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.
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.