I am really keen on bringing with me everywhere I travel a “sports, action, rugged” camera. This category of compact digital cameras are light, tough, water and dust proof. They are so handy for many occasions when my main DSLR or camera phone are at risk of getting damaged or drowned at sea.
The last few years has brought on an ever growing collection of sport cameras from most manufacturers. The other option of action cameras are the smaller GoPros and similar types that you wear or mount just about anywhere.
The concept is so well suited for traveling, how can you not agree. Often we are on holidays by the water, on the water, under the water, it’s raining, snowing or desert sands are a blowing….No Problem!
Stuff it in your pocket, tuck it in your backpack, parka at the ready, these cameras are simple to use and go beyond the normal environment regular cameras can bear. Some are tiny little cubes you can mount in odd places for unique angles.
Often action cams can be controlled with smartphone apps. Not only can you fire the camera and change settings remotely, but you can also see the image live — so cool.
Which to pick? Well that requires a bit of research on your end to decide what this action cam has to do for you and the elements it has to endure. Search the internet and check out what strength it has as far as features and options.
Would you like a fast lens/sensor for low light or a wide zoom? Do you like photographing macro subjects on your holidays or wish to do slow motion? Most cameras offer time lapse as it is the rage. If you are a diver then some cameras go down 100+ ft. Perhaps you enjoy shooting fast motion and need a high continuous burst frame rate. And not all action cams do 4K video.
I originally bought a blue Olympus TG-830 for a few trips. I took it on MTB rides, played in the surf, snorkeled and skied with it. In the end the picture and video quality was sub par for me. I saw myself using it less often, the quality was not worth the effort. (has that happened to you?)
Then I replaced it with a better (twice the price) Olympus TG-4. It gives me a RAW file format, a fast lens plus good underwater coverage and great macro functions. I have modified my lens by adding a ring with lens cap and hood.
I have the first GoPro, it was ok, I also was given a version 3, and it seems every new model gets better. Don’t forget you will need a collection of clamps and mounts for whatever sport/hobby you’re recording. I have a box full to mount on the roof rack, car bumper, bike handlebars, on my wrist, chest, helmet… And they are on gyro stabilizers and drones too.
The main drawback to these cameras, is that to be rugged and waterproof you do not get a zoom, or not much of one. You do get a very wide angle lens so everything can be in focus. Now I would not shoot my entire vacation in a wide perspective, but as a supplementary camera on a trek it seems a good fit.
If you spend more than $300 you are likely to get something worthy. These cameras seem worth checking out as prospects. You usually get what you pay for.
Here are a few Sports, Action camera that check out the review on a few site that you could consider. Happy shopping and travelling friends…
I want to dedicate this post and podcast to my late father Joseph Roitner he recently passed on. He was an avid vacation photographer and shot plenty of video and those old 8mm silent home movies too. He got me started early and I still enjoy it. Thanks Dad for the fond (photo) memories.
He was a established artist and most of his painting are displayed on his gallery website.