Best Action Sports Cameras for Your Adventure Kit in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update February 28, 2020
If you adore extreme sports or you want to shoot videos of your activities, you need to use an action camera. Using this gadget, you will be able to shoot any and all daredevil stunts you are performing. We've decided to help you out and compared the best action cameras available on the market right now! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Resolution
Max Still Resolution
Battery Life
Viewing Angle
Protection
Interface
Mounts and Accessories
Warranty
 
PROS

The camera is able to capture 4K footage at 60 fps. The batteries last 120 minutes each. The touchscreen UI will let you easily browse the pictures/footage and switch between modes and menus. 

CONS

The application is pretty demanding hardware-wise. 

OUR VERDICT

The Campark X30 keeps the price low enough to tussle with the cheapest action cameras yet its specs and performance are good enough to trade blows with mid-range and even some high-end sports cameras.

detailed parameters
Resolution

4K@60fps

Max Still Resolution

20 MP

Battery Life

2 rechargeable batteries (1350 mAh each)

Viewing Angle

170°

Protection

Waterproof up to 131 ft (40 m) in a protective case (included)

Interface

Wi-Fi

Micro-HDMI

Micro-SD card slot

Micro-USB

Mounts and Accessories

Waterproof Case, Slot Dock Charger, USB Cable, 3 x Switch Connection, Fixed Base, Adapter, Base Mount, Handlebar Mount 2 x Helmet Base, 4 x Bandage

Warranty

1 year

PROS
The Loop Recording and Time Lapse modes will let you sequence sunrises and sunsets. You'll be able to record flowers blooming and tides ebbing. The dustproof housing will let you hit the dustiest trails without compromising the camera's circuitry. 
CONS

The batteries do not last. 

OUR VERDICT

The Apeman A80 can be taken anywhere, there's no environment where this action camera won't thrive. You can even use this device as a dashcam, with the Car Mode aiding you and the motion detection tech letting you easily park without hitting any obstacles.

detailed parameters
Resolution

4K@30fps

Max Still Resolution

20 MP

Battery Life

2 rechargeable batteries (1050 mAh each)

Viewing Angle

170°

Protection

Waterproof up to 131 ft (40 m) in a protective case (included)

Interface

Wi-Fi

Micro-HDMI

Micro-SD card slot

Micro-USB

Mounts and Accessories

Waterproof Case, Dust Cover, USB Cable, Holder, Long-Head Screw, Short-Head Screw, Extension Bracket, J-Hook Bracket, 2 x Adapters, Bike Mount, Clip, Adhesive Sticker 3M, Helmet Bracket, Quick Release Buckle, Safety Rope, Wrist Strap, Carrying Bag

Warranty

1 year

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

This 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

4K@25fps

Max Still Resolution

12 MP

Battery Life

2 rechargeable batteries (1050 mAh each)

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, Waterproof Case, Bicycle Stand, 7 x Mounts, 2 x Clips, Helmet Mounts, Bandages, 5 x Tethers, Protective Backdoor, USB Cable, Lens Cloth

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The Wi-Fi module will let you run streams. The 170-degree viewing angle will allow you to record wide scenes without losing details close to the edges. The distortion correction feature will be able to eliminate the fish-eye effect. 

CONS

The screen could use anti-glare coating. 

OUR VERDICT

The Campark X25 does more than <50-quid action cameras should be allowed to do. You'll be able to record smooth and stable footage, quickly add different visual effects, and upload the videos to YouTube with very little effort involved.

detailed parameters
Resolution

4K@30fps

Max Still Resolution

16 MP

Battery Life

2 rechargeable batteries (1050 mAh each)

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, Bicycle Mounting Kit, Helmet Mounting Kit, USB Cable

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The supplied exterior microphone comes fitted with excellent noise-reduction tech, making sure to capture only the important sounds. The IP68 rating means the provided case is protected from complete dust ingress.

CONS

The settings menu is convoluted. 

OUR VERDICT

The Apexcam M90 Pro can be fixed, attached, adjusted, and secured onto most vehicles and equipment pieces, from different helmets and boards to vehicles like bicycles, motorcycles, kayaks, and more. It will keep the footage flowing fluid.

detailed parameters
Resolution

4K@30fps

Max Still Resolution

20 MP

Battery Life

2 rechargeable batteries (1050 mAh each)

Viewing Angle

170°

Protection

Waterproof up to 131 ft (40 m) in a protective case (included)

Interface

Wi-Fi

Micro-HDMI

Micro-SD card slot

Micro-USB

Mounts and Accessories

Waterproof Case, Selfie Stick, Charger, USB Cable, 18 x Accessories (including bike carriers, helmets, backpacks and other accessories)

Warranty

1 year

Campark X30

4K at 60 Frames per Second

The Campark X30 compromises nothing. Considering the price, the camera's specs are almost too good to be true. First things first, the device is able to record Ultra HD (4K) footage at 60 frames per second, something that action cameras under £150 are normally unable to do. The housing is robust enough, so you'll be able to record that extra-smooth and ultra-detailed footage anywhere, diving 130 feet (40 metres) deep, hitting double black diamond pistes, hiking the toughest trails, you choose the activity.

Oftentimes, the issue with these budget action cams is that the specs are there but, when push comes to shove, these specs are unable to provide to advertised quality. With this product, that's hardly the case. Before anything else, the EIS (electronic image stabilization) tech here is brilliant, making sure that the footage remains sharp and stable in those situations where the camera is subject to knocks and bumps. There's also the anti-shake feature that works with the EIS tech to keep the footage buttery smooth.

Likewise, the distortion correction feature will be eliminating the fish-eye effect to make the recorded video more realistic/authentic. The obligatory ISO, WDR, and AWB functions are present too, eliminating weather effects and lights, all whilst making sure that the colours remain rich and vibrant.

Review of Campark X30 4K Action Camera

Intuitive UI and Long Battery Life

The device comes equipped with enough settings to play with. You can switch between the burst photo and slow-motion features to capture high-speed motion without missing the tiniest details. The 2-inch touchscreen UI will let you easily manage setting, pre-viewing, recording, and shooting. Needless to say, you can download the company's proprietary app and easily share everything that you've captured. The app is alright, generally intuitive and straightforward. The issue is that it is quite hardware-demanding, so people with old phones might not be able to run the app.

On the upside, the two rechargeable batteries here are off the charts, boasting 1350 mAh each and giving you enough runtime to record the sickest runs (usually around 120 minutes each but these numbers will vary depending on the resolution and framerate). You'll be able to quickly recharge these two batteries simultaneously via the supplied slot dock charger.

Bottom line, the Campark X30 will not be holding you back. Using this action camera, you can go as hard as you can/want without worrying about recording shaky, underwhelming footage.

Campark X30 4K Action Camera in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Apeman A80

The Most Complete Package

Apeman A80 is more adaptable than any sports camera within this price bracket that we've looked at. The specs are there and we will address them soon enough. Before that though, let's look at the package that makes this product so adaptable to begin with.

Of course, the waterproof case goes without saying. More often than not, these cameras come supplied with bike mount clips and helmet brackets, so these do not inspire much more than a shoulder shrug. In addition to these accessories though, the folks at Apeman send you a dust Cover, USB cable, universal holder, long-head and short-head screws, an extension bracket, a J-hook bracket, two adapters, one quick-release buckle, 3M adhesive sticker, a safety rope, wrist strap, and a carry bag that will let you comfortably store and transport these accessories. 

Needless to say, that's quite a package. You'll be able to easily install this camera onto most bicycles and motorcycles. The brackets, mounts, and the adhesive tape will allow you to attach the camera onto any helmet, whilst the quick-release buckle will make sure the camera does not fall down yet remains easy to remove.

You can even use the J-hook bracket and the extension bracket to turn this sports camera into a dash camera. The Dash Cam Mode will aid that, automatically starting recording when the engine's turned on and automatically saving the recorded files and shutting down when you turn the engine off. The jury is still somewhat out on this application method though as the batteries do not last (~around 90 minutes each), especially when filming Ultra HD footage.

Review of Apeman A80 4K Action Camera

All the Modes

Sure enough, the camera's modes and settings do not end with the Dash Cam Mode. You'll be able to rotate between Loop Recording, Diving, and various time-shoot capture modes like Time Lapse and Zoom. These modes will enable you to record sunrises and sunsets, flowers blooming, tides ebbing and flowing away. The camera will let you dive as deep as 130 feet (40 metres), so you can take the cam scuba diving and capture the most brilliant marine life. The housing is plenty dustproof too, so nothing will be stopping you from changing the scenery, hopping on that dirt bike/mountain bike, and hitting the toughest trails. 

Add to that the camera's gyroscope and solid EIS tech and even the least experienced users will be able to film the smoothest footage with the most natural motion. Likewise, the 20-megapixel lens will let you take brilliant shots.

Apeman A80 4K Action Camera in the use

 

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 your 4K cam via Wi-Fi at a 10-15m distance.

That also expands your options a lot. If you like to capture the nightlife 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.

Review of AKASO EK7000 4K Action Camera

Distance Is Not a Problem

The 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.

This 4K action camera comes with a 2.4G remote controller. You can affix 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.

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.

AKASO EK7000 4K Action Camera in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Campark X25

The Important Stuff

The Campark X25 keeps things pretty simple and that's precisely where the camera's advantages lie. First, because the device comes without twenty different accessories that most people do not need, the people at Campark were able to keep the price really low without sacrificing the important stuff.

As far as action cameras are concerned, the important stuff is usability (including performance). The included protective case will allow you to dive ~100 feet (30 metres) deep, good enough to accommodate most daring/adventurous customers. The case is shatter-resistant too, so you'll be able to explore without worrying about damaging the glass. The dustproof part comes without saying, protecting the circuitry when you switch gears and go from diving deep to biking high.

Sure, some sacrifices have been made here compared to the brilliant Campark X30 that we've reviewed above. Unlike its successor, this camera is unable to capture 4K footage at 60 frames per second, limiting the maximum framerate to 30 fps. We can extend the same sentiment towards all cameras that cost less than 50 quid though, so we're not necessarily deducting points here. Plus, the camera will let you record Full HD (1080p) videos at 120 frames per second, so you can switch between these resolutions when you want smooth footage before detailed imagery.

We will be deducting points due to the screen though. The company's settings menu is always intuitive and accessible enough and the screen that lets you manage these settings is plenty tough and durable. However, its maximum brightness is pretty pedestrian and there's no anti-glare coating, making the screen basically inaccessible under direct sunlight.

Review of Campark X25 4K Action Camera

Expansive Field of View

From time to time, these budget sports cameras are lacking in the functionality department. That's not something we can say about this product though. There's time-lapse photography, slow-motion recording, loop recording, burst photo, image rotation, more than enough to go around.

While you're switching between these settings, the camera's 170-degree wide-angle lens will secure the most expansive field view, letting you record without losing any details. You'll be able to film wide scenes and capture the most fantastic moments, all whilst letting the company's distortion correction tech work its magic eliminating the fish-eye effect.

Long story short, <50-quid sports cameras do not get any better than Campark X25.

Campark X25 4K Action Camera in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Apexcam M90 Pro

Hardware-Level Anti-Shake

The Apexcam M90 Pro with that "pro" part is writing cheques that the camera's tech can generally cash, so we've made sure to reserve the product a spot on this list. We're not saying that the camera doesn't have its flaws though. But, from where we're standing, these flaws are basically limited to the somewhat convoluted settings menu that might take you some time to get used to.

When it comes to the specs, the product does not disappoint. For starters, there's the 20-megapixel lens that will let you capture the most detailed, nuanced, and the sharpest pictures. You'll be able to take these pictures anywhere you want since the reinforced protective case supplied with the camera boasts the IP68 rating, making the device waterproof up to ~130 feet (40 metres) deep. That's enough to satisfy even the most experienced divers. The rating also implies that the case is protected from complete dust ingress.

Naturally, the rugged case has been added to the package to aid filming before capturing images, so let's pivot towards the camera's filming capabilities. Not dissimilar to most budget sports camcorders, the Apexcam M90 Pro is able to record 3840 x 2160p (4K Ultra HD) footage at 30 fps and 1920 x 1080p (Full HD) footage at 60 fps. That's not what sells the product though. What primarily sells this product is the six-axis EIS tech that provides hardware-level anti-shake. Using the three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer, the camera's Electronic Image Stabilization feature makes sure that even the most intense movements are captured smooth and stable.

Review of Apexcam M90 Pro 4K Action Camera

18 Different Accessories

Though the settings menu is relatively convoluted and sometimes hard to navigate, there's nothing convoluted about the settings themselves. You'll have no problems manoeuvring the Time Lapse, Loop Recording, Slow Motion, Burst Photo, and every other mode in the book. These modes will let you experiment with various fun setups.

There's nothing fun about the camera's 170-degree viewing angle though. This is where the device means business, enabling you to record wide-angle videos, all whilst automatically correcting them without requiring manual adjustments and fish-eye correction.

Last but not least, the camera comes with a selfie stick, so you won't have to purchase one separately, and 18 different accessories, including bike mounts, helmets brackets, backpack clips, and so on. Taking these accessories into account, the product's value goes through the roof, more than enough to justify adding the camera to this selection and recommending this product to most rafting, surfing, diving, biking, and skiing enthusiasts on a budget.

Apexcam M90 Pro 4K Action Camera in the use

 

Infographics

Comparison of Action Sports Cameras for Your Adventure Kit

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 practising 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.

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 necessarily 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 the 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.

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 to withstand heavy bumps and falls. Many action cameras can shoot underwater as well.

Q: How good are these cameras at shooting videos?
A: Well, it depends on the model you choose but generally these cameras deliver a great video quality. You can assess how good the model is by checking the FPS rate (frames per second) in different resolutions. For a smooth, artifact-free picture, for example, the FPS rate should be no less than 60, no matter what 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