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WTB NEW, Inexpensive camera to record rides

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WTB NEW, Inexpensive camera to record rides

Old 05-20-20, 01:09 AM
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Miele Man
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WTB NEW, Inexpensive camera to record rides

Hi there.

I want share some of my rides with my sister who lives a few thousands of miles away from where I am. I'm thinking about getting a digital-type recording camera. What does a decent image quality camera that will record a couple of hours of digital video cost?

Recommendations are welcome as are any caveats on mounting and/or use.

Thanks and cheers.
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Old 05-20-20, 03:40 AM
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Drift Ghost X. Best value I've found anywhere in a traffic documentation video camera for bike rides. I've been using one since last summer and got a second in December, so now I run the pair, front and rear. In the US the list price is around $100 but there's usually a discount coupon via Amazon in the US that knocks the price down to $75 or less.

I have a couple of action video cameras, including a GoPro knockoff. But they turned out to be unsuited to mundane traffic documentation so I'd have a video in case I'm struck by a car, collide with an animal or just crash and have no memory of the incident. Those other cameras ran only 60-90 minutes per charge (my rides usually go at least 90 minutes). They were difficult to operate one-handed or without looking. The VanTop Moment 4 needed a waterproof housing just to mount securely to anything, and the housing muted the recorded audio.

The Ghost X has a unique combination of features for under $100 (US):
  • 5 hour runtime with the standard battery; 8 hours with the optional battery module. It really runs 5 hours when new, I've checked it on several rides.
  • It's easy to operate after a quick familiarization. Three buttons, and only one does 90% of the work -- on/off. The phone app does everything else the two remaining buttons would do, so they're superfluous but handy without making the design excessively complicated.
  • Basic audible and visible feedback so you know when it's on or off.
  • Several modes to suit just about anyone. I prefer the "car DVD mode," with each segment set to 5 minutes. That way I don't need to edit an entire 60 minute or longer video. And it will record over the earliest file automatically if the media card fills up. I use 32 GB cards and will switch to 64 GB soon so I don't overwrite my earliest files on a 4-5 hour ride.
  • It's weather resistant as-is, no need for a separate housing. Mine have been rained on and splashed a few times, no problem.
  • Good HD video with better than average dynamic range and low noise at night. (There's a better 4K version which is significantly more expensive.)
  • It's a bit more streamlined and aerodynamic than the boxy GoPro and similar camera designs.

No real weaknesses. Like most video cameras it can be picky about media cards and the sequence for plugging into USB ports, transferring files, charging and properly ejecting the device. Occasionally if I forget to properly eject the camera and just yank the USB cord, the next time I use the camera the "instant on" feature doesn't work the first time I use it. Instead the on button turns on the camera, then I need to press it again to record. Most action/video cameras I've tried have similar quirks.

The Ghost X comes with two helmet mounts, one flat, the other slightly curved, with sturdy 3M VHB tape. These are designed mainly for motorcycle helmets, not bicycle helmets. I adapted one to my bike helmets by using Blue Tack gum or Scotch mounting putty. But I switched to Drift brand mounts that clamp onto the handlebar, stem or seat post. Those cost $15-$30 each, but are worth it to get the weight off my head.
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Old 07-13-20, 07:23 PM
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Nice review, thanks!

Just ordered - $84.00
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Old 07-13-20, 07:33 PM
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Mounting to the bike I'm assuming the standard mounts won't work, if this is what you're referring to does it clip securely to existing mount location on the camera?

https://www.amazon.com/Drift-Handleb.../dp/B009K7K5LS
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Old 07-14-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TampaBayBoater View Post
Mounting to the bike I'm assuming the standard mounts won't work, if this is what you're referring to does it clip securely to existing mount location on the camera?

https://www.amazon.com/Drift-Handleb.../dp/B009K7K5LS
Yep, I use that same handlebar mount. Works on the handlebar, stem or seat post for rear facing video.

I also got the roll bar clamp mount. Same thing with longer bolts.
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Old 07-23-20, 11:16 AM
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Thanks for the advice, works like a treat!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbHZ...ature=youtu.be

Last edited by TampaBayBoater; 07-23-20 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 07-25-20, 12:19 AM
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Nice. I visited Bradenton about 25 years ago. Looks pretty much the same, from your video. I was surprised how narrow the island was at one end -- I could have tossed a rock or baseball across the width. But I didn't.
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Old 08-20-20, 03:39 PM
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A while back, I butchered some various bike connectors and parts from the tool box and came up with a way to mount my camera onto the handlebars. The quality wasn't bad and it was rigid enough to withstand the elements, however it could be improved dramatically by a better camera. I particularly like the look of some of the GoPro's - expensive nevertheless!

Kind regards
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