It would have been unimaginable for non-professionals from outside the broadcasting field to capture high quality video just a few years ago. Today, the ubiquity of camera-equipped smartphones means that users can easily capture and store important moments in their lives for posterity. When it comes to physical activities and sports though, many are understandably reluctant to lug their fragile and very expensive smartphones around.
Fortunately, a new niche of “action cameras” have emerged that are ideal for activities ranging from rough-and-tumble activities such as hiking, cycling, or even sea sports. We highlight some action cameras that you can use to chronicle your active lifestyle, whether your first attempts at wakeboarding, or to capture that triumph moment at the end of an exhausting round-Singapore cycling expedition.
No ordinary action camera, the Contour Roam2 comes with a built-in laser level to get the correct angle any time. Despite this sophisticated capability, the Roam2 is a simple and no-nonsense device that uses a locking switch to quickly activate the camera. The Roam2 is waterproof to a meter without a case, while an optional case makes it waterproof up to around 60 meters. The Contour Roam2 is available in four colours: Blue, black, red and green.
Drift Innovation HD Ghost
The Drift Innovation HD Ghost incorporates a unique rotating lens element that makes it possible to adjust the angle in order to compensate for the mounting. Equipped with a tough exterior, the HD Ghost is waterproof to 3 meters right out of the box. A unique “Flashback Video” mode ensures that a shot is never missed by capturing video continuously, and saving up to five minutes before overwriting from the oldest portion. A built-in screen offers live previews and video playback.
GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition
The latest flagship model from GoPro, the Hero3 Black Edition offers a 12 megapixel sensor with wide-angle lens for full 1080p HD recording capabilities, or 4K ultra high definition (UHD) if you’re willing to settle for 12 fps recording. Size wise, the Black Edition is 20% smaller and lighter than previous models with 30% better battery life, yet remains compatible with all mounts and accessories from the company. This is important as the company offers a large array of mounts and accessories suited for just about every sporting activities such as cycling and hiking, including water sports such as wakeboarding and diving.
Just announced at CES 2014, the new Polaroid XS100i is capable of recording video in 1080p using its ultra wide lens with 170 degrees of coverage, or up to 16MP when capturing stills. The camera is shockproof and waterproof up to 10 meters and comes with 32MB of internal memory, with another 32GB that can be added using a micro SD flash memory card. Built-in Wi-Fi allows for remote control using an iOS or Android device to view and share captured photos and videos.
Sony Action Camera (Wi-Fi)
The Sony Action Camera (HDR-AS15) is the electronics giant’s answer to the trend of action cameras. The ultra-compact device weighs just 92 grams, and comes with SteadyShot image stabilization and Carl Zeiss optics to offer clear footage even in low light conditions. Capture modes include the standard 1080p at 30fps, while 720p offers the ability to do 120fps slow motion video. Finally, Wi-Fi allows for the Action Camera to be wirelessly controlled via the Sony PlayMemories app.
Proficiency level: Expert/Intermediate