Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to the Best Action Cams for Dirt Biking


biker is rides on his colorful sport motorcycle in forest in the mud. Man wearing protective for bikers.

When you’re going out on the trails, there’s usually something you know people won’t believe unless they see it. So naturally, you would want a camera to take with you. But how do you know what camera is right for you?

The camera that has been deemed the best action camera for 2018 is the GoPro HERO6. You can find more information about it here. Since the new year, the GoPro HERO7 has taken the title of the best action camera. So, in reality, the HERO7 is what you should aim for.

The good thing about this camera is that it’s waterproof as well. Racetracks aren’t always dry, there are some times when your rides could take you into mud or standing water.

Here are the current models that are the best in 2019 thus far:

ModelStyleBenefitsCurrent Price
GoPro HERO 7Box-Electronic Image
stabilization
-Shoots in 4K
-Water/Weatherproof
$347.97
Sony FDR-X3000Bullet-Shoots in 4K Ultra HD
-Weatherproof case
$399.99
Garmin Virb Ultra 30Box– Built in GPS
-Provides ride data
$389.00
Olympus Tough TG-5Camera-Very Weatherproof
-Shoots in RAW
$399.00
YI 4K+Box– Long battery life
-Packed with features
$209.99

Things to consider

There’s a certain number of things that you would like to check off with the camera of your choosing. They are as follows:

  • Is it waterproof? Or does it come with a waterproof housing?
  • Does it have Wi-Fi?
  • Is the housing lens flat?
  • Does it shoot 1080p video at 60fps?
  • Does it come with mounts?

Waterproof

As mentioned earlier, having the option to have a waterproof camera or housing is important when you’re doing outdoor activities and want to capture those breathtaking moments. If you’re headed to Hawai’i or something like that, capturing underwater would be something that you should definitely consider.

Making sure that you have the option to take this in the rain, or wherever your path takes you, is something that’s a definite plus when you’re looking for some cameras. Just be sure to check that the housing fits completely.

Here’s a list of cameras that are waterproof:

  • GoPro HERO7
  • Olympus Tough TG-5
  • Sony FDR-X3000
  • Garmin Virb Ultra 30

Wi-Fi

With the option to have Wi-Fi on your action camera, it’s most likely that there is an app that will correlate with the device on your phone which will allow you to be able to access your video quite easily.

If your camera doesn’t have this option, then it can be quite frustrating to use, and it’s best that you check that before you complete your purchase.

These cameras have the Wi-Fi feature or an app for your phone:

  • GoPro HERO 7
  • YI 4K
  • Sony FDR-X3000

Housing lens

If your camera has a lens that is sticking out farther than the housing, it’s most likely going to get caked in mud, but when you have a flat lens you’re able to just take the debris away with a swipe of your finger.

Although lens shape is a personal preference, it ultimately is up to you. If you’re someone who has a lens style that you love, and you’re willing to take some time cleaning the lens, then by all means, get the lens you desire. Get the camera you desire.

Resolution

It’s important that you understand that there are definitely going to be requirements for your recordings to come out clear and crisp. The lowest that you would want to go is 1080p, then you’ll be able to go into your adventure with confidence that your video will come out clear.

If you’re a person that wants an even clearer picture, there is the option to get a 4K resolution camera. Those are a little more expensive, but when you’re really intending on doing something with this footage, that might be the better option. The GoPro HERO7 is an ideal camera, check it out on Amazon!

Mounts

Since purchasing the camera, you’re definitely going to want to be able to use it, and with that, you need to be sure that the camera you get comes with mounts that you will be able to attach to your bike.

There are different mounts for different cameras, so it’s important to be able to know what you’re looking for. When you have a GoPro type camera, those accessories can be switched throughought the products, but with other cameras, that’s usually not the case.

What type of camera is made for you?

When you’re going to purchase a camera, you want to know what types are available and how they could benefit you. I’m going to share with you four of the styles that are on the market and just what they can do for you.

Box Style

When you’re thinking of an action camera, your mind would usually go to thinking of a GoPro, which is the traditional box style that most of the cameras come in.

This is the most versatile of the four styles. These cameras can be used for skydiving to just walking around, to dirt biking. There are many mounts that come with these cameras, specifically a GoPro. But the best thing about them is that they are able to be switched out and you can use them with other GoPros.

This type of camera style would be one that would be the best for beginners or those that are looking for something simple.

Cube Style

With this style, these are more for those who want to be able to just have this in a small place and continue to just do small things while having a mobile camera.

I would not recommend this camera type for putting on your dirt bike or anything along those lines. This camera just has one switch that will start and stop the camera. It’s a fairly simple product, but not one that you would necessarily want to take on your ride.

This also doesn’t contain a screen, so everything is done through an app that’s connected on your phone.

Bullet Style

This is something that I’ve seen on helmets before for capturing some pretty cool moments in Supercross. So, if you’re looking for something that’s sleek and not really boxy, this would be a good idea for you. Although this isn’t the most ideal for dirt bikes, this is an option.

You can mount this on the bike stem as well. But unlike the box style, you aren’t able to switch out the accessories with other models. The mounts that come with your camera are only for that camera.

The bullet style camera may not be the first option that you want to choose, but it is indeed an option.

Periscope Style

This is another style that you can consider, but this really isn’t the type of camera that you want to look for if you’re wanting to mount this on your dirt bike.

Though it is able to catch film underwater, there’s really nothing to be able to attach this to your dirt bike with a mount. There are very few options for this, so if this comes up as a potential purchase and you think it’s a good deal, be sure that you check out what you can do with it.

Picking Your Camera

Based on some of the forums that I have visited, there are a lot of people that are for either GoPro or Sony for their cameras. But which one is really the best? Let’s dive into that and see, so you can get your best camera. In this, we aren’t just going to talk about GoPro and Sony, we’re going to get more into the melting pot.

GoPro HERO7 Black

With this camera, there are the obvious GoPro benefits with the waterproof camera–not needing the case, then the usual nice touch screen and interface. Along with this, they have added the stabilization program called: HyperSmooth.

This is definitely the camera for travel vloggers, extreme athletes, and professional filmmakers. With the usual GoPro style mount, they are able to go onto almost any accessory.

One of the new things that they have put with this camera is they have the option to do live streaming which means that this can be streamed to Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and a few more. This runs at about $349.

Sony FDR-X3000

The Sony FDR-X3000 has built in optical image stabilization, it also shoots in 4K. The stabilization feature is called Balanced Optical SteadyShot which is something that’s not found in too many other Sony cameras.

This is ideal for someone who is shaky, or someone who has their camera mounted on something that may shake, rattle, and roll. This camera runs at about $300, but that is including the BOSS system and the 4K.

Garmin Virb Ultra 30

If you’re someone that’s really into data when you’re going out and taking a ride or even a hike, this is the camera for you. With this camera, Garmin has upped the level of tracking with the ability to provide some data that you may be interested in.

This camera is able to monitor the following:

  • Speed
  • Position
  • G-force
  • Hill grade

With this, there are five monitors that are able to show you if you’re improving or not as you continue to use it. This is something that is definitely something that those who are trying to train might look into.

If you’re wanting to see how fast you are going on your trail ride, there’s a way to do that so you can continue to improve and beat your personal record. This camera goes for about $400 on Amazon. So if you’re looking to see how you’re doing, this is the choice for you.

Olympus Tough TG-5

Although this seems like the traditional just point-and-shoot camera, there’s something special about this. For those that don’t mind a bit of a bigger camera with the ability to zoom, this is something that you could consider purchasing for your action camera.

The thing that makes it live up to its name is the fact that it’s built to withstand all elements without having a protective covering placed over it. That means that it can be dropped, dunked in water, tossed onto the beach, and be able to still continue to work.

It’s able to shoot RAW photos and 4K videos, not to mention that it has a wide angle lens, and also the option for microscopic mode which allows you to capture really close things to the camera.

There’s the option to be able to grab an accessory called the Sport Holder that will attach to your backpack strap or belt. Although this isn’t able to be mounted like the smaller action cameras, this is an option for those that are more interested in the technical things. It runs for about $400 and can be found on Amazon.

YI 4K+

This is one of the cheapest action cameras that can be found online, and it was the first camera that had the ability to record in 4K, and the quality had actually outdone GoPro!

It features similar dimensions as the GoPro along with the touch screen and the straightforward interface. This camera goes for about $210 on Amazon. Since this was the flagship of the 4K cameras, this is definitely something that is still a good buy.

Even though it may not be the number one camera on the market, there are definitely some advantages to getting this camera. But the biggest flaw that this camera has is that it’s not waterproof or even weatherproof. This company is known for putting high tech into affordable devices.

If you’re wanting to start out and see how things go and how you’re doing, you can use this but this definitely wouldn’t be a camera to take out on your dirt bike.

And. . . Action!

If you’re a fan of Motocross like I am, you can also choose to look up the types of cameras that some of your favorite riders use. For instance, Travis Pastrana uses the Sony Action Camera that we talked about earlier.

Chad Reed uses a 360 Fly camera while Justin Hill uses a GoPro. These riders all have different things that they want to capture when they are riding, but in the end, they made the choice to get their camera. Just like you.

The options that were listed are some ideas to get you started. You are going to know what you want in a camera, and you’re going to go out and search for something like that. Now you’re more aware of the styles and shapes that you can purchase an action camera in.

Image quality, data, and other information is merely the surface of what you can find when you’re looking for the right camera for your racing style. Whether you’re just going on a trail ride, participating in a race, or doing enduro motocross, there’s a camera for you.

Finding them isn’t always easy, so be sure that you’re prepared with the things that you want in your camera, and continue to look for those. Know what you want and go for it. You’ll find that perfect fit for you.

When you’ve made that decision to purchase your camera, be sure that you check to see those previous things to consider:

  • Is it waterproof? Or does it come with a waterproof housing?
  • Does it have Wi-Fi?
  • Is the housing lens flat?
  • Does it shoot 1080p video at 60fps?
  • Does it come with mounts?

If you’re able to confidently answer these, you may have just found the perfect camera for you. So get out there and start riding, take those videos, chase those dreams, you’ve got the camera that will capture it all.

So, get ready.

Get set.

Go!

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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