Action Camera Buying Guide

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Before adding a GoPro or an alternative to your cart, you’ll want to know what factors will give you the best value.

Only consider the factors that you would find suitable for your applications.


Do you think you’ll be in an area that could damage your camera? Or, you may need a camera for diving. Either way, you must ensure a camera that can withstand shock, the elements, and water.

For instance, if you’re around water, opt for a camera with high waterproof depth. The feature determines how deep you can submerge your device before it’s damaged. For the most part, you’ll find cameras with a max depth of 30 feet. However, some can sink to 150 feet.

If you want extra durability for your action camera, consider investing in accessories like cases.

Resolution and Frame

You have two subcategories in this factor; resolution and frames per second (FPS). Resolution is the quality of your image while frames per second are the number of images your monitor displays per second.

The more frames, the smoother the video playback that you’ll have.

With most action cameras, you’ll find that the maximum resolution and frames combination available is 4K resolution at 30 FPS. However, if you don’t mind recording in 1080p, you can get up to 120 FPS on many cameras.

The final call on whatever quality you need depends on your preference.

However, you’ll need to remember that some cameras only support video stabilization up to a specific resolution.

Battery Life

A lot of cameras offer interchangeable batteries, which makes this factor less relevant. However, if you don’t want to blow money on extra batteries and haul extra equipment, consider a camera that has longer battery life.

Most action cameras have between 1–3 hours of battery life when recording video. However, factors like FPS, resolution, and others will affect how long you can record.


Many action cameras offer wireless connectivity like WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC. These features allow you to connect your camera to other devices for remote use, Livestream your experience, or upload to video platforms on the go.

Available Accessories

One of the biggest benefits of having an action camera is the accessories. It allows you to have a hands-free experience to focus on your sport. Moreover, you’ll want extra casing around your camera in case of accidents.

When shopping for a camera, search for compatible accessories before you purchase. That way, you’ll ensure that you have the right camera for your sport.


Some devices, like those that Garmin offers, will give you fabulous features like voice control. That way, you can have a hands-free experience. Also, if you want a device with a great user experience, consider the touch screen interfaces the camera offers.

If you’re able to connect your camera to a smartphone, then you may not have to worry about this factor as much.

Image Stabilization

When reading product descriptions for this product, you’ll likely find electronic image stabilization (EIS). Simply put, it makes footage smoother and compensates for having a trembling camera. Moreover, EIS is usually used for video footage.

However, some cameras have manual (or optical) image stabilization, which best suits photos.


The following are frequently asked questions about action cameras and their various applications.

Who Is GoPro’s Biggest Competitor?

While GoPro doesn’t have the biggest competitor, there are various giants in the industry or an off-brand GoPro manufacturer that offer similar products to GoPro like:
Sony: they don’t focus on action cameras, but this household name does offer these products
Akaso: a China-based company that provides action cameras and other outdoor gear
OCLU: a company that focuses on high-quality action cameras and accessories
Olympus: is mainly a non-action camera manufacturer; however, they also produce action cameras

What Are Action Cameras Used For?

Unlike most DSLR or mirrorless cameras, manufacturers designed action cameras as durable and waterproof. That way, they can withstand harsh environments and stress. These traits come in useful when you want to record action shots.

Action shots include snorkeling, rock climbing, skydiving, and whatever else you can think of. In addition, these cameras are durable enough to withstand falling from a plane, landing in a pigpen, and surviving a pig chewing on the device.

What Is the Difference Between an Action Camera and a DSLR?

If you’re looking for a camera for photography, you will want to opt for a DSLR. Why? Because DSLRs have better shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and other important qualities for advanced photography.

Moreover, DSLR cameras make for better webcams than their action camera counterparts. If you need consistent 4K recording, a recorder that you can mount almost anywhere, and something compact, you’ll want an action camera.

Can I Use an Action Camera for YouTube Videos?

Due to their wide-angle lenses and high video quality, action cameras make some of the best cameras for YouTube—depending on the types of videos. For instance, if you want first-person perspective videos, it’s almost mandatory to invest in an action camera.

Do You Understand How To Buy the Best Action Camera?

While GoPros come with many great features, if you don’t want to lock yourself to their brand, there are plenty of alternatives on the market. However, don’t forget to save the action camera shopping guide, that way, you’ll remember what you need in an action camera in the future.

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