Action Camera For Dummies

Comparing to when the first cameras came along, action cameras are super new. Because of that, many people are unfamiliar with it. I asked many of my friends and family and sad to say, most of them are clueless and didn’t know they even existed.

Recently, I have received lots of questions about action cameras everywhere and that’s why I have decided to create this article overcome the learning curve of action cams!

The questions below are dedicated to those of you who are very new to action cams or are planning to get one.

Thus, if you are decently experienced in action cams, you should probably have already figured most of it out and you’d be better off checking

If you’re thinking of getting an action cam, check out my buying guides here first!

Anyways, without further ado, let’s begin!


What is An Action Camera?

Action cameras laction camera iconike normal camcorders and cameras, are able to film and take photos. However, what makes it unique is that it is made for outdoor enthusiasts, and hence it is usually made to be really compact, portable and durable. Other than that, it also includes many features such as waterproofing, shock proofing , all of which to make it more durable when filming, especially in extreme situations, eg. scuba-Diving, mountain-biking, etc.

How To Open Action Camera/Waterproof Case

There are 3 main types as far as I have seen.

1. Manually Lifting

The 1st, which is the most common one, would be where all you need to do is forcefully lift the latch to open.

2. Pushing Slider

Action Cam Waterproof Case

The 2nd one which is slightly rarer has a slider which, to open, you would have to push the slider and lift the latch to open the case.

3. Turning Knob

Finally, the last one is super rare and the most reliable in my opinion. So far, I have only seen it in Gitup action cams (such as Git2) which are opened from the side by simultaneously pressing the trigger button and then turning the knob.

Oh, and since we are on the topic of waterproof cases, something to note is that some of the times, action cams come with 2 interchangeable waterproof doors. One is totally waterproof, which has no holes while the second has holes but is not waterproof which is used for better audio quality.

How To Use Action Camera Mounts

Basic Set Accessories and Mounts for GoPro, SJCAM, Eken, ThiEYE

The Basic Set That Comes Together With Your Action Cam

I am assuming you have the mounts that comes together with your action camera for these examples.

It really depends on what you use it for. But, for the those of you who have no clue at all, let me provide 2 examples.

For Vlogging

Vlogging/Travel Basic Clip Adapter

For Cycling


If you are interested in more ways of using the mounts, check them out here!

How to charge action cam

Standard Interface For Action Cams

Standard Interface For Action Cams

Most action cams use a micro-USB cable for charging and data transfer, similar to the one used in android smartphones (at least the older ones, as the newer ones now use USB Type C instead).

Just plug it into any USB adapter or PC and it should be charged in no time.

Oh, and 1 tip. Switch off the camera when charging and don’t switch it on during the charging process because there have been many instances when the battery does not get charged when it’s turned on. So you don’t want that, keep the battery off.

How To Edit Action Camera Videos

It depends on what you want to get out from your videos.

Is it a holiday vlog? Is it a first POV video from your RC drone? Or is it an action video mountain biking through the forest?

Any editing software will work in my opinion. Windows Movie Maker (Windows) or iMovie (Mac) will do the work but if you wanted to perform specific tasks such as removing the fisheye effect , stabilizing your shaky shot or creating slow-motion/timelapse, you’d have to use apps that are meant for it. Click here to learn more about it!

How To Mount Action Camera On Helmet

If you do own an action camera that comes with the relevant accessories , it’d be very straightforward because all the mounts for to mount on your helmet are already included and it’s just a matter of snapping mounts together and using the strong double sided tape (provided) to stick it onto your helmet.

However, if you regularly use it on your helmet, you’d probably be better off investing in one of these helmet mounts that will fit more securely and has more flexibility on the helmet.

How To Choose Action Camera

which is the right action camera for you?

There are tons of action cams out there and hence, the first step you’d have to do is to consider your needs and plan your budget accordingly.

1.Decide on Price & Budget Based On Use

If you are planning to use it regularly and value good video quality, most good action cams that have good image quality and solid build, are priced above 100 USD (Incl. coupons & offers).

Conversely, if you’re using it rarely such as during holidays and don’t require a flagship model, a budget of under 100 is perfectly fine.

There are many action cams below 100 that are decent and really good value for money. Check out my top recommendations of action cams below 100 here

2. Choose The Type Of Action Cam

Which is the best action camera for you? Types of Action Cameras

Secondly, now that’s out of the way, decide on the type of action cam that’s best for you. There are many types of action cams, a few popular ones would be, box style, bullet style & cube style.

3. Consider The Features That You’d Want

Lastly, you’d have to think about the features you’d want to have.

Some important features you may consider, image quality, wi-fi connectivity, battery life and screen size (if any). Check out my guide on features to look out more in depth here!

4. Get The Cheapest Deals

cheapest action sports camera online coupons compilation best deals

If you have considered a particular action cam that you want, head to my coupons page on action cams to get the cheapest deals!

How To Connect Action Camera To Wi-Fi & To Your Phone

There are many questions and it differs from camera to camera.

Also note that it only works with action cams with Wi-Fi capabilities.

1. Press the up button to show Wi-Fi name and pw.

However, generally, for 95% of the action cams out there, all you’d have to do is press / press & hold the up button which then the screen should show the wi-fi SSID and password.

2. Connect To Your Phone By Connecting To Wi-Fi

What’s left now is to turn on your phone and connect to the action cam’s Wi-Fi.

3. Open Up The App.

If you have not downloaded the app, go ahead to the manufacturer’s or seller’s page on the action cam and download it from there.


That’s all of the questions that I have seen many people asking, at least for now.

If you have any other questions that I didn’t list, feel free to comment down below! I’ll be sure to reply to it and all the best!

→ Looking for an action cam, why not check out my buying guides here? ←

→ Click here for more guides, tips and tricks to fully utilise your action cam! ←

6 Responses

  1. Wow. I didn’t know there were different types of action cams. I only knew about Gopro before I saw this article. I was planning to buy one but wanted to do a little bit of research first. Good thing I did too. Now I don’t have to waste my time and money looking for an overpriced cam. Thanks alot.

  2. Hi Fernglow,
    Thank you for a great comparative review. I did not realize there were so many action cams and accessories. I have been looking for a versatile action cam that’s simple to operate, shoots terrific photos, and offers advanced features when I need it. What would be the best action cam for shooting low light scenes? Do you know of an action cam that captures action in the dark or has a night vision modes? I like the box style and heard that GoPro is very versatile, but have not seen anything about them for night shooting. Thanks again for all the great information.

    1. HI Dana, glad you found it useful!

      As for your question, as action cameras aren’t designed for low light as that will require a larger, hence bulkier body which isn’t favoured in the action world, there are very few action cams that have good low light capability. One such action camera that I know of which is good for low light recording would be Panasonic HX-A1 because it uses infrared capability instead of normal light to film. Hope this helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask! 🙂

  3. Hello I have just brought an action camera I have set it up to my phone but I was wondering I don’t have a laptop can I upload videos from the action camera on my phone to my YouTube account or not kind regards Charlie

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