After spending 20 hours analyzing the latest actions cameras (building about the hundreds of hours Wirecutter staffers have spent with actions cameras within the past three years), including hiking through the rain, attaching them to automobiles and bicycles, as well as mounting them on a dog playing on a beach, we believe the GoPro Hero5 Black is your best action camera for the majority of people.
Its video output is clear, crisp, and smooth, with vivid colour. It is also the very first GoPro with built-in security, so unlike with other cameras that you won’t require an instance to take it all swimming. And other advanced, useful features, such as voice command and a user-friendly touchscreen interface ( far better for framing shots and quickly changing settings compared to the monochrome LCD on the Sony FDR-X3000), actually push this GoPro ahead of the pack.
The Hero5 Black builds on the success of its predecessor (and our past pick), the Hero4 Silver, with new features that significantly enhance its usability. The built-in waterproofing has become the most important addition, since it means you can shoot anywhere, anytime, even without fiddling with a circumstance. But owners will also appreciate the camera’s intuitive touchscreen interface, picture stabilization, and voice command. And it is a relative bargain, also: Despite the expanded feature set, the new flagship GoPro costs $100 less than the old Hero4 Black.
If you’d like silky-smooth 4K footage and care more about video quality than ease of use, the Sony FDR-X3000 is for you. In our tests, Sony’s BOSS optical stabilization system was more effective than rival digital systems in virtually every situation, and it works with 4K footage whereas others do not. The X3000’s overall video quality has been the best among our evaluation group, with superior sharpness and great color from its unusual but powerful 16:9 imaging sensor. However, the camera is let down with a bothersome, button-driven interface and Sony’s lackluster mount ecosystem. It is ideal for men and women who will not mind putting up with its eccentricities in exchange for the sharpest possible shots.
The Yi 4K Action Camera’s surprisingly low cost and newness to the market might scare away some buyers, but they’d be missing out on a whole lot. This camera delivers competitively crisp 4K footage also includes all the exact same resolution and frame-rate alternatives as the Hero5 Black, together with a well-designed touchscreen interface and a slick mobile program. However, Yi cut a couple of corners to keep prices down: A watertight home can cost you extra, and when the camera is within the home, you can’t use that gorgeous touchscreen–you will need to use your telephone to change settings.