Best uses for extreme cameras

If you have just acquired an extreme digital camera like a GoPro or a rugged compact, here are some ideas on the crazy things that you can do to make the most of your purchase.

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Expertise Wearables, smartwatches, mobile phones, photography, health tech, assistive robotics Credentials
  • Webby Award honoree, 2x Gold Telly Award winner
Lexy Savvides
3 min read

If you have just acquired an extreme digital camera like a GoPro or a rugged compact, here are some ideas on the crazy things that you can do to make the most of your purchase.

Previously on CNET, we have covered various attempts by eight-legged sea creatures and flat-bodied marine life to make their own home movies. Now it's time for humans to try their hand at some extreme film-making using some poor, unsuspecting camera gear. Using the internet as our guide, sit back and enjoy some of the best uses for extreme cameras.

Try a spot of base jumping

We'll admit, before watching this video the phenomenon of wingsuit flying was nothing more than an elaborate fantasy conjured up by those lucid dreams after having had one too many slices of Camembert after dark. However, it is real — and Jeb Corliss and co are here to show you how to try this with your very own GoPro camera.

Not extreme enough for you? Try this footage of a poor skier who loses his footing on the edge of a cliff.

Send it into space

Now this one may be slightly out of reach for us mere mortals, but who are we to judge those who reach for the stars (pardon the pun)? Did you know that NASA has been sending Nikon cameras into space ever since 1971, when the Nikon Photomic FTN ascended with Apollo 15?

Mike Fossum
Mike Fossum takes his self portrait with Atlantis docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Attach a digital SLR to an RC car

Yes, we know that this feature is technically supposed to focus on humans rather than our furry friends, but how can anyone resist the sights of curious animals inspecting expensive camera gear? Matthew and William Burrard-Lucas are brothers who share a love of wildlife photography, and have mounted a Canon SLR on top of an all-terrain remote control vehicle.

Turn two again

Perhaps it's all part of the human design, but most of us wouldn't readily remember the day-to-day life of a two year old. Thank goodness for the internet; a father has strapped a GoPro camera to his daughter's helmet to capture those heady days of the terrible twos.

Try some parkour-style bike riding

A little break in the first-person perspective now, as this piece showcases Danny MacAskill riding around an industrial train yard. There's no fancy SLR trickery here, or helmet cams, either. Most likely shot on broadcast cameras, given the clip's original placement on Channel 4 in the UK, this is nonetheless a great, fun idea to try shooting with an extreme camera should you find yourself in the company of an elite bike rider.

There's plenty more where this came from, if extreme biking is your thing, at the digdeep YouTube channel.

Experience skydiving in slow motion

As usual, the best is saved until last. Unfortunately, the human hasn't evolved yet to allow the eye to capture scenes in slow motion, so we have to rely on our friend videography to make up the difference. This is a local video commissioned by Melbourne Skydive Centre, which really deserves to be watched in full screen, rather than talked about.

Experience Human Flight from Betty Wants In on Vimeo.

Looking for an extreme camera to call your own? There's the GoPro, Contour+, or our list of the best waterproof and tough cameras.