These days, any intrepid explorer can turn themselves into a professional photographer – with a little help, of course. Thanks to a huge market of cameras and accessories for adventurers, it’s easier than ever to capture every great moment and share them instantly with the world. So to help make your preparation a little easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best outdoor camera equipment available. Load up your bag with some of this outdoor camera gear and you’ll have no excuse for missing the next great moment.
GoPro Hero 4 Black
GoPro has become synonymous with outdoor adventuring, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The Hero4 Black is GoPro’s latest and greatest, taking all the brilliant features of the Hero3+ and adding improved video performance with resolutions up to 4K at 30fps. It’s barely bigger than a matchbox, but this is still the best thing you can get to strap to your head. And if you’re not fussed about 4K, the Hero 4 Silver is a little cheaper but boasts its own unique built-in touch LCD on the rear.
Yes, it’s just about the most mainstream app out there, but that doesn’t mean you should turn your nose up at it. Instagram has earned its reputation by helping to make the everyday smartphone user feel like a photo pro when they post videos and photos on Instagram. And when you can’t be bothered to spend ten minutes rummaging to the bottom of your rucksack to find your camera, your phone might be the only thing on hand. Not only does Instagram let you touch up those snaps with a bit of editing, it lets you share that moment instantly with the world. Its new standalone Hyperlapse app, making time-lapse video capture super easy, is also worth a look.
If you don’t fancy yourself as an Instagrammer, there are still plenty of other alternatives. Vine, a snack-size video sharing platform, is easily among the best, allowing you to instantly embed your creations on Twitter and Facebook. Clips last six seconds at maximum, but the loop feature encourages you to get a bit more creative with your video vignettes.
Olloclip 4in-1 Photo Lens
There’s no harm in making things easier on yourself, right? That’s where Olloclip comes in with its attachable photo lens kit for iPhones. Easy to mount to your phone, the Olloclip offers impressive quality from its 10x and 15x macro lenses, while you’ve also got fisheye and wide-angle lenses to choose from. So, while your friends are Instagramming photos of their lunch, you’ll be able to impress them with something a bit more professional-looking. Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with us.
Panono 360-Degree Camera
It weighs just 440g and is no bigger than a grapefruit, but the Panono throwable camera isn’t to be ignored. When thrown into the air, this nifty ball of fun will set off 36 of its exterior cameras to capture stunning 360-degree panoramic images. It can store about 400 shots too, which should see you through until your next pit stop. You can pre-order it now, with shipping to commence in 2015.
Griffin Smartphone Case
The market is absolutely flooded with rugged smartphone cases. The problem is, most of them are made for the iPhone – so what is available for Android users? Luckily, Griffin offers a slightly more diverse range, with tough cases also available for Samsung Galaxy, Motorola and HTC phones, and even with some for iPads, Kindles and Android tablets. This case is an essential outdoor camera gear purchase if you plan on taking that shiny new smartphone out on your next mountaineering expedition.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5
Built-in GPS is becoming more common in adventuring cameras, but combine that with a 4.6x optical zoom, Wi-Fi and an extremely tough exterior, and you’ve got an attractive little package in this number from Panasonic. Further, it’s waterproof to 13m, shock-proof to 2m, and freeze-proof to -10 degrees Celsius, while the range of color options means you don’t have to go for the familiar rugged orange if it’s not your style. It won’t break the bank, either.
Nikon 1 AW1
If the Panasonic Lumix feels a tad limiting, then you may be better off with Nikon’s offering. The Nikon 1 AW1 is the first waterproof digital camera with an interchangeable lens, making it an appealing option for the true underwater explorer. It’s still nice and compact, waterproof up to 15m, shock-proof to 2m and freeze-proof to -10 degrees Celsius. And with its high-speed shooting modes, you have no excuse for missing that perfect moment.
Written by Hugh Langley, News Editor at TechRadar