There are so many amazing experiences worth capturing during a Disney World vacation. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right video camera for your trip.
Years of Disney World adventures have helped me figure out what video camera and accessories I like best. I’ll share my favorite options here.
My Favorite Video Cameras for Disney World
- GoPro Hero6 Black (Click to check current price on Amazon): This is the video camera I personally own and use at Disney. GoPro is considered the king in the action cam industry and the Hero6 Black delivers on that title. It has the best quality, best slow-motion, and a ton of amazing features. To top it off, GoPro dropped the price on it early in 2018, making it a no-brainer purchase if you were previously on the fence.
- Sony Action Cam (Click to check current price on Amazon): Before the GoPro Hero6 Black dropped in price, the Sony Action Cam was arguably a much better value. The Sony is still a great video camera, but it’s not quite as appealing as it was before the GoPro price change. The Sony does do a little better job of 4K image stabilization.
- Yi 4k+ Action Cam (Click to check current price on Amazon): The Yi 4K+ is a good bargain. It’s got an impressive number of features and is reasonably cheaper than the first two options. It’s not going to do amazing image stabilization and it can’t handle wet weather, but it’s still a good, lower-budget choice.
Why I Personally Use the GoPro Hero6 Black
Back in December of last year, I needed to upgrade from my older GoPro. I wanted something more powerful to take on my December honeymoon to Europe.
I actually liked the Hero6 so much that I bought it at its original price before it dropped.
Disney World happened to be the first place I took the camera. I stayed at the Grand Floridian for the first day and a half of my honeymoon, so I had the chance to walk around the property and test it out. After that, I hopped on a plane and crossed the Atlantic. I got ski shots in one country, urban nighttime shots in another. It performed really well everywhere I took it, from Magic Kingdom to Switzerland.
GoPro always produces a pretty good product, but the Hero6 is definitely one of the best video cameras they’ve made to date. The jump in technology from the prior model is significant.
There are a large variety of filming conditions at Disney World. Bright sunshine outdoors. Dark rides indoors. Swimming pools. Rain. You get the picture. All of those things combine and create a perfect situation for the versatility of a GoPro to shine.
My favorite Hero6 features:
- The image clarity is unmatched by competing action cameras. The amount of detail in videos is really, really good.
- An advanced lens and processor means that it will shoot great video whether you’re walking around Cinderella’s castle or filming the darkened waterways of Pirates of the Caribbean.
- The Hero6 is twice as powerful as the Hero5.
- Way easier to use than the Sony or the Yi.
- GoPro’s sheer number of awesome accessories is also unmatched by other companies. (I’ll list my favorite accessories below).
- Slow-motion shooting is INSANE. It blows the others away with this feature and it’s so much fun to use.
- The touchscreen is pretty easy to use and does a good job of displaying videos.
- Voice-control is built-in, giving you hands-free control of the camera.
- It is capable of going underwater without any additional housing.
- It’s capable of shooting 4K video at 60fps. It and the Yi are the only two that can do that.
- Good image stabilization.
- The camera’s WiFi is quick at sending the video directly to your smartphone.
- You can also use it to take good quality HDR photos. This is a great feature for getting impressive, dramatic photos when you don’t have a regular camera with you.
- GoPro’s “Quik” app is cool for automatically creating short clips with music from your videos on your smartphone.
- Beginners will love how easy it is to create impressive videos.
- Advanced users will love the powerful features this thing is loaded down with.
My Favorite GoPro Accessories for Disney World
All of these are accessories I personally own and use with my GoPro. All of these items are also Disney-approved, so you won’t have to worry about getting busted by security.
- GoPro Karma Grip (Click to check current price on Amazon): The Karma Grip is definitely not the cheapest accessory, but it’s the one I used the most. It’s a battery-powered, handheld gimbal that stabilizes your GoPro. It has built-in camera controls and makes it ridiculously easy to shoot professional quality video. It also gives you a ton of extra battery life.
- Extra Rechargeable Battery (Click to check current price on Amazon): A backup battery is probably the important thing to have if you’re on vacation, especially if you’re shooting at 4K resolution.
- Dual Battery Charger (Click to check current price on Amazon): The dual battery charger is really good for travel. It’s super convenient to have the ability to charge two batteries at once.
- Seeker Backpack (Click to check current price on Amazon): I actually bought this one when I was out of the country. I didn’t think I needed it at first, but it turned out to be very handy for carrying around all my gear. It has a GoPro mount built into one of the shoulder straps, making for easy hands-free filming while you walk. It also comes packaged with an extra chest mount.
Important: When you’re buying GoPro accessories to take with you to Disney World, make sure you avoid any extendable grips or handles. Disney banned selfie sticks and extendable camera handles because they were causing too many safety problems inside the parks. The Karma Grip I mentioned above is allowed because it doesn’t extend.
Also Important: Don’t forget about extra memory cards. You’ll want at least two 64gb memory cards designed to handle video storage. It’s absolutely no fun to be surprised by a single full memory card, only to have to delete precious video footage to make room for more. There are lots of good options out there. For price and performance, I like the Sandisk Extreme best. (Here’s a link to the Sandisk Extreme card)
The Most Important Features to Consider for an Action Video Camera
- 1080p at 60fps or better: This is the bare minimum for what a good camera should shoot. You’ll likely do most of your filming at this resolution.
- 4K Capability: With the way technology is advancing, 4K is an important feature. Even if you don’t think you’ll use it now, chances are you will in the near future. This helps to future-proof your purchase.
- Ease of Use: Unless you’re a professional videographer, you don’t want to spend a lifetime trying to learn how to use your camera.
- Durability: This is an obvious one. Most of your filming will be outdoors and you’ll want your video camera to withstand a drop without falling apart.
- Waterproof: You’ll get a lot more use out of your camera if it’s waterproof. It’s fun to find ways to get cool shots in the ocean or pool.
- WiFi: Solid WiFi has become a huge deal for video cameras. This is particularly good for traveling, as you can easily get videos straight from your camera to send in emails or post on social media.
- Battery Life: Most good action cams will have good, comparable battery life. Don’t waste your time with something frustrating that won’t hold a charge.
- Image Stabilization: Modern image stabilization tech goes a long way in smoothing out videos. This is particularly important for amateur videographers or those who don’t want to use a gimbal.
- Good Lens: Having a good, fast lens is a really important part of your video camera adjusting to its surroundings. Light conditions can change quickly and your camera needs to be able to respond quickly.