Best 4K Action Cameras of 2019 to Record 4K Video in High Quality

Posted by Bertha Miller to 4K Video, Action Cam | Last Updated on Dec.5, 2018

As an outdoor enthusiast, you can't get satisfied with the cameras of your mobile device even though the camera of your iPhone supports recording 4K video at 24FPS, 30FPS and 60FPS. Cuz they can't stably capture your live motions. When you go out and plan to record something exciting like mountain biking, surfing or parkour, only the 4K action camera is up to the mark. That's the major reason why it can get a piece out of the big cake. If you're prone to buy a new 4K action camera or upgrade your old one to a better one, you're advised to spend 1 min here reading the below review of 2018 best 4K action cameras. The detailed presentation of each one would give you some clues on which one better suits you, including features, performance, video quality, price and more.

Top 4K Action Cameras

The current market is filled to brim with a wide selection of 4K Ultra HD action cameras. It's impossible for us to cover them all here. Instead, we single out the most welcomed 4K action cams from users feedbacks. And among them, GoPro Hero6 Black wins the highest praise. Therefore, we get it started with the world-renowned GoPro Hero6 Black.

GoPro Hero 6 Black

1. GoPro Hero6 Black ($389.9)

Do you remember the 2016 survival thriller movie The Shallows? The heroine Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) uses the GoPro to leave messages for her sister and father as well as the important information about the danger she encounters and her specific location. Eventually, she survived thanks to the GoPro, to certain degree. So if you go outdoors, especially alone, GoPro would be your best option, which can not only help you record amazing yet interesting live motions like surfing, mountain biking, sky diving, bare rock climbing, etc., but also leaves vital informations just in case. How about the detailed specs of GoPro Hero6 Black? Read on.

As the successor to GoPro Hero5 Black, any selling points of Hero5 Black are included in Hero6 Black, including the dustproof yet waterproof body (up to 33'), touchscreen, powerful GPS, 12MP camera, Voice Control, auto cloud uploads, etc. That's not enough, of course. Hero6 Black gets greater improvements on other sides. To be specific, GoPro Hero6 Black comes to feature a faster internal processor which enables whopping increased performance and new capabilities. This is quite beneficial when it comes to use this 4K action camera to record 4K video at 60FPS and 1080p video at 240FPS in HEVC codec with excellent video quality.

GoPro Hero6 Black makes itself a respectable showing also because the electronic image stabilization gets vastly improved to ensure a smoother 4K video recording even at a tougher condition. Hero6 Black powered by 5GHz Wi-Fi, it's now strong enough to deliver wireless offloading at up to 3X faster speed than its predecessors as well as its competitors. Hence, after 4K video recording, you can enjoy the instant uploading and sharing to SNS. Now, you can get this awesome 4K action cam at $389.9 for the base version at Amazon. Bring it home if it's your cup of tea.

One of the features we look for in the best action camera is absent from GoPro Hero6 Black. It receives negative comments from users because its battery life still sucks. Though you turn off Wi-Fi, GPS, EIS, its battery life still disappoints you. To sum up, its flaws are small and strengths are great.

GoPro Hero 6 enables you to record 4K 60FPS video at HEVC video codec, which will save around 50% bit rates while remaining the same good quality. Yet, the video compression standard without any cons would never be found. HEVC is of no exception. Currently, HEVC is not supported by many older devices, old-fashioned players and platforms. To make your recorded GoPro video watched by as many as net friends on SNS, you'd better use this free 4K video processing tool - macXvideo to convert 4K video from HEVC to H264 codec and do further editing to customize your video like trim, crop, effects, etc.

1. Free transcode 4K video from HEVC to H264 for better compatibility with 98% quality reserved.
2. Compress large-sized 4K video via video editing features, e.g., trim video to remove unwanted clips, crop video to adjust video width and height, etc.
3. Parameter settings are available to adjust to further reduce 4K size, incl. downscale 4K to 1080p, lower bit rate/frame rate 60FPS to 30FPS, etc.
4. Add special effects to your GoPro 4K video, such as Grayscale, Negate, Noise, Mirror, Four Color, etc. and add subtitles to 4K video if needed.

2. YI 4K Action Camera ($179.99)

YI 4K action camera

Why do we rank YI 4K action camera at the second place? Two reasons: 1. YI 4K action camera is superior to GoPro Hero6 Black in battery life. It sports with 3.85V 1400mAh 5.39Wh battery while GoPro Hero6 Black is only packed with a 1220mAh battery. 2. The price of Hero6 Black is unacceptable for some budget-minded users. Good news is that YI 4K is much lower in price, price taged at $179.99 at Amazon, only 46% of Hero6 Black price. On top of these, it's on a par with GoPro Hero6 Black in touchscreen design, high-speed Wi-Fi, etc.

Certainly, there are some omissions that this 4K 2160p action camera needs to make efforts in the near future. The first one is that you need to prepare accessories such as a waterproof housing. Even though YI is armed with Gorilla Glass, the touchscreen is not shatterproof. Secondly, many users complain that it's troublesome to open the microSD card slot, which should be re-designed in the next version. Thirdly, this 4K action cam only supports you to record 4K video at 30FPS (60FPS unavailable), 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240fps.

3. Nikon Keymission 360 ($496.95)

Nikon Keymission 360

For those enthusiasts who are prone to capture 4K UHD video in 360 degree in much tougher environment like canyon, tropical rainforest, rugged mountain, you're suggested to take Nikon Keymission 360 into consideration. With no additional housing, KeyMission 360 is waterproof down to 98-feet*, freezeproof down to 14°F and shockproof up to a drop of 6.6-feet. Create immersive 360° 4K videos at 24FPS of a skiing or mountain biking, canyon rafting and diving adventures—any experience you wanna capture and share.

Priced at $496.95, this high-end 4K action cam is built-in with Wi-Fi(R) and Bluetooth(R) so as to enable you easily upload and share still HD images and videos to relive the excitement once it's connected with the compatible smartphones or the SnapBridge 360/170 app.

Yet, excellent battery life and image stablization are absent from this camera device, which result in numerous complaints from its users. Among them, image stablization is the problem users concern most, cuz they can't bear the unwatchable shaky videos. To fix shaky 4K videos, most users resort to the top professional video toolbox - MacX Video Converter Pro, which is well-designed to help you fix shaky recorded 4K 360° video via its stablization feature at one click. Thus, you can produce 4K 2160p video with a new look: much smoother and less jerky.

What's more, this all-inclusive video processing app can also help you fix fish-eye distortion from your action cam video and remove background noise from video. And you can apply it to convert action cam 4K video to HEVC, H264, MP4, MOV, FLV, MP3, etc. 180+ video and 14+ audio formats for faster YouTube uploading. More video effects and editing features are available including Grayscale, Negate, Mirror, FourColor, LensCorrection, trim, crop, split, rotate, merge, etc.

4. Sjcam SJ6 Legend ($128)

Sjcam SJ6 Legend

If you can't afford the expensive Nikon Keymission 360 or GoPro Hero6 Black, there is one low-cost yet high-performance 4K UHD action cam - Sjcam SJ6 Legend. With only $128, you can bring this 2.56 ounces compact camera home.

Featured with a LCD touch screen, SJ6 is especially suitable for beginners to capture 4K video at 24FPS with 25Mbps bit rate. And thanks to its waterproof feature, SJ6 Legend can be carried to record exciting underwater videos down to 98 feet. You don't need to worry about the shaky video, for it's armed with image stabilization feature to handle this issue.

It also claims to support fish-eye distortion correction. However, majority of users reflect that the effect is far from satisfaction when shooting at the widest field of view. Therefore, you still have to use the above MacX Video Converter Pro to perfectly solve fisheye distortion problem in 4K video. Certainly, this 4K action camera also leaves other sides to be desired. Some users complain that battery life is less than ideal. Others think SJ6 Legend deserves a four-star rating due to quality and ease of use but a large negative for no instant effective support.

5. Olympus TG-Tracker ($269)

Olympus TG-Tracker

Last but not least, the TG-Tracker shows up at last but it doesn't mean it's inferior to the above mentioned 4 cameras. Instead, this one comes with its unique strong point: motion sensors, which covers GPS, compass, acceleration sensor, barometer and thermometer to more intelligently adjust itself according to the change of external environment.

As for its main features, it has no problem to record 4K video at 30FPS with built-in stabilization ability to guarantee the smooth video recording even underwater to 98 feet or in the situation of temperature down to -10C. What's also worth a mention is that the battery life of this 4K action camera is comparatively stronger than others, generally up to 3 hours.

Indeed, this 4K action camera does a lot of things right, but also does a few things wrong. There is no chance for its screen to rotate when recording. And it's burdensome for users to carry this device, 180g in weight, heavier than other competitors. Worse still, though the built-in motion sensors are great and useful, they eat up battery life very quickly if all of five sensors are activated.

GoPro occupies the biggest share in the action camera market, but the cake is too large to be digested by only GoPro. After all, different strokes for different folks. If you need a comprehensive 4K action cam, GoPro Hero6 Black is recommended. If 4K 360 degree video is what you pursue and high price doesn't matter to you, Nikon Keymission 360 fits the bill. For those who concern motion sensors and battery life most, the mid-priced Olympus TG-Tracker is up to the mark. For budget-minded beginners, YI 4K Action Camera and Sjcam SJ6 Legend cut the buck, with almost all the basic features provided for you. Consequently, make your own decision building on your specific needs. Don't be misguided by any exaggerated product review or blindly go with the stream.

MacX Video Converter Pro - Stabilize Shaky Video, Remove Noise and Fix Fisheye

Your complete video processing software allows you to stabilize action camera recorded shaky video, remove background noise from 4K video, fix fish-eye distortion effect from video, add special effects to video, trim/crop/rotate/merge/split videos, add subtitles to video, download/convert videos, etc.

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