Whether you’re strapping on a snowboard and getting ready to hit the slopes, or pulling on the wetsuit and about to catch a wave, there’s some pursuits where it simply isn’t possible to pack a regular camera to capture the fun. And this is exactly why action cameras were born; small, lightweight models that are waterproof and can take the knocks that may otherwise break a regular DSLR or mirrorless.
Of course, there’s one brand synonymous with action cameras and that’s GoPro, but what other options are out there on the market? We shortlisted five alternatives for your consideration…
Nikon KeyMission 170:
Nikon’s action camera series may have gone fairly under the radar, but those looking for a value money option should definitely give the 170 a second look. Named after the angle of view it offers (170-degrees), the Keymission boasts some serious specifications. Waterproof to 10 metres and shockproof to 2 metres, the KeyMission 170 features an 8.3-megapixel 1/2.3-in. type CMOS sensor that can produce stills measuring 3840 x 2160 pixels.
When it comes to video, the Keymission 170 can capture 2K at 30 or Full HD at 60p and footage can be reviewed on the 1.5-inch LCD at the rear. The Nikon uses Electronic VR for movie stabilisation and the battery is good for 250 shots between charges.
Designed to capture POV (point Of View) footage, the X3000R is a feature-packed action cameras that’s suitable for professional use. With the housing the X3000R is waterproof to 60 metres, along with being shockproof and dustproof. A 1/2.5 type back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor serves up 8.2-megapixels of resolution and the 17mm lens features a bright f/2.8 aperture and a closest focusing distance of 50cm.
What’s really cool about this action camera is that photographers have the option of buying the X3000R with what Sony call ‘a live view remote’ as an add on that can even be worn as a wristwatch. Video-wise, the X3000R can shoot 4K at 30p, along with Full HD at 60p and a fast frame rate mode to capture Full HD footage at 120p, which can then be used to create epic slow motion footage. Weighing 114g, the X3000R also boasts a 4K timelapse mode and has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.
Even in the tough world of action cameras, the Olympus TG-Tracker can rightly be called a hardcore piece of kit. Crushproof to 100kg, waterproof to 30 metres, shockproof to 2.1 metres and freezeproof to -10-degrees. The camera boasts a field sensor system, and five sensor facilitate features including a GPS, compass, acceleration sensor, barometer and thermometer.
The TG-Tracker features an ultra-wide 204-degree angle of view, includes a five-axis image stabilisation system and also features a powerful LED light to illuminate subjects. With a 7.2-megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor, the TG-Tracker can capture 4K footage at 30p or Full HD at 60p, with a fast frame rate at HD of up to 240p. Images and video can be reviewed on a 1.5-inch flip out screen and timelapse creations can also be made.
Yi 4K+ Action camera:
Yi has a great record of making feature-packed kit and this action camera is no different. Packing a Sony-made 1/2.3-inch 12-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, the Yi 4K+ uses an f/2.8 lens that gives a 155-degree angle of view and measures just 65mm x 30mm x 42mm.
The 4K+ can shoot JPEG and RAW stills with a max file size of 4000×3000 pixels and has an interval mode to built timelapse creations. But it’s the video specifications that are really impressive because, as its name suggests, the 4K+ can capture 4K video at 60p, meaning it can be used at half speed for slow motion sequences. For more extreme slow motion, there’s also a Full HD 120p mode and the stills and video can be prompted via voice recognition. With a 2.2-inch touch-sensitive LCD, the 4K+ includes a USB-C port that can be used to charge the camera, or to connect to an external mic.
Capable of capturing 20-megapixel stills, the TRAWO from Apeman is a serious action camera with rugged credential. With a 170-degree field of view from the fast f/1.7 lens, the TRAWO can be controlled remotely over Wi-Fi using a smart device.
Electronic Image Stabilisation helps keep stills and video sharp and, when fitted inside its housing, the TRAWO can be used up to 40 metres underwater. The TRAWO can shoot ultra high-quality 4K footage at 30p or Full HD video at 60p, with a HD fast frame rate of 120p to create slow motion footage.