Hey there my fellow outdoors lovers and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best waterproof sports cameras to record your awesomeness with this year. Also called action cameras, waterproof sports cameras allow you to capture memorable moments despite being in a rugged situation such as on top of a mountain, on a kayak or riding a wave.
However, as with anything to do with electronics, there is also the chance you might still end up buying a substandard product if you are not sure what you are looking for. So to help you out, I have had a good look around and come up with three decent options below.
Let’s check them out…
My three recommended waterproof sports cameras
I will review these in more detail below however if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:
What are waterproof sports cameras?
A waterproof sport camera is designed to record and capture action even when wet or immersed in water. Additionally, the ‘sport’ element usually means that the camera is small, extremely portable and able to capture fast moving images and video with ease. This means that they are most commonly utilized to record first person action for any number of sports including:
- Scuba diving
- Mountain biking
- Dirt Bike Riding
- Snow skiing
- And anything other sport you can think of – I mean my son attaches my GoPro to his helmet when he hits the skate park with his friends.
Also, even though they may not have all for the enhanced features of an SLR digital camera, despite their small size some do include features such as wide-angle shooting, low-light photography or optimal white balance.
Check out these: Tips for using a sport camera
What should you be looking for?
The following factors should be considered as you hunt around for a good waterproof sports camera for all of your action shots.
- Video quality
- Size and shape
- Battery life
When selecting a waterproof sports camera, ensure that the video quality and resolution allow you to capture clear, crisp and immersive footage or still images. The best action cameras on the market include 4K video, but you must consider the price. As a beginner, you may benefit from lower video quality to learn how to use the camera before upgrading to a more professional model.
As above, whilst these camera types do not contain all of the features of a high end SLR camera, there are some good features to consider as well. these include:
- Frame rate: Frame rate is the frequency or rate at which consecutive images (also called frames) are captured or displayed. For example, changing the frame rate from 30 to 60 frames per second (FPS) allows you to edit parts of your video in slow motion etc.
- Mega pixels: The higher the mega pixel capabilities, the more detail is recorded in each shot. And whilst this makes for higher quality images and editing capabilities, they also take up more space on your storage card as well.
- HD and Full HD video – As with mega pixels above, this determines how many pixels are displayed in videos. For great video action, look for at least 1080p however again, this will take up more space.
- Stabilization – Remember that in most instances, the camera is moving when in use – look for inclusions such as stabilization or horizon lock (which keeps the image based on the horizon) for level images and video.
- Reversible lenses – Meaning you can shoot in front or you or behind you (selfie) without the need for a selfie stick or to turn the camera around.
- Field of view – Most cameras allow you to choose between wide, medium, and narrow FOV. Some images will appear distorted and have a fish-eye effect if you only use the wide angle so it is worth the effort to adjust these at other times.
There are plenty of other features that run from camera to camera as well however these are the most common options as I see them.
Size and shape
Waterproof sports cameras come in various sizes, shapes, and weights. The bulkier, square ones are better for chest or helmet mounts, while the bullet-shaped ones are great for bike handles and other similar applications. This feature allows you to customize how you use the camera based on your needs.
Choosing the best angle for the best type of action/sport is a skill you will learn as you explore and experiment with your camera however the size is something to consider based on where you plan to mount it and use it.
When looking for action cameras online, consider the accessories that come with them. Helmet and head mounts, handlebar mounts, chest belts, telescoping poles, and other standard accessories are common.
You should look into what mounts and accessories come with your camera and what other compatible accessories are available in specialized stores.
Check out these: Sports Camera Tripods
Waterproof sports cameras are built to last and are resistant to wear and tear. Nonetheless, you may want camera settings that match your expectations, such as one that can meet and even exceed deep water diving.
Underwater photography is a challenging hobby; therefore, ensure you get a camera with various settings so you can use it while scuba diving and mountain biking. After all, you don’t need a different camera for each action sport you participate in, but rather one that allows for variations and alternatives.
Most action cameras can record for up to three hours before shutting down. For this reason, choose your camera based on the battery life that best meets your needs. If your primary goal is to shoot high-resolution videos, you should know that your battery will drain faster. Alternatively, consider having a separate charging bank for the camera’s battery or a spare.
Other potential additions include:
- Wifi capability: Wi-Fi allows for simple video uploading to a computer or the internet, live streaming, some accessory apps, and remote shooting via smartphone.
- Protective pouch: You may use this item to safe keep the sports camera when not in use.
- SD card: All waterproof sports cams record videos onto small removable memory cards. Most cams use tiny microSD cards, while some still use postage stamp–size SD cards.
What makes a good action sports camera?
Whilst they don’t have the rich features of a SLR model, sports action cameras can still definitely do the job. Good sports action cameras are waterproof with the ability to take high resolution images and videos with a number of features such as frame per second and field of view adjustments as well. Also look for a long battery life and the ability to mount in a good number of locations.
Check out these: 3 Best Waterproof Digital Cameras
My three recommendations broken down
So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:
1. AKASO V50 Elite Touch Screen WiFi Action Camera
My first product review has excellent features that rival those with higher price tags with multiple FPS and HD shooting capabilities and touch screen display. See its specifications below:
- Brand: AKASO
- Screen size: 2 inches
- Image quality: 20 MP and Full HD video
- Battery life: 90 minutes
- Weight: 1.261 pounds
- Dimensions: 10.67 x 4.17 x 2.8 inches
- Wi-Fi capability
- Records 4K/60fps, 4K/30fps, 2.7K/60fps, 2.7K/30fps, 1080P/120fps, 720P/240fps video and 20MP image
- Depth limit of 131 feet
- 8x optical zoom
Why have I chosen it?
This is a good camera if you want something small and inexpensive as not only does it record 4K video with image stabilization and a front-facing screen but it also comes with a slew of accessories as well.
The camera’s case is waterproof to 40 meters (131 feet) making it sufficient for most recreational scuba dives and any other type of water adventure. Additionally, the built-in advanced electronic image stabilization (EIS) predicts your movements and compensates for camera shake to deliver insanely smooth footage. This is a great option for those looking for a quality product on a budget.
2. GoPro HERO10 Black – Waterproof Action Camera
My second option is a name synonymous with sports cameras and considered by many as one of the best action cameras overall. Recent upgrades in the version 10 model have unlocked several extra valuable features, making this model a top-performing choice. See its specifications below:
- Brand: GoPro
- Screen size: 2.27 inches
- Image quality: 23 MP and Ultra HD Video
- Battery life: 1 – 3 hours
- Weight: 1.01 pounds
- Dimensions: 17.68 x 6.97 x 3.03 inches
Other inclusions :
- Wi-Fi capability
- 5.3K video resolution at 60fps
- 8 x slow motion
- 1080p live streaming
- Front LCD and rear touch screens
Why have I chosen it?
This gadget offers incredible video which is in 5.3K resolution and runs at 60 frames per second. It also includes new HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization in all modes and 23MP photos. The newest version also includes video tone mapping for bringing out details in shadows and the ability to extract 19-MP still images from video.
It also has improved noise reduction, higher image resolution, and a waterproof lens cover. I use the Hero 9 and absolutely love it so if you are after a really really really good sports camera – then this is the one!
Check out my: GoPro Hero 11 Action Camera Review
3. insta360 X3 – Waterproof 360 Action Camera
My last product for you is specially engineered to produce high-quality images via a large, beautiful touchscreen display. It is slimlined for ease of mounting and hand held use and offers fantastic features as well. See its specifications below:
- Brand: Insta360
- Screen size: 2.29 inches
- Image quality: 72 MP with full HD Video
- Battery life: 1 – 3 hours
- Weight: 1.06 pounds
- Dimensions: 9.055 x 4.331 x 2.362 inches
- X3 captures 5.7K 360 Active HDR video
- Star-lapse mode
- Invisible selfie-stick
- Depth limit of 33 feet
- 170° field of view
- FlowState Stabilization & 360 Horizon Lock
Why have I chosen it?
This sports camera comes with many specialized modes and accessories for achieving various effects including the star-lapse mode, which captures star trails for incredible cinematic night sky shots. It provides top class stabilization and super high quality images for excellent editing capabilities as well as begin built for first person shooting.
The camera is waterproof to 33 feet with a dive case available for seamless 360 stitching underwater (as well as deeper dives). This is a great option of you like to run hand held cameras to fully capture first person action.
There you have it; my three best waterproof sports cameras. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.