Camera & Comms Set-up - Noob's First Stab

Phaedrus

Wannabie Member
Nov 18, 2016
38
24
8
51
I ride a
2002 R1150GS
Hi.

This is what I have in mind for a video-recording set-up on my bike. I'm not initially intending to vlog or publish - I just want to record video & voice audio on some of my rides for now. I want an integrated system for all my comms & video stuff, preferably all controlled from a hub of some sort - I don't want to have to be pressing RECORD on a few different cameras, or become distracted from riding with multiple devices. Hopefully you kind folks will be able to point me straight... :)

I've tried to upload a diagram in this message of what I have in mind, but I'm getting a "There was a problem uploading your file" message - no description or explanation. Any advice?

EQUIPMENT

Garmin VIRB Cameras x 4
  1. Mounted on top of my helmet, aimed forward, giving a rider-view.
  2. Mounted at the front of the top of the off-side pannier, aimed forward.
  3. Mounted on the handlebar, aimed rearward at rider.
  4. Mounted at the rear of the top of the off-side pannier, aimed rearward.

Garmin Zumo 590 GPS SatNav (to replace my current Zumo 550, which can't RC the VIRBs)
  • Simultaneous remote control of all VIRB cameras.
  • SatNav.
  • MP3 Player.
  • Control of mobile phone.

Bluetooth Comms Unit
  • Not sure yet of what I need to be looking at, though I'm drawn to Sena products.

Mobile Phone
  • My current Sony Xperia M4 Aqua will be fine.

I'm not interested in GoPro - no offence to enthusiasts.


I'm certain of some things:
  • The Zumo 590 can do everything I've described above.
  • The mounts & connectivity solutions do exist to rig things like I want.
  • All items can be in use at the same time as being powered directly from the bike.
  • All items are properly (actually) waterproof - no external housings required.
I'm not sure about some other things, primarily regarding the capture of voice audio:
  • How to record voice
    • Which camera to rig a mic with? Helmet? Handlebar?
    • What mic to use?
    • What type of connectivity between camera & mic?
  • Might a bluetooth/camera combo unit like the Sena 10C or 10C Evo (when available) be preferable over the helmet-mounted VIRB + an external mic?
  • What the optimal memory cards (type & capacity) will be for each item.
  • Editing - best software to use? Proprietary? Third party? Simple would be best, with good online tutorials. I'm not aiming for awards - just watchable for friends & family. Who knows after I nail that...
  • How to sync/edit clips from the 4 separate cameras for fluid & flowing final results?

Thanks in advance for any replies/comments/advice.

Mark
 

AmpdMoto

Check Me Out on Youtube
Aug 28, 2015
141
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I ride a
Harley Davidson VRod
Regardless of having a remote for the cameras you are still going a little over board with 4 cams. Even controlled together that is a lot going on all at once and it will never fail that one won't sync properly or will turn off or some other problem.

Keep it simple is my recommendation.

Use a helmet cam and then one secondary cam. The secondary cam can be moved around to different angles to change things up.

As for a mic I recommend the Sony Ecm-cs3 it's a cheap lapel mic and records in stereo. If you want mono the best mic I've found is the mic made for drift action cameras ( I don't use it with a drift it's just a good mic ).

Can't beat sena when it comes to comm. so you're on the right track there. I recommend the 20s or newer because you can control connections between devices with the mobile app and it makes it very simple.
 
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Phaedrus

Wannabie Member
Nov 18, 2016
38
24
8
51
I ride a
2002 R1150GS
Thanks for your reply.

Perhaps four cameras is overboard, but I'm inclined to attempt what I have in mind and realise/discover that it's not viable or too much trouble, or whatever, rather than not attempt it.

If it works out, I should be very happy with the videos I might cobble together.

Regarding a mic, would you suggest that a camera mounted on the helmet with a mic connected to that would be preferable to a combo comms/camera unit like the Senas I mentioned? What bearing would that set-up have on a Bluetooth comms unit? Would you then be running two mics in your helmet?

Obviously, that option would remove the RC functionality of that camera, it not being a VIRB.


Thanks again. :)
 

2wheelfan

Wannabie Member
Nov 19, 2016
23
10
3
44
Fukuoka , Japan
I ride a
600rr
I'm super interested in seeing a video edited and put together like this . It's a lot of trouble but I think would be interesting with all the perspectives . Can't wait to see your work. I'm a noob but trying my best !
 

Phaedrus

Wannabie Member
Nov 18, 2016
38
24
8
51
I ride a
2002 R1150GS
Perhaps I should nail the basics before I try to arrive at where I want to be.

The main thing I'm struggling to understand is how to record voice audio while riding?
  • Some contraption that captures speech from your bluetooth comms mic? If so, please direct me to these contraptions.
  • A mic connected to a helmet-mounted camera? Presumably this would mean running two mics in your helmet?
  • A combo camera/comms unit? Simple (if expensive) one-device solution?

Thanks. :)
 

AmpdMoto

Check Me Out on Youtube
Aug 28, 2015
141
69
28
29
I ride a
Harley Davidson VRod
Perhaps I should nail the basics before I try to arrive at where I want to be.

The main thing I'm struggling to understand is how to record voice audio while riding?
  • Some contraption that captures speech from your bluetooth comms mic? If so, please direct me to these contraptions.
  • A mic connected to a helmet-mounted camera? Presumably this would mean running two mics in your helmet?
  • A combo camera/comms unit? Simple (if expensive) one-device solution?

Thanks. :)

I have 2 mics in my helmet if you count the sena mic. I use the very tiny sena mic so it takes up no space and then I use another very small mic placed right behind the front of my cheek pad to record my voice to the camera. The camera mic just plugs straight into my camera.

I also ordered a Sena GoPro Backpack so when I am on group rides and connected to other people on intercom I will now be able to record the conversation on my secondary gopro which I keep mounted on the bars.

You really do need to master the basics before you try and go elaborate with so many angles. Once you master 2 angles it will be easy to increase from there. I own 4 action cameras myself and have ran 3 at once before but for the majority of riding I only use 2 because I didn't see that much benefit coming out of the extra angles.

The POV angle is the most important if I must pick one because that is when the viewer gets to experience your adventure as you are seeing it.
 
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2wheelfan

Wannabie Member
Nov 19, 2016
23
10
3
44
Fukuoka , Japan
I ride a
600rr
I have 2 mics in my helmet if you count the sena mic. I use the very tiny sena mic so it takes up no space and then I use another very small mic placed right behind the front of my cheek pad to record my voice to the camera. The camera mic just plugs straight into my camera.

I also ordered a Sena GoPro Backpack so when I am on group rides and connected to other people on intercom I will now be able to record the conversation on my secondary gopro which I keep mounted on the bars.

You really do need to master the basics before you try and go elaborate with so many angles. Once you master 2 angles it will be easy to increase from there. I own 4 action cameras myself and have ran 3 at once before but for the majority of riding I only use 2 because I didn't see that much benefit coming out of the extra angles.

The POV angle is the most important if I must pick one because that is when the viewer gets to experience your adventure as you are seeing it.
Wow when you ran 3 where did you mount them. I do agree that pov is the most important .
 
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Phaedrus

Wannabie Member
Nov 18, 2016
38
24
8
51
I ride a
2002 R1150GS
My aspiration as outlined in my OP is currently just that - an aspiration. I have an idea in mind of what I'd enjoy watching in terms of a record of a motorbike tour.

Agreed that the dominant perspective would be the rider view. The other three views I have in mind would be less frequent in a "finished product", but I'd personally enjoy the odd view of a following bike, or the rider's face perhaps reacting to something or deep in concentration, or a pannier-top view that catches the side of the bike and some of the rider's body/leg. Like I said - mostly rider-view (e.g. 70%), with a little of the others to pep things up (e.g. 10/10/10% of the other three perspectives).

Capturing the footage is for now what I'm working on understanding (along with comms, music, GPS navigation, etc). Editing I'd look into further down the road, or I may even enlist help.

Whatever system/set-up I invest in, it would be compiled piece-by-piece, rather than all-in-one-go.

Mark
 

2wheelfan

Wannabie Member
Nov 19, 2016
23
10
3
44
Fukuoka , Japan
I ride a
600rr
Awesome , I can't wait to see the footage. I agree b roll is super awesome to splice in . I'm super inspired by your aspiration and with vlogging especially since Casey stopped his vlog as well. Let us know how it goes .
 

AmpdMoto

Check Me Out on Youtube
Aug 28, 2015
141
69
28
29
I ride a
Harley Davidson VRod
Wow when you ran 3 where did you mount them. I do agree that pov is the most important .
When I ran 3 one was on my helmet, one on the bars pointed back at me, and the third was on the passenger footpeg hanging downward and pointing rearward.

Looks awesome but is a lot to deal with when you are riding with others and they don't want to wait on you to get all setup at every stop.

I did just get a Sena GP-10 for the gopro this week so I will be testing that tomorrow. If all goes well I will now be able to record intercom chats as well as be able to run a completely weather proof vlogging setup for those poor weather adventures like I had earlier this year riding in 2 days of solid rain.
 

Phaedrus

Wannabie Member
Nov 18, 2016
38
24
8
51
I ride a
2002 R1150GS
"a lot to deal with when you are riding with others and they don't want to wait on you to get all setup at every stop."

That's the beauty of the VIRB/Zumo idea - three cameras all remote-controlled simultaneously from the GPS unit, including (AFAIK) power on/off and start/stop recording.

And if powered directly from the bike, then changing batteries doesn't even come into it. Changing memory cards might be the only thing to delay you.

The idea of a final video with varied perspectives excites me enough to want to overcome any difficulties.
 

AmpdMoto

Check Me Out on Youtube
Aug 28, 2015
141
69
28
29
I ride a
Harley Davidson VRod
I meant more as in having to worry about someone stealing the cameras every time you stop and go inside somewhere. Often I have to remove cameras and throw them in my bag. Thus having to remount all of them while people are waiting.

I run gopro cameras and all of them are also controlled simultaneously by a remote as well or by my phone on the mount which I ever I choose to use.
 

Phaedrus

Wannabie Member
Nov 18, 2016
38
24
8
51
I ride a
2002 R1150GS
Ah. Gotcha. Yeah, hadn't thought of that aspect.

Never been a fan of riding in groups. For the Europe trip I have in mind (that prompted my interest in videoing rides), it'll be just me and one mate. I reckon we'll make it work without fighting.
 

SCowboy

Wannabie Member
Oct 10, 2016
2
0
1
23
I ride a
Suzuki DRZ 400S
I'd love to see the end result of how you get all that footage spliced together. I can barely concentrate on using two different cameras. Usually I don't even run my second one.
 

Phaedrus

Wannabie Member
Nov 18, 2016
38
24
8
51
I ride a
2002 R1150GS
Woah! Easy tiger! Lemme get the rig sorted first. Editing will come later. ;)

Most bike videos I see online are single-perspective (helmet-mounted). This is a great perspective, but can leave me wanting more. What I have in mind - if I can pull it off - might result in a video that might be a bit of a break from the norm.

Again, I have no aspirations for fortune or fame - I'd just like a record of a European tour that's interesting and entertaining to watch, for me and maybe for any friends or family who are interested.

Regarding the hassle of un-mounting & re-mounting four cameras at every stop - this would of course become a pain in the hole, not just for fellow riders, but for me too. This four-camera set-up I'm thinking about would be primarily for a 2-3 week European tour, and not for my daily ride. For my daily ride, I'd be happy with just a helmet-mounted camera, and I imagine some days I may not bother at all. For Sunday-spin types of ride, or shorter tours at home, I might rig an extra camera or two. So the hassle wouldn't be a regular facet of daily riding.


Mark
 

Phaedrus

Wannabie Member
Nov 18, 2016
38
24
8
51
I ride a
2002 R1150GS
First ever attempt at editing, purely an exercise in seeing what I can do and what ideas work and don't.

Three camera angles:

Helmet camera: Garmin VIRB, 720p @ 60fps.
Pannier camera: Garmin VIRB, 720p @ 60fps.
Rear-facing camera: Vivitar DVR787HD, 720 @ 60fps.

I think these are the settings I had the cameras on.

The rear-facing Vivitar is obviously far inferior, and will be replaced with another VIRB as soon as funds allow.

Edited with Garmin VIRB Edit.

I'll probably re-try this again, as my mate (on the Super Tenere) had a VIRB mounted low off-side - adding in footage from that will add even more variety.
 

lupin

2016 Solar Bear Champion.
Jul 5, 2015
2,189
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Australia
www.imlupz.com
I ride a
FZ1N
Tip. You don't have to use the audio from each camera. Just pick the best source and use that.

In other words don't use the audio from the rear camera.
 
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