Cameras that are compact, waterproof, and shockproof are perfect for the outdoor enthusiast. Point of view (POV) cameras can be mounted on you or any surface. With infinity focusing, they’re easy to use and produce video and photography sharper than most cameras costing double or triple the amount. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular brands.
GoPro inventor Nick Woodman started the pocket-sized, high-resolution camera craze. The original Hero has gone through several redesigns, but its cube shape is symbolic of the brand and genre. The newly released Hero 4 offers unequaled 4K video at 30 frames per second (FPS), 2.7K at 50, and 1080p at 120, which will produce stunning slow motion footage, all with a camera that’s smaller than your hand and can withstand water depth to 40 metres. Adjustable filming angles, time-lapse photos, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology, plus pro-tune functions are key selling points.
GoPro offers greater range in video and photo quality than any other company. And it has fostered huge online following, so support is just a forum search away.
MSRP: $129.99 to $499.99
With Garmin’s Virb and Virb Elite, Garmin’s engineers tackled two common complaints of POV cameras by developing a long-lasting battery pack and a built-in preview LCD screen.
Both cameras shoot in true 1080p HD at 30fps with up to three hours of battery life along with two other HD settings, and a slow motion setting. Expect sharp 16mb photos that can be taken simultaneously while videoing.
Integrating Garmin’s well-established GPS technology, the Elite offers high-sensitivity GPS, accelerometer, and a barometric altimeter for better production value. With Wi-Fi capability, users have hands-free operation via smart phones or devices.
MSRP: $269.99 Virb Elite
New to the action camera market is Shimano’s Sport Camera. Heavy in R&D from the bicycling world, the Sport Camera is one of the simplest to use. Its self-leveling feature ensures the camera’s image is never upside down, regardless of mounting angle is ingenious.
The internal gyroscope, which works on right angles, will orient the image even when mounted on its side or upside down. Its 180-degree lens has three video setting including 1080p at 30fps and 6mp photos. This tiny Shimano package weighs in at only three ounces and can easily link with Wi-Fi or ANT+ to a smartphone.
The Addixxion draws from decades of JVC technology. JVC prides itself on incorporating key features as standard. A large, 115k pixel LCD viewing screen helps in setting up camera angles and replaying shots. An internal gyro sensor reduces vibration and maintains image stabilization, and image orientation ensures photos are easily captured from any angle.
The JVC Adixxion offers up to full 1080/60p HD, 16mp photos, ultra high 15 fps burst photo mode, and simultaneous recording of video and photos, plus numerous Wi-Fi options to transfer the action directly to smartphones or the Web.
MSRP: $199 to $299
The Gideon 9902 and 9904 are WASP cam’s top units. The 9904 camera package comes with the Gideon LVD (Live Viewing Display) Wireless Wrist remote that allows the user to control up to six GIDEON cameras at one time from four metres away, ideal for outdoor videographers who run multiple cameras from different locations.
Specs include four levels of video with 1080p at 60 its peak; photos up to 16mp quality and waterproof housing and remote to 60 metres of water. With the aid of an app, WASP users can transform their smart device into a control centre. WASP cam is developing a strong following based on ease of use and large selection of camera mounts, plus the ability to interchange with GoPro mounts via an adapter mount.
Spy Cam, from Quebec, is the only company to come from a hunting mindset. It offers the XCEL HD and HD2. The XCEL HD come standard with a camo case, bow mount, scope mount, head strap mount, carrying case, and remote control. The XCEL HD’s highest video setting is full 1080p video along with three photo settings and time lapse. A supplied wireless remote allows Spy Cam users to capture the action from a distant stand or blind.
Two monumental upgrades of the HD2 are a 1x-4x zoom and a low-light sensor, specially engineered for capturing clear images at dawn and dusk, addressing two nagging problems. The HD2 comes fully outfitted with the same mounting system and accessories as the HD.
MSRP: $279.99 to $399.99
This article originally appeared in the Ontario OUT of DOORS 2015 Fishing Annual. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.