It's a simple idea, but one that makes you feel more confident you're in the right mode in a given situation. When I was heading out to ride an electric skateboard, for example, I would tap Activity. Later on a hike, I chose Standard as I was shooting mostly scenic or static shots. Beforehand I would often just leave the camera on 1080p/60 as my go-to. That worked fine, but having the taller shot of Activity while riding definitely makes it feel more engaging. The thing is, I knew this before but would either forget or think 1080 was fine and just stick with that.

For a company known for its camera drones, DJI got a lot right with its first action cam. One of its stand-out features is its front color screen. It might be small, but it's enough to make sure you're centered in the shot when the camera lens is facing you. The view can be switched with a voice control. It's also waterproof and rugged with removable lens covers, it has great electronic image stabilization, shoots HDR video and has customizable presets so you can get to the shooting modes you want without diving into menus. Read our DJI Osmo Action preview.

GoPro HERO8 Black


This digital ghost town extends to the mobile app, where, again, you’re given the illusion of having more options than you actually do. For example, put the camera into time-lapse mode and you will see what looks like the option to change the shooting interval. However, bringing up the interval menu reveals the default, 0.5-second option as the only option. It’s the exact same story in burst photo mode: You can open the burst rate menu, but 10 fps is the only setting you’ll find.

underwater cameras


With that in mind, I'm not kidding when I say that HyperSmooth 2.0 is a legitimate improvement. Not just in how it stabilizes (although that is definitely better), but also because it's now available in every frame rate or resolution, including slo-mo modes. On the Hero 7, HyperSmooth was available for most modes, but once you got into higher frame rates or almost anything in 4:3 (an important setting for action cameras) you were out of luck. Now, you don't need to remember which settings it'll work with; all you have to do is decide whether you want HyperSmooth on or off.
First of all, the camera itself is physically different from last year's version. Most notably, the Hero 8 now has the mounting fingers built in (meaning, the "pins" that slide into the top of a pole). This means you'll no longer need a "frame" mount to connect it to accessories. This also means easy access to the battery and memory card at all times. Another perk is that this reduces the total footprint of the camera when mounted.

underwater camera housing

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