Sharing your driving experiences with friends and family no longer means having to spend a fortune on a camcorder. The latest digital technology has opened up a growing market for mini video cameras – and whether you want to show off holiday footage or relive the thrills of a track day session, it couldn’t be easier.
These tiny gadgets are lightweight and rugged. Plus, as they generally come with a selection of brackets and mounts, they can be fitted inside our outside your car, or fixed to a helmet. Footage is recorded in standard VGA 640x480 format or lower-resolution QVGA (for the Internet) and QQVGA, and stored on memory cards ready for editing or uploading via a computer. But which camera is best? We test eight to see if they’ll make you a star.
We fixed each of our cameras inside a car, noting how easy this was to do and rating their build quality in the process. We then drove along a stretch of road which included shaded, tree-lined areas and bright sun to see how well they adapted to light changes. Our test route included a bumpy section of tarmac, too, so we could assess the stability of the mounts supplied. Image and sound quality, accessories and price were all taken into account.
None of these cameras shone when it came to sound. But if you’re serious about getting high-quality video on track days – and have a big budget to suit – the V.I.O. is the product for you.
For the rest of us, the GoPro Motorsports Hero ticks enough boxes to take victory from the Oregon ATC5K. And although it’s not specifically designed for cars, the Flip Mino works well on the circuit or road.
1. GoPro Motorsports Hero Wide
2. Oregon Scientific ATC5K
3. Flip Mino
Action Cameras (ATC5K), 020 8965 7679, www.actioncameras.co.uk
Amazon (Flip, Tony Hawk), www.amazon.co.uk
DogCamSport (Mini DVR1, V.I.O.), 01726 891812, www.dogcamsport.co.uk
Firebox (ATC3K), 0844 922 1010, www.firebox.com
I want one of those (ATC2K), 0844 573 7070, www.iwoot.com
Oregon Scientific, www.oregonscientific.co.uk
Speeding (GoPro), 0845 230 7071, www.speeding.co.uk