Do you spend a lot of time near or under the water. Record your adventures with these recommended waterproof action cameras.
It’s very hard to put a number as to how many people love playing in the water. It’s safe to say that there are millions of them, as the US Census once estimated that in 2010 there were 58.67 million beachgoers in the US alone.
When you consider just how many exciting adventures you can have on and underneath the water, it’s not surprising that many of them will want to preserve and record those memories. So that’s why action cameras have to be waterproof.
With a waterproof action camera you can record videos of your kayak or jet ski exploits. You can also take memorable videos of the underwater sights you encounter when you’re scuba diving.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Choose the Best Waterproof Action Camera
- 2 Recommended 5 Product Waterproof Action Camera
- 3 Conclusion
How to Choose the Best Waterproof Action Camera
So how do you choose the best waterproof camera for your needs? Here are some factors you need to consider:
Well, duh! Call us Captain Obvious, but then again it doesn’t make sense if we don’t put in this consideration first. The level of water resistance you need must be suitable for the things you like to do. Some action cameras are just waterproof enough that you don’t have to panic if it lightly rains while you’re outdoors.
Others can be submerged underwater to a depth of only a few feet, and only for a few minutes. But there are action cameras you can take with deep down underwater while you’re scuba diving.
Size and weight
These cameras come with you in the thick of the action, so they have to be very easy to bring with you. They can’t be a hindrance at all. What that means is that they should be very small and very light, especially if you plan to attach it to your helmet.
Your helmet isn’t the only mounting option you have for your action camera. You can put it on your bike as you go zooming around a muddy track in the rain. You can put it on a skateboard too. Of course, it should also be mountable to many types of water equipment, such as jet skis and kayaks.
Many of the better action cameras offer great image quality for daytime outdoor shoots. Here you will need to check the allowed video resolution and frame rates.
Ease of use
You don’t want confusing controls in the heat of the moment, which may make you miss a crucial action sequence or shoot a video on the wrong settings. And you may as well pay attention to the battery life too, since it can be annoying if you need to charge the batteries after only a short while.
Not everyone can afford to splurge here. But then again if you don’t plan on spending a significant amount of money, you may not get a good action camera at all. Here we also need to consider the value for money.
Recommended 5 Product Waterproof Action Camera
1. GoPro HERO4 BLACK
You can take this down to 40 meters underwater. What’s the adjective you use for “very small”? Miniscule? Microscopic? Compared to other action cameras, this is just tiny at 1.53 x 2.79 x 2.8 inches. And it only weighs ⅓ of a pound.
Put it on your head and it’s like nothing. You have multiple mounting options available too. It comes with adhesive mounts for flat and curved surfaces along with quick release buckles. No matter what, you can attach this to just about anything. The image quality offered by the HERO4 is undoubtedly heads and shoulders above the rest of the competition.
You can record in 4K at 30 fps, and in 1080p at 120 fps.You can even record in 720p resolution and get an astonishing 240 fps frame rate for clear images in super slow motion. You can also get high quality 12MP photos at 30 frames per second.
You also get lots of features here that let you take clear videos and photos very easily. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, you won’t have a problem using your phone to control the camera even though there’s no LCD screen built in.
There are even features for nighttime shooting, which comes in handy under the water. The only problem here is battery life, because recording in 4K will drain your battery in less than an hour.
So you better have an extra one handy. Of course, you will have to pay dearly for all these terrific features. It’s available for about $250, but then again you get professional-grade results. It’s worth all that money if you’re taking a lot of videos on and in the water.
2. SJCAM Original SJ4000
As is, it’s merely splash-proof. But it does come with its own waterproof case, which lets you take it to an underwater depth of 30 meters. It measures 29.8 x 59.2 x 41mm (that’s 1.17 x 2.33 x 1.61 inches), so it’s also very small.
And the weight is okay too, as it weighs just 2 ounces. It also comes with lots of mounting equipment, with clips, Velcro attachments, cables, and brackets. The image quality is also nice enough, although part of that is due to some digital trickery. It can shoot up to 1080p resolution, but it only allows for 30fps.
You can get a version of 60fps, but that’s only with double frame.It just records each frame twice. But that should be enough for most people, since YouTube videos are shot in 30fps. In some ways, this is easier to use than a GoPro, since it has an LCD screen.
There are lots of easy to use features, including motion detection and even smile detection.It has Wi-Fi capability too, so you can use your smartphone. It’s only the battery life that’s problematic, as shooting in 1080p will need you to recharge your batteries in about 70 minutes.
The price is the most astonishing factor here, since you can get this for about $85. The GoPro HERO4 costs 5 times as much, but it’s hard to argue that it’s 5 times better. In any case, the SJ4000 is good enough that there are some fake versions floating around, so be careful.
3. Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000VR
Even as is, it is protected against rain and splashes. It is even waterproof up to 3 meters. But with the special waterproof case, you can go much deeper. It has the dimensions of a typical camcorder, at 5 x 3.2 x 6.4 inches. But it’s still light at 14.4 ounces. It comes with a universal tripod mount, but you can use a variety of Sony and GoPro mounts for this.
You will have to make separate purchases for these mounts, though. Or you can get any of the special bundles, for motor sports, snowboarding, surfing, or just plain traveling. Image quality is outstanding. You can record in 4K at 30fps or choose a lower resolution and get a frame rate of 120 or even 240 fps.
In 4K, you can get a really smooth image action with a 100Mbps bit rate. It’s very easy to use, with various features that let you get quality results without any difficulty.
It even has an underwater mode that gives you accurate colors underwater. We’re back to the more expensive cameras, as this one costs about $400. But that’s already an improvement as it used to cost about $500.
4. Spy Tec Mobius Action Camera 1080P HD Mini Sports Cam
Its water resistance over land is good enough that you won’t really worry about rain. But you can just buy a waterproof casing and you can go snorkeling with it. When it comes to size and weight, this one is a winner too at just 2 x 1 x 1 inches. And it weighs a negligible 1.2 ounces.
The Mobius can be mounted in various for different uses. You can mount it as a helmet cam, a bike cam, a dash cam or even as a security camera.With its 131-degree viewing radius, you can record 1080p video at 30fps or 720p video at 60 fps.
The controls are also very intuitive. The battery life lasts for about 80 minutes, but loop recording is available. You can get it for less than $80. When you consider just how many uses you can have for it, it’s actually a great investment. As a dash cam alone it’s worth the purchase.
5. TomTom Bandit 4k Action Video Camera
You can use this for your swimming pool or even for snorkeling. It’s also small at 2.07 x 3.72 x 1.46 inches, with a weight of 6.6 ounces. It has 3 different mounts, including the GoPro Mount Adapter.
The image quality is outstanding with 4K recording and 16MP photos. You can record in 1080p at 60fps and in 720p at 120 fps. That means you can get high quality images in slow motion.
It comes with a very long list of easy to use features. These include night mode as well as motion and GPS sensors so you can tag and find exciting moments. You can use your heart rate monitor to find these exciting sequences! This costs about $300, but that’s already a discount because it used to cost $400
This list contains both affordable and high end models, and that’s intentional on our part. You can try out these waterproof action cameras for a spin without spending too much.
Then afterwards you can go for the high end models when you find yourself itching to take as many underwater videos as you can. With these cameras, you can get thrilling videos that can match with any underwater shows you can find on cable TV!
Last update on 2019-07-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API