After several hours of research, I established my selection of the best action camera among all the models currently available on the market.I invite you to consult my buying guide at the end of the article, to determine your own needs for action cam.
|Yi Lite||Check Price|
|WiMius L2||Check Price|
|Yi 4K +||Check Price|
|GoPro Hero 5||Check Price|
|Olympus TG-Tracker||Check Price|
|GoPro Hero7 Black||Check Price|
What are The Best Action Camera
GoPro takes almost all the space on the action cam market. And for good reason, he practically invented the concept. But no need to ruin to get a cam action that holds up.
Yi Lite: Best Action Camera under 100
Do you know Chinese giant Xiaomi? The one who is currently invading us with his cheap smartphones? Well, he is also active in the field of action-cams, with, among others, his range Yi. And the least we can say is that here too it is needed more and more.
The Yi Lite, as its name suggests, is the light model of the range. With its dimensions of 6.5 x 4.2 x 3 cm, it is the same width as the Yi 4K, which allows it to be compatible with some of its accessories such as the waterproof cover (which allows immersion to 30 meters). It is however much lighter with only 72 grams on the scale. This makes it an easily transportable asset.This is the best option to buy action camera under 100.
On the design side, we have a uniformly gray rectangular camera with the logo on the front. The two-inch screen is smaller than that of the YI 4K (which also explains its smaller weight). This touch screen, 320 x 240p resolution, is very responsive and easy to use. Nothing wrong with this level. And if you really do not like working on the screen, it is possible to install an application on GSM that allows a remote setting.
The power button on the camera is on the top, as well as the two microphone ports. It’s quite amazing to find these here, because that’s where fingers are naturally placed while filming, which prevents any capture of sound. Apart from that, there is no lack of ergonomics. Everything seems solid and well made.
But behind its compact and lightweight design, it embeds a series of more than correct components.Here you can find review about Best Compact Digital Cameras.
With its Sony Exmor 16 Mpx sensor, and its 150 ° lens, we already have interesting features, and good shooting options.
It is possible to film in 4K but this can only be done at 20 IPS. However, to obtain a smooth image, it takes at least 25 IPS. The 4K will be only accessory. On the other hand, one can film in Full HD (1920 x 1080) in 30 and even in 60 IPS. But the most convincing result, in my opinion, will still be obtained in 2K (1920 x 1440) 30 IPS.
An effective electronic stabilizer is involved, but it does not work beyond the 2K IPS mode (hence the fact that it is in this mode that the most satisfactory results are obtained). It ensures calm and good quality shots. Besides that, this action cam embeds some nice features like a distortion corrector, accelerated and slowed modes, and an automatic trigger.
Connectivity level, we have something pretty basic: the Yi Lite is equipped with Bluetooth and a USB 2.0 port. On the other hand, its memory is extensible by Micro-SD up to 128 GB.
And autonomy in all this? This is one of the good points of this model! With a 1400 mAh battery, it works for about 2 hours in Full HD 60 IPS recording. A defect however is to emphasize about it: once in charge, it is impossible to access its screen.
The Best Cheap Action Cameras in 2020
In the end, this Yi Lite, despite its small price, small weight and small size, has very nice features. It allows captures with video quality and very pleasant photo, and has the advantage of being compatible with accessories of other models of the range Yi. Some functions do not find any real usefulness, like the 4K which does not give much with a low IPS, but it is also not a sales argument put forward by the brand, just a bonus.
Pros and Cons of Yi Lite Camera
WiMius L2: The Action Cam That Defies All Prices
With WiMius, I propose this time a super compact model, which is rare enough for action cams small budget. With only 57 grams on the scale, we can only welcome the effort of miniaturization. Because she has some in her belly!
On receipt of the WiMius L2, we receive an impressive number of accessories. Two 1000mAh batteries at 3.7Wh, a waterproof shell, no less than 6 mounting accessories for various GoPro-friendly mounts, a charger and even a small microfiber cloth to clean the screen. The battery life of these two batteries is approximately 1:30, which is enough for a little fun, but it is possible to buy drum kits separately for longer sessions.
The WiMius proudly displays “4K” on its hull, soberly silver and black in a plastic that looks good. Under the lens, there is a small speaker and WiFi activation button. On the other hand, the lens of the camera is not bad (about 1.2 cm). It is therefore better to mount it directly with the protection delivered, to avoid shocks.
The LCD screen 2 inches, this time, is non-touch (it would have been amazing for the price). Date, time, access to settings: everything is done via buttons, the old way. On the other hand, the menu is a little clutter, and the access to the different options could have been a little better conceived: one ends up being in submenus of memory and parameters video without one understood how one is there arrived…
And what about video? The manufacturer proudly announces 4K (going, contrary to its Chinese counterpart, to register it on the hull). Really ? In fact, it is equipped with a Novatek chip, which allows a digital 4K adaptation. The 24 IPS promised are also very unstable, and the fluidity of image is not at the rendezvous. As with the Yi Lite, it will be better to upgrade to Full HD 60 IPS, or even HD 60 IPS.
Digital stabilization, it is correct. It does not compete with that of the Yi Lite, but allows for good quality shots. The sound is not its strong point, with crackling noises, but it is not a tool highlighted by WiMius.
Photo point of view, the sensor 12 Mpx offers a rather surprising image quality: the colorimetry is not perfect, but the basic settings in daylight provide a sharp and contrasting capture.
In terms of connectivity, good surprise! A micro-SD port (memory this time expandable up to 64 GB), a mini USB and, especially, an HDMI. And, of course, we can also export the content by plugging it into WiFi.
Among the nice little features, we have three angles of view (up to 170 degrees, which is very correct, and wider, even, than the Yi Lite), but also time-lapse, slow-motion and detection modes movement (for automatic triggering).
Pros and Cons of WiMius L2 Camera
The Best Action Mid-Range Cams
On the menu ? Novelties, but, also, models a little older, at their time top of the top, which gradually decrease in price to be within reach of any stock exchange.
Yi 4K + : Best Action Camera under 200
Under its sober looks, the Yi 4K + is not an amateur cam action. And for good reason: this is the first action cam offering a record 4K 60 IPS to be released on the market!
Design point of view, nothing new on the horizon … And it’s not worse, since it allows compatibility with the accessories of the Yi 4K (the previous model), as the waterproof case, the spare battery or the bindings. The only thing that physically distinguishes the 4K + from its previous model is its carbon fiber effect layer at the front, the most beautiful effect in my opinion.
Its 2.2-inch touch screen is very responsive, with the same pleasant and intuitive menus that I talked about for the Yi Lite, many more options. Among these, there is the possibility to manually adjust the shutter speed in video and lock the sensitivity, to better adjust the desired rendering. In short, under its innocent air, with its unique button, the Yi 4K + is a true expert!
And the image quality, what is it? First, although I was intrigued by the fact that the sensor offers “only” 12 Mpx (as a reminder, it is 16 MP on the Yi Lite), the image quality is remarkable. Proof, again, that quality is not measured by the number of pixels … The coverage angle, it is at 155 °. Without being a champion in this area, it’s already a good result.
As I said, this cam action was the first in the market to offer a 4K video in 60 IPS. On the other hand, recording in Full HD “caps” at 120 IPS while the trend is at 240 IPS. Special mention, however, for the stabilizer, which still works in 4K 30 IPS (the results are not more accurate, but it’s a big plus compared to models that I propose just after).
Point of view connectivity, we have the good surprise to see a USB-C connection. As a result, the manufacturer provides you with a USB-C to RCA cable directly to connect to the TV and a USB-C to 3.5mm female jack cable to connect to an external microphone. Not bad is not it ?
Finally, I come to autonomy, for which the results are mixed. Indeed, it is almost 1h in 4K 60 IPS, which is not bad. But it is disconcerting to see that simply by navigating through the menus, the battery is emptying very quickly. It is therefore strongly advised to invest in an additional battery. This is the best action camera under 200 in 2020 is available to buy.
Elegant design, compatibility with the accessories of old ranges, recording 4K in 60 IPS, many settings of the image … One has here a small champion. Admittedly, it is not perfect (a waterproof model would be welcome, like a battery of better quality), but it has under the hood!
Pros and Cons of Yi 4K + Camera
GoPro Hero 5: A Gopro at Your Fingertips
It was inevitable to approach the GoPro in my selection, they who practically invented the action cam! If the brand had gone through a difficult period, between the stormy exit of their GoPro Karma drone, the exhaustion of a niche market now saturated, and the competition of smartphones with excellent video, they have recovered their head in 2016 with the Hero 5, an upscale cam action that can now be found good price.
In the box of the Hero 5 Black version, we have the camera (thankfully …), a frame, a lithium battery, several mounting brackets and a USB-C cable. No waterproof case? No, no! The Hero 5 is already built to be insensitive to dust and water, up to 10 meters deep.
The design is cleaner, cleaner than the Hero 4. Fewer angles, less frills. The small front screen has a higher contrast. It shows the characteristics and the timer of the recording, the remaining memory and the battery level. On the back, we have the iconic 2 “LCD image return, whose return is more faithful and bright than on previous models. And GoPro caught up with its competitors by finally proposing a reactive touch screen (at the time of the release of the Hero 5, it was not won).
The mobile application is, in itself, free. Attention, however, automatic cloud services are subject to a monthly subscription of about $5.
One of the characteristics that sows its competitors is the voice command. Well calibrated enough for a Marseille to be understood, it allows to give simple orders. “GoPro Record Video”, “GoPro Start Accelerated” … The full list is available on the web .. Convenient to control the camera when you have both hands on the handlebars!
On the other hand, we must recognize that the multiplication of options, including GPS, connectivity with a host of GoPro sensors (there is one for each sport) seriously undermines the battery life (otherwise, it takes about 1h30 recording in 4K).
The 4K with 30 IPS finally offers a true fluid image. In addition, you can mount up to 120 IPS in Full HD for impeccable slow-motion renderings. But, alas, the 4K still does not support digital stabilization. This is understandable, since stabilization consists of trimming an image larger than the final rendering. But 4K is its limit. But in this price range, it’s a shame that the problem has still not been resolved. The shooting in 4K is therefore rather limited to shooting on tripod or gyro-stabilizing pod.
The first thing I like about this GoPro is its simplicity for shooting. We have three solutions: the camera itself, the smartphone or the voice command. And the intelligence of the embedded firmware allows automatic calibration more than correct. In addition, the companion app offers plenty of editing options that can edit your photo in an instant before sharing.
In the end the GoPro Hero 5 was a competitive beast on its way out. And its big advantage, at the moment, is its big price decrease (that’s normal, since we are now at Generation 7), which ranks it among the mid-range action cams. Without doubt the best quality / price ratio of the moment!
Pros and Cons of GoPro Hero 5
Olympus TG-Tracker: The Action Cam To The Original Form
This cam action Olympus is also in green … And it must be said: it throws! Many users were eager to see Olympus launch into the action cam market, and they were not disappointed.
The first thing you can not miss is the format. The Olympus is the only action cam of this test not to be compatible with GoPro products. And for good reason, it looks like a compact version of the camcorders of the 2000s, with a rectangular shape and the camera placed at the end.
This is, in part, a problem. The TG-Tracker comes with some accessories, but it will be a bit lacking for those who already had the hardware for GoPro. Nevertheless, selfie boom, underwater protection and stabilizing handle will be enough to start. It also comes with some mounting brackets for bike helmets, for example.
It is therefore a model a little larger. 180 grams and 10 cm long for 3 wide. It comes with a rather weak battery, but that was very correct at the time of its release (2016): about 35 minutes in continuous recording 4K.
Level design is a success. Aggressive, serious, robust, it withstands 100kg of pressure. The finish is impeccable. Nothing is superfluous. The 3.8 “LCD touch screen can be opened for better shooting. A series of sensors and robust buttons allow many follies. And above the camera is an LED lamp that acts as a flash with more than 60 directional lumens.
You can of course connect it to HDMI and connect it in WiFi to the OI.Share app which, for the moment, is still one of the best with GoPro. It can be used as remote control, video feedback, GPS tracker or sharing platform to social networks. However, the photo and video setup options must be managed from the device itself.
Regarding the shooting, it is rather bluffing. The 4K is present at 30 IPS, although, as for the GoPro Hero 5, the stabilization is not active at such a resolution. In contrast, the angle of view of 204 degrees – a record! – allows a really effective stabilization from 2K with 60 ips. And it must be. Because because of the slightly high weight of the camera, the image tends to move a little more than other action cams lighter.
The image is beautiful, Olympus expertise is there. The details are there, the adjustment to the exposure is very responsive – if we film a sun glare, for example – and the color balance is visually impeccable.
Clearly, I regret a cam action that comes a bit too much nails compatibility level, and whose many features start autonomy. But it is a quasi pro model adapted to all extreme situations. Negative or hot temperatures, snow, rain, sand: it follows you everywhere. It is also easy, at the moment, to buy an extra battery , without the bill being too salty.
Pros and Cons Olympus TG-Tracker
The Best Action Cams Upscale
At this price, we expect the top in all areas: image quality, connectivity, accessories, image options … Only one model has passed (hand-held) my selection criteria.
GoPro Hero7 Black: The Best High-End
Released this fall of 2018, the GoPro Hero 7 is without a doubt the best cam action currently available on the market. Why exactly?
If you compare it with the Hero 5 (or even the Hero 6 that I do not speak about in this test), the differences do not jump immediately to the eyes.
Indeed, the Hero 7 ships the same waterproof chassis to 10 meters, the same processor and the same sensor 12 Mpx, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, voice control, the same battery … Basically why pay more? Because the few additions that distinguish it from previous models make it a model at the forefront.
At the screen level first, we are dealing with the same interface with clear menus and exemplary ergonomics, but it has undergone a welcome refreshment that makes it even more readable and now includes a tutorial.
The screen is always very responsive, but it is advisable, for easier handling, to go through the application, which is very complete and generally much easier to access than on a small screen 2.2 inches.
The number of photo settings is quite impressive, and we can find a mode that is more or less adapted to each situation (I am thinking for example here of the night mode, which allows you to go from a photo full of noises to a photo rather rich in details). And if there is not a revolution in terms of image quality, it is still more accurate, and its color is even more accurate.
Video level, it is now possible to shoot in 4K 60 IPS, but what is undoubtedly the most impressive is the Full HD 240 IPS mode. This one makes it possible to realize very effective slow-downs.
If only with the Hero 5 that GoPro has integrated the digital stabilization, they have improved it here, adding the stabilization “HyperSmooth”, which promises the same result as an optical stabilization, and is revealed a frankly bluffing quality. Obviously, this will not be usable in any mode but you can use HyperSmooth stabilization up to 2.7 K 60 IPS, and normal stabilization up to 4K 24 IPS. It’s already not bad considering the competition.
Like the photo mode, several fields of view are available in video: linear (without distortion), Large and SuperView (the third does not exist in photo).
We add to all this the arrival of several automatic modes (for example: the TimeWarp, which allows you to create a temporal distortion effect) and the addition of certain features such as sharing on social networks and direct access to Facebook Live .
In short, if the GoPro Hero 7 does not revolutionize the world of action cams, it does not add unless you need more features and image quality, who hoist it handily on the first step of the podium.
Pros and Cons of GoPro Hero7 Black
In conclusion, which action cam to choose?
The choice of your action cam will depend on several criteria: your level of expertise in the field, the image quality and options you need and, of course, your budget.
If you are a beginner and your image requirements are not too high, a very small model like the WiMius L2 , with all the accessories that come with it, is an ideal choice to embark on the adventure.
But a model like the Yi Lite will probably prove more satisfactory in the long run, with a general quality (and a price) a little higher.
If you need superior video quality, as well as more options, older models like the GoPro Hero 5 and Olympus TG-Tracker can be smart choices. they now benefit from a price reduction that makes them very affordable despite the components that these action cams embark.
But true picture quality will be offered by the Yi 4K + or GoPro Hero7 Black , both capable of recording in 4K at 60 IPS. The second, a bit more expensive, has the merit of being also more complete, if only at the level of its very design, since it is useless to integrate it into a protective box, which allows a more direct, more “organic” use of your cam action.
Anyway, do not hesitate to bring you various “gadgets” to optimize the performance of your action cam. While they may sometimes seem futile, they may change your view of what you can record, like a stabilizer or an external microphone.
Now hope you are well understand what are the best action cameras to buy in 2020.