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Lights, camera, action

GADGET: Action camera (with accessories)

TECH SPECS: 16MP CMOS sensor, 1200mAh battery, storage upto 128GB, time lapse photo upto 60 seconds, FPS upto 60

PRICE: Rs 9,999 (Flipkart and gonoise.com)

BEST FOR: Capturing videos while on the move 

Action cameras are increasingly becoming popular with adventure seekers. However, you don't need to be a mountaineer, bungee jumper or an extreme sports aficionado to appreciate these little cameras. The rugged design - these cameras can survive a brush with gravel or rock unscathed, have waterproof cases and accessories that can attach it to your gear or the handle of a bike - helps these cameras score over your smartphone camera.

There's a wide range of action cameras available, as well as plenty of choices to suit different budgets. The cheaper ones can be bought for as little as Rs 5,000 but, caveat emptor, some of these often turn out to be of low-quality. Nowadays the buzzword for video cameras is 4K - the picture is captured in 4,000-pixel resolution - as opposed to 2K, prevalent until recently. Image quality is obviously an important factor when choosing a camera but in the case of a video camera the frame rate gives you a better idea of it than maximum resolution. A camera with 60 frames per second (fps) rate is ranked among the fastest ones; the faster the frame rate the smoother your video clips will be. Some cheaper camera models have a 15 fps rate, which will make your video jumpy and grainy.

As most cameras come with a bundle of accessories - which cost a lot - when buying one, keep in mind what you will be using it for. Don't go for the waterproof case unless you plan to take the camera deep sea diving and a sucker mount is only required if you plan to fix it to your car or bike.

Action cameras often get taken on bumpy rides so image stabilisation is a necessity. You might like having WiFi capability, voice control and GPS but you have to shell out a fortune for them.

Noise Play Action 2 camera, made by Gurgaon-based Noise, is an improved version of its Noise Play. It looks just like most of its competitors. As expected, it comes with a host of accessories, including waterproof casing (30 metres deep) and mounts. The 2-inch LCD display touchscreen is cool and the storage capacity is a hefty 128GB.

The image grab is high-quality in the raw mode, better than what you get in jpeg mode. It captures 4K video with a 16MP sensor. It's got built-in WiFi, which is supposed to connect the camera to your smartphone through the Noise Play 2 app but in my case it did not happen, despite my best efforts.

Despite this hitch, the camera seems a good buy if you consider the price - it costs a fraction of the price of the best in the league, GoPro, which launched its 360 degree camera, Fusion, recently.

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