shutter / Select button to access the setup menu. Press the Power / Mode button again to cycle through the list of options, and press the Shutter / Select button to confirm the desired option. Also you can navigate through the various options using the up / play or down / wifi buttons.

4k resolution, 15 fps / 10 fps; 2.7k, 24 fps / 15 fps; 1080p, 60/30 fps

Microsd card4K1080p601080p30720p60
32 GB120 min240 min320 min
16 GB60 min120 min160 min

Loop recording Off / On. (4K and 2.7K Plasma)

Timestamp: Off / Date / Date and time Exposure: 2.0 /.1.7 /.1.3 /.1.0 /.0.7 /.0.3 / 0

Resolution

Single frame: 2s / 3s / 5s / 10s / 20s / 30s / 60s

Continuous Shooting: Off / On.

Mains frequency: 5o Hz / 6o Hz / Auto

Language: English / Chinese (Traditional) / Italian / Spanish / Portuguese / German / Dutch / French / Czech / Polish / Turkish / Russian / Japanese / Korean / Thai

Date and Time: MM / DD / YY, DD / MM / YY or YY / MM / DD

Sound Indicator: Shutter On On / off, 1/2/3 / no, short beep On On / Off, Volume 0/1/2/3

Upside down: On. / Off.

Screensaver: Off / 1 min. / 3 min. / 5 minutes.

Energy Saving Mode: Off / 1 min. / 3 min. / 5 minutes.

Format: No / Yes

Reset: No / Yes

Movie mode

To record video, make sure the camera is in Video mode. If the Video icon is NOT displayed on the camera’s LCD screen, press the Power / Mode button several times when it appears.

To start recording:

Press the Shutter / Select button. The camera will emit a short beep and the camera status lights will flash during recording.

To stop recording:

Press the Shutter / Select button. The camera status lights will stop flashing and the camera will emit a short beep to indicate that recording has stopped.

This camera automatically stops recording when the battery runs out. The video will be saved until the camera is turned off.

Photo mode

A photo

To record a photo, make sure the camera is in Photo mode. If the Photo icon is not displayed on the camera’s LCD monitor, press the Power / Mode button several times when it appears.

To get a photo:

Press the Shutter / Select button. The camera will make a camera shutter sound.

Burst mode

Burst shooting

To take burst shots, make sure the camera is in Burst Photo mode. If the Burst Photo icon does not appear on the camera’s LCD monitor, press the Power / Mode button several times when it appears. In Burst Photo mode, the camera takes 3 photos in 1.5 seconds.

For a series of photos:

Press the Power / Mode button. The camera will make a camera shutter sound.

Time-lapse mode

Single frame shooting

To take a series of time lapse photos Make sure the Continuous Lapse setting is on and the camera is in Time Lapse mode. If the Time Lapse icon is not displayed on the camera‘s LCD screen, press the Power / Mode button a few times when it appears. In Time Lapse mode, the camera takes a series of photos at 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 or 60 seconds intervals.

To take time-lapse photography:

Press the Power / Mode button. The camera starts counting down and emits a shutter sound with every photo taken.

Quick modes

To enter the Quick Modes menu:

Make sure the camera is in Camera modes.

Press and hold the Shutter / Select button

Within three seconds.

Press the Power / Mode button repeatedly to cycle through the camera modes.

Press the Shutter / Select Button.

To exit, hold down the Shutter / Select button for three seconds.

Video and photo playback

To enter the Playback menu:

Make sure the camera is in Camera modes.

Press the Up / Playback button to enter the Playback menu.

Press the Power / Mode button repeatedly to view videos and photos.

Press the Shutter / Select button to select the desired option.

Use the Up / Playback or Down / Wi-Fi button to view various options.

Press the Shutter / Select Button.

Press the Power / Mode button to return to the Playback menu.

Press the Up / Playback button for two seconds to exit.

Memory Cards / Micro SD

This camera is compatible with SSB, 16GB and 32GB microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC cards. Use a microSD card with Speed ​​Class 10 We recommend using brand name cards for maximum reliability in high vibration environments.

Battery

To charge the battery:

Connect the camcorder to a computer or USB power source;

The charge status indicator (ON) is lit while the battery is charging

When the battery is fully charged, the charge status indicator will turn off (OFF).

Camcorder software

Ez iCam software allows you to control your camcorder remotely using your smartphone or tablet. Has all the functions of camcorder control, live view, photo view, summary of selected content, etc.

Download Ez iCam software to your phone or tablet computer from Apple App Store or Google Play.

To turn on the camcorder, press the Power / Mode button.

Make sure the camcorder is in camcorder mode.

To turn on Wi-Fi, press the Down / Wi-Fi button.

In Wi-Fi settings of your smartphone or tablet Connect to the network

Icam_vr03 (a sequence of numbers is presented after the name).

Enter password 1234567890.

Open the Ez iCam software on your smartphone or tablet.

To turn off Wi-Fi, press the Down / Wi-Fi button for three seconds.

Ez iCam is compatible with the following smartphones and tablets.

Apple iOS:

IPhone 5, iPhone 5S (iOS7 or higher) iPad Air, iPad Mini (iOS7 or higher)

Android:

Android 4.X or higher

Iphone 5, iPhone 5S (iOS7 or above)

Compatibility

Compatibility varies by device. Content playback, sharing and access to the camera’s memory card may not be available on some devices.

Choosing a good action camera is not as easy as it seems at first glance. There are many fundamental characteristics to consider when buying, such as viewing angle, recording quality, water resistance, etc. It is also very important NOT to overpay for the brand, because expensive does not always mean high quality. In today’s article, we have prepared a small rating of action cameras for all occasions and, most importantly, in different price segments, from budget to expensive. It will be interesting!

Xiaomi Yi Action

First on the list. This is Xiaomi Yi Action Budget Action Camera. Xiaomi is better known to the world thanks to its smartphones, however, nothing prevented them from releasing an inexpensive action camera, which immediately took the first positions in its price segment. Perhaps this was due to the fact that “Xiaomi” supplied its camera with quite good stuffing and did not become too badass price tag.

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Equipment and characteristics

The camera comes in a small cardboard box, which is unremarkable. Of the interesting things in the configuration, we can note the presence of a telescopic monopod, on which you can install a camera.

Now for the characteristics of the action camera. The Yi Action is small in size and can easily be confused with some kind of children’s toy. The length of the chamber is slightly more than 6 cm, height. 4 cm, and the thickness is 2.2 cm. The camera has good optics, the matrix size is 16 megapixels. Sensor manufacturer. Sony. The Ambarella A7LS processor is responsible for the work, which allows Yi to record video in Full HD quality and at a frame rate of 60 fps.

The action camera has a 155 ° field of view, which is also good. Sound is recorded from two speakers at 96 kHz. Another interesting thing is the presence of a three-axis sensor, 1100 mAh battery, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support.

Reviews and price. 2. Action camera SJCAM SJ4000

The next model in the ranking of inexpensive action cameras. This is SJ4000 from the Chinese manufacturer SJCAM. This brand is often called the Chinese version of GoPro for the good quality of shooting, but the models from China are much cheaper.

Package Contents and Camera Specifications

Out of the box, the user is immediately given a waterproof box for a camera, a mount for a bicycle, a tripod and a helmet, special clips for attaching the camera to a belt, a set of Velcro and clamps, additional adapters, a cord, a cleaning cloth and small things like a charger and a set of instructions.

The SJ4000 has a 12 megapixel sensor that has support for 4x zoom. The camera writes video in two modes. HD and Full HD. The frame rate is as follows: 60 fps and 30 fps, respectively. In addition to video, the SJ4000 can also take photos in 2048×1536 resolution. Camera angle. 170 °.

Unlike the previous camera, it has its own display with a resolution of 960×240 pixels. The battery is a 900 mAh battery, which, according to the manufacturer, provides up to 80 minutes of operation. Unfortunately, there is no Bluetooth module here, but Wi-Fi, USB and HDMI are present.

Polaroid Cube

Rounding out the list of inexpensive Polaroid Cube action cameras. I would like to say right away that at a cost it is the most expensive of the budget, but the model fully justifies this money. Well, let’s take a closer look at her.

Package contents and specifications

The camera is delivered in a small plastic blister. Inside, except for the “cube”, USB cable and instructions, there is nothing else, and, in fact, the camera does not really need it.

The Cube is the smallest in size. 38 mm, and its weight is a ridiculous 45 grams. Nevertheless, inside this “cube” there is quite a good “filling”, which allows you to record high-quality videos in 1280×720 and 1920×1080. The matrix has a resolution of 5 megapixels, and the viewing angle is 124 °. In addition to video, the camera also takes photos.

The Cube does NOT need additional accessories. The camera body is sealed and protected from dust and water. Maximum immersion depth. 1.5 m.In addition, a magnet is built into the body, due to which the camera can be hooked, for example, to the handlebars of a bicycle.

Price and user opinions. Medium segment cameras

It’s time to move on to the second part of the ranking. Action cameras in the middle price range. The main differences between mid-range and budget models are support for 4K video recording, better optics, increased battery life, more powerful “stuffing”, etc.

Yi 4K Action

An improved modification of Xiaomi Yi Action with a 4K prefix opens the rating of medium action cameras. The first thing to say right away: Yi 4K. A completely standalone product released by Yi, and it has nothing to do with Xiaomi. In fact, Yi’s management decided to take advantage of the success of Xiaomi’s camera and launched their own product that instantly gained popularity. Let’s see what’s new.

Complete set and specification

The package bundle of the new camera is NOT very impressive: a USB-microUSB cable, booklets with instructions and the action camera itself. There are no monopods or additional accessories here. Let’s move on to considering the characteristics.

At Yi, the new camera was positioned as a direct competitor to the GoPro Hero 4 Black. The latest (at the time of release) Ambarella A9SE processor is installed here, a 12 megapixel sensor from Sony. IMX377, two microphones for stereo sound recording. In addition, Action 4K has a built-in display, which greatly simplifies shooting settings, a larger battery and a more powerful Wi-Fi module. Otherwise, Action 4K is practically similar to its competitor Hero 4 Black.

Now for the shooting possibilities. The camera is capable of recording video in 4K, Full HD and HD resolution. The frame rate is 30 fps (4K), 30-120 fps (1080p) and 30-240 fps (720p). The maximum recording time in 4K mode is 120 minutes, which is generally impressive. In addition to video, the camera can also take photos. Viewing angle. 170 °, battery life. 2.5 hours.

Reviews and price. 5. SJCAM SJ6 Legend

There is also a model from SJCAM in the middle price segment. Action camera SJ6 Legend. At its cost, it could be written down with a stretch to budget models, but the functionality is too cool, and the manufacturer itself positions the camera as semi-professional.

Features and equipment

The SJ6 comes in a small plastic bag. The delivery set is standard, and there is nothing special to tell about it. In fact, it differs from the budget model only in that there are no some mounts, but otherwise everything is exactly the same.

But the characteristics of the camera have definitely improved. The first thing to note. The ability to record video in 4K mode. The frame rate is NOT too high. Only 24 fps. In Full HD mode, the camera records video at 60 fps, and when switching to HD it does 120 fps. The ability to take photos has been preserved, for which the developers can say “thank you”.

The matrix in SJ6 is installed from Panasonic and has a resolution of 16 megapixels. Angle of view of the action camera. 166 °. A chip from Novatek is installed as a processor. NT96660. The displays here are just 2. The main touchscreen and a small one on the front. The first one is used to configure the camera parameters, and the second one displays various information, for example, the current video recording time. As for battery life, the SJ6 can work for about two hours when fully charged, which is not bad.

Reviews and price. 6. Gopro Hero 5 Session

Rounding out the list of the best action cameras in the middle segment is the GoPro Hero 5 Session. This camera is somewhat similar in appearance to the Polaroid Cube, but that’s where the similarities end. This model significantly surpasses the budget “cube” in technical parameters, but it also costs, respectively, more expensive.

Features and equipment

Session packaging. This is the classic box that all GoPro Hero cameras come in. In addition to the camera itself, users will find a charging cable, a pair of adhesive tape mounts and a mounting frame with a screw inside. There is no underwater box, monopod or action camera mount on the helmet. Will have to be together separately.

Of the characteristics, it is worth noting video recording in 4K at 30 fps, as well as HD at 120 fps and Full HD at 60 fps. Viewing angle in cameras 120 °. This is not much compared to previous models, but still very good. Matrix resolution in Session. 8 MP, but the camera is capable of taking photos up to 10 MP (interpolation is used).

Among the shortcomings, it is worth noting the lack of additional accessories, such as an aqua box, as well as the fact that the camera has a display and most of the parameters can be configured only through the proprietary application on the phone. You can also control without a smartphone, but it is extremely inconvenient.

Expensive action camera GoPro Hero 5

The last part of the rating of action cameras. Expensive models. Here you can find quite a few different models from different manufacturers, but if you look at the popular choice, there will be only one contender. Gopro Hero 5. It will be the speech.

Scope of delivery and characteristics

Gopro Hero 5 rightfully completes today’s rating of action cameras, because for its cost it offers the buyer a set of everything you need for good and high-quality shooting in any weather conditions and at any time of the day.

There is no point in writing about the packaging, it is the same as in other Hero models, but the package bundle is slightly different. Yes, there are still heaps of different accessories inside, such as an underwater or shock-resistant box, but there is a helmet mount, which is not bad. In any case, the camera perfectly supports third-party accessories, including those from previous versions of Hero.

The performance of the action camera is impressive. Several video recording options from 720p to 2160p (4K resolution). The ability to take pictures in resolution up to 12 megapixels, and the photo capabilities of the “hero” pulled up. Now the camera is equipped with a separate WDR mode, which allows you to take clear photos at night, as well as the possibility of shooting in RAW, which cannot but please.