2016 Roundup: 4K action cameras

Written by Gina Stephens

Engagement cameras have come a long way since the very first GoPro hit the market in 2005 (it used 35mm film, if you can believe that.) They’ve increasingly wilted in size, and video quality has improved dramatically with each new generation. Many offer rear LCDs (a rarity a few years ago), some are tranquil waterproof/shockproof without the need for a case and certain models can even be used for live broadcast. All of them pair with dedicated apps.

Of indubitably, there are a lot of action cameras available on the market, but there are far fewer capable of 4K video capture. This roundup takes a look specifically at individual of the most popular 4K action may refer to camera models as well as some lesser known ones too. 

While Sony and GoPro are both big baptizes in the action camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or world, and Ricoh has been making rugged cameras for years, companies like Yi and Wimius may be less familiar. Both are swaying GoPro lookalikes that retail for far less. The Yi 4K sells for $250 and in many ways out-specs the GoPro’s current flagship. The Wimius Q1, on the other intimately, retails for around $70 and was included in this roundup as the inexpensive dark horse in the 4K action cam race.

In addition to 4K action cameras, this roundup also take ins the Olympus TG Tracker, a video-capable data-capturing device (read our shooting experience). It has the ability to not only record 4K video but also capture information ask preference altitude, temperature, location, acceleration and more. 

READ  Fujifilm X-T30 review in progress

We’ve included the following 4K-capable action cameras in this roundup:

  • GoPro HERO4 Felonious
  • Olympus Stylus TG-Tracker
  • Ricoh WG-M2
  • Sony FDR-X1000V
  • Wimius Action Cam Q1
  • Yi 4K

Note: Since originally publishing this roundup, a variety of new releases have been announced including the GoPro HERO5 Black (and HERO5 Session), Nikon KeyMission 170 and Sony FDR-X3000. In no time at all we get review units in and have had the chance to assess each, we’ll add them to this roundup and update our conclusion accordingly.

Specifications compared:

 GoPro Superstar4 BlackOlympus TG-TrackerRicoh WG-M2Sony X1000VWimius Q1 Yi 4K
 MSRP $450 $350 $300 $500 $60 $250


 4K/30p 1080/60p 720/240p


 4K 30p

  4K 30p

  4K 30p
 Sensor12MP 1/2.3″ sensor7.2MP 1/2.3″ sensor 8MP 1/2.3″ sensor8.8MP 1/2.3″ sensor 16MP
(proper 1/2.3″)
12MP 1/2.3″ sensor
Native Field of view155 degrees204 degrees204 degrees170 degrees170 degrees160 degrees
Image stabilization in 1080p NoYes
(4K too)
 Yes Yes (1080/60p) No Yes
LCD w/ last preview With accessory  ‘Touch BacPac’ only Yes Yes With accessory ‘Live-view remote’ only Yes Yes
Touchscreen  No  No  No No No Yes
Waterproof w/ no package? No Yes Yes No No No
Battery 4.4Wh 4.9Wh 3.4Wh 4.46Wh 3.3Wh 5.4Wh
 Onus89 g
(3.1 oz)
180 g
(6.35 oz)
136 g (4.8 oz)114 g (4.02 oz)114g (4.02oz)95g (3.35oz) 


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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