3SiXT action cameras impressive for price
WHEN it comes to action cameras, GoPro is undoubt- edly the market leader.
But with its latest Hero5 Black edition costing more than $500, it's a steep price to pay if you just want to put your toe in the water.
That's where other action camera makers come along, including mobile accessories brand leader 3SiXT. Just in time for Christmas, there's a line-up of entry-level cameras which are well priced and come with a stack of accessories.
They are designed for adventure-loving families who want to capture everything above and below the water during the summer holidays.
The line-up features four action cameras including two hero devices - the 3SIXT Full HD Wi-Fi 360° Sports Action Camera and 3SIXT Ultra HD Wi-Fi Sports Action Camera.
We put the latter to the test and were pretty pleased with some of the video and photos it captured, especially given the price tag of less than $180.
We took it into the surf, down a giant sand hill on Moreton Island and around the Tangalooma wrecks.
The surf photos and video were nothing extraordinary but it was a pretty dull day with lots of cloud cover and the water was pretty choppy.
It fared better on the dive, taking a nice range of stills and video featuring true-to-life colours.
The camera has built-in wifi but while we could pick it up on the iPhone, the app didn't want to play in connecting.
The alternative is to just download the images onto your computer, which was pretty straight forward, using a USB cable.
The camera's controls are pretty easy to use, even in the waterproof housing.
There is a power button and a record button.
You use the power button to change from video to photo to settings and so on.
Using the camera underwater, it is a little difficult to see sometimes whether you are recording or not but after a while you get the hang of it.
We found a similar problem in the bright midday sun. A brighter screen would certainly help.
If you are not prepared to fork out nearly $200, 3SIXT has HD cameras with prices just under $100 and $50 though the image quality is not as good as on more expensive alternatives.
The top-of-the-range 360 degree camera comes with a 1.5 inch LCD screen and is waterproof up to 30 metres, in its housing.
The latest GoPro is waterproof without its housing, has a two-inch screen, better display, voice control and video stabilisation.
The 3SIXT camera claims a 90-minute battery life, while it has a microSD slot to store your footage.
It has a 360° x 220° wide, video resolution of 1080p at 30fps and 12MP for stills.
The Ultra HD Sports Action Camera we tested shoots video at up to 4K at 24fps and stills at 16MP. Fitted with its underwater housing, the action camera has waterproof capabilities up to 30m.
It also has the 1.5" LCD screen and 170° wide- viewing angle lens and claimed 90-minute battery life.
One of the biggest pluses of the package, given the price, is that it comes with 12 action cam accessories ranging from helmet straps to handlebar/pole mounts.
The $99 version of the camera comes with a two-inch LCD screen, 140-degree wide-viewing lens and shoots in HD 1080 at 30fps with stills up to 12 MP.
The $50 version shoots in 720HD at 30fps and also captures 12MP still images. The lens is a 90-degree wide-angle configuration and has seven accessories.