When you are snorkeling, diving, or simply hanging out in the pool, having pictures or video footage of what's under the surface would be a good idea. That is where actions cameras are good at.
The problem is that choosing the right action camera for you is not that easy.
**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
There are a lot of cameras that claim to be reliable in the box but once you take it out to use it, you'll immediately find that they are not exactly as what it claims to be and you have only wasted your hard-earned money on a camera that could not stand for what they promised.
In order for you to buy an action camera that is reliable to go deep and survive the pits of the ocean and come back with high-quality videos and photographs, there are some things you need to consider:
Action cameras are made to endure the roughest of conditions, from rain and snow, to dust and mud. When you travel, there is no escaping the fact that the camera you're using will be exposed to some sort of deterioration, as being thrown around in a backpack and exposure to risky weather conditions ultimately take their toll. There's no other type of camera can endure these conditions except action camera.
Size and Weight
Most action cameras today are small enough to fit in your pocket, and normally weigh lighter than a mobile phone. On the top of keeping your luggage to a minimum, these compact cameras can be brought anywhere, from cultural trips to parties. Due to their resilience, it is necessary for most of these cameras to have some sort of protective casing, which is also rather compact.
Action cameras are made to capture your best moments in videos, with most new models which boast full 1080p to 4k resolution recording just like bigger cameras do. Furthermore, many action cameras offer remarkable image functionality, normally varying between 10 and 16 megapixels.
If you want other types of photography, burst mode offers a great way to capture stills sequentially, while recording time-lapse footage makes a fascinating alternative to standard video footage.
Using the right accessories, you can use your action camera anywhere at any time. One of the most common activities among travelers is snorkeling and scuba diving, and of course, there's no better way to document this than using an action camera. Some action cams, like the GoPro, can be fitted with a waterproof housing, which will let you take the camera as deep as 40 to 60 meters, in some situations.
There are also a lot of other sport-specific accessories and mounts available, which are available on the market separately depending on what kind of activities you want to do.
The price of an action camera can range significantly, from $50 to $400 depending on the brand, accessories, quality resolution, and warranty that comes with it. That's why it is always important to make a research first before spending hundreds of bucks on a camera. There are also more and more cheap cameras coming out that don't meet the needs of those who are hardcore outdoor enthusiasts.
For those adrenaline junkie travelers, having accessories for your action cameras are important. Most of these cameras require some accessories like monopods, waterproof casing, bag, and different types of mount.
Top Action Cameras Cheaper Than GoPro
When it comes to action cameras, GoPro definitely leads the top. The action sports cameras the company offers are popular for their high quality and 1-year replacement warranty. But with these features come a high price for each unit, and not everyone is willing or able to spend $300 to $400 on an action camera.
Fortunately, there are more and more brands coming out trying to match, top even, the performance and quality GoPro gives to its patrons. Below is our list of top action cameras similar to GoPro but wouldn't leave a hole in your pocket.
FITFORT Action Camera 4KThe first one on our list is the FITFORT 4K action camera. This is an action camera that offers exceptional 4K HD quality, Wi-Fi connectivity for easier transfer of files, wide-angle lens, remote control functions, and all the accessories needed to get great footage.This camera is definitely one of the best action cameras similar to GoPro.The action camera could be controlled using a wireless remote, and this remote is really small that you can easily put in your pocketIf you’ve forgotten the remote, you are able to control the camera with an ergonomic button attached to the camera itself. It’s definitely a great investment. It is easy to use, gives high-quality results, and is budget-friendly.
Editor's Rating: 98/100
Price On Amazon: from $60.99
The Pixpro SP1 is a midrange action camera from Kodak that offers a full-bodied design, good controls, and superb image quality. While these features are not new for an action camera, they are all most users will need to document the footage they are after. This is by far the most impressive part of the PIXPRO SP1 Action Camera. Its battery is also extremely impressive – it goes a very long way.
Editor's Rating: 97/100
Price On Amazon: from $179.99
If you compare TomTom Bandit 4K to the base GoPro Hero 2014 edition for less than $150, then I would recommend the TomTom better. But if you compare it to the GoPro Hero4 Silver/Black, then generally this camera will lose the game – unless the sensor or speed aspects within the unit are enough to sway you.If you're not planning to use any of that, then at this point, it is difficult to justify the TomTom over the line of GoPro.If however, TomTom places some solid work into their automatic app, then my decision might be persuaded for specific audiences. If you are doing any type of video editing at a higher quality level, particularly with slow-motion type footage, then the GoPro quality is difficult to beat.
Editor's Rating: 95/100
Price On Amazon: from $319.03
The Sony Action Cam Mini AZ1 is smaller and lighter than a lot of its competitors; it has outstanding video quality with reliable electronic image stabilization; the live-view remote allows you wirelessly preview and change settings, and has GPS; it has a splash proof body and a detachable, rechargeable battery; the included tripod mount offering a lot of accessory choice.
Editor's Rating: 93/100
Price On Amazon: from $134.99
This is my favorite action camera. The newly release Xiaomi Yi 4k has similar video resolutions as the GoPro 4 Black, max 4k @ 30fps, and has new Ambarella A9SE chip – while GoPro 4 only has the older A9 – and the new performing 12MPSony IMX377 sensor with a dimension of 1/2.3″ so it has the best hardware in the market.On the top of this, it has a Wi-Fi twice times faster than GoPro has, which reaches 3MB/s download speed, a 1400mAh battery that claims to record up to 120 minutes at the maximum [email protected] resolution, and most of all a 6-axys Gyro stabilizer that eliminates shaking and unwanted movements with the help of a gyroscope and a accelerometer, which older model of GoPro didn't have.
Editor's Rating: 90/100
Price On Amazon: from $169.00
GoPro sports cameras are superb cameras, but do they really worth the price you pay? Considering the existence of very competitive cameras today like the ones mentioned above at almost less than half the price, you may be better off saving some hundred bucks towards other tools and accessories.
Now, it is up to you which camera suits you best. Are you looking for the cheapest one possible but has high-quality photos?
Buy GitUp GIT2 Action Camera! Are you looking for a 4K resolution? Then Xiaomi YI 4K or TomTom Bandit 4K will be your best bet. Are you looking for a camera that doesn't require a waterproof camera? PIXPRO SP1 Action Camera will be there to save the day!
Or perhaps you want one that can produce your videos in different formats? Sony AZ1 Action Camera is for you! No matter which one you choose, at the end of the day, it is about the memories you make.
Now, it is up to you how you are going to put them together to make spectacular videos of your adventure or a great photo album for everyone to see and for you to look back to, to some of the most unforgettable moments of your life.
Taking Care of Your Action Camera
You're not the only one who gets exhausted and weary after a tiring yet the satisfying day of performing your favorite sports activities. Your action camera also experiences this weariness.
That's why performing the right maintenance and care for your action camera is an essential part of owning it. Not only do you require it to lengthen its life, it will also allow you enjoy shooting high-quality videos even more.
Below are some important tips and skill secrets that you should know and apply in order to keep your action camera at its best condition.
Step 1: Clean your camera case right after using it.
Sand, dirt, and water stuck on its surface can lead to damages to your hardware if you allow them to sit there for a very long period of time. Take out the casing because it's the one that has the most dirt and cleans it off with clean water.
This is the most beat up accessory of your camera, and it's prone to collecting dirt and remainder which can seriously – even permanently – damage your camera if not gutted and cared for appropriately.
You have to be very careful when removing the camera from the casing, taking special care not to touch the lens. Make use of the compressed air to take out any sand or dirt from the lens. DON'T WIPE THE LENS. If there's any dirt on it, wiping it may scratch the lens and pretty much destroy the camera.
Step 2: Dry your case and accessories with a hair dryer.
Set the hair dryer to its coolest mode, and use it to dry the casing as well as your monopod, mounts, bolts, and other accessories after you have shaken off the excess water from it from washing. As much as possible, don't use a dry rug to use it in order to avoid scratching it.
Step 3: Remove the battery and put it in a camera bag.
Step 3: Remove the battery and put it in a camera bag.
Taking off the battery is also suggested, this is to save the battery from draining as some camera need it to keep the clock and date running.
It is also a good idea to invest in a hard case camera bag to protect your unit even while you are traveling. There are many reliable ones that are made exclusively for action cameras. Make sure all things fit securely in the case so it does not rattle around too much while you are traveling. Even though these things are made to endure a beating, you are better off keeping it protected in its downtime.
Do you also have an action camera? Which one do you have? Do you also know any tips on maintaining them? We are interested to know! Share it in the comment below!