Point-of-view videos show off your skills and allow viewers to join you as you run, jump, and glide over obstacles. Since GoPro released its first cameras in 2004, hands-free POV videography has exploded, and the company is now valued at more than $2 billion.
Once cellphones could shoot standard video, these action cams found their niche, says Jeremy Stamas, managing editor of CamcorderInfo.com, a consumer video camera review site. GoPro and other manufacturers have also released their own hands-free harnesses for easy, DIY footage. Make your next first-person video your most legit one yet with our staff picks for head, chest, and wrist harnesses:
Pros: The truest of all first-person perspectives, a camera strapped to your head moves with you over, under, and around a course.
Cons: Heavier cameras, like many of the Contours, don’t fare as well when attached to a front-facing headband instead of a helmet.
Our pick: GoPro’s head strap mount ($14.99). GoPro’s head harness is compatible with all of its camera series and secures across both the top and sides of your head, unlike the Sony and Contour harnesses. http://gopro.com/camera-mounts/head-strap-mount
Pros: Positioning the camera in a central position on your chest is not only more secure but also guarantees a good shot for any action or sport video, says Paul Shirey, creator of Paul Shirey Tech, a technology and social media news and reviews site. Plus, the stability allows for special effects like high-speed time lapses, adds Stamas.
Cons: If you’re looking for a video that pivots with your motions, you won’t get it with the more stable chest mount.
Our pick: Miveu’s POV mount for the iPhone ($79.95–109.95). If you shoot with an iPhone, this chest mount is a must-have. It protects and stabilizes your phone, and allows you to edit and upload video to your social media sites on the spot. Compatible with iPhone 4/4S ($79.95) and iPhone 5 ($99.95). http://shop.miveu.com/
Pros: The free-motion capabilities emphasize the full-body movements of parkour. Wrist cams wouldn’t do much for someone who’s biking, says Stamas, “but parkour is different because it’s such a free-motion thing that the wrist cam perhaps would be really cool.”
Cons: Easily nauseated viewers will probably avoid videos recorded with wrist harnesses. They’re also most prone to breaking, depending on how you land or catch yourself when you fall.
Our pick: Sony Action Cam wrist strap ($29.99). There’s not much protection for your camera, but the strap does have a 360° mount with various adjustable angles. Compatible with Sony Action Cam and Action Cam with Wi-Fi. http://store.sony.com/p/Wrist-Mount,-360-degree-Mount/en/p/AKAWM1