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Action Cameras: specifications, types
— Action camera. Action cameras in the traditional sense of the word; in other words, all models that are not panoramic or 360° cameras (see below). Note that in some models, the viewing angle can be 180 ° or even more; The difference from panoramic cameras in such cases is that “regular” action cameras do not shoot panoramas, but classic photos and videos with a rectangular frame format.
— Panoramic camera. A type of action camera designed for shooting panoramic photos and videos. A distinctive feature of this type of camera is the fisheye lens protruding from the body. Such a lens completely covers the hemisphere in front of it, which provides interesting additional features: for example, by installing such a camera with the lens up under the windshield of a car, you can capture both what is happening on the road and the behavior of the crew at the same time. When viewing ready-made panoramas, the user can shift the image at will, directing his gaze in any direction within this hemisphere (this applies to both photos and videos); also similar photos and videos are well suited for viewing in virtual reality glasses.
— 360° camera. A further development of the idea of the panoramic cameras described above: devices that have several lenses and are able to cover the surrounding space completely or almost completely, 360 ° along any axis. Most 360-degree...cameras are equipped with two lenses on opposite sides of the body, however, there are models with 4 and even 6 lenses (see "Lenses" for more details). Anyway, cameras of this type provide maximum coverage, but are not cheap.
— Longitudinal. Longitudinal action cameras — they look like an elongated rectangle (parallelepiped) or a cylinder, while the lens is placed on one of the narrow ends. This is the difference between the longitudinal cameras and the frontal(ordinary) ones described below. This arrangement is convenient primarily because it allows you to securely hold the camera in your hand. On the other hand, the control panel and display during shooting are often turned away from the user, which can create some inconvenience. However, this can be offset by the use of folding displays and other similar tricks; and in some situations, the side display and controls even prove to be an advantage.
— Vertical. Oblong action cameras that are stretched up and have a lens at the top. Such models are very similar to chest cameras and can be used for such purposes. However, their main use is shooting yourself, holding it in your hand. It is for this purpose that the case is made elongated, which makes it convenient to cover it with your hand.
— Frontal (normal). The camera body has the shape of a rectangle, but the lens is placed on its wide, frontal edge. Outwardly, such models are most similar to classic digital cameras. Some boast a fairly large display, placed on the opposite side of the lens, as in the same cameras, which allows the shooter to see the shooting scene in real...time. However, the location of the lens, usually, does not affect the technical characteristics of the camera itself, and therefore both frontal and longitudinal models are able to provide the same shooting quality.
— Cube. A fairly specific type of action cameras, the body of which has the shape of a compact cube. Usually, such models are relatively small in size, but the reduction in size, in turn, affects the shooting capabilities and overall functionality. For example, such models are extremely rarely equipped with displays (although many of them can be connected via Wi-Fi to a smartphone or tablet, which compensates for this disadvantage).
— Glasses with a camera. Devices in the form of sports glasses with a built-in camera. The lens of such a camera is usually located between the lenses, less often on the side, on the basis of one of the temples; during normal use, it constantly “looks” approximately in the same direction as the user himself. Also, the advantages of cameras of this type include accuracy and stealth. On the other hand, in glasses, the additional electronic filling must be very tiny, which makes it difficult to use advanced optics and severely limits the battery capacity. And even with this in mind, such devices are heavier and bulkier than ordinary sports glasses. Another disadvantage is that the camera and frame with lenses cannot be matched separately — as a result, a model with a suitable camera may not be suitable due to the size or style of the glasses, and vice versa.
— Mask with a camera. A device in the form of a protective mask with a built-in camera. Note that such masks can have different specializations — for scuba diving, motocross, skiing, etc.; these details must be clarified before purchase. However, anyway, the lens in such devices is usually located in the middle of the forehead, so the camera actually takes photos and videos with a view "from the user's eyes." The main disadvantage of such devices is that when choosing, you need to take into account both the technical characteristics of the camera itself, and the purpose and convenience of wearing the mask. In other words, a good camera can be built into an inappropriate mask, and vice versa.
— Fastening with a clip. Action cameras fall into this category, for which a clip-on mount is standard. Many of them can be additionally equipped with other mounts, but primarily designed for this type of use and may not be the best purchase for extreme shooting. On the other hand, such a mount is quite versatile, since it allows you to attach the camera to almost any piece of equipment (backpack strap, unloading belt, belt, etc.).
— Sphere. The shape of the body, found mainly in panoramic and 360° cameras (see "Type") — it is in such devices that the spherical body is often the most convenient. In the case of conventional action cameras, "sphere" usually means a cylindrical body with a lens on a flat end; such cases are a kind of frontal (see above) and do not have fundamental differences from them.
Thread 1/4" (for tripod)
The presence of a 1/4" threaded socket on the camera body. It is this size that is standard for modern tripods and is used in most of these devices. So this feature allows you to mount the camera on a tripod without using adapters and other additional equipment.
The number of lenses provided in the camera.
This parameter in our catalog is indicated only if there is more than one lens. The most common variety of these cameras are 360-degree models (see "Type") with a pair of lenses on both sides of the body. In conventional and panoramic cameras, two lenses can also be provided — in such devices they are placed on one side of the body and are used for shooting in 3D. Noticeably rarer are other, more specific design options — for example, cameras with 4 or 6 lenses around the circumference of the body.
Dust-, moisture-proof camera
The level of dust and moisture protection provided by the body of the camera itself. Most action cameras are designed for shooting in extreme conditions, but the level of protection of each model can vary significantly — from the ability to shoot in the rain, to full tightness, allowing for a long immersion under water.
To characterize the security level of the camera, the international IP classification is used. Each device is assigned a code of the form IPXX, where instead of the first X — the level of protection against the ingress of foreign objects (including dust), and instead of the second X — the level of protection against the ingress of water.
Levels of protection against dust and foreign objects in modern action cameras are never lower than 5 — lower protection classes would provide unacceptably large gaps in the body. Specifically, level 5 provides that dust can get inside in small quantities, but does not affect the performance of the device. A higher level — 6 — provides full dust tightness.
To characterize the level of protection from water, the following classification is used:
0 — no protection;
1 — drops of water falling at a right angle relative to the operating position of the device cannot cause dangerous consequences;
2 — protection against drops falling on the equipment at an angle of up to 15°;
3 — at an angle up to 60° (splash protection, minimum rain protection);
4 — protection f...rom rain with strong wind;
5 — protection against water jets falling at any angle (water jets, for example, from a hose or heavy rain cannot harm the device);
6 — from temporary flooding;
7 — from temporary immersion under water to a depth of not more than 1 metre;
8 — from prolonged diving to depth (maximum time and depth are specified by the manufacturer separately).
In some cases, a model may only be IP certified for one type of protection (only against sand or water). In this case, instead of the second parameter, simply X is put. So, for example, IPX6 security means that the camera is protected from temporary flooding and heavy rain, but the level of protection from dust is not defined and, accordingly, is not certified.
It is important to note that this parameter characterizes the stability of the camera itself, but does not take into account the capabilities of external boxes. Do not confuse it with the protection of the outer case, which sometimes comes with the device (see "Dust and moisture protection of the box").
Dust-, moisture-proof box
The degree of dust and moisture protection of the box supplied with the camera.
Protected box will save your camera from dust, water, temperature changes, shocks, etc. The specific degree of protection is indicated according to the international IP (Ingress Protection Rating) system, according to which each device is assigned a code of the form IPXX, where X is replaced by specific numbers. The first of them characterizes the protection against the penetration of foreign objects (from 0 to 6, where 0 is no protection). Usually, in boxes for action cameras, this indicator does not go below 5, because otherwise the container would have too large gaps, and its use simply would not make sense. Level 5 provides dust resistance — dust can get inside the case, but in small quantities that do not affect the device inside. Level 6 corresponds to complete imperviousness to dust.
The second digit is protection against liquid ingress (from 0 to 8, where 0 is no protection). Usually, the minimum level of protection against liquid penetration is 6.
6 — protection against short-term flooding (for example, falling into a sea wave);
7 — protection against temporary immersion under water (up to 30 minutes) to a shallow depth (up to 1 metre), without continuous operation in immersed mode;
8 — protection against immersion to a depth of more than 1 metre for a time of more than 30 m, with the possibility of continuo...us operation under water. The specific level of protection of level 8 can be quite impressive — up to the possibility of diving to several tens of metres.
Note that boxes for action cameras can be sold separately. Therefore, if the capabilities of the complete container do not suit you, there may be a more secure box on the market. On the other hand, in general, it is still more convenient to buy such an accessory immediately with a camera — so as not to waste time and effort on choosing the right box.
Camera capabilities for shooting WVGA (480p) video.
The most popular resolution options provided by this standard are 640x480 and 848x480; there may be other options, for example, 736x480 or 720x576, but anyway, the resolution of such a video is very low by modern standards.
Another important parameter indicated in the characteristics of the video is the frame rate. The higher it is, the smoother and smoother the picture looks, the less moving objects are blurred in the frame. Accordingly, the higher the frame rate, the better the dynamic scenes will look on the video. And indicators of 120 fps or more usually indicate that the camera can shoot video in slow motion format (although this point needs to be specified separately). At the same time, many "rapid-fire" models allow you to set a lower frame rate than stated in the specifications — for example, a camera for the same 120 fps can also support 30 and 60 fps. This feature is useful in cases where you need to save memory — the higher the frame rate, the more space the video takes (at the same resolution), and by reducing the number of frames per second, you can fit more material in the same amount of memory.
Capabilities of the camera to shoot video standard HD (720p).
The official HD specification provides a resolution of 1280x720, however, in action cameras there may be resolutions slightly different from this indicator — both up (1080x720) and up (1440x960). Anyway, HD is the most modest of today's high-definition standards, which, nevertheless, provides a fairly clear and detailed image.
Another important indicator given in this paragraph is the frame rate. The higher it is, the smoother and smoother the movement in the frame will be, the clearer individual details in dynamic scenes will be visible. Technically, 30 fps or even less is enough for human viewing, but 60 fps is considered the perfect value — at this frame rate, motion blur becomes almost imperceptible and at the same time the size of the captured files remains within reasonable limits. However, there are cameras on the market with higher frame rates at HD resolutions — 100 fps, 120 fps, 200 fps and even 240 fps. This speed is usually used for shooting slow motion video, but the possibility of such shooting needs to be specified separately.
Full HD (1080p)
Capabilities of the camera to shoot video standard Full HD (1080p).
The standard image size in this standard is 1920x1080, however, in the case of action cameras, this category also includes some other resolutions that are similar in quality to the “picture” — for example, 1440x1080. In general, Full HD provides a very good balance between image quality, the volume of captured files and the processing power requirements for processing them, which makes this standard very popular in modern video equipment — both in cameras and in TV monitors.
Another important indicator given in this paragraph is the frame rate. The higher it is, the smoother and smoother the movement in the frame will be, the clearer individual details in dynamic scenes will be visible. Technically, 30 fps or even less is enough for human viewing, but 60 fps is considered the perfect value — at this frame rate, motion blur becomes almost imperceptible and at the same time the size of the captured files remains within reasonable limits. However, there are cameras on the market with a higher frame rate at FullHD resolutions — 90 fps, 100 fps, 120 fps and even 240 fps. This speed is usually used for shooting slow motion video, but the possibility of such...shooting needs to be specified separately.
Capabilities of the camera to shoot video standard QuadHD.
This standard includes an extensive set of resolutions — from 1440 to 3456 pixels horizontally and from 1440 to 2160 pixels vertically, with almost two dozen intermediate options. It is a rather specific transitional option between the relatively inexpensive FullHD 1080p and the demanding UltraHD 4K, allowing you to shoot higher definition video than 1080p without significantly increasing the cost of equipment. Note that pure QuadHD resolutions are very rare in TVs and monitors, but modern technologies make it possible to comfortably watch videos of this format on any high-resolution screens.
Another important indicator given in this paragraph is the frame rate. The higher it is, the smoother and smoother the movement in the frame will be, the clearer individual details in dynamic scenes will be visible. For example, a filming speed of 25 fps or 30 fps approximates the standard frame rate in film and television; such an image is quite viewable, but fast-moving objects in the frame will look blurry. With an increase in speed to 60 fps, this effect becomes almost imperceptible. And the highest QuadHD frame rate found in modern action cameras is 120 fps; this frequency is used when shooting slow-motion video (as well as models with a frequency of 100 fps), because at a normal playback speed, 60 fps is enough.
Ultra HD (4K)
Capabilities of the camera to shoot video standard Ultra HD 4K.
This format covers several resolutions in which the horizontal frame size is approximately 4K pixels. The most popular in action cameras is 3840x2160 (twice the FullHD frame on each side), but there are other options — for example, 3840x1920, corresponding to an aspect ratio of 2: 1. In general, 4K is a kind of successor to Full HD: among HD standards that surpass Full HD, UltraHD is the most popular, in particular, many advanced TVs are produced with 3840x2160 screens. On the other hand, this format is quite demanding in terms of processing power and memory, so it is relatively rare in action cameras, mainly among premium models.
Another important indicator given in this paragraph is the frame rate. The higher it is, the smoother and smoother the movement in the frame will be, the clearer individual details in dynamic scenes will be visible. However, in UltraHD mode, most modern action cameras produce a very low frame rate — most often 30 fps, and in some models 24 fps or even 15 fps. This video is quite viewable, but fast movement in the frame may look blurry. There are cameras capable of shooting UltraHD at a solid speed of 60 fps — the blurring effect during such shooting is almost imperceptible, however, similar models cost accordingly.
Shooting above 4K
The maximum resolution and frame rate of video taken by the camera in a standard higher than 4K. Since such formats have not yet become widespread, the number of devices with the corresponding resolution is not so large.
The frame rate supported by the camera in slow motion (slow-mo).
In general, such shooting is called "high-speed" because it is carried out at an increased frame rate (more than 60 fps). As a result, when playing at normal speed (60 fps and below), the video looks slow (hence the name "slo-mo"). Such slowing down can be used just for fun, and as an artistic device, and even for scientific purposes — to capture movement that is too fast for human perception. Anyway, the higher the slo-mo frame rate, the more you can slow down the video and the more advanced the camera is in this regard. On the other hand, the higher the frame rate, the more performant the graphics part should be; and this, in turn, affects the price of the device, sometimes quite noticeably.
Also note that slow-mo shooting can only be available at certain resolutions, which are not always the maximum; these points can be directly specified in the characteristics of the action camera.
Field of view
Angle of view of the action camera; for models with several lenses, usually, this indicator is indicated for each individual lens.
Most often (unless otherwise indicated), the specifications give the viewing angle along the diagonal of the frame; in some ultra-wide lenses it can exceed 180°. A special case are lenses for which a 360° view is claimed: this means that the optics cover the entire hemisphere in front of it. Such lenses are found in panoramic and 360-degree cameras (see "Type").
In general, the viewing angle determines, first of all, how wide the field of view of the camera is, what area of the scene being shot falls into the frame. Accordingly, the wider it is, the more space the camera captures, the lower the likelihood that something from what is happening will be behind the scenes. On the other hand, it should be taken into account that a strong increase in viewing angles leads to distortions of the “picture”, especially at the edges, as well as to a decrease in the size of visible objects and a decrease in detail. Detailed recommendations regarding the choice of a camera for this parameter can be found in special sources.
The presence of a digital (electronic) stabilization system in the camera design.
Any stabilization is intended to compensate for small juddering of the image that occurs due to the instability of the hold in the hands, vibrations from the engine or road roughness (when used in transport), etc. Digital stabilization is carried out as follows: a “reserve” is allocated along the edges of the matrix, which under normal conditions does not participate in the formation of the final image. If the device oscillates, the camera electronics selects certain parts of the image from the reserve and builds the image in such a way that in the end it remains stable.
Compared to another method of stabilization — optical (see below), digital systems are extremely simple and reliable, moreover, they are inexpensive and have almost no effect on the weight, dimensions, and price of the camera. At the same time, with this method of stabilization, the effective area of the matrix is reduced, which can adversely affect the image quality and the amount of noise on it.
The presence of an optical stabilization system in the design of the camera.
Any stabilization is intended to compensate for small juddering of the image that occurs due to the instability of the hold in the hands, vibrations from the engine or road roughness (when used in transport), etc. Optical stabilization is carried out by a system of movable lenses and gyroscopes in the camera lens; such a system monitors the vibrations of the device and adjusts the optics in such a way that the image falling on the matrix remains motionless.
The optical method is considered more advanced than the electronic method described above: it allows you to use the entire area of \u200b\u200bthe matrix, which contributes to good image quality. At the same time, the stabilization mechanism turns out to be quite complex and expensive, and often quite delicate. In addition, it increases the weight and dimensions of the entire device — not by much, but in some situations this may be important. And the miniaturization of such systems further affects the price. As a result, the presence of an optical stabilizer is most often a sign of a fairly advanced camera.
The ability to record sound with an action camera. Usually, the built-in microphone is used for this, however, there are also models with the ability to connect an external microphone (for more details, see "Connection"). Anyway, sound recording allows you to get the most complete picture of what is happening on the recording, however, this function is not mandatory for action cameras, so its availability is specified separately.
Also note that the number of microphones may vary (see below); if it is not specified, then the camera has only one microphone.
The presence of a noise reduction system in the design of the action camera.
This function is relevant only for models with the ability to record sound (see above). The noise reduction system, in accordance with the name, monitors extraneous noise in the recorded sound (for example, the rumble of the wind in the microphone array) and eliminates them — thus, the camera captures only “useful” sound with a minimum of extraneous noise. Of course, even the most advanced of these systems are not perfect, and errors in operation are inevitable — the camera may miss some noise or reduce the volume of a “useful” sound. However, in most cases, noise reduction somehow positively affects the quality of the recorded audio.
The number of built-in microphones provided in the camera.
This option is specified only for models with more than one microphone. This design provides additional features, but the set of these features depends on the number of microphones and the features of a particular model. So, most often in such devices two microphones are provided; it can be a pair for stereo sound recording, or one microphone can work for sound recording, and the second one can play the role of a sensor for the noise reduction system (see above). A larger number — 3 or 4 microphones — is found mainly in 360-degree cameras (see "Type"), where such equipment is used to record "surround" multi-channel sound.
The number of megapixels in the action camera matrix, in other words, the resolution of this matrix (1 megapixel is 1 million photosensitive points).
There is an opinion that the higher the resolution, the better the image quality. This is true from the point of view that manufacturers are trying to install high-resolution sensors in advanced cameras. At the same time, there are no strict rules here, and on the technical side, the number of megapixels determines only the maximum image resolution that can be captured using this matrix. The quality of this picture will depend both on a number of features of the sensor itself (size, type, special design solutions), and on the characteristics of the camera (from optics to firmware). So when choosing, you should focus not so much on the resolution of the matrix, but on the general class of the camera and reviews with examples of footage.
Additional information regarding the sensor installed in the lens. This item can specify both the diagonal size (in inches) and the sensor model, and sometimes both parameters at once. Anyway, such data is provided only if the device is equipped with a high-class matrix, which stands out noticeably against the general background. With the model, everything is quite simple: knowing the name of the sensor, you can find detailed data on it. The size is worth considering a little more.
The diagonal of the matrix is traditionally indicated in fractional parts of an inch — accordingly, for example, a 1/2.3" sensor will be larger than 1/2.6". Larger sensors are considered more advanced, as they allow for better image quality at the same resolution. This is due to the fact that due to the larger sensor area, each individual pixel is also larger and receives more light, which improves sensitivity and reduces noise. Of course, the actual image quality will also depend on a number of other parameters, but in general, a larger sensor size usually means a more advanced camera.
The maximum resolution at which the action camera can take photos. Specified in pixels horizontally and vertically.
This parameter is directly related to the resolution of the matrix (see above): the total number of pixels in the photo, usually, corresponds to the number of pixels in the matrix. For example, a photo resolution of 4608x3456 corresponds to a matrix of 15925248 pixels, or approximately 16 megapixels. If the number of pixels in the photo is greater than the claimed resolution of the matrix, then the manufacturer uses software tricks that allow you to “pull” the photo resolution to a higher one than originally. This reduces the cost of devices, but also affects the quality of images.
Theoretically, high-resolution images can provide good detail, but in fact, much depends on the characteristics of the matrix (primarily physical size) and image processing features.
— Photo during video. The ability to take photos directly while recording a video — usually using a separate button. Thus, it is convenient to fix the most significant moments of what is happening. Such photos are much better in quality than "freeze frames" from the captured video.
— Serial shooting of a photo. This function allows you to take several pictures at once in a short period of time (usually it is a fraction of a second). A series of shots increases the chance of capturing a good moment, which can be very important given the specifics of using action cameras.
— One click recording. The ability to quickly turn on the camera for recording — literally at the touch of a button, in accordance with the name. Moreover, usually, such a button works even if the device is turned off. However the recording inevitably starts with some delay; but often this delay is a fraction of a second.
— Online streaming. Ability to stream video to popular services like YouTube and social networks (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.). Usually, the online streaming function is implemented when the Action camera is connected to the Internet via a Wi-Fi network, less often via a wired connection (only via a client device from the outside). Communication with the World Wide Web can be held directly or through an "intermediary"...— a smartphone or computer. This will require the use of appropriate software.
— Timelapse. A special mode of operation of the action camera, in which video recording is carried out at a slower frequency, which in fact is mainly used for filming slow processes. Thus, for example, a long journey or a long sunset can fit into a 3-minute video.
— Auto rotate. The function of automatic rotation of the captured photos and videos to the position corresponding to the position of the camera. Without this feature, all footage during playback would be displayed strictly in landscape orientation, and footage shot with the camera upside down or upside down would have to be rotated in a photo or video editor. Usually, at the beginning of video recording, auto-rotation is blocked — so that the position of the frame at any time corresponds to the rotation of the camera itself relative to its original position.
— Shooting photo panoramas. The ability to use the camera to take panoramic photos. In traditional action cameras (see "Type"), such shooting is carried out as follows: the camera takes several separate photos, which are then glued into one image programmatically. Regarding panoramic and 360-degree models (see ibid.), it is worth noting that not all such models support shooting in panoramic format, so it is advisable to check the availability of this function separately.
— Tags for key points. The ability to add special marks to the footage that indicate key moments. While viewing such materials, you can, if desired, go directly to the tags — this is easier than manually searching for the right moment. This feature is especially useful when shooting long videos, as well as when numerous individual files. The mark, usually, is placed right during the shooting by pressing a special button or by voice command.
— Night shot. Special mode for shooting in low light conditions. The specific implementation of this function may be different: in some models, the sensitivity of the sensor is increased, in others, shooting in the IR range is used. Accordingly, specific features may vary: not every camera with this function is able to shoot in complete darkness, these nuances should be clarified separately.
— GPS module. Built-in satellite navigation module that allows you to determine the current coordinates of the device. Options for using data from GPS can be different: geotagging footage, recording routes (tracks) traveled, determining the speed of movement, or even full-fledged navigation on the map.
— Wi-Fi module. The Wi-Fi wireless module in action cameras can be used in different formats: in some models it is responsible for connecting to the Internet, in others it is for communicating with a smartphone or other gadget, in others both options are available at once. Anyway, the main use of this connection is to transfer footage to an external device or to the Internet (including broadcasting in the online streaming format, see “Filming Options”). In addition, more specific functions can be provided, for example, using a smartphone as an external viewfinder and remote control. Specific features of the use of Wi-Fi in each case should be clarified separately.
— Bluetooth. Direct wireless communication technology for exchanging information between two electronic devices. In action cameras, it is most often used to connect remote controls, selfie sticks and smartphones, which can also act as a remote control. Unlike the Wi-Fi module, it consumes battery power more economically, but at the same time, the range of wireless communication is reduced to 10...metres.
— NFC chip. NFC is a wireless communication technology over short distances (up to 10 cm). In action cameras, this technology is mainly used as an auxiliary one, to facilitate connection with a smartphone or other gadget via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. If such a gadget is also equipped with NFC, just bring the camera to it and confirm the connection — it's easier than fiddling with the settings.
— USB-C. A relatively new type of USB interface that uses a miniature double-sided connector, slightly larger than microUSB. Most often used for similar purposes — as a universal connector through which you can charge the battery and connect the camera to a computer (for copying captured photos and videos, updating firmware, etc.). P.). At the same time, USB-C provides a higher data transfer rate than microUSB, supports more power, and also has a more convenient plug. Occasionally, there are more specific ways to use this interface — for example, direct connection to a smartphone or tablet that has a USB-C port.
— HDMI output. HDMI is a digital interface specially designed for high-definition video and multi-channel audio. With this output, you can connect the camera to a TV, monitor or other device as an external player and play the footage directly. The convenience of HDMI lies in the fact that almost all modern video equipment with support for HD standards is equipped with such inputs.
Note that the cameras themselves can be equipped with a smaller version of the connector — miniHDMI or microHDMI; however, finding an adapter cable is usually not a problem, it can even be supplied in a kit.
— AV output. Output for transmitting video and audio signals in analogue format. In action cameras, it most often has the form of a 3.5 mm mini-jack connector. The AV output capabilities are noticeably more modest than those of HDMI, which has a similar purpose: the analogue signal only allows standard definition video (not HD) plus mono or stereo sound (not multi-channel). On the other hand, often even such features are enough; and AV inputs are widespread and are found not only in modern, but also in frankly outdated technology like CRT TVs. In addition, many cameras have two video outputs at once — both HDMI and AV.
— Connecting a microphone. Almost any modern action camera has a built-in microphone that allows you to record sound. However, the quality of his work is often quite low. Thus, many models have the ability to connect an external microphone — you can bring it, for example, to the helmet strap and record the comments of the athlete in the process of movement. Note that different types of connectors can be used for such a connection. As a result, the specific connector type and supported accessories depend on the action camera model, and some devices are only compatible with branded microphones.
— Diagonal. The larger the screen, the more convenient it is to view (and also to control if the display is touch-sensitive). On the other hand, the diagonal of the built-in display directly affects the size of the case, and action cameras should be quite compact. Thus, there are practically no screens larger than 2.5" in modern action cameras.
— Resolution. Theoretically, the higher the resolution, the clearer and better image the screen produces. On the other hand, screens in action cameras are designed mainly for menu operation, general image framing and footage preview — and for these purposes, especially high resolutions are not needed. For models with two screens, the rear display is considered the main display.
— Touch. Display equipped with a sensor and responsive to touch — like in smartphones / tablets. Control through such a display is simpler and more intuitive than using buttons, rotary knobs, etc. On the other hand, for more or less convenient control, the touch screen must be quite large, which affects the dimensions of the entire camera.
— Front screen. The presence in the camera of a screen mounted on the front panel, next to the lens. Other displays may not be present at all; in such cases, the diagonal, resolution and other parameters are given for the front screen.
It is worth noting that most often the simpl...est black-and-white displays are installed on the front panel, suitable only for text and elementary graphic information. However, even on such a screen, you can display a wide variety of service data: the current mode of operation (photo, video, standby), the resolution used, the shooting time, the amount of free space on the drive, etc. But more advanced displays are not used as front displays: a full-colour screen is really needed only for taking a selfie, and for this you can use a remote display with a remote control(see "Control") or a smartphone connected to the camera.
Own speaker (or speakers) installed directly in the camera body. This function is mainly intended to allow you to view footage with sound without connecting headphones or speakers. However the built-in speakers do not differ in volume or general sound quality — nevertheless, they allow you to determine what the camera “heard” as a whole, whether sound recording was turned on, whether individual ambient sounds got into the recording, etc.
The ability to control the action camera using voice commands. Specific capabilities may vary (depending on the model), but even the simplest devices support the control of the basic moments of filming — the start and stop of recording. And some cameras are able to recognize a fairly extensive set of commands. Anyway, the main advantage of voice control is that it does not require hands — an important point given the original purpose of action cameras. However this feature significantly affects the cost, besides, it has restrictions on languages — if English is almost guaranteed to be supported, then difficulties may arise with other languages.
— Protective box. A special container that provides additional protection against dust, moisture, shock, extreme temperatures and other similar “troubles”. The specific degree of protection in each case must be specified separately. In order not to interfere with the shooting, the box is made of transparent materials. In addition, we note that some cameras can only be mounted on mounts in a box (or in a mounting frame — see below), since the case itself may not have places for this.
— Curved mount(helmet). A mount designed to mount the camera on a helmet or other curved surface. The design of such a mount is based on a curved platform with an adhesive layer or Velcro, the shape of which approximately corresponds to the shape of the surface of the helmet. Such a fixture can provide a more secure hold than the classic flat platform (see below).
— Flat mount. One of the basic and simplest mounts used to fix an action camera on almost any uniform surface: snowboard, skateboard, car hood, etc. It is a small flat platform, on one side of which the camera is attached, while the other is fixed on the desired surface (using Velcro, special glue, etc.). Note that flat mounts are often used for mounting on a helmet, however, there is a separate type of mount for this, with a curved platform (see above).
— 3-axis mount.... It differs from other types of mounting in the presence of three movable nodes that allow you to rotate the camera at an angle of up to 90 degrees in three axes. In fact, this allows you to choose the most interesting or successful shooting angle — on the side of the helmet, for example. Such solutions are usually compatible with many other mounts, so they can be used in conjunction with a handlebar, curved, etc.
— On the steering wheel velo / moto (pipe). Mount for installing the camera on a small pipe, such as the handlebars of a bicycle or motorcycle. Usually, it operates on the principle of clamping, and the size of the fastening can be adjusted within a fairly wide range, adjusting it to pipes of different diameters.
— Suction cup(on glass). Camera mount, fixed in the right place with a suction cup. Allows you to install the device on flat and slightly curved surfaces. At the same time, note that such fasteners are not held as securely as flat or curved ones (see the relevant paragraphs). On the other hand, the suction cup is easy to attach and remove and leaves no residue. Therefore, mounts of this type are mainly used for installation on car glass when the camera works as a DVR.
— Clamp (clip). The clip-pin mount is quite versatile, since it allows you to hang the camera on almost any suitable piece of equipment (backpack strap, unloading belt, belt, etc.). But at the same time, it is not very suitable for extreme shooting due to the relatively low reliability.
— Mounting on the head. A device for fixing the camera on the head — usually on the forehead, like a headlamp. In addition to being hands-free, this placement has another advantage: the camera lens faces the same direction as the user. In this case, the mount itself is usually a system of elastic straps and is designed to be worn directly on the head, in contrast to the curved platform for the helmet. However, in some models, the possibility of putting on over a helmet is also allowed.
— Chest mount. This mount is a system of elastic straps that allows you to fix the camera on the user's chest, shooting a little lower than "eyeball". Like the head harness (see above), it easily adapts to the desired size.
— Mounting frame. A device designed to mount the camera on various mounts — helmet-mounted, on the steering wheel, etc. The camera body itself often does not have "seats" for such mounts, which is why you have to use additional equipment. Note that a similar function is often performed by a protective box (see above); the mounting frame, in contrast, provides almost no protection, however, in the frame, the camera body remains as open as possible. This provides additional features — in particular, it allows you to connect various cables and effectively use the built-in microphone, which is not possible with many boxes.
— Monopod(selfie). A device known colloquially as a "selfie stick". It is a barbell, usually folding, and sometimes adjustable in length; on one end of the rod is a mount for the camera, on the other — a handle for holding in your hand. In accordance with the name, such a monopod is intended mainly for filming itself — thanks to the length of the rod, the camera can be held at a convenient distance for this. However, other applications are also possible: for example, with the help of a monopod, you can “look” quite far over the edge of a cliff or around a corner. The main disadvantage of such a device is that one hand is constantly busy.
In addition to those mentioned above, other types of mounts may be included in the delivery package — for example, for musical instruments (for a guitar neck, a drum kit bar, etc.), for a surfboard, etc.
Action camera control. Specified only if this model is equipped with an optional external control device. That is, in fact, in this case we are talking more about the type of remote control.
The remote control itself is convenient, first of all, because reaching directly to the camera can be inconvenient, and sometimes even dangerous. But the types of devices used for this can be as follows:
— Portable remote control. Traditional external control panels that do not have displays. Theoretically, the functionality of such a remote control can be different, but in fact, only the most basic functions are usually carried out on it — start / stop recording and taking photos; the rest of the possibilities can be controlled in the classical way. Such remotes often have a strap for attaching to a hand or a device for installing such a strap. The absence of a screen, on the one hand, makes them as simple, reliable and autonomous as possible, on the other hand, it limits the functionality.
— Remote screen with remote control. Remote controls complete with their own displays. Like simpler devices, without a display, they are usually designed to be mounted on the hand. Therefore, the built-in screens have a very small diagonal — otherwise it would be simply inconvenient to wear them. Nevertheless, even such a screen turns out to be quite functional and useful in fact. It usually plays t...he role of an external viewfinder, allowing you to see what exactly the camera is shooting at the moment — an important feature, given that the action camera's own screen (if any) is most often not visible to the user at the time of shooting. Of course, various service information can also be displayed on the remote display.
It is worth noting that many modern action cameras can use a smartphone connected via Wi-Fi as an external display. However, a specialized remote screen is often more convenient due to its compactness, security and convenient attachment to the arm.
Max. memory card capacity
The largest memory card capacity supported by this camera model.
This limitation is due to two points. First, the larger the drive, the more computing power is required to use it. Secondly, each type of memory card has its own maximum capacity. For example, the capacity of an SD HC card cannot exceed 32 GB, larger drives already belong to the SD XC standard, and if it is not supported, the maximum card capacity cannot exceed 32 GB.
It is strongly not recommended to exceed the maximum allowable volume: even if the card is recognized by the device, its normal operation is not guaranteed.
All action cameras are, by definition, self-powered, but the sources used may vary:
— Removable battery. The original battery, not related to standard sizes like AA. The main advantage of this option is that the battery comes with the camera, so you do not have to spend time and money on buying a power source. In terms of characteristics, original batteries can significantly exceed replacement cells. However when discharging, the only option is usually recharging, and it takes quite a long time and requires an external power supply. At the same time, in this case, removable batteries are usually meant, and this design has a number of useful features: the battery can be charged in an external charger, and another battery of the same type can be installed in the camera during the procedure.
— Non-removable battery. The original battery (see above), which has a non-removable design. Such batteries are generally less convenient than removable ones — they cannot be removed for charging, replaced with fresh ones, etc. However, the non-removable design gives one important advantage: the camera body can be made almost integral, which has a positive effect on reliability and tightness.
— Batteries(AA / AAA). Powered by replaceable elements of a standard size — AA ("finger") or AAA ("little finger"). This option is convenient because when the charge is exhausted, you do not need to look fo...r a source of electricity and wait until charging is over — dead batteries can be replaced with fresh ones in just a couple of minutes. On the other hand, such a power supply is considered less suitable for action cameras than special batteries, and is quite rare, mainly in low-cost models. The main reason for this is that batteries are more bulky and at the same time less capacious than branded batteries, and when using them it is difficult to achieve a combination of compactness and at the same time good battery life.
The model name of the original battery (see "Power Type") used in the camera. Knowing this name, you can easily find a spare or replacement battery for the device.
The capacity of the specialized battery supplied with the action camera (see "Power").
Other things being equal, a higher capacity allows the device to work longer on a single charge. However, action cameras can differ markedly in terms of design and, as a result, in terms of power consumption. Therefore, only models with similar characteristics can be compared with each other in terms of capacity (and even then quite approximately). And to assess battery life, it is better to use data on the actual operating time on a charge (these data can be indicated by the manufacturer itself or given in reviews).
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