do i need an action camera

Extreme sports are an area of athletics that have had great success in transforming erstwhile normal individuals into athletes with superhuman capabilities and well-honed skills.

If you are into this kind of sports and activities, then maybe it’s time to ask, “Do I need an action camera?

That is if you don’t already have one, of course.

Cycling, surfing, and snowboarding are some of the sports that take full advantage of an action camera’s ability to go directly where the action is.

Much like a regular camera, action cameras can take photos and videos, but unlike regular cameras, action cameras can go anywhere an extreme sports enthusiast is willing to go, and survive to record every bit of the action.

What Are Action Cameras?

What are action cameras good or used for? what is an action camera

Action cameras are specially designed to withstand the rigors of highly strenuous activities such as extreme sports, and recreational and movie stunts, and they can even serve as an alternate dashboard camera, especially for motorcycle riders and cyclists.

In its early inception, they were regular cameras that were ensconced in a hard casing that can break easily and can also impact the quality of pictures that the camera takes.

This early iteration of the action relied on a timer instead of remote control, although both features are currently employed in newer models.

The quality of the images and videos captured using an action camera has greatly improved as well, with smaller and better lenses with wide angle settings.

Action cameras nowadays are also more stable than mounted cameras plus their mounting systems were made specifically for them, allowing for better movement and coordination, as well as an increased strength for its locks.

Their memory capacity has also increased from the archaic film rolls into smaller SD cards that can record up to 64GB worth of images and videos.

Benefits of Using an Action Camera

If you are still asking the question, “Do I need an action camera?” then you should read on.

Action cameras do have their fair share of benefits with almost no disadvantages, especially if you see yourself using it everytime you go out and do your thing.

Compact and Lightweight

The many variations of action cameras
Action Cameras are durable

Action cameras are designed to be smaller than the usual point-and-shoot digital cameras which also means they are a bit lighter and can fit right into your pocket.

Its size and weight allow the action camera to be installed atop a cycling helmet or strapped to your chest as you jump out a plane from 30,000 feet.

Good Image & Video Quality

raw image sample mijia 4k
An image from a mid-range action cam: Mijia 4K

Advanced image stabilizers have allowed action cameras to take blur-free images even as you are racing down a steep mountainside or as you crash amongst rocks along Class V rapids.

Gone are the days where your memory card is full of blurred, inconceivable and abstract concepts.

Resistant Against Almost Anything

The casing of action cameras is made to be tough and durable, enabling it to withstand rough handling and high drops without breaking.

The inner details are also designed with the same goal, allowing action cameras to work in any sport, weather, and climate.

Some action cameras are even waterproof, so they can be taken under the sea or strapped to a surfboard as you ride that 5-foot wave.

Plenty of Accessories

sj8 action cam accessories
SJCAM latest action cams SJ8’s accessories

Action cameras don’t simply come with just the camera as they include a lot of accessories that you can use. Additionally, there are also some accessories that you need to purchase to make the camera more compatible with your sports.

Some of these accessories include tripods, monopods, chest straps, helmet straps, external casing, and such.

Right There and Then

action camera gopro hero 3 on mountain bikist's helmet

This is exactly why most extreme sports enthusiasts chose to invest in action cameras.

These devices capture the action for them so that they can focus on being right there in the moment and not fiddling about with wires and buttons.

Together with expandable memory, action cameras can capture each moment without worrying about missed shots that you would have probably taken so if you are still using a regular digital camera.

Tips and Tricks of Using Action Cameras

Action cameras can be straightforward, although they can also become complicated depending on how you want to take full advantage of its capabilities.

It is so flexible that companies started to meet the demands of owners for more and more ways to customize them.

However, before you saunter off and buy one, here are some things you might want to take note of.

Field of View

field of view action camera

Modern action cameras can let you choose the angle to which you would shoot.

You can choose between wide, narrow, and fixed angle, depending on your need.

Mounting Solutions

Action camera handlebar mount

As previously mentioned, action cameras have a lot of accessories that you can take full advantage off. Use each mounting strap or monopod to get the best angle possible.

If you are short on funds, then you can consider using the ever-reliable duct tape to secure it to your helmet or body.

Keep It Clean

Always keep the lens of your action camera clean, with all the external moving parts free of debris and dust. This will prevent camera malfunction and blurred pictures, which no one really likes to admire.

Choose Your Lighting

Credits: Andy Kawa

As much as possible, get the best natural lighting possible, which should not be a problem as most extreme sports and activities happen in bright daylight.

However, if in case you don’t have no choice, then choose the best lighting possible to avoid more sordid images.

Save Some Gas (Battery) for Later

action camera battery sj400 sjcam mijia xiaom mgcool explorer pro
The tiny body of action cams limit the duration of these batteries.

Action cameras have long-lasting batteries–in standby mode.

This means that they tend to drain fast especially if you are recording a whole day activity. Keep spare batteries around, and check the settings of your device to ensure you are conserving battery power efficiently.

Know Thyself

To be successful in taking those pretty pictures of you crashing into that tree, or your friends tramping around the mud, know how your action camera works and play with the settings a bit.

This lets you see what your camera is really capable of doing, and it provides better tips than those you read off a list.

Do I Need an Action Camera?

If you are into classic adventure activities and extreme sports, then the action is definitely for you, especially if you like taking pictures and showing them off as proof that you did this and that.

Even if you are not into those kinds of activities, you can still take full advantage of an action camera, especially since it can also be used as a dashboard camera for an automobile or a chest mounted dash cam for motorcycle riders and bike commuters who want to stay safe.

Final Thoughts

Action cameras were designed to take a lot of beating, falls and all sort of moist intervention while guaranteeing that it will still work and that it will still give you quality pictures and videos.

No matter how many feet it crashes down or how many minutes it remains underwater, it’s supposed to be able to capture not just a moment but the whole scenario.

We say it’s definitely a worthy investment.

What are you waiting for? Check out our recommendations tab in the menu above to find the perfect action cam at the right budget for you!

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