Action Camera Durability

Looking at the durability of an action camera there are few things to consider. Let’s take some time to explore these things.

What Degree Of Ruggedness?

Ruggedness not only pertains to the environment in which the action camera will be subject to but, as in the case of durability you will want to be confident that the action camera is capable of enduring hardships, and wear and tear. Is it strong enough to sustain its condition, performance, and functionability through the rigors of your life events? In other words can the action camera durability match the way you choose to play? Are you a mountain biker, hiker, skier, active in extreme sports, or are other pursuits? Where do your interests lie? Assessing your own personal interests and activities will help decide on the degree of ruggedness you will require from the action camera you select.

What Kind Of Abuse Will This Action Camera Take?

As you know abuse can show itself in different forms, from the expected the unexpected. The action camera abuse from the expected format comes from the known hazards associated with the activity being performed. For example, let’s look at mountain biking. There will be ground vibrations associated with the type of terrain being ridden on. Different terrains will each create its own amount of shaking, and impact forces through the tires and frame of the bike as it moves. Looking at the conditions of the ride you will be able to see where the camera is mounted will affect how much abuse it is subject to. An action camera attached to the handlebars of the bike will endure greater stresses than one that is body or helmet mounted. This is due to the different energy absorption capabilities of the bike as compared to the bike plus rider. Essentially the rider becomes a damper and helps dissipate the resulting vibration and shock wave. There is a certain amount of durability designed into these action cameras that allows for rugged use, and occasional mishaps.

The Occasional Mishap

Action Camera Durability
Dropped Action Camera

What forms do these occasional mishaps take?

  • Drops
  • Falls
  • Impacts
  • Stepped On
  • Run Over

Drops and falls both pose similar questions: From what height? To what surface? How did the action camera land?

Impacts themselves can be from a moving object to a stationary camera, a moving camera to a stationary object, or even a moving object into a moving camera. Impact possibilities and instances will definitely put the durability of an action camera to the test.

A stepped on action camera will have its durability tested in a few ways raising a number of questions: Who / What stepped on the action camera? What type of surface was the action camera on? Was the step sustained, quick, slow, intentional or not?

A run over action camera can come from any number of wheeled vehicles from wagons, bikes, quads, side by sides, other ATV’s, and even cars and trucks.
Knowing what ran over the camera and how will determine how much damage the camera sustained.

The above mentioned mishaps can happen through regular use and it is important to remember that just because there appears to be no visible physical damage there may be some functional or internal damage that may affect the device. Anything may have happened, or nothing may have happened to the action camera.

The effects of abuses may depend on too many factors to be predictable unless you are knowingly using the action camera outside of the realm for which it was designed. It would be somewhat ridiculous to think that using the camera as hammer, nut cracker, or bottle opener, are appropriate applications for the device.
This type of action camera abuse would certainly detract from its durability.

Other Things To Consider

Durability is not only affected by ruggedness, use, and abuse but other environmental factors that may contribute to the action camera remaining durable.

Temperature Range – This could be high or low. At higher temperatures the action camera may overheat thus making functions erratic or nonexistent. Lower temperatures may cause the same problems but may also include structural failure due to the casing of the action camera becoming brittle making it susceptible
to breakage if dropped or impacted.
Battery performance will become less due to the fact that batteries discharge at a higher rate in cold temperatures. Keeping the action camera in a pocket close to your body will help keep it warm until needed. Extra batteries kept warm in a similar way will benefit you in case of complete discharge of the battery currently in use.

Waterproof Action Camera
Waterproof Action Camera

Waterproof – Being durable also means that the action camera must be able to withstand exposure to water. Some are designed to be splash proof and will only repel splashes of liquid, or light liquid on the device that is not of an amount to cause damage. Waterproof on the other hand means that the action camera is capable of remaining unaffected by water or other liquids under specified conditions. These conditions may be based on depth and exposure time. An example: 33ft (10m) for 30 minutes. Here are 3 questions to ask when it comes to water durability.

  1. Is this action camera waterproof?
  2. To what depth and for how long will it remain waterproof?
  3. Does it need a separate waterproof case?

What Makes The Action Camera Durable?

A durable action camera is reliant on manufacturer construction, proper use for its design, and the environment to which it is exposed.

 

6 thoughts on “Action Camera Durability”

  1. Hi there

    I wish I read this before I bought my GoPro replica, as it did not last long. Very simple but useful information thanks as I thought they were all the same… but alas not. I can’t wait to have a decent Action Cam for my next hiking adventure.

    Cheers
    Jo

    1. Replicas can be difficult due to not being of the same quality as a recognizable name brand. That is not to say that certain lesser known replicas cannot perform to the standard.
      As for a recommendation I have two: GoPro and Safari.

    1. As for a recommendation I have two: GoPro and Safari.
      I have had a Safari 4 attached to the front rack of my ATV and it has withstood the rough ride.

  2. Thank you for the great article. I usually put a go pro on my helmet when I ride. The best part it that it is waterproof. I have got some good footage while riding in the rains 🙂
    Which one do you recommend?

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