Consumer Reports looks at two popular ones that go where no video camera or cell phone has gone before. They're the GoPro Hero 3, which costs $400, and Sony's $270 Action Cam. The cameras come with rugged, waterproof casings to protect them from the elements. And they're loaded with features. You can take standard-def or high-def video. You can also take still photos. And you can also take photos and stitch them together into a time lapse.
But how do they stand up to tough treatment? Consumer Reports tested by putting each one in a tumbler for 25 rotations to see whether they could withstand hard knocks. Both came out ready to shoot. To see how waterproof the cameras are, they were, well, dunked in water. Both survived intact, with no damage at all.
If you're looking to capture action shots in the great outdoors, either of those camcorders is a good choice. The GoPro has a little bit of an edge in the image quality, but each will get the job done.
So the next time you hit the slopes for some skiing or head to the beach for some fun in the sun, one of those action cameras could be just the thing to capture memories that used to be a fleeting moment.
Consumer Reports says another nice thing about the GoPro Hero 3 and the Sony Action Cam is that they have built-in Wi-Fi. That makes it easy to share your videos on YouTube and Facebook.