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Best Snowboard Action Cameras & Accessories 2018-2019

Chosen by the Whitelines Test Team

When action cameras arrived towards the tail end of the 00s, they were an interesting, yet for the most part uninspiring, bit of technology. The price was comparatively high; the quality of the images they captured low, but they gained traction due to their shockproof and waterproof durability that allowed snowboarders to take – or place – a camera where they ordinarily wouldn’t have.

“The quality of the footage these cameras can produce is often mindblowing”

10 years later and their ruggedness and mountability remains, but the quality of the footage they can produce has taken full advantage of Moore’s law and is often mindblowing – especially when you consider their diminutive size.

From quick social media clips to shots used in movies shown on the big screen, action cameras can now help riders and filmers of all levels log epic shots in situations where you’d be hesitant to bring a ‘proper’ camera due to its bulk or less durable construction.

This winter, there is a wealth of action cameras on offer catering for a variety of budgets and uses. Here is our selection of some of the best action camera and their related accessories for the 2018-2019 winter.

Scroll down to view all the best action cameras, or skip to a particular brand using the links below

DJI Mavic Air | DJI Mavic Pro | DJI OSMO | DJI OSMO Mobile | GoPro El Grande | GoPro Fusion | GoPro Smart Remote | Nikon Keymission 360 | Olfi one.five | Rylo 360

DJI Mavic Air Drone 2018-2019

PRICE: £769/€849

DJI’s Mavic Pro became one of the most popular drones for snowboarders due to its high-quality camera, ease of use, and small size that allowed it to be carried easily in a backpack. Now, in 2018, DJI has taken many of the Mavic Pro’s favourable features and crammed them into an even smaller package: the Mavic Air.

This thing, when the arms are folded in, has a comparable footprint to a large smartphone – it’s crazy how small the drone is. But, unlike many of the myriad of small drones available these days, the Mavic Air has a bunch of features that make it an attractive choice for anyone wanting to get good quality images from above. It boasts 21 minutes flight time, and a top speed of 68.4 kph, and your shots are kept super stable thanks to a three-axis mechanical gimbal.

The Mavic Air captures video in 4K at 30 fps (100 Mbps) for real UHD recording.
At 1080p you can get 120 fps slow motion videos to make cool scenes look even more epic at high speed. There are new HDR algorithms to adapt to lighting conditions, and when it comes to photos the 12MP sensor and an f2.8 lens produce good stills; the drone can now also stitch together 25 shots in 8 seconds to create spherical panoramas.

Flying and filming with the Mavic Air is pretty straightforward. There are powerful sensors for more precise hovering and flight performance, plus they’ll help the drone avoid obstacles ahead or behind it. ActiveTrack can detect up to 16 selectable targets (two simultaneously) letting you switch between them in flight, there’s a straightforward TapFly mode, and there are now six different pre-programmed QuickShots that perform specific manoeuvres. All of these are controlled through the foldable remote in which you insert your smartphone.

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DJI Mavic Pro Drone 2018-2019

PRICE: £999/€1099

Arguably the model that opened up drone filming to the more recreational snowboarding crowd, the Mavic Pro made its impact by combining high-quality image capture, a sharp learning curve and pack-friendly portability into one four-rotored flying machine.

The small drone can be carried easily in a backpack as the body is small and arms fold in (it’s not as small as the Mavic Air, but it’s still super portable), but don’t be fooled by its diminutive size: the Mavic Pro packs a lot of power into its body. There are 24 high-performance computing cores, and all-new transmission system with a 7 km range, five vision sensors, and a 4K camera stabilised by a three-axis mechanical gimbal that combine to produce great quality video and photos with a flying experience that’s relatively easy to pick up.

The Mavic Pro can fly for up to 27 minutes to a maximum distance of 13 km, and there’s a heap of obstacle-avoidance tech for when it’s far away or when in Return to Home mode. These sensors also help stabilise hovering for when GPS reception is low.

Features like ActiveTrack and TapFly will help those new to the world of droning quickly be able to log killer footage, but as your skills advance you’ll be able to fully control the Mavic Pro from the controller which works in conjunction with your smartphone.

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DJI OSMO Mobile 2 Phone Gimbal 2018-2019

PRICE: £129/€149

Much like DJI’s Osmo, the Osmo Mobile is an intelligent gimbal – this time solely for your smartphone (this has no in-built camera) – that will allow you to capture moments with cinematic-style smooth movement and hassle-free ease.

Once you’ve securely locked your phone into the Osmo Mobile and fired up the app, you’re quickly able to start logging all manner of stabilised footage and more. Of course, the gimbal allows you to easily capture shake-free footage but there’s also a bunch of extra features to check out.

ActiveTrack allows you to select your subject and the Osmo Mobile 2 will then follow it however you yourself might move, and you can also dive into the world of timelapses and motionlapses, or even created hi-res panoramas that the device and app will automatically capture, pan and stitch together for you.

The Osmo Mobile 2 is now lighter than ever and is engineered to fold better, increasing portability, plus the built-in battery can also keep your phone’s juice levels topped up and allows for hours of recording or streaming.

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GoPro El Grande Selfie Stick 2018-2019

PRICE: £49/€59

Having a bit of added length can be an advantage in many walks of life, and certainly when it comes to filming yourself or your buddies with your GoPro. Adding on a couple more centimetres means you can get more in the frame and get a more elevated viewpoint, plus when follow-camming it means you can get closer to the rider without actually having to ride on top of them.

The El Grande, as the name suggests, can get big – up to 97cm – but can also be used shorter if you want to: the twist-lock design is easy to adjust the length on and lock off on the fly. The downside of a bigger pole is that they can be more of a ballache to pack but happily the El Grande collapses down to just 38cm, which means you should have no problem stuffing it in your pack. It’s lightweight, durable and waterproof, too.

The pole has an integrated ball-and-socket design that allows you to make adjustments or swivel your camera without having to stop and unmount, plus it comes with a premium oversized grip that’s easy to get a hold of with either one or two hands.

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GoPro Fusion 360 Action Camera 2018-2019

PRICE: £649/€729

The biggest name in action cameras has naturally got on the 360-degree program, and the Fusion is a beast.

It’s not one for technophobes, but take the time to get your head round it and the results can potentially be mind-blowing.

Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2018-2019 GoPro Fusion here

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GoPro Smart Remote 2018-2019

PRICE: £79/€99

Though the GoPro app on your phone works admirably a lot of the time, for certain situations – or for power users – the GoPro Smart Remote is something you’ll doubtless appreciate.

This wearable remote is waterproof (to 10m) and can control your camera from up to 180m away. Through it you can power the camera on and off, adjust settings, start and stop recording and capture photos. Plus, when used with the more recent GoPros (HERO6, HERO5, HERO4 and Session) you can also access the settings/tag button to change settings or HiLight tag key moments.

If you’re the kind of person who’ll be using their GoPro remote a bunch, you’ll certainly like the fact that it has a 40% increased battery capacity compared to the Wi-Fi Remote, and it enables you to control up to 50 cameras at a time – all through the LCD screen that mirrors the control screen of your camera.

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Nikon KeyMssion 360 Action Camera 2018-2019

PRICE: £265/€277

The KeyMission is a 360° camera that’s built to be rugged shockproof, waterproof, temperature-resistant thereby allowing you to record immersive video of any kind of activity you’d want to share.

Compact, lightweight and requiring no extra housing, the KeyMission 360 is waterproof down to 30m, can withstand being dropped from 2m and is rated down to -10 °C. Hit record and the two Nikkor lenses capture everything – both to the front and back of the camera – at a maximum 4K resolution (2160p/24fps). The camera also lets you create time-lapse sequences, smooth slow motion videos (at lower resolutions) or 23.9-megapixel stills, and can be attached to a bunch of mounting accessories.

Once you’ve captured your shot, you’ll need to connect the camera to your smartphone (check compatibility) over Wi-Fi via the SnapBridge 360/170 app, which you can also use to control the camera and its settings. Through the app you can also do basic editing and download locally for sharing on platforms that can play 360 video, or connect the camera to your computer and perform more in-depth editing.

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Olfi one.five Action Camera 2018-2019

PRICE: £119

The Olfi – an acronym for ‘one life film it’ – one.five is made by an action sports camera company based in Wales and has gathered favourable reviews thanks to its small size and attractive price that belies its impressive image quality.

Offering 4K/24fps video at the highest quality setting (there’s also 1080p/60fps or 720p/120fps), the Olfi one.five’s 16 megapixel backlit Sony Exmor-R sensor helps adjust to low light situations and is digitally stabilised to reduce shake. The result is crisp, smooth footage, which you’re able to review on the full-colour rear LCD screen. Operating the camera is easy using the two buttons on the top, which control the power and shutter release, and the two on the side through which you navigate the menu.

All this is powered by a 900mAh rechargeable battery; this will hold a little less juice than some of its bigger competitors but should be good for over an hour of recording. There’s a dedicated app, through which your smartphone can check the live preview for framing, start/stop recording, take photos, view the gallery, adjust settings, download files, or even use the in-app video editor to cut together a quick Gram on the fly.

The Olfi one.five comes with a shockproof, waterproof (30m) case with a mounting system that’s compatible with accessories for a certain well-known other action cam manufacturer. There’s no voice activation or GPS data and the quality of the footage is not quite on par with some of the best in the game, but for the price the Olfi one.five is certainly a tasty option.

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Rylo 360 Action Camera 2018-2019

PRICE: $499

A relative newcomer to the action sports camera merrygoround, Rylo was conceived when a bunch of guys who’d previously spent their time building iPhones, Instagram and Hyperlapse decided they wanted to create their own thing from scratch.

Believing that the future of mainstream photography is in computational software, they launched their first camera – simply called the Rylo – in November 2017: a 360° camera with two lenses and powered by innovative software that allows you to capture everything around you and be viewed, edited and uploaded through your phone.

As we noted when we reviewed the Rylo camera last winter, it’s a powerful, mobile-first all-capturing wizard box that – while not without its faults – is a great, affordable way to get involved with the 360° hype. You need to choose whether you’ll either use it on iOS or Android (for some reason one unit won’t work on both) and you have to play with the content you capture on your phone (you can’t fiddle with the framing of the footage it captures on a computer), but once you’re up and running you’ll quickly be able to create impressive content using some of the Rylo’s nifty features, like subject tracking or the 6K panoramic photo mode.

It comes with a rugged ‘Everyday Case’ that lets you mount the camera on accessories, but if you want to fully protect it from snow or take it underwater, you’ll need to buy the Waterproof Case (sold separately).

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