Helmet cameras are so 2012
YouTube is now full of the same helmet camera videos over and over again, truth be told, it’s getting a bit boring. Thankfully, the latest action cams will follow you automatically, edit the footage for you and even stream live to your own virtual TV channel.
If this is the future, then beam us up
4GEE Action Cam
EE’s phone network now has its own Action Cam, which can stream your videos live over the internet. It looks similar to a GoPro and even uses the same mounts, so you can strap it to your chest, helmet or bike, and it records in HD at 1080p. There’s even a chunky watch to let you control it and see what you’re filming.
Where it differs from the GoPro is live streaming — you can now transmit your video over the 4G network (or record it like a regular camera), letting friends and family watch it over a new player called Skeegle.
It’s an interesting development, even if it’s pretty niche. You’ll have to pay £399.99 (pay as you go, bundled with 24Gb of data) to allow other people to watch your videos — and most live, unedited footage from an action camera is pretty dull. Signing up for a monthly tariff, just like a phone, is also a big commitment for something you’ll probably use sporadically, and then there’s the coverage — you’re unlikely to get full 4G anywhere you want to ride a mountain bike.
Watch our helmet cam footage from the Tweedlove EWS
Perhaps the best way to look at the Action Cam, then, is to see it as a way to buy an HD camera for just £15 a month (24-month contract), dodging the hefty upfront cost of its rivals.
From £15/month, for more information click here
The age of your own personal drone has arrived. The Airdog is basically a flying gimbal and GoPro mount; a drone that automatically takes off (and lands!) and follows you where you ride thanks to an Airleash, worn on your wrist. You’ll get up to 20 minutes’ flight time and the drone goes up to 40mph so should keep up nicely — but of course you also need to buy a GoPro too.
£820 (delivery late 2015), for more information click here
Another drone, the Lily is a neater package than the Airdog and comes with its own 1080p camera. Throw it into the air and it flies, tracking you with the same technology as the Airdog. It’s also waterproof and packs down so you could genuinely get it inside your riding pack. GoPro not included.
£630 (delivery May 2016), for more information click here
The Bandit from sat-nav specialist TomTom has some clever technology going on. An HD video POV camera with 4K quality, the Bandit will also edit your footage for you at the shake of your phone, something it does by measuring your speed, G-force, altitude, rotation and heartbeat and then working out what’s interesting.
£299, for more information click here
3d Robotics Iris +
Iris+ has features galore — it will fly and follow you just as the Airdog and Lily do, or you can fly it manually using a controller. You can also draw a route for it to follow. If it gets lost or runs low on batteries it can be programmed to return home too. Again, you’ll need to buy a GoPro as well.
£380, for more information click here
You may be thinking that the GoPro Session is just another helmet camera, and in a way you’d be right but what sets it apart is the minuscule size. Combine this with the ever expanding range of GoPro mounts available. This opens up a whole new world of different angle that might be possible.
On this video you can see the Session fitting between the spokes of a wheel but we’re sure there are plenty of other places it would fit too. A new or original angle will make your footage stand out from the masses of helmet camera footage out there.