Action cameras or otherwise known as sports cameras by a few, are getting more popular these days in Malaysia, as they allow you to record your activities from a first person perspective, a true novelty we would say that brings the world of photography a step further. Though action cameras are commonly used by adrenaline junkies, you will be well appreciating sports cameras even if you are not one. Sports cameras not only can amaze your friends and family, but also can amaze the world by uploading your videos on to YouTube. Everyone loves to see what it is like to experience your amazing activities, for the first time since the start of photography; people can record their travel adventures from their perspective, giving the feel for the viewers as though they were on the adventure themselves. Well if you are looking to know how sky diving is like, just have a look at one of these videos taken by the action cameras then you’ll know it firsthand! Simply the beauty for action cameras!

Action cameras can be used to film in extreme situations unlike the normal digital compact cameras where the size and weight simply do not permit to be used for extreme sports. On the other hand, sports cameras are heavy duty and sturdy cameras specifically designed for extreme sports activities. Sky diving, scuba diving, rock climbing, wind surfing, cycling, marathons, roller skating…it is safe to say that action cameras like Gopro Hero, Garmin VIRB Elite and Isaw Extreme are fully capable of covering the full spectrum of sports you can think of!

Action Camera Key Features

Size and Mobility

Action cameras are typically just half the size of the conventional digital cameras and weigh almost half that of the compact point and shoot cameras. You can safely assume that sports cameras truly made digital compact cameras seem “not that compact” anymore. That’s why relative to compact cameras, action cameras are often seen to be strapped on to helmets and bicycles without much effort for worry due to their weight and size.

Here are some images that can give you an idea of the size and weight of the action cameras currently available in the market:

Size of Garmin Virb relative to the hand palm

Size of Garmin Virb relative to the hand palm

Size of Gopro Hero relative to handpalm

Size of Gopro Hero relative to handpalm

HD Video Recording

Putting the size and mobility of the sports cameras, being able to shoot in High Definition (HD) mode is definitely one of the main pulling factor that the action cameras have got on our current customers. Some people did not actually expect much out of action cameras due to it being a rather recent novelty but the action camera manufacturers have been outperforming people’s expectations thus far.

Durability

Almost everyone who owns a digital compact camera would be extra cautious with the handling of their cameras; action cameras allows you to be more carefree and it seems as though the developers had been focusing to let customers to be as carefree as possible when they use action cameras. Take Garmin VIRB Elite for example, without a waterproof housing, just bare on its own it can withstand water pressures up to 1 meter which gives you more than enough time to recover your camera if you accidentally dropped in the swimming pool or in the open waters. When we say “carefree”, it does not mean you should test it out with a sledge hammer. Gopro Hero on the other hand, are not waterproof on its own without the waterproof housing unfortunately so do be extra careful when you are handling Gopro Heroes.

These three key features catapulted action cameras into the market and have gained its popularity at a high pace. Mobility, Durability, HD Video Recording, why wouldn’t anyone want to get their hands on one?

Action Camera Best Brands

Gopro is perhaps the name that pops into mind first when you think of action cameras and that’s because Gopro is the pioneer in sports cameras. The idea first came into mind to Nick Woodman whom after a surfing trip got inspired to create a camera that can capture up-close actions that the photographers at that time could never come anywhere close to capture, and this all began in the year 2002. With the most recent GoPro Hero 3+ that brought the action camera craze to Malaysia, it has been rumoured that GoPro Hero 4 will soon be released with the ability to perform video recording at 4K at 1080px, 120 frames per second.

With all the hype and craze, competitors of Gopro come in altogether such as Garmin, Isaw, Contour, Drift and recently Sony has been producing their very own range of action cameras.

Garmin action cameras differs from that of Gopro in that it comes with Garmin’s all time trump card, Global Navigation System (GPS) that allows Garmin action cameras to easily exchange information between Garmin gadgets such as the Garmin watches and Garmin Navigators, this is widely known as Garmin’s ecosystem. Recently in order to improve customer satisfaction and their eagerness to preview their recordings immediately, Garmin is producing a smartphone application that users can enjoy the preview on their phones instantly. There are several differentiation points by Garmin as well to compete on par with Gopro! Garmin action cameras come with the following:

Higher Battery Capacity (2000 mAh compared to 1050mAh)

Use of Brand Lens (Manufactured by reputable photographic equipment maker compared to a non-brand lens manufacturer)

Removable Battery

CMOS Sensor

Accelerometer (Gives users the speed at which the Garmin action camera was traveling during record)

Resistance to Extreme Weather

With all these, though GoPro maybe the pioneer, their later models must certainly catch up with Garmin’s current specs otherwise we do foresee that Garmin will take the lead eventually.

Isaw’s Extreme range of sports camera, relative to Garmin’s differentiation points to Gopro, is rather marginal. Isaw’s actions cameras share basically every aspect identical to that of Gopro with a longer battery and image quality that is leaps and bounds ahead of Gopro. We’re looking at better colours, colours that will definitely catch your attention, a compact point and shoot camera quality picture we would say! Nothing catches the eye better than amazing image quality! A few of our customers actually got mixed up between these two so beware of which camera you are purchasing on our website.

Have a look at this picture to have some idea how different they are in image quality.

GoPro Vs Isaw Image Quality during video recording

GoPro Vs Isaw Image Quality during video recording

We will be posting up a little more overview aspects of Contours, Drifts and Sony Action cameras when we manage to get our hands on them which will be rather soon as our suppliers have already provided us with the necessary items to kick start to make available for all of you!