Thanks to the surplus of affordable wearable video camera hardware, action sports enthusiasts no longer need a sponsorship or film crew to capture their biggest, most exciting trips and moves. Now all it takes is a couple hundred bucks. GoPro and Contour have been one-upping each other for years, and the big guns at Sony
recently decided to join them. While walking the action cam section of the ISPO Munich sports show
, we came across some additional competitors – with some very innovative hardware – from around the world.
Although it may seem like it was just yesterday that actioncams came into common use, already people are getting frustrated with the limitations of the “here’s what I was looking at” viewpoint. Thanks to innovations such as the 3rd Person View
, however, adventurous videographers can now include themselves in their self-shot videos. One of the latest such camera-on-a-stick gadgets is the backpack-mounted VuPackPole.
The helmet cam has been one of the biggest things to ever hit the action sports market. These relatively inexpensive, easy-to-use cameras have made it both affordable and easy to capture action sports film, enabling everyone from beginners to pros to film their greatest (and worst) exploits. The Video Head camera helmet takes a different approach, pulling the action camera off its Teletubby-like perch on top of the helmet and sliding it inside.
If you like to shoot point-of-view videos of your “extreme” endeavors, perhaps you sometimes get people saying “How come we never get to see you
in any of these?”. Well, you can address that by using something like the BoomPro
– both devices suspend your camera from your helmet, allowing it to get a shot of you. Soon, however, you may be able to get something a bit fancier, in the form of the 3rd Person View.
iPhone users looking to turn their device into an actioncam have been spoiled for choice as of late, and Qmountz by Maptaq is the latest protective case and mount package to join the fray.
The CES showfloor is littered with a variety of action cameras this year, but few of them offer any truly head-turning new features, save for the Geonaute. Developed in France, the Geonaute action camera records 360-degree video and still images, which users can later explore from almost every angle on a computer or mobile device.
It looks like the Looxcie
could be in for some competition. Panasonic has used CES 2013 to unveil its HX-A100 Wearable Camcorder. Like the Looxcie, the little Panasonic camera can be worn on the head without a helmet (using its included Earhook), streaming HD video live on Ustream via Wi-Fi.
With rugged, mount-equipped iPhone cases such as the Optrix XD
, it’s now possible to use your phone as an actioncam. Most of these cases, however, aren’t designed to be mounted on the user’s chest – a viewpoint that often offers some of the best point-of-view shots. That’s where the Hitcase and its ChestR Mount come into the picture.
Ever since technology made video cameras small and light enough to wear comfortably on the body, manufacturers have been busy one-upping each other with features like GPS tracking
, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth streaming
, integrated internet uploading
, remote controls
and of course, better filming capabilities
. But the basics have remained the same: small, lightweight cameras that sits on the filmer's body or gear and takes point-of view footage. SOLOSHOT brings a different point of view to the action sports filming equation – it's a tripod that incorporates an automated tracking system to deliver third-person footage without anyone behind the lens.
When you’re shooting first-person video of activities such as surfing, cycling or kayaking, it always helps spice up the finished product if you include footage from more than one perspective. Usually, the only way that can be accomplished is to use multiple cameras, or to stop and reposition the one camera. Oregon Scientific, however, is taking a different approach with its new ATC Chameleon actioncam. It records two perspectives at once, which it merges into a split-screen display.