Choos­ing an... Ac­tion cam­era

Computer Shopper - - REVIEWS -


Ac­tion cam­eras are typ­i­cally much smaller than a reg­u­lar cam­corder, as they are de­signed to be mounted to a bike, board or car, or worn on your per­son. As the name sug­gests, they are de­signed pri­mar­ily for shoot­ing ac­tion footage, but be­cause of their small size they are ideal for strap­ping on to your pet’s col­lar or your chil­dren’s toys for a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.


Al­most all ac­tion cam­eras will shoot Full HD video, and some will even shoot 4K, but frame rate is ar­guably more im­por­tant than res­o­lu­tion when it comes to ac­tion video. Higher frame rates will mean smoother clips, and su­per-high frame rate videos can be played in slow mo­tion to em­pha­sise ex­cit­ing shots.

Keep an eye out for 4k/30, 1080p/60 and 720p/120 mod­els for the widest pos­si­ble choice of res­o­lu­tions and frame rates.


Most ac­tion cam­eras rely on flash mem­ory for stor­ing your video, let­ting you swap out mem­ory cards on the fly when you fill one up with clips. More ex­pen­sive de­vices can have in­te­grated flash mem­ory as well as a card slot, but it’s typ­i­cally cheaper to buy the ba­sic ver­sion of a cam­era and pick up mem­ory cards sep­a­rately.


Not all ac­tion cam­eras have LCD dis­plays; in fact, many de­lib­er­ately don’t in­clude a sceen in or­der to ex­tend bat­tery life.

If you want to be able to see ex­actly what you’re point­ing the lens at, keep an eye out for cam­eras with com­pan­ion smart­phone apps, or wrist-mounted viewfind­ers that also let you start and stop shoot­ing re­motely.


Ac­tion cam­eras typ­i­cally have a huge range of ac­ces­sories, with spe­cific mounts and har­nesses for dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties and sports. If the cam­era it­self isn’t wa­ter re­sis­tant, a weath­er­proof case will pro­tect it from the el­e­ments, while a tri­pod mount will let you lock it firmly in place.

Spare batteries are es­sen­tial for longer shoots, and some de­cent video-edit­ing soft­ware will help you to pro­duce a more pol­ished re­sult.

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