HD Video Action Cameras With GPS

GPS Records Shareable Tracks and Other Stats

The latest generation of rugged, waterproof action cameras let you capture life moments from a personal point of view. Record and share your tracks and other stats with built-in GPS while you shoot HD action video. Most models are available with optional waterproof cases, and a wide range of mounts so you can capture the action from the desired perspective.

Garmin has introduced innovative new action cameras, the VIRB and VIRB Elite. "VIRB features a rugged and waterproof (IPX-7) housing, so there is no extra case necessary to withstand the elements. The unique 1.4-inch Chroma color display makes setup and playback a breeze and uses minimal power so VIRB can record up to three hours of true HD (1080p) video on one charge," states Garmin. The Elite model has built-in GPS, while the VIRB does not. The cameras also feature digital image stabilization and lens distortion correction. Garmin has also introduced a free companion smartphone app for controlling VIRB.

Sony's Compact POV Action Cam (shown here with an optional waterproof case) shoots 1080p video with image stabilization and a slow-motion capability. Some features setting it apart include built-in Wi-Fi and a wireless remote control - important for stopping and starting a camera affixed to a helmet or other difficult-to-reach mount. In this model, Sony also integrates GPS: "Built in GPS can be used in conjunction with the free PlayMemories Home software to make viewing and sharing videos fun and easy," states Sony. "Location and trail information as well as speed information add more layers to your ability to analyze your performance that can be captured and displayed on your video." A wide range of mount accessories are available for the Sony.

Contour was an early entry in the action cam market. Its top-line model, the Contour+2 has a super-sturdy brushed-aluminum housing to withstand abuse. Contour complements the camera's built-in GPS capability with a tracks video overlay feature to provide all the location, speed, and direction details of your adventure. The camera has four different HD modes including 1080p. The Contour+2 also shoots 120 frames per second in 480p for super-slow motion capability. An optional waterproof case is rated to 60 meters.

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Ricoh WG-4 With GPS

Ricoh WG-4 With GPS
Ricoh WG-4 With GPS. Photo from Amazon

Ricoh camera has jumped into the growing action-cam market with a WG-4 GPS model (available in black or blue) that shoots still images and video. The WG-4 is rated waterproof to 14 meters and shock-resistant (tested up to a two-meter fall) as well as dust-proof and crush-resistant. Also important in an action cam, the WG-4 includes a dual shake-reduction system that minimizes the effect of camera shake on final images and videos. On the GPS side, "The WG-4 GPS comes equipped with a sophisticated GPS module, which automatically records position data and travel log data onto captured images and adjusts the built-in clock to local time," states Ricoh.  Dust-proof and crush-resistant, also important in an action cam, the WG-4 includes a dual shake-reduction system that minimizes the effect of camera shake on final images and videos. On the GPS side, "The WG-4 GPS comes equipped with a sophisticated GPS module, which automatically records position data and travel log data onto captured images and adjusts the built-in clock to local time," states Ricoh. 

You probably already own a camera with GPS, in the form of an iPhone or Android smartphone. One option for action photography is simply putting that phone in a ruggedized, waterproof case that you can mount on a helmet or other location. You'll miss a lot of the features and big high quality lenses found on dedicated cameras, but it may suit your needs. Hitcase offers a case that seals things up tight, and offers a range of mount accessories.