Audio & Video, Electronics, Top Lists

Top 3 Best Action Cameras (2017-2018)

If you don’t want to invest in an expensive DSLR camera, then another good option is action cameras. Obviously these are best suited for extreme sports, but they are also really good for general use. You can easily film good quality vlogs and other types of videos with an action cam.

In this article and video above we’re going to take a look at the top 3 best options for action cameras this christmas.

# Name Max Video Resolution Slow Motion Still Images Waterproofing Battery Life Average Rating Price
1 YI 4K Action Camera 4K @ 30fps 720p @ 240fps 12 megapixel Requires housing 70-100min 3.9/5 $160-180
2 GoPro Hero 6 Black 4K @ 60fps 1080p @ 240fps 12 megapixel Up to 33ft/10m 90-120min 3.9/5 $450-520
3 Sony FDR-X3000 4K @ 30fps 720p @ 240fps 8.2 megapixel Requires housing 50-120min 3.9/5 $350-400

 

#1 YI 4K Action Camera

YI 4K Best Action Camera

If I were to recommend an action camera to friends or family, then it would undoubtedly by the Yi 4K Action Camera. It’s not the absolute best action camera out there, but it’s definitely the best value option. You basically get the most bang for your buck with the Yi 4K

Most Chinese action cameras that try to compete with the market leading cameras from the West make outrageous claims and end up being pretty terrible. The Yi 4K is an exception to the rule. The company that makes it is an offshoot of Xiaomi which also makes some pretty decent drones.

FEATURES

In terms of features, it’s like an improved version of the GoPro Hero 4 Black. It has a 12 megapixel Sony IMX377 sensor and a 155 degree wide angle lens. The maximum video resolution is 4K at 30 frames per second and it’s also capable of 240 fps slow motion at 720p resolution, and of course it also takes 12 megapixel still photos.

The Yi 4K also has apps for Android and iOS with live viewing and remote control capability along with a bluetooth remote control. The interface on the camera itself is an LCD touch screen. And of course it has good wifi connectivity.

Battery life is around 70 minutes when recording 4K footage, but up to 100 minutes at full HD.

The downside with the Yi 4K is that it’s not at all waterproof, not even splashproof really. Also the standard package does not include waterproof housing, although there are deals which do include it. Additionally it does not have the best image stabilization and can’t take raw still photos.

OTHER REVIEWS

Amazon Customer Ratings
★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)

B&H Photo Video Customer Ratings
★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)

TechRadar Review Rating
★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5/5)

Trusted Reviews Rating
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● (8/10)

PCMag Review Rating
★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)

Buy from Amazon

 

#2 GoPro Hero 6 Black

GoPro Hero 6 Black

GoPro has been producing excellent action cameras for many years, and this year they came out with the GoPro Hero 6 Black. If money is no object, then this camera is definitely the best choice overall.

FEATURES

Due to it’s new GP1 processor the GoPro Hero 6 can film 4K footage at 60fps and 1080p slow motion at 240fps, which is something quite remarkable for such a small device. The maximum resolution for still photos is 12 megapixels and it can capture raw images.

Apps are available for the GoPro Hero 6 for both Android and iOS for remote control and live viewing. It also is bluetooth capable for remote controls and has excellent wifi capability.

By default even without a housing of any sort the GoPro Hero 6 is waterproof up to 33ft or around 10 meters. Battery life is between 90 and 120 minutes depending on the resolution you’re using.

Another feature that’s quite interesting is the GoPro QuikStories app for your smartphone, which is kind of an AI assisted video editor. It’s good if you want to make some quick video clips of the footage on your camera along with some music. But it’s not really good for more complicated videos.

OTHER REVIEWS

Amazon Customer Ratings
★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5/5)

B&H Photo Video Customer Ratings
★ ★ ★ (3/5)

TechRadar Review Rating
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5/5)

Trusted Reviews Rating
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● (9/10)

PCMag Review Rating
★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)

Buy from Amazon

 

#3 Sony FDR-X3000

Sony FDR-X3000

Our third and final action camera is the Sony FDR-X3000. It basically has some aspects of both the Yi 4K and the GoPro Hero 6 Black. It’s kind of an in between option, also when considering the price.

FEATURES

The Sony FDR-X3000 has a BIONZ X image processor, 8.2 megapixel sensor and a ZEISS Tessar wide angle lens. It can film 4K at 30fps and 720p at 240fps, similar to the Yi 4K. Still images are 8.2 megapixels and can be captured as raw images.

The camera has wifi and there is a Sony Action Camera app for Android and iOS to enable live viewing and remote control. But some reviews have complained about the performance of the live viewing feature. It does also lack a touch screen display.

The X3000 has a number of accessories included in the standard package, such as a waterproof housing and a RM-LVR3 remote control that is connected through wifi. The remote can be worn on your wrist like a watch, and you can see what the camera is filming through it.

OTHER REVIEWS

Amazon Customer Ratings
★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)

B&H Photo Video Customer Ratings
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5/5)

TechRadar Review Rating
★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5/5)

Trusted Reviews Rating
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● (8/10)

PCMag Review Rating
★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5/5)

Buy from Amazon