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Action cams for everyone

Action cams (also known as POV cams) have basically filled the hole left when minicamcorders like the Flip died off. There's a surprising amount of variety available at various prices, and here are our top gift choices in the category right now.

Joshua_Goldman.jpg
Joshua_Goldman.jpg

Joshua Goldman

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1 of 6 CNET

GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition

As with the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition, the Hero3+ Black Edition has the best video quality we've seen in the category as well as improved battery life, faster Wi-Fi performance, and a lighter, smaller housing. Also, if you want a lot of accessory and mounting options, a GoPro is certainly your best bet. All of that said, it's far from the only game in town.

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2 of 6 Sarah Tew/CNET

Liquid Image Ego

The smallest Wi-Fi-enabled action cam we've seen, the Ego measures 1.3 inches wide by 1.5 inches deep by 2.5 inches high and weighs just 2.4 ounces. A quarter-inch tripod mount gives you a lot of options when it comes to attaching it to your gear, but Liquid Imaging also makes mounts specifically for the Ego as well as an underwater housing that's good down to 130 feet.

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3 of 6 Sarah Tew/CNET

iOn Air Pro 2

The Air Pro 2's advantages are in its simple operation, its waterproof body without a housing, and accessory options. Considering all that it can do, it's priced well, too.

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4 of 6 Sarah Tew/CNET

Monoprice MHD Action Camera

It might not produce the best video, but the whole MHD package is a very good value. It definitely makes it affordable to do a multicamera setup, and it's just inexpensive enough to make you want to impulse-buy one to play around with in and out of the water.

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5 of 6 Sarah Tew/CNET

Drift HD Ghost

If you're looking for an action cam that you can take out of the box, pop a memory card into, and start shooting with -- even in the water -- the Drift HD Ghost is certainly worth considering. Its video quality is very good, but it's the whole package that makes the HD Ghost a top choice. Drift recently announced a follow-up camera, the Ghost-S, which adds new Wi-Fi features as well as better battery life, faster frame rate options, and a high-bit-rate setting for lower video compression.

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6 of 6 Joshua Goldman/CNET

IronX HD by DXG

DXG is known for big specs and low prices and that's what you get with the IronX. Its video is nothing special, but if you are most concerned with enjoying and sharing videos online and viewing on mobile devices, you get a lot for your money here.

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