I’ve always interested in buying an action camera to capture my kayaking journey and keep learning how to make a good video even before I actually own the camera. (12 Tips for Better Kayak Action Camera Footage)
Because there are so many action cameras out there I decided to make a top 3 picks of action cameras (According to my research). Below I’ve also added a buying guide to ensure we are all well informed on what features to look for in an action camera.
My Top 3 Kayaking Action Cameras for 2018
- GoPro HERO7 Black (Click to check current price on Amazon): GoPro is the undefeated brand of action cameras. The brand will deliver quality but its newer models can be a bit tricky to use.
- Sony HDRAS300 (Click to check current price on Amazon): Sony is also well known for its quality and has a better price range in their products. These cameras are very easy to use but are less easy to mount.
- GoPro HERO4 Black (Click to check current price on Amazon): GoPro will always be the field leader in action cameras and some of their older updated models will still outstand their competitions current models.
Why I Chose the GoPro Hero 4?
My current favorite pick would be GoPro Hero 4. GoPro just remains my favorite brand and I feel like the GoPro Hero 7 will be a little bit out of my reach not only in price but also in the ability to use it. So far, I’ve read that the GoPro Hero 7 is a little bit harder to handle.
So here’s why I love the GoPro Hero 4:
Video Resolution: I totally love the fact that the GoPro Hero 4 has 4k resolution and offers the ability to use slow-motion. For me, that’s a great option when going out of western Europe’s fast-flowing rivers.
Check out this video and Turn on the 4k resolution!
Night settings: Especially during fall season I love to start peddling at sunrise and the special night setting on the camera makes it able to record in most light settings. Low-end brands often won’t offer these settings.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth: This action camera has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options to connect with your phone or other devices. For me that makes it easier to control as GoPro offers a great app and smart remote to use the camera.
Video Trimming: The camera has video trimming making sure vibrations or other video ruining movements are automatically being edited in the video. This means better quality videos to watch time and time again.
Mounting: With all the different mounts that GoPro offers it’s a very easy camera to mount. This is one of the things that will make or break the use of an action camera. (5 Awesome ways to mount your GoPro for Kayaking[Extra tips] )
Battery life: The original battery that comes with the camera doesn’t offer a really long life. When going out on long kayaking trips you should probably take a spare battery just to make sure.
Heat: I’ve never had this happen to any camera or device I own. However, a friend told me that the GoPro Hero 4 camera can shut down when it becomes too hot. Supposedly that should only happen when it’s a really hot day and the camera is in the sun for a long period of time.
GPS: The more recent models are usually equipped with GPS tracking. The GoPro Hero 4 isn’t equipped with GPS tracking. For me, that’s not an issue but if you would like it to have GPS tracking I suggest upgrading to a more recent model. Or you could use one of those handy apps.
Features to look for in a quality kayaking action camera
When I went to look at action cameras I was shocked by the number of brands and choices that you have. So, I decided to investigate what camera would be best for my use. I came up with a short and clear list of things that I think are necessary for a good quality action camera.
- Camera Mount
- GPS Tracking
One of my greatest dislikes is to watch non-HD videos. My strong suggestion is buying an action camera that is at least full HD or in other words 1080p. If you want to go for a real high quality go for ultra HD that is 4k in resolution terms.
Since I will be using my camera near water most of the time I needed mine to be waterproof. Whatever use you will have outside of kayaking for your action camera, it would always be best to buy a waterproof camera. Most cameras are splash proof and can be used in a waterproof case.
How can the camera be mounted? When in the kayak there are 3 ways of mounting your action camera. Either you mount it to your helmet, chest or the kayak itself. Make sure to buy a brand that offers enough types of mounts that you can use. If you use a brand that can only be mounted in limited ways, you might end up regretting it’s used.
To be honest, GoPro is the best-known action camera brand but today there is some great competition like Sony and for those on a budget there is YI.
Your new action camera is not just supposed to bring high-quality videos. You also need to be able to use the camera right! That means the camera has got to be easy to use unless you’re a video expert. By reading the reviews on the action cameras you can easily find out if it’s easy to use.
Most recent high-end action cameras are equipped with GPS tracking. For me, this is not a demand. For some of you, it might be worth considering though. If your favorite camera doesn’t have GPS tracking there are some great apps you can use instead.
The video above gives a great impression of the video quality. Besides that, it will also show the different ways to mount the action camera. That gave me some new ideas for sure.
My Final Pick: GoPro HERO4 Black