You've gone off-piste at the local ski resort, standing at the edge of an iced-over cornice, trying not to psych yourself out.
So you drop, before even you expect to, hurtling down the fall line with such outrageous speed your eyes water and your goggles fog. But you don't need to see because you're in the zone, responding by feel, your knees absorbing every underfoot bump and jostle until you hit the kicker at the base of the slope and launch toward the bluejay sky, twisting your body into a corkscrew, grabbing your ski edge so hard that the board bends -- until gravity takes over and you stomp the landing, skiing off arms akimbo like it's no big deal at all.
And you look around to hear the whoops of encouragement from your fellow skiers, and find yourself all alone. And if no one sees your extreme sports adventures, it's like they never happened at all.
If that's the off-the-clock style of your favorite employee, then they badly need an action cam. And when you're thinking action cam, you want long battery life, solid construction, and easy portability.
One of the best options is the Sony HDR-AS50 action cam (pictured). First, the battery carries two and a half hours on a single charge, and it's removable, so you can easily pack a spare in your gadget pocket. It's durable and still slim in its waterproof casing. And it's also easy to use. So people new to action cams won't have to waste time futzing with bells and whistles when they simply want to switch on the device and bomb off some cliffs.
Another fantastic option is the Nikon KeyMission 80, another wearable, waterproof action cam. Small but tough, the KeyMission 80 is built to withstand whatever mother nature throws at it. Take it out in blizzard or a downpour -- it doesn't matter -- the device is waterproof down to a little more than three feet. It has built-in video stabilization and snaps on and off its holder magnetically. Fast to set up and easy to use, the KeyMission 80 will have you recording your epic adventures in no time.
Another great and durable camera is the Fujifilm FinePix XP130. While it has video mode, it's really designed more for still images. However, it's also tough and durable, sealed not only against water and ice but against dust and dirt. It's also shock resistant, so take this one rock climbing and don't worry about it jostling around in your bag full of metal carabiners.
Finally, if you don't want a wearable, but want a camera that can take great action shots, check out the Canon EOS Rebel T7i. Sleek and portable, it's a great entry-level DSLR camera. It has phase-detection autofocus meaning the camera focuses quickly so you can take great shots in a number of different scenarios -- from still landscapes to action shots of your friends hurtling through the air.