Check out our latest Gear Guide to help you navigate the world of wearable action cameras and begin recording your adventures like a pro HERE.
Join the POV Revolution
You see the videos all over YouTube and facebook and you wonder how your friends are capturing amazing imagery, both video and still photography, of all their adventures. Wearable action cameras is the answer, otherwise known as Point of View (POV) or Helmet Cams (head cams). Wearable POV cameras used to be a luxury item accessible to only professional athletes and production crews. Recent advancements in technology changed this paradigm making the cameras more compact, easier to use, and available at a lower price point.
Listed below are the cameras we recommend taking on your next adventure. After reading this you will find you no longer have an excuse for mom when she asks to see photos or video from your trip. Just saying…
GoPro HD Hero
The Deal: The go anywhere, do anything wearable cam. Whether you bike, ride, ski, surf, race rally, or jet ski like Kenny Powers, this camera will help you capture it like a pro – hence the name. The GoPro HD Hero is available with harnesses and mounts for just about any activity. In addition to shooting in 1080p / 960p / 720p and at two different frame rates (30 fps and 60 fps), the GoPro HD Hero captures 5 megapixel still photographs and shoots for approximately 2.5 hours on one single charge, all for $259. If web video is more your style (don’t need to shoot in 1080p) and you’re looking to save a few pennies, check out the GoPro HD Hero 960 for $179.
The Deal: Like the GoPro HD Hero, the Contour HD shoots in 1080p / 960p / 720p, and at 2 different frame rates, is equipped with an internal mic, and ready to take a swim. Although the camera is slightly larger, it utilizes a 135° wide angle lens capturing slightly wider images when recording in HD. It also comes with software to help you easily transfer video from your camera to computer (mac or PC) and turn your footage into an awesome cinematic adventure. If you want to take it one step further, you can upgrade to the Contour GPS, which maps your travels while recording. For more info on video mapping check Contour.com
The Deal: With one of the widest lenses on the market (142 ° at 1080p), the POV.HD from V.I.O is sure to get the goods. In addition it’s durable, easy to use, and has a viewfinder to help you line up the shot. Via wireless remote you can also organize and view your clips in the field. The downside to all these features is that the recording unit is separate from the lens, which means you need to mount the lens and neatly run the cable connecting the lens to the recording unit while finding a place to stash the recording unit. It sounds worse than it really is… In all honestly this could be an advantage depending on what you’re shooting.
HD 170 Action Camera
The Deal: As one of the newest all-around helmet cameras on the market, the HD170 from Drift Innovation is not lacking in features and function. You can line up your shots with ease using the LCD viewfinder or start/stop recording using the wireless remote in one simple click. The camera is handlebar, goggle, head and helmet friendly. The question is do you record in 1080p or 720p, or shoot 5 megapixel photos? Ohh, it doesn’t mind getting wet either..
How do I choose?
All in all, side by side, these wearable action cams will pony up to just about any situation you can put them through. Choosing the one that’s right for you really depends on how you see yourself using it, and amount of $$$ you’re willing to spend of course. For instance, GoPro’s are tiny, shoot amazing imagery, mount almost anywhere and are virtually indestructible in their waterproof housing, BUT they don’t have a viewfinder or wireless remote like the POV.HD and HD170. They also don’t come with software like the Contour HD and are not equipped with GPS like the Contour GPS. Figure out what features are most important to you and get recording. You might find that editing video is slightly addictive too…