5 Best Action Cameras for Hiking and Backpacking of 2016

Long hikes and backpacking trips require serious gear considerations especially if you’re fond of taking pictures and making videos in the wild. Choosing the best action cameras for hiking that would be portable, reliable, and take a wide variety of photos and videos might be quite challenging. Fortunately, the market abounds in categories from simple and compact to full-frame digital SLR cameras that are durable, weather-sealed, and lightweight to provide maximum performance and endurance during your bug-out adventure. On a recent expedition with some of my buddies from Bakehouse Aerial Filming, I realised that we needed a ground based camera to complement our DJI Phantom 3 – here’s the best of my research findings.

Before I continue with my top picks action cameras of 2016, I’d like to mention that in spite the fact that these are my ‘personal best buys’ and there are obviously much more offerings on the market, this choice was based on my long experience of utilizing various point-of-view shooters to create HD footage in different wild sceneries and surroundings. Depending on your budget and your shooting goals, I’d recommend the following models:

Yi Action Camera

This is a perfect solution for hikers who’re on the budget but want to make full HD videos with a lightweight durable device that one can hardly notice in his or her bug-out bag. Its key features like 155-degree angle lens, 11 video, and 4 photo modes, motion stabilization and image 3D noise compensation make it a real action cam that can be successfully utilized for your craziest expedition.

Tom Tom Bandit

The main reason why I chose this model as one of the best action cameras for hiking is that it automatically collects all sorts of data from the GPS, accelerometer and altitude sensors as well as marks highlights if it considers the footage to be special. Besides, it has a powerful battery that can provide up to three hours of non-stop filming which is quite impressive for such a small device.


This waterproof (up to 120 feet) 360-degree angle action cam housed in a durable action-ready case provides a high-definition resolution up to 1504×1504 and is a perfect choice for those who want to film their next stunt or make videos of their backpacking adventures for a considerably low price. The device is really compact weighing only 1.2 pounds while it’s tiny dimensions (7,5x4x4 inches) would make me take this great cam just about anywhere.  6-camera

Sony HDR-AS50R

Although not as popular as the GoPro, the characteristics, and the performance make this model deservedly stand right next to the leader. Its 60m waterproof housing makes it a perfect solution for divers while the Sony’s famous SteadyShot image stabilization system will ensure your next crazy video is not shaking. I’m pretty sure this one would be my choice of the best action cameras for hiking if Sony hadn’t come up with its undisputable leader GoPro Hero 4.

GoPro Hero 4

The ultra-high 4K30, 2.7K60, and 1080p120 video resolutions for professional filming, as well as 720p240 for super slow-motion coupled with automatic adjusting for low light surroundings, and plenty of other features like SmartRemote make this great model by Sony my most desired choice of an action cam. Although it’s far from being cheap, the quality it offers is really worth the investment.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Render Video in HD by Using Sony Vegas

Rendering video in HD is simply a must if you want to create high quality video content. Besides, the majority of the modern devices record in high definition which means you cannot simply avoid dealing with this sort of footage. One of my favorite video editors for HD rendering is Sony Vegas. It’s a simple and highly-efficient tool with a variety of useful presets. Here are some basic steps to follow when using this app to render HD video.


  1. GPU acceleration.
    Before you start using this program, make sure you install a compatible graphic-processing hardware. This will allow to significantly decrease the rendering time while your system resources won’t be overloaded with too many computations. To do this, I click the ‘Video Tab’ pane and choose the ‘GPU acceleration of video processing’ in the drop-down menu. Don’t forget to click ‘Apply’ afterward to save your adjustments.
  2. Adjust the project properties.
    If you want to opt for specific project properties other than those set up by default, go to ‘File’>’Properties’. The menu that will pop up will offer to adjust the basic video and audio settings for each of the pre-set templates as well as to choose the pre-rendered files folder.
    The list of templates is quite long, however, you’ll need only a couple of them to render video in HD. I normally select the ‘HDV 720-30p’ or ‘HD 1080-60i’ when filming in NTSC while for PAL videos it’s better to opt for ‘HDV 720-25p’ or ‘HD 1080-50i’.
  3. Choose the quality of render.
    Once the template has been selected, I always go to the drop-down menu at ‘Project Properties’>’Video’ pane to choose the ‘Best’ full resolution rendering quality. In cases I need to render 1080p video, I also adjust the frame field order by selecting ‘None (progressive scan)’ in the same menu. This usually results in a more even video.
  4. Render the video.
    The next step includes selecting the output format which is done in the ‘Render As’ pane. Although there are many great HD formats in this menu, I normally use Sony AVC/MVC (a great choice for older versions of Sony Vegas) or Main Concept AVC/AAC which can render video in HD quite fast due to GPU acceleration.
    The Main Concept template has several advantages and can be expanded and customized to match every video in the best possible way. You can adjust the frame rate for less stammering or change the bitrate to cut back on the final size of your project.
  5. Start processing.
    After you finish your entire project and rendering adjustments, it’s time to start the processing which is done by clicking the ‘Render’ button in the ‘Render As’ menu. The status bar and the frame counter will pop up so you can check the progress of render. To avoid spending too much time, make sure you close all the unnecessary applications to provide as many hardware resources as possible.

How to Get the Most out of Sony Vegas Pro 13

If you’re an amateur video shooter, having a good video editor can take your projects to the next level. One of the great software that many users choose for video computing is Sony Vegas. Although some people would argue that all of its versions starting from 6.0 might look pretty much the same, each upgrade has its specific features. For anyone looking to learn more about Sony Vegas Pro 11, this guide provides useful tips and tricks to get the most out of the program. Here’s how you can do it.10-vegas

  • Use HD 1080 Internet template.
    If you want to upload a full-screen high-resolution video on your own website as well as on some popular streaming web pages like YouTube or Vimeo, select the ‘Render As’ menu and render to the Main AVC Concept by using the Internet HD 1080 Internet template. Not only will this provide you with a high-quality video but may also speed up the rendering process significantly by drawing on the card’s GPU.
  • Enable progressive download.
    Once you’ve selected the checkbox box this option in the ‘Video Tab’ of the ‘Custom Setting’ menu, you will now provide users with the possibility to seek through the video even before it’s fully downloaded to their computers from the streaming server.

Sort your list of favorites.
To avoid looking through a great number of formats, the Sony Vegas Pro 11 offers a useful upgrade that enables to sort out your frequently-used templates so you could have them handy anytime. To do this, you’ll need to open the ‘Render As’ dialog box and push the ‘Add this render template to your favorites’ button. While selecting this option, you can also check the ‘Show favorites only’ box that will simply hide all the other templates that you don’t use.

If you want to control the position of several events on your timeline, the ‘Grouping’ function will help keep them related, while another great feature – ‘Sync Link’ will allow adjusting each separate piece in the whole group without changing the rest of it.


Animated text.
Once you click the ‘Media Generators’ tab you can proceed to the ‘Titles and Text’ menu that will help you to quickly generate an animated text for your video timeline. There are dozens of presets available which you can simply drag to or remove from your timeline. To adjust the size and position your animated text in the most appropriate manner, use the ‘Title and Text’ generator that can be found in the ‘Video Preview’ menu.


One of the greatest features you can benefit from in Sony Vegas Pro 11 is the Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) computing. If your device supports the OpenCL standard for GPU and can provide at least 512 MB of GPU memory, you can significantly lighten the load of the CPU (Central Processing Unit) and make your hardware work faster and more efficiently.

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