Nothing screams go-karting more than the exhilarating feeling you get when you race through chicanes while overtaking your competition. It’s a very competitive sport and go-kart racers strive to improve with every race. They also create beautiful memories, especially if you finish the race in the top 3.
Instead of reliving these memories with your imagination, you can simply record your race on a camera. Watching yourself on a camera is also essential when it comes to analyzing your decision making during a race. Previously, go-kart racers had to get someone to film them from the stand, only given them limited visibility. Mounting a camera on your kart or go-kart racing helmet is much more effective and you get to follow your entire race in your own point-of-view (POV). The perfect go-kart racing camera for this is a GoPro.
It’s becoming more and more popular and in almost every race, you’ll spot someone with a GoPro camera attached to his or her go-kart or helmet. If you want to relive your past races and want to use the footage to analyze them, you need a good GoPro camera. You may ask yourself, which one is the best? Well, this article will help you answer that question!
GoPro HERO 8 Black
The GoPro HERO 8 Black is the best GoPro for go-kart racing. The reason why it’s so great is because it comes with an innovative design and has exclusive features that help you capture your races perfectly. Its new design not only looks good, but also features easy mounting options allowing you to attach it to practically any part of your go-kart or your safety equipment.
Its proprietary HyperSmooth 2.0 technology helps to stabilize the video capturing, while you race through challenging chicanes and overtake your opponents. This allows you to capture the best quality videos. Depending on how smooth or rough the track is, you’ll be able to take advantage of the HERO 8 Black’s three-level stabilization feature. And the best thing is that the HyperSmooth 2.0 technology is available for all resolutions. This means that you can set this yourself depending on the track condition.
The HERO 8 Black comes with GoPro’s standard mounting system that gives you free flexibility when it comes to mounting the camera. While the HERO 8 Black has been said to get a little hot while recording, this shouldn’t bother you, as when you race, the wind resistance will cool the HERO 8.
From a technical point of view, the HERO 8 Black also allows for HDR video capturing, if that is your preference. For go-kart racing, the HERO 8 Black is best in its class. It provides 4k video footage of your race at up to 60 frames per second or 240 frames per second at 1080p. Its front facing microphone is ideal for capturing racing noises, and the audio wind-resistance features makes it perfect for kart racing. It also has twice the shock resistance compared to other GoPro models.
Having a 1-2 hour battery life means that you’ll be able to let it fully run for the entirety of your session. It only takes 3 hours to charge this GoPro, which is relatively short. Overall, the GoPro HERO 8 Black is the perfect camera for recording your go-kart races. It takes the top spot in this list and it’s easy to understand why!
GoPro HERO 7 Black
The GoPro HERO 7 is the predecessor of the HERO 8 and is also great for go-kart racing. It captures great video and audio and the way it’s designed reduces vibration.
Like previous GoPro Black models, the HERO 7 also comes with a wide-range of frame rates and video resolutions. This is great for capturing races, as you can choose from a 4K resolution at 60fps, all the way to 240fps for lower video resolutions. The 12 megapixel camera shoots crystal clear videos and its wide-angle lens ensures a wide capturing range.
To provide smooth footage, its HyperSmooth video stabilization technology plays a vital role. It’s able to predict and adjust your recording to minimize vibration. Therefore, you can expect to get smooth footage when you record yourself kart racing.
If you plan to take photos of races, you’ll have the ability to capture via various options, such as local tone mapping, noise reduction, HDR and more. Therefore, you can adjust the settings for getting the best picture in any weather conditions. Another reason why the HERO 7 is a great choice, is because it’s durable and waterproof. This means that you can easily record your go-kart races, regardless if it’s raining or snowing.
If you’re into creating stylish YouTube videos, you can use the time warp video capture feature. This will allow you to speed up or slow down certain passages during your race recording. Although the GoPro HERO 7 has voice controls, you won’t be able to use them during a race, as you’ll be wearing a helmet. However, you’ll be able to use this feature for other occasions.
All things considered, the GoPro HERO 7 is an amazing video camera for recording go-kart races. It’s compact, durable and extremely feature-rich, much like its successor. However, compared to the HERO 8, it’s slightly less advanced and has a few less features, but that makes it also more affordable. The HERO 7 is a great choice for kart racers!
GoPro HERO 7 Silver
The GoPro Hero 7 Silver is also a great camera for go-kart racing. In essence, it can be thought of as a slightly less powerful version as the Hero 7 Black. However, it still packs quite a punch while being more budget friendly.
As with all GoPros, the Hero 7 Silver comes with a stunning design and color. It has the ability to record high-quality 4k videos of your go-kart races. The image quality is fantastic and you’ll also be able to use features such as time lapse and slow motion, if you are into content creation on sites like YouTube.
The camera is 10 megapixels and takes some great quality photos and videos. It’s also equipped with a wide dynamic range (WDR) mode and has the ability to automatically adjust light and shadows. Although it’s known to be lower spec than the HERO 7 Black, the HERO 7 Silver comes with a stabilization feature. This is great for go-karters, as races can be a little bumpy at times. This greatly improves the video quality. Although it isn’t as great as the HERO 7 Black and HERO 8 Back, it gets the job done.
Another great feature is that this GoPro comes with a GPS function. You’ll be able to track distances, speeds with visual overlays on the video. For any type of go-kart racer, this is ideal as you don’t need to do a lot of manual video editing. Its waterproof construction allows you to use it during rainy weather conditions.
A fully charged battery gives you about 1.5 – 2 hours of video capturing, depending on the video quality and enabled modes. That’s more than enough for a go-kart session. The Hero 7 Silver is a great GoPro camera for karters, that are looking for a mid-tier video recorder for races. With regards to features and specifications, it falls somewhere in between the HERO Black and HERO White series.
GoPro HERO 7 White
GoPro HERO 7 White is a basic action camera that is suitable for go-kart racers who are on a budget. Out of all available GoPro ranges, the GoPro HERO 7 White ranks slightly below the HERO 7 Silver. This doesn’t mean it’s not suitable for recording go-kart races. It most definitely is, however the only downside is that you’ll just not be able to leverage all the new features from the HERO 7 Silver and HERO 7 Black.
The HERO 7 White comes with a 10 megapixel camera that is able to capture high-resolution videos and images. You will be able to capture your races in 1080p or 1440p resolution. As you can see, the Hero 7 White is not able to record 4k. If you’re not in need of 4k, then perhaps this model is suitable for you. If you’re not a content creator and are just looking to analyze your races, this GoPro is perfect.
It features a simple touch screen that allows you to navigate easily. Picture and video quality are also decent, as this camera is equipped with a basic video stabilizer. The HERO 7 White has a built-in 1,200 mAh battery and a full charge will power it for about 100 minutes. This makes it suitable for races, as you can simply start recording the moment you start the race. Unfortunately, the HERO 7 White doesn’t come with GPS and live streaming capabilities.
Additionally, it’s also built with waterproof housing that enables you to race during rainy days. This GoPro camera takes a shape similar to the HERO 7 Black and HERO 7 Silver, however its less powerful lens and hardware give it a slightly smaller form-factor.
All things considered, the HERO 7 White is great for go-kart racers who are looking for a budget-friendly GoPro to record races. Although you would be forfeiting 4k video capturing, GPS and live streaming capabilities, the GoPro HERO 7 White is still a decent entry-level pick for a great price.
The GoPro Max is our final entry in this list. This GoPro is an extremely feature-rich camera that is able to record 5.6k resolution videos in 360 degrees. If this were a general review list of GoPros, the Max would have been much higher on the list. But since we’re reviewing these GoPros for go-karting the Max feels slightly overkill, and here’s why.
The GoPro Max comes with four digital lenses to give a 360 degree video capturing angle. Its HERO mode enables you to capture sound from any angle and also allows you to capture the video with a narrow, linear, wide and Max Super View. Its rubberized body construction is rugged and very long-lasting. Moreover, the Max is equipped with top-notch technology. It features a 1.7-inch touch LCD display that is responsive.
The audio capturing is great, as well with its 360 degree angle, stereo audio and shotgun mic feature. Like other GoPro cameras, The Max also comes with video stabilization via its HyperSmooth feature. It allows you to record go-kart races with extreme stability, which is important given that race tracks aren’t always evenly leveled.
It’s equipped with a 1600mAh capacity battery that should give you about 100 – 115 minutes of power. This is enough for recording go-kart races. The 360 degree video capturing capabilities are nice to have but the problem is that it’s very hard to fully utilize this. Mounting your GoPro on the helmet, shoulder, bumper, radiator or frame will only allow you to capture at most a wide angle. This is because the go-kart or your body is obstructing the other angles.
Make no mistake, the GoPro Max is great, but it’s just tricky to fully utilize its true potential. And for a premium price, you may not get its full value. Unless you can think of a great method to mount it so it gives you a full 360 viewing angle, it’s suggested to stick to either the HERO 7 or HERO 8 models.
Buying Guide: How to Choose a GoPro Camera & Mount
When you’re looking for the perfect GoPro setup for your go-kart there are many options that you can consider. You’ll need to take into consideration what type of GoPro camera you’re looking for, which mounting system you prefer, where you want to mount the GoPro, what the purpose of your setup is and various other things.
In order to help you make your purchase decision easier, the next section will focus on going into the details of the above-mentioned considerations.
Type & Purpose
The equipment you’re planning to buy should be in accordance with what the purpose for them is. For example, if you’re planning to review your go-kart races, you may want to get a simple setup using a mid-tier GoPro with a front and rear racing setup. This will give you the ability to review your driving habits, and also show you how you are defending your positions.
If you are a streamer or YouTube content creator, you may want to get top-tier GoPro that covers more entertaining viewing angles and may require a multi-camera setup. It definitely helps to understand the purpose of your setup, in order to determine what GoPro cameras and mounts you should be considering.
There are many types of locations where you can mount your camera. Of course, it also depends what you’re trying to record. Personally, I prefer to use a mounted camera on the nose cone, as this gives the most stable and frontward facing shot of your race. You’ll be able to see your overtaking moments and analyze them. I also like to install a rear-facing camera on the frame or strut to analyze how well I defend my positions against others.
There are also other mounting locations that give different types of viewing angles. A helmet mount is also a good place, as it helps to analyze your head movements and gives you quite a high viewing angle. However, some circuits or races don’t allow this. It may also cause the video to be a little bit shaky. This also applies if you mount the GoPro on your shoulder.
Whichever location you choose to mount your GoPro, always ensure that it’s tightly secured. I’ve seen it happen before that the mount gets loose and falls off. This is bad for you, as the GoPro may get damaged. It can also become a track hazard.
- Great viewing angle
- Ability to see head movements
- Can be quite shaky
- Low viewing angle
- Very stable mount due to screws
- Credit: Morgan Schuler
- Great viewing angle
- Can be quite unstable and uncomfortable
- Unable to wear with neck brace
There are GoPro cameras and mounts for all types of budgets. GoPros that are suitable for go-kart racing start at around $200 and go up to about $400. A high-quality mounting system for your go-kart is somewhere between $10 and $50.
If you’re on a shoestring budget, an entry-level setup can cost you as little as $210 – $230 (GoPro Hero 7 White + basic mount). A premium GoPro setup can typically cost around $430 – $450 (GoPro Hero 7 Black + advanced mount). If you are looking for an intermediate level setup, you can opt for a GoPro Hero 7 Silver with a basic mount, which should cost around $250.