The best GoPro is on everyone’s wish list. What’s the most important feature for action cams? Sure, the extra apps, straps and resolution are all important, but when you take a camera out on your adventures, you really want it to survive intact after you’re done.

So Battle Damage has taken a few extra steps for you and experimented to see just how actions cams deal with some serious damage. The show took a look at the GoPro Hero4 Silver, the Sony HDRAS20/B, and the Contour Roam3 – and when we say “take a look” we really mean that they tried to smash them to pieces to see which could survive.

The first test was telling, to say the least. This isn’t the first time that the team has tested GoPros, but it is the first time they have tested it inside a case in more realistic conditions. With the case on, the GoPro cam survived a fall onto a hard metal surface from 15 feet – mimicking what would happen if you dropped your cam off a cliff while climbing, for example. The other cams also had their cases on, but at the end only the GoPro cam was still recording. The files taken during the impact were corrupted on the other cams, but not on the GoPro.

That says a couple things about the state of the action cam market – primarily, that you should buy GoPros. Note that cams by the likes of Sony have come out largely in response to the vast success of GoPro, which had the market cornered before the competitors started showing up.

Because the GoPro cam company has specialized, they know exactly what they are making, and they can design cams from the ground up for adventures (the founder, Nick Woodman, is also a sports enthusiast and knows what a cam needs to survive). GoPros also have a few years on its competitors to improve on those designs, so this isn’t a very surprising result.

There are, however, still limits. Battle Damage upped the stakes and smashed the GoPro against the ground to see if it could survive a much sharper blow – and it failed. So maybe don’t get out the baseball bat and treat your cam like it’s the ball.

Tyler Lacoma

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.

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