So you’re looking for the best action cameras Australia has to offer?
While the GoPro is a household name and market leader in the action camera world, you don’t need to buy one if you’re on a tighter budget.
Today we’re going to show you the best action cameras you can buy across a wide rage of budgets while also looking at the best GoPro offerings too.
Action cameras have come a long way over the last few years and you’d be surprised just how much tech you can get from a tiny camera inside a rugged shell.
If you’re not looking for 5K video (there’s few TV’s that offer playback for this yet) then you don’t need the top of the line products either.
Most companies make universal mounts that will work on whatever device you choose. Want to mount your camera somewhere for awesome shots? There’s probably a mount for it.
Without boring you any longer, let’s get into the review.
Best Action Cameras Australia
1. GoPro Hero7 Black
The GoPro Hero7 is a rugged little action-camera with waterproof capacity up to 10m.
It’s fully voice controlled so you can be totally hands free enjoying your adventure whilst recording or photographing or even live streaming to Facebook Live! Share your extreme experiences as you live them!
And so user friendly – just simple voice instructions like: “GoPro start recording” and you’re in business.
You can save all your recordings to your SD card in high resolution.
The GoPro Hero7 has 4K60 Video and 12MP Photo capabilities so the videos and photos it produces are truly amazing. It’s like being there all over again.
And another really special feature this action camera has is an 8x Slow Mo Video (using an ultra high frame rate of 1080p240 video) to slow everything down by 8 times.
Use this feature to relive those extra special moments, whether they be funny, interesting or maybe even epic!
The camera also boasts an all-new HyperSmooth image stabilization technology which ensures gimbal-smooth video footage.
The GoPro Hero7 Black is the brand’s top of the range action camera. The Silver and White have less top-end features and are therefore at slightly lower price points.
2. GoPro Fusion
The GoPro Fusion action camera is one of a few entirely new types of camera which are capable of amazing 360 degree spherical video recording and photo taking by shooting around you in every direction at the same time.
This gives you the ability to create both spherical and standard HD videos.
This amazing little action camera has a feature called OverCapture which you to pull standard 1080p HD videos from out of the 360 degree sphere.
In other words, it lets you frame and ‘punch out’ the perfect shot from any angle to create amazing traditional videos right on your phone!
This means that you can actually frame your shot after you’ve taken it! The possibilities that this opens up for avid video makers (within the action scene or outside of it) is mind blowing!
The GoPro Fusion can also be equipped with the GoPro app called Control + Create which allows you to use your phone for shot preview and playback, the OverCapture feature, editing the spherical videos and sharing your image output.
The Immersive 360 Experience is for sharing the spherical footage with friends, bringing them into that moment with you.
And Gimbal-Like Stabilisation is what GoPro calls it’s ‘shockingly smooth’ video quality!
3. AKASO Brave 4 Action Camera
The AKASO Brave 4 Action Camera is an upgrade of the AKASO EK7000 Action Camera. This new release camera features 4K/24fps, 2K/30fps and 1080P/60fps video resolution and 20MP photos.
All of this allows you to take stunning photos and ultra HD videos of whatever it is that fills you with wonder and awe!
This action camera has an adjustable view angle between 170°, 140°, 110°, and 70°, according to your particular needs at the time. And it also has a built in smart gyroscope for anti-shaking and image stabilisation. This will make your photos so much sharper and your videos so much smoother.
It is a sports camera as well, with WiFi (up to 10m range) and HDMI (TV connection) capabilities via a free app (Camking) so you can edit and share your photos and videos more easily and quickly. Just download the app onto your smartphone or tablet and connect with the camera.
The camera is waterproof to an impressive 100ft when it’s in its waterproof case. Without the case it’s still waterproof to 30ft. So it’s perfect for all water sports recording.
The 2inch IPS screen allows you to preview your images and videos on the camera before transferring.
With purchase of this great action camera you’ll receive some great accessories including 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries, remote control wristband and 19 accessories kit (available for most kinds of camera even Gopro).
Each battery can record up to 90 minutes. The remote wristband is not waterproof.
4. Apeman Action Camera
The Apeman action camera is ideal for underwater recording and photography with waterproof capability up to 40m when equipped with the improved case accessory.
It’s essentially a sports camcorder and is absolutely perfect for water activities like diving, skiing, surfing etc.
This little camera has a 4K/20MP adjustable ultra-wide angle lens so you can take superior quality photos and videos.
These features and its 2 inch LCD display gives you an incredible and professional standard perspective.
Another really special feature is the built in gyroscope which reduces shaking and improves image stabilization for smoother videos and sharper photos.
Videos and photos are easily edited and shared by downloading the free app on your smartphone or tablet. This app also allows you to have full control of the camera in real time.
The camera has HDMI, USB and AV output ports so it can be readily accessed later.
And yet another feature of this very versatile action camera are its various photo and video recording modes: Car Mode, Loop Recording, Time Lapse, Diving Mode and others.
So for example with Time Lapse you can capture the wonders of a sunset or a flower opening….in real time!
The camera also comes with a portable carry bag, 24 mounting accessory kits and dual improved 1050mAh batteries which record up to 180 minutes.
5. Neewer G0 HD 4K Action Camera
The Neewer G0 HD Action Camera is quite a kit! It is a 4K action camera and can operate on WiFi (up to a range of 15m on open ground) so it can be remotely controlled via your smartphone or iOS. Just download the Ezi iCam App and connect to the camera and you’re set to go.
The WiFi feature also allows you to share those special moments and adventures on social media as soon as they happen.
The camera’s technical features include professional 4K/10fps camera capability, 1080P/30fps, 720P/60fps and FHD 1920x1080P/30fps video and 12MP photo resolution giving you high quality photos and videos to capture and remember those special moments.
It also has a 170 degree wide angle fisheye lens and large 2-inch LCD display to give you vivid and striking images.
The camera boasts multiple action modes: Driving, Continuous Shooting, Time Lapse, Loop Recording, Image Rotation, and Exposure.
It is tough and ready to cope with all types of conditions.
What are action cameras used for?
Action cameras (also called action-cams) have been developed to record events, particularly fast moving live action like sports and extreme activities.
They are designed to take photos in rapid bursts and in time-lapse mode, as well as in HD video mode. They are very small, lightweight, durable and very easy to use in almost any conditions.
They can stand up to knocks and bumps and jolts and they’re waterproof so they can be used for just about any activity. Ideal for use hands free on a helmet, surfboard, jetski, parachute or just about anywhere else!
The end result makes the viewer feel like they’re right in the middle of the action being recorded.
They also suit tourists who don’t want to carry a bulky traditional camera, or even their phones, around or simply for recording family occasions.
Is an action camera good for photography?
Action cameras are not designed for still photography. However, because they have excellent sensors and the newer models can shoot 24MP photos, they can be capable of shooting photographs with an infinite depth of focus.
This means that you may be able to get a stunning in-focus still shot pretty well every time. However, if you’re wanting a camera with which you can manipulate the focus and use other techniques to achieve certain photographic results the action camera may not meet your needs.
It would be worthwhile undertaking some research into the different models on the market if you are looking for an action camera which has the capability of taking good still photographs.
Do action cameras have zoom?
Action cameras do not have zoom capability as such but some brands do have features or other accessories which can be used to achieve a zoom effect.
For example the GoPro cameras have three different focal lengths (wide, narrow and medium) which permit some control. Alternatively a zoom lens could be used as an accessory, bearing in mind that doing so would increase the bulk of the action-cam.
And finally using software packages like GoPro Studio to zoom in on a still photo, or edit a video, is easy to do as well.
Are GoPro’s worth the extra money?
GoPro action cameras do seem to be the market leaders in action cameras. The GoPro Hero7 Black has been rated by many websites as the ‘best action camera you can buy’. The features cited as those giving rise to this rating are this camera’s ‘streamlined design and excellent image stabilisation’.
High praise indeed in a market where there are so many competitors.
Is GoPro value for money though? With the Hero7 costing around $528 and its most expensive competitor (I’m not including the GoPro Fusion) retailing at $699.99 it is hard to see where the $400+ points of difference lie between GoPro and the rest.
Again turning to other reviews for their opinion, they are critical of the Hero7’s inconsistent voice command capabilities and its at times screen lack of responsiveness. These are not minor issues for an action camera at that price point.
But to be fair the Hero7 has some pretty special features which do set it apart and above the rest of the market. To be noted particularly is the ‘Slow Mo Video’ (also known as the TimeWarp feature).
And overall Best Five is happy to support GoPro as the justified market leader.
In the end I think that very often the market forces do get it right and the market leaders are the superior quality products and therefore represent value for money in both quantifiable and unquantifiable ways.
But it’s a close call in this case simply because of the size of the price differentials.
You can decide, depending on your budget.