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I am in the market for a video camera to mount on my sportbike. Gas tank mount and high speed play is the footage to be captured. I previously used my digital camera which is a Pentax Optio 450. Doesn't do a bad job for a digital camera, but the buttons are hard to push with riding gloves on and the video is limited to ten minutes regardless of the memory card size.

I was looking closely at the Nikon Coolpix P5100 which has 50 Megs of storage. Then someone told me to stay away from any camera with a hard drive as they will skip from the vibration. I told him the Nikon has anti-vibration technology builyt in. Regardless he says to stay away.

So off to the forum and looking for suggestions in the $350 to $600 range please. Recommendations and or experiences would be appreciated.
 

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I have a sportbikecam mount that bolts to my gas tank using 3 of the cap screws. In this position, small and light are the keys to no vibration. I use a Panasonic PV-GS29, and I couldn't be more happy with it. I can even tuck behind the windscreen and not be in the way.

Here is a video I shot using this setup, although it was compressed to MPEG1 format, so you can't get the greatest idea of quality.

Video

I tried it on the passenger pegs of my bike one time, but the mount was not secure at all, so inevitably, the camera was shaken to the point of glitching. If you have a good mount, the camera will definitely do its part.

And at $135 on ebay, the camcorder comes in below your budget. Not to mention the fact that, while that package comes with a 1 year warranty, at that price, you wouldn't feel bad about anything happening to it.

eBay Link



I will caution you on one thing... and this is coming from an amateur videographer with about 14 years of experience... The higher quality the camcorder, the better the picture. The better the picture, the larger the CCDs (Larger CCDs gather more light, thus the cleaner picture and better low light ability). The larger the CCDs, generally, the heavier the camcorder. Camcorder weight is your worst enemy when you are fighting the vibration of a bike.



As for the camcorder itself... I have used it in several applications. I take it snowboarding with me, even on snowy days. (No, I don't even cover it.) I have a vacuum mount that I use on my car, and have mounted the GS29 in pretty much every location possible. I've dropped it in snow twice, and although I had to open it up and let it air out for damn near 3 hours, there was no permanent damage to it.

All of these videos are MPEG1, but it will give you an idea of my uses for it.


Snowboarding - Ktown compilation - This was filmed using the camcorder as a handheld. Not the best editing job, I just never got around to fixing it. You'll notice the snow on the lens, too.

Cars - Vacuum Mounted - This will give you an idea of low light capability on the camcorder, too. Admittedly, not that great. 1/6CCDs, you cant expect much more. Not to mention the fact that when I got home, the camera was completely soaked. It was cold enough so the Dew and damp air was affecting it at that point, as well.


Needless to say, she takes a lot abuse in my hands. I couldn't be happier with my choice.

Hope I helped you out a bit.



 

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What is the larger camera in that pic? Do you have a clip or two from it? Just interested in the quality vs. the smaller one (not for riding purposes...just in general)
 

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What is the larger camera in that pic? Do you have a clip or two from it? Just interested in the quality vs. the smaller one (not for riding purposes...just in general)
The larger one is a VX2000. The new version of that camcorder is a VX2100. There really is no comparison in video quality, especially in low light.

GS29 - 1/6CCD x 1
VX2000 1/3CCD x 3

GS29 - $ 135.00
VX2000 $2,999.00


The picture quality between the two is insanely different. Most notably, night time filming.

MPEG2 videos are too large to effectively host on my server, and myspace automatically compresses when you upload, so night time filming is about the only thing you really can compare. Just pay attention to the quality difference in the lighted areas, as well as the ambient lighting surrounding that area.

GS29 At Night

VX2000 At Night 1

VX2000 At Night 2



I will see what I can do about getting some MPEG2 videos of the VX up at some point today. I'm not sure my server will like them, though. More to the point, Dreamweaver won't like staying connected long enough to upload to either of my servers. (Hosting isn't an issue, since I have 2 servers with 2gigs of space each. It's just the connect time.)



But, just as an FYI - the VX2000/VX2100 are the #1 choice in camcorders for professional skate/snowboard videos. If you want to see just how quality the VX is, go rent a snowboard video. ;)



edit: LOL!! You can tell how dirty the windshield is on the Audi in that first VX video. The circle directly in front of the camera is from the Vacuum mount the camera is currently sitting on... When I was filming from different angles.
 

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I am in the market for a video camera to mount on my sportbike. Gas tank mount and high speed play is the footage to be captured. I previously used my digital camera which is a Pentax Optio 450. Doesn't do a bad job for a digital camera, but the buttons are hard to push with riding gloves on and the video is limited to ten minutes regardless of the memory card size.

I was looking closely at the Nikon Coolpix P5100 which has 50 Megs of storage. Then someone told me to stay away from any camera with a hard drive as they will skip from the vibration. I told him the Nikon has anti-vibration technology builyt in. Regardless he says to stay away.

So off to the forum and looking for suggestions in the $350 to $600 range please. Recommendations and or experiences would be appreciated.
Have recorded 100's of ride videos using all kinds of cams and mounts. Stay away from HDD and DVD camcorders for onbike recordings. High freq vibes mess with read/write mechanisms. For a gas cap mount, excellent image stabilization, prices in your range, take a look at the Sony HC line of MiniDV camcorders.
 

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That one was set to private. I kind of got the idea from the other though. You drive really slow.

But, just as an FYI - the VX2000/VX2100 are the #1 choice in camcorders for professional skate/snowboard videos. If you want to see just how quality the VX is, go rent a snowboard video. ;)
The only snowboard video I want to see is the full version of the DC vid where Ken Block is out playing with them. I posted a clip up here not too long ago. Did you happen to see it?


Next question: does anybody have a good helmet camera setup they wouldn't mind posting?
 

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That one was set to private. I kind of got the idea from the other though. You drive really slow.

1) Link fixed. You can view it now.

2) No, not really. Believe it or not, police in this state are actually searching blogs, forums, and even myspace/facebook now, and issuing tickets for things you have video taped yourself doing. For that reason, I am VERY careful on exactly what I post for the general public to view. I'll throw some other videos up on my servers and PM you the links. ;)


As for helmet cams... There is one that I know of that actually mounts inside your helmet... it sits in the very corner of your visor area and records at 520res. I'll find the link for you when I am more awake (I just got up). It would be a far better option than a conventional bullet cam for 3 reasons. 1) No worries of bugs hitting the lens. 2) No problems with wind catching it and doing strange things to your helmet. (Yes, that is a problem.) And finally... 3) Less obvious. The last thing you want is to have a cop see a camera mounted to your helmet. They always assume the worst, regardless of what you are doing when they actually see you. I don't know of one single state where it is not legal for them to confiscate tapes on the spot without reason.


In my experience, helmet cams are not good, anyway. You have to be very careful with moving your head side to side, which is harder than it sounds. Anything you physically look at, the camera will move, too. You will also end up with a very bouncy picture, and it won't be limited to just vertical movement. There are a lot of other ways to record while riding, and most of them involve bullet cams... but they don't involve mounting to the rider. My favorite is to mount a 520res bullet cam to the top side of my air intake and run the wire back to the camcorder. In my case, it would be tucked neatly under the cowl, although that isn't an option for you in either of your bikes, probably. Bullet cams are quite versatile, though.
 

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Believe it or not, police in this state are actually searching blogs, forums, and even myspace/facebook now, and issuing tickets for things you have video taped yourself doing. For that reason, I am VERY careful on exactly what I post for the general public to view. I'll throw some other videos up on my servers and PM you the links. ;)
If the video does not clearly show that you are the one driving/riding, do they have grounds for a case?
 

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If the video does not clearly show that you are the one driving/riding, do they have grounds for a case?
Unfortunately, yes. You wouldn't think so since there is no actual evidence you are the one on the bike, but they are winning the cases around here. The law reads (in more legal terms) that if there is no physical evidence on who is piloting the automobile, it is assumed that the owner of the vehicle was the one doing so. They just come out to your house with a warrant, snap pictures of your bike (Including those that are about the same angle as where your camera was mounted) and they have enough evidence. A quick comparison to the videos they have from the internet, and the judge convicts. That is why, if I choose to share videos of my doing stupid shit, I NEVER have the camera backed out so you can see the speedo. Vids are just deceiving enough in speed that it is hard to prove, in court, how fast you were going. At that point, the only time they can get you for your actual speed is if the video coincides with an officer who clocked you while you were filming... and that happens from time to time as well.

They can still get you for other things, like reckless endangerment and criminal negligence, so you are never really completely safe in posting vids. You still have to be careful. The video that I posted of my passing cars, the speedo was out of the picture, and there were no oncoming cars. You could clearly see my turn signal, and I didn't overtake too many cars. (4 at a time is the legal limit here. :laughing:) That does away with either of the two latter charges. Since the vid was posted at MPEG1 quality, the picture is grainy and jumpy enough so you cannot estimate speed accurately, and even if you could, they would have to prove I didn't speed the video up or alter it in a way to make me appear to be going faster for the sake of "Bragging rights". So... I feel pretty safe in posting it.

The rest of the umm.. alleged videos in my possession... well... I think they will just remain in my personal collection. ;)
 

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Bullet cam or tank cam better?

I really want a bullet cam to mount underneath the upper and various parts of the bike. I am still researching them. good to see someone with experience in this.
 

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Bullet cam or tank cam better?

I really want a bullet cam to mount underneath the upper and various parts of the bike. I am still researching them. good to see someone with experience in this.
A tank cam is the most simple form of stable recording. A Bullet cam means either wireless broadcast (Not so good quality) or wired broadcast, which means running/securing wires. It is, however, MUCH more versatile, since bullet cams can be mounted pretty much anywhere. The ability for a more stable picture is there, as well... since it is not the actual recording mechanism that is subjected to the vibrations as much as the lens. Not to mention the lack of vibration which is inherent of their light weight.

Of course... if you have a tank mount, then you'll have the ability to record either way. Just make sure the camcorder you get will work with a bullet cam. (Bullet cams require A/V Inputs.) Bullet cams require a writing medium, so you'd have to have a camcorder to use one anyway. ;)
 

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What if they can't determine from the video that you were within their jurisdiction?
 

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What about the 5th ammendment? i think it's something about the right to not self incriminate . . . am I not right here?

Cop "well that doesnt matter in this case, DURRR" \clipart{banghead}
 

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What if they can't determine from the video that you were within their jurisdiction?
If the state police couldn't determine where you were, it would default to a federal level.


I remember this video that came out about 10-12 years ago... it showed a guy running up the interstate in an F-40 at over 200 MPH. Someone was selling the footage on the black market (Prior to internet popularity). Anyway... it landed in the hands of a cop, and he was charged with reckless driving. I don't remember what country it was, but it wasn't the US. Our laws are no different, though.

That video stuck with me for two reasons. 1) the F40 is my dream car. 2) It's not very often you see someone as smooth on the wheel as he was. Especially not in videos like this. I get sick of the Honda kids posting videos where they are just yanking the wheel around and driving insanely erratic.

Anyway... that was the beginning of my lesson on being careful what you video tape. Luckily, I have never given anyone the opportunity to do that to me. ;)

F40 Video







What about the 5th ammendment? i think it's something about the right to not self incriminate . . . am I not right here?

Cop "well that doesnt matter in this case, DURRR" \clipart{banghead}

Umm, yeah. Video tape is not incriminating yourself. Videos are unbiased... they only show what really happened. Good luck with your defense, though.
 

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thanks for the info. I have a camcorder that I want to use. I have just seen so many people use the bullet (wired) on their bike with their camcorder in a tank bag. Pretty sweet.
 

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I have a tank mount for the camera but I don't like the video I've gotten from it so far. No sensation of speed. I'm thinking about getting a new camera (my current one is a hand-me-down) and getting a bullet cam to mount a little lower on the front of the bike. ZX6R1033...any ideas for a good mounting point on the front of my gixxer?
 

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I have a tank mount for the camera but I don't like the video I've gotten from it so far. No sensation of speed. I'm thinking about getting a new camera (my current one is a hand-me-down) and getting a bullet cam to mount a little lower on the front of the bike. ZX6R1033...any ideas for a good mounting point on the front of my gixxer?

The general rule of thumb is: The closer to the road, the higher the perception of speed. Image quality usually plays a large role, as well. I would suggest you get a high res bullet cam and maybe try maybe under the fairing on the front of the bike. (exposed to the front fairing... you know what I mean?)

You could also try mounting it to the side of the fairing near the ground. The only problem with that is that you will have the front section of your bike covering 30% of the screen to the left or right. Sometimes that is the desired result, though.

The lower you can mount the camera, the more exaggerated your leaning will be, as well. It gives the camera more of a roll and less of a right-left movement, so it looks more drastic.

If you like the "Bike in picture" look, try mounting the camera on your rear cowl on the far outside facing forward. That will put your leg, arm, and some of your upper body in the pic as well.

If you want to see how things will look from those points, just take your digital camera out and move it around the bike. Watch the screen on the camera. What you see is what you get. Movement is the only thing that changes.

Also, try to avoid fisheye lenses. While the curved edges will move at a faster rate, the center will not. What you end up with is usually a very fake looking video. Who knows... maybe as an effect, it would be okay. It looks cool if you are stunting in a parking lot. You can get close to the bike and stay with it without going fast, but it makes the background look like it is rushing by.


EDIT: By the way... While you may be able to get away with it in certain times... try to avoid mounting to any unsprung surface. (Front wheel, swingarm, etc). The vibration and jump from the road surface will play hell on the camera.
 

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So what is the best recording meduim that is available? And if you were to recommend a camera that would be ideal for recording with a bullet cam, what would it be?
 

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And if you were to recommend a camera that would be ideal for recording with a bullet cam, what would it be?
I would think that any type with an a/v in should be fine.

meanwhile, the media is the more important question . . . b/c thats where its all going onto . . . 6R1033 . . .?
 

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Since you are inquiring on a Bullet cam, I am assuming you plan to edit videos? If that is the case, MiniDV is, by far, the best medium.


If it weren't for the medium, and I was running under the assumption that you had a lot of money, I might suggest HD. The problem with that comes in post. (Post editing). A computer that is physically capable of editing HD will set you back far more money than what you would see the benefit of.

I love MiniDV. That is what I use. I have Ulead Media studio for editing and piecing together, and adobe for touching up, if the need arises.

I also have quite a bit of sound editing software, compliments of my home recording studio. Most of that is Adobe Audition - Based.
 
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