We take a look at ways of getting a steady shot, with pro tricks to get great action video, and a lightweight but meaty camera option for stills with optical image stabilisation – it does the work for you!

The trick to getting the best action cam shots isn’t always in the device, it’s how you use it. We take a look at the secrets of how – and when – to use that pile of different mounts…

You’ve just unpackaged a brand new action camera, charged the battery and set it up for use – so far so good. But waving it around in your bare hand isn’t going to get you the best shots, so you turn to the mounts – but which one to choose? There’s a huge range of mounts for every situation and sporting discipline, and in many cases a range of different mounts will give you completely new and fresh perspectives on the same event.

The helmet mount

Brilliant for snowsports, kayaking, cycling and motorbike occasions, the helmet mount not only shoots what you see, but also stays out of the way. Depending on your camera model and design, you’ll either have an ‘on top’ mount or possibly a sidemount, which can be more aerodynamic at high speed.

The bar mount

Obviously intended for the cycle/motorbike market, the bar mount can keep bulkier cameras nice and steady, and put the weight on the bike rather than you, which can be a boon on longer trips. Also ideal if you plan to tweak settings on the move, or if an extra battery pack is fitted, also adding weight. Check the diameter of the mount fits your bars before travelling – oversized bars can overwhelm skinny mounts – and also remember to get creative for other sports.

The chest mount

Ideal for skiing and running events, the chest mount offers a stable platform and frames the shot with your limbs, skis, etc, giving a valuable sense of perspective.

The sucker mount

Ideal for vehicle mounting, the sucker mount attaches to windows especially well, and the most robust versions will work with flatter bodywork areas too. Mount as low as possible to create the sensation of speed.

The selfie stick

The infamous selfie stick has earned a place in the action camera mount hall of fame. Super-high frame rates and careful following or preceding camera angles will bring the experience to life.

The gimbal

Once the preserve of military reconnaissance planes and big-budget Hollywood spectaculars, gimbal mounts are now available for easily affordable prices, and can make a huge difference to image quality. The gimbal simply stabilises the camera, isolating it from sudden bumps and lurches, smoothing out the footage and damping the jerky quality that marks out poorly-shot amateur action cam footage. Prepare to be amazed at the difference.

The pod

There’s a vast range of pods out there, from full-fat professional studio tripods to adaptors that make a walking stick into a monopod, the trick is to have the right one on hand at the right time.

AN ACCESSIBLY PRICED CAMERA FOR RAZOR SHARP STILLS

The Kodak Pixpro AZ401 features a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, helping capture sharp and detailed images. You can take pictures from a long distance away, with a 40x ultra long optical zoom and a powerful 160x digital zoom. Ideal for developing your photography knowledge, the AZ401 uses similar functions to a DSLR camera and has optical image stabilisation. With 13 scene modes and a useful 180-degree panorama function, you can capture creative images and get the best possible final photos, using the face beautifier feature to easily amend portraits. You can also shoot HD footage at up to 30 fps, using this camera which is compact enough to fit easily in your hand, making it ideal for travelling and outdoor photography.  Priced at £199.99. Mounts and cameras available at www.shoppixpro.com