How to choose an action camera

There are loads of different action cameras available but choosing one can be confusing. Find out what to look for when you need a new one.

20 Mar 2019

What features should I look for in an action camera?

Depending on your budget and what you want to use the action camera for, there are a few different things to look out for. Understanding what all the different features do will give you the best chance of picking the perfect camera to suit your needs.

  • Resolution – This is the amount of detail the camera can capture, measured by the number of pixels in each frame. 1080p is Full HD, 720p is standard HD, and 4K is four times as many pixels as Full HD. So, the higher the resolution, the more detailed the images. The GoPro Fusion 360 Camera captures stunning 5.2K video, giving you amazing results whether you’re filming some extreme snowboarding or going snorkelling with the dolphins.

GoPro Fusion on a skateboard

 

  • Field of view – This is how much the camera can ‘see’ in a single frame, and a wider field of view means a bigger picture. Having a wide field of view means you can get a more immersive perspective than from a traditional camera. It’s measured as an angle, and the larger the angle, the bigger the field of view.
  • Frames per second (FPS) – This is how many pictures in a row the camera can handle per second. Most cameras shoot at 30fps, and higher-end ones can shoot 60fps, so you get smoother, less blurry images. If you want crisp, clear slow-motion footage, you should get one with the highest FPS possible.
  • Image stabilisation – Since most action cameras are for shooting footage on the go, you want it to be as smooth as possible – unless you’re going for the ‘shaky cam’ effect. Cameras with good image stabilisation will allow you to record a trick-perfecting skate-park session and you won’t feel nauseous watching the footage back. For next-level image stabilisation, the GoPro Hero7 Black has a ‘hypersmooth’ feature, so you can capture even the bumpiest adventures with super-smooth results.

GoPro Hero7 on bike handlebars

 

  • Mounting system – Action cameras are usually designed to be attached to different objects or surfaces, so most will come with one or two mounts. But, if you want to attach your camera to specific objects, like bike handlebars, you might need a more specific mount.
  • Water resistant/waterproof– If you want to use your action camera underwater, you’ll need to choose one that’s waterproof, instead of water-resistant, because it means it can be submerged in water to certain depths. Check the specifications for the IP rating; this will tell you how waterproof a device is. You might need to use a separate housing if your camera won’t withstand being submerged. With the Kaiser Baas X400 4K Ultra HD Action Camera, the housing is included, making this camera waterproof up to an impressive 40m.

Kaiser Baas action camera

 

  • Wireless connectivity– Some action cameras include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC (near-field communication) which means you can use your phone or tablet as the screen. That makes it easy to adjust settings and easily control the camera using an app, so you don’t have to mess with the camera when it’s perfectly set up. The GoPro Hero7 White is lightweight and even has voice-control, so it’s the perfect companion to capture your adventures, wherever life takes you.

GoPro Hero7 White

 

Hopefully, that’s helped you out with picking your next camera. For even more options, check out our full range of action cameras.

Related in Action shots

Introducing the GoPro Hero 8 Black

25 Oct 2019

How to take 360 pictures and videos

22 Feb 2019

GoPro 101: how to get started with GoPro

08 Feb 2019

Which action cam is right for me?

17 Apr 2018

Explore our Extreme Sports Map of the UK

13 Dec 2017