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Action cameras challenge GoPro

Panaosnic action cameras challeng GoPro
Panaosnic action cameras

There are several action cameras coming soon that aim to take away some of the GoPro’s dominance in action sports such as motorcycling.

There’s the wearable Panasonic HX-A1 ($US200) which is smaller, lighter and more aerodynamic; the Garmin Virb X and Virb XE ($US300-400) which can show data such as speed and lean angle; and we’ve mentioned before the Sena Prism (from $399) which allows you to control the device via spoken commands. (See story below.)

GoPro helmet camera

One of the biggest problems with the GoPro is that it is an odd and non-aerodynamic shape on a motorcycle helmet, your body or your bike.

The fact that it sits so far out on your helmet could be one of the reasons some people – police included – believe it is illegal and a possible danger in a crash.

That makes lipstick-shaped cameras like the Contour and the new Panasonic HX-A1 more suitable.

The Panasonic is just 83.1mm long with a maximum 26mm diameter and weighs only 45g. It is waterproof to 1.5m without the need for an external housing, shockproof from a height of 1.5m, freeze-proof down to -10°C and dust-proof. All of which makes it ideal for motorcycle use.

Garmin action camera challenges GoPro
Garmin action camera

The Garmin Virb X ($US300) and Virb XE ($400) are a similar shape to the GoPro but are waterproof without the need for an external case. These X models replace more aerodynamic previous models, but Garmin says it allows more mounting options.

However, their key show-stopping attraction is that they can incorporate data in your videos via built-in, wireless sensors. This allows users to display data showing, for example, how fast you were going, your heart rate, GPS position, acceleration and lean angles.

Sounds like cool fun, but a huge word of caution: Police can confiscate the memory card from your camera if they believe it supplies evidence of a crime!