This story originally ran in the January 2015 issue of POWDER (43.5).
Every season has its best moments, from deep, powdery runs in the backcountry to finally stomping that trick. Or maybe it’s just watching your kids make their first turns on the bunny hill. To record and share these events, here are five cameras—two P.O.V.s, a point and shoot, a Micro Four Thirds, and a D.S.L.R.—that record ultra-high definition video or capture brilliantly vivid stills. These cameras not only allow you to share your best (and worst) moments, but they ensure those memories will last forever.
Sony P.O.V. Action Cam
$250 | Sony.com
This camera shoots full HD footage, but it’s the details—like a Zeiss lens, a splash-proof body, and a stereo mic—that make it a contender. Plus, for an extra $100, you can add the Live View Remote, which looks like a watch and allows you to frame your shot and start recording without having to constantly pull out your cell phone.
Skiing Hot: Nicely detailed, affordable price.
Skiing Not: Terribly named, and without 4K, it lives in the shadow of the GoPro Hero4.
GoPro Hero4 Black
$500 | GoPro.com
The Hero4 Black, GoPro’s latest offering, shoots 4K video at 30 frames per second, which means you get the kind of crisp, amazingly clean footage usually reserved for much bigger, more expensive cameras. If you dial it back to 1080p, you get 120fps, which is great for slow-motion work.
Skiing Hot: Industry-leading ultra-high definition video and a huge selection of accessories.
Skiing Not: No touchscreen display (the new Hero4 Silver has one, however).
Olympus OM-D E-M1
$1,300 | OlympusAmerica.com
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro Four Thirds camera is smaller than a D.S.L.R. but produces D.S.L.R.-quality images, thanks to a 16MP Live MOS sensor, the ability to shoot 10fps, and a mechanical shutter that shoots up to 1/8000s. Photographers who like full manual control will appreciate the intuitive layout of the dials, and it’s built from magnesium alloy, so the camera is made to take a beating.
Skiing Hot: Great for the backcountry because it captures stunning images but takes up less room in your pack.
Skiing Not: It’s splash-proof but not meant to get soaked, so don’t expect to shoot for hours in a snowstorm.
Nikon COOLPIX P340
$350 | Nikon.com
A super fast f/1.8 lens paired with large CMOS sensor and the ability to shoot RAW files means the Nikon COOLPIX P340 does well in low-light conditions. Built-in Wi-Fi connects to your smartphone or tablet, and it shoots 10fps so you can capture a sequence of Hoji the next time he stomps that pillow line.
Skiing Hot: A lot of camera for something that fits in your pocket.
Skiing Not: The fixed lens means you’re stuck with what you have.
Canon 5D Mark III
$3,399 | Canon.com
This is the camera you want if you’re trying to land the cover of POWDER. A 22.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor makes huge, rich files and a new 61-point autofocus system ensures you can easily track skiers through the snow. It’s also great in low light, shoots beautiful HD video footage, and works with Canon’s huge selection of high-quality lenses.
Skiing Hot: Thanks to a full-frame sensor, the image quality never disappoints.
Skiing Not: There goes the down-payment on that house you were looking at.