Can you even imagine going heli skiing for a week and then returning home with nothing but stories? Like, just words? No selfies, no thumbs-up in the helicopter, no sick action shot? Of course not.
We live in a world dominated by photos and video. You either take pictures … or it didn’t happen. Fortunately, there are some incredible products on the market right now and we’re here to break down the best ski friendly cameras and accessories.
Olympus Tough TG3
First, let’s talk about the old-fashioned kind of camera. you know, the kind that you need two hands to operate and that doesn’t do anything but take really nice pictures. In my opinion, Olympus has always been the leader in terms of creating hardcore cameras built to withstand incredible abuse and exposure while still delivering the brag-worthy shots people like us tend to demand.
The Tough TG3 is shatterproof, waterproof and can withstand temperatures as low as -10 C (14 F). What’s more, it fits in your pocket without draining your pocketbook. It retails for about $350 USD, and that’s pretty cheap for something that’s going to make you look this good.
GoPro Hero 4
Photos are great, but everything from Instagram to Facebook (and even text messaging) can incorporate video clips these days. So why not give your family and friends something you can really get smug about?
GoPro is still the standard when it comes to wearable video equipment and they’ve recently upgraded to the Hero4, a smaller, lighter and even more convenient camera that retails for just under $400 USD.
Sony ActionCam AS100V
If you can figure out the mounting system for the Sony AS100V, however, it’s a better deal and a better camera for what you’ll likely be shooting. First of all, the camera itself is waterproof right out of the box — unlike GoPros which need a case in order to weather any kind of powder day.
Secondly, the AS100V shoots 120 frames per second (the max for a GoPro) and has superior stabilization technology. What does that mean? Better slow motion captures and less nauseating footage of you crushing hot laps in the trees. Bonus: it’s $100 cheaper than the Hero4 and there’s a smartphone app that lets you control the camera remotely.
Iris+ by 3D Robotics
Finally, we’d be pretty outdated if we didn’t at least acknowledge the existence and probable staying power of drones as camera accessories or, in some cases, cameras themselves. As with all digital camera equipment, each heli skiing operation will have its own set of rules and guidelines in terms of whether or not drones are acceptable so let’s first advise that you always check your particular trip provider’s policies before packing.
Heli skiing aside, however, let’s say you’re going out with friends for a day of backcountry shredding and want a piece of equipment that will act as a reasonable stand-in for a Salomon Freeski TV production team. Our old pal GoPro is in the process of creating their first remote controlled accessory which, I would be willing to bet, is going to be pretty darn sweet.
Another device that will blow minds all over town is The Lily Camera, a drone that will track and follow its pre-programmed subject for up to 20 minutes without any need for remote controlled access. It’s creepy and cool all at the same time. While we wait for technology to catch up with us, there is the Iris+ by techno-wizards, 3D Robotics. The GoPro compatible quadcopter uses patented ‘follow-me’ technology which is basically an invisible selfie-stick. So … cool?
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