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Action camera while touring

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Action camera while touring

Old 06-07-19, 11:55 AM
  #1  
riceowls
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Action camera while touring

Does everyone use action camera on their tours? I am contemplating on getting one but not yet sure how to use it (run continously, turn on in a particularly scenic spots or ..) and which one to choose. GoPro seems industry leader but I can't quite justify the cost given a limited use (and not yet sure footage would be worth it). Anyone has experience with mid-range priced camera like hawkeye firefly or Sjcam or Xiaomi Mijia? Or should I stick with cell-phone shots and videos and be done with it?
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Old 06-07-19, 12:42 PM
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I take a few I phone pics, that's it. I take pictures for a living, usually try to do less work on vacay.
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Old 06-07-19, 01:01 PM
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My wife bought me a Remali camera for my birthday. Itís $100 with three batteries, a waterproof case and a variety of mounts. Only thing lacking is a memory card. Since we were trailer camping when she gave it to me, I popped into a CVS and bought a 64gb card for $40. Thatís enough for eight hours.

its only been a week but Iíve already learned a lot. Namely...
  • mounting it on the bike can be jittery. Stabilization software can only do so much, especially if the camera is bouncing around at a good percentage of the frame rate. Suspension and big tires can help but having it on your person helps more
  • You want to film at full resolution, that will help later in editing
  • you need to remember where or when things happened so you can find them later editing. This is easy same day but seems like it would be hard after a tour
  • sometimes you film only seconds of entertainment in an hour of filming
  • Editing good enough for your friends and family isnít too hard. I downloaded DaVinci Resolve
  • i havenít yet cracked the code of how to make videos look good on YouTube. The video compression seems just awful. Maybe pros have better accounts
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Old 06-10-19, 09:01 AM
  #4  
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I wanted an "action camera" but didn't want to pay GoPro prices. A couple of years ago I got a Firefly 7S. Since getting that camera, I got a new phone with a wide angle lens. In general, I'll use the phone when possible, I feel like it takes better pictures, but the action camera still gets some use for a number of reasons:
  • I can mount it easily to my handlebars so I can take photos easily with one hand while biking.
  • It has a wide field of view, so I can grab a quick shot without being too careful about centering it on what I wanted to capture.
  • It has a waterproof case, so I can take photos even when the phone is packed away to keep it dry.
  • Even though it's usually off, it can still be quicker to turn on and get into photo or video mode than my phone.
  • It can be mounted and set to record video or take periodic photos of the course of a trip or even a few minutes, and during that time you can still use your phone.
  • On a tour, keeping the phone battery from dying sometimes takes precedence over getting photos, so having a dedicated camera can be useful.
Those are reasons I carry it, but, as I said, in general I don't feel like it does a better job than my phone. It just is more available than my phone. I picked a hand full of photos taken with my 7S. You can be the judge. A lot can be improved by editing the photos after the fact, but I tend to be too lazy to bother and too ignorant to know what needs done, however sometimes Google takes it upon itself to spruce up the photos I take, and it generally does a good job. In the album, I tried to include a few examples of a Google-enhanced photo alongside the photo as it was when I downloaded it, so you can see the potential of the camera when combined with post-processing.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/QG295fQRX26c1mpi6

On the whole I like it, and I'm glad I have it, but I'm also glad I didn't pay a ton for it considering that my phone is actually a fairly decent camera. On the other hand, I did spend a couple more bucks than I was comfortable with to get a 360 degree camera, and that's been a lot of fun as well.
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Old 06-18-19, 09:58 PM
  #5  
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Before going on the Munich-Venice tour, I was thinking of getting a GoPro Hero 7. However, decided against it for price and tried to get it all by phone.

I don't want to publish these videos or edit them. I just want to keep mementos and the phone was perfectly adequate. I didn't have a mount. I would capture video by hand while riding.

If I were to do it again, I might get a phone mount that allows some hands-free capture but other than that, it was a perfectly workable solution without a specialized action cam
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Old 06-18-19, 10:15 PM
  #6  
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I brought an action cam on one tour. Between turning off and on, switching out batteries constantly, by mid-trip it was in my bag.
I keep my compact camera on my belt and pull it out when needed.
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Old 06-19-19, 12:19 AM
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Depends on the goal of the tour. If you want to document it with video an action cam makes sense. If you don't why bother.
I use a GoPro3 but my work recently bought 4 GP7's to play with to document our therapeutic cycling program. Very cool camera with touch screen, 4K and a neat 30sec capture feature.

If you do choose to use one, don't run it continuously. High def video in big files is super hard to process and will often freeze the editing program. It's also a little boring watching a run on video from one perspective. Try shooting short bursts of interesting stuff and moving the camera to capture different angles and make fairly short transitions of 4 - 8 seconds. You tube analytics says people rarely watch more than 3 minutes of a video.

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Old 06-19-19, 06:10 AM
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If you are not willing to invest time and perhaps money in learning how to edit, then forget it. Also, 4k video may be too much for you computer to handle, so 1080 is ok. My 4k video of Shikoku in winter was a 2 terabyte project. So you need serious storage. Again, 1080 is fine for a first camera. My youtube channel has both 1080 and 4k videos if you want to compare: channel name is waddo.
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Old 06-23-19, 07:19 PM
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DanBell
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
If you are not willing to invest time and perhaps money in learning how to edit, then forget it.
This is the thing that has always stopped me from buying one. It's easy enough to take the video with a helmet mounted action cam, for example, but what will you do with the footage after the trip? Unedited you might show bits and pieces to interested family and friends, maybe you'll click through them yourself every once in a while when you stumble across the folder on the computer, but I think that's about it. If you're not going to spend the time editing them to put them in some kind of interesting and digestible format for sharing with others, or even just to make a more manageable video for you to watch in later years to remind you of the trips you've taken then what's the point? Ending up with 100 different clips totaling hours of random video from a trip isn't worth much on it's own in my opinion.
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Old 06-23-19, 10:49 PM
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You've hit upon a subject that's a little weird.
What are you trying to convey by recording your trip?
With me, I would like to convey the feeling I get from a tour.
But alas...this is not really possible thru video or photo footage.
Touring is more about living in the moment. Sadly not many others, percentage wise, will ever feel it.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:50 AM
  #11  
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I bought a GoPro a few years back. I have hundreds of hours of cycling, hockey, motorcycle videos sitting on my computer. I doubt I've watched more than a few minutes worth of them, and it eventually ended up in a box somewhere unused.

About the only thing I have plans of using it on now is Autocross racing, but that is more to analyze what I'm doing wrong than for any sort of entertainment value. As others have stated, unless you have good solid plans of using the video, it is more of a hassle than it is worth.

I got mine from the GoPro recertified store on eBay, straight from the company. They have some good deals on there from time to time: GoPro Certified Refurbished Cameras | eBay Stores
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Old 06-24-19, 11:01 AM
  #12  
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I agree a video camera is only as valuable as the desire to edit that video but the counter argument is that (for me) it expands the touring experience beyond the immediate.

Learning to edit and basic film making techniques is like another hobby that I can flex into my outdoor pursuits so I get a 2 for 1 effect. I enjoy the outdoor event and back home can relive it through working my other hobby (film making). It's just like drawing or painting.

I think it helps if one is also a natural story teller. I find camera or video to be a portal through which I view a adventure in a way that thinks; how can I show someone this? That doesn't diminish the experience from my POV as I am switched on to constantly observe my surroundings looking for a beautiful / interesting view or action sequence. As a soloist maybe this provides a meta companion with which to share the experience.

Unrelated to cycling, here's a 3:24 video of some salmon spawning. The thing about this video is that it was shot in a lake where many divers can't be bothered to go because it is considered boring. Through videos like this shown at my local dive club I was able to generate more interest in it and get support for a fish study I conducted there.




Technically, the water is murky and my video light at that time was poor. And, both these videos are shot on first generation GP hero's when we had to do after market lens swaps to make them waterproof and non fish eyed. It has subtitling instead of voice because I really dislike my voice for narration and have had to work to over come that shyness. I finally broke down and bought a decent mic and began working on narration but still cringe a bit when I hear myself. This video (3:38) is an early attempt at it. For this I actually wrote a script and read from it..


Totally unnecessary and self promoting but this is my favorite feel happy video:


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Old 06-24-19, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I agree a video camera is only as valuable as the desire to edit that video but the counter argument is that (for me) it expands the touring experience beyond the immediate.

Learning to edit and basic film making techniques is like another hobby that I can flex into my outdoor pursuits so I get a 2 for 1 effect. I enjoy the outdoor event and back home can relive it through working my other hobby (film making). It's just like drawing or painting.

I think it helps if one is also a natural story teller. I find camera or video to be a portal through which I view a adventure in a way that thinks; how can I show someone this? That doesn't diminish the experience from my POV as I am switched on to constantly observe my surroundings looking for a beautiful / interesting view or action sequence. As a soloist maybe this provides a meta companion with which to share the experience.
For me it's worth it just to have some kind of point-and-shoot camera handy. I have my phone, but there are multiple steps to get from the camera being in my pocket or on my handlebars to being unlocked, with the app open, and ready to take a photo, and it's awkward to hold and take photos one-handed. Action camera stays on my handlebars. Turn it on, press the button. Plus it fits nicely in my hand. I can hold it up, easily aim it, and even take photos behind my back, which I often do if I want to catch my traveling companions in a riding shot. I rarely use the video function at all. But there are certainly days when I'd have few or no photos if not for the action camera. It's the only one that I trust to keep out in the rain.
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Old 06-25-19, 08:12 AM
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I think you are wrong. Watch any of my videos on youtube (waddo) for even a couple of minutes and you will see the feeling of the tour is captured.

Last edited by waddo; 06-27-19 at 06:36 AM.
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