Forget the home videos of snowboarders and and surfers in action for a moment, there are plenty of opportunities to use action cameras in dramatic films too. The small size of the cameras makes them well suited to strapping to moving objects in order to capture exciting angles. For example, the low angle view of a wheel during a car chase can be easily attained through the use of these small HD cameras. There are even mounts and accessories used extensively in military operations.
2) Motion Capture
Continuing with the film theme, action cameras are being utilised to further develop the technique of motion capture. Films like Avatar use motion capture to create lifelike animations for characters, where an actor wears a suit covered in dozens of sensors that are picked up by computers and converted into an animated model. This requires the use of a studio specifically designed for motion capture. However, Disney are developing a technique which replaces the sensors used in motion capture with action cameras, allowing the process to take place anywhere outside, rather than in the studio.
3) Aerial Views
The durability and size of action cameras makes them well suited to reaching places that are inaccessible to regular HD cameras. It is possible to attach them to weather balloons to capture breathtaking aerial views from the edge of space, or strap them to remote controlled cars and take them into tight, enclosed spaces.
4) Home Videos
Action cameras have revolutionised filming, not just in extreme environments, but in the home as well. By attaching them to tricycles or headgear it is possible to capture a child’s first steps or riding a bike for the first time, giving parents a whole new range of opportunities when it comes to recording memories.
5) Law Enforcement
In an increasingly busy and dangerous world action cameras are finding a home in law enforcement, on the actions of police officers, firefighters or everyday cyclists. The ‘point of view’ footage captured by the cameras can be used for training, live operations and evidence gathering. When police officers encounter dangerous or hostile situations, the footage obtained by an action camera can come in handy when it comes to learning from the situation or even in court as evidence. Similarly, many cyclists in busy cities have taken to using helmet cameras in order capture evidence of dangerous driving or hostility towards them on their daily commute.
Some cameras, such as the SmartCam 2 HD Car Camera can even reduce a user’s car insurance premium. By capturing any road incidents on camera, those involved are able to categorically prove who was at fault for the accident.
While extreme sports may seem like the obvious use for action cameras, there are in fact many other uses for them. From dramatic filmmaking to finding interesting ways to make home videos, action cameras are by no means limited to just sport.