Best Action And 360 VR Cameras 2018

Best Action And 360 VR Cameras 2018 - There are a wide variety of action cameras available, and if you're wondering what the options are then this guide is for you.

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Action cameras are compact, can be easy to use, and are designed to be attached to a number of different surfaces, whether you want to record yourself driving, riding a bike, surfing, paragliding, or more. Most of them are waterproof or have waterproof cases available so that you can use them underwater or in places where they might get wet or dirty. 

If you're looking for an action camera, there are a number of different things to take into consideration, depending what you want from the camera. Here we run through some of the questions you might want to think about when choosing an action camera.

  • Do you want 4K video, or will FullHD video resolution do? 4K is great for future-proofing, viewing on a 4K TV, or taking still image crops from the video
  • Do you want a 360 degree or ultra-wide angle view? 360 is great if you want to be able to use the video for VR or change the viewing direction when watching, but 360 and ultra-wide-angle lenses don't always produce great stills photos unless you're happy with a fisheye effect. 
  • Do you want to be able to take high resolution still images? Look what resolution the camera can take, some are designed with video in mind, and don't offer a very high-resolution image. 
  • Do you want GPS built-in? For tracking, location recording, or to keep track of the action, there is a number with built-in GPS and other sensors to give useful information.
  • Do you want to use the camera on its own, or connected to a smartphone? If you want to use it on its own then you might want to make sure it has a built-in screen, as many don't and require the use of a smartphone or remote viewfinder. 
  • Wi-Fi connectivity - Wi-Fi is built-in to all of these, but some also feature NFC and/or Bluetooth for quicker and easier connection to a compatible smartphone

Starting with the company that introduced the World's first dedicated action camera, GoPro, we highlight some of the key features of each camera and list other cameras available (in no specific order).

 

GoPro Hero6 Black

GoPro Hero6 Black
 

On paper, the GoPro HERO6 Black is the best action camera you can buy to date and it will certainly keep GoPro fans happy. The ability to shoot 4K at 60fps as well as footage you can turn into slo-mo video is, of course, appealing. As too is the ability to stabilise footage and the wider dynamic range.

  • Powered by GoPro’s Custom-Designed GP1 Processor
  • 4K @ 60fps and 1080p @ 240fps Video
  • QuikStories Enabled, GoPro App Compatible
  • Most Advanced Stabilization of any HERO camera
  • All-New Touch Zoom
  • 3x Faster Offload Speeds via 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Waterproof to 33 Feet (10m)
  • Compatible with Karma and Existing GoPro Mounts
  • Improved Dynamic Range and Low-Light Performance
  • RAW and HDR Photo Modes
  • Voice Control in 10 Languages
  • GPS, Accelerometer and Gyroscope
  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

Buy On Amazon UK  | Buy On Amazon USA

 

GoPRO HERO (2018) Action Camera

1/100 sec | f/5.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
 

Those who were holding out for a hero (yes, the pun was intentional) that wasn't so expensive can now consider parting with their cash as GoPro has released an action camera (simply known as HERO) that has plenty of features, at less than half the price of the HERO6 Black

Thanks to the reasonable price, the GoPro HERO makes GoPro cameras more accessible and if you don't need to record 4K video, then it could be the ideal action camera for your summer holiday. It's small, produces decent videos/images and it really is a doddle to use. Plus, once you get to grips with it and how its app works, it can be a really fun camera to play around with.

  • 1440p or 1080p video with frame rates of 60 or 30 per second
  • QuikStories Enabled, GoPro App Compatible
  • Waterproof to 33 Feet (10m)
  • Compatible with existing GoPro Mounts
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Stabilisation 
  • Voice control 
  • Touchscreen

Buy On Amazon UK  | Buy On Amazon USA

 

 

Ricoh Theta V

Ricoh Theta V

 

The Ricoh Theta V is a compact and good looking 360 camera, it's easy to use to take photos and video, and using the smartphone app you can share quickly or change settings. To get video on to YouTube via your computer can take a little bit more effort, but when you get the hang of the process it becomes quite easy. Results are good, especially when viewed with a 360 viewer, whether that's on your smartphone or computer, and the app supports sharing straight to Facebook and Twitter. With 4K video recording, video looks good, and the camera performs quite well in low-light conditions. If you regularly socialise, then the Ricoh Theta V can be a great camera for group photos and can create immersive video that will impress your friends. 

  • 2x 12mp 1/2.3inch sensors, produces 14mp images
  • 2x 360 f/2.0 cameras
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • 4K UHD video recording, 56Mbps
  • ISO64 - ISO3200
  • Auto, ISO priority, Shutter priority, Manual (modes via smartphone app)
  • Noise reduction, Dynamic Range, and HDR shooting (via app) 
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth built-in
  • Built-in memory: 19.6GB usable

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

Sony FDR-X1000V 4K

FDR-X1000V
The Sony FDR-X1000V offers 4K video recording, splashproof construction, a Zeiss branded lens and stereo sound recording. There is a built-in LCD screen for changing settings, but to view what the camera sees you'll need to connect it to a smartphone or an optional remote viewfinder from Sony. The camera doesn't feature a standard tripod socket, but an adapter is available if you want to use a standard tripod mount or make it compatible with GoPro mounts.

  • 4K Ultra HD video
  • 8.8-megapixel stills
  • 170 degrees ultra-wide ZEISS Tessar lens
  • SteadyShot is three times more effective (not supported in 4K mode)
  • Full HD 120fps for slow-motion
  • Splashproof (Optional waterproof case)
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • GPS built-in

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

Garmin VIRB XE HD Action Camera with Built-In GPS and Performance Sensors

VIRB XE
The Garmin VIRB XE is an advanced action camera, that can even be hooked up to a car's OBD-II system to record vehicle information (with optional Bluetooth adapter), or connected to a compatible heart rate monitor to record additional data at the same time as video. The camera doesn't feature a built-in screen for live view so will need to be connected to a smartphone if you want to view the scene in real-time. The VIRB XE is compatible with GoPro mounts.

  • FullHD 1080p/60/30fps or 120fps slow motion
  • Digital image stabilisation
  • 12MP still image photos
  • 30fps still image burst mode
  • Time lapse mode and dedicated photo button
  • G-Metrix built-in Garmin GPS and sensors track your movements in real-time
  • 50m waterproof rating (no case required)
  • Compact, light and rugged
  • Wi-Fi connectivity 

 

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

 

Nikon KeyMission 360 - All-in-one 360 VR camera

Nikon KeyMission 360 Underwater

The Nikon KeyMission 360 is one of the first 360x360 all-in-one cameras available with 4K video recording. The camera can take 360x360 photos and is shockproof, waterproof, and freezeproof. It also features built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy connection to your smartphone, using Nikon's Snapbridge 360/170 app.

Read our Nikon KeyMission 360 review to find out how this 360 camera performs. Nikon also offers the Nikon KeyMission 80 as well as the Nikon KeyMission 170.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

Ricoh WG-M2

WG M2 Orange 4
The Ricoh WG-M2 features 4K video recording, and a built-in 1.5inch live-view screen so you can see what you're photographing or videoing in real-time. Underneath there is a standard tripod socket. The f/2.0 lens makes it good in low-light. 

  • 4K video at 30fps
  • 8-megapixel stills
  • Ultra-wide-angle f/2.0 lens with 204degree FOV
  • Built-in 1.5inch colour screen
  • 20m waterproof
  • Shockproof 2.0m
  • Dustproof
  • Freezeproof -10°C
  • Wi-Fi

Read our Ricoh WG-M2 review for more details on how this action camera performs.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

Kodak PIXPRO SP360-4K

Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K (6)

The Kodak SP360-4K is one of the first 360 action cameras capable of recording 4K video and can create video for VR (Virtual Reality) viewing, with support from YouTube and Facebook. The camera has a good range of shooting modes and is normally packaged with a wide range of accessories, including adapters to make it compatible with GoPro mounts. There's also a tripod socket on the camera. 

  • 4K video recording
  • 360x235 degree FOV lens
  • 360x360 degree video possible with dual pack (2 cameras)
  • 8-megapixel stills
  • 10fps still shooting
  • Splashproof (optional waterproof case)
  • Wi-Fi and NFC built-in

Read our Kodak PIXPRO SP360-4K review to find out how this 360 action camera performs.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

360Fly 4K - 4K Camera

Fly360 4K (6)

The Fly360 4K offers 4K video and an ultra-wide angle fish-eye lens and comes with everything you need to get started, with 64GB of built-in memory, a tripod sock, and mounts. The 360Fly-4K is waterproof without any additional casing, is easy to use and the results are good, with stereo microphones. 

Read our Fly360-4K review to find out how this camera performs.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

 

ISAW Edge 

Edge Action Cam

The ISAW Edge action camera looks like a GoPro, but features a 1.5inch screen on the back of the camera, and can take 16 megapixel still images. There are a number of accessories provided in with the camera and it's compatible with GoPro mounts. 

  • 4K video at 10fps
  • FullHD Video at 60fps
  • 16-megapixel stills
  • Built-in 1.5inch screen
  • 40m waterproof
  • Wi-Fi

Read our ISAW Edge review to find out how this action camera performs.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus Tough Tg Tracker Black


The Olympus Tough TG-Tracker is due to be released shortly and records 4K video with a bright f/2.0 wide-angle lens, and there are a number of built-in sensors. There's also a bright light for recording video and photos in low-light, and the screen flips out. The camera is tough, being crushproof, shockproof, dustproof, freezeproof, and waterproof down to 30 metres.

  • 4K video at 30fps
  • Ultra-wide-angle 204 degree FOV f/2.0 lens
  • 5-axis image stabilisation
  • GPS, compass, acceleration sensor, barometer and thermometer
  • 30m Waterproof, with underwater detector
  • Wi-Fi and Light
  • Built-in flip-out screen

Read our Olympus Tough TG-Tracker review to find out how this action camera performs.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

 

Elephone EleCam 360 - 360 VR Camera

Elephone Elecam 360 (3)

The Elephone Elecam 360 is a budget 360x360 camera, that is easy to use and features built-in Wi-Fi. Whilst it may not offer the high resolution needed to fully appreciate VR fully, it's low-price makes it appealing for anyone who wants to give 360 VR production a go, or for anyone who wants to attach it for action-packed days. 

Read our Elephone Elecam 360 review to find out how this camera performs.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA 

 

Essential accessories...

 

  • TripodJoby Gorillapod Action Tripod - for Action cameras/compact cameras - with both a tripod connection and GoPro action camera attachment, this is ideal and will work with your action camera whichever connection it has.
  • Floating DevicesFloating Foam Strap for Camera - for waterproof action cameras, it's a good idea to attach a floating strap so that if you do drop it in water it doesn't sink to the bottom. Floating grip stick - Can you used as a handle, as well as a floating device to save your camera from sinking to the bottom of the water.
  • Selfie sticksGoPro selfie stick - You can choose whether to get a selfie stick with a GoPro attachment, or a standard tripod mount, depending on what camera you get. There's a Yi Selfie stick - designed for the Xiaomi Yi camera, this uses a Tripod thread and has a remote shutter built in.
  • Bike mount kit - Attach your action camera to a bike or handlebar to record your bike ride.
  • Memory cards - You'll need a MicroSD memory card for your action camera, with many recommending a Class 10 (or faster) card. 
  • Cases - If you have a GoPro or another type of action camera, then the Lowepro Viewpoint CS 80 case is great as you can adjust the padding to ensure you can fit exactly what you want in there. There are also cases designed specifically for GoPro size cameras, such as this Case for GoPro Action Cameras.

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