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The Best Motorcycle Helmet Cameras For Capturing First-Person Footage

Best Motorcycle Helmet Cameras 00 Hero

If you’re an adrenaline junkie of the highest degree, it’s likely that your endeavors will be interesting to others. And now, more than ever, the search for user-generated content has reached its apex. Mediums like Youtube and Vimeo allow individuals to follow, discover, and motivate others through the use of high-quality video. So, whether you’re looking to document your trips, rides, or exploits for yourself, or upload it to the web for others, there’s one important piece of gear that will make all of the difference.

If you want to capture all of your content in the best way possible, you’re going to have to invest in a compact camera system. Unfortunately, finding the perfect lightweight platform isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when you’re looking for an ideal setup with crisp, clear 4K resolution, and an attachable body that won’t get in your way during your favorite rides. But don’t fret; we’ve gathered some of the industry’s finest helmet cameras for adventurous capture. From renowned brands like Sony and Garmin, all the way to action-oriented juggernauts like DJI and GoPro, we’ve pulled together the quintessential list of helmet-mounted counterparts for your next big ride. So fire up your engine, put on some goggles, and let’s accelerate into our list of the best helmet cameras for motorcycle rides.

The Best Motorcycle Helmet Cameras

Moto Cam Must-Haves

What To Consider When Buying A Motorcycle Helmet Camera

The reality is that motorcycle helmet cams are really just a sub-genre of action cameras. As such, the areas one should consider when buying an action camera are pretty much identical to those of moto helmet cams. Below, we’ll briefly be breaking down the most crucial areas to take into account when buying a new motorcycle helmet camera. 

Video Quality: Motorcycle helmet cameras can significantly vary in terms of the video quality that they’re able to capture. This includes reviewing both the camera’s capture rate (or frames per second) as well as its overall video quality (such as 1080 or 4K). This ultimately correlates to a helmet camera’s performance, which makes it vital to look into when shopping for one. 

Still Photography: Most action cameras are primarily used to record video, however, that doesn’t mean they can’t be utilized as still photography cameras as well. If this is a function you’d like to use, then you’re going to want to review each action camera’s still photography specs — such as image quality and its number of megapixels. 

Size: For an action camera to b conducive to use as a moto helmet cam, it needs to be small and compact enough to be comfortably worn on a helmet’s crown or chin-bar. This makes it important to look into the size and shape of each camera — looking into both the size of the standalone camera unit itself, as well as its size once set inside a protective housing or shell. 

Durability: One of the biggest areas that separate action cameras from their regular counterparts is the immense durability that they possess. This ultimately allows action cameras to be dropped without breaking or cracking. The vast majority of the leading helmet cameras are also fully crushproof. 

Waterproofing: Another important area to review is an action camera’s level of water resistance. The vast majority of Helmut cameras offer robust weatherproofing, if not being full-on waterproof. Additionally, there are also helmet cameras that can be placed into waterproof housings that allow them to film deep underwater without letting in a drop. 

Battery Life & Recording Time: Another important area to take into account when buying a helmet camera is the type and size of battery being used. This area will determine each camera’s recording time. What’s more, it’s also important to look into whether or not a helmet camera’s battery is removable, as the ability to swap out dead batteries for a fresh unit allows for markedly longer filming times. 

Display: Over the last few years, it’s become increasingly common to see action and moto helmet cameras that come equipped with built-in full-color displays that allow their user to playback footage and review photos on the spot. 

Available Accessories: Practically every action camera on the market is offered with a wide array of accessories and add-ons — including helmet mounts. These items can greatly increase an action camera’s versatility. Additionally, quite a few of the best action cameras currently on the market are offered with bundled accessory packs that typically include a variety of essential add-ons. 

Special Features: Though their primary job is to capture first-person-style footage, some helmet and action cameras come loaded with additional features or functions. This includes the ability to record a time lapse, special effects, and live on-demand editing capabilities. There are also some units that have additional integrated systems or features such as a Bluetooth comm system

Laws & Cams

The Legality Of Action Camera Use

Considering the widespread use and popularity of action cameras, it may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that the use of these devices falls into something of a grey area in terms of legality. While we’re not personally privy to any state or federal laws that directly prohibit or ban the use of action cameras specifically, there are some relevant regulations that one should know about before slapping one onto the helmet. The Department Of Transportation has a particular regulation — “Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Section 571.218 – Standard No. 218” to be specific — that states that it is illegal to modify the structure or shape of a motorcycle helmet. Additionally, this regulation also stipulates that riders aren’t permitted to mount or rigid items or devices on the interior or exterior of a helmet. This technically makes it illegal to ride on the street with an action camera mounted to the outside of your helmet, though, not unlike jaywalking, these rules are very seldom enforced. 

The Best Motorcycle Helmet Cameras

DJI Osmo Action 3

DJI Osmo Action 3
  • Features dual front & rear color displays
  • Waterproof & can operate at temperatures down to -4°F
  • Equipped w/ 155° super-wide distortion-free FOV
  • Uses quick-release mount system
  • Battery offers 2.6 hours of life & can receive 0-80% recharge in 18 mins
  • Helmet mount & other accessories sold separately
  • Not crushproof
  • Devoid of onboard storage

Best All-Conditions Pick: We’ve long been fans of DJI’s Osmo action camera, though the newest, third-generation iteration of this gadget manages to raise the bar on several levels. Waterproof down to over 50’, this cam features a 155° super-wide distortion-free FOV coupled with 4K recording capabilities at 120/FPS. This already stellar image quality is further enhanced via the use of 10-bit color depth. Outfitted with a 1.7” sensor, the Osmo 3 also boasts a quick-release design for effortless vertical and horizontal mounting, plus dual full-color touchscreen displays, and DJI’s HorizonSteady (horizon lock) feature. Capable of receiving a 0-80% recharge after being plugged in for only 18 minutes, the battery on this helmet camera affords up to 160 minutes of life on a single charge, and can operate in temperatures as low as -4°F (-20°C). 

Video Quality: 1080p, 2.7K, 4K
Resistances: Waterproof
Recording Time: 2.6 Hours

Sena 10C EVO

Sena 10C EVO
  • Cutting-edge comm system & action-cam combo
  • Built-in camera shoots 4K video at 30FPS
  • Has 4-way Bluetooth intercom w/ 1-mile range
  • Comes with audio integration for adding narration or music
  • Features dual mobile phone pairing & video tagging
  • Limited video options compared to dedicated action cams
  • Comm system doesn’t use Mesh tech

Best Combo Unit: The Sena 10C EVO is a state-of-the-art do-it-all motorcycling gadget that sees an ultra HD action camera and a Bluetooth comm system shoehorned into a single, compact device. On the comm system side, we get Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity and a four-way intercom with HD call clarity, a full mile of range, and Sena’s Advanced Noise Control feature that lessens wind and other background noise. On the other hand, the 10C EVO’s camera is comprised of a 4K item capable of recording at 30FPS. What’s more, this moto gadget can also be controlled via voice prompts, or through an optional handlebar-mounted remote. This combo item’s battery also affords up to 20 hours of talk time and 1.5 hours of video recording on a single charge. 

Video Quality: 4K, 2160p, 1440p, 1080p
Resistances: Waterproof
Recording Time: 1.5 Hours

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

  • Equipped w/ three-axis image stabilization
  • Capable of recording in 4K, 2.7K, 1080p, & 720p
  • Has LCD touchscreen display & one-notch navigation
  • Offers stellar waterproofing
  • Records live G-force, speed, & acceleration metrics that can be overlaid over video
  • No longer in production
  • Larger & heavier than newer models

Best For Integrated Metrics: You might recognize Garmin for the company’s exceptional GPS technology, but what most people don’t realize is that they’re also a valuable addition to the on-helmet recording space. The VIRB Ultra 30 is the navigation giant’s very own action cam, boasting 4K recording capabilities, in-body accelerometers, and detailed documentation of your speed, G-force, acceleration, and hangtime. Three-axis image stabilization helps to refine your shaky footage, while one-touch navigation, a touchscreen LCD, and waterproof body help to set Garmin’s compact camera apart from the competition.

Video Quality: 4K, 2.7K, 1080p, 720p
Resistances: Waterproof
Recording Time: 2 Hours

GoPro HERO11 Black

GoPro HERO11 Black
  • Features larger 1.9” CMOS sensor
  • Super easy-to-use interface
  • Video can be converted to 2.47MP still images
  • Has GoPro’s Emmy Award-winning HyperSmooth 5.0 video stabilization
  • Offered with huge variety of accessories & add-ons
  • Automatically uploads footage to the cloud
  • Limited battery life (though sold w/ free second battery)

Best Overall Pick: GoPro is something of the undisputed king of the action camera space, so it’s no surprise that our best overall-pick would go to the company’s latest and greatest offering, the GoPro HERO11 Black. Equipped with a larger 1.9” CMOS sensor, this action camera can shoot at 5.3K, 4K, and 2.7K. Sold with a free second battery, a carrying case, a mounting buckle, and a variety of adhesive mounts, the HERO11 Black can also convert video into high-resolution 24.7-megapixel still images. Crushproof and waterproof to 33’, the HERO11 Black also features a Cold Enduro battery, 10-bit color depth, the ability to automatically upload footage to the cloud, Horizon Lock, and GoPro’s Emmy Award-winning HyperSmooth 5.0 video stabilization.

Video Quality: 5.3K, 4K, 2.7K
Resistances: Waterproof, Crushproof
Recording Time: 1 Hour

Insta360 GO 3

Insta360 GO 3
  • Smallest & lightest action camera in the world
  • Features full-color touchscreen
  • Has FlowState Stabilization & 360° horizon lock
  • Tiny size allows for unparalleled amount of mounting options
  • Comes w/ Action Pod for mobile charging, remote controlling, & live reviewing
  • Video quality limited to 2.7K

Smallest Action Camera: The newest release on this list, the Insta360 GO 3 stands as the world’s smallest and lightest action camera, with the actual camera unit measuring just 1.0” x 2.1” x 0.9” and tipping the scales at just 1.2oz. The tiny camera unit comes paired with a multifunctional Action Pod that can be used as a remote control for the action camera and also allows for live previewing. Equipped with a flip-up full-color touchscreen, the Action Pod can also be used to charge the camera while in the field — not unlike the case on a pair of true wireless earbuds. Slow motion, time-lapse, and TimeShift functions also all come as standard, as does an AI-assisted PureShot HDR feature. Lastly, in addition to a 6-axis gyroscope, the GO 3 also packs FlowState Stabilization, a 360° horizon lock, and an IPX8 rating (meaning it’s waterproof down to 16’).

Video Quality: 2.7K, 1440p, 1080p
Resistances: Waterproof
Recording Time: 2.8 Hours

Sony RX0 II

  • Constructed around ultra-compact matchbox-sized Duralumin housing
  • Offers outstanding image quality
  • Fully waterproof & crushproof
  • Packs 2 full hours of battery life
  • Comes w/ 1” sensor & Zeiss Tessar T 24mm wide-angle lens
  • Expensive price

Best Premium Pick: Sony’s RXO II is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and state-of-the-art action and helmet cameras that money can currently buy — despite having now been on the market for several years. The RX0 II utilizes the company’s renowned video capabilities, lens designs, and technical prowess to bring riders an all-in-one device for every occasion. Like many of Sony’s premium compact cameras, the RXO II sports a large 1” sensor, 15.3-megapixel image capture capabilities courtesy of a high-quality Zeiss Tessar T 24mm wide-angle lens. What’s more, this crushproof example features 4K video capabilities and 120fps, Full HD footage, meaning you’ll be able to create immaculate edits wherever you go. Quality-of-life features like Sony’s proprietary Soft Skin Effect mode and Advanced Eye Autofocus help users to capture the moment with ease, while a tilt-able LCD brings exceptional composition capabilities to the table for cinematic use.

Video Quality: 4K, 2.7K,1080p, 720p
Resistances: Waterproof, Crushproof
Recording Time: 2 Hour

The Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets

Photo: Sena Impulse Modular Smart Helmet

Technology has done wonders to improve riding safety for 2-wheelers. Our guide to the best Bluetooth motorcycle helmets puts that on full display.