Top Soloshot Alternatives to Film Your Equine Adventures!

Last Updated on January 28, 2023

Soloshot cameras are a popular choice for equestrians investing in a camera to record their rides. But what are the best Soloshot alternatives out there?

Ever want to video your ride and find yourself missing a cameraman? Look no further, as tracking cameras are taking over the video camera market!  Equestrians across the globe are investing in tracking cameras that record their rides without the use of a cameraman. 

One of the major players in the tracking camera industry is the Soloshot camera system. However, the Soloshot camera price can be offputting, and many riders have started to wonder if other options may give better value for money.

Today we are going to take a look at three of the most popular cameras out there to record your riding activities – the Soloshot, Swivl, and GoPro.

We will be analyzing the uses, features, pros, and cons of SoloShot Vs GoPro Vs Swivl, and find out if the GoPro is a good Swivl camera alternative, or if the Soloshot would be a better fit for you.

Soloshot vs Swivl: Tracking Cameras and Riding

“Will you video my course?” If you are a horse rider, you may find yourself saying this phrase all the time at the barn and horse shows! But what if nobody is around, or someone has to direct their attention away from their lesson or their job to take a video of you riding or jumping?

With tracking cameras, this will no longer be a problem! Tracking cameras sit on a tripod by themselves and use systems of sensors (each unique to the specific camera) to follow its target as it moves. Pretty cool, hey?!

Soloshot vs Swivl: Tracking Cameras and Riding

Tracking cameras are now used by athletes in all realms of sports; surfers, motorcyclists, and of course, equestrians.  They allow us to analyze and share our rides, even when we are riding on our own, or do not have someone who can “video our course.” And, of course, they’re awesome for capturing super cool action shots to share on social media!

However, these are seriously expensive bits of kit, so you’ll want to make sure to get the right one for you and your budget. Today we’re going to look at the most popular camera, the Soloshot, and also investigate if there is a good Soloshot alternative out there.

SoloShot Tracking Camera

The SoloShot is the tracking camera most commonly used by equestrians.  Right now, SoloShot is on its third generation, SoloShot3.  They offer a few different packages so that customers can select what is the best fit for them.

Intended Purpose

The SoloShot company designs its cameras and camera systems with athletes in mind.  Athletes are featured in the photographs and review on their website. As discussed in a forum on the Chronicle of the Horse, SoloShot is the predominant tracking camera used by equestrians today.

Soloshot Features

There are a few different features that set the SoloShot apart from other tracking cameras.  The subject of SoloShot’s video wears a tracker on a wristband or armband. This tracker indicates to the camera where the subject is and allows the camera to track it.

The SoloShot3 comes in two different variations; the SoloShot3 with the Optic25 Camera and the SoloShot3 with the Optic65 Camera.  Both can be purchased either new or “refurbished.” The Optic25 camera runs $678 refurbished and $778 new. Both packages include the SoloShot Tripod Lite as well.

The Optic25 camera will shoot a target within 600 ft of the camera and takes 1080p60 video.  It can Livestream the video and has a 25x optical zoom. Unfortunately, though, it can only be used outside.

The Optic65 camera will shoot a target beyond 600 ft of the camera and takes high-quality 4k video.  It can also live-stream the video and has 65x optical zoom (hence the names, Optic25 and Optic65). The Optic65 can also only be used outside.

Soloshot Pros and Cons for Equestrians

The pros and cons of the SoloShot for equestrians are fairly clear.  The range of the Optic65 is sufficient enough for all large arenas. The range of the Optic25 would be sufficient for small arenas and round pen or lounge work. The tracking range is a huge advantage when it comes to using the SoloShot.

The high-quality video and the large optic zooms are also benefits for equestrians.  Large zoom will enable riders to better critique their positions, and high-quality video is always preferable for video sharing.

The only disadvantages of the Soloshot are its price and its outdoor limitations.  The price isn’t too surprising, given the price points of other tracking cameras and high-quality cameras in general.  But, it will still put the SoloShot out of some equestrian price ranges.  

Soloshot vs Swivl: Pros and Cons for Equestrians

The outdoor limitation is the biggest downside for equestrians.  Many equestrians are forced to ride inside for a few months of the year due to weather.  This time spent training inside is crucial, and it is a serious disadvantage to be unable to use the camera inside during periods of bad weather.  

SoloShot has stated that they will be coming out with an indoor-shoot adaptation soon, but it has not been released yet.  As such, the outdoor limitations are still a large factor in deciding whether to purchase a SoloShot or not.

Swivl Tracking Camera

The Swivl is another large player in the tracking camera industry and is fast becoming a highly recommended Soloshot alternative.  While the Swivl may have a different variety of features and characteristics than the SoloShot, the end goal is the same; to capture a moving target without the use of a live cameraman.

Intended Purpose

The Swivl was intended for professional use; teachers and presenters use Swivl to record lectures, speeches, panels, and presentations.  All of the representations (images, testimonials, etc.) on Swivl’s website are from individuals in these professions.

Swivl Features

The most interesting feature of the Swivl is that it isn’t actually a camera; it’s a camera base and is compatible with an iPhone or an iPad.  The base itself tracks the moving object while recording with whatever device is connected to it. You will need a suitable recording device to attach to the base.

The subject of the camera wears a tracker, typically on a lanyard, and the camera base follows the subject’s motion. It was originally designed to be worn by staff in the education sector, to record lectures for external students. However, equestrians have realized that it is a great device for recording horse riding activities!

The Swivl has a range of 32 feet and can be used both inside and outside.  It was designed to be used inside, but, since it uses smartphone or tablet technology for the video itself, it can be used wherever one of these devices can be used.

Swivl Pros and Cons for Equestrians

The biggest disadvantage for equestrians using the Swivl is its range.  32 ft is enough to capture a large circle, and that’s about it; the Swivl would not be able to capture a full course, which, for many, would take it out of consideration.  However, for riders who use a small indoor arena, this can be the perfect solution.

A huge advantage to the Swivl is its connectivity – designed for the classroom, this device will seamlessly communicate with the device of your choice. This makes it super simple to capture, analyze and share videos.

By connecting a microphone you can also record quality audio which can be projected to speakers in the arena. This makes it a great choice for live displays, as both the images and sound can be transmitted for all the audience to see and hear.

The price range for the Swivl starts at $599, which is around the same price as the Soloshot. It has been suggested that you could set up two Swivl cameras to combat the small range, but then the price would jump to $1200 for two cameras to cover a 64 ft long arena.

Another disadvantage to this system is that you need to purchase the recording device separately. However, if you already own a good-quality camera, the Swivl can seem like a very appealing Soloshot alternative.

Pros and Cons for Equestrians

GoPro Tracking Camera

You might be wondering how the GoPro made it onto this list at all – after all, isn’t the GoPro a helmet camera? Well, with some clever adaptation, the GoPro can also be a very effective tracking camera!

Intended Purpose

While the GoPro is primarily a helmet-mounted camera, it can also be used as a tracking camera with the addition of a Smart Auto Tracker. This is a swivel onto which the camera is mounted; it can then be set to target and follow an object as the camera records.

GoPro Features

The Smart Auto Tracker for GoPro features a smooth-moving swivel that can turn a full 360 degrees. The battery life is up to 5 hours, and it is compatible with many commonly-used models of GoPro cameras. It comes with a small remote control that allows the rider to adjust the camera without dismounting from the horse.

GoPro Pros And Cons For Equestrians

The main feature of this system is that you will have not only the best GoPro for horse riding but also the functionality to transform it into a tracking camera to record your riding activities from the ground. This makes it a much more cost-effective option to purpose-made tracking cameras, although it may not give the same high-quality video.

Conclusion – What is The Best Soloshot Alternative?

Tracking cameras are changing the name of the game for videography in the equestrian world! SoloShot, GoPro, and Swivl all have systems that can create footage for riders without the use of a cameraman.

All equestrians love to watch videos of their rides and their lessons, for both training and sharing purposes. It will be a joy to watch where this industry goes in the future! Please share this article and comment below with your experiences using tracking cameras!

FAQs

How do you record yourself while riding?

Unquestionably, the best option is to use a tracking camera. This is a camera which sits on a tripod in the arena; it locates a moving object and can swivel around to follow it. The recorded video can then be reviewed at a later date for training purposes.

What camera follows your movement?

One of the most popular motion tracking cameras for riding is SOLOSHOT3. This is a robot camera that can automatically track the movement of objects a considerable distance away. It has an auto-focus camera that can shoot video in daylight or low light conditions.
The camera uses a built-in zoom lens and a 2.4 inch LCD screen that shows a live video feed from the camera. It has an on board rechargeable battery that allows it to work for up to 6 hours. It is easy to set up, you just need to download the free app and connect the camera to your phone. You can then control the camera remotely using the app, adjusting the zoom and focus of the camera.

What is a Swivl camera?

Immediately after SOLOSHOT3 was released, a company called Swivl Robotics created a robotic mount for the Ipad, camera, or smartphone. It is designed to track and record videos of a moving object, person or animal. Swivl is designed to be easy to use, it is lightweight and has a remote control. It does not require a PC or laptop to run. It comes with a 2-year warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee. The Swivl comes with an instructional video and a user's guide. The instructional video walks you through the setup process and gives you tips on how to get the most out of this device.

What is the best GoPro for horse riding?

There are many types of GoPro’s and mounts available, and you can choose which one suits your needs. The GoPro Hero4 Black is currently the most popular model and can be mounted to a helmet, a GoPro mount, or to a pole. The GoPro Hero4 Silver is a step down from the Black but still offers great picture quality. It comes with a simple waterproof case that attaches to your belt loop. It also has a very handy built-in shock cord that you can use to attach it to something else like a car, a tree, or a building. This little guy will give you excellent video and photo quality in any condition. It's easy to set up and use, and has a very low price tag.
The best GoPro for horse riding can be selected by weighing your needs against the pros and cons of each model. The following factors should be considered when choosing a GoPro: mounting options, camera resolution, photo and video quality, abttery life, price, size, and image quality.


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