Ski Video Helmet Camera Faceoff: GoPro vs Sony Action Cam

January 30th, 2013

The market for personal videos will soon see more POV HD helmet camera as their popularity grows and the technology becomes better and less expensive. The popularity is driven by the social media craze and the ability for everyone out there to record their own adventure. From recreational to professional users, thrill seekers to film producers, goof balls to emergency personnel, everyone is interested in POV cameras. Its fun, easy and now a staple of ski helmets all over the world. If you don’t remember the story of the Gaper Spirit Animal, he used 4 GoPros simultaneously to make sure that nothing about his experience went uncaptured.


The question is who designs the best POV camera capable of delivering the best features for all levels of photographers and all levels of sport enthusiasts? While there is no clear winner, there are close contenders and certain features that if uncovered will help you determine which alien antenna is right for you.  Below you can find SkiGenie’s take on what the market has to offer.


Summary Recommendation:

  • Overall Ease of Use:  For the simplest platforms and ease of use, the GoPro 3 basic white version or Contour Roam will suit your needs.
  • Waterproof:  The GoPro has a easy to use waterproof case without the case, so if you are someone who demands extra protection from the weather or accidents this is for you
  • Quality:  For a few bucks more than GoPro’s cheapest model, you can give the high quality Sony a try, it provides few headaches.  However, the mounting options are not yet optimized, so check them out first
  • Video Quality:  Sony Action Camcorder beats GoPro With Hi-Def And Slo-Mo
  • Fashion:  Aesthetically speaking, the GoPro is favored over the Sony by many users


Do not forget to look at the accessories and what comes with each model. This could be a deal breaker or maker for you.


There are small differences that make each of these cameras unique and give each its own price. The main differences to look for are their Field of Vision (FOV) which ranges from 127 degrees to 170, the quality of the picture (all of these cameras are HD, but the picture quality ranges from 720p to 1080p), and the price. Other than that there are a few unique features in the most expensive cameras, like Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS.


GoPro 3



Presently the market’s most popular and versatile POV mountable camera (being the 2013 X Games sponsor at Aspen certainly is a plus).  The camera comes in three versions; the latest is the GoPro3, which is now available (but has some minor software bugs — if purchased before today can be patched by visiting the GoPro site for important software updates). GoPro is the camera of choice for mounting options and versatility (head, chest, pole, virtually any mount is available in their accessories store). However, people often criticize the look and style, it’s awkwardly placed, but lets face it skiers are thrill seekers and not fashionistas. Now you can comfortably say, everyone’s got one, so it doesn’t matter. And the aesthetics are continuing to improve, the camera has been reduced in size by 30% and weight by 25%. It is not the most intuitive operating system and the battery life is still suspect in the bitter cold.


What People Say about the GoPro 3:


  • A vast improvement from the previous version
  • The low light issue with the previous versions has been addressed and works wonderfully in low light
  • New frame rates for the HD video recording is superb — it takes extremely clear video and with ProTune mode on (1080p @60fps) the video can easily be edited into extreme slow motion with aftermarket editing software. The other frame rates on the lower quality filming offer smooth slow motion (although not extreme slow mo)
  • Another impressive attribute of this camera is its various time-lapse modes…. And photoburst mode is also great for capturing high speed action shots


Skier’s PROS: Mounting options , Extreme durability, Crisp Imaging, Great Time-lapse Modes, HD Video Quality, Image Stability, Protune
Skier’s CONS: Battery Life, GoPro Customer Service, Not so attractive on the helmet, No LCD, Freezes


GoPro3 White On Sale Here ($224 or less)

Go Pro3 Silver On Sale Here ($299 or less)

Go Pro 3 Black On Sale Here ($399 or less)


Sony HD Action Cam

sonyThe competition is heating up and Sony has introduced a new POV camera to its product lineup. GoPro has some more competition to contend with skiers and riders! The Sony action camcorder take on the competition in Hi-Def quality and Slo-Mo capabilities. However, the camera is slightly heavier and lacks the mounting options of a GoPro. This camera would be perfect if it had a rotating lens like Contour or Drift cameras.



What People Say:

  • Sony did excellent research in designing its Exmor R sensor which is very good in low lighting conditions, it gave the best slow motion 120fps (1280x720p only) capture so all your high vibration actions can be watched on big screen without headache or dizziness scene
  • High definition (to see every detail), a waterproof case (so I don’t have to worry about taking a dip), a slim and stylish body (to match my own!) and probably some other things I haven’t thought of yet. And here comes the Sony HDR-AS10 HD Action Camcorder, which takes care of all of these bullet points, including the last one. However, the fun stops there, the mounts need to be better and application/setting controls are lacking.


Skier’s PROs: Excellent sensor, slow motion, Micro SD card, excellent for deep water, water proof (with housing), shock-proof


Skier’s Cons: mounting options are not comprehensive enough for alternative skier mounts, heavier with 6 oz wt. inc housing, lesser sound quality and poorer push button controls due to the housing.



Sony Action Sports Camcorder On Sale Here ($119!!! or less)



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