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Discussion Starter #1
I liked Mr. DNA's idea of using the gimbal from an inexpensive tripod for his camera mount. However, I saw the bars too much at low speeds in the rough to want to mount the camera to the handlebars. So, I came up with another option. I had originally planned to use a flexible (rubber) PVC pipe coupling, but then saw this cup in the garage.







The inside diameter was just slightly bigger than the outside diameter of my fuel cap. One wrap of double stick tape, a strip of sandpaper to help with the grip, and a clamp makes a very secure attachment to my fuel cap. If I decide to keep this mount I'll use a hole saw to provide access so I can easily lock and unlock the cap.







I wasn't able to find a Vivitar tripod, but picked up a Targus mini tripod for just $8. A fender washer just slightly larger than the base of the gimbal, and another smaller fender washer underneath along with lock washer and screw quickly and easily attached the gimbal to the cup.







I recognize it's not everybody's cup of tea
but I've always been all about function over form. I like it because the camera is right where I can easily see it and access the controls. I still need to do something about the sound, and see if I can maybe stabilize it a little more. See what you think:



[media]http://youtu.be/zT-qPRweA-M[/media]



[media]http://youtu.be/H7WyrU4qXw8[/media]



Thanks, Mr. DNA for the idea. Thanks also to Admiral, XDAC, and others who have shared their videos. I love watching them, and hope I can share some with you guys.
 

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A little shaky..i still personally like the body mounts. They seem to get rid of the jitterness. I still wana come up with a cool mount that catches the front end/suspension/tire going down a trail...Ive got a few ideas up my sleeve, i just dont know if the camera will bounce around.
 

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I'm all about cheap and easy.
The velcro is 3m dual lock. The stuff holds. I did about 30 miles in rough stuff today with no issues.
 

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Ideas seldom start out representing elegance or perfection. Many do however move us from banal to brilliant. Just my opinion. Gerry







To all that 'TRY'...........



 

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Interesting idea and I like the perspective, but my experimentation would indicate any kind of mounting to the bike simply produces too much vibration. A chest or helmet mount helps a lot, but the cameras most of us have simply weren't designed for this. Once you see what folks are getting with a camera that -was- designed for this, the GoPro line, you find it hard to think that anything else will really do an adequate job. If I wanted to do more sports/action/motorcycle video, I think I'd ask Santa for a GoPro HD Hero - Motorsports edition. Cycle Gear has a pretty good deal right now.



Have a look at what this baby can do on a really bumpy ride --



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HfOQV2L72I[/media]



And if you want to take a ride on a TW... (kick this up to 720p HD and watch it full screen and this chest mount perspective really make it feel like you're the rider).



[media]http://youtu.be/SJ2IXpW8CHQ[/media]
 

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Now look what you're going to make me do...try another camera mount!
I like it. Tomorrow I'm gonna whip something up like your's from the Admiral's secret testing laboratory. Or is that lavatory? I get those two mixed up all the time.



Ultimately, I think as Truelight indicates, most of our problems are the camera's we use. Built in image stabilization is what we need. I would love a Go Pro, Contour, or some other action camera, but I can't afford it, or should I say, don't want to spend that much money. I have seen some point and shoot camera's which have video stabilization with some model's considerably cheaper than a Go Pro. I would like to try Truelights Sony in one of my mounts cause his video was pretty darn good.



Here's my feedback on the camera mounts I have tried:



Handlebar mount: Overall too shaky or too much vibration, bad sound. But has the best for camera controls (on/off/record buttons), similar to B-dubs gas cap cup mount.



Helmet mount: To dorky looking with a regular camera. Improvement for shake and vibration. Horrible camera controls (On/off/record). Is it on? Is it recording? Try it and you will see what I mean.



Chest Mount: Stabilization is about the same as the helmet mount. I can't really tell the difference. Better camera (on/off/record) control, but not as good as the handlebar. Noise reduced a lot with the use of a cover (old camera pouch) over the camera. But I don't really like it wrapped around me.



Here's my chest mount versions. One is when I'm wearing my hunting vest, and one without. (I wear my hunting vest as an alternative to a back pack to carry water, food, bazooka's and what not).



Old camera pouch attached to a plastic backplate. (I used a small wastebasket for the plastic)

I used coat snaps and buckles to secure the straps.





 

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Discussion Starter #8
A little shaky..i still personally like the body mounts. They seem to get rid of the jitterness. I still wana come up with a cool mount that catches the front end/suspension/tire going down a trail...Ive got a few ideas up my sleeve, i just dont know if the camera will bounce around.
Awww, you're just spoiled with the image stabilization on your GoPro
. Yes, I don't think it'll ever be as good as a body mounted camera, but I think it has potential. There is some slop in the mounts of my tank, maybe if I tighten that up some it will improve. I thought with the tank being rubber mounted that would isolate it from vibration somewhat. I was also thinking that the fuel in the tank would act as a damper, kind of. As mentioned I like the camera where I can see it, and I'm not real fond of having things strapped to me. Anyway, I was just looking for a way to get in some video. This was quick, cheap, and easy.



I'm all about cheap and easy.
The velcro is 3m dual lock. The stuff holds. I did about 30 miles in rough stuff today with no issues.


I agree, if it works it sure beats the heck out of nothing. I've heard the dual lock is great stuff, and I have plans to use it on a future project.





Ideas seldom start out representing elegance or perfection. Many do however move us from banal to brilliant. Just my opinion. Gerry


Thanks Gerry. The definition of a forum includes "a place where ideas can be exchanged". The performance and customization part of this forum is one of my favorite hangouts. I enjoy seeing everyone's ideas for solving a problem, and of course, coming up with my own. To me, that's half the fun! Plus, the guys and gals on this forum are a good bunch. Though I've never met any of you, I feel like I'm among friends.



Interesting idea and I like the perspective, but my experimentation would indicate any kind of mounting to the bike simply produces too much vibration. A chest or helmet mount helps a lot, but the cameras most of us have simply weren't designed for this. Once you see what folks are getting with a camera that -was- designed for this, the GoPro line, you find it hard to think that anything else will really do an adequate job. If I wanted to do more sports/action/motorcycle video, I think I'd ask Santa for a GoPro HD Hero - Motorsports edition.


Oh yes, I would love to have one of those!!! But, I would also love to have a new skid plate, bark busters, bar risers, banshee shock, etc. etc. etc. Maybe the new Go Pro's will drive the price down on used ones so they become more affordable. In the meantime I'll continue to piddle around with less expensive options.



I liked the perspective of this video: [media]http://youtu.be/QNH9E2YIfyI[/media]





Now look what you're going to make me do...try another camera mount!
I like it. Tomorrow I'm gonna whip something up like your's from the Admiral's secret testing laboratory. Or is that lavatory? I get those two mixed up all the time.


Hey, you're responsible for all this! Oh, and let me clear that up for you: The lavatory is where the engineering takes place, the labratory is where the creation of the prototype takes place.
The revealing of the Top Secret chest mount made this post all worth it. I tried to get Truelight to share his design, but it must still be classified
.
 

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Loved reading about the very unique and interesting camera mounts.



I borrowed my brother's GoPro for a ride a few months ago. I just got around to uploading one of them (don't mind my electric start issue, it has been solved). I used the helmet mount. It worked very well. Only problem was, like stated before, is it on? Is it off? I kept checking the mirror to see if the red light was on!



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkN6FvJo7NU&feature=youtu.be[/media]
 

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B-dub,



I copied your cup-o-tank mount today and tried it out. I think it is better than my handlebar mount. Shake/vibration is slightly less, but better as the camera doesn't turn with every move of the handlebar. I do like it being right there in front of me where I can turn it on/off better. Like you, I don't like the harness strapped around me, though it has the least amount of shake.



With a standard non-GoPro camera, I'm not going to use the handlebar or helmet mount. More likely to keep using the chest mount until I get a stabilized camera. If I get one, I'm hoping the cup-o-tank mount will work and will give it a try. All in all, I think the cup-o-tank mount is a good option.
 

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I do not have a GoPro camera myself, but have used my image stabilized Sony DSC-HX5v (which also has HD video). Even so, I get plenty of image shake. It might work better with Admiral's chest harness and when we go riding again (this spring?
), I will let him try it.



My belief is what makes the GoPro work so well is the extreme wide-angle lens they use on it. Longer lenses have the downside of amplifying apparent image shake (if you really wanna see some shake, try zooming your lens in and then see what you get.)
The GoPro has a fixed (no zoom) very wide angle lens. The specs say this is a 6mm lens with a 170-degree field of view. This would qualify it as a fish-eye lens. That's the real secret. The GoPro has NO image stabilization. We're never gonna get those kind of results with the cameras we use, image stabilized or not. Even zoomed all the way out, the lenses are just too "long." My Sony has a 25mm lens when zoomed to full-wide.



I've kind of decided myself not to worry too much about onboard video for now. Maybe someday when I have some "disposable income", I'll get a GoPro. I might use my camera in video mode on the pavement occasionally. It worked ok in this test. Still a little shaky though, even on pavement. (Watch this in full-screen 1080 mode for the best effect).



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdt6YClLK7M[/media]
 

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Virtually all the movies I have seen produced on this forum have been fine, and as well, enjoyable to watch. My point above was to applaude those that continue to try dispite being 'told' their approach is flawed.



I as well, started with a handlebar mount. My setup did not net me what I was expecting so like many of you, I moved to a chest mount. I started with a conventional video camera that had image stabilization. Worked fine on a chest mount but looked rather odd. I then got a Kodak Zi 8. This unit is very compact, is stablized, has a remote and a seperate (magnetized) fish eye lens. At around $160 I find the unit easy to use in many situations, and the image/video seem fine and easy to manipulate.



I suspect, someone will produce a fine bike-mount setup. Over the many years I have been making stuff, I generally hear more "that will never work" than I do, 'great idea'. Gerry











camera remote on left mirror base:







Seems more of us have been branching out and presenting videos along with our ride reports. Seems we use all sorts of different cameras and as well, mounting designs.



I will post here as the words "camera" and "mount" are part of the title. I use a Kodak Xi-8 which is thin and tall unlike many conventional/video cameras. This unit has served me well for both still and 'action' shots. To broaden the field of view a bit I recently purchase an inexpensive wide angle lens. It seems to work fine but during my last ride/video I noted when standing to maintain better control in technical terrain, or leaning forward when climbing to keep more weight on the front the field of view for the video becomes my dashboard.



To keep pace with the quality standards that others are wanting to present, I felt it time to re-think my camera mount. Up until today, this is what has been used. Nothing more than a sleeve that the camera drops into. Seems secure and my body seems to mute much of the vibration that the camera stabilization does not handle;







Much of today I spent trying to redesign my mount to compensate for some slight angle variations. After some trail and error, what I came up with seems to represent an improvement.



First, I tried to allow for some movement on the verticle plane. Once doing this, I found that I need to deal with the easy forward and back 'swinging' action that the pivot allowed. I love tinkering, but move more toward a 'quick fix' than perfection. I needed to temper the free-swing the camera 'pendulum' produced. I ended up lacing a band weighted with lead around the front of the camera. This was done in such a way as to allow the band to 'climb' the face of the camera as the bottom of the camera angled outward. Once my body position straightened up, the band pushed the base of the camera back towards my abdomen and the field of view was again straight forward. Certainly not perfect, but will most likely (as confirmed by tests) keep the field of view some feet infront of the bike.



















Gerry









 

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Discussion Starter #13
Loved reading about the very unique and interesting camera mounts.



I borrowed my brother's GoPro for a ride a few months ago. I just got around to uploading one of them (don't mind my electric start issue, it has been solved). I used the helmet mount. It worked very well. Only problem was, like stated before, is it on? Is it off? I kept checking the mirror to see if the red light was on!


Cool! I'd like to see your other videos!



B-dub,



I copied your cup-o-tank mount today and tried it out. I think it is better than my handlebar mount. Shake/vibration is slightly less, but better as the camera doesn't turn with every move of the handlebar. I do like it being right there in front of me where I can turn it on/off better. Like you, I don't like the harness strapped around me, though it has the least amount of shake.



With a standard non-GoPro camera, I'm not going to use the handlebar or helmet mount. More likely to keep using the chest mount until I get a stabilized camera. If I get one, I'm hoping the cup-o-tank mount will work and will give it a try. All in all, I think the cup-o-tank mount is a good option.


Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I'm just going to use the cup-o-tank mount until I figure out something better. I'll just have to add a disclaimer to my videos: Warning!!! Watch at your own risk! May cause tremors, twitches, jitters, or stuttering! DO NOT consume caffeine before, during, or after watching this video!
Kidding aside, I do have something else up my sleeve. I had hoped to try it out this weekend, but it's forecast there is a 30% chance of snow. Wait, that's a 70% chance it won't snow! Hopefully I'll have something good to report. I hope the root beer tastes better than it sounds!






I do not have a GoPro camera myself, but have used my image stabilized Sony DSC-HX5v (which also has HD video). Even so, I get plenty of image shake. It might work better with Admiral's chest harness and when we go riding again (this spring?
), I will let him try it.



My belief is what makes the GoPro work so well is the extreme wide-angle lens they use on it. Longer lenses have the downside of amplifying apparent image shake (if you really wanna see some shake, try zooming your lens in and then see what you get.)
The GoPro has a fixed (no zoom) very wide angle lens. The specs say this is a 6mm lens with a 170-degree field of view. This would qualify it as a fish-eye lens. That's the real secret. The GoPro has NO image stabilization. We're never gonna get those kind of results with the cameras we use, image stabilized or not. Even zoomed all the way out, the lenses are just too "long." My Sony has a 25mm lens when zoomed to full-wide.



I've kind of decided myself not to worry too much about onboard video for now. Maybe someday when I have some "disposable income", I'll get a GoPro. I might use my camera in video mode on the pavement occasionally. It worked ok in this test. Still a little shaky though, even on pavement. (Watch this in full-screen 1080 mode for the best effect).


That's some great insight, thanks! So, even with a stabilized camera there is still shake. Well, I really enjoyed your videos, even with a little bit of shake. I guess as a photography professional you would be more sensitive to any imperfections. To me a less than perfect video is still quite enjoyable. I hope you will continue to shoot some video and share with the rest of us, when weather permits of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Virtually all the movies I have seen produced on this forum have been fine, and as well, enjoyable to watch. My point above was to applaude those that continue to try dispite being 'told' their approach is flawed.



I as well, started with a handlebar mount. My setup did not net me what I was expecting so like many of you, I moved to a chest mount. I started with a conventional video camera that had image stabilization. Worked fine on a chest mount but looked rather odd. I then got a Kodak Zi 8. This unit is very compact, is stablized, has a remote and a seperate (magnetized) fish eye lens. At around $160 I find the unit easy to use in many situations, and the image/video seem fine and easy to manipulate.



I suspect, someone will produce a fine bike-mount setup. Over the many years I have been making stuff, I generally hear more "that will never work" than I do, 'great idea'. Gerry


I agree, a less than perfect video is still very enjoyable to watch. That looks like a great setup you came up with. I imagine the remote would be very handy. Based on what Truelight said, a separate fish eye lens attached to our cameras might be the solution to our problem. Thanks for sharing your ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just did a search, and apparently fish eye lense conversions are not that uncommon, and fairly inexpensive.
 

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I just did a search, and apparently fish eye lense conversions are not that uncommon, and fairly inexpensive.
After reading this post it inspired me to try and make a mount for my wife's Nikon Coolpix camera. I already have a Ram mount on the handlebar for my GPS and happen to have a spare ball mount. I cut the ball off of the mount, tapped out the existing hole to 1/4" x 20. Cut the head off of a 1/4" bolt and used it to join the camera to the ram ball. It took about 10 minutes and seems to work very well. The videos have very good quality with a liitle buzz at higher rpms. Something I'm still working on. At lower speeds the vibration reduction in the camera works pretty good and has next to no buzz.








 

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Hi all,



If I'm not mistaken, the GoPro is shooting 60 frames whereas most video being shot on our point and shoot cameras is at 30 frames a second. BIG difference. Wider angle lenses do reduce the appearance of vibration also. My cheapo Casio EX-Z2000 has "shift stabilization" and can shoot in 720p HD, with a 26mm equivalent lens. it should be able to do a respectable job if I can isolate the vibration. I have one more handlebar mount modification that I'm going to test tomorrow then it's a chest mount... or the cup.



The cup on the gas cap is brilliant too; I like the idea that it's a fixed angle of view, and higher. Undoubtedly less vibration there then on the bars also. ^5 B-Dub



I still think for the small amount of video we'll actually be shooting, it's still worth making a go at it. At any rate, it's always nice to see new ideas put to the test.



Peace
 

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Discussion Starter #18
After reading this post it inspired me to try and make a mount for my wife's Nikon Coolpix camera. I already have a Ram mount on the handlebar for my GPS and happen to have a spare ball mount. I cut the ball off of the mount, tapped out the existing hole to 1/4" x 20. Cut the head off of a 1/4" bolt and used it to join the camera to the ram ball. It took about 10 minutes and seems to work very well. The videos have very good quality with a liitle buzz at higher rpms. Something I'm still working on. At lower speeds the vibration reduction in the camera works pretty good and has next to no buzz.


Great idea! Your video looks fine as far as the camera and mount are concerned. I've never used a RAM mount, do they loosen up over time, or are they pretty secure?



Hi all,



If I'm not mistaken, the GoPro is shooting 60 frames whereas most video being shot on our point and shoot cameras is at 30 frames a second. BIG difference. Wider angle lenses do reduce the appearance of vibration also. My cheapo Casio EX-Z2000 has "shift stabilization" and can shoot in 720p HD, with a 26mm equivalent lens. it should be able to do a respectable job if I can isolate the vibration. I have one more handlebar mount modification that I'm going to test tomorrow then it's a chest mount... or the cup.



The cup on the gas cap is brilliant too; I like the idea that it's a fixed angle of view, and higher. Undoubtedly less vibration there then on the bars also. ^5 B-Dub



I still think for the small amount of video we'll actually be shooting, it's still worth making a go at it. At any rate, it's always nice to see new ideas put to the test.



Peace


Thanks again for your great ideas, and your willingness to share them. If it's true that GoPros shoot at 60 fps that alone would make them much smoother. Nonetheless I think we can get acceptable video when we perfect our ideas. I'll be looking forward to seeing how your new ideas turn out.
 

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Great idea! Your video looks fine as far as the camera and mount are concerned. I've never used a RAM mount, do they loosen up over time, or are they pretty secure?







Thanks again for your great ideas, and your willingness to share them. If it's true that GoPros shoot at 60 fps that alone would make them much smoother. Nonetheless I think we can get acceptable video when we perfect our ideas. I'll be looking forward to seeing how your new ideas turn out.
The ram mount doesn't loosen with age, they are very stable. I think that is why the initial video looks so close to actually being on the bike. The camera also has a vibration reduction and that also appears to help.
 
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