Buying an outdoor action video camera – initial thoughts and choice made


Well, I have wanted to get one of these for a while now and think it will be useful to help catalogue some of my bike rides and walks. I wanted something thats primarily a sports video camera but also takes still pictures too. Action video cameras have been around for a few years and dominated in particular by the likes of GoPro. As technology has improved so have these action cameras designed specifically with outdoor hobbies in mind. So why what were the options?

I spent hours looking at the relative merits of the market leaders and also the bottom end of the market. I compared resolution, features, accessories, customer feedback, price, size, weight and weather resistance. I am the first to admit I am a little lacking in modern technical skills and dont speak the lingo….. Therefore I was reduced to looking at specifications carefully and relying on opinions. So what were my main requirements?

– Weather proof (water proof a bonus)
– a reasonable resolution for pictures and video (in my head above 5MP for the camera and a minimum of 720P for the video)
– mountable on a bike
– good battery life
– robust
– reasonably small and light
– competitively priced

After some research and filtering out, I came down to three basic choices:

– GoPro Hero 3 Silver
– Drift HD
– Sony HDR AS10

The GoPro was the most expensive, the Drift the cheapest. All gave 1080P video resolution and all had reasonable accessories. For me, apart from price, the Drift HD was weather proof without the need for an external case (as in the case of the others) and a decent size and weight. It also had on balance some very good reviews. It didnt have wi-fi built in but to me thats a very expensive feature and something I wouldnt use necessarily. It also had a playback screen and a rotating lens meaning that no matter how the camera is mounted, I can always get the picture the right way up! I have to admit price was a big part of the choice but for me the Drift HD was a better alrounder and likely to get used more by me.

Well, I took the plunge and got the camera a couple of weeks ago. I have taken it out a couple of times and had a thorough play with it. I have even read the instructions which is a first for me. I’ll post a first impressions entry in a few days time. I will expand upon the features that drew me to it and a balanced appraisal on whats good and not so good.


About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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6 Responses to Buying an outdoor action video camera – initial thoughts and choice made

  1. Robin says:

    Backpackbrewer candid camera. Oh no!

  2. Karl says:

    Why not just a waterproof digital camera?

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Standard digital cameras dont have the same field of view as outdoor action cameras/video recorders.

      I know some people who do mount digital cameras on bikes etc but having gone through reams and reams of info, the outdoor action camera option seems the best technically

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