Action cameras used to be used mostly for recording sports like snowboarding, climbing, skating, surfing and the like. But that’s not so much the case anymore. These days action cameras are a good choice for filming everyday, non-extreme activities as well. This trend makes a lot of sense if you think about it: we want to preserve the batteries on our phones, action cameras tend to be smaller and easier to place, action cameras have a variety of mounts and accessories, action cams can be mounted on drones (which are also increasing in popularity) and action cams are getting cheaper and better (at the same time).
While GoPro has been the leader in action cams since it’s debut, many people have become increasingly frustrated with the company’s products (including it’s own investors as evidenced by the stocks recent free fall). The top of the line GoPro cameras tend to be expensive, have hampered sound due to their casing (and need casing to be waterproof, for that matter) and receive numerous complaints about bad battery life. For awhile, GoPro made the only 4K action cam I would have considered buying, but that’s no longer the case.
The competition definitely hasn’t been sitting on the sidelines. Companies like Ricoh, Sony, Nikon and even Kodak have been developing slick new cameras with features you won’t find on a GoPro and prices that are competitive with a GoPro. Some exciting new action cameras have been released in recent days, weeks and months and I thought it was time to get them all together in one convenient roundup.
Here you’ll find some action cameras that are more traditional and some that are more trendy. By traditional I mean action cameras with one lens. By trendy I mean action cameras that are capitalizing on trends like VR (virtual reality) and life logging. So whether you’re looking for the best GoPro alternatives, the best new 4K action cameras, the best 4K 360 degree action cameras for shooting immersive VR content or the smallest 4K video camera there is, you’re in the right place. Let me know in the comments which camera looks the best in your eyes (or if there’s one we happened to miss).
Important Update Aug 1., 2016 — after I published this post, Yi cam out with an AMAZING 4K action cam that every single reviewer agrees outdoes the GoPro at it’s own game. ...