It’s never been easier to share photos and videos of your adventures, but how are you supposed to capture the more dynamic moments you experience when you travel? Wearable action cameras are the perfect tool for the job, giving you the chance to record video while keeping your hands free for cycling, paragliding, or any other activity you take part in on your adventure.
Sticking a Camera to a Helmet
The idea of slapping a camera and a helmet together may sound a little silly, but this idea has some real potential. Using a method like this allows you to go beyond using small cameras with fixed lenses and low-resolution outputs, opening the doors to creating cinematic POV experiences for those watching.
This won’t be ideal for all the traveling you do, but it’s worth keeping in mind that the same concept can be used with smaller cameras.
1. Using a Motorcycle Helmet
Motorcycle helmets provide a great foundation for your head-mounted camera, as they are strong and have loads of surfaces with mounting potential. The following video provides you with all the information you need to create your own DIY helmet-mounted camera.
You will need some parts before you can get started: a motorcycle helmet, metal bar, some nuts and bolts, and a couple of camera mounting pieces. Alongside this, you will also need a drill to be able to make holes in your motorcycle helmet for the camera to be attached. It should only take a couple of hours to make your new DIY motorcycle helmet camera.
Before going further, there is a safety concern with an idea like this. Using a helmet-mounted DSLR or mirrorless camera with a heavy lens while performing an activity like cycling or driving is extremely dangerous. This option should be reserved for taking videos while walking on foot.
Turning an Old Smartphone Into an Action Camera
One of the few downsides of a modern smartphone is its limited lifespan. Whether it’s thanks to cracked screens, slow apps, or dead batteries, most people have spare devices sitting in drawers and bags around their homes. Most smartphones from the last few years can record high-quality video, even if their other features don’t meet modern standards.
This gives you a prime opportunity to recycle one of your old, unused devices and turn it into something that can enhance your next adventure.
2. A Smartphone, a Helmet, and a Lens
This video is a super-simple guide that will help you to turn a normal smartphone into a great DIY action camera. A small fisheye lens is used in this guide to ensure that the camera is able to capture as much as possible and provide a natural first-person perspective.
The beauty of this guide is the simple hook and loop system used to secure the camera to things. With some creativity, you can attach your DIY smartphone action camera to just about anywhere on your body and even to the surrounding objects. Aside from the small cheap lens, you probably won’t need to spend any money on this project.
Building DIY Raspberry Pi Action Cameras
Now it’s time to look at an option for all the real geeks out there: building a DIY Raspberry Pi action camera. There are several challenges to overcome with a project like this: finding batteries, choosing components, and designing the finished product. Thankfully, a lot of this work has already been done for you, and this means that you can enjoy building your DIY travel action camera.
Some tinkerers will be able to make options like this with components that they have at home. Fortunately, though, all the parts you need are nice and cheap.
3. A DIY Raspberry Pi Action Camera
As you may expect, this next idea is a little more complicated than the others on this list. You will need a 3D printer, the ability to do some basic soldering, and experience flashing Raspberry Pis with new software. Thankfully, though, all the hardest work has been done for you.
This DIY Raspberry Pi Action Camera project by Connor Yamada offers a great opportunity to learn about Raspberry Pis, camera modules, and batteries in a single guide. You can adapt this guide to match the tools that you have, giving you the chance to use some materials you already have available to get started.
Which DIY Action Camera Is Best for You?
Each of these projects will appeal to different types of people and the footage they want to take. All of these cameras can be great for those who want to travel with their device, but they have differences that are worth considering.
- Sticking a Camera to a Helmet: This idea will appeal best to those who want to be able to use large devices as their action camera. Want to make a movie about your next adventure or film high-quality footage of the people you meet? This option is perfect for you.
- Turning an Old Smartphone Into an Action Camera: There’s nothing wrong with looking for ways to save money, and this idea can be a great way to do just that. Turning an old smartphone into an action camera is great for those who want an inexpensive project that is also great for the environment.
- Building DIY Raspberry Pi Action Cameras: Building a DIY action camera with a Raspberry Pi will be more work than the other ideas on this list, though it also gives you the most control over the finished result. This makes this idea perfect for those who don’t mind spending time to get a better-finished product.
Building a DIY GoPro
Building your own DIY action camera to enhance your travel videos and photography can be a fun project no matter your skill level.
These ideas should give you the inspiration you need to get started on your own DIY GoPro action camera. You have plenty of options waiting for you; all you need to do is decide which one to make.
GoPro isn’t the only action camera brand worth looking into. Here are the best GoPro alternatives that might suit you better.
About The Author