Why you don’t always need the latest action cam

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GoPro HERO 12 Black

The American action camera manufacturer GoPro releases a new camera every year. It’s a beautiful action cam every time, but is it really necessary to buy the latest gadget or is an earlier model also usable?

While smartphones often reach the end of their life after a few years, action cameras are much less likely to do so. This is partly because they are built to withstand a significant shock, impact or splash of water. As a result, they last longer. There are stories of action cameras that are found after four or six years and still work. Even if the site was under water.

Updates

Now of course it takes a little more to continue using technological gadgets, because nowadays good hardware is no longer enough. Technology needs to be updated to keep them safe from hackers, but also to ensure they continue to work with new software that is developed. It is just not known exactly how long GoPro promises updates. We do know that very old GoPros are still supported. It is still wise to ask the manufacturer before purchasing. If you don’t get an answer, keep in mind that the older the device you buy, the less time it will likely be supported.

Actioncam

There are also more general things to take into account when purchasing an action cam. The refresh rate is important, i.e. the frames shot per second. Some units can shoot as many as 240 frames per second, which ensures an extremely smoothly blending image. In addition, the images that action cameras record at 240 frames can also be delayed, so that you can, for example, show a certain stunt a little slower before playing it back faster.

Filming in 4K

While recording in 8K is certainly possible with some action cameras, it is actually not necessary at all. There are few televisions that can play 8K. Let alone other devices with a screen. So look for a camera that can film in 4K, because that is more than enough in many cases. With GoPro, even an old model like the Hero3+ Black (launched in 2007) can film in 4K, so the latest device is really not necessary for this.

Also check what you mainly want to use the action camera for and whether the camera you have in mind is compatible with your other equipment. You never actually use an action camera separately: they are usually attached to a strap or clicked onto a handlebar or other material.

WiFi or not

What is also important is whether a camera has built-in WiFi. This means that you can watch the images live on your smartphone, because the device is connected to the internet. In line with this, it is also useful to know whether your action cam has an app in which you can immediately make montages, so that you can put the content online almost immediately after a short edit on your smartphone. It depends on whether that is what you want to use it for. If you only want to make videos and watch them afterwards without rushing, a model without WiFi is sufficient.

Take your wishes into account when purchasing an action cam and do your research accordingly. You might end up with an older GoPro or JDI cam anyway. Even if you buy them second-hand, many older action cameras still make a good travel and video buddy. Even if the battery is no longer optimal, you can often replace it, so that you can still enjoy your action cam for years to come. At least if you are careful, with your camera and with yourself.

Also read:

  • Five cool applications for action cameras
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  • Choose the right SD card thanks to these tips

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