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Best GoPros and action cameras for travel vloggers

by Chance Bulger

Climbing mountains, swimming in unfamiliar rivers and exploring enclosed forests are some of the routines for travel vloggers on the road. Having the best gadgets in hand is the key to capturing the incredible moments of your travels and ensuring your viewers a quality production and a unique content.

No matter if you are watching a sunset in Thailand or surfing on Brazilian beaches, having the best GoPros and action cameras available is essential not to miss a cinematic frame.   Your choice of camera will depend first and foremost on the activities you want to shoot. You love the water? Most action cameras are waterproof; however, some survive only a few meters underwater.

These are ideal for rafting and surfing, as they are stable within 50 meters. The size and width of the camera also matters, especially if you take your camera in helmets for a bike ride.

You should keep in mind that the quality of the image will also depend on the daylight and its dominance over the cameras. No matter what the camera advertisement has sold you, the real world is what matters.

When we talk about image quality, there are several factors to consider, but two of them are the biggest to care about:

  • Color reproduction;
  • Image sharpness/detail.

Studying the functions and options of the GoPros and action cameras and having a little knowledge about photography are essential to ensure a quality image and a cinematic shot.   Versatility is the key word to ensure your ideal camera performs all the functions you need wherever and whenever you want.

We list below the best options in the market for you to compare prices and functions and guarantee your viewers the best images of your life on the road.

GoPro Hero5 Black

GoPro Hero5 Black is the new top-of-the-line camera of GoPro. The new version of the action camera comes with many essential features: voice control, fully waterproof body, integrated touchscreen display, video stabilization and more.

The camera also records in 4K at up to 30 frames per second. A number of features are available to change the quality of the capture, including changing the resolution to 480p. In the photos, the camera takes pictures up to 12 megapixels. The result is images with excellent outdoor quality. In the case of indoor environments, the quality continues to be lacking: images can get a little grainy and look less “clean”. You may need artificial lighting for dark environments.

But for sure, this is in fact the best camera available on the market for every travel situation, especially because of its versatility.


GoPro Hero Session

This is in fact one of the most compact action cameras of the brand. The model is the most basic of GoPro’s action cam line and has as its main highlight the compact design, which does not need a waterproof case to be dipped. This way, users can take their water photos in a practical way, without worrying about “protecting” the camera. That is, it is one of the best cameras for your travels on islands, lakes and oceans.

With a weight of only 74g, it is also ideal for those who like to practice extreme sports with the action camera attached to the helmet, without it representing too much extra weight. The commands are done in a single button, making actions easier.


Xiaomi Yi 4k

If price and versatility is what you are looking for, an alternative to the GoPro is the Xiaomi Yi 4K. This camera has features comparable to GoPro’s Hero 4 Black, which costs almost double. With the 1,400 mAh battery, the Yi 4K can shoot 120 minutes of video in 4K. The very clear touchscreen on the back is larger than most action cams; and of any on this list; a decent 2.19 inches – and that’s where you configure most things since the gadget only has one physical button.

Camera Trailer: 



Image Stabilization is critical for travel vloggers. Whether you’re walking the streets of a big city or crossing a closed forest. That’s why the HTC Re is a great camera for you to have in your backpack. The periscope-shaped gizmo is great in terms of portability, designed perfectly to hold with one hand. You can even be riding a bicycle by holding the cam with one hand and the other in the control of your bicycles handlebar.


Polaroid XS100 HD

If you still think about Polaroids just like instant print cameras you will be amazed by the brand’s new products. In the shape of a flashlight, the Polaroid XS100 HD has excellent image stabilization and has a variety of accessories to attach to helmets and handlebars.

Even though the shape seems strange, it comes with auto-rotate so it does not matter which way you hold it. Although not the best on the market, the camera is reasonably compact measuring 108 by 42 by 42.4 mm and weighs 136g. The plastic body is waterproof allowing you to dive down approximately 10 meters, perfect for surfing and sports that do not require deep dives.


Nikon Keymission 360

Imagine climbing a mountain and filming in 360 without worrying about turning your camera around. Nikon Keymission 360 lets you do just that without too much effort. It is also waterproof to 30m, shockproof and freezeproof. A set of replacement lens covers are included for underwater use, which will improve aquatics-based footage. Some of the functions of this camera are: remote activation, electronic vibration reduction, super slow-motion, time lapse video and loop recording. The Nikon Keymission 360 is a well-built camera, and thus the only fully spherical 360 camera that is a true action camera.


Garmin Virb Ultra 30

Do you like adventure sports, racing and pedaling at high speed? How about adding information to your action videos like speed, acceleration, strength, elevation and others? The Virb Ultra 30 has a built-in GPS, altimeter, compass and gyro so you can get all this information in your footage. In addition, you can sync with a Garmin heart monitor and put your heart rate per minute at the time it was recorded. Is there any better way to show your viewers the level of your adrenaline? In addition to this unique differential of the Garmin Virb Ultra, the camera still features voice control, 4k footage, hypersensitive microphone and LCD touchscreen.


Whatever cameras you decide to take on your next trip, keep in mind what is most affordable for you and what best suits your activities. Nothing better than having a range of gadget options and devices to shoot and edit the best moments of your travel vlogs.

About the author “Luan Santos is a journalist specialized in production and cultural criticism who loves writing about movies, music and literature. Luan is also content manager on’s blog”

Author: Chance Bulger

Writer, blogger based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

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