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Thread: Inexpensive video from bike

  1. #1
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Inexpensive video from bike

    Going back to Ouray for a week in early August and would like to take some video from the bike. Have a digital camera that will take video but it eats batteries quickly and the quality isn't that high.

    Would like something that doesn't require a lot of fiddling/patching to make work.

    Not having a large budget for this completely unnecessary expense, what do you recommend?
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  2. #2
    Rider
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    What camera do you have right now? Cameras are my second passion and I may be able to point you in the right direction. If you tell me what you have now, I can tell you what is the next best thing. How much are you looking to spend?

  3. #3
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil View Post
    What camera do you have right now? Cameras are my second passion and I may be able to point you in the right direction. If you tell me what you have now, I can tell you what is the next best thing. How much are you looking to spend?
    Cannon Powershot A530 is the digital camera I currently have.

    I guess I would like some price ranges to see if I can even afford to do this.

    Recommendations within price ranges, advantages and disadvantages and recommendations would be very welcome Gil.

    Thanks for your offer.
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  4. #4
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    Since you have Canon, this may be better news for you. A couple of things to consider. the best camera available with good resolution is the Canon TX1. The Mpeg video resolution is so good that with a 2 Gig card, you may not get much more than 10 minutes of video. This Mpeg is considered high resolution. The camera sells for about $500. The second choice is the Canon ST which is about a 640X480 resolutions which is kind of standard right now. YOu may be able to make a 20 to 30 minute movie with a 2 Gig card. This camera is about $300.
    What I would do, is find a Sony Handycam DCR-DVD405 or the DVD403 which may be able to record up to 30 minutes of movie time in a small DVD. These cameras can also take pictures. I have seen these cameras for as low as $550, which is cheap for this kind of camera.
    The problem with digital camera instead of the Sony mini DVD's, is the small capacity in the cards. You would have to travel with a portable hard drive like the FlashTrax or Epson which are battery operated and can download and hold up to 80 Gigs of memory and would have video playback capabilities. Theyu cost an additional $400 or so.
    That's what I know so far. I hope this sheds some light in your request for advice.

    Highest Regards,

    Gil

  5. #5
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Gil.

    I'm thinking it is going to be beyond my means at this time.
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  6. #6
    On a Ride
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    Bud,

    Why not give it a try with your Canon? Just checked the specs out for this camera and it does have a VGA 640x480 movie mode. For onboard ride vids this is fine. I recorded last summer's Alps trip with a digital camera having the same specs. Can see the downsized movies here: http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=11890

    Maybe your battery power isn't great, but I typically don't record ho-hum roads. You can always just record a great section you know is coming up.

    Couple of challenges...

    1). How to mount on the RT. This isn't an easy bike with the tall fairing and such. Have found helmet cams to be most versatile with the RT. Neverthless, you can be creative like with the cheap mount found here: http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/...t-p-16289.html This mount doesn't work well with MiniDV cams because the weight causes some shaking with this not completely stable mount, but for lightweight digital cams like your Canon it works fine. It is what I used for the Alps ride.

    2). If you don't bring a laptop on this trip, or have multiple flash cards to store the recordings, you will be limited to the capacity of the one card you have.

    Your trip can be recorded inexpensively. I'm in Santiago, Chile next week on biz, and hanging around for four days following with a reserved KTM 950 ADV waiting in the wings. Will be bringing the digital cam and ultra mount just like I did last year out of Geneva. Simple and cheap -- increasingly, just how I like it .

    Steve

    Bud just checked the A530 specs again. The frame rate of 10fs at 640x480 is very poor for motion video. Need 30fs (Frames/second) for smooth motion. NEVER MIND. Maybe you can find a nice and inexpensive digital camera offering this movie mode spec.
    Last edited by sfarson; 05-30-2007 at 04:31 AM. Reason: Update - Never Mind - The A530 Won't Work

  7. #7
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfarson View Post
    Bud,

    Why not give it a try with your Canon? Just checked the specs out for this camera and it does have a VGA 640x480 movie mode. For onboard ride vids this is fine. I recorded last summer's Alps trip with a digital camera having the same specs. Can see the downsized movies here: http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=11890

    Maybe your battery power isn't great, but I typically don't record ho-hum roads. You can always just record a great section you know is coming up.

    Couple of challenges...

    1). How to mount on the RT. This isn't an easy bike with the tall fairing and such. Have found helmet cams to be most versatile with the RT. Neverthless, you can be creative like with the cheap mount found here: http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/...t-p-16289.html This mount doesn't work well with MiniDV cams because the weight causes some shaking with this not completely stable mount, but for lightweight digital cams like your Canon it works fine. It is what I used for the Alps ride.

    2). If you don't bring a laptop on this trip, or have multiple flash cards to store the recordings, you will be limited to the capacity of the one card you have.

    Your trip can be recorded inexpensively. I'm in Santiago, Chile next week on biz, and hanging around for four days following with a reserved KTM 950 ADV waiting in the wings. Will be bringing the digital cam and ultra mount just like I did last year out of Geneva. Simple and cheap -- increasingly, just how I like it .

    Steve

    Bud just checked the A530 specs again. The frame rate of 10fs at 640x480 is very poor for motion video. Need 30fs (Frames/second) for smooth motion. NEVER MIND. Maybe you can find a nice and inexpensive digital camera offering this movie mode spec.
    Thanks for the encouragement and the link to the mount.

    Sorry to hear you have to go to Chile and then ride a katoom for four days.
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  8. #8
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    I've got a Nikon P2. It's a $300 point and shoot (last year) with several movie modes. I shot video in the Smokies at 15 fps, using the second from the best video mode. Over 30 minutes of video with sound on a 1 gb card. Quality was amazing, whether viewed on a computer monitor or a TV. I was very impressed. I used a Ram mount. It was attached to an auxiliary mirror arm I have on my RT, and worked well, for less than $25 complete. If I was going to try to take individual frames and make prints I would probably need to shoot at 30 fps, which would cut the recording time in half for any given card size.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Motorcycleton
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    Part of making a fun, personalized video is the editing of the captured images. Windows XP (and I think Vista also) come with software that will allow the intermixing of video clips and still photos. On Win XP the software is called Windows Movie Maker. (Macs have long had such tools). More sophisticated (and costly!) tools are also available.

    When you are on your trip you might wish to take a bunch of still photos and some short video clips. If you are careful (i.e., straight stretch of road, little traffic, etc.) you might be able to get going on the bike, then use your left hand to pick up the camera and take a few seconds of video. Having a passenger to take the videos while you focus on riding the bike would make this MUCH safer, however. You could tape the camera to your chest (likely safer than riding one handed) for a short clip. It wouldn't matter that the temporary tape job looks goofy because only the captured video will matter.

    Some other things you could do are ride-bys. Place the camera on a small tri-pod focused on some scenic view, start recording, then get on the bike and ride-by. You could get some clips coming and going.

    With the various video clips and still photos the editing job begins. A little video of a few minutes duration including a suitable soundtrack could be quite nice. Mr. Farson has quite a few such gems linked at various places in Ride Reports.

  10. #10
    Motorcycleton
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    It is possible to make a nice "video" with only still photos. Following is a link to an example:

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=13354
    http://video.google.ca/videoplay?doc...65738269493843

    Here is another with mostly stills & some vid clips -

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...61152113658445

    Or this link shows a better rendition (and a few others by some guy named Steve )

    http://www.mctourer.com/movies/index.html

  11. #11
    On a Ride
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    robsmoto... Excellent suggestion. Yes, a great movie does not need to include motion video.

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