View Full Version : Video Camera Recommendations

03-25-2013, 09:23 PM
For my Outback DD, I just ordered the Wake Video TopMount Mini tower camera mount and the P4 frame and clamp for the pylon. The camera mount can quickly be swapped between the tower frame and the pylon frame so it is usable from either location.

I've been trying to figure out which video camera would be best. I was kind of centered on the newest GoPro but I was concerned that the lack of zoom would mean that the skier at the end of up to 75' of line would be tiny in the video. I posted on the GoPro Facebook page and respondees pretty much confirmed it - essentially all of the people who responded said the GoPro was probably not the right choice for a boat mounted camera.

I looked at the POLAROID SPORTS CAMERA thread below and it seemed that all of the cameras had at least one major short coming - either they didn't seem to have zoom capability or they only had a digital zoom which is basically just pixel replication and, so, is not good quality. The Polaroid, Drift, and Contour had no zoom and the Vantage had digital zoom. Similarly, I looked at all the "action camcorders" on the Best Buy site and most had no zoom and the rest only had digital zoom.

I am now thinking the Sony HandyCam HDR-CX220 might be the best option - it is standard camcorder with optical image stabilization - it is NOT waterproof or "action" but it has a good frame rate, optical stabilization, and optical zoom. I'd better not drop it much, it can't be board or ski mounted, and I'd have to stow it if it started to rain but I'm thinking it should take good video and be zoomable enough so that you can recognize the skier.

What are the experiences of others? What are some of the cameras actually being used by forum members to take video of skiers from inside the boat (whether mounted or handheld)? If you could post links to actual video taken with the camera it would be really appreciated.


BTW: The guy at Wake Video says, "We have not tested the GoPro, but we have not had negative feedback either. Usually if a camera does not work we hear about it." If anyone here has used the GoPro I hope to hear from them and see some ski video.

03-25-2013, 09:39 PM
Did you see the video Jack posted last week? He used a GoPro mounted on the tower to film his skiing.


Pretty good example of what you'd get.

03-25-2013, 10:22 PM
I did see Jack's videos (after I posted). I'm hoping he will respond with his impression of the video quality (I'm not sure if YouTube degrades video when it is uploaded). My take on what I saw was that my concerns about the inability to zoom may be valid (for my main purposes for the video). I probably should have posted that my objectives are to get video of myself of sufficient quality and detail to help me improve my techniques AND to get videos of my grandkids where I can see their faces pretty well. Jack's video were good and will be great to re-enjoy the water next winter but I'm not sure I think they were close up enough for my primary purpose - I do suspect I will be taking a good amount of video for "general purposes" too.

02-14-2014, 12:26 AM
hey has anyone tried the suction cup mount? I was thinking it might work towards the back of the boat ... but as I don't have the boat yet I have no idea where it could possibly go?!?!

02-14-2014, 03:58 AM
I wouldn't recommend a GoPro. They have huge wide-angle lenses about 170 degrees. They are great for point of view and close ups but exactly the opposite of what you are want for a longer distance camera.

You might search for scuba cameras to fulfill your desire for waterproof.

Does your regular point and shoot camera have HD video? You may not need a dedicated video camera, just put use your regular camera. You can buy waterproof housings for most cameras. The cannon housings are relatively inexpensive, this is what I use for scuba diving. When it comes to underwater cameras, you are better off buying a regular camera and then putting it in some sort of waterproof enclosure.
There are also cheap water-tight bags that work surprisingly well, such as:http://www.leisurepro.com/p-apc465/aquapac-waterproof-barrel-camcorder-case-with-hard-lens
I use a flat one for my phone at the beach and the pictures look good, you wouldn't know it's shooting through a plastic bag.

02-14-2014, 06:39 AM
The Go Pro videos may be a little better watching them from my thumb drive but it is what it is I guess. Zoom is the problem but I can live with it. I knew it when I bought it. Suction cupping it on the back doesn't help much for zoom. I do like to suction cup it to the wake board and ski. The new hero 3+ might be a little better but still no zoom. If it did zoom, you still would have to put it on a swivel of some sort.

02-14-2014, 12:34 PM
A couple of times now I have been ready to pull the trigger on a Go Pro, but I end up reading a bunch of online reviews about the software freezing, camera shutting down randomly, and assorted other technical issues. I know a bunch of guys on here have them, anyone encountered these problems and is it bad enough to steer you to another camera? Want to buy one, just can't seem to get comfortable enough that it will be trouble-free.

02-14-2014, 03:29 PM
tarheelskier - I bought a GoPro last year - the package that has everything - It is great for wake surfing but not wake boarding or skiing - You have to pay attention to the camera as it will randomly cut off and the software to edit the videos is a royal pain - it does freeze up and takes for ever! You can zoom in with the software but the image is all blurred. I use it for wake surfing only!!

02-14-2014, 06:46 PM
Regardless of the camera, mounting it on the tower is a location were you will get significant movement due to it being forward of the stern and elevated. I recommend a stern mount or a mount on the rear pole. You can't judge video quality with YouTube due to upload and editing configurations. The hero3's have amazing clarity. The h3+ has unbelievable frame rates, pixels and abilities. The wifi with remote and more importantly, smart phone link is awesome. I use it all the time.


This is with a h2, flat lens conversion, 1080p on wifi on my mono pod.