As much as I like 1080p action cams, they're slight overkill for someone who embarks on a video-worthy adventure perhaps twice a year.
Of course, in my pocket is a clunky but capable video camera called a smartphone, which also has built-in GPS and an accelerometer. If only I could combine all these talents to, say, record and preview new cycling routes.
Well, that's the idea behind RouteShoot. A mixture of GoPro, Strava and Streetview, it lets cyclists, hikers or any outdoorsy types create map-based videos that can be shared for route guidance, improving technique or, you know, fun.
Of course, before you can use RouteShoot, you need a smartphone mount. For this, we used the versatile Miveu-X (£40, limitlessoutdoors.co.uk), which is an iPhone chest mount.
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Our main test activity was cycling trips, and the Miveu-X worked well for this. Once we'd adjusted the angle of the mount and attached the fisheye lens, it felt secure and helped Routeshoot record relatively stable videos. The only issues were that there's no way to protect your phone from downpours, and using it without the fisheye isn't an option when cycling due to the angle of your chest. But this wouldn't be a problem on more 'upright' activities like skiing or motorbiking.
The RouteShoot app itself works very smoothly: just press the record button to start and stop. Playback then devotes half of the screen to your video, and half to its map data, with your pin moving as the footage progresses. You can also upload it to the Routeshoot site from here. There are obvious downsides to using your smartphone as an action cam: storage and battery life. The former is manageable on high capacity iPhones or Android phones with microSD slots – our 3-minute, 360p video took up only 15MB. Simultaneously using your phone's video camera and GPS does, though, somewhat ravage your battery. We filmed for just under an hour in total before our iPhone needed a recharge – longer trips would demand an external battery like the Mophie Juice Pack Reserve (£30, johnlewis.com).
Once your video is uploaded to Routeshoot (you'll need a Youtube account, as this is where its videos are hosted), you also get speed and elevation graphs underneath. Overall, it's a very useful overview to share with people interested in doing the same route. To see it in action, have a look out our Richmond Park test run.
Video quality is average, though 'unlimited HD recording' is a £2 in-app purchase and making beautiful videos isn't really the point. RouteShoot's primarily for sharing fun routes without resorting to clicking through Streetview, and for this it does a fine job.
App of the week: RouteShoot
A fine way to share and discover outdoorsy routes, as long as your smartphone's up to the challenge.