Action Cameras: Bringing Aquatic and Fisheries Research into View

Daniel P. Struthers, Andy J. Danylchuk, Alexander D.M. Wilson, and Steven J. Cooke

Digital action cameras (ACs) are increasingly being utilized for aquatic research purposes due to their cost effectiveness, versatility, high-resolution imagery, and durability. Here we review the advantages of AC technology in research, with particular emphases on (a) research videography (both in the field and the laboratory), (b) animal-borne studies, and (c) outreach and education purposes. We also review some of the limitations of this technology as represented by environmental factors (e.g., depth, turbidity) and deployment considerations (e.g., lens choices, imaging settings, battery life). As AC technologies evolve in response to growing public interest in their application versatility, researchers are indirectly reaping the rewards, with technological advances that are innovative, cost-effective, and can withstand frequent use in dynamic and rugged field conditions. With such a diversity of options available, future usefulness of ACs in research will only be limited by the creativity of the scientists using them.

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