Over the years I have used a few different camera’s to film both on the mountain and indoors at the snow domes. I thought I would write a post comparing all 4 camera’s so you an see the pro’s & con’s of each device. All of the camera’s below impressed me in their own ways. When your buying a camera you might not want it for the same reasons as everyone else. Some people are happy to just stick a camera on their head and record their day on the slopes whereas some people might want more from a camera like the ability to adjust the white balance or the angle of view etc. So here are my thoughts on these 4 cameras – Go Pro Hero, Contour Roam 2, Panasonic HX-A500 & a Canon Powershot SX260 HS. I have added video’s to some of the posts to show the footage from each one!
1 – Go Pro Hero
- Good price range £99-£369
- Easy to use
- Super Durable
- Quality of footage is amazing
You only have to watch Alana Blanchard’s GoPro videos to see how good the quality is!
First up is the Go Pro Hero, now I bought one of these when they first came out and I was really impressed with how simple to use it is. 1 button to turn it on and 1 button to start & stop recording. The Quik Capture feature means you can press one button to turn the camera on and it starts recording straight away. You can go into the settings and switch between still photo mode where you can shoot images up to 5mp in quality and burst photo mode which takes action sequences at up to 5 frames per second. The Auto Low Light feature is a great idea too because the weather can change in minutes. The ultra wide angle lens on the GoPro makes filming your friends a whole lot easier, you don’t have to worry about missing them in the shot. The fact that it comes with the protective case is awesome too, you can have a worry free day knowing that your camera is safe inside it’s rugged housing that is waterproof to 40m and if you haven’t seen the youtube video of a GoPro falling from an aeroplane and still working then watch it and you will understand how strong these cases really are! Weighing in a 3.9 ounces this little gadget can easily fit in your pocket and it’s not going to weigh your helmet down if you do decide to mount it on there. In a nutshell the GoPro is an amazing camera, perfect for beginners or pro’s it’s super easy to use and the quality is brilliant.
2 – Panasonic HX-A500
- Picture & Video quality is amazing
- Comes with a screen
- Waterproof without a case
- Can be awkward to hold when filming
- Slow Motion features works great
- You can change from wide angle to standard
The Panasonic camera really impressed me when I got it, the quality of the footage is amazing. You can shoot in 4K on this which is crystal clear. The camera does also have a really good image stabilising function which helps stop your shots coming out blurry. The screen is attached to the camera with a cord which some people might find annoying to film with but I found that the screen pack easily fits in your pocket and you don’t need to have it out all the time. I personally find using it on a pole mount makes it a lot easier. With the screen pack you can adjust settings such as the white balance and you can switch from picture mode to video mode really easily. Also it’s nice to be able to see what you are filming on the screen, you can hold the camera end out of the gondola window and line up the perfect shot by looking at the screen. The Wifi features work great too, you can connect to your phone in no time and see what you are filming from there. The slow motion feature on this camera is good fun too, you just film a clip as normal and when you play it back it is a super slow motion yet the quality is still amazing. Another great feature is you can switch from shooting in wide angle to standard angle. Overall this camera is a great piece of kit, if you want high quality footage and you enjoy playing around with settings and features I would recommend this camera to you. Below is a gallery of still images taken on the Panasonic
- Amazing quality footage
- You have a lot of control over settings
- 20x optical zoom
- Price is amazing for what you get
Now the Canon is my baby, I love this camera. I do take photo’s a lot more than I film which is probably why I love my Canon. However when I have filmed on the mountain with this the footage has come out just as awesome as the pictures do. The 20x optical zoom on this thing is insane, I can sit at the top of the park and film my friends hitting jumps that are more than a 100m away from me and it looks like i’m stood next to them! Its a 12.1megapixel camera and films in 1080p. The camera copes really well with low light conditions too so photo’s on a pow day look great. The optical image stabiliser helps stop shaky photo’s and footage too which is vital when your shooting on a mountain. The dedicated movie button makes it easy to just start recording when you need to and the wind filter feature helps cut out the annoying sounds when your riding along. You can even track your shots with the GPS feature so you know exactly where that nice spot you found is. I wouldn’t recommend using this on the mountain if your a beginner because one fall could be game over, saying that I have rode with mine in my pocket loads and it still works absolutely fine! Below is a gallery of photo’s taken on this camera.
4 – Contour Roam +2
- Easiest record function out of all the cameras
- Waterproof without a case
- Microphone records sounds really well
- 170 degree wide angle lens
- Different colour options
So the Contour has to be the easiest camera to start filming with. You don’t have to turn the camera on, all you do is slide the switch across the top of the camera and it turns on and starts recording at the same time. This means there’s never any confusion about wether it has started recording or not and when your finished you just flick the switch back. Simple. I must admit it did struggle to film at the indoors snow slope, but in the camera’s defence indoor domes have the worst lighting on the planet! Out on the mountain this camera performs great and it fits in your pocket easily. People like the fact that you can mount this on the side of your helmet instead of having it stuck out on the top of your head so it is a lot more subtle than a GoPro if you want to mount it on your helmet. You can take stills with this camera (i’ve never tried this out though) which is a handy feature because it’s nice to take a photograph instead of screenshotting your video footage. The battery on this lasts forever! The fact that it turns off when you stop recording means it saves a lot of battery and you could shoot for 3.5 hours on a full charge. If you don’t fancy a GoPro then this might be the one for you. It’s something a bit different and fun and the easiest camera in the world to use!
Thanks for reading! I hope this has helped in some way, I love my camera’s so it made sense to write about them and share my thoughts on the different ones 🙂