Our list of Ski and Snowboard portable action video cameras and accessories
Consumer Ski and Snowboard Portable Video Cameras
Helmet Cams and POV Sports Action Video: This consumer video category includes the light rugged and portable video cameras which can mount to helmets, skis, arms, chest, etc.
They are typically water and snow resistant as well as shock resistant.
They also must be very lightweight so they can mount to a ski or snowboard helmet without hindering mobility or one's coordination and balance during actions sports activity.
All helmet cam or "Point of View" (POV) video cameras listed are HD compatible:
HD Resolution: 1080p (30fps), 960p (30fps), 720p (60/30fps)
Field of View: 135 degree lens (980p/720p), 110 degrees (1080p), 170 degrees F2.8
White Balance: configurable
Weight: 5.1 to 5.3 oz
Lens and CCD can rotate to accommodate mounting 0 to 360 degrees off axis.
Features: Advanced model includes built-in GPS receiver (position, speed, elevation and path), Water resistant, 5 Megapixel camera, Bluetooth (connects to mobile phone and Contour Connect App), Time lapse 3,5,10,30,60 seconds, built-in laser to align shot, omni-directional microphone, rugged anodized aluminum body
Video Formats: 1080p/60fps, 1080p/30fps, 720p/120fps (High Speed), 720p/60fps, 720p/30fps, WVGA/240fps (High Speed)
Still image resolution: 5M(185 degrees), 3.5M(165 degrees), 2M(135 degrees)
Field of View: 185/165/135 degree wide angle view
White Balance: Auto/Night/Daylight/Cloudy/Light Bulb/Florescent
Features: Live WiFi streaming while recording: WQVGA (400 x 240), WVGA (800 x 480)
HD Resolution: 1080p, 960p (30fps), 720p (30fps), WVGA (60fps)
Field of View: 168 degree wide angle view
Sensor: 1/2.5" 5M CMOS
White Balance: automatic
Still images: 8, 5 and 3 MP
Time Lapse: 2,5,10,30,60 sec
Weight: 7 oz
Digital 4x zoom, 3 AA batteries, not waterproof
GoPro Hero 3: "Black" edition
HD Resolution: 1440p (FPS: 48, 30, 25, 24), 1080p (FPS: 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24), 960p, 720p (FPS: 120, 100, 60, 50) and VGA.
Still Images: 12.7, 7 and 5 MP modes
Battery: 1050 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion
Features: Video time lapse (0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 sec), Wi-Fi for view control by mobile device or GoPro control, micro HDMI, white balance, USB, micro SD (64Mb max) and 3.5mm mic adapter.
The Hero 3 is available in the "Black", "Silver" and "White" editions with the "Black" edition having the most features.
GoPro Hero 2: (New Hero 3 is even better!)
HD Resolution: 1080p (30fps), 960p (48,30fps), 720p (at 60,30 fps), WVGA (120,60fps)
Field of View: 90 (narrow), 127 (medium), 170 (wide) degree view for 1080 and 720p. 170 degree view for 960p and WVGA.
Photo: 11, 8, 5MP
Time Lapse: 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 sec
HD Resolution: 1080p (30fps), 960p (30fps), 720p (at 30/60 fps)
Sensor: 1/2.5" HD CMOS
Field of View: 127-170 degree view
White Balance: automatic
Format: H.264 Video Compression (MP4)
Weight: 7 oz
Time Lapse: 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 sec
Features: Waterproof case.
Leader in the compact portable sport video camera field.
HD Resolution: 1920x1080 (60p/50p), 1080 (60/50p), 1080 (30/25p), 960 (30/25p), 720 (60/50p), 720 (30/25p), 480 (30/25p), NTSC and PAL, 8MPixel and 16 MPixel photos (burst mode up to 15 photos/sec)
Field of View: 160 degrees (GC-XA2)
Video Formats: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (MP4)
Weight: 0.3 lbs/135 g
Features: Image stabilization with gyro sensor, time lapse stills every 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 sec. Rolling shutter cancellation to correct fast moving scenes. HDMI. Built-in 1.5" LCD. Wi-Fi with video transfer to Android and iOS smart phones.
HD Resolution: 720p (30fps) and 1080p available
Field of View: 159 degrees
Sensor: 1/3.2" 5.0 Mega Pixels CMOS sensor
Lens Type: Fixed focus 1.2m+
White Balance: automatic
Features: Point of View. Video built into ski goggles.
HD Resolution: 720p and 1080p (30 and 60 fps)
Field of View: 130 degree view
Formats: H.264 in Quicktime (.mov) (Audio: ADPCM)
Sensor: 1/3.2" 5M pixels CMOS
Lens Type: Fixed focus 3m+
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent
Features: Time lapse 5s and 10s. Waterproof up to 20m. 1.5" LCD Color Screen. HDMI, G sensor.
HD Resolution: 1920x1080, 1280x720 (at 30 fps). Also supports VGA.
Field of View: 120 (steady mode) or 170 degree view.
Focal length (35 mm equivalent): f=15.3mm
Aperture: F2.8 Carl Zeiss Tessar lens
Formats: MPEG 4 AVC, H.264
Weight: 90 g with battery
Battery: 1240 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion
Photo: 2 MP 1920x1080
Features: Image stabilization (this is huge!), Time lapse (every 5/10/30/60 seconds), still JPEGs (2 Megapixel), waterproof (with case SPK-AS1), Wi-Fi 802.11b for smart phone controls (HDR-AS15 only), micro B USB 2.0, micro HDMI, auto white balance, Zeiss Tessar lens, built-in stereo microphone and mini-jack, standard tripod mount.
This camera is a game changer in this market due to image stabilization enabled by their BIONZ processor and algorithms brought in from their DSLR line.
Image stabilization does reduce the field of view from 170 to 120 degrees.
The menu system and buttons you have to press are not user or glove friendly.
It is even worse when using the waterproof housing. Use the smart phone app.
HD Resolution: 1080p/30fps, 1080p/24fps, 720p/60fps, 480p/30fps
Field of View: 142 degrees (1080p), 95 degrees (720p), 120 degrees (480p)
Sensor: 1/2.7" HD CMOS
Weight: 3.5 oz
VIO Point of View. Waterproof. LCD view screen. Four AA batteries.
Wrist video controls.
HD Resolution: 1080p and 720p video, 12MPixel photos
Field of View: 170 degrees (1080p)
Lithium-ion battery with three hour run time.
Point of View. In-goggle viewfinder optional. Adjusts for light levels. Infinity focus. Controls on side of frame.
Video Camera Notes:
The larger the CCD sensor, the better the image quality. A 1/2.5" sensor is larger than a 1/3.2" sensor.
Sixty frames per second (fps) is for shooting slow motion video as it is replayed at 30fps.
Video file formats of AVI, MOV, etc are just the wrapper/container to the actual video file codec. Typical codecs are MPEG 4/H.264, DivX, WMV 7, etc.
This helmet sport video camera has it all: GPS, G-meter, gyro, heart rate monitor and yes, it also has a video camera.
It uses a wireless connection to your iPhone to view and edit the video.
GoBandit "Race" (entry level) and GoBandit "Live" (all features)
GoBandit iPhone app to view and even edit video.
Detachable video LCD "BacPac" display and protective case extension.
The display plugs into the socket on the rear of the video camera.
Note that GoPro cameras do not normally come with video display and that this accessory is required to view video upon recording, playback or while on standby.
GoPro 3D Video:
3D video for display on 3D enabled televisions.
The Contour has built-in blue tooth support which can connect with Apple iOS and Android based mobile phones. The Contour Connection App on the mobile phone can connect with the Contour video camera to act as a real time viewfinder.
This app may require you to upgrade the firmware on your Contour video camera.
The App can also change and view settings to adjust video mode, GPS settings, volume, check battery and memory, check GPS signal, etc.
Connect View Card: required to connect the Contour with Apple iOS mobile product.
Storyteller app: video editor and manager. Combine video and location map as defined by the GPS to locate where the video was taking place.
Camera mounts: strap, bar mount, surfboard mount, helmet mount, suction cup mount, roll bar mount, hat mount, headband mount, helmet vent mount, pole mount, MIL-STD-1913 tactical weapon Picatinny mount, universal tripod adapter.
Waterproof cases: buoyant and good to 60 meters
Chargers: Automobile and wall chargers
Camtrol - universal camera mounting rigs that stabilizes high speed action video and photography
Goal Zero: Nomad 7 - solar power charger for USB devices
Go Puck: USB battery charge
GoPole: helmet extension
VuVantage: body harness and pole mount
Ski Video Cameras and Accessories:
Ski Video Tips:
Filters: Bright light conditions may require a polarizing filter
Don't pan too fast: The video processors may not keep up and the video may be less crisp and clear
Anti-Fog: Cameras with sealed waterproof cases may experience condensation when the camera is in the cold environment. Employ "ant-fog" inserts. [GoPro anti fog inserts - buy now]
Keep the camera steady: The Steadycam Pilot and other tools can be employed if required.
Clothing color: The subject should not be dressed in white. White cloths against a white snow background does not provide enough contrast.
Framing: Practice will help. Aim the camera properly and be aware of what is being filmed. There is nothing worse than viewing a helmet cam POV shot which points to the sky or down to the ground.
Frame rate: Taking video at 60 frames per second (fps) and viewing at 30 fps will slow the video 50% rendering a slow motion video sequence.
Helmet mount: This hands free option allows full freedom of movement. Not likely to block the camera. Less perspective due to the lack of any foreground view of the skier/boarder.
Pole mount: This is especially popular with boarders who have free hands for use with a pole. Provides some unique close-up views of the boarder. Placed behind the boarder it looks like the camera man is following very close.
Chest Mount: A harness is worn to hold the camera on the chest. (GoPro sells such a mount). On powder days the lens can get sprayed. Shows skiers poling.