An action cam or action camera is a digital camera that’s mainly targeted at users who want to film action scenes while being immersed in them. In general, such cameras are not only rugged, but also very durable, compact, and feature a waterproof design and build quality. As the name entails, these are specifically geared towards people who want to record video without having to remove the camera from its housing or interact with it. Depending on the brand and model, the video is recorded on a microSD card or SSD.
- 1 What is HD?
- 2 What is 4K?
- 3 What is a MP and how many MP does a good action camera have?
- 4 How much storage should my action camera have?
- 5 Benefits of getting a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capable action camera
- 6 How many FPS do you actually need?
- 7 How much zoom does your action camera need to have?
- 8 Share this:
- 9 Related
What is HD?
HD stands for high definition and it refers to video filmed at much higher quality and at a higher resolution than SD or standard definition. There’s currently no standardized definition for HD, so any video that has a significantly higher resolution than 480p or 576p is considered to be HD. Depending on the context and country, images of SD captured at rates faster than sixty FPS in N. American and fifty FPS in Europe may be considered HD.
What is 4K?
Also known as 4K resolution, 4K basically refers to a resolution that has four thousand pixels horizontally and two thousand pixels vertically. It’s important to know that when it comes to digital cinematography and television, several 4K resolutions exist and are used. For instance, if we’re talking about the film projection industry, DCI is the main 4K standard. On the other hand, when it comes to consumer media and TV, UHD or Ultra High Definition is the main 4K standard. Considering the way 4K content evolves, it’s expected that about 50% of Americans will have a 4K capable TV set by ’25. Compared to FHD, this would signal a much faster adoption rate.
What is a MP and how many MP does a good action camera have?
A digital camera will capture content as pixel elements. 1 MP equals 1 000 000 pixels. If you study a digital image, you’ll realize that they’re made of 1000s of very small picture elements that resemble tiles. If a picture has more pixels, then that picture’s resolution will be higher. Resolution relates not only to the amount of detail an image has when it’s viewed at full size on a computer, but also to print size. However, the amount of MP in a picture doesn’t necessarily signal the picture is of high quality. There are other factors that heavily determine this, including the lens’s optical quality, the camera’s CPU, and the sensor.
The number of MP a good action camera should have: When it comes to image sensors, they’re available in a wide range of sizes. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the image sensor, the more photons it can collect and the higher quality the final image will be. Photos taken with larger sensors produce cleaner looking pictures with a fine delineation and differentiation of shadows and highlights, and with considerably less image noise.
If you’d like to get an idea of how large a camera’s sensor is, you need to check the lens’s diameter. For instance, if you have a smartphone camera that’s capable of taking 8 MP pictures, then that sensor is about the size of an aspirin tablet for toddlers. On the other hand, a compact camera has a much larger sensor which should be about the size of your pinky’s fingernail. This means that if you take a picture with a camera with a sensor this large, the photo will look much better than those taken on a smartphone with the same number of MP. These days though, the gap between smartphone cameras and dedicated cameras is closing and new phones are capable of taking very high quality pictures because manufacturers fit them with larger sensors.
How much storage should my action camera have?
In terms of the amount of storage space you need, you should first of all think of how you’re going to use the camera and what for. For instance, if it’s going to be used for shooting fast action footage or sports events, going with an HD camera is highly recommended. Keep in mind that HD video does take up a lot more space than SD video, so you need more memory. Vacation videos, home videos, and similar types of videos don’t have to be absolutely shot in HD, since SD works just fine. In this case, you should opt for a camera that has anywhere between 16GB and 32GB of memory.
Benefits of getting a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capable action camera
If your camera doesn’t support Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, then this means that you’ll need to export the videos you shot by removing the SD card, connecting it to your computer and then copying the videos to your machine. While this is what most of us are accustomed to, if you’re traveling and want to upload some videos on YouTube or certain social media platforms, taking the aforementioned steps is very time consuming. This is where having a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capable action camera comes into play. Thanks to these capabilities, you can easily share content wirelessly with your friends, family, and also to your social media platform of choice.
It’s also important to mention that Wi-Fi has a few benefits against Bluetooth, with some of them including:
- Greater security.
- Greater bit-rate.
- Lower latency.
- Greater range.
- Greater bandwidth.
How many FPS do you actually need?
FPS or frames per second refers to the camera’s ability of creating still images that are then used to create video. Depending on the speed of the camera, a lower FPS rate can result in a choppy and poor quality video. The industry standard is 24 frames per second, meaning that if you want to buy an action camera, you need to ensure it’s capable of at least 24 FPS. Getting a camera that’s capable of more than 24 FPS doesn’t actually mean the content will look faster. You’re only going to get better quality video which also results in less strain on your eyes.
How much zoom does your action camera need to have?
The amount of zoom your action camera is capable of depends on how far or how close you’ll be to the subject(s) you want to film. If the camera has a high zoom level (8x for instance), then you can film your subject from much farther away compared to a regular 3x zoom camera. Speaking of which, a 3x zoom camera means that you basically need to stand next to your subject. This is not bad if you film people, but if you’re trying to capture animals, then you’ll generally be unable to get too close to them.
As you can see, buying an action camera means you need to consider several important factors. Now that you’re fully aware of them, making a sound and informed decision should be a lot easier. Happy shopping!
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