Best Action Sports Cameras for Adventure Kit in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 20, 2017
If you adore extreme sports or you want to shoot videos of your activities, you need to use an action camera. Thanks to this gadget, you will be able to shoot anything all daredevil stunts you are making. We've decided to help you out and compared the best sports cameras for you! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Resolution
Video Formats
Max Still Resolution
Battery Life
Viewing Angle
Protection
Interface
Mounts and Accessories
 
PROS
HERO4 GoPro action camera shoots the videos in the best quality, while sound recording is also superb thanks to a powerful audio system. This best GoPro camera comes with lots of mounts for all kinds of sports. The gadget can record Ultra HD videos and the maximum shooting speed reaching 240 FPS. Wireless control option is available owing to built-in WiFi.
CONS
Watching videos you shoot is possible on an LCD display or mobile devices only.
OUR VERDICT
HERO4 GoPro is the best action camera, which is, no doubt, second to none in terms of performance and features. No matter what kind of extreme sports you do - biking, parachuting, surfing, and so on.
detailed parameters
Resolution
  • 3840x2160 - 30 fps
  • SuperView 4K - 24 fps
  • 1920x1080 - 120 fps
  • 1280x720 - 240 fps
Video Formats

H.264, MPEG-4

Max Still Resolution
12MP
Battery Life
60-90 minutes
Viewing Angle
170°
Protection

Shock-resistant housing protects from dust / moisture and is waterproof to 131 ft (40 m)

Interface

  • MicroHDMi
  • miniUSB
  • Micro SD (up to 64GB)
  • HERO Bus port (for additional battery or display)

Mounts and Accessories
  • Waterproof housing
  • Skeleton backdoor
  • 1160 mAh battery
  • Flat adhesive mount
  • Curved adhesive mount
  • Quick release button
  • 3-way pivot arm
  • USB cable
PROS

The intelligent SteadyShot image stabilization system reduces blur and noise even if the footage is taken on the move. 

CONS

Limited additional accessories set.

OUR VERDICT

The Sony Action Cam offers great functionality at an affordable price. The option to download additional apps significantly improves its performance. 

detailed parameters
Resolution
  • 1920x1080 - 60 fps
  • 1280x720 - 120 fps
Video Formats

H.264, MPEG4

Max Still Resolution

~11.1 MP, CMOS Sensor

Battery Life

2 hours 30 minutes, NP-BX1 rechargeable battery

Viewing Angle

170°

Protection

Waterproof up to 197 ft in a protective case (included)

Interface
  • Supports Stick Micro and MicroSD/SDHC/SDXC class 4 or better
Mounts and Accessories
  • Waterproof case (MPK-UWH1)
  • Rechargeable battery
  • MicroUSB Cable
  • Clamp
PROS

The AKASO EK7000 comes with a wireless wrist remote control. Therefore, the navigation is much simpler and faster. There are also enough mounting accessories for more convenient installation. 

CONS

The FPS for 4K recording is rather low. 

OUR VERDICT

That is an outstanding camera that was given a low price and high-quality. AKASO is compatible with most of the GoPro mounts. Besides, not only will it give you high-quality videos it is also super easy to control.

detailed parameters
Resolution
  • 3840x2160 - 25 fps
  • 2704x1520 - 30 fps
  • 1920x1080 - 60 fps
Video Formats

MOV

Max Still Resolution

12MP

Battery Life

up to 90 minutes, 1050 mAh

Viewing Angle

170°

Protection

Waterproof up to 98 ft (30 m) in a protective case (included)

Interface
  • Wi-Fi
  • Micro-HDMI
  • Micro-SD Card Slot
  • Micro-USB 
Mounts and Accessories
  • 2.4G Remote Control
  • 2 x 1050mAh Battery
  • Waterproof Case
  • Bicycle Stand
  • 7 x Mount / 2 x Clip
  • Helmet Mounts / Bandages
  • 5 x Tethers
  • Protective Backdoor
  • USB Cable
  • Lens Cloth
  • Manual
PROS

The Campark  ACT74 takes 16MP photos, so you can also apply it as a photo camera. Plus, it comes with an ergonomic portable case and accessories for handier use.

CONS

Angle view of a built-in display is not very wide. 

OUR VERDICT

Would you like to make highly detailed and clear videos in 4K resolution with 30 fps? Campark will perfectly help you with that. And will make it for a reasonable price. 

detailed parameters
Resolution
  • 3840x2160 - 30 fps
  • 2688x1520 - 30 fps
  • 1920x1080 - 60/30 fps 
  • 1280x720 - 90/60/30 fps
Video Formats

H.264, MPEG-4

Max Still Resolution

16MP, CMOS Sensor

Battery Life

up to 90 minutes, 900 mAh

Viewing Angle

170°

Protection

Waterproof up to 98 ft (30 m) in a protective case (included)

Interface
  • Wi-Fi
  • Micro-HDMI
  • Micro-SD Card Slot
  • Micro-USB 
Mounts and Accessories
  • Waterproof Case  
  • Two Batteries (1050mAh)  
  • Specialized Portable Package  
  • Handlebar Mount, Base 1 / 2, Clips, Fixed Base
  • Switch Support 1, 2, 3  
  • Adapter, Helmet Base, Bandage, Ribbon&Wire Rope, USB Cable, Manual, Wiper
PROS

An inbuilt 1/4" photosensitive element allows for an ultra clear picture even under poor lighting conditions. A built-in vibration motor alerts when the camera turns on or starts shooting, 

CONS

This model isn't suitable for diving or surfing. 

OUR VERDICT

Stoga action camera is not only one of the smallest models on the market, it also has quite good shooting parameters. With handy mount accessories, it is convenient to install on your helmet, bike/motorbike, or car.

detailed parameters
Resolution
  • 1920x1080 - 30 fps 
  • 1280x720 - 60 fps
Video Formats

H.264, AVI

Max Still Resolution

No data

Battery Life

up to 120 minutes, built-in battery 

Viewing Angle

120°

Protection

Aluminum alloy waterproof design

Interface
  • Micro-SD Card Slot
  • Micro-USB 
Mounts and Accessories
  • USB Charge Cable
  • Bike/Motorcycle-Mounted Holder
  • Helmet-Mounted Holder
  • Car-Mounted Holder
  • Strap
  • Detailed User Manual 

What is an Action Camera?

Nowadays, video shooting technologies are developing very quickly, allowing millions of people all over the world to capture any activities. No need to say, lots of us want to shoot videos while doing some sports, but it's difficult to control a camera - it vibrates so much that the video is usually very poor. That's why action cameras have been developed - they are compact and have a sophisticated stabilization mechanism in order to provide stunning videos. Most sports cameras are fully protected against dust, moisture, and shock, so that you can even dive and capture the underwater world. Equally, any sports camera can shoot a video of your crazy bike ride or, for example, a daredevil parachute jump. Any person practicing extreme sports should have such a camera! Everybody has probably heard about GoPro cameras, but there are more HD action cameras on the market. That's why we picked the best devices and compared them by the most important features only. Now, go ahead and read our sports camera review!

However, if you want to get a camera for recording the road conditions when you're driving, we recommend you to read our comparison of the best car cameras.

Also, make sure to read our new review of waterproof cameras. These devices allow making stunning photos even underwater without any cases or accessories.

...Read more ...Read less

What Features to Compare

Design

An action camera isn’t similar to a regular gadget designed for capturing still images and thus, becomes a spotlight of all those personalities who are engaged in extreme sports. Sports cameras are usually attached to bikes, cars, clothing and equipment and therefore, designed to be lightweight, compact and impact-resistant. Consider different shapes and dimensions to find the camera that would fit your setting. They aren’t made to be equal so you better go along with your own needs, while choosing among multiple models.

If you don’t want to be limited to shooting capabilities, it’d be better if you choose a waterproof cam. With one of those attached to your diving suit, capturing videos and photos of the underwater world would be a breeze. Some action cameras are wrapped in protective cases (removable and not) to allow immersion in the water up to 60 meters in depth. That’s quite impressive properties most of us could only dream about even a few years ago. For users’ convenience, a lot of cameras are equipped with displays using which in some situations is absolutely invaluable help. From there you’ll also find information on battery life.

Tech Specifications

Among the most important tech specifications that cannot go unnoticed are resolution and frame rate per second. If you seek for a sports camera to set off down true breath-taking adventures, you surely need to opt for the highest available 3840 x 2160 resolution (also known as 4K). For most average users who plan to use it only now and then, Full HD would suffice the needs. Consider the frame rate if you’d like to shoot professional video clips. 60 fps for motion capture will be good for most users while for those who’d love to dive and do extreme cycling taking pictures on the go there’s no other way rather than get a cam with the yield of 120 frames per second. Check out a viewing angle to know how much scenery it’s possible to capture. A small angle, by the way, isn’t necessary a bad specification for it allows video shooters to put smaller objects in the forefront.

Usability

Action cameras support a number of modes and options to enhance users’ experience and provide them with the right tools to make shooting much more exciting and pro-like. So, make sure that you consider all available options and find them suitable for your activities and needs. Like being mentioned above, a sports camera is used mostly by extreme personalities who practice jumping, climbing, driving and other sports activities, willing to capture slow motion of their tricks. Therefore, it’s got to be simple to use and control. Most models on the market have only one or two buttons to navigate through modes and settings, and that’s pretty handy.

...Read more ...Read less

GoPro HERO4 BLACK

Video and Photo Performance

GoPro HERO4 is an HD action camera that boasts stunning video and photo shooting features. The gadget ensures excellent image quality even in the most extreme conditions. You can configure the resolution of videos and change the FPS rate. Unlike many other action cameras, GoPro HERO4 can shoot 4K videos (3840 x 2160 pixels) at 25 FPS. Of course, Full HD is supported too - the camera shoots 1920 x 1080-pixel videos at a huge FPS rate of 120! GoPro is the leading appliance among its counterparts due to other amazing features: there's a Time Lapse mode for shooting videos at a regular interval (from 0.5 to 60 seconds). This feature allows you to shoot awesome slow-motion videos. Also, there's a Burst mode for capturing a sequence of pictures.
Review of GoPro HERO4 BLACK

Usability

GoPro HERO4 action camera has a built-in WiFi connectivity, so you can easily control the unit wirelessly right from your smartphone or tablet. There's a special GoPro app for that, and it has versions for the most popular operating systems like Android, Windows Phone, and iOS. With that app installed, you can configure all settings of HERO4 HD action camera. This model comes with lots of accessories that allow you to shoot videos and photos even during the most extreme, daredevil activities. This device is certainly a winner of all GoPro reviews!
GoPro HERO4 BLACK in the use

Design

This awesome GoPro model is surely one of the best action cameras available. The unit looks like a photo camera: there's an informative monochrome display (however, it isn't backlit). The battery slot is on the back side of the unit - the battery is removable, so you can quickly replace it. You can configure the camera with the help of 3 buttons on the housing (on top, on one side, and on the front part of the camera), but you can also do it right from an Android-based smartphone or tablet. The unit itself isn't waterproof, so you must use a waterproof case for shooting underwater videos (maximum depth is 40 meters). If you require more controls, you can plug a touchscreen to the unit.
Detailed review of GoPro HERO4 BLACK

GoPro HERO4 BLACK
GoPro HERO4 BLACK
 

Sony HDRAS50/B Full HD

Outstanding Model

Looking for an action camera to buy, you will certainly notice the Sony HDR-AS50R which can be rightfully regarded as a serious competitor to a well-known GoPro due to its rich functionality and general specs. You will surely like that the camera can take very crisp and quality footage. The SteadyShot image stabilization system reduces noise and blur, even if you shoot video on the move. As the camera's equipped with Exmor R sensor and uses a high-performance BIONZ X processor with a ZEISS lens, it will also work for taking pictures in poorly lit conditions. Drifting a bit further into details, the camera can record amazing footage of underwater in Full HD with a stream rate of 50 MB/s and 60 FPS. For this purpose, though, you will also need to make sure that you use a waterproof housing that comes with the set. The ZEISS lens provides 170° viewing angles, which makes the cam perfect for creating panoramic pictures.

Review of Sony HDRAS50/B Full HD Action Cam

Enhance Functionality of Your Camera

If you'd like to increase camera capacity and get enriched functionality, there are certain apps that can help you do this. The Highlight Movie Maker is one of such applications in which you can quickly and easily edit and improve the recorded footage, add background music, rearrange the order of fragments, and then, when you're done, share it with your friends over the Internet. The Action Cam Movie is one more application that can be used to create unique videos from photos. It is available for all OSes and free for downloading.

Sony HDRAS50/B Full HD Action Cam in the use

Handy Control

It is good to know that manufacturer produces this action cam in several modifications, offering users to choose the set of features and options they need. So, you can get the improved version of the HDRAS50 that besides enriched functionality also has a handy Life-View remote to wear on hand and control the camera remotely. Your own smartphone can also serve as a remote control if you download a PlayMemories Mobile application.

Detailed review of Sony HDRAS50/B Full HD Action Cam

Additional Protection

The camera includes a waterproof housing which allows you to record footage at the depth of 197 feet underwater and keeps the device protected from scratches, shocks, and dust. All controls are easy to access, even when the camera is placed inside this housing. 

Sony HDRAS50/B Full HD Action Cam application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Sony HDRAS50/B Full HD
Sony HDRAS50/B Full HD
 

AKASO EK7000

A Solid Competitor to More Expensive Models

The Akaso EK7000 has features that many top models such as GoPro have, and it gives you many video opportunities at a very reasonable price. This camera allows you to capture 4K videos (3840x2160). However, take note that when shooting a blue streak in this resolution, an image might seem a bit blurred. That is because the picture frequency for this format is 25fps. So when you need to film objects that are moving very fast, we recommend you to select 1080P mode (1920x1080) with 60 fps. The image will be sharper, then. A built-in Wi-Fi module is another advantage of Akaso. It allows for the wireless setting of video parameters. Plus, all the videos and footage will go to your phone immediately so that you can look them through. In order to optimise this process, you will just need to install iSmart DV on your smartphone or tablet. It works well on both Android and iOs. So it will take just a few minutes to get full access to your materials via your gadget. By the way, you can control you 4K cam via Wi-Fi at a 10-15m distance. That also expands your options a lot. Since there are many different mount accessories, and Akaso is compatible with most of the GoPro mounts, you can get the most of your sports cam installing it in the most convenient way. You will also find a waterproof case in the box. With its help, you will be able to capture underwater videos at the depth of up to 98 feet (30m). In other words, this high-class camera is a must-have for adventurers and any other enthusiasts who want to catch all special moments. Indeed, the Akaso EK7000 is a real bargain.  

Review of AKASO EK7000 4K Sport Action Camera

Distance Is Not a Problem

This 4K action camera comes with a 2.4G remote controller. You can fix it around your wrist and command your Akaso camera at a distance. There are several buttons on the controller to start/stop video or photo shooting. You will notice that not all models have such a useful option. 

AKASO EK7000 4K Sport Action Camera in the use

Have Twice as Much Time

Akaso EK7000 action camera requires a 1050 mAh battery which allows for continuous operation for up to 90 minutes. However, you are not limited to this time. Since it comes with an extra battery in the box, you can double your shooting time and capture more special moments. 

Detailed review of AKASO EK7000 4K Sport Action Camera

A Slow Motion Video Mode

If you like to capture the night life of your city, for instance, the Time Lapse mode will be a pot of gold for you. You can edit a photo/video easily since images are made with 0.5 - 60 seconds interval. And in case you'd like to make videos in slow motion, use the 720p mode that records at 120fps. 

AKASO EK7000 4K Sport Action Camera application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


AKASO EK7000
AKASO EK7000
 

Campark ACT74

Get Much for Lower Price

Unfortunately, most action cameras nowadays that make highly detailed Ultra HD videos are quite expensive. Still, there are a few that will offer you this option for a lower price, and the Campark ACT74 is one of that kind. Despite its moderate price, this 4K camera has quite impressive features. It has a 4K resolution (3840x2160) with 30 fps. The image is super detailed and clear without any image noise or blurring. If you select HD mode (1280x720), the maximal picture frequency will be 90 fps. This option allows you to take a photo of those objects that move very fast and they still will be clear. The camera is equipped with Sony IMX179 - a photosensitive image sensor that is quite good and maintains high-quality footage even under low light shooting conditions. Another advantage of this action cam is its ultra wide angle lens (170°). Due to this feature, the image in your photos and videos will be full and rich. There is also a built-in Wi-Fi module, so you can control your camera remotely and run through video footage via your smartphone or tablet. All you need to do for that is install a specialised app. And that are not all useful options that Campark offers you. You can also connect it to your TV via HDMI cable to edit videos on a big screen when you want to look closer at each detail. Besides, all the photo and video materials are stored on a Micro-SD flash card with the maximal storage space of 64 GB. It is not included in the box, but such cards are available in any electronic store and are reasonably priced. In other words, the Campark ACT74 is one of the best 4K action cameras that not only gives you as a whole an image as most of the leading models do but also saves you money.

Review of Campark ACT74 Action Camera 4K

Exceptional Image Quality

This sports cam can make both 4K videos and super clear 16 MP photos. In this respect, the image is colourful and bright. Plus, you can use it not only as an action camera but also as a digital cam. 

Campark ACT74 Action Camera 4K in the use

Convenient Carrying of All the Staff

There is a protective bag for your camera and its accessories, which you'll find in the box. It guarantees your filming equipment safe keeping when you don't use the camera and it will help protect the camera from scratches or other damage. Plus, Campark comes with a waterproof case that allows diving with the camera up to 98 ft. So if you are a surfer or a diver, this model will help you make breathtaking videos. 

Detailed review of Campark ACT74 Action Camera 4K

Consume Energy Effectively

The Campark  ACT74 operates off dual rechargeable lithium batteries, the maximal operation time of which is 90 minutes. However, you can extend the operation time of your camera on one charge, you just need to turn Auto Power function on. Plus, you can adjust it so that the camera will turn off after 1, 3, or 5 minutes of no operation. 

Campark ACT74 Action Camera 4K application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Campark ACT74
Campark ACT74
 

Stoga SSC001

Mini Sports Camera

This action camera is a sports series cam that due to its unusual design is ideal for mounting on a helmet or a head. That is because it has an oblong cylindrical shape in contrast to its competitors that usually are square. As for video format, you can capture AVI videos, so you aren't likely to have any difficulties with editing and running through your captured material since you can do it practically with any device. The maximal resolution, at the same time, is 1920x1080 with 30 fps. In case you want to shoot in higher picture frequency (60fps), you should select the 720P format (1280x720). Moreover, it makes quite good 1080P photos. The object lens of this sports camera is wide-angled with 120° angle view. It is less than some other models have but accounting for the dimensions of this sports camera and its usability this angle is wide enough to get a wide-screen image. As we have mentioned, the Sfun SSC001 is a very space saving model that will fit any hand. Without a doubt, that is its big advantage. As to its power supply, it operates off an inbuilt battery. Unfortunately, you can't replace it when its charge is low. However, it works for 1-2 hours on one charge that is twice as long as other similar models offer you. Plus, this time length is more likely enough for full value shooting. Also, there is a protective cap on the back of the camera. It covers the Micro-USB joint designed to connect the camera to your PC or charger, and a Micro-SD slot that allows you to expand memory up to 32 GB. In view of the above, not only the Sfun SSC001 is pocket sized and convenient to mount, it will make you pro-quality videos and pictures with ease.   

Review of Stoga SSC001 Mini Sports Camera

Another Useful Extra

The Sfun SSC001 model is designed to be easily mounted on a helmet. Consequently, in order to make the operation more convenient, the manufacturer has equipped this model with a vibration motor that starts working when the camera turns on and starts shooting, thus informing you about that. So there will be no need for you to take your sports cam off all the time to make sure it has started shooting. 

Stoga SSC001 Mini Sports Camera in the use

Any Time of the Day

Would you like to capture your special events not only at daytime but also in the evening or make a romantic video at sunset on the beach? Anyway, this all is possible with Sfun SSC001. Thanks to 1/4" photosensitive element that is also low noise, the images come very clear and bright even under poor lighting. 

Detailed review of Stoga SSC001 Mini Sports Camera

A Very Solid Housing

The Sfun SSC001 is made of aluminium alloy, so it is very durable and secured from possible damage. Not every model can offer such a good housing. However, despite the fact that it has a waterproof design and water spray resistance, you should avoid immediate contact of your cam with water.

Stoga SSC001 Mini Sports Camera application

Stoga SSC001
Stoga SSC001
 

Infographics

Comparison of Action Sports Cameras for Adventure Kit

FAQ:

Q: What’s the difference between an ordinary camera and an action camera? 
A: Action cameras are designed for sports. Therefore, these devices are usually lightweight, compact, and easy to configure. Sports cameras are equipped with an image stabilization system which is responsible for focusing and image sharpness. Also, they have a rugged casing that withstands heavy bumps and falls. Many action cameras can shoot underwater as well.

Q: How good are these cameras at shooting videos?
A: Well, it all depends on the model you choose but generally these cameras deliver a great video quality. You can assess how good each particular model is by checking what FPS (frames per second) rate it provides at a certain resolution. For a smooth and artifact-free picture, the FPS rate should be at least 60 regardless of the resolution you choose.

Q: What’s the maximum resolution an action camera can provide?
A: This parameter depends on the model you choose. The top-of-the-line sports cameras can shoot videos at 3840x2160 pixels (Ultra HD). However, the higher the resolution, the lower the FPS rate.

Q: What viewing angle do action cameras have?
A: They have wide-angle lenses but the viewing angles may differ. The best models deliver a viewing angle of 170°, though affordable models may have a smaller angle.

Q: Do sports cameras have a zoom?
A: No, they don’t support a zoom function.

Q: Can action cameras record sound?
A: Yes, most sports cameras don’t just shoot videos but record sound as well. The best models even have a sophisticated sound processing system and record stereo sound.

Q: Do they support memory cards?
A: Yes, they do. Sports cameras don’t provide a lot of internal storage space. That’s why they require memory cards of different types. As usual, they are microSD or SDXC/SDHC cards. Don’t forget to check the maximum capacity that a camera supports, though.

Q: Can these devices be used underwater?
A: Yes, most of them can. However, some devices have a waterproof casing, while others need a special waterproof case (it’s either included in the package or sold separately). If the model you choose requires a waterproof case, don’t try using the camera underwater without one.

Q: What’s the maximum depth I can dive with my GoPro camera?
A: It depends on the model. However, the models in waterproof cases can be used deeper than those that don’t have one.

Q: Can I mount a GoPro camera on my bike helmet?
A: You can if you have a special mount. Some extreme sports cameras come with a pretty rich accessory kit including a bike helmet mount. However, for some devices, these mounts should be purchased separately.

Q: Can I take photos with an action camera?
A: You surely can! Apart from shooting videos, such devices can make brilliant photos. However, the sensors used on such cameras usually have a much smaller resolution than those used on DSLR cameras.


Sources:

1. Eric Angevine How to Choose an Action Camcorder, Crutchfield.

2. How to Choose an Action Camera, Eastern Mountain Sports.

3. Ryan Shaw How to Buy the Best Action Camera, Which?

4. Action Camera Buying Guide, Boys' Life.

5. How to Choose a Great Underwater Camera, SwimOutlet.

6. David Nield The Best Wearable Action Cameras for Extreme Sports and More, Wareable. June 7, 2016.

7. Dan Havlik Camera Buying Guide, Tom's Guide. April 28, 2016.

8. Brent Rose, Mike Perlman The Best Action Camera, The Wirecutter. August 1, 2016.

9. Richard Easton How to choose an SD card - class and speed ratings explained, Expert Reviews. February 11, 2016.

10. W. H. Bourne Action cam accessories buying guide, Videomaker Inc. April 20, 2015.

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Publish Date: 2017-08-31 10:40:29