As numerous social media platforms have developed over the years, each of them have turned their focus to one particular flavor of media—video. By now, we’ve all heard of influencers and people who’ve become YouTube famous from videos that went viral. What the platforms have discovered is that video far outperforms static photos when it comes to content engagement. It also keeps users around longer with each visit. Simply put, if you want to create content that gets the most attention per post, video is unbeatable
Today, all of the social platforms are pushing video posts up in their algorithms, with both Instagram and Facebook heavily promoting Reels in the Feed, and YouTube introducing Shorts. Whether you want to become Insta-famous or just love to document your mountain bike rides, choosing the ideal video camera is crucial. Here’s a quick rundown of the best video cameras for mountain biking in 2022.
What To Look For In A Video Camera For Mountain Biking
If you’ve ever shopped for action cameras before, you may have realized how feature-rich some of these devices can be. And while robust functionality can produce stunning videos, it’s not always clear which features matter most. Let’s cover the main factors to weigh when considering a video camera for mountain biking.
One of the leading factors to examine when choosing a video camera is how long the battery life is. Newer format capabilities like 360 recording and 60 frame-per-second capture rates mean these little cameras can quickly chew through batteries. So, it’s smart to take note of whether or not the camera you have your eye on offers higher-capacity batteries. It’s also good to check the prices of extra batteries so you can always have a spare charged up and ready.
Thankfully, stabilization has gotten much easier for mountain bikers since the advent of YouTube. In the early days, capturing smooth video meant mounting the camera to a powered gimbal that used electronic gyroscopes to stabilize the camera and hold the horizon line in the frame. Now, cameras like the GoPro Hero 10 feature built-in stabilization and horizon leveling.
The frame rate that you shoot at will have a major impact on the clarity of the video and the amount of detail that’s captured as you shred down the trail. Shooting in ultra-high framerates, such as 240fps, can produce slow motion video in full 4K resolution, capturing every little detail of the action. Just remember that higher frame rates mean more work for the camera, so battery life will diminish the higher you go.
Many of the action cameras today feature the GoPro mounting standard to secure the camera to a helmet, handlebar, or chest mount. With so many mounting options using this standard, it’s important to look for cameras that will give you the same range of possibilities.
If you plan on shooting a lot of video on each ride, you’ll want a camera that makes it simple to charge the batteries while out on the trail. Find a camera that offers portable dual battery chargers that you can plug into a portable wireless charging pack to always have fresh batteries on your rides.
Will you want to shoot in low-light conditions or capture high-quality audio while on the trail? Being able to mount accessories for better lighting and wind-free audio is key when production quality is paramount.
Post Production Software
Finally, once you’ve recorded your rides, how will you be able to get the footage from the camera to your social media profile? The best cameras will make it easy to edit and publish your videos directly to your socials.
Video Cameras for Mountain Biking
Now that we’ve covered the key deciding factors for mountain biking action cameras, it’s time to run down the list of the best options out there in 2022.
Insta360 One RS $299 to $549
Insta360 is a newer player on the action camera market, and they’ve quickly rolled out better and better versions of their 360 camera. The newest iteration is the One RS, which boasts swappable lenses for nailing the perfect view every time. You can choose between the 1-Inch 5.3K wide-angle lens that they co-engineered with Leica (the largest image sensor of any action camera), a 4K Boost lens, or the 360 lens. With 360 horizon leveling (a heaven-sent for anyone who’s tried post-editing 360 footage), and up to 84 minutes of runtime, this camera has a lot to offer those willing to stray from the legacy fold. You can also easily secure the camera with standard GoPro-style mounting, and they even make a battery-pack case that delivers another 2,380mAh of power.
GoPro Hero10 Black $549
The Hero10 Black is the latest action camera from GoPro, and is undoubtedly their most versatile offering yet. This camera features 5.3K recording at 60fps or an astounding 120fps in 4K resolution. Opting for the $99 Max Lens Mod delivers even greater stabilization and a wider angle. If you’re concerned about the camera getting wet, the Hero10 is safe down to 33ft, compared with the Insta360 One RS that’s only rated at 16ft. The one drawback to the highly capable Hero10 is battery life, with 74 minutes of record time at 5.3K. That’s 10 less minutes compared with the Insta360.
GoPro Max $549
The GoPro Max has been around since 2019 now, and offers 360 capture in stunning 5.3K clarity. You’ll also get 360 immersive audio from the six microphones that surround the camera. Stabilization is impeccable and levels the horizon automatically. The camera is also rated to 16 feet water depths, only half that of the Hero10, but the same as the Insta360. The Max also boasts strong numbers when it comes to battery life, with up to 115 minutes of record time when set to 1080p 60fps, and 78 minutes when set to 5.3K.
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck when it comes to capturing your mountain bike rides on film, it’s hard to beat the Hero10 from GoPro. But the newest offering from Insta360 is a solid contender when you’re seeking the most versatile lens capabilities. The pricing between the models is essentially equal, although GoPro does offer big discounts when you opt for their subscription service. When battery life is your biggest concern, the Insta360 is a compelling choice. Whichever camera you choose, keeping it charged all day is easy with Rokform’s portable wireless charging pack. With two charging ports and 4,000mAh of capacity, you can charge both your phone and action cam at the same time.