The degree of detail visible in the video image is a simple explanation of action camera resolution. The image quality of a video gets defined by the number of horizontal lines stacked on top of each other thus, it becomes known as resolution. Remember, the more pixels available the higher the resolution.
Popular Action Camera Resolutions
Since image quality is defined by the horizontal lines, it is the second number by which resolutions are named after. Three of the most popular action camera resolutions are:
- HD or HD Ready (720p)
- Full HD (1080)
- Ultra HD (4K)
HD or HD Ready (720p) resolution consists of the pixel formation 1280 x 720. It is known to be HD Ready because it meets the minimum HD quality requirements. It is capable of delivering a sharp, crisp image on most screens.
Full HD (1080p) resolution consists of the pixel formation 1920 x 1080. At this time Full HD is the most common image resolution for action camera filming. Being so popular means that most televisions and screens can display this image quality.
Ultra HD (4K) resolution consists of the pixel formation 3840 x 2160. It is known as 4K because it offers four times the pixels of Full HD (1080p). In cinemas, it has become the standard picture quality. It only makes sense that with advancing video technology that it be offered as an option in the action camera resolution settings.
What does frames per second mean?
When setting the resolution for your action camera you will notice that there is another option associated with it. This is the frame rate or frames per second (fps). This is the number of frames a camera records every second. The frame rate determines how smoothly images play. Popular frame rates in action cameras are as follows:
- 30 fps – A flexible frame rate that allows you to record in most light conditions, and capture images such walking and normal movements without blurring.
- 60 fps – A good frame rate for capturing motion. Action images and quick movements can then be slowed down 2X to add a slow motion effect. To avoid underexposure you will want to keep lighting in mind. A good light will help prevent dark video.
- 120 fps – Motion captured at this frame can be used for extreme slow motion effect. Slowed down 4x. A very well lit environment will be required for this frame rate.
The End Goal
Your choice in action camera resolution will be determined by your end goal.
Are you looking to take fast action, or quick movements and create slow motion effects? Are you out to capture your life events as they unfold during your adventures? In either case a good starting point with your action camera would be the resolution Full HD (1080p) @ 60 fps. This will allow for motion capture, slow motion effects, and a good quality image for viewing and sharing content.
Playing around with your action cameras resolution settings will be a great experiment, so go have some fun!