Helmet cameras are unique. They can be attached to a range of action gears like helmets, bikes, surfboards among other devices. Unlike the conventional cameras, the action cameras are small, very tough and easy to operate. They capture the thrilling moments in lovely high definition pictures in a wide angle perspective. In this informative review, I share with you the special features of the best helmet cam in 2017.
The helmet cameras can be mounted on the conventional camcorder casings to allow for better functionality. As technology grows exponentially, the action cameras get smaller, lighter and more advanced by the days. One thing that has made these cameras very popular is their impressive point of views.
Regardless of their small sizes, they have a wide fish eye perspective of the action. No wonder sports participants attach them to their gears and equipment when pulling up rare stunts. They are also used a lot by video production companies in situations where the traditional video cameras wouldn’t be convenient.
Currently, the famous GoPro brand is the leading producer of the helmet cameras. Their box shaped “Hero” versions have been customers’ favorites for a while now. This has challenged other players in that field to come up with better versions that can compete with the GoPros fairly. If you love outdoor action recreational activities, then these “bullet cameras” are for you.
Our top picks
|Product name||Weight||Camera Quality||Dimensions||Price|
|Contour ROAM2||1.55 pounds||1080p||3.25 x 1.12 x 1.75 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Sony HDRAS100V/W||1.25 pounds||13.5MP||6.5 x 4.75 x 1.6 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|GoPro HERO3||2.35 pounds||1080/60 pixels||1.6 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Veho Muvi||1.9 pounds||1080p||2 x 0.75 x 3 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Drift Innovation Stealth 2||0.3 pounds||1080p||3.15 x 1.7 x 1.1 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|GoPro HERO4 Silver||0.32 pounds||1080p||1.53 x 2.79 x 2.8 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Veho Muvi Pro||0.45 pounds||480p||5 x 2.5 x 5 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Tachyon OPS||0.6 pounds||1080p||2.9 x 4.9 x 6 inches||Check price on Amazon|
Things to Consider When Buying a Helmet Camera
Before you start combing the internet for action cameras, you need to exactly what features you are looking for in the ideal helmet camera. There are hundreds of them out there with different features meant for different purposes, so if you are not sure of the features you need, you’d be confused and you’d easily settle on something not appropriate for your outdoor activity. Here are a few factors to keep in mind.
The camera frame is an aspect you will definitely want to consider. It’s often expressed in frames per second and denoted as fps. The best helmet camera so far offers up to 120 frames per second while the average offers 30 fps. So if you want standard playback then the 30 fps camera would be just okay for you.
But if you want to use the footage captured to create some impressive video scenes then I would recommend the 120 fps. The high fps videos can be slowed down so that you can play the quality videos smoothly to see the unique features of the images. It can be slowed down to the ideal 30 fps for smooth playback.
The resolution of a camera matters a great deal. The quality of the pictures and videos you’ll be shooting depend squarely on the resolution of the camera. As per now, the best helmet camera can capture a footage at 4k with a frame of 120 fps. 4K resolution with 30 fps will give a good quality footage but if the action is fast, a resolution of 4k at 60 fps would be ideal. The good thing with the versatile 4k resolution is that the video can be cropped while maintaining a stable quality of 1080 pixels.
The manner in which the camera mounts onto the helmet would affect a lot. Not all action cameras are suitable outdoor sports. Different camera shapes allow for different mounting mechanisms. If you want a stable mounting system, I would recommend a camera that screws on to your helmet and comes with different mounting accessories.
Is It Waterproof?
Waterproofing is yet another important aspect you should put into consideration. If you are looking forward to using the camera in a wet environment then you should go for a waterproof device. Some cameras can work in up to sixty meters depth under water while others can on work under a depth of half a meter. If you will be shooting videos under water opt for one that can work under deep waters. You may also want to get a water repellant casing to improve the device’s waterproofing.
Controls and Apps
There are a wide range of camera control systems. Some are simple and easy to use while others are sophisticated. Before you buy a helmet camera, take time to understand the on camera controls, its applications and wireless features. I love the Hero versions, they have simple one button control systems. They also have a wireless system that allows you to control and adjust the settings using an application.
This can be easy for some people while others would find it cumbersome so go for what you feel comfortable with. Many Kodak action camera have an LCD control platform which is bright and user friendly. They don’t require any technical know how to operate. I would go for them if I wanted something I can adjust its settings with ease.
A good app makes the camera controls fun and in some instances complements poor on camera control knobs. For example, some camera applications can be installed on mobile devices. Once you have the app on your phone you can use your phone to change the settings, edit the pictures, transfer the pictures wirelessly to other platforms and do a lot more. In a sense, the applications improve the camera’s usefulness.
The ultimate factor to consider when choosing a helmet camera is the performance. If the performance is good, the camera is good and if the performance is poor the camera is bad. It ultimately comes down to that. So when choosing a camera, go for the overall performance above everything else.
I have filmed up to three hours footage with many action cameras, some give consistent quality while others give footage of deteriorating quality over time. Others are easy to mount while other have faulty mounting systems. Some can withstand different environmental conditions while others break down under adverse environmental conditions. At the end of the day, a helmet camera is as good as its performance.
Featured in This Roundup
Choosing a helmet cam has its fair share of challenges. This is why we are going to help you out. In this section, I share with you some of the best action cameras in the market today. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
Price: $99 – $170
Weight: 1.55 pounds
Dimensions: 3.25 x 1.12 x 1.75 inches
Specific features: Ultra wide bird’s eye view of 170 degrees, Auto installation contour software, 3 different modes for recording videos, buoyant and waterproof, 1080p resolution at 30 fps
Best use: Action camera, outdoor camera, hiking, camping
The Contour ROAM2 Camera has been among the top helmet cameras since the launch of its prototype 3 years ago. However, the company has not been so versatile in coming up with more advanced versions of this camera while other companies are continually coming up with better versions of their cameras. This camera is the latest kid in the ‘’Contour’’ block.
The camera has all the control buttons on its backdoor panel and a record switch at the top front part of the camera. There are some drawbacks to it though like the video qualities of footages captured by this device are good but in poorly lit environment the video may have some graininess.
For the price, this is one of the more feature rich and most versatile helmet camera that you can find in the market.
- Easy to use
- Long lasting battery life
- Minimal instructions provided
- Heavier as compared to predecessors
Related: There is also a micro SD memory card that is often bought together with this helmet camera. The SanDisk Ultra 32 GB micro SDHC UHS-I Card is the ultimate memory card you need to save those stunning images whenever you go out.
Why it is recommended is because it has a transfer speed of up to 80 MB/s and also comes with SD adapter for use in cameras. No worries when using it in harsh weather conditions as the 32 GB micro card is waterproof, temperature proof, shock proof, X ray proof and magnet proof.
Price: Approx. $149
Weight: 1.25 pounds
Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.75 x 1.6 inches
Specific features: Advanced image stabilization, splash proof body, view and control via smartphone
Best use: Hiking, outdoor action camera, camping
The Sony HDRAS100V/W Video Camera is the latest model of the Sony helmet cameras. It looks much like its predecessors but more advanced. However, unlike the previous versions which were all black, this camera is white.
Light can be a great hindrance when shoot outdoor. Well not so with this camera. The Exmor R CMOS sensor enables the camera to work perfectly even in low light shooting. This feature makes the camera to be sensitive in low light and thus assuring you that your images will be of high quality. The images will also be of drastically reduced grain thanks to the sensor.
You definitely want to capture as much as you can while venturing out on the great landscapes. Increase your perspective with the ultra wide 1700 pro quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens.
Photos and images last a lifetime. Capture high quality 13.5 MP still images in photo mode. Unlike other cameras you do not have to hold your camera and keep pressing a button to take your photo. With this camera you only need a single press of a button and your photos will be in check.
It also comes with a HDMI output which facilitates easy transfer of files and so you will be in a position to share your videos and images with your friends and family on your HDTV. However, you will have to buy the HDMI cable separately.
- Splash proof
- In built GPS
- Has stereo sound
- One cannot playback recorded video
- The remote viewer is not designed for watching the video while the camera is mounted in a quadcopter.
- One cannot see the viewer in sunlight
Related: Imagine your camera failing just when you need to take that great shot because of low power? Well, imagine no more. The Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger will save you the embarrassment. The package includes 2 batteries and 1 charger to ensure you do not have power issues with your camera.
The batteries and chargers are fully compatible with Sony original battery and charger. This product also has an AC charger which comes installed with a fold out USB plug, 110 – 240 V input voltage, and car charging adapter as well as European plug.
Price: Approx. $399.99
Weight: 2.35 pounds
Dimensions: 1.6 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches
Specific features: Versatile shooting modes, built in Wi-Fi, reduced fogging, more detail in brightly lit areas
Best use: Intense action sports, hiking, outdoor camera
The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition is one of the smallest helmet cameras available in the market today. The camera is also one of the toughest and can withstand the worst of conditions. The camera is often used to record the riskiest footages of an action movie. As one of the most successful flagships of the GoPro brand, the Hero3 has had a number of upgrades of the previous versions.
One aspect of the GoPro Hero3 that has made it stand out is the Wi-Fi remote control feature. With this, you don’t have to remove the camera from the helmet to change the settings. Using Wi-Fi, you can change the settings remotely using your phone. The lens has a better resolution and a more sensitive sensor. It weighs 2.35 pounds and measures 1.6 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches.
There are many good reason why GoPro cameras are very popular and the Hero 3 certainly can be counted as one of them. Perfect for skydiving and short trips.
- Lighter and smaller
- Wi-Fi built in
- Versatile shooting modes
- Fast draining battery
- No printed manual
Related: Why have a camera and not have enough space to store your videos and photos? It makes absolutely no sense. That is why customers who buy this camera also frequently buy the SanDisk Ultra 64 GB UHS-I/Class 10 Micro SDXC Memory Card with Adapter.
The micro card has up to 48 MB/s read speed making it the best option for most users. The card also comes with an SD adapter and also easily backs up files thanks to the SanDisk Memory Zone application. Capture and save those breathtaking outdoor moments.
Price: Approx. $100
Weight: 1.9 pounds
Dimensions: 2 x 0.75 x 3 inches
Specific features: 8 GB Micro SD card which can record up to 80 minutes of HD footages, Touch sensitive LCD control screen, 1.5” wide, waterproof and comes with a stable mount, a headband mount, among many other accessories. Wide angle lens view; up to 170 degrees, Shoots 5 MP HD footage image with high resolutions of 1920p by 1080p at 30 frames per second. It also has a good firmware which can record 30 frames per second at 960p and 60 frames per second at 720p giving you more versatility for the Veho HD
Best use: Shooting underwater videos, hiking on a wet environment, outdoor camera
The Veho Muvi Camera is one exciting piece that every hike enthusiast would love. This camera is actually an improved version of their MUVI HD No Proof No Glory version. The camera is waterproof and can work well in depths of up to 60 meters for an hour so if you want to record clear footages under water, this is the ultimate camera for you.
It comes with a helmet mount which enables the camera to cover a wide point of view. The camera has 16 mbit/s on the 1080p mode. This aspect makes your videos smooth and easy on the eye. Its 1400mAh battery is the longest lasting battery for a helmet camera. With this, you can record three hours of HD videos.
This is one of the more affordable action cameras out there. Considering the price and the features it boasts, it’s an easy recommendation for budget camera hunters.
- High quality video
- Good pricing
- Easy to set up
- The user manual is not so clear on the instructions
Related: If you want to fully enjoy using this camera, it is recommended that you also purchase the SanDisk Ultra 32 GB UHS-I/Class 10 Micro SDHC Memory Card with Adapter. From what other users in the past have had to say it is an essential item. There is no point of having a camera and not be in a position to store your images.
This micro SD memory card has a read speed of up to 48 MB/s. It comes featured with an SD adapter which is compatible with any digital camera in the market. Provided your camera has a memory card slot as is the case with this camera, you can be sure that this memory card will not fail you.
Price: Approx. $87.19
Weight: 0.3 pounds
Dimensions: 3.15 x 1.7 x 1.1 inches
Specific features: The lens has an Aptina CMOS sensor. The rotatable lens has 7 element that gives a wide field of view; 137 degrees. Uses a strong universal clip to attach to the helmet and the long lasting battery can last for up to 3 straight hours of recording. This unique bullet cam is 40% smaller than the conventional video camera and the quality of videos is not affected by adverse weather conditions
Best use: Bike rides, hiking, outdoor camera
Drift is one of the leading companies in the world that create awesome active lifestyle cameras. Their cameras have been used by movies stars from all over the world to capture very exciting footages. The Drift Innovation Stealth 2 Sports Action Camera is the eighth generation of their drift cameras. It is currently the lightest and the tiniest helmet action camera available on Amazon.
Many would think that the small size translates to poor performance which is not true. The camera allows you to record high definition footages in a whole new wonderful way like no other. Its films are 1080p at 30 fps with a highly sensitive Aptina CMOS sensor behind its clear lens giving high quality videos.
- Long lasting battery life
- Rotatable lens
- Weather resistant
- Dual functioning camera
- Solid mounting system
- Has a beep indication when turning on, recording or off
- Poor daytime image quality
- Record button and change resolution button are so close
Related: Customers who bought the stealth 2 camera also bought the SanDisk Ultra 32 GB UHS-I/Class 10 Micro SDHC memory card as well as the SanDisk Ultra 32 GB microSDHC UHS-I Card. These memory cards are ideal for cameras because they both come with adapters.
They are great for outdoor activities and can be used in harsh conditions as they are water proof, temperature proof, shock proof, X ray proof and magnet proof. They also have sufficient room for all your recording and videos. They both have great transfer speed when transferring your videos and photos to your computer or any other device.
Price: Approx. $320
Weight: 0.32 pounds
Dimensions: 1.53 x 2.79 x 2.8 inches
Specific features: Built in touch display, built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, cinema quality capture, built in video trimming, Auto Low Light
Best use: Swimming camera, bike riding and camping
The GoPro HERO4 Silver is one of a kind. It has an exceptionally good performance in any condition. Besides, it is the first GoPro helmet camera with an in built touch display. Controlling the camera and adjusting its features is much easier compared to the previous versions. Framing the photos and video playback is smoother and convenient on this device than ever, all you have to do is touch or swipe the sensitive screen and the commands will be executed immediately.
It’s easy to see that the Hero 4 is for both professionals and beginners. The improved camera control and built-in video trimming add a great deal of intuitiveness to the camera. The Auto Low Light feature is great for optimal low light performance.
If you want something waterproof and easy to handle, then this is the ideal helmet camera for you, don’t look any further. It can work well under water up to a depth of 40 meters. No other helmet camera blends performance and versatility better than this.
- High quality video
- Built in Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth support
- Great and easy time lapses
- Easy to use
- Poor sound quality
- It has problems transferring all the pictures unless you use an SD card adapter
- Vague user guide manual
Related: For all photo enthusiasts going for this outstanding camera, it is recommended that they also purchase the SanDisk Extreme 64 GB microSDXC UHS-I Card. If you need high speed as well as capacity to get high quality 4k UHD and full HD video and still photos regardless of the conditions you are in, then this memory card will work for you.
Price: Approx. $49.99
Weight: 0.45 pounds
Dimensions: 5 x 2.5 x 5 inches
Specific features: Voice/Noise activated, rechargeable battery, discreet video capture, frame rate enhancement software
Best use: Security camera, indoor camera, bike riding
The Veho Muvi Pro Helmet Camera is one of the smallest helmet cameras. It is the perfect action camera for micro sized footages for recording time stamped evidence of some action. It is often used for security purposes. Would you like to record your bike ride with action time stamped to? Then this is the perfect micro sized digital video camera for capturing time stamped video.
The device works well in situations where it would not be possible to use the conventional video recorders. Veho Muvi Pro is more of a thumb size spy cam in an alloy metal casing. The camera has a 2 MP lens which records footages in AVI format. The camera comes with a 4 GB micro SD card which can record videos for up to three hours.
Just by looking at the price, it’s easy to be attracted to this helmet cam but that’s not the only thing that’s going for it. It has enough features and reliability to impress even the most jaded action cam fan.
- Has permanent date and time stamp
- Long lasting rechargeable battery
- Mounts easily
- Fair price
- It can’t hold a larger card than 8 GB
- Direct playback from the recorder is at times jumpy
- No vid lock or overwrite feature
Related: If you are going to buy this amazing camera, then you have to buy the SanDisk Ultra 32 GB micro SDHC UHS-I Card with Adapter. It is an ideal memory card for the helmet camera because it comes with an SD adapter and also has a transfer speed of up to 80 MB/s.
Have no fear to go explore in harsh weather conditions because this memory card is waterproof, temperature proof, shock proof, X ray proof and magnet proof. The Memory Zone app allows one to auto manage media and memory for peak phone performance.
Price: Approx. $199.99
Weight: 0.6 pounds
Dimensions: 2.9 x 4.9 x 6 inches
Specific features: Lightweight, tough, full HD 1080p, upgradeable firmware
Best use: Hiking camera, outdoor camera, camping camera
The Tachyon OPS Camera is also referred to a GunCam. It is a small, light and tough full HD camcorder 1080p that is specially made for capturing the actions in extreme sports and entertainment. Its lens has a wide fish eye point of view covering 170 degree. The firmware is very compatible with Mac and Windows and installs automatically once plugged into the USB ports.
The video quality is relatively high for such a small camera and its light weight makes it very easy to clip to your helmet. This camera is smallest and the lightest full High Definition helmet camera that captures very high quality images at 1080p at 30 frames per second. Its battery last for two hours at 1080p and much longer at 720p and can record while charging. It comes with an upgradeable firmware.
Video quality is definitely the main draw here but without breaking the bank. It doesn’t hurt that it’s so light and compact as well.
- Mounts easily
- Rechargeable long lasting battery
- Continuous charging while recording
- High quality video
- Poor sound
- Jumpy video
Related: When buying this helmet camera, it would be a great idea to also buy a micro SD memory card. The SanDisk Ultra 64 GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter is highly recommended. This is because it has a transfer and read speed of up to 80 MB/s. It is also waterproof, temperature proof, shock proof, X ray proof as well as magnet proof.
It is an ideal memory card for cameras because it comes with an SD adapter. Normally a SD card will work in a SDHC device that has low performance. Coming from a world leader in flash memory storage, this card will meet your expectations.
There are hundreds of helmet cameras in the market, some will perfectly suit your needs while some may not be right for your situation. The above reviewed cameras are some of the best based on different considerations. With them you cannot go wrong. I have tried them out and I would recommend them without a second thought, go ahead and give your pick a try.
Did you find this review helpful? I hope you did. Feel free to share your views with us and let us know what your favorite helmet camera is.