Golf is a game of honor, but some things still need documentation—like a swing for your instructor or your foursome's trip to the 18th tee at Pebble Beach. The best cameras in all three categories offer fast-frame rates to easily capture the quickest swings. The GoPro and the iPhone 6s Plus merge a high-quality camera with the ability to easily move, edit and share clips. The Manta is the top choice for professional-caliber indoor studios.
The best consumer video cameras are small, light and easy to use, and offer more than 90 minutes of battery life while recording at the highest resolution. They make recording high-quality video out in the wild a point-and-click experience. By linking to a phone or tablet app, the user can adjust the camera's settings, watch video as it happens, edit clips and share them via social media.
Professional-quality cameras are all about what's under the hood—the ability to record up to 125 frames per second, with large sensors that can produce better quality video in less-than-perfect light. The best ones are easy to integrate into a system and offer plenty of resolution and sensor-size options.
Smartphone cameras have the hardest job: produce high-quality video and photographs quickly and in a virtually limitless variety of situations. The top smartphones have the technical bits to help stabilize your shoot, render 4K video quickly, present it beautifully on a large screen, and let you go from filming to interacting on Facebook in less time than it takes to go through the line at the coffee shop. It also helps to have a huge network of aftermarket apps designed to get the most out of the video camera and the clips it produces. It has truly never been easier to be an amateur videographer.
Video camera/professional: Manta GigE, prices vary
Video/smartphone: Apple iPhone 6s Plus, $749-$949