What to Look for When Buying an Action Camera and How to Use It
Action cameras are increasingly popular these days and not only for extreme sports aficionados. Even if you are not an extreme sports’ fan or adventurer, an action camera is one of the coolest gadgets to have.
It’s rugged, lightweight, small, and comes with excellent features, and it seems to be on everyone’s shopping lists as of late. However, before you buy the most prominent brand name on the market, you need to do your homework thoroughly.
Famous Brand or Less Famous Brand?
When it comes to action cameras, you need to consider a few criteria we will detail below and see if they match your budget. Regarding brands, all we say is that you should read some reviews and forums before you invest.
If your first idea is the GoPro just because it makes almost all headlines, you should reconsider. Other brands pack a powerful punch regarding video quality and durability, and it would be a shame to overlook them.
For instance, if you pay attention to the detailed Akaso ek7000 features analyzed by photography experts, you will learn some surprising things. Why this camera in particular? It comes with a 170-degree wide-angle lens to satisfy even the most sophisticated adrenaline junkie who wants full immersion. Moreover, it is probably the best action camera in its price range, spoiling its users with impeccable design and control.
While the GoPro is famous, other action cameras offer plenty on various selection criteria. Let us analyze today the most important factors to consider when you want to buy an action camera. Do you want some tips on how to make the best of it? We have got you covered!
1. Video Quality – Mind Your Frame rate as Well
It is a crucial point in your purchasing decision. The video quality and resolution of your action camera should allow you to capture clear, crisp, and immersive footage or still pictures. Go for the highest resolution available today – 4K – but only if it suits your needs.
The best action cameras on the market feature 4K video (GoPro, Akaso, SJCAM, etc.), but you need to consider its costs. As a beginner, you might do well with lower video quality to learn how to exploit the camera and then upgrade to a more professional model.
For best videos, you also need to factor in the place where you mount your camera (head, bike, chest, etc.) Specialists recommend you even consider a 4K portable monitor to enjoy a full experience.
- Having a 4K camera is not enough to make those fantastic videos you enjoy so much online. When you use your camera, make sure you switch your framerate from 30 fps to 60 fps. The human eye will spot slight differences, but the 60fps allow you to edit parts of your video in slow motion.
2. Size and Shape – Make Sure You Make the Best out of the FOV
Some action cameras feature different sizes, shapes, and weights. It means that, depending on what you intend to do with it, you have multiple choices. The bulkier, square ones go better for chest mount, while the bullet-shaped ones make excellent additions to your helmet, bike handles, and so on.
- Make sure you place the camera on different areas when you shoot your action videos to offer an immersive and exciting video to your peers, friends, and family. Keeping the camera on your head all the time will soon get boring regarding cinematography. When you use the camera, switch its place onto the handles, your body, etc.
- You will find almost all cameras featuring a wide-angle Field of View (FOV); we recommend you choose a camera that allows you to select among wide, medium, and narrow FOV. If you only use the wide angle, some images will look distorted and come with a fish-eye effect. Choosing the best angle for the best type of action/sports is a skill you will master while enjoying discovering and experimenting with your camera.
3. Accessories – Take Your Time to Get those Stable Images
When you browse online for action cameras, pay attention to the accessories that accompany them. Usually, standard accessories include helmets, head mounts, handlebar mounts, chest belts, telescoping poles, etc.
However, if you are into surfing, skiing, or other extreme sports, you want a camera coming with those specific accessories. It would be a pity to decide and pay for a device and learn you will not be able to attach it to your surfboard.
- When you buy an action camera, one of the most important things you want is image stability. Mounting the camera on your body or your sports equipment is crucial for getting the best pictures and videos as long as you use the proper attachments;
- Make sure the accessories are of equal quality as the camera;
- The best way of getting the camera and the accessories (mounts) you need is the following: browse all the brands you have on your short list, check the reviews, and talk to the people. You need to see what mounts and accessories accompany your camera and what other compatible accessories you will find in specialized shops. If nobody manufactures a specific mount for your choice camera, you should move on with your search.
4. Durability – Get the Best Settings a Camera can have
Action cameras are usually durable and resilient to wear and tear. Nevertheless, you may want a camera that is waterproof and weatherproof. Moreover, you want a camera coming with settings that match your hobbies and sports interests – such as one able to meet and even exceed your expectations in the scuba diving department.
- Underwater photography is not the easiest hobby one can embrace; therefore, make sure you get a camera that comes with varied and elaborate settings, so you can use it while scuba diving and mountain biking. After all, you do not need a separate camera for each action sports you practice, but one that allows variations and alternatives.
- Get familiar with your camera modes and read tutorials or even take photography classes to learn how to make the best out of your action camera if you are a beginner.
5. Battery Life – Pick the Best Settings and Accessories for your Activities
Most action cameras offer up to three hours of ongoing filming before their batteries run off. Make sure you pick your camera depending on the battery life that best suits your needs. If your primary purpose is to film hi-res videos, you have to know that you will deplete your battery juice faster. Moreover, you should also consider having a separate charging bank for the camera’s battery or at least a spare one.
- Sometimes, cameras with longer battery life are more expensive or may not feature the settings you need. When you start your shopping process, look for other manufacturers that sell compatible spare batteries or power banks for the make and model of your camera battery.
Many people are into action cameras these days – and not just the adrenaline junkies.
They serve many purposes and offer you the memories of a lifetime. You will find cheaper models and expensive pro ones. Read the reviews, compare the tech specs and the prices, look for the specific settings you need, and enjoy an immersive experience together with your friends and peers!