GoPro has become the market leader in action cameras but is not alone. No, we are not talking about its more direct competitors such as Sony or TomTom, but a lot of manufacturers from China who have decided to join the category with affordable models with cheap prices and where sometimes the designs of the Hero family have no blush in copies.
very time there is more and being so affordable it is inevitable that they have managed to attract the attention of the public. Among this avalanche of the camera,s there are some very interesting models and many others are dispensable. With this purchasing guide, we want to help you separate the wheat from the chaff because although you have heard that it ” records, as well as a GoPro and, is worth less than half “, do not pay attention to your brother-in-law. This is all you need to know.
Top 10 Backup Cameras
When we begin to see action cameras, the first thing that will catch our attention will be the resolution. For a long time, this number does not mean much because having more pixels in the sensor does not translate into better image quality. It is easy to find what model each one carries: Sony, OmniVision, Panasonic. From the specifications that we can see at a glance in an action camera, there are two aspects that should interest us. On the one hand, the battery: it is important to pay attention to how much capacity each model has. The autonomy is very variable and will depend a lot on how we record video: if we do it in Full HD it will last us a bit less than in HD 720p, if we also do it with the WiFi on we can use it for less time.
For other specifications, consider other details such as the opening of the lens or the type of slot used for the cards. If we want to know the real quality of these cameras we will have to look beyond the technical specifications because although manufacturers promise us high-resolution sensors, there are many important details that are not reflected at first glance.
And the native resolution to which it records? In the models that we will see today in almost all the standard is Full HD at 60 frames per second. Some rise to 2K with 30 fps but none of them still reach 4K UHD. That remains the exclusive territory of the top of the range, at the moment.
You have to pay close attention to compression artifacts. In digital photography, they are very common but today most of the sensors that we use in cameras or mobile phones do not create many distortions. In low-cost action cameras, it is easy to find these artifacts, that is: images that lose a lot of quality, blurred details, colors do not appear naturally.
Another important aspect that we sometimes overlook is image stabilization. We have an action camera, ergo we are going to move a lot and therefore we do not want the image to come out very shaky or when we mount the device in a fixed place (a helmet, the handlebar of a bike …) the video that we record vibrate and do not allow us to enjoy a fluid image. Again: it is important that we review videos recorded with each model because in some cases the stabilization shines by its absence thus killing part of the grace of using one of these cameras.
For many, buying a camera is not an easy task. Actually, it is not a product in which a model fits all, so there is no camera that you can point to and say: “Buy it!”.
In fact, it’s the opposite. With so many types, sizes, features, and prices, unless you know exactly what you need, it is very possible that you end up disappointed with your purchase. And that’s what this guide is about: help you buy the camera that best suits your needs and budget.
- There is no specification that tells you which is the best camera. A higher resolution (that is, more megapixels) or a wider zoom range does not make the camera better. I repeat: we are not looking for the camera with more megapixels or the zoom with more range.
- Do not look for the “best” in a certain class. The truth is that it is difficult for one camera to be better than the rest in the four most important aspects: photographic quality, performance, characteristics, and design. (You may have noticed the small amount of “Editors’ Choice” awards we give to cameras: that is, in part, the reason). At least not for an affordable price. We want the best camera for you. And that may mean, for example, that you do not take photographs of stellar quality, or at least “stellar” for those who look at the pixels.
- Try the camera before buying it. Make sure you feel comfortable in your hand and that it is not too big or heavy to have to leave at home. It should offer quick access to the most used functions and the menus should have a simple, logical and easy to learn structure. Touch-screen models can be very practical, but they can also be frustrating if the controls and menus are not well organized or if the screen is not calibrated to your touches.