Art and Photography

which of these 3 "action cams" for a first timer?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 12th, 2018 9:53 am
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[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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which of these 3 "action cams" for a first timer?

Have a trip in Mexico coming up, where I'll be zip-lining, driving ATVs, and swimming through cenotes (shallow underwater caves....not deep)

Not trying to break the bank. 4K is a nice to have, but in reality 1080P/60 would be the minimum requirement. I'm not a huge thrill seeker, so this is definitely an occasional use camera. The excursions im going on provide helmets with mounts for your own action cam.

I already have a fuji underwater cam but requires at least one-hand operation. I'm looking for an action can that is either voice controlled or has a wrist-mounted wireless remote.

I've narrowed it down to 3...

1) $50 "chinese brand" 4K action cam
Seems like it fits the bill. I just dont want to record everything only to find out it looks like I used a potato cam.

2) gopro hero 5 black
Not looking to buy the most recent/expensive gopro, so going back a few generations, this seems to have the features i need.

Thing is, im not sure if the LCD screen is required in my case. I wont be composing any shots, i already have my fuji camera for that. Which leads me towards the hero 5 session without lcd screen

3) gopro hero session 5
Again, trying to save money by going with an older model. The absense of the lcd screen is nice as it keeps the form factor small. But in comparison the the super cheap chinese brand action cam... Is the price premium worth it?

Thanks to all who provide their feedback
13 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 12, 2007
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Get a GoPro. There are no Chinese crap cameras that will give you the quality that a GoPro will give you. I have a GoPro3 Black which puts out amazing video still and I need no upgrade. Do you need 4K footage? Do you even have a computer that can handle editing 4K video? (for the last one, I don't, and I also don't need 4K video; I'd much rater to 1080p 60fps actually).

I was stupid to buy Activeon LX/CX from BB when they were on super sale - the quality is horrible. You get what you pay for, but there is no replacement of the GoPro footage quality, none that I've seen anyway.
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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Thanks for the feedback


I just bit the bullet on what seemed like an amazing deal for a virtually new hero 5 session with a few accessories for $175 CAD all in with free shipping on ebay.

To your point, i don't plan on shooting in and editing 4K video. But really wanted something that shot well in 1080, which the session goes up to 90 fps.

This seems perfect for my needs and how infrequently i plan on using an action cam.
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Sep 26, 2007
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gopro is overpriced crap that haven't been competitive for few years now
the 5th gen was sucha joke, returned it immediately

buy a Yi
or a Sony AC

before anyone calls me a hater, i have two H4B...my GoPros have been relegated as C and D cams
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

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Aug 1, 2010
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twitchyzero wrote:
Oct 29th, 2018 12:53 am
gopro is overpriced crap that haven't been competitive for few years now
the 5th gen was sucha joke, returned it immediately

buy a Yi
or a Sony AC

before anyone calls me a hater, i have two H4B...my GoPros have been relegated as C and D cams
GoPro still remains the best in terms of video quality and stabilization. On paper, others might seem better but in practice, nothing beats GoPro.
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Dec 3, 2003
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I bought an APEMAN action cam from Amazon for about $80.

Its not true 4k but thats ok, I don't have any 4K TV's.

I used it in the waterproof case n Barbados , snorkeling and also on a sailboat.
Also in the pool, no issues.

For the money, I think its a great product. Their customer service is very good.
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aerok wrote:
Oct 29th, 2018 10:39 am
GoPro still remains the best in terms of video quality and stabilization. On paper, others might seem better but in practice, nothing beats GoPro.
please provide some proof

BOSS in the the 2 year-old X3000 still trounces the brand new GoPro's digital stab

'

if 4K60 is a must, i'll use the Yi 4K+ that's been out for 1.5 years... now half of what the new Hero 7 Black costs
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

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Aug 1, 2010
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twitchyzero wrote:
Oct 31st, 2018 4:36 am
please provide some proof

BOSS in the the 2 year-old X3000 still trounces the brand new GoPro's digital stab

'

if 4K60 is a must, i'll use the Yi 4K+ that's been out for 1.5 years... now half of what the new Hero 7 Black costs
It seems to always depend on the tests but I usually see an edge for the GoPro when it comes to a situation with good lighting. The Sony is superior in low light as the OIS does not create artifacts.





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Sep 26, 2007
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wow I spoke too soon...Hero7 being very new I didn't dive into it much...the HyperSmooth looks great

still, too bad their bitrate has only gone up incrementally...the competition has been in the 100Mbps+ for a while now
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

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May 1, 2006
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aerok wrote:
Oct 29th, 2018 10:39 am
GoPro still remains the best in terms of video quality and stabilization. On paper, others might seem better but in practice, nothing beats GoPro.
this is literally not true at all. gopro has been the slowest to adopt good image stabilization. knockoff cameras like git2 have had WAY better stabilization for years now.
Deal Addict
May 1, 2006
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also if you're only gonna use a camera very rarely, i wouldn't have gotten the session 5 hero. the battery will degrade and basically can never be replaced. for something you're barely gonna use, you're looking at a very finite amount of times it will be useful until battery life gets too short and unusable. these cameras have been around for years now so i dunno how old the ebay one you got is.

i almost picked one up for motorcycle riding due to the form factor but decided to get something with a replaceable battery instead.
Newbie
Nov 10, 2018
4 posts
I'd steer clear of the Chinese copy for sure. Even if the specs make out like it is just as good, the quality of the hardware will be so low you will never get anywhere near as good footage. You don't have to go with the GoPro though for a good alternative. Sony do some great action cams, also I've heard the TomTom one is good!
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Aug 1, 2010
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stevelam wrote:
Nov 11th, 2018 12:42 pm
this is literally not true at all. gopro has been the slowest to adopt good image stabilization. knockoff cameras like git2 have had WAY better stabilization for years now.
Are you serious? GoPro Hero 7 is far superior than Git2





Even the Hero 6 is better...

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