• penguins, antarctica, south pole, glacier

    A quick snapshot of penguins on an Antarctic beach. (Photo: Javier Frutos/Can Geo)

When I was asked to shoot an assignment in Antarctica aboard a One Ocean Expeditions ship this past spring, I knew I was going to be carrying my much bigger Nikon D750 camera and a few heavy lenses for those show-stopping shots, but I needed something quick and easy to capture video of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. From whale watching in the rough waters on a zodiac to hiking camping out on a glacier, the Nikon KeyMission 80 action camera captured some great video (see below) and took everything this harsh environment could throw at it.

Lightweight and easy to carry

The best part about this pocket-sized camera is being able to whip it out at a moment’s notice and take a quick snapshot, a short video or a selfie using the dedicated selfie camera and on the backside. Since it’s light, has easy controls and fits in the palm of your hand, I carried it around with me at all times. You never know when a humpback is going to breach off the side of the ship!  

Capturing an epic selfie was easy with the palm-sized KeyMission 80 and its rear facing camera. (Photo: Javier Frutos/Can Geo)

All weather camera

Antarctica has an extreme climate and on top of that, we battled through a storm for most of the trip. The KeyMission 80’s shockproof, waterproof and freeze proof features proved very helpful, especially while out on the zodiac being showered by frigid and salty sea spray, something I would have missed documenting. (I didn’t want to bring my professional DSLR onboard and risk damaging it.)

While the quality of the photos and video from the KeyMission 80 is decent, it is not meant for a professional shoot.


The KeyMission 80 action camera is great if you’re worried about damaging your more expensive equipment, but still want to capture you experience. Ultimately, it works well and proves the well-known photography tip, “The best camera is the one you have with you.”