Top 6 Action Cameras of 2017

Top 6 Action Cameras that will make you pack your bags and go adventure now!

  • April 18, 2017

Are you interested in visiting new places as I do? The hills give you a high that nothing else in this world can fulfill? Perhaps you like to travel around the world tasting everything the world has to offer?

No matter the type of adventure you love, your trip would always be complete without a handy companion who is always present to capture those moments where you are having the time of your life.

So I think you are smart enough to guess who this humble companion that acts as a chest box of your memories. Yes, you guessed it right. It is your action camera.

Most travel enthusiasts keep with themselves an action camera to make sure that the amazing moments that they create do not get unnoticed by the world. Also, if you are a travel enthusiast, or if you are someone who thinks that you are going to have a hell lot of adventures in the coming days, you need one of these devices as well.

What does it take to be on the list of top 6 action cameras?

As there are tons of action cameras available nowadays with the adventure market witnessing a never before seen growth, it is essential to understand what does it take for an action camera to climb the ladder of our list.

Though a camera can accomplish basic photography as normal as the one in the rear of your smartphone, action photography does not fall in the same genre. It is like comparing apples and oranges.

When you are doing action photography, you are on the go. Further, the environment that you are shooting in could be in motion as well. Alternatively, maybe you could be underwater, trying to catch a shot of that group of beautifully stripped fish moving away from you. Could you do that with your smartphone?

The answer, to state plainly, is a simple NO. With such hardcore work, you need a hardcore device. You need a sturdy camera that is able to handle such challenges. It is a camera that suits the adventure lifestyle you have, with features that help you live on the edge. Imagine how handy would a GPS be if it could Geotag all your photographs and videos, so you always know where you clicked a memory!

Therefore, to be one of the top action cameras, there is need of features that are suitable for the most adventurous among you. Here are the parameters on which we have decided the products on our list, after testing hundreds of them.

Parameters What does it mean?
Pros The benefit that the product has over the others
Cons The downside of the products as compared to others
Features What does the product bring to the table?
Dimensions How big is the product? After all, you cannot carry something as big as your furniture
Weight How much does it weight? You can’t let it dragging you down
Battery life How long would its battery last?
Cost The price of the product. Everyone wants value for money
Waterproof Can the product work under water?
GPS Does the product support GPS?

Cutting down to the chase, the top 6 action cameras are:

Product Dimensions (in) Weight (oz) Waterproof GPS Video Resolution  
GoPro Hero5 Black 1.75 x 2.4 x 1.4 4.2 Yes (33 feet) without case Yes 4K Check Price
Veho Muvi k2 Pro 2.7 x 2 x 1 3.2 No No 4K Check Price
GoPro Hero4 Black 2.55 x 2.62 x 1.37 3.1 Yes (131 feet) with case No 4K Check Price
TomTom Bandit 1.46 x 3.72 x 2.07 6.6 Yes (50 m, with waterproof lens cover) Yes 4K Check Price
Garmin Virb Ultra 30 2.4 x 1.2 x 1.6 3.2 Yes (with a case) Yes 4K Check Price
GoPro Hero5 Session 1.4 x 1.5 x 1.5 4.5 Yes (33 feet without a case) No 4K Check Price
1. GoPro Hero5 Black

Product at a glance:

  1. Waterproof
  2. Touch Screen LCD of 2 inches
  3. Various shooting modes
  4. 4k Video quality (at 30 fps)
  5. Low battery backup
  6. Supports Bluetooth and WIFI
  7. Voice control
  8. Still photography at 16 MP
  9. Supports Wireless

Go Pro hero5 black carries the well-known of GoPro in the world of action cameras. Being one among the famed GoPro Hero line of action cameras, the GoPro Hero5 Black looks promising product on the first sight, and when you analyze it further, it only fulfills that promise.

Priced at around $400, the GoPro Hero5 is more than what I would call ‘value for money.’ With its cool features and awesome design, it totally serves its purpose and pushes you to take yourself even further.

First things first, the product has a nice form factor and fits perfectly in your hand. I do not think that they could make it any smaller keeping the features that it has.

The camera is waterproof even without using a case. It supports a 2 inch LCD and built-in touch screen functionality. Come on, how awesome could it get? The touch screen is a cooler upgrade from its predecessor GoPro hero4 black, which needed an extra touch screen (sold separately) to use that functionality.

The voice control of the camera is a cool feature, which enables you to take shots and perform basic functions with simple voice commands.

The camera has two hardware buttons (not that it would need more due to the touch screen that it has). One says record, and the other says mode. There are two ports, namely Micro HDMI and USB-C hidden on the side of the camera under a protective covering.

It supports a variety of video resolutions including 4k, 2.7k, 1080p, 720p, and 480p.

The camera is also waterproof without a case, so you can even shoot underwater. Though the underwater range is only 33 feet, which is lower as compared to the 131 feet its other siblings by GoPro offer.

The camera also supports Bluetooth and WIFI, so have fun using it through your smartphone (though you might need to download an app for that purpose).

The battery might be a hiccup, as the touch screen drains it faster than you might want it to last. Although this is a little con that can be overlooked considering the features at hand.

The verdict:

GoPro hero5 black is an awesome fit for someone looking to shoot professional or amateur adventure videos in any environment. The camera is perfect for you if you have the money to buy it. If you are looking for a cheaper budget, there are few others available with similar features sacrificing one or two of the features (Scroll down in our list to find out).

2. Veho Muvi k2 Pro

Product at a glance:

  1. Comes with accessories bundle
  2. 4k video resolution (at 15 fps)
  3. Built-in G-sensor
  4. 1500 mAh battery (can last for around three hours)
  5. Still Photography at 12 MP
  6. Supports Wireless

Veho Muvi k2 Pro is a cool and cheap hi-end action camera that comes from Veho. I mean 4k at just $209. How awesome is that?

With just half of the price of the GoPro Hero 5 black that has the top spot on our list, the Veho Muvi k2 Pro even comes with a bundle of accessories which GoPro sells separately. Yes, I am talking about a carry case, many mounts, and a touch screen! Kudos Veho!

Coming on to the main part: the video recording, the quality is paramount. The camera can shoot 4k, 2.7k, and 1080p video recording. So it gives the GoPro hero5 a tough competition in this department.

Though of course, the cut in the price tag at almost half comes with the sacrifice of few features. The Veho Muvi k2 is not waterproof. Further, the camera does not support GPS as well.

The battery life is good, and the appreciable 1500 mAh battery can give you a solid two to three hours (Depending upon the video settings).

The WIFI fi is built in, and you can easily handle the camera from your smartphone, so no worries there. Additionally, the camera even comes with a G-Sensor as well.

The verdict:

Veho Muvi k2 is good for someone who wants a great product and has a lesser budget. Of course, the fact that it misses the GPS and waterproof nature could sting, but except for that, everything else is awesome and there are even free accessories with the product.

3. GoPro Hero4 Black

Product at a glance:

  1. Supports 4k video resolution (at 30fps)
  2. Built in WIFI and Bluetooth
  3. Waterproof up to 131 feet with case
  4. Good night capture and settings
  5. Auto low light mode
  6. Supports Wireless

When the cool GoPro Hero4 Black was launched, it was a whopping $100 higher than the price of its current successor the GoPro Hero5. Moreover, it aptly earned its price worth every buck. It was the first action camera to feature the ultra high resolution of 4k, after which many other brands followed its lead.

The camera captures 4k at a frame rate of 30 fps. If you are shooting in HD, you can even go to faster frame rates. As such, it allows you to dive into the world of slow motion.

The camera is not a waterproof camera. However, the waterproof casing that can be used with the camera allows it to be taken to a depth of 131 feet. This would be great for people looking for underwater adventures.

The camera by itself does not come with an LCD. However, that is not an issue as you can get an additional LCD with touch for $80 and connect it to the cam.

Besides, if you do not want to spend additional money on the LCD that is fine as well as you can use its WIFI feature to connect it to your smartphone. Not only can you control the camera but also exchange media with your smartphone through this feature.

Camera settings can be tweaked with the application for your smartphone. Therefore, if you have those huge screened smartphones out in the market today, you would have fun using it as an LCD.

Two mounts are provided with the camera when you order it. A 3-way pivot arm is provided as well. That is a cool bundle at a price I will mention.

You can expect the battery to last a little more than an hour when using the 4k recording mode. At lower resolutions, it can last even better. If you are looking for longer recording times, you can overcome this hurdle by carrying spare batteries with you and swapping them on the go.

The verdict:

This camera comes for a decent price in the GoPro series. It supports the ultra-high resolution and in any case can be used for underwater shooting. It supports most of the features of the GoPro Hero5 and comes with few mounts and accessories as well. Its value for money is totally recommended.

4. TomTom Bandit

Product at a glance:

  1. Supports 4k video resolution (at 15 fps)
  2. Long lasting battery life
  3. Sensors to monitor Speed, G-force, Altitude, and Rotation
  4. Data visualizations shows statistics like elevation, speed, location on the videos to prove the performance
  5. Supports Wireless

When your eyes first fall on the TomTom bandit, you are taken by the unique design and cool looks of this action cam. This unique design goes deeper than what meets the eye and combined with the ‘no cable’ policy of the camera, makes it something quite interesting.

The Bandit is loaded with features that can make it battle eye to eye with the GoPro hero line of cameras. The Bandit supports 4k video recording, and comes with an array of sensors that make your adventure shooting experience even more fun.

These sensors, like the G-force sensor, altitude sensor, speed sensor among others measure your stats when you are shooting a video. In the video playback, these stats can be viewed on the video screen, as a proof of the feats you attempted. So if you rode your bike at the tip of some high peakpoint in your area, at the speed of the wind, you actually have the device to brag that out to the entire world.

The camera is made of sturdy material, so no worries about the parts falling out haphazardly.

Talking about the underwater recording feature, the camera by itself is splash proof but not waterproof due to its lens. However, underwater shooters do not need to be disappointed yet.

The camera comes with another lens covering that can be used for your underwater adventures at a depth of a whooping 50 meters. Yes, you heard it right. Life is awesome indeed.

The battery backup of the camera is quite awesome, and it lasts thrice as much as the GoPro. The Bandit seems to be running ahead in the race after all.

Talking about the no wire policy, the bandit does not require cables for charging or data transfer, as the core module is shaped as a USB port.

Then where does it lack? Well mainly, the true 4k resolution. While the GoPro hero series offer 4k at an fps of 30, Bandit can only take it as far as 15. Not bad, but to the true fans of 4k, a noteworthy difference.

However, it is something you should get your hands on. The weight of more than 6 ounces might seem a bit heavier than the competing products on the list, which almost weighs half of it.

The verdict:

TomTom Bandit is a great buy for anyone looking for a cheaper alternative of GoPro with a unique design and a nice concept. You might miss the 4k at 30 fps, but the features that it offers are worth its monetary value.

5. Garmin Virb Ultra 30

Product at a glance:

  1. Supports 4k resolution at 30fps
  2. 1.75 inch LCD touch screen
  3. Voice control
  4. Accelerometer and Gyroscope
  5. Altimeter and compass    
  6. Supports Wireless
  7. Built in GPS
  8. Waterproof (by using a case which is included)

Talking about competitors to the GoPro line of action cameras, the Garmin Virb Ultra 30 is a sturdy entry in the series, placed at the same price of $400 as the GoPro hero5 black. However, does it have the features to match the GoPro brand? Let us see.

Let us start by talking about the major Unique Selling point of the camera: its ability to be controlled by voice. You can command the camera to start, stop or play a recording by simply using your voice commands. Besides, you can ask it to remember to tag photos to make sure that you have your location right where you need it.

Now coming on to the package, the camera comes with a couple of mounts, a waterproof casing, and even an altimeter sensor. Therefore, you do not have to pay extra to buy these accessories, unlike the GoPro brand.

Also, about the video quality, the camera does amazing 4k at 30 fps, which is equally good as the GoPro Hero5 Black. However, the hero5 has a slight edge in the stabilization of images.

Although when it is GoPro we are talking about, there must be some slight advantage it has over its competitors, right?

The hero5 does have the added benefit of being waterproof without a case covering it. However, this is not a major issue as the Garmin offers you the waterproof casing along with the product. You can use the touch screen as well as the microphone along with this protective casing, so no harm done.

So yes, the camera has wifi functionality so you can use your phone to control it or share data (though why use phone to control when you can use your voice).

The battery is mediocre, nothing to complain about, nothing to brag about.

The verdict:

Germin Virb Ultra 30 is a handy action camera that you would love using. It is perfect for people who are looking for a cool alternative for the GoPro Hero and are open to try new things out. The voice command is a cool feature that could be made use of very often.

6. GoPro Hero5 Session

Product at a glance:

  1. Waterproof without a casing up to 33 feet
  2. Supports 4k video at 30fps
  3. Single press control
  4. Voice control
  5. 2-inch touch display
  6. GPS not available
  7. Supports Wireless
  8. Still photography at 10 MP

When you use GoPro hero5 session or even read about it, you will realize that it is a younger sibling to the GoPro Hero5 Black, and priced at a tag of $100 cheaper.

Other than the smaller price, the GoPro Hero5 Session seems to be the same as the GoPro Hero5 Black, only sacrificing a few features.

While the Hero5 Session, like the Hero5 Black, comes with the 2 inch touchscreen LCD that can even work underwater, and a design that is waterproof for up to 33 feet without even a protective casing, the GPS feature is not present in the Hero5 Session. Many users are surely going to miss that.

The camera has an easy to use one button interface. You can capture shots on the go with the use of one single button. If the camera is switched off, pressing this button would not only make the camera powered on but also the video would begin to record.

The video recording of the camera is great at 4k at 30 fps. The still shots might be of a lower quality as compared to the Hero5 Black, with the later offering 16 MP for still photos as compared to the 10 MP for the hero5 session.

The image stabilization of the camera is quite appreciable. Also, at good video settings, the battery can last you a solid 2 hours, which is also nice for something this small and compact.

The verdict:

Considering everything, this camera is like Christmas in a box. If you are looking for something similar to the best action cameras, but only cheaper, this is the product you should get. Though do note that the camera is not GPS enabled, which might be a huge disappointment for some people.

Conclusion:

After a long time going through the various action cameras available in the market today, and testing them out on the field, these are our Top 6 contenders for the position. These are budget friendly as well as full of features that you would use.

If you think you would be out in the world as some fun trips are on their way, you should order a product from this list. And even if you do not have any such plans, buying one of these things will surely make you want to create some plans specifically where you could use these awesome gadgets.

Not only these cameras are an ideal companion for having all that cool fun, these are also the ideal gadgets if you plan to share your events out with the world. Do you know that many of the coolest youtubers use products like these to shoot their adventures as well? Well, you could be one of them.

With that said, if you happen to buy one of these, make sure that you read the user manual before you dive into an ocean or throw them off a cliff (which you should probably never do in any case). The factors such as the waterproofing depth are important considerations, so you should respect that limits in order to make your device last long.

Lastly, adventure has its own craze, but don’t go out doing things putting your safety at risk. Stay safe, and share your adventures with the world with these top 6 best action cameras.

Let us know what you think about our article. Is there an entry you think we missed? Feel free to share your opinion in the comment section.

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