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    May 15, 2015

    Top 5: Action / Sports Cameras

    The past decade or so has seen a rise in personal fitness and living healthy. Every weekend you will see runners, cyclers and other outdoor enthusiasts descend on their favorite routes or adventure trails. The tech industry has definitely capitalised on this sports / outdoors revolution, no more so than with camera/video gadgets. Who wouldn’t want to show off that sick mountain decline you mostly did just on one wheel on your mountain bike? Let’s have a look at the top 5 action / sports camera options currently available…

    GoPro Hero4 BlackGoProHero4

    To be honest you can actually make this a TOP 1 artcile, the GoPro Hero4 Black is that good! When you absolutely, positively must have the very best image quality possible, it‘s the GoPro Hero4 Black by a landslide. It can shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second, and that video looks really, really good. It‘s rich, it‘s detailed, and the dynamic range is terrific. It looks like it came out of a much more expensive (and larger) camera. Its other banner shooting mode is your standard 1080p HD video, but at 120 frames per second. That means you can play back full frame 24fps video that is slowed down 5x. It‘s an amazing piece of hardware and that’s why it is so popular.

    Cost: $499 (+-R6000)

    Lily CameraLily1

    This is something VERY different (check out the video here). The Lily camera steps away from the mounted approach and combines self-flying drone capability, object tracking technology and an HD camera to create a truly unique action camera. The drone itself is waterproof and floats, allowing you to safely land it in water if needed. Size-wise, it easily fits in a backpack and weighs less than an average laptop. Onboard is a camera that can shoot 12 megapixel stills, 1080p HD video at 60fps, and 720p/120fps slow motion footage. The internal battery allows for 20 minutes of flight per charge.

    Cost: $499 (+-R6000)

    Drift Innovation HD Ghostghost_01

    The Drift Innovation HD Ghost incorporates a unique rotating lens element that makes it possible to adjust the angle in order to compensate for the mounting. Equipped with a tough exterior, the HD Ghost is waterproof to 3 meters right out of the box. A unique “œFlashback Video“ mode ensures that a shot is never missed by capturing video continuously, and saving up to five minutes before overwriting from the oldest portion. A built-in screen offers live previews and video playback. The Ghost has the longest battery life of all of the top 5, but is quite heavy because of this.

    Cost: $400 (+-R4800)

    Sony Action Cam AS100VSony

    Sony‘s flagship action cam is really pretty excellent. While its image quality isn‘t quite on par with some of its competitors (notably the GoPro), its audio is second to none, and in some use cases, that‘s extremely important. When you want to hear every bird chirp and every tire squeal, then the Sony Action Cam AS100V is the way to go. When you play back the footage you‘ll be struck by how immersive the audio is.The Sony has GPS, which gives you another layer you can add onto your videos. When considering its price (at around $250) the Sony Action Cam really becomes a serious contender.

    Cost: $250 (+-R3000) 

    Contour Roam 3Contour3

    The Contour Roam 3 is very low profile and packed with awesome features. The Roam 3 has a 270 degree rotating lens (180 degrees to the left and 90 degrees to the right), which gives you more positioning options and no need to mess with settings or flip the video with editing software. The camera also sports laser alignment so your video is always straight. The device is waterproof up to 10m (without a housing) and it has Contour’s Trail mount as well as a standard tripod mount.The Contour Roam 3 is an excellent action cam if you don’t want to worry about housings and can live without features like Wi-Fi or the ability to preview what you’re about to shoot. The video quality is very good for its price, but if you need the best video, you’ll want to spend more money.

    Cost: $200 (+-R2400)

    My personal pick would be the Lily Camera, just because of its sheer innovation. Who wouldn’t want to see themselves on the screen instead of the first person view all of the other cameras give. For sheer functionality and image quality you can’t do any better than the GoPro. What’s your favorite? If you have any other options nominate them in the comments section below!

    Follow Jaco on Twitter: @Jaco_vdWalt

    Cover Photo Credit – GearPatrol

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