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Opinions on Video Cameras for Skiing


aswinter05
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Getting ready to purchase a nice video camera before our vacation to ski school. I've heard of several people using the Go Pro Heros. Obviously it has to be waterproof since 95% of the video we take is of watersports.

 

So far I'm leaning towards the Go Pro Hero 2. Does anyone else have a different suggestion that I should check out? Also, do any video cameras actually float in addition to being waterproof?

 

The main things that are important to us: Waterproof, high res/quality, versatile when it comes to connecting to computers and/or TV's, and possibly floating?

 

Thanks for your help!

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Here is a link for a video shot from a pylon mounted GoPro, 1080P narrow field of view. Rope length is long line.

youtube.com/watch?v=cBAuMKSPjuM&feature=plcp

 

Here is another at 22 off

 

Here is one at 35 off

youtube.com/watch?v=GgM2eoGOthk&feature=plcp

 

Make sure you change the res to 1080P on youtube. Also the vibration is due to our crapy skiing and slack rope hits

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  • Baller
Check out the Kodak Playsport Zx3 or Zx5. Both are waterproof and can do 1080/30P or 720/60P. Personally, I like the discontinued Zx3 better because the rechargeable batteries can be replaced on the fly. With the Zx5 the entire camera must be plugged into a USB port to charge the non-replaceable battery.
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  • Baller
Love my GoPro. Gives the coolest perspective when I mount it on my ski, chest, or helmet. Definitly worth it but would also like to see the view from the boat. It floats and make sure you get the floaty because without it, I would've lost it a few times. I would recommend it for cool angles but if you want to get good footage from the boat, there's a different camera for you
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I love my GoPro Hero2. I've used it in the boat, on the motorcycle, and skiing, plus on nature hikes. As mentioned above, the fixed zoom makes the skier look distant if it is mounted in the boat, but the performance of the camera is great. It will shoot in HD quality and it also has settings for timed still shots. You do need QuickTime Pro if you are going to edit the movies.

 

I have the floating back door for my case (it will hold it up with any mount except the suction cup mount). For the pylon, I use the roll bar mount which is an accessory you have to buy separate. It comes with a headband and I've worn it while skiing numerous times. They sell a surfboard mount which is actually two adhesive mounts. The second one is for the safety lanyard. GoPro recommends using that setup along with the floating back door and the safety lock on the case if you are going to actually mount it to the ski.

 

Here's an example from behind the boat, and how they hold up in a wipeout (no comments on my hands' position please, lol):

http://youtu.be/f2gaC4H1vWU

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I own a GoPro Hero2, and owned a Kodak Playsport that I can't find right now. I like both cameras for what they are. The GoPro is very cool for POV stuff, and for weird, fun perspectives, but is not nearly as useful as the Kodak for getting vid from the boat to be used for coaching. I wish I could find mine. I guess I may have to order a new one.

 

But, I am also getting a new iPhone which I will put the waterproof case on, so I I guess I could just use that.

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I am just piling on here, butI have both the playsport and the gopro. If you are trying to make cool movies with unique perspectives, get the go pro. If you are trying to video your skiing from the boat to improve your skiing, do that @kelvin and said and get the Zx3 refurbed on ebay. They are super cheap and they take great video. I think I paid less that $50 for mine, but I had to add a larger memory card. I think these two cameras are about the coolest recording devices I have ever owned. They are so easy to use and both take great videos.
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We Really liked our Canon D10 waterproof camera, and as a bonus you can use it for snorkling etc, or pictures in your fish tank. The new version is here and I am sure it is even better. Bonus is that it is a really good camera on top of having 1080 filming available.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-Waterproof-Stabilized-Wide-Angle/dp/B0075SUKIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347243230&sr=8-1&keywords=canon+waterproof+camera

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Maybe a dumb question but I'll ask anyway. Does the Kodak Zx3 and similar allow you to download video directly from the camera to your computer reasonably easily? Timing on this thread is perfect. I need to get a new camera to record sets for review, coaching etc (old one died recently) but need one that a) isn't too pricey, and b) will allow me to download directly to computer. Appreciate the info.

 

Ed

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Had the Kodak Zx5 for a few days now. Super easy to use. Just ordered a 32GB SD Card for it. I'm impressed with the "panning". It's very smooth and steady when panning from side to side. Zoomed in all the way it starts to get a little grainy. Haven't had a chance to load skiing videos yet from it. The owners manual says to record in 720P when capturing sports and activities. Amazing how small the device is. Mine came with a floatation device and an HDMI cord to play videos on an HDTV. So far, very useful! I can see why it got such great reviews.
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@aswinter05, @sunvalleylaw and others. Question - I'm looking at the Zx5 on Amazon, it's a pretty small device physically. Initial thoughts are - looks like it would be awkard to stay focused on a moving subject comfortably for very long peiods of time, and kind of difficult in bright sunlight to stay locked onto the skier having only the small digital view screen to look at the subject through. Thoughts and opinions? Will it mount to a pylon mount or strictly hand held? Come with any necessary accessories (HDMI cord, video cord, battery charger etc)? TIA for your info and opinions.

 

Ed

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@Ed, you will need to buy your own card. It will come with the USB cord you will use for vid, and a charger that plugs into the outlet that you plug the USB cable into for charging. It also charges when it is connected to the computer via USB. IT comes with a wrist cord too. Yes, it is a smaller device, but that is kind of cool as it slips in a pocket, is waterproof, pretty cheap, and takes good vid.

 

Because I can't find mine right now, I have not used it in the boat, but out on the ski hill, I was able to see the screen well enough to keep the action in the frame. You should not need to zoom in a whole lot. You should be able to take vid handheld with it pretty easily after getting used to it. Being under a bimini would help, as it would with any camera.

 

I have not tried to mount it on a pylon, but it does have a tripod mount in its base so you could figure out a way to do that pretty easily I think.

 

Maybe others that have used it in a boat can add more.

 

 

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I 'used to' own a GoPro. I attached it to my ski to video my form one day and never saw it again. I never actually took a real fall either. I almost went out the front but saved it and then just fell back at the apex of a turn. I wouldn't consider either to really have an effect on the camera but it was gone.

 

I haven't replaced the gopro just because I was always depressed with the video when I downloaded it. Always jumpy and the view always seemed to display a lot more of the stuff I didn't care about no matter what angle I had it. IMO a gopro would be totally worthless in the boat. I want something with an optical zoom for that (no digital zoom BS). I'm personally waiting for the new Sony POV cam to come out before I think about buying another one. The Sony HDR-AS10 os AS15 is supposed to have image stabilization built into the camera which is what any POV should've had in the first place. Yes I understand you can do it with software but I don't have the patience to spend hours on end editing and stabilizing hours of video from a recent bike trip or skiing session.

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  • Baller
Sanyo Xacti. What I like is that you hold it like a gun. Super easy. Just aim and shoot. I've used it without looking at the screen. Just point it like your gonna "shoot" the skier and watch the skier and not the screen. Seems to remain very stable with that kind of grip. Also have put it in the hands of someone that's never shot a skier before and told them to aim it like a gun, shoot the skier blah blah.... and it turns out fantastic. Also slow motion and frame my frame/stop frame on board and with the large screen you can review on the spot (3" diagonal screen seen well in sunlight). Of course I got mine before they came out with the waterproof one (second pic). Bummer. Also "Camera Plus" app for iPhone allows user to zoom close when videoing. A bit grainy but functional. Couple that with "VideoPix" app and you can do slow motion and frame by frame/stop frame on the iPhone or I suppose in the iPad (even better for instant review)
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I use the Sanyo Xacti on my trakker mount and it's really nice. I noticed when I used it behind a friends boat that it was difficult to watch the skier and shoot video thinking I was cutting off the skier a lot. When I watched the video later, everything looked fine so the camera takes more than what's on the screen.
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