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HD action camera reviews

CHOICE tests and reviews 19 action cameras including models from GoPro, Sony and Panasonic.
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01.Introduction

Action camera

We reveal which action cams, priced from $200 to $639, deliver the goods when it comes to:

  • the best quality video in daylight, low light and artificial light
  • the best battery life
  • taking the best still photos

On this page, you'll find:

The popularity of the action camera in the era of the smartphone can be traced to one major feature – durability.

While the smartphone has replaced the compact still camera and dedicated video camera for many, most people would think twice before strapping an $800 smartphone to the bonnet of their car or to their helmet before hurtling down a bike track. 

Action cameras continue to improve in video quality with each generation. Meanwhile, wireless connectivity and the availability of smartphone apps to control your camera are making them easier than ever to use (though the on-board controls still aren't so user-friendly).

And even if your recreational activities aren’t extreme, action cameras are  well suited to anyone who simply wants something to take to the beach or throw in a backpack when travelling overseas. All are built for durability, and when combined with the accessories to mount the camera to almost anything, become a great option for extreme action lovers, as well as occasional weekend warriors.

Brands and models tested

  • Drift Innovation Ghost S
  • Garmin VIRB Elite
  • GoPro Hero
  • GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition
  • GoPro Hero4 Black Standard Edition
  • GoPro Hero4 Silver Standard Edition
  • Intova SportHD
  • ion Adventure
  • ion AirPro 3
  • iSaw Extreme A3
  • JVC GC-XA2
  • Liquid Image 339 Apex HD
  • Liquid Image Model 324 or 325
  • Logitech Bemo
  • Panasonic HX-A100
  • Panasonic HX-A500
  • Sony HDR-AS100V
  • Sony HDR-AS20
  • Toshiba Camileo X-Sports

Previously tested models

  • Contour 2
  • Drift Innovation HD Ghost
  • DXG 5G9V HD ironX
  • Garmin VIRB
  • GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition
  • GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition
  • Intova SportHD
  • iON AirPro 2
  • JVC GC-XA2
  • Panasonic HX-A100
  • Polaroid XS80
  • Rollei Bullet 5S WiFi
  • Sony HDR-AS30V

How we test

We assess action cameras for:

  • Video quality performance in daylight, low light and artificial light conditions
  • Battery life
  • Still photo performance
For more information on action cameras or video cameras go to our electronics section.
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