If you are planning at least a little active holiday this year, perhaps buying an action camera might be worth considering. This segment has been developing for some years, so it is logical that it is already quite developed and is flourishing with innovations.
Today, almost everyone takes pictures with their mobile phones – after all, smartphone manufacturers have recently been competing in cameras – but just on holiday, special photographic equipment is still of great use. If you do not plan to spend your holidays just sightseeing and having coffee or beer, but also want to go somewhere in nature or for adventure, this photographic equipment should be as versatile as possible. The versatility can be achieved primarily through durability and high performance, which is one of the competitive advantages for these outdoor activities, as well as a range of accessories that allow you to use the action camera on different occasions.
Minimalism & Resistance
The main features include automatic slow motion videos processing in real time without the need for post-production or looping.
It is the choice of accessories, enhancements, and extensions that should be one of the factors in purchasing a particular device. As we have already indicated, the market for action cameras is quite mature, but it also brings a high level of competition. In addition to the available accessories, which should be particularly suited to your sporting activities, it is also necessary to monitor the price/quality/performance ratio.
For example, LAMAX Electronics offers a decent portfolio on our market; its models have a timeless design whose minimalism is one of the resistance factors. LAMAX offers two essential models. The first one, the LAMAX X9.1, offers an even better price/performance ratio than previously (on the official e-shop, the price dropped from 4,990 to 3,690 CZK), the second, LAMAX X10.1, differs mainly in slow motion options (see the description below).
There is a wide range of accessories; based on this you can choose what the essentials should include. We want to bring your attention to the pair of batteries that are part of the basic package, each lasting about 90 minutes per charge. Furthermore, there is the necessary waterproof case, which swimming, diving, surfing, and other water sports lovers can appreciate a lot. It is also an excellent idea for muddy and rainy conditions when practicing adrenaline sports.
There are also several mounts and holders: from the selfie stick, you can make trendy self-portraits, through the J-mount with a broader range of camera tilt to change the angle to tripod adapters. Of course, there are also various self-adhesive holders (straight and bent), which you attach, e.g., to a helmet. And what about buttons? Since the included bracelet communicates with the camera wirelessly, it’s a child’s play. The included equipment is the same for both models mentioned above.
Nowadays, it is inevitable to shoot 4K video, which you can further work with. The difference is then mainly in the frame rate – frames per second (fps), which determines the output quality. If we take into consideration these two models, then at the highest resolution we get the same speed at a standard value of 30 fps, but in Full HD (1080p) we already have 120 fps (versus 60) in the more expensive ones and even 240 fps in HD. Such a speed seems to be unnecessary for regular use if we don’t play with slow-motion, which is very captivating when recording outdoor activities.
Wi-Fi support for wireless audio-visual content transfers to target devices (smartphones or computers) is also becoming standard. The advantage of this technology is that you do not have to pull out the cables every time, but simply pair the camera with your computer or phone. However, cable connection is sometimes more stable, and the models mentioned above use Micro USB 2.0 or HDMI for this purpose.
At the time of social networking, it is crucial to mention sharing.
For Specific Occasions
It is worth to mention the stylish and robust looking outdoor BML cShot1 4K camera, which, as its name suggests, offers a 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) at 30 fps, as well as a 160-degree wide-angle lens. Thus, the stated resolution is interpolated, which means that the pixels are additionally illustrated in software. The native resolution, in this case, is 2.7K, or 2704 x 1520 pixels. The BML camera is not as good as the previous two, making it suitable for regular users. You can basically buy it for about 40 euros. The main features include automatic slow motion videos processing in real time without the need for post-production or looping. For example, we can imagine something like this in a car camera, which just underlines the versatility of this device.
However, sometimes we need unique solutions for specific purposes. When talking about action cameras, they are models with 360-degree panoramic images and truly unusual outputs. In this case, a pair of wide-angle lenses is required, and this is the perfect 4KVR360 model from Kodak, equipped with two 20-megapixel BSI CMOS sensors positioned opposite each other. One of these sensors offers a 235-degree angle and a secondary 197-degree one. The Kodak camera system can then combine the outputs of both sensors.
At the time of social networking, it is crucial to mention sharing, which the Kodak 4KVR360 is flourishing with. Thanks to the PIXPRO Remote Viewer, you can share your images instantly, especially on Facebook and YouTube. The app is available for devices with Android and iOS operating systems that pair with this action camera in the way mentioned above, i.e., wirelessly via Wi-Fi. You can also control the camera remotely through the app, making your phone a (self) timer with a live viewfinder. You can also set the exposure and white balance as well as the resolution of your panoramic videos. However, here we are talking about a much higher price. It is still competitive due to the supported functionality.
Summarized and underlined: As you can see, there is no need to spend too much money on a high-quality medium-class action camera to record a really active holiday. When choosing, you only need to put an eye on the resolution (4K is ideal), connectivity and sharing options (Wi-Fi), compatibility with standard operating systems (ideally mobile application for control) and especially the selection of accessories. The additional purchase of a bicycle holder or helmet is not only impractical but also unnecessarily expensive.
Text: AGCZ, photo: brand archives