Lights, Camera, Action! Should You Get An Action Camera for Your Next Adventure?
Action cameras are great, they are compact, light and pack a ton of features. You can attach them to various surfaces for a better point of view and they capture shots that other bulkier cameras are not able to. Most of them offer 4K footage too, ensuring that you get top quality images for all your moments.
If you are wondering whether you should purchase an action camera for your trips, then keep reading, as we break down why and what action cameras you should get.
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GoPro or Go Pro?
A common dilemma amongst most travellers is whether to buy an action camera or a DSLR. On one hand, the action camera looks great and checks most of the boxes, but is it professional enough for all the photo-taking you’ll be doing? On the other hand, DSLRs are relatively much more expensive and heavier in weight but gives you amazing images. And they make you look professional.
The answer then is based on criteria and your objectives of getting the camera.
Weight and Size
One of the most favourable factors an action camera has lies in its feather-weight and compactness. Whilst travelling, baggage size and luggage weight is a huge problem for many and lugging another heavyweight item really isn’t that ideal. After all, you are looking to get away from home, not bring your home with you. Action cameras are prized in this category. Most action cameras are palm-sized and weigh less than 0.15kg, which means they can fit into any corner of your bag. In perspective, a DSLR with its battery chargers and lenses would easily make your luggage weight an extra 2kg!
DSLRs are extremely bulky and unless you are a professional photographer with years of experience, you are most likely going to hate the hassle of lugging a DSLR around. You have to consider where your travels will be taking you, if you are hiking or trekking, trust me, you don’t want that additional weight. Any diving, jumping and movement intensive trips would be best handled by the action camera, after all, they are made specifically for that purpose.
The current best action camera on the market, the GoPro Hero7 Black retails for S$595. Whereas a beginner DSLR, the Nikon D3500, retails for S$749.
Ease of use
Buyers usually do not consider this off the top of their head. DSLRs are amazing if you are able to capitalize on all their features. However, that takes a lot of knowledge and experience with the camera to master the gazillion different features it has. If you just want a camera to take great images and does not require an encyclopedia to operate, I would strongly suggest you go for action cameras since they are still able to take still images with consistent quality.
Day to Day use
Action cameras are usually associated with adventure travelling, I mean, after all, it is called an ACTION camera for a reason. But what about day to day usage when you are back home and want a general use camera? Most users tend to stick to either their phones, DSLRs or point and shoot cameras at this point, but an action camera still packs a punch of fun.
You can mount them on nearly any surface with an appropriate attachment, even your dog. Strap it on to him or her and watch what they do when you are not home! Or use it as a dashcam, on your bike helmet or even on a kite. That’s right, it is that light.
Best Action Cameras to buy in 2019
If you have made it this far and definitely want an action camera, here are three of the best this year.
1. Best Overall: GoPro Hero7 Black
The best action camera you can currently buy on the market, the GoPro Hero7 Black features the new GoPro Hypersmooth image stabilization technology. Rocky terrains ain’t got anything on the Hero7. Waterproof up to 10m, the Hero7 Black also offers the best 4K video recording in the market.
Buy it on Lazada for S$449 (U.P. S$595)
2. Best Value For Money: Yi Discovery Action Camera
The Yi Discovery Action Camera is made for users who are new to action cameras. It does not sport many other fancy features like the GoPro Hero7 Black and emphasizes on simplicity while delivering amazing 4K/20FPS video at a great price.
Buy it from AliExpress for S$88.35 (U.P. S$166.69)
3. Best Features: TomTom Bandit
TomTom is a brand known for its GPS devices, and undoubtedly, their action camera offers the same great location experience as well. The camera not only accurately records your location for easy editing purposes later, but it also records your speed and G-Force too! The sensors automatically pick up when something interesting is happening and tags the footage. This is a great camera that comes with a great companion app for easy video editing.
Buy it from Lazada for S$443 (U.P. S$554.13)
So should you buy an Action Camera?
If you are looking for a hassle-free camera that takes great videos and photos, get an action camera. The image quality for action cameras are more than decent for general purposes, be it to share on Instagram or kept as a memento. For the adventure travel enthusiast, action cameras will be able to survive all the beating and terrain you will be going through.
However, if you need high-quality imagery, DSLRs are still the go-to standard. Even with all the features packed into action cameras, they lack many settings that a DSLR can provide. Simply put, you are in greater control of the picture with a DSLR. As an ending note, if you are debating on whether you should even purchase a camera for your travels, I would reckon that most smartphone cameras are more than capable of handling your needs. Get an action camera only if your travels will take you to various terrains or underwater and a phone isn’t the best choice.