Whether you’re a sportsperson or you like going on treks, a body camera can help you capture some excellent first-person PoV footage. Apart from this, body cameras allow you to record your surroundings when you’re out and about. This is a good use case for personal safety.
You can also record vlogs or your daily activities using body-worn cameras. Another advantage of using a personal body camera is that you can bike freely or work without burdening your hands with hefty camera gear. You can even use it as a dashcam substitute when driving. On that note, here are the best body cameras for civilians. But before that –
- If recording vlogs is your primary objective, consider a pocket camera instead.
- You can also use an action camera for vlogging and sporting activities.
- Looking for something more professional? Pick up a vlogging camera with a flip screen.
1. KSADBOSSBO Body Camera
- Video resolution: 1080p
- Screen: 1.4-inch
Starting off the list is a clip-on camera with a swivel. So, you can record your surroundings and then flip the camera to record yourself if you’re vlogging. The camera in question also has a small viewfinder which will undoubtedly come in handy.
Despite being the most affordable product on this list, it’s one of the only two cameras to have a built-in display. In fact, the brand is also kind enough to bundle in a 64GB microSD card along with a card reader to transfer footage. All of this might sound too good to be true at this price point but reviews say it is indeed a great camera for the price, especially for personal safety.
You can record up to six hours of footage on a single charge. What’s more, you can connect a power bank to the KSADBOSSBO camera and record continuously for 24 hours. Users say the video quality is surprisingly good but the audio is slightly muffled at times. That said, buyers opting for a body cam will seldom be bogged down by a camera’s audio recording capabilities.
2. HeadsUp Head Mounted Camera
- Video resolution: 1080p
- Screen: Nil
Unlike the KSADBOSSBO camera, HeadsUp’s offering doesn’t really mount on your body. Instead, it’s a head-mounted camera which a lot of people may prefer. It provides a more elevated PoV as opposed to mounting a camera on your chest or shirt pocket.
A head-mounted camera might be a better option if you’re a biker or you’re headed on an exploration trek. Mounting a camera on your head can give a wider perspective as opposed to a body camera, which is usually positioned lower on your body. This can be useful when vlogging or when recording subjects at eye level.
As per users, the HeadsUp camera records good-quality footage during broad daylight. Once the sun sets, the video quality takes a hit as there’s a lot of noise introduced in the footage. It’s also worth noting that the headband isn’t designed too well so it might be uncomfortable to wear for too long.
3. BOBLOV M5 Body-Mounted Camera
- Video resolution: 2K
- Screen: Nil
If you’ve always wanted fancy Axon body cams worn by FBI officers, then you’ll find plenty to like about the BOBLOV M5 Body-Mounted Camera. Of course, you will not get the same video quality out of the camera. However, it looks quite similar and even features a rugged design that can seemingly take a beating.
One of the primary highlights of the Axon body camera used by federal officers is its rugged design. BOBLOV has tried to match the same and the company’s M5 body camera ships with a drop-resistance exterior and an IP67 rating. The M5 camera can also record in up to 1440p resolution, thereby giving it an edge over the aforementioned alternatives.
Thankfully, the higher resolution does translate into good video quality. The larger sensor also means low-light videos don’t look as noisy. A big advantage of the BOBLOV M5 camera compared to the other options is the long battery life. BOBLOV claims 15 hours of battery life so you can technically use the camera for an entire day on one charge.
However, the big battery also means the camera is a bit chunky. As such, the device might weigh your shirt or jacket down.
4. Insta360 Go 2
- Video resolution: 2K
- Screen: Nil
While the Insta360 Go 2 is essentially an action camera, it’s one of the tiniest ones out there which means you can clip it onto yourself to use as a body cam. In the box, you get a magnetic pendant to wear around your neck. The camera then snaps onto the pendant to record videos from a first-person PoV.
The pendant is meant to be worn inside your shirt while the camera stays on the outside. This gives the Insta360 Go 2 a floating look. That’s not all, as the camera tips the scale at just 0.059 lbs (27g). As such, you won’t feel the pendant’s clasps weigh your shoulders down.
Despite being so tiny, the Insta360 Go 2 can record at 1440p resolution. What’s more, the quality of the footage is not too shabby either. As per users, the stabilization is remarkable so if you’re running or biking, most shakes are eliminated. It’s also waterproof up to 13ft so you can go swimming with it too.
The cherry on top is that the company also bundles additional mounts and accessories to use with the Go 2 action camera. If you want a well-rounded camera that can also act as a body cam from time to time, the Insta360 Go 2 is an extremely versatile option. The only downside — which can be a deal-breaker for many — is the sub-par battery life. Due to the small form factor, you can only record for 30 minutes on a single charge.
5. GoPro Hero 11 Black
- Video resolution: 5.3K
- Screen: 2.27-inch (rear) + 1.4-inch (front)
GoPros are among the most sought-after action cameras. And, the company has upped the ante yet again with the Hero 11 Black camera. To that end, the Hero 11 Black features an improved sensor and two displays to frame the camera when you’re recording yourself or your surroundings.
If you’re primarily looking for the best video quality, the GoPro Hero 11 is the best option from the lot. You can shoot videos in 5.3K resolution with excellent details and colors. On the flip side, the camera’s battery life might disappoint some buyers. To wit, users state that the camera offers a runtime of close to two hours on a full charge when recording at max resolution.
This is a compromise you have to make if you want to record high-quality footage that you plan on using for vlogs. Since the GoPro Hero 11 Black is slightly large and heavy, you will need a good body mounting kit with a chest mount or a shoulder strap. The kit also includes a headband if you want to record videos from an elevated perspective.
FAQs for Body Cameras
While it is on the heavier side, you can certainly use a GoPro as a body cam with the help of a good mount.
Just like a GoPro mount, there are several mounts that allow you to attach a smartphone to your body. This way, you can use your phone as a body cam. However, it can be inconvenient to do so since phones are large, heavy, and fragile.
Yes, 360-degree cameras can also be used as body cams. However, they are quite fragile due to bulging lenses on either side so you might want to be careful when using them.
Film Your Perspective
These were some of the best body cameras that allow you to record videos from a first-person PoV. As such, you can relive your memories from a fresh perspective – something that is hard to come by if you’re using a conventional camera. Not just that; a body camera can also aid you in several situations so it’s a good tool to have for personal safety. Depending on your use case, you can choose from any of the cameras mentioned above.
Last updated on 15 June, 2023
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