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Action cameras buying guide

Find out the top 5 things you need to know about action cameras with our helpful buying guide.

Built with the great outdoors in mind, an action camera is designed to shoot the extremes. From underwater excursions to your favourite sports and everything in between - these tough cameras are designed to withstand the elements and shoot amazing footage.

Before you start shopping for a brand new action camera, check out the top 5 features you need to look out for in our handy buying guide.

Design and build

Action cameras are designed to be small and robust so you can take them on any kind of adventure - from the extraordinary to the everyday. Some are even built from waterproof materials so you can happily snap away as you swim, surf or snorkel. A camera with a waterproof housing is perfect for the nomads and daredevils amongst us as they're also sturdy enough to protect against sand, dust and even most bumps and scrapes.

Waterproof cameras

Resolution

The video resolution of your chosen action camera gives you an idea of the picture quality you can enjoy when you're watching back your footage. A 1080p video format is Full HD, while a 4K resolution has four times as many pixels as Full HD, ensuring that your videos will be bursting with stunning, lifelike detail. If you're interested in taking still shots too, keep an eye on the megapixel rating of each camera. Generally, the higher the megapixel, the sharper your photos will be.

4K action cameras

Frames per second

Frames per second, or fps, is a measure of how many still images are used every second to make up a video. To give you an idea, a typical video recorder shoots at 30fps, so an action camera with the same number is certainly a good start. 60fps is used on top-end action cameras and gives you super smooth footage and means you can create incredible slow-motion shots.

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GPS tracking

If you're into keeping track of your best time or route or just showing off your personal records to your mates, you need an action camera with GPS tracking. This clever tech adds even more information to your videos, like speed, altitude, g-force and route tracking. You can then add gauges to your videos to show some or all of that information, making your films even more useful.

Cameras with GPS

Accessories

Action cameras really come alive when they're paired with the right accessories. Whatever you're planning to use your camera for, it's important to check where and how your chosen model can be mounted and what accessories can be used with it. It helps that there's plenty to choose from - from floating hand grips for all your water activities to head and chest straps for those high-octane, fast-moving sports.

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