POV action cameras are literally everywhere at the moment – due in large part to GoPro and their relentless marketing machine. It’s never been easier to capture that adventure selfie across a variety of different sports. Here at Sitons HQ we’re big fans of these mini waterproof cameras as they help us when conducting kit tests and reviews. Here’s a selection of our favourites and a couple of mounting options we’re fans of. If you’re looking to nail that ultimate sit on kayaking shot then these babies will help you out.
GoPro Hero 4 Silver action cam
Price as tested: £279.00 Buy from Amazon GoPro continue to set the standard for POV action cams and it’s not hard to see why. As well as putting a monumental amount of effort into spreading the GoPro word their products are top drawer. The latest addition to the GoPro family is the Hero 4 Silver – which we’ve been playing with for the last few weeks. GoPro’s easy to use interface allows riders to switch settings and mode with one touch – essential if you’re flicking between video and photos. The waterproof housing is pretty secure with spring a loaded lock protecting the unit. With its great battery life, awesome magazine quality image capturing and HD video it’s not hard to see why GoPro is the most popular POV action cam on the market.
Contour ROAM 3 action cam
Price as tested: £184.99 Buy from Amazon Snapping at GoPro’s heels is Contour’s ROAM 3 offering, which although having disappeared from the scene for a while, is now back and fully in contention. A very distinct looking and different design to GoPro’s Hero range, the ROAM 3 offers arguably the easiest on/off video mode with funky slider, positioned on top of the unit, operated by a quick flick of the finger. What’s not quite as good is the photo setting which is fiddly to initiate. That said, you can still grab some OK pics but it’s Contour’s video mode which is the real winner. As an additional funky couple of features, the ROAM 3 also has a unique laser level and 180 degree rotating lens. Contour’s ROAM 3 also doesn’t need any water housing as it’s fully submersible.
Rollei action cam
Price as tested: £36.00 Buy from Amazon Moving towards the budget end of the spectrum and Rollei’s offering is more affordable than the higher end offerings above. While not quite as high spec, which you’d expect when paying less, it’s still possible to capture decent pics and video. The funky in built touch screen LED screen is a nifty addition, although this can’t be used once inside its waterproof housing and we don’t really recommend bringing it into the open when at the beach. A fairly intuative operating system allows for easy use and the results we’ve had from the Rollei have been pretty good.
SJ4000 action cam
Price as tested: £46.00 Buy from Amazon The SJ4000 is hardly an original product, let’s be honest. Looking very similar to the more recognisable GoPro it offers a wallet friendly POV action cam option that performs surprisingly well. The LED screen and easy menu/settings navigation makes toggling between cam and video super efficient. It’s always worth checking the locking mechanism of the SJ4000’s water housing as it can stick. We had a slightly unnerving incident when it opened during an on water session! It also has annoying habit of switching off if the power mode button is accidentally knocked – something which is the result of paddling a kayak. As much as the SJ4000 isn’t a unique product it does offer a decent level of performance without breaking the bank.
Flymount action cam mount
Price as tested: £74.50 Flymount’s camera mounting system is a heavy duty, well manufactured clamp type product that attaches to any cylindrical shaft – such as a paddle. It’s extremely secure and accommodates s a variety of different actions cams. The only downside is having to hold your paddle at a distance when capturing the action, otherwise you get a lot of up close and personal facial footage.
The Flymount works well if there’s more than one person paddling. As long as you’re close enough you can film or shoot your mate.
K4 Harness Mount
Price as tested: £80.00 Although designed specifically for windsurfing we’ve found the K4 Harness Mount works well in sit on kayak mode. Having secured it to an old windsurfing harness, it perches above you and films or shoots downwards, allowing the rider to focus on paddling. In terms of angles it’s pretty limiting, and will only take GoPro style cams, but it does give a wide depth of view and is great for when needing to capture kayak paddles or boats in action.
Joby action cam mounts
Price as tested: £29.99 Buy from Amazon American brand Joby specialise in action cam mounts and have a plethora of different options for a wide range of POV action cams. We recently got hold of the Joby suction cup, locking arm, Gorilla Pod and action grip and use them extensively. All of Joby’s mounts are suitable for various types of shot and swapping between will give the greatest variety of action. If you’re lucky enough to have access to multiple action cams then mounting them in different places around your sit on kayak (or person) will give a varied number of shots and video footage – you’ll just have to wade through it all and edit once you’re back at base.
The above list isn’t anywhere near conclusive – a vast array of cams and mounting options are available. This should, however, give you a starting point for shooting your own sit on top kayaking action.