Action Cam Test 2019: Current models of well-known manufacturers under test


An action cam differs from a normal camera in that it is small and handy but still has an extremely high performance.

The perfect companion for capturing epic moments and moving images, no matter what situation (air, land or water) you are in.

Other features may include the following:

  • waterproof or resistant to moisture
  • High-end technology in a small housing
  • Great photo and video recordings despite low price
  • protected from vibrations
  • especially stable at high temperatures

Especially popular among the manufacturers is of course the top dog GoPro with its extremely powerful mini cameras. The GoPro Karma Drone carries a GoPro-Cam on the gimbal and provides very horny video recordings.

We would like to clarify a few important things first.

All microphones used in the action cameras are not high-end microphones like you find in real cameras. These are characterized by the fact that in total silence often a noise appears. This cannot be prevented and is simply due to the construction type of the action camera.

The focus of an action cam is clearly on a good photo and video quality and not on capturing all environmental noise in perfect quality.

In addition, you should be aware that with Action Cams you only have a few zoom settings. This is also a criterion that you should consider with your purchase.

When we weren’t as deep into the subject as we are now, we bought a GoPro 5 and were surprised about the somewhat mediocre sound and that it wasn’t possible to zoom in and out.

This is clearly not a feature of an action cam. You can find out what the sound of the GoPro microphone sounds like in our GoPro practice test below.

We have tested the GoPro Hero4 and Hero 5 for you in detail. Both action cams differ in detail, so a close look is necessary to see the similarities and differences.

But first we want to give you some parameters to limit your choice and make a preselection.

The following parameters should be considered when buying an action cam:

  • Prize
  • Photo and video quality
  • Image stabilizer
  • Scope of delivery and equipment (waterproof, scratch-resistant etc.)

Budget for the purchase of an action cam

We have good news for all savings foxes: Actioncams are already available for a very low price of 60€. There are even models that can already record a resolution of 4K (Ultra-HD). What this value means in detail and how a recording in Full-HD or 4k looks like we will show you below.

A lot of performance (good video quality) for little money is also a feature of Action Cams. This is also due to the missing zoom, otherwise a much more sophisticated hardware would have to be installed.

Comparable film cameras that are 4k-capable cost double or even more.

The price range goes from 30€ to almost 500€ (GoPro Hero 6).

Depending on how high your expectations are, you can get top models that can produce fantastic photos and videos for just 100€.

Film and photo quality of Actioncams

Many action cams deliver great video results for little money and shoot pin sharp pictures.

Nevertheless, we would like to introduce you to the different levels and how they differ from each other.

In the following we provide you with different video recordings so that you can get an idea of how the settings look like in detail.

Full-HD is the most common video format with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 16:9 display. If you watch Pro7 or other TV stations (unless you have purchased a 4k expansion) then they will usually be transmitted in exactly this format. The picture is good, but the depth of field is not always brilliant.

This short video clip shows the flight of the DJI Spark which is equipped with a Full-HD camera.

2.7k resolution with a total of 2704 x 1520 pixels, also at 16:9 display. Here you can clearly see the difference to a film from a DVD. The details in the distance are much sharper, so that almost every single pixel can be recognized (on a correspondingly large screen!).

This short video clip was taken from the DJI Mavic Pro flown along a river in best weather with a 2.7k resolution.

The highest available resolution for action cameras is currently 4k (Ulta-HD) with a video resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (also 16:9 display). Most action cams can record this format, but there are still differences in quality. Therefore, if you are a bit more demanding, a close look at the video quality is absolutely necessary.

The following video shows a recording in 4k on a beach, taken with the Phantom 3 Professionel.

Furthermore, the recorded frames per second can be distinguished, which makes a film look either normal or a bit more fluid and dynamic.

The following levels are represented for action cameras:

  1. 24.25 FPS (Frames per Second): This setting is the lowest frame rate normally available. A movie in our cinemas runs at 25FPS by default.
  2. 30 FPS: This standard is present in both the simple and the professional action cams. Almost every film from television
  3. 60 FPS: This frame rate is at 4k the absolute maximum that the best action cams (e.g. the GoPro Hero 6) currently offer. The picture appears incredibly dynamic and fast changes of direction or abrupt stops in the film appear razor sharp thanks to 60 FPS.
  4. 120 FPS: This mode is possible with some action mini-cams in Full-HD resolution to produce slow-motion shots.

A decent action cam should be equipped with at least Full-HD and 30 frames per second. As you will see, many manufacturers already offer resolutions of 4k and 30FPS at a low price.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that not everything that is on paper is actually so good in reality.

Image stabilizer – different possibilities

If you are wondering if an image stabilizer is absolutely necessary for an action cam, we would definitely say YES! There are many reasons for this.

First of all, your shots are most likely not taken from a stable tripod, but in hectic, jerky movements that capture your bungie jump, dive or snowboard ride.

Without a stabilizer the video will be very jerky afterwards and you will only get a usable recording if you stabilize or edit the image afterwards with a video program. If you are able to use this technique: No problem! Otherwise you can almost throw away your recordings.

So it is very advisable to buy an action cam with image stabilizer. Many models have this technical feature and deliver very good results. Often it is a difference like day and night if the picture is taken with a stabilizer and is a little bit blurred or if there is just a jerky back and forth on the pictures.

Nevertheless, there are of course also differences in quality with the type of image stabilizer / software used.

Here you can see a shot with and without image stabilizer.

The difference is really immense and visible for everyone, no matter if beginner or professional.

The GoPro models all have a good stabilizer that does its job excellently. Not only expensive models, but also cheaper cams like the SJ5000X Elite have a gyro sensor that automatically compensates for the camera’s movements by shifting the frames for a more stable result.

Action cams under 150€ closer look

Jeemak 4k

The Jeemak 4k Action Cam is with a price of just over 60€ an absolute bargain and comes with a lot of features compared to the other models.

This includes a waterproof protective cover with which the camera can be taken to a depth of up to 30m.

Two rechargeable batteries with a film time of 80 minutes each offer enough power to produce longer video recordings.

The video resolution of 4k (3840 x 2160 pixels) is possible with a frame rate of 30 FPS and delivers really great pictures for this price.

You can read the detailed test report here

SJ5000X Elite

Another action camera is the SJ5000X Elite which is in the middle price segment of the entry level cameras for action scenes with just over 100€.

For the video recordings are also 4k possible but only a frame rate of 24 FPS. This makes the action shots sometimes seem a bit rigid and not so dynamic. Nevertheless, for this price it can be seen in any case.

The camera is characterized by a gyro image stabilizer, so that the film shots are not so blurred and even turbulent scenes can be captured great.

We have put the camera through its paces. You can read our SJ5000x Actioncam review here

TecTecTec WiFi Action Cam

The successor of the predecessor model Xpro2 comes with a water-protected housing and can be taken along for example for diving up to a depth of 20m.

Movies are recorded in Full-HD with 30FPS or in 720p with 60 FPS. The picture quality with 12MP and a wide angle lens of 170° field of view delivers great photo shots.

You can easily connect the camera to your phone via Wifi and control it remotely. This is helpful if you take pictures of the northern lights and it is so cold outside and you prefer to wait in the car where it is warmer. Your friend will thank you 😉 Click here for the detailed test report of the TecTecTec Actioncam.

APEMAN 4K Sports Cam

The video quality in 4k and 24fps delivers razor-sharp photos and movies that even professional filmmakers can enjoy. Slow-motion recording is unfortunately not possible as Full-HD 30 and 60 FPS is available.

The camera lens is with 20MP even better than the GoPro Hero 4 and 5 which have 12MP each (and that at a price of over 400€!). The photos are razor sharp and the depth details are also really good.

The Action Cam housing supplied is waterproof and keeps the camera sealed to a depth of 30m, although some care should be taken here and in our experience you should not dive deeper than 20m. You can read the detailed Apeman test report here.

Professional Action Cam Practical Test

GoPro Hero 4

The GoPro Hero 4 action cam was already released in 2014 and could already produce 4k shots at that time. However, the frame rate was limited to 25FPS and the built-in microphone was a bit dull compared to the GoPro Hero 5.

Nevertheless, the GoPro 4 is a great action cam which is already available for a price of 330€. I took the GoPro Hero 4 with me for diving and made really great recordings with it.

I bought an underwater housing with a spotlight, two more batteries, a selfiestick and a stable bag. The housing does a great job and kept the camera completely waterproof even at 30m.

What the Actioncam can do you can read in our GoPro Hero 4 review.

GoPro Hero 5

The GoPro Hero 5 is the direct successor of the just introduced model and a really great action cam. The cam can produce video recordings with 4k and 30FPS and has an improved microphone than the GoPro Hero 4.

Furthermore, the image stabilizer has been significantly improved and delivers much smoother videos.

A real killer feature of the cam is the voice control which works really well. Even during the husky sled ride the GoPro listened to our commands without any problems.

Furthermore the GoPro app (formerly Capture) is a great feature for some situations. For a selfie for example or if you want to take pictures of northern lights and it is too cold for your girlfriend.

We used this to photograph northern lights in Norway. We sat down in the car and set up the tripod in front of the car. The camera was then operated comfortably from the driver’s seat via our mobile phone.

The built-in microphone is good, but the GoPro 5 is not suitable as a selfie camera, for example to film you telling a story for YouTube. For this you need an additional microphone which you can connect to the microphone socket without any problems.

The price for the Action Cam is currently around 385€.

Go Pro Hero 6 in practical test

The GoPro Hero 6 is currently not only the upper end of the flag in terms of high-end technology, but also the current flagship of the top dog GoPro.

Ultra HD can be recorded at 60 frames per second. A voice control and a 10m waterproofness by default are no surprise.

Especially spectacular, however, are the incredibly fluid video recordings and the very well working image stabilizer. Even very shaky shots are perfectly stabilized.

But the image recordings can be just as well seen. Even night shots are possible and look really good.

The only shortcoming is the, from our point of view, justified price and the somewhat low battery life. Nevertheless, this high-end action cam will satisfy even the most demanding cameraman.

New flagship: GoPro Hero 7 action camera

A few weeks ago GoPro introduced the new high-end camera GoPro Hero 7 with new innovative features.

GoPro Hero 7 auf Phantom 3 Professionell

This includes a gimbal-like image stabilisation, which ensures unshaky film recordings, even with very strong shaking and unsteady video recordings. How this looks like in detail we show you in our Hero 7 test video. GoPro calls this feature Hypersmooth, which is available even at the highest resolution in Ultra-HD at 60 frames per second.

Furthermore there is the possibility to produce time-lapse recordings with the help of the timelapse function. Here GoPro creates with the integrated software from a 20-minute video a 20 seconds short film with high speed. With this, very cool film recordings can be produced.

All in all, I am very satisfied with this action cam and can only recommend everyone, as long as the budget allows it, to strike here. For me it is currently the best action cam on the market.

YI 4k Plus 4k camera with 60 frames per second

YI 4k Plus Action Cam in Gehäuse steht aufrecht

The Yi 4k Plus is supposed to be a real Go Pro Hero 6 killer and at the same time convince with a very good price-performance ratio.

Yi is a currently still unknown manufacturer in the action cam market in this country, but it is slowly but surely gaining popularity. That’s why it’s even more important to find possibly cheaper models than the top dog and to check the quality.

We have tested the action cam over and underwater on heart and kidneys and show you if a purchase is really worthwhile! Read our test report here!

SJ8Pro Actioncam: 4k 60FPS – Competition for GoPro?

The newest model from SJ-Cam enters the market with a challenge. 4k with 60 frames per second, only the Hero 6 or the Yi 4k Plus could do that so far.

The 12 MP sensor has a high quality Ambarella H22 chipset and is therefore able to generate very cool photo and video recordings. With HD even up to 240 FPS are possible, so you can create really cool slow motion shots.

The battery life is with almost 40 minutes at 4k in the highest frame rate really a very good value. The touch display works reliably and without delay. Find out in my detailed test report (click!) what the cam is really good for.

Sony HDR Full HD Mini-Action Cam in the endurance test

Sony Action Cam Praxistest Outdoor

Sony sells a lot of technology and among other things also cameras that are especially suited for spectacular manoeuvres.

The Sony HDR Full HD camera is a very high quality camera that has its price. As the name suggests, the cam can record videos in Full HD with up to 60 frames per second.

We took a closer look at the model and checked out exactly what this little powerhouse can actually do. Find out here whether a purchase is really worthwhile

Denver 4k Cam: A lot of quality for little money?

4k Denver Actionkamera Test im Freien auf der Wiese

This small and very affordable action cam promises high-quality filming in Ultra-HD with 25 FPS. In addition, the pictures should be razor sharp and detailed.

We strapped the Action Cam to our P3 Pro and took cool action shots from the air.

Whether the quality is really as promised, you can find out in our test.

Braun Champion 4k II Review

Braun Action Cam in Verpackung auf Wiese

The successor to the Braun Champion 4k has twice as many megapixels for taking photos and extended battery life. In addition, the 4k II model is almost 40% cheaper.

Videos with 30 FPS in Ultra HD should be pin sharp and detailed. All this at a price of less than 100€ can’t be possible.

We have tested the camera extensively during hoverboarding and tell you what you can expect from this cam in practice. Read the test report here!

AEE 4k Actioncam for 25€ – good deal?

Good action cams for little money sprout like weeds from the ground, but not all of them keep their promises. The AEE Technology Camera is offered for unbeatable 25€ and promises filming in Ultra-HD.

AEE Actioncam

Filming in Full-HD shows a nice and clear picture, but are high-quality photos and videos in 4k possible for this price? We show you in our detailed AEE test what you can actually expect from this product in practice.

Rollei Minicam 530 all-rounder

The Actioncam 530 from Rollei is regarded as the top model in the Rollei range and produces video recordings in Ultra-HD at 30 frames per second.

Rollei 530 Verpackung Test

The scope of delivery is very generous and includes, among other things, a practical remote control with which the camera has a range of up to 10m. With this many new possibilities of photography and film production are accessible.

The Rollei 530 Action Cam also cuts a fine figure under water. We went diving in Croatia and dived up to 50m. Find out in our Rollei practical test and video review what the Mini-Cam can actually do!

GoXtreme Barracuda 4k: Cheap action cam for snorkelers

Like the GoPro Hero 5, the GoXtreme Barracuda is inherently waterproof to 10m without the need for an additional underwater housing.

This means that you can easily put the Action Cam on the included tripod and immediately take it with you into the water. The operation of the touch display on the back also works underwater.

So you are flexible when snorkeling and can produce beautiful photo and video shots. Find out in our test report how good the hand camera really is in practice!

Lamax X7.1 Actio camera: lots of technology for little money

The Lamax X7.1 is the only action cam in this price range that comes with a handheld stick that can be used in a variety of ways both above and below the water.

This small minicam can record videos in 4k with up to 25 frames per second and also has image stabilization. For just under 80€ this small action camera offers a lot of technology for little money, at least on paper.

Whether a purchase is really worthwhile and where you can get a very good price for this compact model you can find out in our video review and test report.

Conclusion of the Action Cam test

As you have seen, there are already models from rather unknown brands at a brilliant price. The devil is often in the details, so it depends on your personal requirements for photo and video material.

The GoPro series definitely belongs to the top of the market and offers both technically and qualitatively the best on the market. In our opinion the price of GoPro is justified in any case.

Nevertheless, cheaper models like the SJ5000X Elite or the APEMAN 4K Sports Cam convinced us. Of course you have to cut back in some areas, but if you’re looking for an action cam to capture great moments on vacation, such a cam will do.

The market is diverse and offers a suitable model for every budget with more or less scope of delivery.

We hope that we could help you to make a decision to buy the right action cam.

If you have any questions, just use the comment field, we are happy to help you!

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