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These Extreme Cameras Can Help You Capture Every Shot

Updated on September 16, 2013

You'll never miss a shot with one of these cameras

Have you ever missed a great shot because you didn't have the right camera or the right lens?

Maybe you wanted photos of a whitewater rafting trip but didn't have a waterproof camera. Or maybe you wanted shots from a mud run, but there was no way you'd bring photographic equipment near that mess. Perhaps you just wanted a photo of the bear that came near your tent, but you couldn't zoom in close enough, or you forgot your camera and the images from your smartphone weren't sharp.

If you've ever been stymied by gear that couldn't keep up with your life, these extreme cameras can help. Each one has its own unique "superpower" that makes it a champion in its class. Which one is right for you?

(Photo by gordontarpley on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

GoPro Hero3 - The ultimate camera for extreme sports

GoPro has become virtually synonymous with extreme sports photography. Turn on just about any sports program and you're likely to see athletes sporting GoPro Hero cameras mounted on their helmets, kayaks, race cars, snowboards and just about any other type of sports gear imaginable.

When Felix Baumgartner made his world-record-breaking skydive from 128,100 feet (39,045 meters) above earth and became the first person to break the speed of sound in freefall, he was wearing GoPro cameras.

When Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima's broke the Pikes Peak 2011 Hill Climb World Record, he had 10 GoPro cameras mounted in and on his car and on his body.

And when Ronnie Renner took a gold medal and set a world record at the X Games MX Step Up, he recorded it all on a GoPro.

The GoPro Hero line has become THE extreme sports camera choice for capturing Point of View (POV) action. The Hero3 cameras (which come in Black, Silver or White editions) can be mounted on almost any piece of equipment or worn on the body using accessories such as a chest harness. They're waterproof, freezeproof and shockproof. So whether you're jumping from space like Felix Baumgartner or setting a world motocross like Ronnie Renner, a GoPro can handle the ride.

GoPro Hero cameras shoot full HD (Silver or White editions) or 4K cinema-quality video (Black Edition only), but are also capable of shooting time-lapse still images or bursts of up to 30 frames per second. They can even shoot simultaneous photos and video.

For capturing photos and videos of extreme sports, this is currently the extreme camera to beat.

GoPro HERO3: Black Edition
GoPro HERO3: Black Edition

- 4K Cinema quality video

- 12 MP still photos

- Simultaneous Photo + Video

- Wi-Fi-enabled

- Waterproof to 197 feet with housing

 

See the GoPro Hero in Action - Amazing POV video of athletes in action

Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS - Extreme rugged design can take a beating

One problem with most cameras (and electronics in general) is that they're fragile. If you drop your camera on a hard surface with any force, it's very likely to break.

But new "rugged" cameras are solving that problem. And the Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS is one of the most rugged. This extreme camera is waterproof to 50 feet (15m) , shockproof to falls of 6.9 ft (2.1 m). freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 C), dustproof, and crushproof to forces of 220 lb (100kg). In other words, a 220 lb person could stand on this camera or you could accidentally drop it in the river, and it would be just fine.

In addition to its extreme ruggedness, the TG-2 also boasts a number of other features to love. It's the only rugged camera on the market with a fast f2.0 lens to take better photos in low light situations. It's equipped with built-in GPS, manometer and e-Compass. And with panoramic and macro modes, 11 in-camera filters and 5 fps burst shooting, you can create just the image you want.

If you're looking for a compact camera that can withstand the elements and still take great photos, the TG-2 fits the bill.

(Image provided by amazon)

Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black)
Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black)

- 12.8 MP resolution

- 3-inch LED

- 4x optical zoom

- Rugged construction

 

Sample Videos from the Olympus Stylus TG-2 - See what it can do

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 - Capture extreme close-ups with 1200mm (35mm equivalent) lens

This Panasonic Lumix earns its place on the list of extreme cameras from its amazing 60x optical zoom lens. With a 35mm equivalent of 20mm to 1200mm, the FZ70 handily beats out the focal range of 50x models to give the widest angle and longest focal length of any compact superzoom camera. And it does it at an extremely attractive price, too - under $400.

This makes it a perfect camera for safari, birdwatching, sports, or simply getting close to any distant subject. The camera comes with Power OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) to prevent blurred photos from hand-shake, and can shoot a respectable 5 fps with AF or 2 fps with continuous AF tracking. For more creative fun, it includes 15 filter effects - Expressive, Retro, Old Days, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Star Filter, and One Point Color.

If you need a compact camera that gets close to the action, this is currently the leader in its category.

Nokia 808 PureView Phone - Extreme resolution outpaces most traditional cameras

If you're the type of person who grabs for your phone whenever you want to snap a picture, the Nokia 808 PureView may be for you. With a resolution of 41 megapixels, this smartphone is way ahead of most compact cameras and DSLRs. Of course, the number of megapixels on the sensor isn't the only indication that you'll get high quality photos. You also need a good quality lens, and the Nokia 808 Pureview is equipped with one a lens from one of the best names in the business - Carl Zeiss.

It also offers 3x lossless zoom, HD video, and three shooting modes (Automatic, Scenes and Creative) for more control in creating the perfect image. Of course, this isn't just a camera, it's a phone, so you also get the benefits of having your camera in a phone, including instant wireless connectivity.

If you're the type of person who prefers not to carry a separate camera, or if you just want a great smartphone camera to snap shots when you're not carrying your regular camera, the 808 PureView may be the one for you.

Capture Your Extreme Moments with an Extreme Camera

Never miss a shot!

(Photo by By Kritzi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

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    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I can't stay out of the water now (as if I really ever could) that I have a GoPro. If I'd had one when I was actively scuba diving I'd be a mermaid by now. They are awesome! Great article.

    • MissRubyStars profile image

      MissRubyStars 4 years ago

      Today my family was hiking in the mountains and a gorgeous monsoon storm rolled in. The clouds were right on top of us. This was a first for my little boys, they were so excited. I tried to snap a few shots with my cell phone but the beauty of it all was blurred and just didn't capture what we were seeing with our eyes. I'm sure if I had at least the 41 mp cell phone camera Nokia featured here, our shots would have turned out great!