Winter Sports Tech Review

By Michael J. Lockhart

We check out this seasons' hottest cameras to take onto the slopes.

Since we’re approaching the warmer ski days, we thought it was time to test out a few cameras on the slopes. We headed out to Lake Placid, NY to check out these gadgets in and around the snow. You can also catch our virtual tour using the Panasonic FZ150 as part of our Whiteface Lodge Review


RESOLUTION: 12.1 Megapixel MOS sensor

CUSTOM LENS: 25mm ultra wide-angle Leica DC

ZOOM: 24x optical (equivalent to 25-600mm on a standard 35mm)

LCD: 3.0”

STANDARDS: Intelligent automatic setting, digital red-eye correction, facial detection & recognition (to name just a few)

COOLEST FEATURE: Nano Surface Coating (reduces ghosting when shooting)

VIDEO: Full HD 1080p

MSRP: $500

The High Zoom DMC-FZ150 is a classy camera that packs a lot of features into a small package while maintaining a decent price tag. The intelligent auto mode is a killer feature when it comes to an intermediate-level camera and getting the perfect aperture and shutter speed. When shooting outdoors, this camera produces exceptionally crisp photos (kudos to the Leica lens), which eliminates the usual glare and light level problems encountered in snow. Inside, the camera stabilizes well without flash and creates spot-on warmer tones which speak to the great white balance settings. The fact that this camera doesn’t take up too much space is a great plus, and the added bonus of top-notch HD shooting makes it a worthy investment for heading out to capture some action on the hill.

Verdict: A star camera that shoots easier than an SLR, but produces similar results at a fraction of the price.


RESOLUTION: 8 Megapixels (still only)

RECORDING QUALITY: 1920 x 1080p @ 30fps

ZOOM: 4x

LCD: 3.0” Touchscreen

STANDARDS: Webcam mode, built-in USB for PC&MAC + charging

COOLEST FEATURE: Tough Trio: Waterproof (3m), Dustproof, Shockproof (1.5m)

MSRP: $200

With ice, hard-packed snow, and hidden rocks, winter destinations can be a hazardous place for technology. With this is mind, Panasonic’s tough mobile camera line was an ideal choice to test out the action be it on skis, snowboard, tube, toboggan, or even cafeteria serving tray (you know who you are). Our first response to this tiny cam was the weight, which was comparable to that of a cell phone. The user interface is simple, with options for zoom, video recording, and still shot, all accessed via touch screen. This didn’t function as well outside and unless you are wearing small gloves, you might end up sacrificing your bare fingers to the winter air. Serious shots of winter sports activities would be best accomplished with the FZ150, but this little cam is best reserved for YouTube and Facebook videos. That being said, we’d gladly take it on our next ski trip.

Verdict: It’s not a bad camera, but the video quality is affected if you are moving too quickly.



Playboy Social