Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Tech Talk

Action cameras, the summertime gadget


Gadgets and summer are two terms that generally do not go together. People are outside swimming, hiking, playing soccer and, despite what the tech giants would like us to believe, it’s hard to incorporate a smartphone or tablet into those activities. But there is one gadget that not only fits but allows users to relive those experiences with vivid detail — action cameras.

Most people have already seen these little wonders and probably don’t know what to make of them. That weird guy with the aparatus strapped to his forehead? That’s his action camera. That Subaru driving down I-235 with a device mounted on the hood? That another action camera (also that was me). While everyday users are starting to adopt these gadgets, over the last few years action cameras have completely revolutionized the way thrill-seekers film and share their adventures. Through the use of high-powered, compact cameras, mountain bikers, skydivers and other adventurists can now film their experiences from a first-person perspective. For less than $300, these gadgets can film for hours on a single battery, fit inside your pocket, film in HD and for a few extra bucks, some can film in 3D and 4K.

While companies such as Sony, Polaroid, Contour and Drift have made a respectable name for themselves in the action camera market, GoPro is by far the dominant brand and is responsible for kicking off the action camera craze. Remember Felix Baumgartner’s intense, world record-setting skydive last year? That was filmed with a GoPro. Did you see Michael Bay’s latest film “Pain and Gain?” GoPros were used to film parts of that, too. Not only is GoPro popular, but if you film your extreme lifestyle with a GoPro and upload it to YouTube, chances are you’ll rack up thousands of views, possibly making yourself the next “sensation” invited onto talk shows. A quick YouTube search of the term GoPro turns up page after page of action sports videos, most with more than a million views.

So if your summer plans include rock climbing, whitewater rafting, base jumping or any activity where you risk your life, mount an action camera to your head and share the rush with the rest of us. CV

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @ResponsiblyWild.                 

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