Action Cams Are Getting Smarter
New gear, featuring better mounting, portability, and durability, to capture your most epic days
Capturing the next great action shot might require a clever angle, good lighting, and doing something a little reckless (at least, if you’re in the Devin Super Tramp camp). But it also helps to have the right gadgets at hand. These brand-new picks extend farther, last longer, and look way better than the gear that came before. And that’s only good news for your YouTube account.
LowePro Dashpoint AVC 1 case
At last, a quality case designed specifically for action cams. The customizable interior securely fits a GoPro or similar-size POV and an organization panel for securing SD cards and chargers. The smart construction and composite shell kept our kit safe even after we accidentaly buried the case in the bottom of our haul bag on a 12-mile approach hike in the Alps. $40; lowepro.com
Contour+2 action camera
Though comically large—it’s nearly twice the size of a GoPro—the Contour+2 wins points for its intuitive lens-rotation system, which allowed us to mount it at any angle without fussing with menus and settings. The external microphone produces surprisingly good sound, and the GPS overlay let us save speed, elevation, and distance data. $300; contour.com
GoPro 3-Way camera mount
This lightweight transformer mount functions as a sturdy grip, a tripod, or a boom that extends up to 20 inches. Add a $10 adapter for the Hero 3+ or any DSLR and you’ll never need to jury-rig a mounting system again. $70; gopro.com
Samsung NX Mini camera
You no longer have an excuse for snapping photos only with your phone. Samsung’s 21-megapixel NX Mini is half an inch shorter than an iPhone 5s and not much wider, and thanks to shutter speeds ranging from 30 seconds to 1/16,000 second and an array of compatible lenses, it captures vastly superior images. $400; samsung.com
Peak Design Capture POV clip
If you’ve ever tried mounting an action cam onto a chest strap or backpack, you’ll know that it’s almost impossible to get smooth footage while on the move. Peak Design solved this problem with the Capture clip, which uses a stabilizing pad, locking clamp, and bolt tightener to hold mounted cameras steady, even when attached to ski boots and jiggly straps. $70; peakdesignltd.com
How to Shoot Like a Pro
Tips from Corey Rich
- Approach selfies like portraits. Pay attention to composition.
- Let it blur. If you shoot something in motion at 1/1,000 second, it looks frozen in time. But action shots turn creamy and beautiful at 1/5 second.
- Use backlighting. Expose for shadows. Cut off body parts. Break the rules and find what works.
- Alter the angle. Lie on your stomach; stand on top of a car. It’s the only way to see things differently.