5 Best Video Cameras For Sports Under 500 In 2017

Buying a video camera for sports recording is a very different story from buying a camcorder for general movie making. With sports, you have to capture high speed motion, which might not be the case while recording other videos. In such a scenario, you have to equip yourself with the best camcorder for recording sports action.

Now let’s imagine this scenario:

You are an action sports enthusiast. You would like to record your feats and show it to your loved ones or maybe simply record videos for some great memories. For that you would need the best video camera for action sports.
Be it skating, sky diving, mountain biking or diving, you not only need an awesome sports camcorder but also need it to be water-resistant to some extent.

There are quite a few top  camcorders for action sports in the market. However in this post, I will provide you with a list of the 5 best video cameras for recording sports in 2017. A longer list means more options and hence more confusion. Hence I have included only 5 sports camcorders. So let’s get on with it.

Here’s a list of the 5 best action cameras followed by detailed reviews of each camera below the table.

ImageProductPriceFeatures that stand outRating 
Go Pro HERO 5 Black$$Voice Control, One Button Control, Higher Stability4.4/5Check price
Sony FDR-X3000$$Balanced Optical Steady Shot, Highly Durable Body, Better Noise Reduction4.3/5Check price
Sony HDR AZ1VR$$Remote viewing through live remote, Ultra wide ZEISS Lens increasing the scope, 5 Video Modes4.3/5Check price
AKASO EK7000$Low price but highly functional, Wrist remote control, Bestseller4.6/5Check price
Nexgadget 360 Panoramic Action Camera$Panaromic View, Improvised Design, Reasonably Priced4.6/5Check price

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GoPro HERO5 Black

GoPro HERO5 is the newest version of the GoPro action camera series to hit the market after the very successful and the #1 bestseller in the Sports Action camera category on Amazon, the GoPro HERO4. If you are ready to spend a few extra bucks, then the GoPro Hero5 Black is quite easily the best video camera for sports in the market today.

Features of GoPro Hero5

The GoPro HERO5 Black is the most feature packed action camera in the GoPro HERO series. Launched in late 2016, it is currently a bestseller due to its wide range of features and high reliability. Let’s check out some of its features:

Voice Control
The best feature in the GoPro HERO5 that I liked is the voice control. You can enjoy hands-free control using voice commands. Here are a few voice commands for your reference:

GoPro Start Recording – Start recording video on this command
GoPro HiLight – Tag specific section of a video as a highlight
GoPro Stop Recording – Stops recording the video
GoPro Take a Photo – Takes an image
GoPro Shoot Burst – Takes images in burst mode

Picture Quality
The picture quality of the GoPro HERO5 is amazing! 4K has been introduced for the first time in the GoPro series, I was blown away by the picture clarity.When you have an action cam with such impressive picture quality, you can’t ask for more!

But hold on, there IS more :

One Button Control
It has a one button control that can power the camera ON and start recording instantaneously. Again, with the same button you can stop the recording and power off the camera. This is very convenient since you won’t always have to use the touch screen for basic operations like switching ON and recording.

Higher Stability
Action cameras are used to take videos of fast moving and extreme sports. With such fast movement, you might not be able to stabilize your shots and the videos might come out blurry. This problem has been eliminated in the GoPro Hero5 Black. Its advanced video stabilization helps you to take smooth videos either handheld or when mounted on your favorite gear. So whether you’re snowboarding or biking, you’ll get a steady video.

Waterproof with a difference
Most of the action cameras are waterproof upto 80-100 feet. But they need a housing and that can add to the weight of the camera. Without the housing, they are not really water-proof. The GoPro HERO5 is waterproof even without a housing, upto 30 feet. No extra gear needed. For more than 30 feet, you’ll need a housing.

Display Screen
As far as the display screen is concerned, it is an impressive 2 inch touch screen. So the display-cum-touch screen almost occupies the length and breadth of the camera.

GPS
It also comes with GPS functionality and can be used with 30+ mounts and accessories.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The price. I'd say it is reasonably priced. For so many highly advanced features you're getting in this sports video camera, you can't get a better deal at this price.
  • It is highly versatile. It can be fixed on more than 30 different mounts depending upon the requirement.
  • It is rugged, light weight and compact.
  • The audio system is much better than the previous GoPro cameras.
  • Very user friendly. The one button control, the voice control and the touch screen make using this sports camera a piece of cake.

Cons

  • Touchscreen could have a better response. There can be a slight lag between 2 consecutive selections.
  • The battery can drain pretty fast, if you're filming with 4K continuously, like other 4K cameras. But for 2.7K or below, it can last even longer, more than 2 hours which is more than the previous models.
  • If you plan to go to a deeper depth underwater, you need to buy an extra waterproofing housing.

Bottomline

If you are looking to buy a sports video camera that is well-built and with tonnes of features and is also not a burden on the pocket, the GoPro HERO5 is a very good option, and has been a bestseller on Amazon ever since its launch.

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Sony FDRX3000/W Underwater Camcorder 4K

The Sony FDR – X3000 can easily be considered as one of the best Action Cameras in the market today. It comes loaded with a ton of features for an optimum shooting experience.

Features of Sony FDR-X3000

It has the capability of shooting 4K videos. Although many other action cameras in the market come with 4K shooting ability, the challenge comes in image stabilisation. This is where the Sony FDR X3000 shines bright!

Balanced Optical SteadyShot
Compared to digital image stabilisation, the Balanced Optical SteadyShot in the FDR X3000 provides much better stability to internal camera shake while biking, travelling or other active modes..one feature you wont find common to a majority of the action cameras.

High Quality 4K Video
Excellent quality 4K video is ensured with the ZEISS Tessar lens with significant less distortion. Many times, it is not possible to maintain the high video quality throughout the shoot. But in the Sony X3000, it can be maintained due to the back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and an acclaimed BIONZ X processor. Some very hi-fi technology there!

Highly Durable Body
A big plus point in this camera is its highly durable dust-proof and shockproof body. And then its water proof housing increases the waterproof capacity to 197 feet/60m. Add to it its real-world rugged design. That seals the deal!

High Quality Clear Sound
Another feature that sets this sports video camera apart from the rest is very high quality stereo sound recording with wind noise reduction. When shooting in the open, there are chances that due to the wind, the sound recorded might have some disturbances. The Sony FDR X3000 significantly reduces this problem with this feature.

Pros

  • Includes a waterproof casing making it highly splashproof, dustproof and shockproof.
  • Easy to use. Controls are not complex.
  • Spectacular 4k image quality. Easily one of the best in the category.
  • Highly accurate GPS and remote control feature.

Cons

  • The cost can seem a bit high here; although it is cheaper than the GoPro HERO5. 
  • One thing I found a bit strange was the absence of a backlit on the built-in screen of the camera. This can make it difficult to read in the dark.
  • For this price, could have included the remote for the viewfinder.

Bottomline

No wonder it makes my list of the top sports action cameras. With tonnes of features packed into it, as also some really helpful improved functions make it a serious competitor with the GoPro.

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Sony HDR-AZ1VR Waterproof Action Cam

Japanese electronics giant Sony has come up with a splash-proof action camera that has delivered great promise. The smallest splash-proof sports camcorder by Sony, you can be assured of very smooth video even on rough passage with SteadyShot image stabilization.

Features of Sony HDR-AZ1VR

This sports video camera by Sony boasts of some powerful features.

Smaller and lighter
It’s a mini action cam and is quite light to carry. Its slender, custom design is about two-thirds the size of other sports action cams by Sony. Consequently, you have less wind and water pressure acting on it.

Splashproof
Its spashproof design makes it possible to withstand showers, sprays or even snow when out of the box.

Remote Viewing
With the help of One Touch Near Field Communication (NFC), your compatible smart devices can be turned in to remote viewing devices via wifi.

Live View Remote RM-LVR2
With the help of the Live View Remote RM-LVR2, it is now possible to frame your shot, turn GPS on, change the shooting modes and control up to 5 Action Cams.

Steadyshot for fast action sports
The steadyshot technology reduces the chances of blur appearing because of bumps and sudden movements in fast action sports like skiing and motocross.

Built-in stereo mic
As is the trend these days, the Sony HDRAZ1VR/W sports camera comes equipped with a builtin stereo microphone which is good enough to capture quality sound.

Ultra-wide ZEISS lens
The camcorder comes equipped with a pro quality ZEISS lens with a wide angle scope extending upto 170 degrees. This increases your perspective while taking panoramic views of ski slopes or mountain hills.

Equipped with Exmor R CMOS sensor
This technology makes it possible to shoot high quality videos even in low light.

5 video modes available
1080/60p @50Mbps HD and 2x slow motion

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The Sony HDRAZ1VR/W is 30% smaller than other versions of Sony action cameras and is hence easy to carry.
  • With a resolution of 12 megapixels and an option to shoot 1080/60p, it is certainly a great buy.

Cons

  • Some users cited concerns about the camera not giving a very sharp focus being underwater for a longer duration.
  • Others commented that it is a better idea to shoot with 1080p than with 720p. But overall users were quite satisfied with the product.

Bottom Line

Sony products are definitely one of the best out there in the market. If you’re looking for a light, waterproof video camera for action sports, you can definitely got for it!

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AKASO EK7000 4K WIFI Sports Action Camera

The first thing that caught my eye with the AKASO EK7000 4K Wifi Action Camera was its price tag. It is much cheaper than the more popular GoPro series and other action cameras. But then looking at the price, I wondered whether the quality and features are really worth it to feature it among the best sports action cameras.

Well, the number of features and its spectacular performance put those doubts to rest.

Features of Akaso EK7000

Flexible Resolution
It is an action camera that can record videos and take pictures in 3 resolutions – 4K at 25 fps, 2.7K at 30fps and also 1080p at 60 fps. Now the 1080p resolution is an added feature as most 4K video cameras do not come with the facility to shoot 1080p.

Wrist Remote Control
An additional feature that impressed me a lot was the 2.4 G wrist remote control that comes along with this action camera. Shooting videos or taking pictures becomes much simpler now at the click of a button and you don’t have to reach out to your camera always.

Waterproof
The AKASO EK7000 4K Wifi Action Camera is waterproof upto 100 feet. So it fits the bill of an underwater sports action camera as well. Only care you have to take is that the remote control is not waterproof to such a depth.

Built-in WiFi App Control
It comes with a built-in WiFi and HDMI. By downloading the App,EZ iCam, you can sync your photos and videos with your tablet, PC or mobile. A very handy feature!

Pros

  • Hands down, the price. very rarely you get such a feature packed, top rated sports video camera at such a price.
  • It comes with a tonne of free accessories. You can use them to make your action camera perform better in any scenario.
  • Longer battery life. The Akaso EK7000 comes with two rechargeable 1050mAh batteries. Each battery can record for as long as 90 minutes. That's quite a powerhouse performance.

Cons

  • Though the videos recorded at 4K and 2.7K resolution have turned out to be excellent, some users have complained that the photos taken are not of as excellent quality as the videos. If you're only interested in recording videos, then this should not be much of a concern to you.
  • This sports video camera does not come with an option for adding an external mic. Drawback or not, depends upon your preference.
  • The wrist remote control is not waterproof. So you cannot take the wrist remote underwater to large depths.

Bottomline

Considering the price, the features and the quality of the videos recorded, this camera is definitely a buy for those who are looking for a good quality sports video camera with a low price tag. It might not have as many features as the GoPro or the Sony FDR X3000, but for this price range it is definitely one of the best sports video cameras.

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After the grand success of the 4K Action camera, Nexgadget decided to introduce the Nexgadget 360 Panoramic Action Camera as an extreme sports specialist camcorder with a panoramic view. This is a relatively newer launch in the market in a still developing niche. A waterproof sports video camera with a highly affordable tag price, it is a very sturdy camcorder with excellent video quality.

The Nexgadget 360 Panoramic Action Camera comes equipped with a load of features to give you the best recording experience. Let us have a look at some of its top features.

It has a 220°ultra wide lens, thus giving a panoramic view while recording sports. You can record and cover a wider view with the help of this which will give you a much better recording. The video resolution will not disappoint you. You can record 3k video quality at 30fps.

The inbuilt WiFi helps you to connect your camera to your smartphone with the help of the camera app installed in your phone. You can then use your camera as a remote which makes it very convenient to adjust the settings and operate the camera remotely.

One thing that you need in a sports video camera is the ability to record videos in different modes of action. Most of the action cameras today have the time lapse, night lapse and burst modes. The Nexgadget 360 Panoramic Action Camera has a few extra modes such as the slow motion, the car driving mode for better video recording.

In addition, you can also explore various display modes in the APP such as unique round mode, 360 panoramic mode, inner rim mode, annular mode, halfround mode etc. You can also experience 3D effect mobile VR mode for videos and images.

Pros

  • Waterproof upto a depth of 30m, it can withstand extreme weather conditions and is very durable.
  • It comes with a lot of accessories in the package, which includes 2 long lasting rechargeable batteries, a flexible tripod stand, bicycle mounts etc.
  • It can be used for wide variety of purposes like extreme sports, security devices or recording while driving a car.

Cons

  • As compared to the previous model which had a 2″ LCD screen, this camera has a 0.96″ screen.
  • When using the 3K mode, the batteries can get exhausted in a short time. Hence it is a good idea to carry extra batteries with you.

Bottom Line

This sports video camera will easily exceed your expectations. If you are looking for a durable yet affordable camcorder for sports, go for the Nexgadget 360 Panoramic Action Camera.

About the author

Nalin

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