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Video Camera For Filming Own Progress

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I'm considering to get a video camera to mount on the racebike, so I can film what I'm doing during sessions in order to provide feedback to myself.

 

I've previously used a Sony mini-DV camera but it takes up quite a bit of space on the tank and secondly, the helical-scan tape recording system is a fickle system that doesn't like a lot of vibrations. A fully-electronic solution (no moving parts) would be preferred.

 

My question is twofold: First, what cameras have people tried and would recommend? - The UK school had an all-digital camera, but it had some problems with water entering it when I did Level 4 in July.

 

Secondly, where should I mount it in order to get the best input into my own riding? The normal mounting position is on the fuel tank, pointing forwards and possibly seeing the instrument panel, but that's probably not the best way.

 

I've been looking at the VholdR ContourHD 1080p. In 1080p mode, it gives a 110 degree field-of-view, compared to the 55 degrees of the old Sony miniDV (with a 0.6x wide-angle lens).

 

Thanks,

 

Kai

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I'm considering to get a video camera to mount on the racebike, so I can film what I'm doing during sessions in order to provide feedback to myself.

 

I've previously used a Sony mini-DV camera but it takes up quite a bit of space on the tank and secondly, the helical-scan tape recording system is a fickle system that doesn't like a lot of vibrations. A fully-electronic solution (no moving parts) would be preferred.

 

My question is twofold: First, what cameras have people tried and would recommend? - The UK school had an all-digital camera, but it had some problems with water entering it when I did Level 4 in July.

 

Secondly, where should I mount it in order to get the best input into my own riding? The normal mounting position is on the fuel tank, pointing forwards and possibly seeing the instrument panel, but that's probably not the best way.

 

I've been looking at the VholdR ContourHD 1080p. In 1080p mode, it gives a 110 degree field-of-view, compared to the 55 degrees of the old Sony miniDV (with a 0.6x wide-angle lens).

 

Thanks,

 

Kai

 

Hi Kai,

 

We've actually changed our kit in the UK to a new CF Flash based system, which is HD. It worked brilliant well at our 2 day Camps when we tried it out so I'd really reccomend it.

 

You can find the kit: - http://dogcamsport.co.uk/dcs-bike-camera-kits.htm it's the HQR-2 kit.

 

 

As for angles, well, you can adjust them to suit really. Engine noise can give you info on when you come back to throttle, you just need to keep the mic out of wind, adjust the gain as appropriate.

 

Let us know what you do

 

Bullet

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There was a thread not too long ago where someone posted a video asking for feedback; it was on the tank and there was a comment it was hard to see much. But each position (tank, helmet, rear tail) has advantages, as well as having someone else follow you and film you.

 

My track day buddy got a Go Pro Hero Wide, but it rained and we haven't tried it yet.

 

Another friend uses one, and I've seen a number of guys using them. There are some Youtube Videos you can see.

 

There is a new HD version that looks interesting.

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I've been looking for a camcorder, too, and I've narrowed my choices down to 2:

1. GoPro HD

2. ContourHD

 

They both have a ton of mounting options (supposedly the ones from ContourHD are slightly better). Apparently very similar video quality as well with slight edge going to the ContourHD. The GoProHD is completely water and shock proof and designed to take the abuse.

 

At the moment I'm leaning more toward the GoProHD...

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We've actually changed our kit in the UK to a new CF Flash based system, which is HD. It worked brilliant well at our 2 day Camps when we tried it out so I'd really reccomend it.

 

You can find the kit: - http://dogcamsport.co.uk/dcs-bike-camera-kits.htm it's the HQR-2 kit.

 

Thanks for the link. Looks really nice - but also rather expensive. I also like the idea of a totally self-contained unit.

 

I've been looking for a camcorder, too, and I've narrowed my choices down to 2:

1. GoPro HD

2. ContourHD

 

They both have a ton of mounting options (supposedly the ones from ContourHD are slightly better). Apparently very similar video quality as well with slight edge going to the ContourHD. The GoProHD is completely water and shock proof and designed to take the abuse.

 

At the moment I'm leaning more toward the GoProHD...

JTNYC, I think we're pretty aligned here :)

 

Video specs:

I've taken a look at the specs for the GoPro HD and the ContourHD 1080p, and it definitely looks like they are using the same sensor and encoding hardware: they have the same sensor size (5Mpix), can record in the same modes (1080p, 960p "Tall-HD" 4:3 format, 720p, 720p@60fps, etc), use the same codec (H.264 aka .mov/.mp4), and the videos consume the same amount of GB/hour.

 

Audio:

GoPro claims to have worked a lot on the audio side - a good thing, because you easily end up with a video that just has wind-noise as sound. VholdR says they have improved the audio side on the 1080p over the old 720p.

The sound on the car videos at GoPro's homepage sounds very good. The sound on this YouTube video is OK, but it isn't track pace so it's a little hard to judge.

 

Storage:

VholdR uses microSDHC cards (max 16GB), whereas GoPro uses SDHC cards (max 32GB).

VholdR is narrower and deeper, whereas GoPro is wider (has a bigger frontal area) but not as deep. Personally, I like the design of the VholdR better.

GoPro can take still pictures (5Mpix). I'm not sure the VholdR software can do that.

 

Mounting/alignment:

A trackday friend of mine has the "old" 720p ContourHD cam, and he says that adjusting the ContourHD can be annoying, because it A) doesn't have a built-in screen and B) doesn't have a "webcam" feature so you can see where it's pointing. That means you need to take a small clip, stop the cam, plug in USB cable, review it on a laptop, unplug USB, adjust cam direction, repeat ad nauseum.

Don't know about the GoPro. Stevo, can you get your trackday buddy to chime in on this?

 

If others have info to share, please do.

I'm not rushing out of the door to buy a cam next week.

 

Thanks, Kai

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We've actually changed our kit in the UK to a new CF Flash based system, which is HD. It worked brilliant well at our 2 day Camps when we tried it out so I'd really reccomend it.

 

You can find the kit: - http://dogcamsport.co.uk/dcs-bike-camera-kits.htm it's the HQR-2 kit.

 

Thanks for the link. Looks really nice - but also rather expensive. I also like the idea of a totally self-contained unit.

 

I've been looking for a camcorder, too, and I've narrowed my choices down to 2:

1. GoPro HD

2. ContourHD

 

They both have a ton of mounting options (supposedly the ones from ContourHD are slightly better). Apparently very similar video quality as well with slight edge going to the ContourHD. The GoProHD is completely water and shock proof and designed to take the abuse.

 

At the moment I'm leaning more toward the GoProHD...

JTNYC, I think we're pretty aligned here :)

 

Video specs:

I've taken a look at the specs for the GoPro HD and the ContourHD 1080p, and it definitely looks like they are using the same sensor and encoding hardware: they have the same sensor size (5Mpix), can record in the same modes (1080p, 960p "Tall-HD" 4:3 format, 720p, 720p@60fps, etc), use the same codec (H.264 aka .mov/.mp4), and the videos consume the same amount of GB/hour.

 

Audio:

GoPro claims to have worked a lot on the audio side - a good thing, because you easily end up with a video that just has wind-noise as sound. VholdR says they have improved the audio side on the 1080p over the old 720p.

The sound on the car videos at GoPro's homepage sounds very good. The sound on this YouTube video is OK, but it isn't track pace so it's a little hard to judge.

 

Storage:

VholdR uses microSDHC cards (max 16GB), whereas GoPro uses SDHC cards (max 32GB).

VholdR is narrower and deeper, whereas GoPro is wider (has a bigger frontal area) but not as deep. Personally, I like the design of the VholdR better.

GoPro can take still pictures (5Mpix). I'm not sure the VholdR software can do that.

 

Mounting/alignment:

A trackday friend of mine has the "old" 720p ContourHD cam, and he says that adjusting the ContourHD can be annoying, because it A) doesn't have a built-in screen and B) doesn't have a "webcam" feature so you can see where it's pointing. That means you need to take a small clip, stop the cam, plug in USB cable, review it on a laptop, unplug USB, adjust cam direction, repeat ad nauseum.

Don't know about the GoPro. Stevo, can you get your trackday buddy to chime in on this?

 

If others have info to share, please do.

I'm not rushing out of the door to buy a cam next week.

 

Thanks, Kai

 

I have the ContourHD and have used the GoPro. I like that the waterproof container of the GoPro but I don't like how much it sticks out when mounted. Having said that, it seems easier to just mount and go with the GoPro than it is with the ContourHD. The ContourHD seems to require a bit more thought in mounting. Knowing when the batteries are dead appears to be a problem as the owner of th GoPro has checked it several times before I go out yet it only recorded 10-15 seconds because the batteries were dead.

 

The ContourHD (first gen 720p version) is small in non-obtrusive wherever you mount it but it has a finicky battery connection which can make it lose power midway through a run. Until I reinforced the battery retention method this was a big problem but now it's not a problem at all - it just works. As for aligning it, it's the easiest camera I've ever worked with for alignment (since 2003.) The lasers are great, just line them up to a straight edge and go. The trick is the straight edge can be 2 inches away or 30 feet a way - in other words, dont' over complicate it.

 

Their methods of creating video files are decidedly different. Video editing programs react differently to files from each and they're both equally hard to work with with Sony's Vegas editing software but in different ways. The supplied editing program with the ContourHD is lousy in that it crashes many times and is very slow. I have no experience with any supplied software from GoPro.

 

Personally, I like the ContourHD better. Either one will be fine and the end quality will depend more on your knowledge of post production editing and compression techniques.

 

My videos can be found at http://youtube.com/gkgorman

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Greg,

 

I have the ContourHD and have used the GoPro. I like that the waterproof container of the GoPro but I don't like how much it sticks out when mounted. Having said that, it seems easier to just mount and go with the GoPro than it is with the ContourHD. The ContourHD seems to require a bit more thought in mounting. Knowing when the batteries are dead appears to be a problem as the owner of th GoPro has checked it several times before I go out yet it only recorded 10-15 seconds because the batteries were dead.

 

Excellent, it was exactly this kind of info I was looking for. BTW did you see the waterproof case VholdR is coming out with? It's quire compact, but it looks more like for diving than anything.

 

The ContourHD (first gen 720p version) is small in non-obtrusive wherever you mount it but it has a finicky battery connection which can make it lose power midway through a run. Until I reinforced the battery retention method this was a big problem but now it's not a problem at all - it just works.

 

Sounds like that it's the same problem that my friend had with his 720p camera - the power would cut from the motorcycle vibrations. He had his battery replaced under warranty- apparently VholdR had a batch of batteries that were 0.5-1mm too short, resulting in this problem. With the new battery, he haven't had problems so far, when going snowboarding.

 

Their methods of creating video files are decidedly different. Video editing programs react differently to files from each and they're both equally hard to work with with Sony's Vegas editing software but in different ways. The supplied editing program with the ContourHD is lousy in that it crashes many times and is very slow. I have no experience with any supplied software from GoPro.

 

Personally, I like the ContourHD better. Either one will be fine and the end quality will depend more on your knowledge of post production editing and compression techniques.

 

My videos can be found at http://youtube.com/gkgorman

Nice videos, and very fine riding too :)

 

I presume the raw files are much better quality than what I see on youtube.

 

Post-processing? Why do you like I've got a Full-HD LCD TV :P

I've previously used Pinnacle Studio (about 6 versions ago), so I'll probably give that a go first.

 

Thanks again for your valuable input,

 

Kai

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Stevo, can you get your trackday buddy to chime in on this?

No, we haven't had a dry track day yet to even try it out. Another buddy had one, and had put it on his helmet but it was too high (it's hard to see the screen when it's on your head!), so next session we set him on the bike and then adjusted while he was in position so it looked right. I do believe having several SD cards is convenient, and a laptop that can read the card directly will read it faster.

 

I like the idea though because I think seeing yourself is a great educational tool. I haven't had this yet but my last track day my wife came and took shots with the DSLR all day and it was interesting to compare how I felt my position was with how it actually was.

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I have a GoPro - in my opinion it is a piece of junk. I'd save the money for something else. The only thing good about the GoPro is all the little mounting plates they offer. Which w/ a Lowes or HomeDepot nearby isnt that big a deal.

 

I also have an EPIC Stealth Cam and I think it is excellent. Same quality of video, just none of the other issues I have with GoPro.

 

I have an 07 ZX6 and finding mounting points is easy. For forward video I made a custom mount that bolts in where the mirrors go. I also just made a mount that hangs the camera from the swingarm using the spool's bolt. I'm probably going to make something to put the camera in front of me facing backward to see my body position. However, the mirrors would probably work - just turn the camera around.

 

Anyway - I'd borrow a GoPro first and make sure it works 100% of the time. Mine has worked maybe 10% of the time.

 

Things to watch out for:

batteries - they are really picky about batteries. You have to use Lithium batteries. I've had the best luck with Energizer Ultra Lithiums. I'm trying out the rechargeables now and they seem to work ok with the EPIC. The GoPro only worked for 1 lap.

SD Card - GoPros seem to be really touchy about the format of the SD card. You have to format it with FAT16. If you use any other file system it will not save the file.

Vibration - Make sure the mount and batteries are secure. The GoPro seems really touchy about vibraiton. I think this may be why it didnt like being on the swingarm.

Bring an SD to USB adapter. Copying files through the GoPro is really slow. Pull the SD card out and use the adapter to move the file to your laptop faster.

 

Here are a few GoPro videos:

 

Here is from the EPIC:

 

You really can't tell any difference in video quality. Some it really comes down to having a camera that will work every time.

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Perhaps you just got a bad GoPro camera? One wouldn't imagine a product could become the highest seller if it didn't work as a rule?

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absolutely possible.

 

Could also be really good marketing. do a google search and see the number of negative comments from owners.

What makes the gopro attractive is all the mounting options. That is what suckered me in to buying it.

 

IT is possible that I just happened to get the one bad one. But I'd proceed with caution. Don't go by the sales numbers. Talk directly to owners and see what they say. Don't just go by some anonymous jerk on the internet.

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IT is possible that I just happened to get the one bad one. But I'd proceed with caution. Don't go by the sales numbers.

As the saying goes .... 100 squillion fly's can't be wrong - eat ######!

 

One of my favourite pet peeves: It's very seldom that the technically best product that wins the market - it's the usually best marketing of an inferior product that wins.

 

Ahem; now let's get back to the riding business. I have more or less decided on the ContourHD 1080p. I just need to save up the cash for it :)

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I just bought a GoProHD. Hopefully will get it soon and let you guys know how it works. Prob won't be able to get any track footage until I goto the school in May though.

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I ended up with the ContourHD 1080p + a few paraphenalia. I've done a few test videos, but real testing will have to wait until the biking starts - i.e. that the white/brownish slush-ice out on the streets goes away and the temperature goes up with 10 degrees (celcius) or so.

 

Kai

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I just bought a GoProHD...Prob won't be able to get any track footage until I goto the school in May though.

JT;

I would encourage you to contact the School before you attend. IIRC, on board video is not permitted.

 

Kevin Kane

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I just bought a GoProHD...Prob won't be able to get any track footage until I goto the school in May though.

JT;

I would encourage you to contact the School before you attend. IIRC, on board video is not permitted.

 

Kevin Kane

 

Definitely need Cobie to chime in on this as I know we've allowed it before.

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I've had the GoPro. It's skipped through gravel and down the track. Still works great.

 

No problems with video, and I'd say it's on par with what Greg uses. But the GoPro audio doesn't touch his.

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I've had the GoPro. It's skipped through gravel and down the track. Still works great.

 

No problems with video, and I'd say it's on par with what Greg uses. But the GoPro audio doesn't touch his.

 

Try putting a layer or two of electrical tape over the microphone, that's what I do.

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I've had the GoPro. It's skipped through gravel and down the track. Still works great.

 

No problems with video, and I'd say it's on par with what Greg uses. But the GoPro audio doesn't touch his.

 

Try putting a layer or two of electrical tape over the microphone, that's what I do.

Awesome, Greg. I'll try it Sunday if I get on the track. Might rain, and I need to see if I can get into my suit (still with stiff joints).

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Would someone from CSS reply to this? I'm signed up for Levels 1+2 next month and would really like to know if it's possible to bring my own camera and film myself.

 

Thanks

 

<!--quoteo(post=16610:date=Feb 26 2010, 01:38 AM:name=GregGorman)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (GregGorman @ Feb 26 2010, 01:38 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=16610"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo(post=16606:date=Feb 25 2010, 05:35 PM:name=Kevin Kane)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Kevin Kane @ Feb 25 2010, 05:35 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=16606"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo(post=15934:date=Jan 22 2010, 03:27 PM:name=JTNYC)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (JTNYC @ Jan 22 2010, 03:27 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=15934"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I just bought a GoProHD...Prob won't be able to get any track footage until I goto the school in May though.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

JT;

I would encourage you to contact the School before you attend. IIRC, on board video is not permitted.

 

Kevin Kane

<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

 

Definitely need Cobie to chime in on this as I know we've allowed it before.

<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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Would someone from CSS reply to this? I'm signed up for Levels 1+2 next month and would really like to know if it's possible to bring my own camera and film myself.

 

Thanks

 

Hi JT,

 

We do get students that bring their own cameras, and most of the time it is fine. Here are some guidelines on this:

 

1. If you are using your own bike, no problem. Using ours, not likely going to work as the bike will be in use in the other groups (other riders using it). There won't be time to take it on/off, etc.

2. The camera must not interfere with the training. By this I mean, it can't get in the rider's way while riding, he can't go out of his way to film his buddies, he can't do goofy stuff "for the camera." All of the above has happened.

3. It can't interfere with the coaching. If your coach wants to work with you (he/she has very limited time and wants to make the most of it) and you are busy messing around with the camera, then that won't go either.

4. The tech briefings can't be filmed.

 

Does that give you a good idea on this?

 

Best,

Cobie

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We do get students that bring their own cameras, and most of the time it is fine. Here are some guidelines on this:

 

(snip)

 

Awesome, thanks Cobie.

 

 

Kai (camera loaded and ready to rock :-)

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Cobie: thank you very much!

 

I'm bringing my own bike, and I don't think I'll have any problems with the other requirements. Now I just gotta figure out how to mount the camera... Kai, how are you mounting yours?

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Now I just gotta figure out how to mount the camera... Kai, how are you mounting yours?

 

I use a Panavise suction cup mount (you can see it halfway down the page http://vholdr.com/contourhd/accessories on the right side called "Windshield Mount"), either mounted on front fairing like this:

0239-0405RU1-003_239.jpg

 

or on the gas tank (the cam gets a little in the way):

 

0239-0404RU4-004_239.jpg

 

Oh, pics are from my 4-day frenzy at Lausitzring during Easter, taken by www.racepixx.de

 

Hope this helps,

 

Kai

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