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Best Gaming Publisher – Activision Blizzard
With 22% of the votes, Activision Blizzard managed to defeat over 20 otherpublishers to snag this Readers’ Choice award for Best Gaming Publisher.Certainly, a lot of good things happened to the American company in 2017,including Overwatch becoming its eighth billion-dollar franchise, Blizzardsetting a 42 million active monthly users record (thanks to Overwatch andHearthstone), and the success of the online-only, multi-player FPS gameDestiny 2. Electronic Arts (18%) and Nintendo (14%) occupy the second andthird spot respectively.
Best Action Camera Brand – GoPro
With a commanding 56% of the votes, GoPro is now a two-time winner of our BestAction Camera Brand award. The company’s current flagship Hero action camerais the Hero 6 Black, which sports an all-new GP1 chip for double theperformance of the older Hero 5. It can also record 4K at 60fps or 1080p at240fps for stunning slo-mo videos. Also new is the Fusion, a 360-degree cameracapable of delivering 5.2K footage at 30fps. Interestingly, Nikon, which makesthe KeyMission series of action cameras, is in (a distant) second place.
Best Home Theater Projector Brand – Sony
With 30% of the votes, Sony is once again our readers’ favorite home theaterprojector maker. Early last year, the company introduced the VPL-VZ1000ES,which is an ultra-short-throw 4K HDR home theater projector. And during IFA inAugust, we saw new 4K projectors, including the SXRD-based VPL-VW760ES andVPL-VW360ES. Epson (20%) and Panasonic (14%) complete the top three for thiscategory.
Best Home Theater System Brand – Bose
With 21% of the votes, this is the eighth year in a row that Bose has won ourReaders’ Choice award for Best Home Theater System Brand. For surround soundsystems, Bose most significant products recently are still the 5-speakerLifestyle 650 and 600, and the SoundTouch 300 we first reported in end 2016.To recap, the Lifestyle 650 and 600 support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivityfor wireless music streaming, 4K video compatibility, and have six HDMIinputs. The Lifestyle 650’s OmniJewel satellite speakers are made from asingle piece of extruded aluminum and offer 360-degree output; while theLifestyle 600’s Jewel Cube speakers feature direct/reflecting technology, withprecisely angled transducers inside each of them. On the other hand, theSoundTouch 300 is a soundbar system that also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetoothconnectivity; and if you want more bass or more pronounced surround soundeffects, you can add an additional bass module or a couple of rear surroundspeakers.
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top 11 cameras to capture life’s adventuresWe’ve tested the best and latest action cameras on the market, including thenew DJI Osmo Action, to bring you this list of the finest ones you can buy.Smartphone cameras are now incredibly capable, so why buy a standalone actioncamera? There are three main reasons: ruggedness, a huge range of mountingoptions and, particularly in the case of the GoPro Hero 7 Black and DJI OsmoAction, some of the best electronic video stabilisation around.Most action cameras have rugged designs or are, in the case of GoPro and DJI’sdesigns, completely waterproof without the need for a case. This means you cantake them places where your smartphone wouldn’t dare tread. Their sheervariety of mounting options, from helmet mounts to chest straps, means you canshoot from angles that simply aren’t possible with phones or standard cameras.Related: GoPro Hero 8You don’t have to be a fearless downhill mountain biker to justify buying oneeither – action cameras are handy in more mundane situations too, like filmingyour cycling commute or your dog’s adventures, thanks to their size andversatility.One name that’s become synonymous with action cameras is GoPro. It’s not theonly brand to consider, but GoPro has become incredibly popular for a reason –and its Hero 7 Black is particularly good, thanks to some boosted electronicimage stabilisation and audio recording.That said, the DJI Osmo Action pushes it extremely close and beats it in someareas, like its handy front-facing screen. If your budget is a little tight,there are some cheaper options from the likes of GoXtreme that are worthconsidering, as long as you’re aware that video quality is often upscaledrather than ‘true’ 4K.Overall, the best action camera is (at its current price) the GoPro Hero 7Black, but you should definitely also check out the DJI Osmo Action. If you’reon a tighter budget, the GoPro Hero 7 White or GoXtreme Endurance are the bestfor under £200.
Why we liked the GoPro Hero 7 Black
In the month since we called the DJI Osmo Action “our new number one actioncamera”, the GoPro Hero 7 Black’s price dropped to £319, which is £10 lessthan its new rival. At this price, GoPro’s flagship takes back the number oneslot – for now.There’s very little between the two action cameras, with both capable ofshooting excellent 4K at up to 60fps. But at its slightly lower price, theHero 7 Black edges it thanks to its slightly more polished app and ability tolivestream. Add this to its 10-metre waterproofing, impressive HyperSmoothstabilisation (matched only by the Osmo Action) and huge range of accessories,and you have a fine companion for your holidays and extreme adventures.It isn’t perfect, of course, and the Osmo Action could be better option if youmostly film yourself (when vlogging, for example) thanks to its front-facingscreen. The GoPro Hero 8 Black launched in September 2019 with an RRP closerto the Hero 7’s original £379 RRP. At its current price of £319, the Hero 7Black is still a great buy, even with its successor in the frame.
Why we liked the DJI Osmo Action
The Osmo Action is a brilliant debut action camera from drone-maker DJI. Itlargely matches the GoPro Hero 7 Black for shooting power, taking impressive4K video at up to 60fps, and adds a few new features – most notably, thatfront screen to help you frame video selfies or vlogs.A 1.4-inch screen isn’t a massive help if you have the Osmo Action mounted ona huge selfie stick, but it is still a unique bonus over other action cams.DJI’s action camera is class-leading in other ways too. Its snappy operationand large rear screen make it by far the most usable one around, while itsmanual mode lets you dig deep into the settings and push the shutter speed allthe way up to 1/8000s (which is handy for freezing action in bright sunshine,for example).The Osmo Action is a fine point-and-shoot action cam too, though, withexcellent video quality that has a slightly less ‘processed’ look than theHero 7 Black and stabilisation that manages to equal GoPro’s Hypersmooth inmost situations. Only a slightly limited app (at least, compared to GoPro) andthe slow roll-out of its official accessories hold it back – although itsuniversal two-prong mount means it’s compatible with most GoPro ones in themeantime.
Why we liked the GoPro Hero 7 White
Why buy a GoPro when there are dozens of budget action cameras around for halfof the price of the Hero 7 White? This model might only be able to shoot inFull HD, but its usability, stabilisation and dependable, case-freewaterproofing mean it’s a far more polished point-and-shoot camera than itscheaper rivals, which tend to only look good on paper or when mounted verystill.Two other features you don’t get on the Hero 7 White are GoPro’s HyperSmoothstabilisation (which is only available on the Hero 7 Black) or ProTune (formaking manual tweaks). But the stabilisation the White does have is very good,much like other pre-Hypersmooth models from the last few years, and its videoand audio quality are better than expected too.If you don’t need to attach an external microphone (there’s no option do thathere) and are generally happy with a no frills, point-and-shoot action camera,then the Hero 7 White is the best budget option around at this price.
Why we liked the GoPro Hero 5 Black
With GoPro now offering a mid-range Hero 7 Silver model, why would you want tobuy an older 2016 model like the Hero 5 Black? While new, unused models can behard to find, at the time of writing you can find the Hero 5 Black for £279.99– and at that price, it’s probably a better buy than the Hero 7 Silver.There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, unlike the Hero 7 Silver, theHero 5 Black has a removable battery, which is very handy for longer shoots –buy a spare battery (available for only £16) and you simply swap it in when itruns out of juice after the typical hour or so. Also, the Hero 5 Black hasProtune, which is a handy mode for digging into manual settings and unlockingbetter video quality in some situations, which is another feature lacking fromthe Hero 7 Silver.Still, the two models are otherwise very similar, with the ability to shoot 4Kvideo at 30fps and very comparable stabilisation, build quality and WDR (widedynamic range) stills shooting. If you can find one, the Hero 5 Black is justthat bit more flexible though.
Why we liked the GoPro Hero 6 Black
Prices for the now discontinued Hero 6 Black haven’t quite plummeted as muchas we’d hoped, but what’s left of the stock might soon slip into ‘steal’territory as rumours about a Hero 8 Black hot up. If you can’t find a Hero 5Black, then it’s worth considering over the newer Hero 7 Silver for much ofthe same reasons.With a removable battery and Protune manual controls, plus electronicstabilisation that laid the groundwork for HyperSmooth, it’s a more flexibleaction camera than the Hero 7 Silver, even if the latter is currently cheaper.Make no mistake though – the Hero 7 Black was a big step up from this model,despite them sharing the same GP1 processor, so we’d certainly stump up anextra £20 or £30 for the current flagship. If you can find a Hero 6 Black forunder £280, though, then it’ll be a good buy that can shoot 4K at 60fps and240fps slo-mo, all from a waterproof body that doesn’t need a case.
Why we liked the GoPro Hero 7 Silver
The Hero 7 Silver might sit just below the Hero 7 Black in GoPro’s lineup, butdon’t mistake it for the latter minus a few features. Its 4K video qualityisn’t as good as the Black’s and the lack of Protune or a removable batterymean it’s more like a souped up version of the Hero 7 White.That’s no disaster, of course, and if you want a point-and-shoot action camerathat can shoot solid 4K/30fps video, then the Hero 7 Silver will serve youwell. At its current £250 price, though, it’s just a little bit too expensiveconsidering it lacks bells and whistles like Livestreaming, SuperPhoto orTimeWarp video, which are powered by the Hero 7 Black’s GP1 chip.With similar video stabilisation and features to the Hero 7 White aside fromits top resolution, we’d be inclined to either save some cash with the Whiteand shell out a bit more for a Hero 7 Black.
Best Action Camera Round Up
1. GoPro Hero 7 Black: At its current price, still the best all-round action cam 2. DJI Osmo Action: Matches GoPro in most areas – and exceeds it in others 3. GoPro Hero 7 White: The best budget, point-and-shoot action cam around 4. GoPro Hero 5 Black: If you can find one, this former flagship is still a fine performer 5. GoPro Hero 6 Black: The former top dog, now a potential bargain 6. GoPro Hero 7 Silver: This middle GoPro is solid, but its siblings offer better value 7. Sony RX0 II: A niche option for pro filmmakers 8. Yi 4K Plus Action Camera: Still a good value option if video quality’s your main concern 9. GoXtreme Endurance: A solid sub-£100 option 10. Sony FDR-X3000R: Pricey and a bit dated, but still a good vlogging option 11. Garmin Virb Ultra 30: An older action cam for sports nuts* * *