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Compare the Best Action CamsNovember 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique camcorders rating which considers: 4,400 UK prices • 28,000 expert & user reviews • 790 product comparisons • 180 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Rank
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Average Review Rating
Price
Optical Zoom
Weight
Total Megapixels
Max Video Resolution
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88

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Zoom logo

Zoom Q2N

71 Reviews

£108.81

1x
Info
90g
Info
3MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jan 2017

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
GoPro logo

GoPro HERO7

316 Reviews
chip.pl - Chip Tipmegaobzor.com/ - Recommendedlydogbillede.dk - Especially Recommended 6 Starljudochbild.se - Especially Recommended

£49.99

1x
Info
92g
Info
10MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Apr 2017

87

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Sony logo

Sony FDRX3000R

294 Reviews
ua.gecid.com - Innovation Awardlog.com.tr - Editor's Choicechip.com.my - Outstandinggagadget.com - Recommended

£295.55

1x
Info
89g
Info
8.2MP
Info
3840 X 2160
(4K)
Info
Info
Nov 2016

86

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GoPro logo

GoPro HERO5

70 Reviews

£149.99

1x
Info
74g
Info
12MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Sep 2015

86

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Polaroid logo

Polaroid Cube

323 Reviews
smartson.se - Recommended

£39.99

1x
Info
59g
Info
8MP
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Info
Sep 2015

86

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KitVision Escape HD5

76 Reviews

£20.76

1x
Info
58g
Info
12MP
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Oct 2016

85

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KitVision Escape HD5W

7 Reviews
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£34.00

1x
Info
58g
Info
12MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Oct 2016

84

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Sony HDR‑AS50

103 Reviews
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£229.99

1x
Info
58g
Info
11.1MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Oct 2016

83

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Sony HDRAS200V

41 Reviews

£281.11

1x
Info
68g
Info
8.8MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jul 2013

83

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Transcend DrivePro 200

232 Reviews
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£89.99

1x
Info
84g
Info
3MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jul 2013

82

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JVC GZ‑RY980H

£699.00

10x
Info
58g
Info
18.9MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jul 2018

82

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KitVision Escape 4Kw

10 Reviews

£189.99

1x
Info
61g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160
(4K)
Info
Info
Jan 2017

82

 Compare  Shortlisted
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HTC RE

159 Reviews
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£88.89

1x
Info
66.5g
Info
16MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Aug 2015

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Veho MUVI Micro

359 Reviews

£30.99

1x
Info
55g
Info
2MP
Info
640 X 480 pixels
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Jul 2015

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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KitVision Venture

£64.99

1x
Info
70g
Info
12MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Mar 2018

80

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Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam

136 Reviews

£108.99

1x
Info
50g
Info
8MP
Info
1280 X 720
(HD Ready)
Info
Info
Nov 2012

80

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Veho MUVI K‑Series K2

£89.98

1x
Info
84g
Info
16MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jul 2013

79

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Polaroid ID1880

13 Reviews

£20.00

1x
Info
90g
Info
18MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jul 2013

78

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Veho MUVI K‑Series K1

£49.95

1x
Info
84g
Info
16MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jul 2013

78

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Sony HDRAZ1

45 Reviews
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£122.95

1x
Info
63g
Info
11.9MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jul 2013

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat is an 'action camcorder'?
AAn action camcorder is a very small recording device meant to be worn on clothing or attached to a helmet. It's normally used to film extreme sports or give a 'first person' view of what the subject sees.
QWhat's the difference between 'optical' and 'digital' zoom?
AOptical zoom uses the hardware of the camcorder to physically move the lenses, enlarging the captured picture. Digital zoom uses software to further enlarge the picture. This means digital zooms can go far beyond the range of optical zooms, but the quality is much worse, and degrades sharply as the image is zoomed in.
QWhat is an 'image stabiliser'?
AAn image stabiliser detects and compensates for small judders and shakes while filming, meaning the resulting video is far smoother and still.
QWhy is a big sensor size important?
AA larger optical sensor produces better quality videos, because more light can be brought into the lens at once, This leads to larger, more highly-detailed videos and photos.

Action Cam Buying Guide

Although VHS players are long gone, everybody still wants to preserve their best memories. Pictures are great ways to do that, but for many occasions you really need a video to put yourself in the moment again. Or perhaps you are a film maker looking for a professional camera that is not too bulky? Do you post video diaries on YouTube during your trips? Whatever you like to do, there's a camcorder for that.

Of course, this isn't 1997 anymore, and your choices are not limited to Super 8 and VCR. Before buying a camcorder, you need to look at what kind of video camera and quality do you need, how often you will use it and how you plan to watch the videos.

By knowing your needs and matching them to the options available, you will be able to shoot your family videos, that great football match, the concert ever of your favourite band and your YouTube blog too!

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Wearable/Action Camcorders

If you are planning to attach your camera to something that will move, shake, turn or swim, you definitely need an action camera. The most popular and recognised camera in this niche is the GoPro series, but there are alternatives from Sony and other brands too. Most action cams are waterproof making them ideal for surfing, swimming, snowboading and diving.

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4K Resolution

The image resolution determines the number of pixels the image you shoot contains. A 4K resolution camcorder will therefore shoot video at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels - which is very very detailed indeed, and allows for extremely high-quality filming. In 4K resolution, all of the small details in the shot will be picked out in perfect detail, and there will very little blurring or muddy details to ruin your shot.

4K Camcorders are more expensive than their less powerful cousins, but they are vecoming far more common, and the price is going down accordingly. So if you are interested in the best image quality for your home videos, now is the time to invest in a 4K camcorder.

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Sensor Size

The larger the resolution on a camera, the larger the sensor needs to be in order to capture the video in good quality. While most cameras with the same output resolution will have a similar sensor size, sometimes there are differences. Some 4K cameras for example use 1” sensors but others used 1/2.3” sensors. While a smaller sensor will work for average recording conditions, a larger sensor will show its worth in low-light scenes as it allows it to capture more light.

Bit Rate

In terms of image quality, the bit rate is usually the third item to look at when comparing two cameras that have the same resolution and sensor size. The bit rate describes the amount of data that is generated by the camera when it records. The more data it produces per second of film, the better the image quality will be. A difference between a 24 MBPS (megabytes per second) camera and a 28 MBPS one will be very subtle, but still noticeable. The bit rate is also important for another reason: file storage. At 25 MBPS it takes about one hour to fill up a 16GB card. Recording at a higher bit rate means your memory card will fill up more quickly.

When recording at a higher bit rate it is usually a good idea to invest in a memory card with higher capacity or download the content onto a computer at regular intervals.

Image Stabilisation

Unless you are filming from a tripod or have very steady hands, having a camera with good image stabilisation is essential to prevent your recordings turning blurry, particularly when using zoom. There are two main types: optical and digital image stabilisation.

Optical Image Stabilisation

Optical image stabilisation is the most effective type to keep your videos sharp. Small gyro-sensors inside the lens shift moveable glass elements to offset the motion of the camcorder.

Digital Image Stabilisation

Digital image stabilistaion uses software to calculate the best way to avoid shaky images. It might mean that only certain pixels of the camcorder’s sensor are used for the final image. Digital stabilisation is not as effective as optical stabilisations and it is worth checking the type used before buying a camcorder that id not specific about the stabilisation type it uses.

Zoom

A good optical zoom can make a big difference when you are recording. If you are shooting sports, wildlife, airplanes, concerts and anything else, which is a considerable distance away, a minimum of 25x optical zoom is recommended. Filming people only a few metres away can be done with 10x or even 5x zoom. Optical zoom is always preferred to digital zoom because it captures the full frame at the highest quality. Digital zoom simply crops and enlarges a portion of the image reducing the resolution of the result.

Aperture

This is especially important if you are going to shoot in low-light environments like concert halls, caves and at night. The aperture of a camera defines how big the opening in the camera lens is which allows light in. The larger the opening, the more light is allowed in and the higher the quality of a low-light image will be. Aperture is measured in f-stops, with a smaller number representing a larger opening. For example, f1.8 is great for low-light settings whereas f5.6 and higher might result in an image that is too dark.

Audio Quality

Good quality audio is essential to capture the atmosphere of a football match or the music of a concert. It is important to check the quality of the built in microphone when buying a camcorder. Most budget options will have a mono microphone, which records only one channel. This can make the audio feel lifeless and flat and a high quality stereo microphone will be a much better option. If you are after the highest sound quality, using an external microphone will give the best results.

Memory

Most cameras will offer a certain amount of internal memory. Some camcorders used to have and internal hard disk drive (HDD) but this is now becoming less common as flash memory has become cheaper and takes up less space.

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The internal memory can be extended by inserting an SD card. If you use your camera for short scenes or are downloading files to your computer frequently, a relatively small SD card will be sufficient. To shoot hours of video at a time will require a large SD card or even multiple cards that can be exchanged when full.

WiFi

Being able to connect to your camcorder wirelessly opens up a lot of possibilities which you may or may not find useful. WiFi can allow some cameras to connect to a smartphone, which can then be used as a remote control.

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Battery Life

If you plan to record for a long time, or be outside and away from a plug, a long battery life is essential. Battery life can vary between camcorders so it is worth checking the manufacturer’s specifications before making your decision. Batteries can be replaced on some camcorder models allowing to extend recording times. You can replace the camcorder battery with a spare one when it runs out and continue recording straight away.