For those shopping for a new sports action camera, which model do you choose? With so many products available today, and new products coming out on a regular basis, you have to know what to look for. For cyclists, choosing the right camera to help you record your rides, and also help improve safety on and off road, is something which should be a priority. With this said, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a cycling camera, and these are a few of the top models.
To help understand this a bit more GIZMODO put together a nice video to highlight the quality and sound of some of the current top brands of cameras.
- Hero 4
- Sony HDR-AS200V
- Sony AZ1VR
- Sony AS30V
- VIRB X
- VIRB XE
- Drift Ghost S
- Polaroid XS100
- Recon Jet
The GoPro Hero offers good video quality. The integrated housing is waterproof for up to 40 meters, and the large mount ecosystem design, allows for ease of recording, on nearly any platform. A few drawbacks include the fact that the camera can't be removed from the polycarbonate housing and the battery is built in. A GoPro port is missing so you can't add the touchscreen functionality or additional battery pack for wi fi use.
Although not many features exist, as an entry level model by GoPro, the video image quality is excellent, and the fact that it is a mountable piece, allows sports enthusiasts the ability to record content close up and head on, in various different situations. Great image quality and recording capabilities allow cyclists to improve form, learn road conditions, and enhance their rides.
The latest model by GoPro delivers the best in class video recording capabilities at 4K at 30 fps. You can also record 1080 p at 120 fps. There are a number of mounting options available with this model, which aren't present in the Hero. The redesign of this system doesn't allow for use of older battery models and battery life is lackluster in comparison to other mounting devices. No in camera video stabilization feature exists, and if you plan on using it in the water, it has to remain in the polycarbonate housing.
A high price tag of about £400 will push certain buyers away, but the best image quality in the bunch, makes it a top choice. Cool slow motion clips can also be included, to enhance recording of certain content. A built in touchscreen, improved button functions, and a new "cool moment" button, allows you to avoid having to go through hours of footage, as the camera will automatically find the moments for you. All these features make this a top choice when choosing a camera system.
The action cam offers full HD with rich 60 Mbps data and up to 240p slo-mo recording capabilities. A steady shot function avoids bouncing while mounted to bikes or a helmet, for smooth transitions in your recording. You can control up to 5 action camera views at once, it has a built in stereo mic, and splash proof body allows you to use it in wet conditions.
You can create highlight videos compiling mp4 from various sources, loop record to prevent taking up too much space on the memory card, wind and noise reduction features, and built in wi fi, allow you to share footage as it is taking place. Image stabilization, and ability to connect live via Ustream, allow you to share content with anyone with this camera.
As Sony's smallest splash proof cam, this is ideal for those who want lightweight design. Steady shot and image stabilization features help avoid blur while cycling. The 5 video modes including 2 slo-mo options allow you to record content the way you want to see it, and a built in stereo mic helps enhance your voice and live action sounds as they take place.
The slender design allows for helmet mounting, bike mounting, and won't weigh you down. The live stream feature and built in wi fi also allow you to share content as it is taking place. A built in CMOS sensor helps with bright light transitions on bright road conditions or rainy days. The action cam movie creator allows you to compile footage, to create your own mini-movie with recorded content.
The high-def, POV camera features blur minimization, with stabilization features built in for recording. One touch NFC and built in wi fi allow you to connect online. With 6 video modes, including 1080 p, and 4 different slo-mo settings, you can create content the way you wish to see it. GPS maps your location and speed as well, so you can save your favorite destinations.
An ultra wide, 170 degree lens lets you capture more in front and on your sides, and the CMOS sensor ensures optimal quality recording, in any lighting. The rugged waterproof housing, and universal tripod allow you to connect your action cam to your helmet, a bike, or any other location when recording. This also allows you to cycle in rain or dry conditions. A slim and lightweight design make this compatible for all cycling styles.
Designed by Garmin, this POV camera is small, and fully waterproof for up to 50 meters of use, and no external case is required for underwater shooting. Enhanced video and audio quality, High-def recording, and a wide angle lens allows you to capture more when using this camera. Wireless functionality and built in features allow you to choose from a series of recording modes on this camera.
You can connect to apps on your smartphone, allowing you to live stream, or share images directly to others online. The app will also track your known GPS location. The rugged exterior design is a far cry from other POV cameras, and no need for a waterproof housing is a powerful selling point for this camera system.
Shooting rich, high-def footage at 1080p and 60 fps, you can capture more, and faster content on this camera. It can take 12 MP photos, and connecting to the G-Metrix allows you to do more online as well. Powered by Garmin, the Metrix allows you to track how far, fast, and high you are going when recording. It is waterproof and doesn't require an external housing, for up to 50 meters distance.
Built in GPS sensors and wi fi allow you to connect online and share footage as it is taking place. You can capture your heart rate, distance, speed, and even pedaling cadence when connected to the Garmin app. For cyclists, this feature allows you to record data and see improvements in your riding. Garmin GPS pinpoints allow you to get the most out of any ride.
Drift Ghost S
With a built in 2'' LCD, this small device packs a powerful punch when it comes to action recording. It has built in wi fi, it is fully waterproof, includes a remote, and has an extensive battery life. You have various shooting options to choose from, including in slo-mo and regular speed with this device as well.
The menu system is a bit tough to navigate, but once you get the hang of it isn't too bad. A long battery life, solid recording capabilities, and just under 6 oz in weight, make this a small device you can attach nearly anywhere for cyclists. The flat wide angle lens can be rotated up to 300 degrees as well, giving you more visibility from nearly any side, and enhancing safety so you can see everything around you. There are several mounting options to choose from as well.
With a professional sensor with low-light emission settings, you can record in even the brightest conditions. Fully waterproof up to 30 meters, and a g-sensor features auto-rotation, so everything you want to capture is fully captured on screen. It is shockproof and has an aerodynamic design, and can record up to 1080 p resolution. Shockproof casing also allows you to take on bumpy roads or terrain when cycling.
Full helmet and handlebar mounts are included with the camera giving you more control and improving safety on tough road conditions. It features a 170 degree wide angle recording mode so you can see everything when recording. The shockproof exterior helps with noise reduction and audio performance, and the ability to take still photos up to 16 MP, also allows you to capture your favorite moments in picture and video.
If you choose to forgo the mount, this is eye wear you put on like sunglasses rather than mounting to a helmet to capture video. For cyclists, it provides sun protection in the sunglasses form, as well as recording capabilities so you can improve your cycling experience. It delivers live metrics without breaking your flow, it has an integrated sensor with GPS tracking, and you can share your metrics via wi fi, through MyFitnessPal, and other online sites. The instant access POV camera allows you to capture any moment while riding.
Data is displayed below the right eye, so it won't get in the way when doing any activity. Integrated GPS, and ability to capture your heart rate, distance, speed, and elevation, are nice features for those who want to track performance, as well as record their training stats.
For cyclists looking to improve safety on the road, the Reacon offers greater visibility and road capture capabilities. The Polaroid also offers a greater viewing range, to improve riding capabilities and improve on road safety. For off road cyclists, the Hero 4 is a great option. It not only eliminates shock and noise reduction, but has greater range and depth for recording wider areas. For individuals looking for mid-level recording, the Sony series are good options. They offer various recording modes, high def 1080 p resolution, and ability to capture high quality video content.
If you are willing to spend the money, the Hero4 and Recon Jet are top options. For those who want a mid priced camera, which will record fairly decent video quality, the Sony series are a good option. For individuals looking for optimal GPS tracking the VIRB series are the best options. Consider these listed features, design, and what you are looking for. Additionally, consider the intended use,so you can choose the right model for a new sports action camera.
Regardless of budget, for cyclists looking to improve on road safety, these are some of the top devices. They allow you to capture and track GPS coordinates to enhance your riding experience. With recording capabilities, you can review your rides, and see data to help you perform better in tough road conditions. And, with built in data tracking, you can see your performance matrices with each ride, from tracking distance to altitude, so as to ensure the safest riding conditions each time you go out on the road.