Olympus TG-Tracker Review

Careful not to mistake the Olympus’ TG-Tracker for your average range finder, because they look pretty similar. The TG-Tracker is an action camera ideal for hunting. Why? It’s got some unique features that separate it from action cameras you’ll take snorkeling, snowboarding, or off-roading. Here are other action cameras that are more rounded in terms of capability.

What should you want in an action camera? If you’re a hunter, the first thing you’ll probably think of is camouflage, but that’s not always the case.

  • Durability
  • Battery Life
  • Camera Quality
  • Systems

Let’s explore some of these categories and find out why the TG-Trackers is the ideal hunting action camera.

Durability and Design

The TG-Tracker doesn’t look like your typical action camera. Its interface is actually on the side and flips out backward. You hold the camera much like a range finder instead of on a selfie stick where its pointed back at you. You can still mount the TG-Tracker on a stick, but it’s not quite the ideal selfie taker.

It might not be a tank, but it sure is built like one. The TG-Tracker is built to endure the occasional drop or mishandle, but that doesn’t mean you should actively look to destroy it! The most important thing you can do to extend its lifetime is to use it responsibly.

Camera

Don’t let the odd design of the TG-Tracker detract from your thoughts about its camera. It wields an impressive 4k quality at 30FPS camera which is the best you can get for any action camera. Whatever you plan on viewing on your hunting trip, the TG-Tracker will capture it all for a pretty affordable price.

The TG-Tracker’s camera can see 204 degrees in front of itself, about 24 degrees wider than most adventure action cameras. It isn’t panorama but it gets pretty close. It’s ideal for spotting and capturing things that might be outside of what even you can see.

Systems

The TG-Tracker’s systems are what are going to appeal to most hunters. Aside from the high-quality camera, it comes equipped with various outdoor-focused sensors such as GPS, eCompass, accelerometer, thermometer, and a barometer. There are few if any other action cameras that come equipped with these features. To have all these sensors on one device will lessen the load on hunting trips or outdoor excursions in general. 

If you’re trying to be efficient with your energy and the terrain you travel, the TG-Tracker has a log feature that will record your movement and even data on your environment for your future study.

Overall

If there was a camera built exclusively for living in the outdoors, the TG-Tracker would be it. It’s not cheap, but it isn’t terribly expensive either. Its versatility in terms of available features will appeal to hunters and outdoorsman alike. The TG-Tracker compares not too unfavorably with the GoPro HERO5 in terms of overall capability. Both cameras are built for the outdoors but the TG-Tracker can probably handle a little more punishment.

Regardless of comparison, anyone who purchases the TG-Tracker with the intent to capture nature in its prime is going to be satisfied.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 vs. HERO5 Action Cameras

You may recognize the brand Garmin by their exceptional fitness trackers (Click here to see comparisons of Garmin fitness trackers). We’ll be looking at the VIRB Ultra 30 and how it shapes up to a similar competitor, the HERO5. Both action cameras are top of the line when it comes to quality, looks, stability, and reliability.

The HERO5 is the face of the current action camera industry but that shouldn’t count out the VIRB. These two cameras actually shape up pretty well when compared to one another. Both are not exactly cheap and easily replaceable, but they’ll be worth your while if they’re well kept and maintained.

That being said, let’s get into the review.

Camera

Winner: Tie

Both cameras are capable of 4k/30FPS quality settings. This is the best setting on action cameras on the market. It’s going to eat up battery more quickly than lower settings, but we’ll leave that up to you to decide.

The quality settings are nice, but they won’t do much good if you can’t get the perfect shots. That’s why both cameras employ similar stabilization systems to prevent the camera from shaking during a rickety ride.

Style

Winner: HERO5

You’d think looks and style won’t factor into a purchase, but you’d be surprised how many people judge a book by its cover. The VIRB and the HERO5 are both great machines, but the HERO5 is overall a smoother and more intimate design. It’s nothing personal, but if you want to have the sweetest looking action camera in the wilderness, the HERO5 is going to show that you’re pretty serious about capturing the best sights the world has to offer.

The HERO5 doesn’t have any of the excess buttons or designs along the top or front of the camera. It’s as simple of an action camera as you can get with all the perks of being a high-quality device.

Systems

Winner: VIRB

At first, we thought the HERO5 has this category in the bag but upon further inspection, the VIRB actually surprised us. The VIRB actually has a variety of systems including GPS and performance monitoring sensors that measure speed, elevation, heart rate, and probably the most unique of all—G-Force. We imagine that the VIRB is being used by a variety of aviators from wing-suiters to fighter pilots, hence why this measurement is included.

The HERO5 has none of these features. It makes sense that Garmin, a noted GPS and fitness tracker producer, would include these features on its action camera. If you’re looking to combine photography/videography with your exercises, then the VIRB is the camera for you.

User Experience

Winner: Tie

You’ll be surprised to find that despite the various buttons on the VIRB, it’s actually voice-controlled (to a certain extent) like the HERO5. Both cameras require at least some finger contact to manage the videos on the back screen, so voice control only goes so far.

The HERO5 is going to be simpler to use due to the fact that it only has one button. That being said, both cameras try to minimalize the excessive button pushing as much as possible.

Overall

Winner: VIRB

Whoa, some camera actually beat out the HERO5? The VIRB is definitely not as well known as the HERO5, but we hope this review gave you insight as to the VIRB’s capabilities. Simply put, it’s your ultimate outdoor action camera. With other cameras, we can understand how you might be careful with them and be

Simply put, it’s your ultimate outdoor action camera. With other cameras, we can understand how you might be careful with them and be hesitant to take them into the most extreme conditions. Not the VIRB, because this little machine was built to handle mother nature in all her forms.

YI Action Camera Review

If you’re looking for a good action camera that isn’t as expensive as the GoPro HERO5 or the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30, then you’re in luck. The YI action camera is here to alleviate your worried wallet and still provide you with a quality piece of optic gear. You probably don’t hear about the YI that often because GoPro really does dominate the market.

However, the YI has certainly made a name for itself among its happy users. Why? We’ll let it speak for itself.

Camera

The YI is fully capable of 4k/30FPS quality. Let’s face it, this is the first thing that everyone looks for on any action camera these days. If you’re concerned about battery life, there are lower quality settings which won’t get you the coveted HD videos and photos but they’ll be the next best thing.

Like the more high-end action cameras, the YI employs a three-axis stabilization technique in order to keep the camera from bouncing around. Shaky videos and blurry shots will be a thing of the past with the YI and others like it. What makes the YI different is that you can get all these perks for a relatively cheap price.

Systems

With an interactive touch screen, you can edit photos and videos on the back of the camera. You won’t have to worry about the tedious nature of computer editing software when you can do pretty much what you need on the go. The camera has built in Wi-Fi to allow you to share what you’ve captured to sites like Facebook and YouTube.

The YI lacks the diverse shooting methods that make cameras like the HERO5 so popular. It’s not a huge loss that the YI doesn’t have features like slow motion because it makes up for it in having 4k quality in the first place.

Style and Design

This action camera is even smoother and less bulky than the HERO5 and the VIRB. Literally, it’s like a box with a camera lens sticking out of it. If you put it in its watertight case, not to worry. The YI fits just as nicely and overall is a pretty neat looking camera to behold.

Its touch screen also features Gorilla glass, a toughened material that will resist scratches and scrapes that are more likely to scuff the exterior of the camera.

Overall

The YI is seriously underrated and we would like to see it in the hands of more happy outdoorsmen and women. It’s got just about every spec to make it a premier action camera. Of course, 4k/30FPS shouldn’t be the only deciding factor in your decision to buy the YI.

Regardless, we know the YI is going to satisfy the customer looking to take it into the wilderness and capture all the right moments.

HLS Action Camera vs. GoPro HERO5

The HLS and HERO5 seem like opposite ends of the spectrum for comparing action cameras. However, there are some notable differences and similarities between the two that we believe you should be aware of. On our list of best action cameras (click here for the guide), we have the HLS and the HERO5 in different categories but both are at the top of those respective categories. Regardless of who comes out the winner of this match, both cameras are going to satisfy the amateur or the professional.

Camera

Winner: Slight Tie

Both action cameras employ a 4k camera at 30FPS, the highest quality you can get on the market. However, the HERO5 has a massive advantage in recording time, nearly twice the HLS’s. You’ll be at the controls of the HERO5 for a lot longer than the HLS. Make no mistake, both cameras are going to capture awesome pictures and videos. However, if you want to have a more reliable camera for extended periods of time, the HERO5 is going to more favorable one.

Both cameras have different resolutions. Not that you’d want anything less than 4k quality, but sometimes it can help save battery. This will be especially handy for longer trips.

The Elements

Winner: HLS

It was difficult to find a clear difference between these two cameras, but we decided on the HLS due to a number of stats. It can operate in the water beyond the range of the HERO5 and is more rugged in general. Because it is far cheaper than the HERO5, the camera itself and its accessories will still cost less than a single purchase of the HERO5. If you ever need to replace the HLS for major malfunctions, it won’t cost you too much if at all if you choose an additional warranty plan.

The HLS has been proved on the same harsh terrain and conditions that the HERO5 is made for. Whether it be snow, rain, sleet, or underwater, the HLS is just as reliable as the HERO5.

Systems

Winner: HERO5

The HERO5 is by far the simplest action camera on the market despite its price. The HLS may be cheaper but a number of features that comes with the HERO5 are too great to ignore. For example, voice control and a single button to control recording are revolutionary that most other brands simply don’t have.

The touchscreen on the HERO5’s back also makes handling your videos much simpler than using buttons on the side. The ability to edit those videos on the spot is a feature that clearly separates the HERO5 from the competition.

Overall

Winner: HERO5

The HERO5 is the winner in our minds but not by a huge margin. The HLS is a reliable camera with its one clear advantage being the price. However, GoPro is a proven brand and the HERO5 is the crown jewel of the action camera fleet. Both cameras are built to handle the elements and still get amazing shots. But the HERO5 simply has stats on top of the ones it’s known for to extends its recording time and the ease of which you handle it.

Best Action Cameras of 2017

Action cameras are some of the most popular on-the-go video and photo taking devices on the market. Their video and photo taking capabilities are matched by some of the higher-end DSLR and SLR cameras. We use them to document our lives (no matter how crazy they are) at the moment. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see them mounted on shoulders, helmets, vehicles, aircraft, and even pets.

GoPro is definitely the first name that comes to mind when it comes to action cameras. Sure, GoPro certainly makes some high-quality cameras that are raved about. However, some of their cameras have limitations as to where you should take them and what conditions you should put them under. If you’re on a budget, a couple hundred dollar GoPro may not be in your best interest. That is why we’ve compiled a list of action cameras according to budget and occupation.

Furthermore, we’ll discuss how to compare one action camera vs. another and what you should look out for.

Our #1 Recommendation

GoPro HERO 6 Black

The HERO 6 is the newest toy in GoPro’s expanding product base. Soon to follow is the GoPro Fusion, but for now, the HERO 6 tops the market as the best action camera in the world. Customers might be a little hesitant based on price and how new it is, but trust us, you’d think you were a filmmaker with this little camera.

Aesthetically, it’s not all too dissimilar from the HERO 5. The one button on top of the camera and touchscreen on the back both make a reappearance. The actual lens placement on the front of the camera is a little different to allow for a new type of camera.

This camera is by far the most advanced in the world. Regardless of the fact that the HERO 6 hasn’t been out for so long, 4k at 60FPS quality is about as close as you can get to something like Blu-Ray quality. As soon as you’ve recorded your videos, they are also uploaded to the GoPro app for improved editing.

You won’t have to worry about jarring or shakiness because the HERO 6 features even better stabilization technology than the HERO 5 (which already made a statement on its own). It’s also waterproof without a casing up to 10m (best not to try and test that limit).

It’s hard to make a case for why the HERO 6 shouldn’t be the best action camera in the world.

 

Best Action Cameras under $100

FITFORT Action Camera

The Fitfort is a simple looking action camera that is loaded with impressive specs. It’s natural for people to be wary of brands that don’t say “GoPro” on the front but the Fitfort really handles the competition with a wide range of capabilities. The biggest spec is its 4k/25FPS setting—the highest setting for the video component. This is basically saying HD without specifically saying HD.

For less than a hundred dollars, the FitFort is waterproof above ten meters (thirty-three feet), and users have taken it with them biking, bungee jumping, and snowboarding among other activities. If you’re attaching the Fitfort to an area that you can’t easily reach, not to worry. The camera comes with a wireless controller that will fit around your wrist for easy access.

 

The Crosstour is a bulkier camera but still offers many of the same specs that the Fitfort does all for an insanely low price. We know what you’re thinking—cheap doesn’t always mean good quality but the Crosstour is here to dispel that rumor. 12MP and 1080P quality video (not 4k but still awesome) will still get you prime shots no matter the conditions you put it in. That being said, don’t treat the Crosstour like it’s indestructible. Like the Fitfort, it operates best underwater above 

The Crosstour has nearly triple the operating floor of the Fitfort underwater at thirty meters (ninety-eight feet). This will definitely appeal to swimmers or divers looking to take a camera to deeper spots than just beyond the shore.

 

We might as well call this camera the “McCool” because that’s what it is. With 4k at 30fps and 16mp, the Explorer-Pro is one of the fastest shooting action cameras at the highest quality for an affordable price. Using both rechargeable batteries will give you at maximum, a little over three hours of recording time—perfect for outdoor excursions.

The Explorer Pro comes with two additional shooting features—slow-motion and time-lapse. These features basically give you control over normal and slow to extremely slow speeds. If you consider yourself at the crossroads between hobbies and artistry, then the Explorer Pro is the right balance for you.

 

DBPOWER N6

You may recognize the name DBPOWER by the drones they manufacture. They manufacture the N6 action camera with the same precision and quality that they do their drones. A simplistic camera with 4k video and 170-degree camera angle (almost completely horizontal) makes sure that your shots are of the utmost quality.

Some designs you might find handy is the inclusion of a touch screen on the back of the camera. Like many cameras, the N6 can be controlled via a smartphone app. The CamKing app also gives you the ability to do some slight photo and video editing with the camera’s onboard software. This is perfect for getting repeated shots in a particular area without having to go home to a laptop or desktop to do dedicated editing.

 

AKASO EK7000

The Akaso EK7000 could also fit under the best waterproof cameras section, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put it in our budget section.  The EK7000 is a more dedicated camera for the extreme athlete or hobbyist. It combines a lot of the specs that make previous cameras great—4k video, 25FPS, and 12mp, all of which point to high-quality shots. A remote control attachable to your wrist will enable you to control the camera without much difficulty.

The operating floor of the EK7000 is around 100 feet below the surface of the water. It’s hard to find a better camera better equipped for nature than the EK7000 and for a low price.

 

Best Action Cameras under $200

Powpro Ppan PP-360S

The Ppan is an odd looking action camera for sure, but it does its job well enough to earn its price tag. The Ppan contains the most diverse shooting methods of any action camera, due in part to its unique shape. Whereas most square action cameras only capture 170 degrees of frontal view, the Ppan extends up to 220 degrees. The camera’s built in WiFi function allows you to control its movements from your smartphone and transfer videos directly to that smartphone once you’re finished with them.

A panorama function is the Ppan most notable feature. This camera is not ideal for extreme sports and conditions but perfect for capturing emotional moments wherever they might occur. It’s also tripod and mount applicable, but they come separate from the Ppan itself.

 

SJCAM SJ5000X Elite

The SJ5000X may look like your average GoPro, but the reality is it’s anything but. It’s’ built to handle most grueling of journeys but still return some of the best images and videos possible. On the inside, it’s equipped with a number of programs and components to keep its shutter steady. In extreme environments, you can expect your camera to be tossed around almost as much as you are. The SJ5000X makes sure to compensate for these conditions while still maintaining a high standard in light filtering and coloration.

This camera also comes equipped with a slow motion feature (240FPS), enabling you to capture precise movements and details as they occur.

 

Best Waterproof Action Cameras

HLS Action Camera

The HLS action camera is a masterpiece of durable, waterproof technology. The highest possible setting on the HLS is a 4k/30 FPS, one of if not the best in the action camera market. Like the rest of the cameras in the waterproof section, it’s perfectly capable operating above and below the water line.

In regards to operating underwater, the HLS has an operating floor of a hundred feet, which is about the lowest floor of any camera on this list. To take full advantage of this feature, diving will probably be preferable to snorkeling.

 

Funshare Action Camera

Although the Funshare only has an operating floor of thirty meters, it’s another camera built specifically to handle repeated underwater use. While it doesn’t have 4k video quality, it’s 1080p is still far better than any spec below it. A 14mp camera is a small boost in quality over the standard 12mp spec that comes on most action cameras.

Two fully charged batteries can give you up to three hours of recording time. This is among the longest durations of recording time on the market. You can be contempt with taking longer trips without having to worry about battery life.

 

Best Action Cameras for Hunting

Spypoint Xcel

During a hunt, it’s key to have a reliable action camera that can capture sights and sounds of game with precision. The Spypoint Xcel has a 4k quality option and every spec below that with the corresponding megapixel setting. You’ll also enjoy the fact that it’s camouflaged for forest terrain. It’s possible game might be scared away or confused by any other color of action camera.

The Xcel also has a burst mode feature—able to take three photos in only one and a half seconds. If you’re looking to track the position of game over time, this feature will definitely come in handy.

 

Olympus TG-Tracker

The TG-Tracker is a more dedicated action camera for hunting as opposed to ones that are applicable for hunting. It shoots at 4k quality which is what most people are going to be looking for. Its design is a little wonky in that its front facing with the LCD screen located on the side. This means you probably won’t be holding it when its recording. Instead it would probably work best strapped to some part of your body or tree.

This camera, besides its video and camera capabilities, has five senors—GPS, compass, accelerometer, thermometer, and a barometer. It would appear that camera is more of a multi-tool than just a camera, which is extremely beneficial to the dedicated hunter.

 

Best Action Cameras for Sports

GoPro HERO5

Not to be mistaken with the HERO5 Session. The simply put “HERO5” is the crown jewel of current GoPro technology. This camera truly has the most astounding specs about it. The price is still looming but if you’re looking to capture important moments on vacation or holiday, the HERO5 is the best camera for the job.

Like the Session, the HERO5 is a simple, one button camera. This button turns on the camera and you can basically control the recording from there with your voice. The back screen is also touch sensitive, giving you the ability to alter the quality and do some slight editing.

 

GoPro HERO5 Session

The HERO5 Session is another odd looking action camera. Don’t mistake this feature for the inability to do its job well. The camera itself is relatively easy to operate compared to the more rectangular action cameras. Aside from being waterproof, the Session fits snug onto everything from surfboards to helmets.

The Session is one of GoPro’s most advanced cameras. It can be voice controlled, enabling you to record without having to reach around to press a button.  Its 4k video at 30FPS is the fastest and highest quality on the market. The price is going to be a concern for most people, but GoPro really knocks it out of the park with the Session. This camera is built to handle the elements and give you some of the recordings of images and videos.

 

YI 4K Sports and Action Video Camera

The YI is definitely an advanced piece of equipment, employing a number of technologies to produce high-quality shots. The YI’s lens covers 160 degrees, slightly lower than the average degree angle but the difference isn’t too noticeable. Basically, the YI’s specs are designed to compensate for the worst of conditions.

Some cameras (and even phones) will get blazing hot when you set them on the highest quality. The YI compensates for this factor with an advanced cooler that will keep the camera and its valuable electronics from overheating, even on a hot day. The touchscreen will also give you editing capabilities

 

Best Action Cameras for Helmets

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

The VIRB tops our list in this category for a number of reasons, not the least of which because of its all-around specs and capabilities. While not a dedicated helmet camera, it’s the best kind for the job of off-roading or helmeted sports. It shoots at 30FPS, the highest setting for 4k quality. You’ll be getting more than just above average quality.

The VIRB is almost on point with the hunting camera, the TG-Tracker, in that it has a number of sensors built into supplement your journey. If you plan on staying away from home or taking an extended trip, the VIRB can help you adjust to your surroundings and even keep track of your heart rate.

 

GoPro HD Helmet Hero

The Helmet Hero is an older model of GoPro but don’t let that fool you as to its capabilities. It doesn’t have the 4k quality option that a general action camera does by 1080p setting is still up there in terms of quality. The advantage with this is at 1080p, you get a whopping four hours of recording time!

This camera comes with a couple of mounts so you can mount it on everything from motorbike helmets to sports helmets. A multitude of shooting modes will give you an equally diverse way of looking at your footage.

 

Kodak PIXPRO SP1

The PIXPRO is a cute little camera similar in design to the TG-Tracker. It’s probably the simplest action camera you can get and pretty small at that. It won’t have the quality that bigger and more advanced action cameras do but it makes up for these in its versatility. It’s waterproof up to thirty feet and has stabilization software to avoid blurry shots.
Its shape is ideal for fitting on helmets or even the sides of helmets.

Comparing Cameras

With technology being updated almost every day, you can expect to see prices drop as higher quality optics becomes more affordable. Still, there is a multitude of action cameras out there, and it’s pretty overwhelming. As you’re looking through this guide, you’re probably wondering, how do I choose between two really good cameras?

If the categories didn’t already narrow down your decision, we’ve provided some pointers and tips to help guide your search.

Sports, Environments, and Conditions

One of the biggest factors you’ll have to consider when purchasing an action camera is where are you going to take it and how are you going to use it. Some examples of activities outdoorsmen and women have taken action cameras on are the following—

  • Rafting
  • Hiking/Backpacking
  • Running
  • Snowboarding/Skiing
  • Skydiving
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Helmeted Sports

While these are just some examples of activities, you’ll also have to factor in the weather should it come into play. Rain, wind, and snow are all threats to sensitive optics. Most manufacturers realize that their customers will be going on adventures with their action cameras, so they prepare them as best they can for rugged terrain and harsh weather.

  • This doesn’t mean you should treat your action camera as invincible. Treat it how you would treat a sensitive telescope or camera—with caution and handling.

Quality

Most of the action cameras on our list have the ability to shoot in 4k, 1080p, and 12mp quality. There are some cameras with specs above and below those mentioned, but for the most part, you should be able to get an excellent camera for under $400. However, maybe your budget and desire for camera quality are interlinked, how do you reconcile the two?

If you consider yourself a hobbyist and adventure above all, maybe you’re not too keen on purchasing the camera with the highest possible specs on the action camera market. If you’re contempt with the shots you get the first time, then you can probably push your search towards the $100 range and below.  If specs are your primary ambition, then the higher priced cameras are going to be your best bet. You may even get a few more shooting methods and editing styles for paying a little more.

  • Keep in mind which action cameras say they are waterproof. They may be common, but you don’t want to purchase one that isn’t just because it has fancy specs!

 

What does it mean when a camera says it has “built-in WiFi”? 

  • Most, if not all cameras require a WiFi connection to operate. Out in the wilderness or under the water, the internet doesn’t exist, so what does this mean? Well, it’s actually pretty simple. The camera will have a WiFi adapter compared to your smartphone’s emitter. The two will search for each other even outside civilization. Once they’re connected, you’re good to go! Just don’t expect to run much beyond the camera’s specific app.

 

Overall

We guarantee that you’re going to be satisfied with whatever action camera you end up purchasing from this list. While GoPro is still the hottest name on the market, don’t count out the various other manufacturers. Some of them, like the Ppap and the MGcool have some unique qualities about them that will make you do a double take.

It’s important to take care of these optics despite how battle-tested they may be according to other users. The warranty can only cover so much for so long. Carefully and soundly attaching a camera to your body or helmet will extend its lifetime dramatically.

 

 

Best GoPros of 2017

GoPros are the premier action cameras on the market and no one will deny that. While other manufacturers have begun to create their own versions, GoPro remains at the top. GoPro has the widest range of action cameras available for purchase.

We’ve picked out the ones that will best fit extreme athletes, or just about anyone looking for a high-quality action camera.

HERO6

Even though it’s still pretty new, the HERO6 definitely tops the list of any action camera comparison guide. It doesn’t differ too much from the HERO5 on the outside, but the inside specs are going to blow your mind.

At 4k/60FPS, its the fastest shooting camera we’ve heard of. If you thought the HERO5 was a step above the competition, the HERO6 blows it out of the water. 60FPS is unheard of in the action camera market.

It is waterproof up to 10m and it uploads footage directly to the GoPro app for so you can edit footage that’s already in groundbreaking quality.

 

HERO5Hero 5

The HERO5 is probably the best action camera on the market of any sort. Although it comes at a steep price, it combines stability, high specs, long recording time, voice control, touch display all with a moderate operating floor of around thirty-three feet underwater. Along with multiple shooting modes, the HERO5 is virtually unmatched in its versatility.

Since it is the latest and greatest model in GoPro design, the HERO5 is going to be subject to some software updates after your purchase. Some users have found this process a little tedious and risky since you really have no control over the update. Should anything bad happen to the HERO5 during a software update, you should consult forums and check the warranty on the camera.

In the end, the HERO5 is still our first choice for the best action camera. The price is deterring, sure, but for all its features and capabilities, the HERO5 is well worth it.

 

HERO5 SessionHero 5 Session

The HERO5 Session is part of the same line of HERO5 cameras but overall a different design. The Session has just about every feature the HERO5 does with the exception of a touchscreen on the back, hence the design change.

You’re probably asking yourself, why is the HERO5 so popular while the Session has almost identical features for cheaper? The Session does have a shorter battery life, by nearly an hour, and lacks a touchscreen. Whether or not one cares about the lack of these features is going to be different for each individual person. Make no mistake, the Session is still a great camera and further simplifies accessibility by being so small.

 

HERO4 Hero 4

The HERO4 is not too far beyond the HERO5 line in terms of specs and capabilities. It’s overall cheaper than both the HERO5 and the Session and still sports 4k quality and 30FPS. While it’s production has slowed compared to the HERO5 line, the HERO4 was basically the HERO5 of its day when it was GoPro’s most up to date model.

The difference overall between the HERO4 and 5 lines are isn’t enormous, and we guarantee you’ll be happy with either camera. The key to this debate between the HERO4’s and 5’s is do you want the best that action camera has to offer today or are you content with a later model that users have proven works just as well?

 

HERO3+Hero 3

The HERO3+ is the oldest model of GoPro on our list, but for good reason. You can either purchase them new for more money or refurbished for less. Refurbished means they were previously owned but have been cleaned, updated, and restored to all but new status. The HERO3+ shows its age but not being capable of 4k quality, with the highest being 1080p. You’ll notice a difference between the two settings but 1080p is still nothing to be ashamed of.

The HERO3+ is still a tough camera and built to handle the elements. Sure it doesn’t come with the features that make the HERO5 line flashy but its affordable and gets the job done.

 

Comparing and Contrasting GoPros

There are a bunch of GoPros out there, and it can be difficult to choose which one fits your style. Some GoPros are no longer manufactured but are refurbished if they are returned. To help you gain a better perspective on which GoPros to look into, we’ve written up a guide concerning certain aspects of GoPros.

These categories will range in importance to each individual person but nevertheless, you should pay attention to them if you want to get the most out of your GoPro.

Handling

The newest versions of GoPros are becoming easier to handle. By this we mean how easy it is to record videos, make slight adjustments to them, and keep on recording. The HERO5 line of GoPros uses only a single button to control to start/stop recording. This is easier than using a remote attached to your wrist that may or may not be waterproof itself. The touchscreen on the back is also easier to use than buttons.

If you’re looking for an easy to use action camera, the newest models of GoPros are going to be your camera. However, if you don’t mind the button mashing for a lower price, the older versions will work just as great.

Recording Time

This a huge aspect of your decision. Say for example you plan to go on a backpacking trip or somewhere far away from the nearest power outlet. You want to trust that your GoPro will stay alive for at least two hours. Anything less than that probably isn’t worth the price. Some GoPros have been known to go beyond three hours if they are well maintained and kept safe when not in use.

Waterproof

GoPros are built to handle the elements, but the one element you really want to watch out for is water. Some of them will advertise themselves as waterproof up to a certain depth. This is the maximum operating floor of the GoPros until water pressure begins to affect the electronics.

Be aware that not all GoPros are waterproof, particularly the older models. Check the descriptions carefully for a waterproof notice and its operating floor. There’s a difference between taking a GoPro snorkeling (not far beneath the water), and diving (deeper).

Quality

GoPros are the tippy top of action cameras and thus most of them are going to shoot in 4k quality, the highest any action camera can go. In case you aren’t aware, when action cameras or any camera/video for that matter say that they can shoot in 720, 960, 1080, 4k and so forth, they are talking about the camera’s resolution in pixels.

A camera that is capable of 4k quality is going to fetch a higher price than those with just 720p. Some will only go as high as 1080, which is still pretty high. You’ll want to avoid high priced cameras that only go up to 720p, as those are just scams.

Frames per second (FPS) is another spec you should pay attention to. Frames per second refers to how fast a video plays once you’ve taken it. A camera with a high FPS is going to play your videos in what looks like Blu-Ray quality, or “close to real life”. In comparison, cameras with low FPS are going to be slower.

Shooting Modes

If you’re looking to get a little crafty with your shooting methods, certain GoPros will offer more shooting modes. These modes will contribute to a price increase but are a pretty neat addition to an already exceptional camera. Once you’ve mastered the normal recording method, these modes will offer you an artistic view of your journeys.

Accessories

Most GoPro accessories like mounts, straps, and selfie sticks will come separate from the camera itself. It’s a little tedious to have to purchase them separately but ultimately necessary. In these accessories bundles, you’ll want to ensure that you get all the correct mounts if you plan on mounting it on a helmet. It’s better to have an excess of ways that you can handle the GoPro than having to go back purchase yet another bundle.

Stability

Whether you’re boarding down a hill or riding down a treacherous mountain, you want a camera that remains stable. You’ll never get the same quality as if you were standing still, but you still want to comprehend your videos.

Certain GoPros, like the HERO5 line, employ a state of the art stabilization software to keep the camera focused during sharp maneuvers and movements. If you’re an extreme athlete, then a GoPro with advanced stabilization will probably be worth the few extra bucks.