Review Best Mic for Motovlogging - 3-Way Shootout

Guest

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One problem is that GoPro attempts to address its wide diversity of uses with a single camera. We don't need two screens - don't even need one - but we do need external audio into the helmet. Media Mods that are bulky and require full disassembly to just change the battery (and recover from the occasional freeze) are super crappy solutions. We are saddled with battery life far shorter than our ride segments.
Hey hey! Slow down! lol

Out of 115 videos on my motorcycle channel, 48 of them are 'how to' videos.
I upgraded to the Hero 9 FOR the front-facing screen.

The front screen makes my life sooo much easier when I'm shooting in the garage. I save a ton of time not endlessly switching from in front of to behind the camera and still have a camera I can throw in the sink and wash the oil off of when I'm done.

The back screen lets me get that perfect sky/tree/building to road/bike/rider ratio. With the no-screen session you just aim and pray, and hope the mount or the rider position doesn't shift after some riding. With the back facing camera you can glance down and monitor what's in frame WHILE you're riding.

I don't want people to watch me riding a motorcycle.
I want people to feel like they're riding a motorcycle.

1.jpg
 

Meifesto

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Jan 5, 2013
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I think if I wanted to really get the best possible audio I would probably use two mics. One strictly for the exhaust tone, paired with the Audio Technica for the clean clear voice.
I have been playing with the 2 mic setup as well.
But i'm not quite sure if a audio jack splitter would work with a GoPro to record both audiotracks.
I mean, that would be kinda interesting to try and play around with of course.
Just haven't found a splitter just yet ;)
 
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Meifesto

Semi-Suicidal Dutchie
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Interesting, I'm looking at the Hero 10 and media mod. The issue I had was the size of it all hanging off the front of the helmet. You had real issues using the media mod?
I hate the Media Mod on the 8, 9 & 10 it is huge and makes swapping batteries a pain. I use Velcro to attach the mic adapter to the helmet, works much better for me.
I do use the media mod, and other then the occasional situation were the Gopro ignores the external mic I haven't had any problems with it.
The fact that you can charge and use a mic at the same time means I don't have to worry about swapping batteries on the road.
But I don't like the fact you can't keep the mediamod attached to the helmet, as it is hanging on the GoPro itself.
 

bernhtp

Wannabie Member
May 22, 2018
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Hey hey! Slow down! lol

Out of 115 videos on my motorcycle channel, 48 of them are 'how to' videos.
I upgraded to the Hero 9 FOR the front-facing screen.

The front screen makes my life sooo much easier when I'm shooting in the garage. I save a ton of time not endlessly switching from in front of to behind the camera and still have a camera I can throw in the sink and wash the oil off of when I'm done.

The back screen lets me get that perfect sky/tree/building to road/bike/rider ratio. With the no-screen session you just aim and pray, and hope the mount or the rider position doesn't shift after some riding. With the back facing camera you can glance down and monitor what's in frame WHILE you're riding.

I don't want people to watch me riding a motorcycle.
I want people to feel like they're riding a motorcycle.

View attachment 6249
Note that all of your use cases for the screens are off the bike, not motovlogging. There are better cameras other than action cameras for shooting video of someone in-frame explaining something.

As for setup and framing, you can use your phone app to see the (no-screen) camera view and align it appropriately. Tthe motovlog use case involves a fixed helmet and/or on-bike mount where you don't manipulate the camera other than to turn if on/off. Thus there is no use for screen(s) in any riding use case.

There are trade-offs to everything. A screen removes one side of the camera from being used for battery. Two screens remove two sides - the largest two sides. It adds size, weight, expense and power draw - all counter to the needs of the on-bike/helmet riding use case.

DJI seems to be on the right track with its modular Action 2 camera. When you attach the Power Module, you get up to three hours of recording. It has a separate Display Module that can give you the front-facing screen you seek. It has simpler audio input attachment with gain-adjustment in the camera. But it's not without its problems from various reviews (I haven't tried it) including:
  1. I am skeptical of its magnetic/latch system. I don't know if it stands up to the motovlogging environment, e.g., turning your head at 170 mph on track where extreme wind forces hit it from the side.
  2. The rear screen on the base unit prevents the big side from being used as a module attachment point (per what I said above), and so module attachment is on the bottom smaller side, which makes the combined form factor very long downwards.
  3. I read reports of it overheating.
I ride a superbike (S1000RR) with a sport/race helmet (Shoe X14) that makes for a very loud wind environment, so my audio issues are more severe than many here. I can significantly mitigate them by installing the chin curtain and closing the chin vent, but at the expense of less ventilation.
DJI-Action-2_006-1024x1024.jpg
 

Guest

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Note that all of your use cases for the screens are off the bike, not motovlogging. There are better cameras other than action cameras for shooting video of someone in-frame explaining something.

As for setup and framing, you can use your phone app to see the (no-screen) camera view and align it appropriately.

Note that in the message I'm quoting you were referring to what "we" need, not what you need. If I'm vlogging about motorcycles, whether it's in front of, or behind the camera, I'm motovlogging. Likewise, whether motovloggers are in front of, or behind the camera, we need a camera that is motorcycle-friendly.

About 20 videos on my channel involve some kind of fluid (motorcycle engine oil, motorcycle final drive oil, motorcycle battery acid, motorcycle brake fluid). The GoPro 9 (or 10) is fantastic for these videos because I can pick up the camera with fingers or gloves covered in all kinds of motorcycle fluids, and then I can just drop in the sink and wash it.

Your cell phone suggestion would mean having to put gloves off and on every time I want to see frame, as I wouldn't want to touch the touch screen of my phone (that I can't wash) with fingers covered in DOT-4 brake fluid and battery acid every time I reposition and need to check my framing.

I use a DSLR for talking head videos, but when I'm doing a multi-part series with a first ride, maintenance, test ride, upgrade/customization, final ride kind of series, my motovlog channel needs a camera that can be rough-and-tumble, get down-and-dirty, and can do it all. The GoPro Hero 9 with it's front and rear screens is a great solution for a motovlog channel that does it all.

For a fun example of what a great tool for a motovlog channel an action camera with a front-facing screen is, check this out: Motorcyclist explains the right way to install a window

The video starts with our hero on his motorcycle, the meat and potatoes of the video is filmed on an action camera with a front-facing screen (GoPro?), and ends with him back on his motorcycle again.

In the middle he shares all kinds of wisdom and insights with us, including why it's important to install windows a little lower than their original design:

Capture.PNG


WHICH. IS. GREAT!
 
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Guest

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One last one. Here we see our hero, in a santa claus suit, teachng us about biology.

I'm assuming this was shot on an action camera with a front facing screen as well but I could be wrong. We don't see the camera in this video, I kind of just really wanted to share this screen shot.

Happy Christmas _ 5 Year Channiversary 17-7 screenshot.png
 
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bernhtp

Wannabie Member
May 22, 2018
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I ride a
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OK, I get it. You want (and have) a versatile general purpose cam for your off-bike shooting and are willing to suffer the tradeoffs to have this in a single camera. There are many of these available. What doesn't exist, at least well implemented, is a minimalist camera that will
  1. Easily chin-mount on our helmet via built-in GoPro fingers or camera screw
  2. provide a simple and clean connection to an in-helmet mic
  3. provide long (2+ hours) battery life
  4. Provide simple/definitive operation with a gloved hand and salient state feedback
  5. Give good audio gain control and noise filtering via digital processing for good audio in a noisy helmet
  6. Capability to quickly change the battery
  7. Small and light with minimalist wind profile without taking it off its mount
  8. Hi-res GPS metadata embedded with the video, e.g., via active phone Bluetooth for apps such as Telemetry Overlay.
  9. Extra points for Bluetooth audio-in to automatically integrate intercom audio (e.g., Cardo Packtalk).
I think the Hero 5 Session was a start in that direction, but needs to modernized and tuned to (many) motorcyclist needs.
 
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Guest

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Kind of. You're halfway there.

I wouldn't call it just a general purpose camera. I would call it a motorcycle-specific camera.

It's not that I want a single camera. I have a DSLR, an Insta360, and a cell phone. it's that these aren't as good for shooting motorcycle content in comparison to the GoPro's flexibility and versatility at working both on and off the bike. Anyone of those other three cameras would either be a time-suck in the shop (DSLR, cell phone) or not be able to give me as good 4K quality (Insta360).
 

Meifesto

Semi-Suicidal Dutchie
Jan 5, 2013
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I ride a
Yamaha XT660R
OK, I get it. You want (and have) a versatile general purpose cam for your off-bike shooting and are willing to suffer the tradeoffs to have this in a single camera. There are many of these available. What doesn't exist, at least well implemented, is a minimalist camera that will
  1. Easily chin-mount on our helmet via built-in GoPro fingers or camera screw
  2. provide a simple and clean connection to an in-helmet mic
  3. provide long (2+ hours) battery life
  4. Provide simple/definitive operation with a gloved hand and salient state feedback
  5. Give good audio gain control and noise filtering via digital processing for good audio in a noisy helmet
  6. Capability to quickly change the battery
  7. Small and light with minimalist wind profile without taking it off its mount
  8. Hi-res GPS metadata embedded with the video, e.g., via active phone Bluetooth for apps such as Telemetry Overlay.
  9. Extra points for Bluetooth audio-in to automatically integrate intercom audio (e.g., Cardo Packtalk).
I think the Hero 5 Session was a start in that direction, but needs to modernized and tuned to (many) motorcyclist needs.

So... we need the brain of the GoPro 9 (or 10), in the housing o the Drift HD, with the size of the Drift Stealth? ;)
 

Meifesto

Semi-Suicidal Dutchie
Jan 5, 2013
1,713
1,459
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The Netherlands
I ride a
Yamaha XT660R
Likewise, whether motovloggers are in front of, or behind the camera, we need a camera that is motorcycle-friendly.
When I'm doing a multi-part series with a first ride, maintenance, test ride, upgrade/customization, final ride kind of series, my motovlog channel needs a camera that can be rough-and-tumble, get down-and-dirty, and can do it all. The GoPro Hero 9 with it's front and rear screens is a great solution for a motovlog channel that does it all.
Yes, I agree on most of it.
The front facing screen I could do without, I have it turned to minimum/off most of the time.
Although I love the fact that with a touch in the screen I can see in the mirror whether or not I'm still recording.
So we do need something up front, just for that purpose. I don't want to fiddle with my mobile while riding.

Although, an old fashion remote (that is actually waterproof) could provide that as well.
But do we need/want more gimmicks?

So, other then the battery life and the mic problems.
GP 9 seems for the average motovlogger a "complete" package. But with room to improve.
It might be smart to make a GoPro 9 as is, and a GoPro 9 Light, without certain screens etc. That way they can please both camps with ease.
 
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HippoDrone

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It might be smart to make a GoPro 9 as is, and a GoPro 9 Light, without certain screens etc. That way they can please both camps with ease.
They tried the "light" versions before with the GoPro Silver and GoPro White, both were back to basics... but they also took away the ability to add external audio with them. GoPro will never make a "motovlogging" camera, we are just too small a customer base, so we have to compromise, for me, the GoPro cameras are the closest to what I want, for others the Drift may be, or the DJI, or Insta360.... Maybe if GoPro made us a camera, we would all get it, but then the moment it went wrong, every motovlogger would be bitching about the same camera being rubbish...
 
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bernhtp

Wannabie Member
May 22, 2018
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I ride a
2020 BMW S 1000 RR (K67) M Sport
My favorite action cam for motovlogging was the Sony FDR-X3000. It had 3.5mm audio in with good digital processing. Its optical stabilization wasn't as good as modern digital, but was good enough for helmet mounts. Its long form factor was not the best, but worked ok when slung down inverted. It had really good video for its era and over an hour of battery life.

Sadly, it went bouncing down the road and then over a cliff when a mount broke. Sony hasn't created a successor and isn't in the action camera biz.
 
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tjthresh

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Jun 17, 2022
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2006 HD Fat Boy
Has anyone come across a mic with a short wire yet? I'm working on my setup for a modular helmet. A long cable is really gonna stink.
 

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