There are many options when considering a new camera for boardsports. Especially if you skate, surf or snowboard the demand for special features are high. Is it rugged enough to withstand the many beatings it will face on the battlefield? Is it waterproof and does it produce stunning images?
Before deciding on a new camera, we feel it is important to fully understand the different tools that add up to a great shoot. In reality, it takes a lot more than a great performance in front of the camera in order to get stunning footage, but today this its relatively cheap to achieve if you know what to buy. Here is a short list of some of the equipment that will help you get the perfect shot.
Go Pro Hero 6: $499
The GoPro HERO6 Black is the undisputed king of action cameras. It shoots 3840 x 2160 RAW format, which is very impressive. In other words, it shoots in very high resolution, and in a format that is superior for post-production. It also comes with great image stabilization, and now you can now record 4K at 60fps (rather than 30fps on the Hero5 Black) and 1080p at 240fps, which makes for epic slow-motion shots. Did we mention its fully waterproof down to 30 ft of water?
Besides these features, it also comes with a long range of other features, such as voice control, an ultra-responsive touchscreen, speedier automatic editing for quick stories and a brand new GP1 chip. It’s without a doubt the most used camera for boardsports, so it has passed the test of time, so it’s a safe choice.
Nikon Key mission 360: $499
The Nikon KeyMission 360 is a camera with quite unique features. It shoots in amazing 4K, but it also captures literately everything, and I mean EVERYTHING when turned on. It has 2 lenses which enable the possibility to shoot in all directions at the same time. The camera has waterproof performance to a depth of 100 ft without housing attached. and is shockproof up to a drop of 6 ft.
This is indeed a compact, lightweight and rugged camera for boardsports.
Black magic design Micro Cinema Camera: $995
When considering a camera, many will say that the most important thing is the lens. A typical action camera has no lens options, because of its small sensor and compact form factor, but if you want both a high-quality action camera and the possibility to change lens, well then we might suggest you take a look at the Blackmagic Design Micro Cinema Camera. We love the Black Magic cameras, and here is why you might consider buying one of these.
First and foremost its small enough to act exactly as an ideal action camera for boardsports. You can mount it on quadcopters, use it as a crash cam or place it in dangerous locations. You can also manage the camera remotely via the built-in wireless control system. But this camera has a lot more to offer. It has a super 16 sensor (which is good) and 13 stops of dynamic range (which is excellent).
But the camera also features an active Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens mount. This means that you can use professional lenses, and as stated this is important. This means you can get a super sharp image with a blurred background (shallow depth of field) if you are looking for the “film look”. Furthermore, the camera shoots Cinema DNG RAW files that are 12-bit, giving you all of the data from the camera’s sensor uncompressed.
If you are willing to do without the hyper portability of the action cameras, then it is possible to buy cameras that offers professional features such as shooting in uncompressed formats, having many stops of light, the ability to shoot in higher frame rates for slow motion, and a wide selection of high-quality lenses. We know this may seem odd to put in a list over the best cameras for shooting boardsports, but the fact is that hardly any big skateboard, surf or snowboard edits are made with action cameras. Sure, a lot of scenes within the part is shot with an action camera, but the majority of all professional boardsport films/edits, are shot with a traditional camera. So let’s share some info on which cameras we like.
Canon EOS REBEL T7i (EOS 800D): $749
The Canon EOS REBEL T7i is part of the best selling camera series (Rebel) in the world. The rebel cameras are widely known as the entry-level prosumer camera and for good reason. Canon has been industry standard among independent filmmakers for a great period of time, and Canon is still considered the king of DSLRs.
The camera uses a new 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF. The Cmos censor gained approval from users all over the world as being top notch. The camera captures 1080/60p video and shoots in uncompressed RAW format. It also has Wi-FI, NFC, and Bluetooth, and has internal autofocus.
The lens mount is Canon EF/EF-S. This means that you will only be able to use Canons EF/EF-S lenses, which is known to be quite pricey. This is important because you are not only buying a camera, but also dedicating to a certain lens type. There are workarounds, but you take some time to fully grasp the importance of lens types since you will be spending as much or more money on lenses as the camera body.
Panasonic GH5: $ 1,997
We have used the older Panasonic GH4 for some time now, so it’s a no-brainer that we recommend the PANASONIC LUMIX GH5. In this price range, no other camera has more to offer in terms of quality and functionality. First and foremost it packs a 20 MB MFT sensor. We are aware that some photogs a preferring a full frame sensor, but we are asking why? Yes, the MFT is still the new kid on the blog, but quite frankly we think it’s here to stay for a reason, it rocks.
The camera films in the 4K video up to 60p which is quite impressive, to be honest, and if you “only” want to shoot in full HD this can be done in 180 frames per second, which enables the ability to make those super slow motion scenes in really good quality. Besides these features, the camera also has ultra fast motion detection and focus. To top everything off, the camera is really well built. It can withstand the normal beatings from the battlefield, but it is also freezeproof (down to 10 degrees) and splash and dustproof. We truly think this camera will be a solid investment, and it will serve you well in many years.
Ursa Mini 4K: $2,995
We know this is probably a little expensive for the average photogs, but as stated earlier we really love Black Magic designs. And we truly believe that these cameras are worth the extra money. Not long ago a camera like this was only available for people shooting big budget videos in Hollywood.
The Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4K is a true gem of a camera, and we don’t even know where to begin. The URSA Mini 4K from Blackmagic Design is a very good production camera. It’s a 4K camera that can deliver the resolution 4000 x 2160 in 60p and 1920×1080 in 120p. The camera has a built-in 5-inch touchscreen display, giving you the best prerequisites for the optimal image.
It has a super-35mm CMOS-sensor, that shoots CinemaDNG Raw (Lossless or 3:1 Compressed) bed 4000 x 2160 (film dynamic range) Apple ProRes bed 3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1080 (film or video dynamic range). It has an EF mount, but Black Magic offers other solutions based on your needs. It has XLR inputs for recording sounds in high quality, and it has a 1080p touchscreen, and it only weighs around 2,3 kgs.