In this review, I’ll cover the best camera to use when you want to capture runs from the park to the resort and far beyond.
I’ve spent a lot of my life out on the slopes. That, combined with my in-depth knowledge of both photography and videography, enabled me to break down the best skiing and snowboarding cameras by inspecting their various features and looking at their functionality.
In my opinion, the GoPro Max is the best camera for winter sports as a result of its premium construction and top-of-the-line resolution.
The model is a more compact device with a lot of durability that helps it out in winter climates. Its lens is sharp and the resolution is bright. As with any GoPro device, you also get a ton of accessories and shooting modes if you want extra options.
There are plenty of great snow sports cameras. The following sections will take an in-depth look at the best ones and explain their usefulness out on the mountain.
- Best Overall: GoPro Max
- Best Action Cam: Sony HDR-AS100V
- Best Digital: Sony RX100 IV
- Most Durable: Olympus Tough TG-6
- Best Budget: YI 4k
Top Cameras for Skiing and Snowboarding
The following section analyzes the best skiing and snowboarding cameras by looking at each model as well as what role they fill.
1. GoPro Max
- Best for: Overall
- Key Features: Versatile, three-in-one design. Extremely durable. Waterproof. 360 audio. PowerPano and TimeWarp.
- Weight: 5.43 ounces
- Video Capture Resolution: 1440p60/1080p60
- Optical Sensor Size: 2 inches
The GoPro Max is an extremely versatile camera perfect for any mountain environment. Not only does it have the superior build quality the company is known for, but it also gives you plenty of options through its live streaming, PowerPano, and TimeWarm options.
It also comes with Max Hypersmooth, which gives you unmatched stability when you start to pick up speed or hit big airs. The Horizon Leveling is another bonus, providing you with stellar, cinematic-style shots that will leave your viewers in awe.
While this camera is undoubtedly expensive, especially when considering other action models, it’s worth it if you want a long-lasting device that you can use both in and out of bounds. The stability, build, and versatility all go far beyond similar cameras.
- Best for: Action
- Key Features: Steadyshot to increase stabilization. Full wireless compatibility. Smooth recording with sharp audio quality. Splash-proof construction.
- Weight: 1.05 pounds
- Video Capture Resolution: 1080p
- Screen Size: 3 inches
If you want a solid action camera for skiing or snowboarding that branches out from GoPro, this model from Sony delivers. It’s a smaller device that offers excellent audio and video speeds inside a reasonably durable shell. The splashproof body is especially useful in the snow.
Another big upside to this model is the full smartphone functionality, which lets you view and control the footage from your device. Everything feels sleek and the entire design is easy to bring with you. The wide-angle lens also brings your skiing and boarding to life.
It’s important to know that you do lose a little bit here when compared to more expensive options. There’s a lot to like, but you’re not getting quite as many compatible accessories as you would with something like the Max. Still, it’s a solid model if you want to save some cash.
- Best for: Digital users.
- Key Features: Back illuminated CMOS. High-resolution 4k recording. Different modes. Crisp, bright still photos.
- Weight: 0.88 ounces
- Video Capture Resolution: 2160p
- Screen Size: 3 inches
The Sony RX100 IV is a solid point-and-shoot camera for those who enjoy action sports. It’s a versatile model that delivers unparalleled quality through both its stellar videos and exceptional still shots. However you ride, you’ll be able to get the exact footage you want.
Backing up that flexible design is reliable Wi-Fi connectivity, pop-up electronic viewfinder, and streamlined menu. The price tag on this is quite high, but snowboarders and skiers who want a model they can depend on for every situation won’t mind.
As this is a point-and-shoot camera, it doesn’t quite have the inherent durability or power you might see in other choices. However, as long as you’re careful and don’t get too reckless, it will deliver stellar shots and smooth video for a long time.
- Best for: Durability
- Key Features: Fully waterproof, crush proof, and freeze proof. High resolution lens with 8x zoom. Multiple shooting modes. 4k movie and full HD 120 fps.
- Weight: 0.56 pounds
- Video Capture Resolution: 4k UHD 2160p
- Screen Size: 3 inches
As the name suggests, the Tough TG-6 is an excellent snow sports camera due to its inherent sturdiness. The small device is not only waterproof down to 50 feet, it’s also fully dust, shock, and crushproof. You won’t have any issues if you drop it or fall while riding.
On top of the strength, the camera comes with a high-resolution F2.0 lens, 8x zoom, and shoots 4k movie and full HD 120 fps. Those specs ensure you can capture amazing footage no matter where you like to ski or snowboard. The Wi-Fi connectivity is reliable too.
The only drawbacks here are that the stabilization could definitely be a bit better and the camera is a bit fiddly to use. Besides that, it’s a handy device perfect for all users who want to capture their snow trips without worrying about durability.
5. YI 4k
- Best for: Affordability
- Key Features: 4k image quality. Extended battery life. 120 minutes of 4k video on a single charge. Affordable. Excellent wireless functionality.
- Weight: 3.36 ounces
- Video Capture Resolution: 4k
- Screen Size: 2.2 inches
Dipping back into the world of action cameras, the YI 4k is a more affordable model that still manages to deliver 4k video and an extended recording time. On top of that, it has full live streaming capabilities and full app connectivity for those who like to share.
While this model does lack accessories and does struggle a bit in low-light situations, it still delivers true action camera toughness and quality for snowy excursions. The gorilla glass touchscreen is especially nice when it comes to resisting scratches if you fall.
This also makes my list as a result of the long-lasting battery. Nothing is worse than being out and nailing a cool trick only to find out your camera ran out of juice. That won’t happen with the YI. A perfect pick for people on a budget or those who want stellar features without shelling out.
Best Camera for Skiing and Snowboarding: What to Look For
This section outlines certain characteristics you should favor when looking at devices to take out to the slopes.
A functional snow sports camera needs high resolution. When picking a model, do your best to find one that offers crisp images or video in any environment. That means HD cameras that offer 1080p or 4k recording. Anything less will give you subpar results.
Your goal is to find something that can easily capture either your trip or the environment regardless of how bad the snow gets. Blurred cameras or one prone to shake won’t do you much good when you’re shooting down the mountain at high speeds.
You also want your camera to be tough. Not only are the slopes quite cold, but you’re probably going to take a tumble or two while filming. For that reason, it’s essential to get something that’s water-resistant or built to take on tumultuous weather.
Purchase a device that’s able to take some hits without breaking or wearing down. A strong shell goes a long way during the winter, especially if you want to record in the park or in the trees out of bounds. The higher risk you have for accidents, the more you need durability.
When shooting on the mountain, you want options. Some of that comes down to your camera, but there are plenty of fun accessories as well. Check what mounts, cases, and straps work with your device. Such options increase versatility and give you the ability to take more unique shots.
No ski or snowboard camera can quite match the GoPro Max in terms of features, function, or quality. The device has a little bit of everything. The quality is great, there’s a mess of features, and the construction is top-notch.
There are many accessories as well. That’s one of the biggest perks of getting a GoPro model, and it greatly increases the Max’s versatility. There’s a lot of choices with this device, and they all help make your snow footage that much better.