Best Action Camera 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the best action camera for 2018 can be quite of a hassle when you have so many options, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. best action camera 2018

There are a lot of factors that you have to consider and you also have to know what you want to do with your action camera so that you can choose the best action camera for your own terms.

The most popular brand is GoPro but there are plenty others that offer different features for different uses.

Various characteristics like compactness, quality of the video and image, zooming, night imaging, frames per second, waterproofness, durability, and connectivity can help shape your decision according to your wants and needs. Wikipedia’s page on action cameras.

In the following article, there are several action cameras listed with their features, advantages, and disadvantages, as well as pictures to check the style of each action camera so that you can weigh your options and make the optimum choice for your purchase of the best action camera 2018.

Best Action Camera 2018

Camera NameWeightLCD SizeWaterproof Depth  
GoPro Hero5 Black4.2 oz2"33 ft. Check Price
YI 4K Action Camera 3.4 oz2.19"131 ft. Check Price
Sony FDR X30004.1 oz1"197 ft. Check Price
GoPro Hero5 Session2.6 oz0"33 ft. Check Price
GoPro Hero6 Black4 oz2"33 ft. Check Price
Garmin VIRB Ultra 302.3 oz1.75"132 ft. Check Price
Kodak PIXPRO SP15.4 oz1.5"32 ft. Check Price

1. GoPro Hero5 Black – Best Action Camera 2018

The Hero5 Black sets itself apart with a number of great features, with a 12-megapixel ultra HD (30 fps) camera, 4K video shooting at 30 frames per second, a 2 inches touch screen to let you preview, review, and edit the media you capture.

Furthermore, it’s waterproof up until 10 meters without an additional case, and it has single-button action mechanism.

It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to update your social media instantly and with absolute ease. It also has advanced video stabilization to keep handheld shots clear and sharp.

The Hero5 Black can be controlled with simple voice commands and has various modes: single shot, burst and time-lapse photos.

There is also a built-in GPS to gather exact location information to tag photos with them. You can control on-screen exposure to fine-tune every shot you capture. The noise rejection is advanced and records stereo audio clearly.

You can also connect to cloud and upload all your media automatically so you don’t lose any of it. With a total pixel count 12 MP, as well as effective pixel count for video, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD footage and 4:3 for a regular one.

It comes with a year’s warranty on parts, labor and image sensor. Its size is 1.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches, and weight 0.26 pounds that make it extremely portable.

It has a lovely combination of features that are satisfactory both for audio and visual output.

But of course it’s not perfect, the battery life –especially with GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, EIS on- isn’t the longest, and it’s not compatible with older batteries. Also, you need to pay 5 dollars per month for the auto upload feature to work.

Pros:

  • Amazing image quality
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • Superb microphones
  • Waterproof (up until 10 meters)

Cons:

  • Not compatible with older batteries
  • Touchscreen isn’t very responsive

The Hero5 Black combines a lot of great features and adds to the Hero4 cameras, so it makes a great device for capturing every intricate detail around you and we consider it as the best action camera to buy for 2018.

2. YI 4K Action Camera – Best Value Action Camera 2018

The YI 4K is a great choice for anyone looking to buy an action camera in 2018 but has a limited budget. It comes in 3 colors: Black, white, or rose.

So much technology is packed into this small-sized device, with new generation Ambarella A9SE75, Sony IMX337 sensor, and 7 layers of high-quality LCE optical glass lenses combined with F2.8 large aperture to increase light intake and capture the most intricate of details, it records 4K/ 30 frames per second at 60 Mbps, which makes it best in its class.

It also has an integrated 2.19 inches LCD Gorilla Glass Retina touchscreen customized with a 330ppi high resolution and high sensitivity, resists scratches and daily impact, and is viewable from a 160-degree angle.

The widescreen is 640 x 360 allows you to preview and see what you’re shooting. It also has Broadcom’s dual-band high-speed Wi-Fi, with download speeds up to 30 Mbps.

You can also connect it to the YI action camera app, which is fast and convenient video editing, image and video filters, and music options. It can record up to 120 minutes 4K 30 frames per second video with a single charge of its 1400 mAh battery.

It also has electronic image stabilization with 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer which identifies changes in motions and positions.

When there is any instability in the footage of the camera, the sensors use image cross-border compensation algorithm to make up for the change and produce stable videos.

With a total pixel count 12 MP. It comes with a size 1.2 x 1.7 x 2.6 inches and weighs 0.21 pounds.

However, if you want to shoot underwater you’ll need to buy an extra waterproof case.  The microSD card slot is not that easy to access, and some bits of the English app is still in Chinese.

Pros:

  • Amazing image quality
  • Durable and elongated battery life
  • Interactive touchscreen display
  • Reliable Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons:

  • Waterproof case is not included
  • Difficulty of underwater use

The quality of the YI 4K is superb, and then when you check the price you find that it’s an astounding deal. It has great features at a very affordable price, making it the best budget action camera 2018 overall.

3. Sony FDR X3000 – Most Steady Action Camera 2018

best action cam 2018The Sony FDR X3000 is your ideal tool for recording high-quality 4K videos with unprecedented motion steadiness.

Using SteadyShot technology to reduce shake, the Sony FDR X3000 allows you to capture stable images and videos like never before.

It’s also equipped with an Exmor R CMOS sensor with intensified sensitivity to allow you to shoot in darkness or very subtle lights, a BIONZ X image processor to record quick moves and smooth action up to 4K at 100 Mbps, and a ZEISS Tessar lens to decrease distortion of landscape footage. You can freely adjust the field of view and zoom.

The Sony FDR X3000 allows you to team up remotely with live-view, where with similar user interfaces you can connect the Action Cam and Live-View remote. You can turn the camera on or off to save battery power, and the Play Memories Mobile on a smartphone allows you the same control over the camera.

So not only is it wristwear, but the remote controller acts as a tool for controlling various optional accessories such as Finger Grip.

No need to worry about protecting the camera because its body is splashproof, freezeproof and supplied with an underwater case which is dustproof and shockproof and of course waterproof up until 60 meters.

You can also customize it with add-ons, like the Finger Grip (AKA-FGP1) or the MC Protector (AKA-MCP1) to protect the lens from dirt or being scratched.

With a total pixel count 8.57 MP, and 8.2 effective pixel count for video, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD. It comes with a year’s warranty on parts and an image sensor and 90 days on labor and a size 1.2 x 1.9 x 3.3 inches and weighs 0.26 pounds.

But with all these advantages, the X3000’s menu response can be relatively slow and lens could be easily smeared and have water droplets cling to it after shooting in water.

Pros:

  • High quality of both audio and visual
  • Good optical image stabilization
  • Durable battery life
  • Improvements in design

Cons:

  • Turns on very slowly when using remote control
  • Waterproof case is big

All in all the Sony FDR X3000 offers an amazing set of features with great operation quality, and its advantages outweigh its disadvantages, making it worth the price.

4. GoPro Hero5 Session – Most Compact Action Camera 2018

action cam 2018The Hero5 Session excels at its job with a couple of attributes like a 10-megapixel ultra HD (30 fps) camera, 4K video shooting at 30 frames per second. Furthermore, it’s waterproof up until 10 meters without an external case, and it has single-button action mechanism.

It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to update your social media instantly. It also has advanced digital video stabilization to keep handheld shots clear and sharp.

The Hero5 Session can be controlled with simple voice commands and has various modes: single shot, burst and time-lapse photos.

There is also a built-in GPS to gather exact location information to tag photos with them. You can control on-screen exposure to fine-tune every shot you capture. The noise rejection is advanced and records stereo audio clearly.

You can also connect to cloud and upload all your media automatically so you don’t lose any of it. With a total pixel count 10 MP, as well as effective pixel count for video, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD footage and 4:3 for regular one. It comes with a year’s warranty on parts, labor and image sensor. Its size is 1.4 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches, and weight 0.28 pounds that make it extremely portable.

Its small size and light weight make it easy to carry around, its compactness is astounding.

But to see what you’re capturing, you have to connect to a phone or tablet. Also, the built-in battery forces you to stop using the camera if the battery dies so you can recharge it first or connect it to a power source to continue recording or taking pictures.

Pros:

  • Dual sensitive microphones
  • Very portable and easy to carry
  • Perfect image and video quality
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • 4K resolution

Cons:

  • No GPS
  • You can’t remove the battery
  • No support for still images through WDR or RAW

The GoPro Hero5 Session adds to an existing great design and complements it with amazing features.

5. GoPro Hero6 Black – Best Action Camera 2018 for Image Stabilization

top action camera 2018The GoPro Hero6 Black comes with a 12-megapixel lens that shoots 4K video at 60 frames per second. With 2 inch screen with touch zoom to allow you to preview, review and edit footage.

It also has built-in GPS letting you add data to your captures with your computer and GoPro’s Quik desktop app and tag photos with accurate location.

The GoPro Hero6 Black also comes with a GP1 processor to improve the image quality and stabilize videos. It’s also waterproof down until 10 meters underwater without an external case.

There’s also 5 GHz built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to upload your content instantly to your social media accounts.

You can control the camera remotely with voice commands, and enjoy several shooting modes: single shot, burst and time lapse. Stills are shot in RAW and HDR mode to show the most intricate details.

QuikStories sends media to your phone where it’s turned into a time-lapse of your day by default. There is also a free GoPro mobile app to offer remote control of camera functions.

With a total pixel count 12 MP, as well as effective pixel count for video, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD footage and 4:3 for a regular one. It comes with a year’s warranty on parts, labor and image sensor and a size 1.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches and weighs 0.26 pounds.

However, to upgrade you’ll have to spend some cash and all the new features and faster operation don’t do the life of the battery any favors, so it needs to be recharged more often than usual.

Pros:

  • Better quality of images
  • Higher rate of frame and combinations of resolution
  • Amazing digital image stabilization
  • Better EIS, dynamic range and performance in low light

Cons:

  • Quite pricey
  • Voice control isn’t very reliable

The GoPro Hero6 Black brings about a lot of upgrades to the Hero family. With top-notch features and mind-blowing image stabilization, it’s worth every penny you put into it.

6. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Best GPS sensor

action camera 2018The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is a great tool for recording high-quality 4K videos. Ultra HD 4K, 30 frames per second footage with a 1.75 inches touchscreen to display captures and let you see what you’re recording.

It has 3-axis image stabilization which captures smooth and steady videos, regardless of the terrain that surrounds you.

Voice control –that reaches up to 40 meters- allows you to start or stop recording, take photos or remember moments. There are built-in sensors and GPS capture G-Metrix data to show you how far, how fast, and how high you’re going and even heart monitoring when paired with compatible Garmin sensors or Garmin devices that offer heart rate monitoring.

The microphone is very highly sensitive, capturing audio in and out of the waterproof case which is usable up to 40 meters. It also has live streaming so that you can share the adventures you’re living second-by-second.

You can also connect the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 to a mobile app on a compatible smartphone or tablet to prepare the perfect shot, control multiple cameras, edit or share footage.

The 1250 mAh battery lives up to 2 hours and 15 minutes at 1080p/ 30 frames per second, and 1 hour 15 minutes at 4K/ 30 frames per second, which can be considered quite durable.

With a resolution 12 MP and 8 MP, and burst frames up to 60 frames per second. It comes with a year’s warranty on parts and an image sensor and 90 days on labor and a size 2.4 x 1.2 x 1.6 inches and weighs 0.2 pounds.

The design is quite retrograde though, but that’s not too bad to tolerate in the face of the features it offers.

Pros:

  • High speed shooting options with 4K
  • ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor connectivity
  • Live streaming to YouTube
  • WiFi Smartphone control
  • Overlays data on video

Cons:

  • Doesn’t stabilize image in 4K
  • Needs a case to be waterproof

The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 shoots great 4K videos and has great image quality which makes it a very good action camera.

7. Kodak PIXPRO SP1 – Best Budget Action Camera 2018 

best action camera 2018No need to spend a fortune for the best device since the Kodak PIXPRO SP1 offers the ideal balance between quality, usability, and affordability. With 1080p HD videos, and a 14 MP CMOS lens. It’s waterproof up until 10 meters and shockproof up until 2 meters, dustproof and freezeproof resisting temperatures down to -10 Celsius/ 14 Fahrenheit, it is built for durability.

The Kodak PIXPRO SP1 is great for capturing movements with 10 frames per second, and it has a 1.5 inches LCD screen for good display. It also has built-in wireless connectivity so you don’t have to wait to share your amazing captures with the world.

The Kodak PIXPRO SP1 has a different field of view, ranging from ultra-wide, medium, narrow, and water ring for underwater shooting.  With a 1,250 mAh battery which is rated for around 2 hours and 10 minutes of 1080p video or 350 shots, it surpasses the average battery life of other action cameras of similar price range or even higher!

With a total pixel count 15.31 MP, and 14.24 MP effective image sensor pixels, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD. It comes with a year’s warranty in case of defects in materials or workmanship under normal use, as long as it’s purchased directly or from one of JKI’s authorized dealers and resellers. Its size is 9.3 x 6.1 x 5.9 inches and weighs 0.33 pounds.

Generally, all the upsides and advantages of the Kodak PIXPRO SP1 make up for how it feels like a baggage to carry around due to its relatively heavy weight.

Pros:

  • Superb quality of videos and photos
  • Great price
  • LCD screen for menu navigation
  • Wireless controlling
  • Specialized underwater lens

Cons:

  • Bulky design makes it heavy
  • Video recording is limited to 1080 pixel or 30 frames per second

The Kodak PIXPRO SP1 is undeniably the best action camera 2018 in its price range, with great quality and built-in display and no need for a waterproof case. It is quite a bargain.

Finally, Buyer’s Guide:

Now that you’ve got all the information, it’s time to decide on what you are looking for. There are a couple of things that guide you to what the action camera in 2018 would be best suited for you.

How to choose the best action camera in 2018:

Of course, after considering price, size, and dimensions of your own preferences, the things you want to look for are as follows:

LCD screen size:  This is so that you can see the images you’re capturing and videos you’re recording.

Total Pixel Count: This is the number of picture elements an action camera has, the more the pixels, the higher the image resolution would be.

Effective Pixel Count for Video: These are the number of pixels that are actually used when a picture is taken, and this one is a more accurate way to measure the pixel count and image quality of the action camera.

4K Video: This is to refer to whether the action camera records in 4K Ultra High Definition resolution, which is even better than the 1080p formats. An action camera without 4K video is as good as nothing.

High-Definition: This is to show whether the camera records in high definition.

Image Stabilization: This is to counteract shaking and jittering with handheld shots, and it can be optical or digital.

Aspect Ratio: This refers to the shape of the recorded image expressed as width: height. Standard definition video traditionally has a 4:3 aspect ratio and high definition video traditionally has a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Night Imaging: This is to help you capture shots and footage in extremely low light.

Max recording time with included battery: The longest duration you can record with the battery that is included with the action camera, it depends on a lot of factors, but it gives you an idea of how durable the battery life is.

Built-in memory and external memory: You need a large space for storage in order not to be forced to stop documenting your adventure because you’re running low on storage space.

Strong build of the action camera: Usually GoPros are used to capture adventures, so the more durable their build is, the better. Most action cameras come with a waterproof feature, some even offer dustproof, freezeproof, and shockproof features.

Connectivity: If you like sharing your adventures with the world, you might want an action camera with Wi-Fi connectivity. There is also connectivity to apps that allow you to remotely control the camera.

Modes: There can be different modes for capturing in the action camera like single shot, burst, and time-lapse photos.

Voice and remote controlling: These help you start and stop recording to capture the great, adventurous moments on the spot.

Our Recommendation for the best action camera 2018:-

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