C&K’s Ultimate POV Camera Review

What's the best helmet cam of 2013? You be the judge.

This fall, the team at Canoe & Kayak subjected the newest and best waterproof POV cameras to a side-by-side comparison. We wanted to focus our test on how these cameras work in real-world paddling situations, without relying on tables full of specs and arcane tech jargon. We wanted to let the cameras speak for themselves through the quality of their imagery. So we made a six-camera mount out of PVC and zip ties, and went paddling.

Our review speaks not only to the image quality that the different cameras produce, but also their ergonomics and whether we think they are a good choice for paddle sports. After several weeks of sea kayaking and whitewater paddling with these cams, we feel we have a good idea on what each of them has to offer. Please, watch our review to learn more, then click the cameras below to read individual reviews and view a full-frame sample clip. Don’t forget that these are just our opinions, and we would like to hear what you have to say as well. —Aaron Schmidt


GoPro 3 + Black Edition Sony Action Cam AS30V JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2
pov camera pov camera pov camera
ION Air Pro 2 Drift HD Ghost Iron X DXG 5G9V HD
pov camera pov camera pov camera

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  • Adam

    Awesome review!

    It’s important to note that you generally don’t want to have your camera producing vibrant colors or a bunch of contrast in camera if you intend to do any post production. Looking at the footage on the beach at 0:45 as an editor I definitely want to be working with the GoPro footage in post. A flat image typically means that highlights aren’t blown out and shadows aren’t blocked up. You’re better off making those contrast and saturation decisions on your own with you’re computers processor instead of the tiny processor in the camera. Especially if protune is turned on with the GoPro.

    But it’s clear that editing or no editing the GoPro is the way to go if you have the money.

  • Jan ‘Archee’ Bloch

    Ok few tips for those who go with GOPRO or maybe can be applied to any of them..

    A) instead of buying anti fog strips .. cut down paper towels into strips and fold those by 6-8 time to create small anti fog strip.. then place the strip to oven and bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes.. do multiple of them.. and put them in zip lock..best is to include some silica to it.. if you are planning to just shoot 2hour footage.. place it in housing day before shoot..

    B/ RainX in and out.. use Rainx regular for the outer lens.. follow instructions.. works great.. Use RainX anti fog inside the housing.. once applied and wiped clean.. use heat gun at 120 degrees or hair dryer to get the moisture out.. I use this my GoPro cameras as well on my sunglasses .. note the moisture is created while the camera heats up the inner housing and cold water is at the lens..if you limit the amount of humidity before closing the housing.. you should be able to have no fog at all.. I recommend also bring clean and dry towels if you are in process of changing batteries during your shots.. even slightly wet hands will bring moisture in..

    C) if you shoot in GOPRO PROTUNE mode .. you can colorgrade the final footage in Final Cut, Premiere or even Cineform studio (supplied) and have amazing results..

  • nobrains_noheadaches

    Fantastic review. Thank you!

  • Tomsy

    cool review… you didnt include the INTOVA SPORT PRO camera and probably many more… but anyway, useful information and good job done! Cheers

  • http://www.comfortcovecottage.ca/ Comfort Cove Cottage

    Excellent comparison. Thanks for comparing apples to apples. I know it took a lot of time, effort & thought to come up with a fair comparison and you did it with your side-by-side setup. Thanks Aaron!

Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide