You’ve probably taken notice to the strange phenomenon taking over snowboarding…the use of ski poles. Well, one ski pole, anyway; with a GoPro mounted on the end of it. Kids are filming themselves these days. It’s cool having the Internet as an outlet. Or has the Internet become cooler because of all the POV footage circulating it? Guys like Tim Humphreys have gone above and beyond being just a rider and gained tons of followers by making edits of themselves and posting them on YouTube for kids to eat up.

When you think about it, it’s nuts what you get out of these unobtrusive packages. From the GoPro’s scaled-down mini camera silhouette to the Contour’s sleek design, they both pack a punch, recording super wide-angle and spitting it all out in 1080p…true HD, bro. Technically speaking, they are similar, but the beauty of these little gems is in the details…GPS, live-viewing, waterproof cases, and a slew of other accessories to mount your camera to just about anything. Now more than ever, creativity is at an all-time high, and for just a few hundred bucks, you can take a stab at showing off your riding skills, or becoming your own cinematographer. – AXIS Media

Alpine Lab Go Pro

GoPro Hero

Golden Seal of Approval: The staple of POV cameras, the GoPro Hero is as good as it gets…which is awesome!
The Hero is the camera that all others are judged against. Search YouTube, and you’ll find that most POV edits are coming from these little setups. Optically, we found that the GoPro produces a sharper, more colorful image that’s less prone to vibration compared to that of the Contour. You can mount this puppy to just about anything, via a grip of…well…grip gear available. Put it on the end of a ski pole looking back at you, strap it to your chest, mount it on your helmet or topsheet. There’s something for any conceivable application.
The hot ticket is to get the new LCD back, which allows you to view live, so you know what’s in frame, and review your clips on the chairlift to make sure you got that shot you were aiming for. Oh, and when you get bored with all of that, try the 3D setup…

Max angle of view: 170º (127º in 1080p).
Media: SD card.
Included in the box: Camera, waterproof housing (good to 197 feet), curved adhesive mount, quick-release buckle, battery, USB cable, HDTV cable, and composite video/audio out cable.
Formats: WVGA @ 60fps / 720p @ 30fps / 720p @ 60fps / 960p @ 30fps / 1080p @ 30fps / Stills @ 2592 x 1944 (5 megapixels)
Time-lapse stills @ 2592 x 1944 (5 megapixels)

SCORE

Tight: Shoot 2D or 3D in any environment (except maybe fire) with ease, thanks to an arsenal of accessories.
Loose: Playback on the LCD screen isn’t exactly intuitive, due to a lack of command buttons, but, again, there’s nothing better out there.
Cost: $199.99
Recommended Accessory: The LCD BacPac, which retails for $79.99.

Alpine Lab Contour

ContourGPS

Gadgets are getting even more gadgety these days. As if getting HD video out of some teeny camera isn’t enough, Contour has added GPS functionality to their already high-quality Contour HD. If capturing only video doesn’t float your boat, now you can pinpoint your location all over the mountain or in the backcountry, including your altitude and speed, all the while tracking your course while you record.

GPS isn’t the only bonus feature of the ContourGPS; now there’s live preview. If you own an iPhone or Droid, you can sync your phone to the Contour via Bluetooth. Just slide the Connect View Card accessory into the camera and sync it up. From there, you can control settings like microphone level, lighting preferences, and of course, view what the camera is seeing. As easy as that sounds, pairing ours required aligning the stars. Once paired up with the Contour app, the feed cuts off once you start recording, so the “viewing” is more of a preview of what the camera is seeing.

Max angle of view: 135º (111º in 1080p).
Media: Micro SD card.
Included in the box: Camera, 2GB Micro SD card, 2 rotating flat surface mounts, rotating goggle mount, battery, and USB cable.
Formats:     720p @ 30fps / 720p @ 60fps /
960p @ 30fps / 1080p @ 30fps / Time-lapse stills @ 2592×1944 (5 megapixels)

SCORE

Tight: The Contour’s lens rotates 180º, which opens up a world of mounting options when you need to get the angle just right.
Loose: Pairing the Connect View with our iPhone 4 took several attempts and a few visits to Google.
Cost: $299.99
Recommended Accessory: Connect View Card, which will run you $29.99.