8 Tips for Selecting an Action Camera for Extreme Outdoors

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GoPro Hero4 Session Action

Action cameras have become an essential technological gizmo for many people – irrespective of whether or not one is an avid adventurer. Other than the GoPro brand, many other similar action camera options can equally serve you better in your quest for outdoor fun, but you’ll need to have comprehensive knowledge of what features to look out for in picking them out.

Generally, being able to understand each camera’s specs and what they mean is just half the battle. You’ll also need to know which type of camera works with which kind of activity, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Below are a few suggestions on what to look out for that can be useful – particularly for first-time buyers.


1. Resolution

There are different video qualities to choose from when choosing the right action camera for you. A higher resolution such as Ultra HD 4K means better image quality, although it is hard to edit and consumes a lot of memory space. If the image quality is a primary priority, then consider the Yi 4K Action Cam. If it is neither an option nor an important aspect, then there are other resolutions such as 1080p and 720p that you can choose from.


2. Battery Life

Many camera batteries can run continuously for one to three hours before dying, although models such as the Feiyu G5, Neewer NW-Z1 Rider2 3-axis GoPro Gimbal, and EVO GP 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal have been known to last longer than that-even at high-resolution video shooting. Check top gimbals for specifications. There is also the cost factor-long battery life relatively makes the action camera expensive compared to shorter battery life. If this is a cause for concern, then you need to consider the availability of spare batteries during purchase.

GoPro Fetch Dog Harness

3. Aesthetic dimensions

Aesthetic appeal, in this case, lies on three key aspects-weights, size and shape. For an outdoor activity, you need to go with the most convenient combination of these attributes. Lightweight and compact models are a suitable fit. Besides, you need to consider the corresponding attributes of the mounting supports. Flexible and light-weight gimbals such as the GoPro Karma Grip and the Neewer NW-Z1 Rider2 3-Axis GoPro Gimbal are worthy candidates to take into consideration.


4. Durability

It is therefore imperative to check through the list of features of your ‘ideal action camera’ for words such as waterproof, splash-proof or water-resistant before making a final purchasing decision. The GoPro Hero 3, as well as the preceding versions, can be a good fit as they come with waterproof cases. However, you might want to avoid the Lanparte LA3D Gimbal that is compatible with it as it is not waterproof. Other mounting options are recommended.

GoPro Hero4 Session Action

5. FOV

The field of view is the maximum area your camera can film at any particular point in time. While many action cameras have a wide-angle of view, few can allow you to customize that angle between narrow, medium, or wide depending on your preference. If these three configuration options are lacking, you should consider mounting options such as GoPro Karma grip and Neewer NW-Z1 Rider2 3-axis GoPro gimbals that allow you to add more angle without jeopardizing image quality.


6. Compatibility with other devices

Ideally, you also want an action camera that allows you to easily and conveniently transfer your video footage to an external device or medium of your choices such as a smartphone, PC, or the internet. Look for add-on accessories such as Bluetooth or Wifi functionalities.

7. Storage Space

If you spend lots of time outdoors, then you will have to invest in not only a large memory card but also a faster one with sufficient write speed. A class 10 UHS Class 1 memory cards such as the PNY Elite MicroSDHC memory card can be a viable option. However, if you genuinely want to capture every moment of your outdoor adventure without inconveniences, a class 10, UHS Class 3 memory card such as Samsung EVO MicroSDHC which can transfer up to 100MB/s is recommended.


8. Versatility

This feature stems from individual models. It primarily depends on the number of accessories the action camera has or can accommodate in the future. You need to look for one that allows for many accessorizing options for every outdoor activity you intend to partake. Your list of options should include add-ons such as external microphones, casing or lights. The Zhiyun Smooth Q GoPro Gimbal is an excellent example of an accessory that can allow for other convenient attachments.

These tips are not comprehensive when it comes to choosing your ideal action camera. However, they are the essential aspects worth considering for a satisfactory outdoor filming adventure. Each action camera or model has its advantages and limitations depending on the activity you intend to undertake. It is recommended to do comprehensive personal research and evaluation to pick out the right camera fit.

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