My Top 3 Outdoors Tech for 2017

By: Matt Van Swol + Save to a List

What gear should you invest in this year?

Last year was a great year for us outdoor junkies, drones became a huge hit and now lots of folks who never went outside before have become avid outdoorsy people thanks to new and emerging tech. Even I bought a mirrorless camera last year, ditching my trusty Nikon (I couldn’t never go back to that thing). 2017 has and is bringing some awesome outdoors products. Without further ado…here are the top 3 products that I am excited about in 2017.

DJI Mavic Pro

The DJI Phantom series has been a massive hit amongst photographers and videographers alike. The introduction of a lightweight, user friendly and high quality camera system was a first of its kind at a low price point. The DJI Mavic Pro takes it to entirely new level. You can hold it in your hand, it’s twice as light as a Macbook Air, and packs a full 4K 30fps camera into its tiny body. Not only that, you can fly it over four miles without any interference or loss of quality. Because the drone is so well stabilized, you can shoot long exposures of up to 6 seconds and maintain incredibly sharp photos, it’s absolutely astounding.  The Mavic Pro is truly a revolutionary product in both its portability and quality and should be on any photographers or videographers wish list for 2017.

BioLite Campstove

Though it came out years ago, media attention has been lacking for this product which is a shame because its pretty damn amazing. It markets itself as a “Jetboil alternative,” and instead of using propane tanks, it simply uses…sticks. That’s right, the only fuel you need is right there in the forest with you, you don’t have to carry it. It uses a thermoelectric technology to power a built in fan that fans  the lower embers at the bottom of its “tank” creating an incredibly hot and powerful stove. In my testing, it took only 30 second longer to boil water using the BioLite vs the Jetboil. If you are looking to keep your pack lighter by not carrying around fuel, or you just want to go green, you have to check out the BioLite Campstove, it works better than I ever thought it would.

Sony a6500 Mirrorless Camera

I’m a bit biased, I admit. I love Sony cameras. Ever since I switched from my old Nikon, I’ve been head over heels for Sony’s products. They don’t pay me a dime (I wish they did), I just really think they make some high quality sensors and glass. Heck, even the new iPhone switched to a Sony sensor! Back in 2014, Sony unveiled its a6000 compact mirrorless/interchangeable lens mid-range and it took the photography world by storm. For the first time, there was an affordable, portable, and high quality mirrorless camera for the public. Building on that success, Sony has introduced the 6100, 6300, and now the 6500. The main selling point for these cameras has always been autofocus points. The new a6500 has a whopping 425 AF points. To put that in perspective, a similarly priced Nikon D7200 has 51, less than 1/8th of that of the Sony a6500. The camera also has a built in 5-axis gyro-sensor, so when you move and shake the camera, it stabilizes itself. All this and: 4K video recording, a touch screen w/autofocus, continuous shooting up to 307 shots, and so much more. This camera is perfect for a beginner to get into the world of photography, or (like I use it for) as a backup camera to your main system. It’s all around excellent and worth looking into if you are looking to buy a new camera. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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