Action cameras are top-rated among the photographers’ community. Especially for people who vlog and do outdoor photography as a traveler, biker, hiker, these cameras are like their best traveling buddies.
These are light-weight, long-lasting, and most of them have excellent image quality.
The popularity of action cameras is obvious because, in 2014, worldwide action camera sales increased by 44 percent from the previous year and a half. This number is increasing every year since then.
Why invest in an Action Camera?
After listening to a lot about action cameras, a question must pop in your mind that you should get an action camera if you do not have one already.
And is it worth replacing your DSLR or any other camera with an action camera?
Well, you aren’t the only one.
You and a lot of other people can have the same question. This article will talk about action cameras, their salient features, and why one should get an action camera.
What is an action camera?
An action camera is a type of digital camera. It is capable of capturing the action while being immersed in it.
As the name shows that they are designed to capture the action, so they are compact, rugged, and waterproof at the surface, which is the core reason behind them lasting longer than usual cameras.
Also, action cameras are considered relatively newer than the typical cameras, so they are laced-up with up-to-date features.
Usually, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4k video shooting, CMOS sensors, time-lapse capabilities, et cetera are found in all sorts of action cameras.
Features of action cameras which make them worth-buying:
The following features will sum up that why should you invest in action cameras. These features are commonly found among action cameras.
Many manufacturers offer these and many other features too.
Stabilized 4k videos
Impressive 4k UHD video capturing quality is the core feature that differentiates action cameras from other cameras.
Here, the question must be in your mind that 4k isn’t that new feature than why is it at the top of this list? Well, this question is valid.
No doubt that many cameras, even smartphones, can capture 4k, so why buy an action camera?
The answer is the stabilization level. All other gadgets can capture 4k, but those are not designed specifically for capturing ultra-high-definition images and videos in action photography.
Action cameras are engineered to capture 4k for sports photography, hiking, recording dynamic shoots, cycling, et cetera.
A little shake can ruin an image together no matter how perfect camera settings are, but it isn’t the case with this camera category.
4k video cameras ensure that you do not lose visual quality by reducing unwanted shakes and jitters and eliminating their effects without influencing moving objects or intentional camera panning.
You can get 4k videos with other cameras, but action cameras will offer you stabilized 4k videos.
So, by getting an action camera, you will be capable of getting your hands on everything a regular camera can do as well as a couple of advanced features that it cannot.
Action cameras are mostly used outdoors and for action photography, so manufacturers try their best to deliver their ergonomics right.
As a photographer has to carry them around, so their easy portability and lightweight are made sure. Action cameras are small, lightweight, and easy to carry around.
Polycarbonate compounds and glass fibers are the main components in their built. The characteristic of these compounds is that these are very lightweight but shock-resistant.
This built help manufacturer to deliver a lightweight camera that is not easily dented and jolted.
If you want to have the best photography experience outdoors, these cameras are made for you!
Durability and weather resistance
Action photography always means a threat of damage to your camera. Weather, dust, oils, these are capable of ruining your camera and damaging it once and for all.
Besides, that stake of physical injuries is very high to cameras in action photography and outdoors, i.e., during traveling et cetera.
With an action camera, one does not have to worry about these issues at all. Firstly, as we explained earlier, these cameras are built with polycarbonate and fiberglass.
These compounds are highly durable and lightweight. Secondly, the majority of cameras in these categories are full or partial water-resistant/waterproof.
In partial one, a separate removable case is often provided with the package, which enhances the further water-resistant, i.e., with many GoPro action cameras.
Being water-resistant or waterproof, the camera is protected against the rain, and underwater photography is made possible.
What can be a better experience than 4k videos shooting underwater?
Just like water shielding, it also comes with dust resistance, partial or full. A little dust particle can ruin all the images and videos if it reaches inside the sensor or lens.
Tip: if you plan to buy an action camera, look for “waterproof” and “weatherproof” instead of water/weather resistant in the camera’s specifications.
Cameras with word proof in the description are fully resistant against weather and water. Whereas, cameras with word resistance are capable of providing partial protection to the exterior.
For example, some water-resistant cameras are not harmed if used in light rains but heavy rains. They need to be placed in a waterproof casing.
Modes offered by action cameras
Several modes of action cameras allow you the best images and videos. The most common modes in action cameras are:
- Time-lapse mode
- Slow-motion mode
- Burst mode
- Full panoramic mode
These are commonly found in all cameras. But there are many action cameras available in the market with many advanced modes too.
The average battery life of action cameras is around 120 to 180 minutes of continuous use. Keep the word average in mind as the actual battery life of the camera depends solely upon shooting.
In capturing 4k videos, using connectivity features, this battery can drain earlier than this average.
This battery life is higher than regular cameras.
But if you’re looking for a camera with the longest battery life, there are also action cameras available as much as 540 minutes (Drift Ghost XL action Camera) to 480 minutes (SJ Cam A20 Body Cam.
Tip: there are several ways you can prolong your battery life.
- Firstly, update the camera software. Updates remove the bugs, which might be draining the battery.
- Secondly, choose the right settings, i.e., decrease LCD brightness and turn off connectivity when not required.
- Thirdly, remove the battery from the camera when not using the camera for few days or a long time.
- Fourthly, avoid exposing batteries to very cold or scorching weather; room temperature is the best temperature for camera batteries.
Action cameras are laced with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other connectivity features. These cameras are straightforward to use with devices that require connectivity options.
Connectivity features help upload your footage instantly, and some action cameras also support live broadcasts because of it.
These features also made it easy-peasy to transfer footages to smartphones, desktops, and webs. It is also possible to preview and playback your videos and images on desktops, LCDs, and smartphone screens using connectivity.
Several accessories come with action cameras such as mounts, spare batteries, weather casing, cables, and a few other things.
Not only expensive one but these come with low-cost action cameras too. A blogger highlighted an exciting reason behind this.
Actually, low-cost action cameras started offering accessories with their cameras to gain a competitive edge.
After a while, larger companies started imitating as well as offering more accessories with their devices.
Either you are planning to get a cheap one or an expensive action camera, it will be a win-win situation for you in terms of accessories!
As action cameras capture high-resolution videos and images, their storage capacity is higher than regular cameras.
Usually, action cameras support memory cards with 64-128GB of storage capacity. Most models use removable Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC), Extended Capacity (SDXC), or Micro SD cards.
Direct connections to other devices
Most action cameras come with a mini HDMI port and HDMI cables. These can connect cameras to link them directly to a flat-screen TV or an AV cable to connect to any TV’s video and stereo inputs.
Who should get an action camera?
Action cameras work for everyone, no matter a professional action photographer or a traveler. They can do everything a regular camera can do plus many additional things. But if you are:
- Sports photographer
- Social Media Influencer
- Adventurer such as a hiker, biker, diver, underwater photographer
- Looking for a camera with durability
- Want a camera with reasonable battery life
Then action cameras are the best choice for you.
Invest in an action camera or not?
If you are thinking of buying an action camera, go for it!
One might think that 4k or 1080p video capability, connectivity, and some other features are also found in regular cameras, but none of them are as durable as action cameras.
These cameras are durable and long-lasting. For example, Divers have found lost GoPros in the ocean after months of submersion, perfectly sealed in weather shields with a camera inside without itsy-bitsy damage to it.
Once combined perfectly with their accessories such as mounts, action cameras can deliver the results that regular cameras can’t.
With improving technology, these cameras are also getting better with every passing day.