Share

Reviews

Top Portable Video Cameras For 2013/14 – Reviewed by the Whitelines Team

THE LOWDOWN ON THE VERY BEST VIDEO CAMERAS FOR THIS SEASON

GoPro-POV-Powder-Snowboarding

The explosion in the popularity of handheld video cameras in recent years is easy to explain. They’re quite simply damn good fun! And let’s be honest, who amongst us hasn’t dreamed of starring in their own video part? There are a few things to consider when choosing an action camera:

Picture quality is obviously important – higher numbers megapixel counts usually equates to better quality. However it’s worth watching videos filmed on each of the respective cameras you’re considering especially in low light. Just because it’s got a million megapixels doesn’t mean it’ll be better when in the dark.

Compatibility is key – many cameras these days have WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity, enabling them to interact with other devices like your phone (which can be used as a screen) or even your goggles. Check that these features are compatible with your existing kit.

Accessories and mounts are also worth considering. Some companies throw in tons as standard, others will charge you for every extra bit of plastic. Different mounts obviously give you more possibilities, but are you likely to use them all?

Drift-HD-Ghost-Camera-Contour-+2
Drift HD Ghost Camera (left) Contour +2 Camera (right)

DRIFT HD GHOST CAMERA REVIEW

Price: £300
Weight: 167g
Max HD frame rate: 60fps @ 720p
Max resolution: 1080p
Battery life: 3 hours

Drift arrived in the action sports camera market a few years ago with a cool little camera that had one big advantage over its immediate competitors – an LCD display on the side that enabled you to see what you’d shot. The feature’s still there on this, their latest most sophisticated model, and allows you not only to review footage but to set up your shots properly without the need for a smartphone app. This also comes packaged with a remote control as standard and “the longest battery life of any comparable camera on the market”. We found the controls weren’t as intuitive as high as on some competitors, and the frame rates aren’t as high, but this offers a great all-round package.

driftinnovation.com

BUY THIS CAMERA AT: actioncameras.co.uk

 

CONTOUR +2 REVIEW

Price: £360
Weight: 155g
Max HD frame rate: 60fps @ 720p
Max resolution: 1080p
Battery life: 2.5 hours

Contour are the second biggest player in the action camera market, sponsoring Travis Rice no less. They make small, lightweight cylindrical cameras that fit neatly on the side of your goggle strap or helmet, onto a monopod (thanks to their standard tripod thread) or onto a whole variety of mounts.

This is their latest model, launched at the beginning of last season. As well as coming with a waterproof housing as standard (bringing it into line with GoPro), this marked an improvement in available frame rates, resolutions and all-round picture quality. Like other Contours, this has a couple of unique features like the rotating lens, which allows you to make sure your footage is filmed upright regardless of the angle of the camera, and the laser which helps you align it right. We found the controls the easiest of all the cameras we tested to use, and its light, compact nature made this a great alternative to the GoPro.

contour.com

BUY THIS CAMERA AT: snowandrock.com, absolute-snow.co.uk, wiggle.co.uk

 

Ion Air Pro 2 (left) GoPro 3 Black Ed. (right)
Ion Air Pro 2 (left) GoPro 3 Black Ed. (right)

ION AIR PRO 2 REVIEW

Price: £300
Weight: 130g
Max HD frame rate: 60fps @ 720p
Max resolution: 1080p
Battery life: 2.5 hours

iON are the newest kids on the action camera block, having arrived with a big bang last year and a buzz around their ‘shoot/share’ feature – essentially, they’d made their cameras WiFi enabled, allowing you to upload footage directly from the camera to your phone, or social media. While most other brands have now launched versions of this software, Ion remain the originators.

This latest version of their camera is the lightest we tested, and can fit snugly into even a skinny jeans pocket without making a weird bulge. We found the picture quality wasn’t as good as the GoPro 3 in low light, but the controls are very intuitive, and a nice vibrating function means you don’t have to stare at the LEDs to make sure you’re shooting. It also has the awesome ‘battery booster’ in it, meaning you can recharge this twice without having to plug it in to the wall – allowing you to film for 7 hours outdoors.

iontheaction.co.uk

BUY THIS CAMERA AT: actioncameras.co.uk, snowandrock.com, johnlewis.com

 

GOPRO 3 BLACK EDITION REVIEW

Price: £360
Weight: 155g (with housing)
Max HD frame rate: 120fps @ 720p
Max resolution: 1440p
Battery life: 1.5 hours

GoPro are still the market leaders when it comes to making action cameras, and a glance at the spec of this, their all-singing, all-dancing top-end model, shows you why. It’s the only camera currently on sale that offers 120fps slow-motion at full HD quality, and at regular frame rates the quality can go up to a ridiculous 1440p.

GoPro recently launched an app that allows you to see whatever it is your filming live on your smartphone, and upload direct to Facebook, which (for a lot of users at least) solves the perennial problem of wondering “have I got the shot?” Its lightweight, even with the waterproof housing on, and comes packaged with a WiFi remote, a pivot arm and a couple of mounts as standard. We also thought this worked better in low light than any of its competitors. Where it falls down is the battery life, but if you want the highest quality images and you’re not fussed about the price, GoPro is still the one.

gopro.com

BUY THIS CAMERA AT: snowboard-asylum.com, snowandrock.com, freezeproshop.com, absolute-snow.co.uk

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production