Skydiving is an exciting sport, and often one that you only do once in a lifetime (or a few times at most). If you are a regular skydiver, or you are planning your first jump, you might be eager to know how best to document such an exciting venture.
For this, you need the best skydiving action camcorder or camera. Since skydiving involves jumping from high in the sky and descending at top – speeds, there are certain factors you need to consider when choosing your skydiving camera.
What is the Best Action Camcorder for Skydiving?
If you have a skydiving trip upcoming, these action camcorders and cameras mentioned below are perfect for capturing some amazing shots. Any of the above models will give you excellent quality video whilst falling through the sky.
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Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
Garmin has produced a brilliant compact action camera that comes with an excellent performance for skydiving. The raw video footage has a maximum quality of 4K UHD, at 30fps. Coupled with this, if you have a particularly bumpy skydiving session, the 3 – axis image stabilization will ensure your footage is smooth.
Also, if you want to look at advanced metrics and information about your skydiving missions, the Garmin VIRB Ultra provides a host of statistics. You can look at GPS data, and other G – Metrix relating to your skydive. This information can be overlaid on top of your video footage. There are three versions available of this device – VIRB X, VIRB XE, and the VIRB Ultra. The Ultra model provides the best video quality and image stabilization.
GoPro Hero 8
This is the latest model in the Hero range and is more or less one of the best skydiving action cameras. GoPro is well known for creating high – quality action cameras and the Hero 8 is no exception. The device is ultra – compact and one of the smallest in this list – it is lightweight and has an amazing design.
An added bonus is that you can use a wide range of official GoPro accessories and mounts. Note that Video quality is 4K 60FPS and the Hero 8 also features the patented HyperSmooth 2.0 image stabilization. The basic quality of the video and photos is amazing on this device and is difficult to be beaten.
The Hero 8 has a high – quality digital lens that is distortion – free and offers a brilliant wide – angle recording perspective. If you want a reliable device, that is robust and can withstand the pressure of skydiving, the GoPro Hero 8 is a top choice.
Nikon KeyMission 360
Another action camcorder with 360 degrees of 4K film so you can grab those windblown, flappy – cheeked selfies and get great shots of the view from 12,000 feet is the Nikon KeyMission. Same 4K video, but it surpasses most mounted cameras with 23.9mp for photos and a waterproof depth of 100 feet.
However, the most significant disadvantage is that stabilization is not included. There’s no built – in programming to keep your shots balanced on their own, but there are accessories you can use to correct this oversight.
Yi 4K Action and Sports Camera
Yi is an emerging company that produces a wide range of high – quality action cameras. The Yi 4K Action and Sports Camera offer a host of useful settings and brilliant image quality. This particular model can record in 4K HD, and also 720p at 240 FPS – this means that you can create awesome slow – motion footage of your skydiving adventures.
In addition, to ensure your skydiving footage is smooth, the Yi 4K has advanced video stabilization (EIS). Also note that this EIS uses multi – axis gyroscopes and accelerometers to detect movement and adjust accordingly. It leverages the advanced Sony IMX377 image sensor which provides 12MP photo quality.
There are three different versions of this device – each of which provides different image quality – you should consider purchasing the 4K/60 model which has the best quality video. Coupled with its brilliant quality, the Yi 4K also has WiFi connectivity, and a supporting app you can use to download files straight from the camera.
Sony FDR – X3000
This is primarily an underwater camera, but it works fantastic as one of the best skydiving camcorders too. Note that it can record at 4K HD quality. And for photography, it has a 12MP resolution sensor and uses the latest Exmor R sensor from Sony that is used in many DSLR cameras.
The Zeiss Lens is explicitly clear and allows for the creation of beautiful wide – angle photography and video. Have it in mind that the design looks superb, and the white casing is stylish but robust. It is ultra – compact and easy to mount when used during skydiving sessions.
Coupled with this, you can set 3x different zoom lengths which give you greater flexibility for your skydiving footage. Finally, the Sony FDR – X3000 has a built – in GPS and WiFi connectivity so that you can track your movements, and quickly download media to your handheld devices after your skydiving session.
Note that with one of the lowest pixels counts on this list–at only 12mp for photos, it makes up for it with 4K60 for videos. Notably, this entails that ground rushing towards you as you hurtle towards the earth will come out clearer and stay clear if you choose to slow down or enlarge the film.
Still, shots also turn out pretty good if you want to capture that moment right before your parachute opens. In addition, some other perks that come with choosing a GoPro are voice control and touch display. Movement is critical for action sequences, and the 6 comes standard with GoPro’s latest stabilization software, making sure that even though you may be shaking, your camera won’t show it.
It also include Protune–where you can manually control colour, white balance, and shutter speed, and Capture– a new feature that takes multiple pictures at different exposures to combine them together for the best image. And just in case you are going to be skydiving into the Blue Hole off the coast of Belize, this action camera is waterproof up to 33ft.
Olympus TG – Tracker
This is a well known robust camcorder that looks like it can withstand the rigors of skydiving. It comes with a tough exterior shell that provides protection and improves stability. It also has a fixed, fish – eye lens that allows you to take ultra – wide – angle photos and have excellent viewing fields when recording video footage.
When it comes to quality, video recordings are 4K HD, and photos have a resolution of 8MP. Although the resolution of photos is not one of the highest, the quality is still great. Also note that this camera comes with several different settings and you can capture excellent slow – motion footage of your Skydiving.
The design is functional and even with the tough casing; the camera is still lightweight and ultra – compact. One of the best features of the Olympus TG – Tracker is the data log mode. It allows you to look at real – time data on the screen like altitude, location, speed, and distance – this is brilliant for advanced stats relating to your skydiving trips.
Rylo 360 Action Camera
This is a tiny device that packs a punch. The spherical design is robust and easy to handle. There is a standard attachment case, and a range of mounts that make it perfect for skydiving. Coupled with this, the device actually features two lenses – one each side of the camera.
This means that you can capture more action without having to move the device, or continually adjust your positioning whilst skydiving. The connectivity of this camera is also encouraging as you can connect to it using the Magical Rylo App. Note that this allows you to upload videos and photos straight to your Smartphone or tablet.
Finally, this device is capable of recording at 5.3K HD – your video footage and photos will look amazing and have excellent clarity. Also note that this device has high – quality image stabilization meaning that you can pull off some awesome mid – air twists and turns without reducing the smoothness of the recording.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Camcorder for Skydiving
Even though cost should not be the determining factor of choosing a camcorder or a camera, it often is. Note that budgets are limited and video cameras and camcorders in the market are only going to take you so far. Other factors such as resolution, will likely be compromised to fit your budget.
Just imagine acquiring a camera and testing it out. You have paid money for the camera and skydive. On uploading the video to your computer, you find the footage is pixelated and out of focus. This would be hugely disappointing. That is why the resolution is important. Ideally, a camera that can record in full 1080p HD format would be suitable.
When acquiring an action camcorder for skydiving, remember that most do not offer lens widths sufficient for most inside or tandem – oriented skydiving. Wide angle lens adapters are commonly found on camcorders used for skydiving.
For most skydiving use, a .5 or double field of view lens is sufficient. If you are flying inside video for FS or Free flying, a .3 or more than double wide field of view is generally desired. Anything wider than a .3 is going to be relegated to hand cam or specialized use.
Also depending on the size of the lens thread, a step-up or step-down ring might be necessary. Step – down rings almost always assure a vignette shot (black circle around your video frame), whereas step – up rings rarely cause a vignette. Step-up and step-down rings are very cheap. Some are plastic, others are aluminium.
Some professionals also prefer plastic rings because if a riser strike or line catches on a lens and tears it off, the plastic ring will give way before damaging the camera. The plastic rings also deteriorate in strength when exposed to sunlight. If you use a plastic step ring, ensure to periodically inspect it to be sure it’s not become brittle or cracked due to sun exposure.
The Best skydiving camcorders and action cameras need hands – free operation. Video cameras can be manually started or stopped in the aircraft, but for convenience and comfort, most camera flyers use a control system of some sort. You should also consider mounts and attachments. Different cameras have a variety of attachments. Some, for example, may have a head strap. Others may have wrist straps or even chest straps.
Flying with a camcorder or camera can be a lot of fun, and is a reasonably easy goal for new skydivers to achieve. But before beginning, you will need to make a couple of gear decisions straight off. GoPro’s models are obviously a top choice. This company is renowned for creating magnificent quality recording devices. But many of the other options here are great choices too.