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  1. #1
    vol
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    Cons of using a bike camera?

    Has anyone thought of the possible disadvantages of using a bike camera? I feel more concentrated to my riding when not using a camera. When I do use a camera, I tend to keep thinking what is being shot in the camera each moment, and sometimes would turn my handlebar toward something interesting (such as a cute dog) in order to catch it in my video, which could be bad in certain situations. Furthermore, if one does use a camera, it seems to be more important to have a camera in the rear recording the vehicles behind you, than in the front. Thoughts?

    (I'm talking about using camera in case of accidents, not for sightseeing)

  2. #2
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    I keep my camera on my helmet. I mostly forget it's there. One disadvantage is that I have it mounted on the side of my helmet, so sometimes if I didn't cinch it down well it will list to that side.

    I recently started using a light on the top of my helmet, and everyone seems to think it's a camera. I've noticed lots of drivers suddenly stop for me (when they don't have a stop sign and I do, which is REALLY annoying) and occasionally when I don't even HAVE my camera on, pedestrians/other cyclists/etc will suddenly start acting goofy and mugging for "the camera." Also mildly annoying.
    2014 Specialized Dolce, 1987 Schwinn Tempo, 2012 Windsor Kensington 8

  3. #3
    Senior Member FenderTL5's Avatar
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    Con: It's just one more thing to have to keep up with.


    You said,
    "Furthermore, if one does use a camera, it seems to be more important to have a camera in the rear recording the vehicles behind you, than in the front. Thoughts?"
    If the only reason for running the camera is for your own education, then maybe.
    Considering that the majority of bike/car accidents are from the front (at intersections/turning) and that around here, license plates are on the rear of the car only.
    A rear facing camera would be limited in gathering information that would be beneficial after a crash, even more worthless if the driver didn't stop.
    Last edited by FenderTL5; 02-08-14 at 04:54 AM.
    Nashville, like L.A. without a tan.

  4. #4
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I absolutely do not even remember that the camera is there. I flip it on when I put the helmet on, and flip it off when I see it blinking after I get to my destination. Sometimes I get all the way to my desk before I notice the blinking light and remember that I have a camera.

    Did you just get the camera? Sounds like new-toy-itis. I thought about the camera my first few rides too, but now I don't realize it's there.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FenderTL5 View Post
    Con: It's just one more thing to have to keep up with.
    +1 I have a rear facing camera mounted under the seat of my road bike that has proved useful. No electronics except simple dyno powered lights on my city bike, but it's rarely ridden on roads with cars.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I'm not that interested in having a camera on my bike for recording rides but something I might find useful is a rear facing camera that had a display mounted to my handlebars. In other words an electronic rear view mirror since I've never found actual rear view mirrors to work all that well for me.

    It is perhaps one application I could see for something like a google glass like device that doubled as sun glasses/winter goggles, - or maybe they could be called winter googles.

    Yes, I know you can mount rear view mirrors to your helmet but i never seemed to be able to get one adjusted so I could easily take in what I wanted to see behind me. I found myself just looking back.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 02-11-14 at 11:08 AM.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  7. #7
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Did you just get the camera? Sounds like new-toy-itis. I thought about the camera my first few rides too, but now I don't realize it's there.
    Yes . Also, I was bored to watch the videos after each ride, since, when mounted on the handlebar, the scenes were just what I had seen during the ride, so it's like riding the ride all over again. Guess I will not watch the videos if the ride turned out uneventful.

  8. #8
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Yes . Also, I was bored to watch the videos after each ride, since, when mounted on the handlebar, the scenes were just what I had seen during the ride, so it's like riding the ride all over again. Guess I will not watch the videos if the ride turned out uneventful.
    That's the way to do it. I charge mine up when I bring the helmet in and charge the blinkie too, usually every couple of days. The cam is set on loop recording. Unless something happens on the ride, I rarely look. I might peek in the directory just to make sure that there are files there with today's date on them, to ensure the thing is working. When I get a new camera I'll look at files to see how it works in daylight and night. I never look just to look.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Yes . Also, I was bored to watch the videos after each ride, since, when mounted on the handlebar, the scenes were just what I had seen during the ride, so it's like riding the ride all over again. Guess I will not watch the videos if the ride turned out uneventful.
    +10

    The scenery on my commute is pleasant/interesting enough but I see it nearly every day.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  10. #10
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I bought a Contour and don't use it - here's why:

    1. The footage makes riding look more exciting - I don't want exciting in the event of an incident. I think it's the wide angle lens and the shaking of the camera - but passes look closer than they really were and speeds look faster. I think camera footage is likely to make me look more negligent (at least my contour).

    2. More weight on my head - I already have lighting up there and it starts to get annoying.

    3. Unlikely to get a readable plate in hit and run. I have to be looking JUST RIGHT.

    4. One more thing to keep charged.

    5. Attitude of LEOs - in my area they're "funny" about being recorded and there's an implied question of "why are you doing something odd" and an assumption of aggression on your part. I think other people feel the same way.

    6. It's another thing I have to carry around once I park. I can't leave the helmet with a camera on it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    If I was being targeted for attack, I'd consider getting a camera to document and help in prosecution. Otherwise, there is little value in a camera. I prefer to ride defensively, and doubt a camera would record anything of value in the event of a random incident.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You cannot leave it on the bike and it's a PIA to put on and off every ride , seems a downside.

  13. #13
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    It will be a hassle making sure every ride that the
    battery is charged and the memory card is not full.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFf8l...6zPoymgKaIoDLA

  14. #14
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post

    1. The footage makes riding look more exciting - I don't want exciting in the event of an incident. I think it's the wide angle lens and the shaking of the camera - but passes look closer than they really were and speeds look faster.
    Just the thing for some of our comrades on A&S to gather more "proof" to post of how dangerous and reckless motorists are with their close passes.

  15. #15
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I love gadgets, but a camera is hard to keep up with for me. Sometimes, a shot is very moving, so I'll take my phone out, but it's hard. Even if my camera were mounted on my handlebars or chest or helmet, setting it up and taking care of it is something I'm not willing to do. I've done it in the past.

    But if you like it, go ahead. I really appreciate the lovely pictures and videos others provide.

    As it is now, I have to keep track of water, bungies, bags, trousers straps, helmet, shoes, lights, repair kit, charge of light batteries (if appropriate), goggles, gloves, bike computer (sometimes) and I-don't-remember-what-else. A camera brings me over the top.

    With that said, it depends on the length of the ride. Two or three miles, and I'm likely to carry very little. If I'm doing a century ride with friends, I might bring a handheld camera.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  16. #16
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    A century is when I don't want a camera! You'd think they're so light that you wouldn't notice, but after 30 miles I do. The light and camera combo are too much weight pressing down on my head.

  17. #17
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Who told you to put a camera on your head?

    On a century ride, you can even go without the helmet, because presumably, you're on lightly-traveled roads.

    I carry a camera in my pocket.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  18. #18
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Good point

  19. #19
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    I live in England ... there's many more cameras on me any moment than I care to count

    No need to add to that number!
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  20. #20
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    1. The footage makes riding look more exciting - I don't want exciting in the event of an incident. I think it's the wide angle lens and the shaking of the camera - but passes look closer than they really were and speeds look faster. I think camera footage is likely to make me look more negligent (at least my contour).
    Absolutely everyone I've seen talk about this, and my own experience, points to a wide angle lens making things look LESS dangerous. The wide angle lens makes it look like a close pass was actually not close.

    I'm not really sure what the point of this thread is. It seems like another thread where people are telling other people why what they do is dumb, or that anyone who does things differently than they do is wrong.

    If a camera seems like a good idea to you, go ahead and do it. If not, don't. It being a good idea for one doesn't make it a good idea for someone else, nor does the opposite hold true.

    I ride with a camera. It isn't a problem at all. It adds almost nothing to my weekly ritual time - maybe adds an extra 15 to 20 seconds a week to plug it in the charger every 2 days when I get to my desk. It's the only thing on my helmet and it weighs so little that I forget it's there and don't even remember to turn it off when I get home until I see the light flashing.
    Last edited by ItsJustMe; 02-11-14 at 06:12 PM.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  21. #21
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I'm not really sure what the point of this thread is. It seems like another thread where people are telling other people why what they do is dumb, or that anyone who does things differently than they do is wrong.

  22. #22
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    I bought a Contour and don't use it - here's why:

    1. but passes look closer than they really were and speeds look faster. I think camera footage is likely to make me look more negligent (at least my contour).

    3. Unlikely to get a readable plate in hit and run. I have to be looking JUST RIGHT.
    I find that a contour camera pointed forwards on the helmet makes close passes look about the right distance of the pass. A contour camera pointed backwards on my left wrist makes close passes look like they were not close at all due to the wide angle lens (just like the mirror that says 'objects are closer than they appear'.


    Maybe you should try the camera facing backwards. I have gotten plate numbers on footage of near misses. So with one front and one rear camera, there is a good chance of getting a plate number other than some guy that broadsides me.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  23. #23
    Junior Member ray.garza's Avatar
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    Using a camera to record accidents can be a double edge sword. It will also record you running through RED lights, stops signs, and various other infractions. As someone posted above, ride defensively.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Cons...expense for something I've never had a need for in over 40 years of riding a bike.

  25. #25
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.garza View Post
    It will also record you running through RED lights, stops signs, and various other infractions.
    The video can always be trimmed

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