Over the last several years, action cameras have exploded in popularity, becoming the go-to piece of gear for many extreme athletes and adventurists, as well as filmmakers. Though it is considered the best, as well as the preferred action cam for most, the GoPro isn't the only one out there, which is why Gizmodo put not one, not two, but six of Spring's leading action cameras head to head in this comparison video. Find out how the GoPro Hero 3+ Black, the Sony Action Cam 2 (HDR-AS30V), the JVC Adixxion GC-XA2, the Garmin VIRB Elite, the Drift Ghost-S, and the Ion Air Pro 3 performed.
Not only did Gizmodo's Brent Rose test each camera individually, but he also built an "ugly but effective" frankenrig to capture footage with all 6 simultaneously by attaching them to a flat-surface mount, which was then attached to a piece of 3.5-inch by 0.5-inch wood -- which was then attached to a bike helmet with velcro straps.
Rose evaluated each camera's versatility, ease-of-use, form-factor, battery life, apps, available mounts, extras, and price for the test. Here's a bit from Gizmodo's post that gives a little bit more detail on how the test was conducted.
The raw video footage was evaluated on a professionally calibrated monitor, as well as on a 46-inch 1080p Samsung LED TV, and several laptops. Bear in mind when you watch the above video that there is some quality lost to compression for internet streaming. All of the daytime clips were shot in the cameras' widest field of view option in 1080p at 60 frames per second (except for the Garmin Virb, which only goes as high as 30FPS), and night clips were taken at 1080p/30fps. For the surf test, cameras that required a waterproof housing were in one, and for all other tests the cameras were fully exposed, without cases. For the battery rundown test, all cameras shot at 1080p/30fps with all bells/whistles (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, screen, etc) turned off.
Check out Gizmodo's action camera test below, but take note that they had to retest the Garmin Virb thanks to a firmware update that changed the field of view to narrow. (You can check out the redo video in Gizmodo's original post.)
Their conclusion isn't all that surprising, the GoPro Hero+ Black took the #1 spot, but Gizmodo did make it a point to say that none of these cameras "objectively suck." There isn't a camera that tests highest for every one of its features and capabilities -- one may have the best dynamic range (GoPro Hero3+ Black), while another may have the best audio quality (Action Cam 2). Gizmodo's post contains a detailed breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of each camera, so I highly recommend that you head on over there to get the full story.
What are your thoughts on Gizmodo's test? Which action camera do you think is superior for your filmmaking needs? What features would you like to see added (or improved) in the future? Let us know in the comments!