Imagine being on a snow-capped mountain top, the sun shining on your face and a cool crisp air surrounding you! Now imagine capturing some fantastic photos and videos of your mountain experience, whether it's skiing, snowboarding, or just being at one with nature!
Skiing and snowboarding photography is by far one of the most challenging types of photography. Together with Aspen P, an experienced ski instructor, and a ski school manager, I am here to help you identify the best action cameras for skiing and snowboarding photography.
We shall look at some of the best GoPro cameras for shooting skiing videos. If you are a skiing enthusiast and always wanted a durable solution that captures excellent footage of your skiing adventures, you are at the right place.
I believe the GoPro 9 Hero is the top pick for capturing amazing ski videos. It comes with excellent image stabilization, Horizon Leveling lock tool, 4K and full HD video recording capability. For sure, I will talk about other great options suitable for different needs as well.
Sounds great? Keep reading!
Why GoPro for Skiing?
GoPro is the world’s favorite action camera, no question about it. It is what action, sports enthusiasts, and adventure seekers prefer to use when they want to record their activities.
The GoPro is a simple to use camera which captures stunning 4K, as well as full-HD videos. A long list of features makes the GoPro the best camera for action sports like skiing, especially those who shoot POV.
For those who are not familiar with POV, it stands for Point of View, and in the case of videos, it’s a sequence that is shot as if the viewer were looking through the person's eyes experiencing the event.
Let’s take the example of the Horizon Leveling lock tool. This tool allows you to shoot vertically even when the camera is mounted horizontally. This format is excellent for uploading Facebook stories, Instagram reels & stories, and Youtube #shorts.
Then there is Hero 9’s image stabilization system. The Hero 9 offers better stabilization over the Hero 8, even though the Hero 8 may be the best value for money. However, when you compare the image stabilization system of the Hero 9 with other action cameras (and that includes the Hero 8), nothing comes close. The new HyperSmooth 3.0 technology is buttery smooth.
Best GoPro for Skiing (3 Top Recommendations)
Here are our most recommended GoPro models for recording your skiing adventures.
- Key Features - Horizon level lock, superior HyperSmooth image stabilization, weather sealing, and 5K video
- Best for – action sports, adventure and hiking
- Pros – Best overall for skiing and snowboarding across the board
Between the GoPro Hero 9, the Hero 8, and the Hero 7, the three latest versions of this action camera, the Hero 9 is by far the best when it comes to image stabilization. Comparing the footage of all the three action cameras shot from the same scene and the same moment reveals the small yet powerful incremental improvements achieved by GoPro over the years. If image stabilization is the most critical factor for you, we recommend the GoPro Hero 9.
We should also consider the fact that the Hero 9 has a resolution that is more than double of the other two cameras discussed here. The Hero 9 has a sensor that offers an effective resolution of 23.6 MP.
The camera is capable of capturing 5K video footage at a maximum frame rate of 30 fps. This is the highest resolution and the highest frame rate possible at that resolution among the three cameras.
Of course, you can take advantage of the superior processing power of the Hero 9 and shoot at full HD resolution to capture stunning 240 fps clips, which you can use as super-slow-motion footage.
Video quality on the GoPro Hero 9 is wonderful, keeping with the general quality of their cameras and how they tend to focus on rich colors and high contrasty looks. The changes and upgrades between models are subtle, apart from the resolution bit of course. If you feel that you only need the bare minimum, we recommend the GoPro Hero 7.
- Key Features – Excellent image stabilization, weather sealing, 4K video
- Best for - action sports, adventure, hiking
- Pros – Best mid-range action camera for skiing and snowboarding
The GoPro Hero 8 sits between Hero 9 and Hero 7, quite literally, and for many, this is the best value for money because it tends to combine the best of the other two cameras.
For someone looking to capture POV videos of their skiing adventures, the Hero 8’s image stabilization is much better than the Hero 7. And in that respect, Hero 9 has the best image stabilization of all three.
The sensor resolution of the Hero 8 is only 12-MP, meaning it is nearly half of what the Hero 9 offers. This camera is capable of capturing 4K/UHD footage (3840 x 2160p) at a maximum frame rate of 60 fps. Yes, it is not the same as the Hero 9 but realistically speaking, 4K/UHD is more than enough for shooting skiing videos.
The Hero 8 can also shoot 240 fps full-HD videos which you can playback to produce great slow-motion cinematic results.
- Key Features – 4K video, weather sealing and best color tones across the board
- Best for - action sports, adventure, hiking
- Pros – best budget action camera for skiing and snowboarding
Among the three GoPro Hero cameras we have listed here, the Hero 7 offers the best color tones. If you compare the footage shot by Hero 9 and 8 with theHero 7, you will no doubt be convinced that the Hero 7 has less of an orange tone, therefore skin tones appear more flattering.
Even the general white balance is better tuned on the Hero 7 compared to the other two cameras which is why it looks better. We haven’t seen too much of a difference in the dynamic range in the Hero 9 and the Hero 8 so the Hero 7 seems like a better value for money proposition. However, the white balance is something that can easily be adjusted in post-production, so given the better features of the newer models, I would say that the skin tones are not a big issue.
At least for skiing POV videos, you would want to have the best possible image stabilization. I wouldn’t say that the built-in image stabilization on the Hero 7 is bad but the one on the Hero 9 is decisively better.
A notable exclusion in the Hero 7 and the Hero 8 is the horizon leveling lock that we discussed in the opening paragraph. For skiing videos where the position of the head can sway a bit as you ski down a slope and make high speed turns the Hero 8 and the Hero 7 are not able to produce that steady footage where the horizon is dead level no matter what.
Some people might say that it does not always give the best POV effect, and you would want your camera to provide you with a realistic view of what the person sees, but others might lap up this feature. So, it is a tie whether you would want to go for the Hero 9 and its Horizon Level lock feature or stay with the Hero 7 or the Hero 8.
In terms of weatherproofing, all three Hero cameras are weatherproof, waterproof, and freezeproof without the need for any particular protection housing.
Best Alternatives of GoPro for Skiing
In case you cannot get a GoPro, we highly recommend the DJI Osmo as an alternative.
The DJI Osmo is a superb 4K action camera that captures beautiful crisp 4K footage at a maximum frame rate of 60p. It is also capable of shooting full-HD videos at a maximum frame rate of 240 fps.
Just like the Hero cameras above, the DJI Osmo is also weatherproof without the need for additional housing. The image stabilization on the DJI Osmo is not the best in the business, but it can still hold its own and produce blur-free videos with an 18-22% crop.
The DJI Osmo is much cheaper than the other cameras, keeping in mind for people on budgets. So if you are looking for action cameras that can shoot great 4K POV footage of your skiing adventures you can take a look at the DJI Osmo too.
Here are some commonly asked questions relating to Best GoPro for skiing.
Where do you mount a GoPro on Skis?
The best place to mount your GoPro is 10 - 20 cm from the tip. If you place it too close to the tip, the camera may be blocked by snow. However, if you are going to ski on a snowy day, you should mount it either on your helmet or in front of your chest.
Or else, you will see nothing but white.
How do I keep my GoPro warm while skiing?
Best way to keep your GoPro warm while skiing is to bring several spare batteries with you, and keep them warm with a thermal phone bag. Change the battery whenever you enter a dry and warm area.
Making use of a plastic case but not a metal protection case does help a little as well.
What GoPro accessories do I need for Snowboarding?
The most common GoPro accessories for snowboarding are helmet mounts (top + side) and a weatherproof case. If you love to hold it with your hand, do get a gimbal stabilizer too.
We believe that GoPro Hero 9 is the best overall choice for skiing. It comes with excellent image stabilization and long battery life.
Simply pick the one that suits your need the most, and get out there in the mountains!
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A big thanks to Phottix for the professional lighting equipment provided to Ali G Studios.
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