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Outdoor Video Cameras

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Outdoor cameras are notable for their wide-angle and increased resistance against rough weather and shocks. You can snorkel with them, do high-adrenaline sports and take great action videos from the first person view.

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Key parameters when choosing an outdoor video camera

Maximum resolution

Resolution tells you how many horizontal and vertical pixels there are in the image. Generally, the higher the resolution, the more detailed the picture, which makes for better video quality.

  • Full HD - 1920 × 1080 pixels, currently considered the standard resolution.
  • Ultra HD - 3840 × 2160 resolution, today's growing trend, gradually replacing Full HD. It features four times more pixels, which affects the resulting file size – an average camera can hold only a short UHD video (then you have to move it to a PC or insert an extra memory card to expand storage.
  • 4K - another modern resolution format is 4096 × 2160, officially known as 4K. Although it contains more pixels than Ultra HD, it does not use the 16:9 aspect ratio, so if you play a 4K video on a wide-screen TV, part of the screen gets framed with slim black bars.

Ultra HD and 4K resolution are worth investing in if you own an Ultra HD TV. It displays video in its full quality and shows every pixel. Higher resolution also comes in handy when working with video in post-production programs–you can cut out a part of the scene and still get a Full HD video. However, processing high-resolution video is rather demanding for hardware.

Maximum framerate

Indicates the number of frames a camera can capture per one second (fps). The more frames, the smoother the video. Standard framerate is 30 fps, though high-end cameras will give you 60 to 120 fps videos at Full HD resolution. When shooting in 120fps, you can capture butter-smooth video even at 4x slow motion. Higher framerates are usually available at lower resolutions.

Sensor resolution

The higher the sensor pixel count, the more detailed photos you get when using photography mode. Resolution in cheaper models ranges between 2-8 Mpx; more advanced models can offer 12 to 21 Mpx.

Weather and damage resistance

Some outdoor cameras need a special housing or case to protect them from water, dust and shocks, others have this protection in-built, which eliminates the problems with muffled sound caused by closed housings. A special housing, however, generally provides better water immersion protection, not to mention that if something does happen, you will only need to replace the housing and your camera will remain unscathed.

Battery life

Typically ranges between 1 and 2.5 hours, but a lot depends on the selected resolution, framerate, GPS use, display settings, and active WiFi connectivity. Many cameras give you the option to replace the battery, so by purchasing an extra battery you get a backup power source. The battery can also be recharged via an USB cable connected to a powerbank.

Useful outdoor camera features

  • Image stabilisation - eliminates video stutter caused by minute camera shaking.
  • Display - allows you to keep track of the scene you are shooting and check the captured shots later.
  • Timelapse - allows you to shoot long events and subsequently process it into a short video.
  • Continuous shooting - after pressing the shutter button, the camera takes several photographs in quick succession.
  • GPS - geotags your videos.
  • WiFi and Bluetooth - allow you to wirelessly connect the camera with an app on your smartphone. It can then serve as a remote control and lets you download images directly.
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