Best Action Cameras for Extreme SportsUpdated on: June 6, 2019
If you are an extreme sports enthusiast there are moments you wouldn’t want to miss out on your collection of videos or photos to serve as a reminder of your glorious moment in one of your favorite sports. And for you to capture such memorable moments you will require to have a state of the art action camera designed specifically for extreme sports.
These types of cameras are unique and quite different from ordinary cameras you are used to. You can attach them to your helmet, car, surfboard or any other objects of great interest. That is why they come in small sizes although they are tough yet so simple to operate. Much to your surprise, their lens is capable of capturing crystal clear images and high definition videos that can serve as perfect reminders of the best moments of your extreme sporting life.
Every extreme sports participant cannot resist the allure of these tiny action cameras thanks to their point of view (POV) footage that has seen their popularity growing from one user to the other. If you think that these wonderful action cameras are only limited to extreme sports, then you need to look a little further when it comes to their use. This is to say that a number of TV production companies have found them to be quite effective where using regular video cameras is actually impossible.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a seasoned camera operator or an adrenaline junkie for you to be able to use this type of cameras. Anyone can operate them including your kid with zero experience in video shooting. Before you even forget, you can as well capture every moment of your family’s vacation or days out using these great action camera in a bid to document your happy time together. To learn more about the best action cameras for extreme sports here is a review of our top-pick cameras you can find on the market today.
1. GoPro HERO7 Black Waterproof Digital Action Camera
GoPro HERO 7 Black gives a hyper-smooth video stabilization that is gimbal-like without even having the gimbal in its design. This action camera achieves this feat by simply predicting your movements and correcting any slight camera shake to give you insanely smooth footage. In fact, you can capture super-stabilized time-lapse footage while moving about the scene.
On top of that, you can as well increase the speed to about 30X to transform longer actions into shareable moments. With its superphone capability, you can have the best photos automatically without much of a hassle. This camera applies an intelligently HDR in order to optimize your shots.
Given that this action camera is rugged and waterproof, you can easily share experiences that you cannot capture using your phone. Its voice control feature enables you to effectively stay in the moment while controlling your GoPro HERO 7 Black using only voice commands such as “GoPro and take a photo” or “GoPro and start recording”. As if that is not enough, this camera allows you to live stream and share your story with your friends on social media platforms like Facebook.
On the other hand, you can save the streaming videos to the SD card in higher resolution. Other features of interest include the intuitive touch screen, 8X Sol-No Video that has ultra-high frame rates of 1080p 240p videos and ability to capture 4K60 videos including 12MP photos.
2. Olympus TG Tracker with a 1.5-Inch Green LCD
Olympus TG Tracker gives you enough reasons to revisit your previous adventures through its top quality videos thanks to 4K 30P video capture features it is designed with. Despite having awesome features, this action camera is the right size for you if you truly love extreme sports.
The camera measures 35.0X56.5X93.2 mm to facilitate its portability especially during those extreme moments in sports. Its extreme angle of 2.0 high-speed lens lets you record high-quality videos in wider angles without struggling much.
The most important feature that makes this action camera for extreme sports a must-have is its waterproof feature. This means you can shoot videos in depths of up to 100 feet or 30 meters without the need for housing. Apart from that, the camera is designed with built-in Wi-Fi and five built-in sensors that enable you to capture movements with the help of its cutting edge technology that includes accelerometer, GPS, eCompass, barometer, and thermometer.
Other notable features include the TG tracker with a fixed fisheye that gives ultra-wide-angle lens, 4K video recording and 8MP still pictures.
3. Kodak PIXPRO SP1-Action Cam
Kodak PIXPRO SP1 comes with advanced features such as CMOS sensor along with 14 Megapixels to give you top speed, high quality and unmatched clarity than the traditional CCD sensors. Away from that, this action camera for extreme sports is waterproof, meaning that you can use it even at depths of 32 feet or 10 meters without affecting its performance. Also, it is shockproof to about 6.5feet or 2 m height, freeze proof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit or -10 degrees Celsius and dustproof, giving you assurance of using it in any environment of your choice.
You can capture every part of the action using 1080 full HD video images in 10 frames per second by simply pushing the button. Alternatively, you may switch the settings to high-speed mode to capture time-lapse videos at 120 frames per second in slow motion with more details.
In fact, you can capture and playback high-quality videos and images from the camera’s built-in 1.5-inch LCD screen or control remotely using the PIXPRO Remote Viewer Application on your smartphone via a wireless connection. The camera’s electronic image stabilization enables you to automatically adjust images in order to compensate for unintentional camera movement to reduce cases of blurry shots or videos.
4. Sony HDR AZ1VR Waterproof Action Cam
Sony HDR AZ1VR is the model of action camera for extreme sports that you should not miss out next time you go out surfing or on an adventure. The camera is capable of recording 1080p60videos in XAVC-S Codec with 120 frames per second, 720p for slow motion and 11.9MP images in the aspect ratio of 16:9.
The other reason why you should pick this camera is that it is designed to be splash proof when it is placed in its 16-inch housing. Also, the camera comes in handy with Wi-Fi connectivity for remote monitoring as well as control.
This camera has the ability to take photos at bursts of up to 8 frames per second. In addition, you will find its video or photo GPS tagging to be quite amazing especially when taking photos or shooting videos while on the move. This is a perfect action camera that you should have next time you participate in any extreme sport.
5. YI 4K Plus Action Camera
If your desire is to have an action camera that can give you impressive video quality, YI 4K Plus should be your ultimate choice. This camera is reputed for being the world’s first ever built action camera that can record videos in 4K per 60 fps.
Its built-in Sony IMX377 sensor is capable of capturing 12MP images and films in HD footages. Additionally, the electronic image stabilization (EIS) is designed to help capture and deliver incredibly smooth and steady 4K videos when shooting fast-moving objects.
One thing that will make you like this action camera is its ultra-responsive 2.2-inch Gorilla Glass retina touchscreen that is included in its design to show crystal clear and brighter settings. Most importantly, this camera comes as a versatile camcorder that is fully packed with the best features such as voice control, built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, RAW image capture, and type-C external microphone.
6. Garmin VIRB Ultra-30 Action Camera
Garmin VIRB Ultra-30 comes in handy to give you ultra-high definition videos that are crystal clear in the form of 4K/30 frames per second or 1080p/120 frames per second. At the same time, you can set this camera to slow motion at 720p/240 frames per second.
Still, on the features, this action camera has built-in GPS as well as external sensors complete with connectivity to any Garmin device when capturing performance data such as elevation, heart rate, speed, and G-force.
The 1.72-Inch LCD color touchscreen display is easy to use and operate in and out of the waterproof case. Other features that you might find interesting in Garmin VIRB Ultra-30 include voice control and 3-Axis image stabilization that captures steady videos up to 1080p/60 frames per second.
7. GoPro HERO-Session Waterproof Digital Action Cam
GoPro HERO-Session is a simple but compact water action camera that weighs 2.60 oz or 74 grams. In fact, this is the right action camera for first-time users of GoPro brands. That is why it comes with easy single-button control so you may use it to power on your camera and everything else, including photos and video capturing start automatically.
This camera is designed to withstand any environmental conditions however extreme it may seem. Given that it is waterproof, this feature allows you to take photos or capture videos in depths of up to 33-inches while immersed in water.
GoPro HERO-Session allows you to record amazing 1440p/30fps, 1080p/60 fps and 720p/100 fps videos and 8MP single photos with 10 frames per second burst photos and 0.5-60 second time-lapse photos. Clearly, this is an ideal action camera that you can rely on when out there on an adventure or taking part in extreme sports.
How to Choose an Action Camera for Extreme Sports?
Every extreme sports participant and adventurer will tell that the action camera is an essential device to have among other items. Given that these cameras come in different brand names and features, it is important to have first-hand information regarding the right device to buy.
For first-timers, it can pose a huge challenge when choosing the right action camera. Without prior knowledge of what to look for, you are bound to make the wrong choice if you don’t have the slightest idea of what you want. Here is an ultimate guide that will help you when selecting the best action camera for extreme sports:
– The quality of the video
Video resolution is the key factor to consider unless you are out there to buy any camera for fun. In this era of 4K resolution, you will definitely want to be part and parcel of the elite group who value the quality of their videos and images, especially during extreme sporting events. However, the resolution of your choice will depend solely on what you are going to use your action camera for and the type of device you will mount it on. For instance, it will be a waste of your money to buy a 4K resolution camera if you don’t have a 4K computer or TV.
– Shape, size, and weight
Cameras come in different shapes but it is a good idea to know that some shapes are preferred for specific applications. Needless to say, a number of action cameras have box shapes to make them the right choice for chest mounting. On the other hand, other cameras come with bullet-shaped designs to make it easier for helmet mounting. When it comes to size and weight, ensure that you select a camera that is lightest and compact for maximum portability.
If you are planning to use your camera in snow, rain or underwater, ensure that you go for one which is “weatherproof” or “waterproof” before you look out for other features. This is due to the fact that some cameras are already waterproof but others require you to place them in a waterproof case
– Field of View
Field of view (FOV) in action cameras is one of the most important factors to look for when shopping for your dream camera. Most of them are designed with a wide-angled FOV while the rest give you the option of choosing between medium, narrow and wide angles. Even though FOV is not such an important factor to consider, keep in mind that wide-angled footage taken by an action camera can sometimes appear a little bit distorted or have the fisheye effect.
– The quality of images
Apparently, the image quality is one of the most important factors to consider before making your final decision on the type of camera you want. In other words, the higher the camera’s megapixels, the better the resolution. Sometimes you may decide to optimize your images in order to suit your needs.
– Battery life
You should know that most of the action cameras are able to operate continuously for about one or three hours before they run out of battery power. But this can vary depending on how you are using your camera. For instance, shooting high-resolution videos will definitely drain your battery faster than using connectivity features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi among others. In most cases, many people would opt for cameras with long-lasting batteries but such devices might turn out to be a little more costly or lack some key features. If battery life is not your primary option, you may consider looking for an affordable camera that you can easily find its spare parts just in case.
Ensure that the action camera you are buying can quickly upload and transfer your images and video footage to the web, smartphone or computer in case it does not have the screen for playback and preview. Apart from that, the connectivity can let you use your action camera with add-on accessories requiring Wi-Fi or any other connectivity option.
When shopping for an action camera, you will also need a memory card that is faster enough to help you get the great performance out of your camera. The card that has low write speed will not be of any help to you considering that it is likely to cause dropped frames leading to jerky footage.
Let’s say, you are acquiring an action camera for your surfing activities. In this case, you will have to look for the right accessories that will enable you to secure the camera on the surfboard. Not every brand comes with the type of mount or the right accessories you may require to accomplish your mission. Therefore, look out for the most ideal accessories before making your final decision.
Action cameras come at different prices, features and qualities. When making your choice, pay attention to those features that are of great importance in relation to the type of activities you are about to engage in. Otherwise, having an action camera can make your favorite activities enjoyable and quite a memorable thing in many years to come!