Into the Fire, and Into the Water! What Kind of Action Camera to Choose?

The Action Camera can be considered a relatively young but rapidly growing product in the photo/video market. And it’s not surprising, because the action camera lens allows you to look at the world in a different perspective, and get a completely different result than shooting with the usual digital camera. The advantages of action cameras are in their compact size (in size like two matchboxes), and in ability to survive in any shooting conditions (be resistible to dust, dirt and even the immersion into the water). With the action camera, you can overcome the barrier that separates you and reality through the camera screen. By freeing your hands and fixing the camera on the head or your chest you can really live the moment, rather than watch it on the smartphone screen.

But how not to get confused among the big variety of cameras and choose the perfect one? In this review, we have collected the most popular cameras in 2017 and will discuss their main characteristics.


Maybe it is worth to start from the budget-friendly variant — the SJCAM SJ5000X ELITE camera. In general this is a good camera for this price. Built-in image stabilization, 16MP sensor Sony IMX078, allows you to shoot in various modes, including recording video in 4K. Behind the camera is a display, the camera control is manual (the buttons are located on the side of the camera). To transfer content, the camera can easily synch with the smartphone. For underwater shooting, you can purchase a special protective case.

Camera Specifications:

  • Stabilization: yes
  • Matrix: 16MP Sony IMX078
  • Battery: 900 mAh
  • Weight: 75 grams
  • Mobile application: SJCAM ZONE App
  • Max. shooting time: 90-100min
  • Water resistant: yes, with aquabox
  • Additional parameters: 4K video, MAX photo resolution 4320 * 3240
  • Dimensions: 61 × 25 × 42.4 mm


The next camera we want to talk you about is the model from the same manufacturer SJCAM SJ6 LEGEND.

Parameters of this model:

  • Stabilization: digital
  • Battery: 1050 mAh
  • Weight: 82
  • Mobile application: SJCAM ZONE App
  • Max. shooting time: 70-110 min
  • Water-resistant: yes, with aquabox
  • Additional parameters: shooting in 4K, 4608 * 3456 — MAX resolution photo
  • Matrix: Panasonic MN34120PA 16MP
  • Dimensions: 59 × 21.1 × 41mm

This model is also attractive by its price, but the functionality of the camera is really good too. The built-in gyroscope will save you from any shake on the video, which is especially important for shooting in motion. Compared with the previous model SJ6 LEGEND has a whole two screens. The main screen with a diagonal of two inches — the touchscreen, which greatly simplifies the control of the camera. The front monochrome screen will serve you as an excellent assistant. If the camera is turned towards you, you will see in what mode the shooting is being conducted. Quite convenient, isn’t it?

MIJia 4K

If you are looking for an unexpensive camera with a wide range of functions and good shooting quality you should pay attention to the MIJia 4K camera. This is the first action camera in the MiJIa line. But we know the popularity of Xiaomi’s action cameras, it’s no wonder why it’s gaining popularity so quickly.

Main characteristics of the camera:

  • Stabilization: 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer
  • Battery: 1450mAh
  • Weight: 99 g
  • Mobile application : MiJia App
  • Max. shooting time: 120minutes
  • Additional options: shooting in 4K, 9 shooting modes, 2.4 inches touchscreen
  • Matrix: SONY IMX317 8MP
  • Water-resistant: yes, with aquabox
  • Dimensions: 71.5×42.7×29.5 mm

As you can see, the matrix of the camera is budget-friendly, but this is justified by the low price tag of the device. However it is not a problem for MiJia camera to make good shots even in low light conditions. The camera has a 6-axis electronic image stabilization due with a gyroscope and an accelerometer. The camera is controlled via the 2.4-inch touch screen, which is currently the largest among the popular action cameras. MIJia 4K allows you to shoot in 9 different modes. Also, a nice bonus is a powerful 1450mAp battery that allows you to record the video in 4K about 2 hours. It is quite worth it like a budget-friendly decision!


Another interesting model from SJCAM — a model that is made in a solid aluminum casing, which not only improves its impact resistance but also increases the wear resistance. Built-in Wi-Fi module allows you to manage and configure the camera. Also in the camera you can adjust the viewing angle (from 70 to 166 degrees). The parameters of this camera are listed below:

  • Stabilization: digital
  • Battery: 1000 mAh
  • Weight: 75grams
  • Mobile application: SJCAM ZONE App
  • Max. shooting time: 70-110 min
  • Water-resistant: yes, with aquabox
  • Additional parameters: shooting in 4K, 4608 * 3456 — MAX resolution photo
  • Matrix: Sony IMX117 12MP
  • Dimensions: 60 × 41 × 24.7mm

The minus of this camera is not powerful battery (1000mAp), so if you plan a long photo session, we advise you to buy additional batteries. But we want to praise the manufacturer for the camera ability to connect an external microphone, because very often many action cameras make worsen or record poor-quality sound. With this camera, you can record even conversational videos and not be afraid of sound quality.

YI 4K Action Camera

The yi 4K camera is a more refined model to compare with previously released YI cameras, but it cannot be called a usual budget-friendly model because the functionality and technical specification of the camera speak for themselves. And to be persuaded you can read the characteristics below:

  • Stabilization: 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer stabilization
  • Battery: 1400 mAh
  • Weight: 75grams
  • Mobile application: Yi Action APP
  • Max. taking time: 100 minutes
  • Water-resistant: yes, with aquabox, immersion up to 40 meters
  • Additional options: shooting in 4K, shooting at night, support for Full HD
  • Matrix: SONY IMX377 12MP
  • Dimensions: 65×42×30 mm

Convenient control with the touchscreen, a capacitive battery at 1400mAp, which will ensure the device works up to 150 minutes without interruption. Power-efficient chip, 7-layer lens and sensor from SONY with a viewing angle of 160 degrees, 6-axis image stabilization and the ability to take pictures in Timelapse, SlowMotion, put a timer, etc. Wide functionality for excellent shots.

Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 4K

This camera leads the ranks of top-action action cameras, which belongs to the premium class. Main characteristics of the camera:

  • Stabilization: Optical Balanced Optical SteadyShot
  • Battery: 1240 mAh
  • Weight: 114grams
  • Mobile application: Action Cam App
  • Max. shooting time: 125-135 min
  • Water-resistant: yes, with aquabox
  • Additional parameters: removable remote control, shooting in 4K, photo resolution 4608×2592
  • Matrix: 12MP CMOS matrix Exmor R with backlight
  • Dimensions: 29.4 × 47.0 × 83.0mm

We would like to note that the shape of this camera is different than the standard rectangular form of action cameras. CMOS-matrix Exmor R with increased sensitivity will allow you to take pictures in the dark or create excellent quality videos in Full HD. Image stabilization of the camera is optical, so the picture will be clear in any shooting conditions. Also there is a special program from Sony for video mounting with the convenient interface and advanced functions for processing. Also the company has developed separately a convenient set of accessories, for example the handle for fingers to fix the remote control. The camera does not have a touchpad like many action cameras. But a handle remote control and a small screen with shooting modes will make it easy to control the camera. Excellent camera for any scenarios.

YI 4K+ Action Camera

This camera is a modified version of the YI 4K camera, mentioned earlier. More powerful Ambarella H2 chipset, which is not only high-efficient but also energy-efficient. The camera’s viewing angle is 160 degrees and the camera shoots a quality and detailed picture without distortion.

Basic parameters of the camera:

  • Stabilization: 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer
  • Battery: 1400 mAh
  • Weight: 75grams
  • Mobile application: Yi Action APP
  • Max. Shooting time: 100-125 minutes
  • Water-resistant: yes, with aquabox
  • Additional parameters: 5 ISO values, 9 shooting modes, built-in stereo microphone
  • Matrix: SONY IMX377 12MP
  • Dimensions: 65×42×30mm

According to the characteristics, we can make a conclusion that this camera is worthy to be added to the top rating of the most popular action cameras. A special application Yi Action APP using which you can not only share your epic and exciting content but also find people who are in the same wave with you.

GoPro HERO 5

If you haven’t heard about GoPro maybe you are so far from photography world. The fifth generation of the action camera turned out to be truly flagship.

Main features list:

  • Stabilization: digital
  • Battery: 1220 mAh
  • Weight: 117g
  • Mobile application: GoPro App
  • Max. shooting time: 75minutes
  • Water-resistant: yes, housing with IPX8 protection
  • Additional options: voice control
  • Matrix: CMOS 12MP
  • Dimensions: 45.5 * 62 * 32mm

The advantages of the device are that the body has a protection from water and dust. Now there is no need to buy a waterproof case. Also, the camera received voice control and built-in touch screen for easy control. A convenient application for synchronizing and downloading footage on a smartphone. A battery capacity of 1220 mAh is enough for 70-90 minutes of shooting. The device can be charged in an hour with a USB type-C cable.In general — an excellent camera for high-quality images.

Very often many people have mistaken that the action camera is suitable only for those people who are extreme-addicted whose morning begins with a parachute jump, and ends with a motorcycling in the tropical jungle. Record your walk in the park, play with your favorite dog, shoot how to cook a pie for a family dinner — you will be incredibly surprised by lively photos. Open up space for your imagination with the action camera and capture the brightest moments of your life!

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