Sony, GoPro Hero 6 or Garmin Virb?

katoom400

Wannabie Member
Aug 21, 2018
6
2
1
50
I ride a
Husqvarna TX300
#1
I ride Enduro and sometimes what some would consider "Hard Enduro" type trails on full on off road bikes (not dual sport) I purchase a camer but I ended up returning the Hero 5 last year as I had many problems with it. It was just released at the time so maybe some of the kinks have been worked out in firmware.

I'm trying to decide between 3 cameras at the moment all about $400 as of this writing (GP Hero 6, Sony x3000 and the Garmin Virb U30) with the Sony being favored simply for the optical stabilization. I'll list what I see as the selling points of each camera for my needs, but what I think I need may not really matter in practice?

I would like to utilize some kind of chinbar mount, either Proshot, or the Dango Designs type. I like the idea of the Dango since it's transferable to other helmets and can be used off the helmet quickly.

Also all of these cameras are capable of 4k filming, but I think 1080p is more than fine for my needs. 4k just eats battery and slows down processing. I think most of the time I would film at 1080/60fps or maybe 120fps if I know i'm going to want to slow the footage down in post. and the option for 240 is nice if you know the shot is going to look great slowed down..but not practical to film in that rate 99% of the time

I don't really see myself posting a lot of videos on youtube as a motovlogger or anything, it's more for my personal use, my friends and I have been practicing some cross-training enduro stuff and it's a great tool to get feedback on your technique or what your suspension is doing through an obstacle. That's why I liked the hero 6 for the ultra slow motion. On the other hand I like to have a cam running all the time just to capture those few moments on the trail when you say "**** I wish I had that on film" some that I can think of off hand: chasing a bear up a tree (not on purpose) bobcats and rattlesnakes, and of course filming your buddies coming up short.

I also like the idea of the dango designs gripper mount so you can easily hop off the bike and film hand held third person footage. but don't know anyone with it.


Sony Considerations:

  • Best stabilization hands down
  • higher bit rates available for recording (if sd card supports them)
  • better mic when not in the waterproof housing
  • Form factor sucks for chinbar mounting. I've seen Everide's method which I could duplicate, just not sure it would hold up where I ride (constant face slapping branches) Maybe a dango mount with gopro adapters holding it off to the side a bit?
  • Waterproof once in the housing, but then it's very bulky and heavy and the microphone goes to crap
  • will do 240 fps, but only in 720p
  • 3.5mm mic adapter built in!
  • splash proof naked (optional lens protector costs $30 and is rectangular)

GoPro Hero 6 Considerations

  • form factor that is conducive to chin bar mounting (which I think is the best view) and allows you to see what the camera is doing
  • excellent processor and 240fps available in 1080p which makes for awesome slow mo
  • rear touch screen display makes it quick and easy to change settings
  • waterproof without a case
  • easily replaceable lens protector
  • tons of accessories available
  • I'm told the EIS in the Hero 6 is the best there is right now, but I don't know that even matters since you can apply warp stabilization in post....to me if it doesn't have OIS then it's a wash since EIS can be done in post to whatever level you would like. the built in EIS does make post editing quicker if you are happy with how they are doing it.

Garmin Virb Ultra 30 considerations

  • uses GoPro mounts, so will work with Chinbar mounting
  • needs case to be waterproof but still seems to be comparable to Gopro?
  • physical start/stop switch (when it's forward you know you are recording...no asking "Is it on?")
  • decent audio even in it's waterproof case
  • Video specs are not as high as Sony, or GoPro but it has G-Metrics, wifi, bluetooth, and ANT+ which will let you connect wireless mics or other sensors...of course the more you turn on the more battery it uses.
  • gmetrics overlays are kind of cool, but I would probably only use heart rate and maybe mph.
  • It would be nice if you could overlay the GPS on top of google maps to trail mapping (I don't know if this is possible?)
  • I like that it has the ability to take a photo with the shutter button even when recording video
  • from the footage I've seen the EIS is on par with Hero 5 but not up to the Hero 6 level, but as I said I'm not overly concerned with EIS as I don't like the un-natural "chicken head" things it does to the video quality and it can always be added in post.
Any insight is greatly appreciated.
 
Likes: HippoDrone
Jan 2, 2017
3,137
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West Sussex, UK
I ride a
2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
#2
I have a GoPro Hero 6 and love the stabilisation over the 5 (which I also have). I think the videos look nicer from it too even with the same settings.
I have had some issues with it recently regarding the external audio, but if you are not recording with an external mic that wouldn't be an issue. I like the GoPro form as it chin mounts the best.
 

Theodor

Don't wannabe
Nov 16, 2017
298
282
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Estonia
I ride a
Valkyrie 1500
#3
I use the Garmin. I am generally happy with it, but the flip switch on the waterproof case seems to have a problem, which is not uncommon, as I found out, from the internet. I need to manually switch the camera on, before I can switch it to recording. For me it is a problem, because I specially took the camera, because of this switch, to have good reaction time, when I start recording on my trips, and at the same time save battery. And then the fact that just by putting my finger on the camera, I know if it is recording or not. It works fine outside the case, the case switch has a faulty magnet or something. I have written to Garmin recently, but I do not have their reply yet. I really prefer to have the case on it, because when it starts raining, I do not want to pull over just to hide the camera.
 

katoom400

Wannabie Member
Aug 21, 2018
6
2
1
50
I ride a
Husqvarna TX300
#4
I had heard that also concerning the switch when in the case. I had also heard that the camera can be accidentally switched off by passing branches, but with a chin mount you should be able to visibly verify after being face slapped by a branch.

Is it necessary to use the waterproof case or would the skeleton case and lens protector be sufficient?

It's a shame Garmin didn't make it waterproof without a case. the Camera has a lot going for it although it's a bit expensive at this point (same price as the Hero 6) which has much higher specs. The Gmetrix stuff is neat, but not really needed for my use.

On the Garmin Virb Facebook group someone told me the battery will on last 1 hour, what have you found as far as battery life?
 

katoom400

Wannabie Member
Aug 21, 2018
6
2
1
50
I ride a
Husqvarna TX300
#5
I'm starting to think it comes down to what is my most important feature between the Hero 6 and the Sony...The Hero 6 has the killer slow motion option available at 240fps in 1080p, and the Sony has the optical stabilization.
 
Jan 2, 2017
3,137
1,858
113
West Sussex, UK
I ride a
2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
#6
The Hero 6 stabilisation is so much better than the Hero 5, I also find in some clips from the Sony that you can see the reflection of the camera moving about in videos which I am not a fan of, which you don't get on the GoPro.... although splattered bugs still look odd lol
 

chaosnaut

one who travels through utter confusion
Mar 26, 2015
105
59
28
India
I ride a
Yamaha Crux 2012
#7
I use a Sony FDR-X3000. I purchased it specifically for the active image stabilization. GoPro are fine cameras, but Sony's image stabilization is simply the best, and my roads are really bumpy in India.

Since I edit on mobile, lots of post-processing effects are not available, so shortening the time I spend on the PC and reducing the workflow path are also important factors. The faster I can get a shot into my editor, trimmed, and posted, the better.
 

katoom400

Wannabie Member
Aug 21, 2018
6
2
1
50
I ride a
Husqvarna TX300
#8
I use a Sony FDR-X3000. I purchased it specifically for the active image stabilization. GoPro are fine cameras, but Sony's image stabilization is simply the best, and my roads are really bumpy in India.

Since I edit on mobile, lots of post-processing effects are not available, so shortening the time I spend on the PC and reducing the workflow path are also important factors. The faster I can get a shot into my editor, trimmed, and posted, the better.
I agree about Sony's image stabilization! It's simply the best there is right now. I also like that if it's too smooth you can use the mid setting to get a feel for how rough a trail may be. For the road you certainly want the smoothest footage, but for off road sometimes ultra smooth footage takes the action out of the shot.

The thing holding me up is the tiny screen and form factor on the Sony. I really need something that is stupid easy to use so I can leave the camera rolling on my helmet and then hop off and film third person shots on foot. So I want to be able to quickly change the camera settings. I would shoot in 1080/60 on the helmet and 1080/120 hand held, and maybe 240fps if I know something will look awesome in super slow motion.

The Sony's little screen is tough on my old eyes. I know there is the remote screen available but I need to keep the setup simple or I won't use it. I really love the Sony but I'm having a hard time deciding between it and the Hero 6 right now.

Pluses for the Sony:

  • Brilliant optical stabilization with adjustability
  • fast write speed 100mbs
  • good audio with built in 3.5mm mic adapter
Pluses for the Hero 6:
  • way easier to mount on chin bar
  • quick and easy interface to change settings
  • waterproof without a case
  • has 240fps in 1080 for super slow motion
  • built in lens cover
The Hero 5 just dropped to $250 on Amazon and the Garmin which aside from the sensors has very similar specs as the Hero 5 is still $400! I've pretty much taken the Garmin off the short list at this point because of reports of poor battery life and it's a little bulkier in it's case (which it needs)



  • built in screen so you know your subject is in frame when filming hand held
 
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chaosnaut

one who travels through utter confusion
Mar 26, 2015
105
59
28
India
I ride a
Yamaha Crux 2012
#9
Sounds like your use cases are pointing you to a GoPro. :)

Can't wait to see what you make with it.
 

katoom400

Wannabie Member
Aug 21, 2018
6
2
1
50
I ride a
Husqvarna TX300
#10
So I ended up with a GoPro Hero 6 for now. I uploaded 2 test videos to YouTube to check out different mounting positions. The problem is they look like garbage on YouTube even though they are only 1080/60? They are very pixellated.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jan 2, 2017
3,137
1,858
113
West Sussex, UK
I ride a
2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
#11
You can get around the YouTube compression by filming at 1080/60, then rendering it at 4k/60 with the same bitrate you are recording at, then when you put it on YouTube it will look a world better at whatever resolution it is viewed in as the 4k and 2.7k vids get a better codec from YouTube allowing a higher bitrate! :)
 

chaosnaut

one who travels through utter confusion
Mar 26, 2015
105
59
28
India
I ride a
Yamaha Crux 2012
#13
Who knows which of these cameras is conveniently attached to the helmet?
Depends on your helmet and desired setup. The Sony came with a helmet mount that worked perfectly for me. Others want chin setups which I can't utilize due to my modular helmet.
 
Jan 2, 2017
3,137
1,858
113
West Sussex, UK
I ride a
2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
#14
Depends on your helmet and desired setup. The Sony came with a helmet mount that worked perfectly for me. Others want chin setups which I can't utilize due to my modular helmet.
Aye, it all depends on your lid. Most cameras will be able to be mounted on a helmet, some take a bit of ingenuity to mount in certain places.
 

katoom400

Wannabie Member
Aug 21, 2018
6
2
1
50
I ride a
Husqvarna TX300
#15
from what I've seen, if you can do a chin mount, that is best since side mount shows part of your helmet and the OIS on the Sony will make it look as if everything is stable except the portion of the helmet in the Frame which bounces around and is distracting, hence the clear view from the chin bar.

GoPro and Garmin have more mounting options in this area, but you can make something that will work with Sony via some bent aluminum stock and dual lock (aka EVERIDE STYLE). I just ordered the Hero 7 black and I'm going to use the Dango Designs Gripper mount on my MX/Enduro helmet.
 
Jan 2, 2017
3,137
1,858
113
West Sussex, UK
I ride a
2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
#17
What do you think about TomTom Bandit Action? I found this camera https://findthedecision.com/best-gopro-alternatives/. Here it is written that it is ideal for attaching to a helmet. It even has a cylindrical body shape.
On that site you linked to, it slates it, so I'd not touch it with my money. It says the 1080 is garbage but the fps on the 4k and 2.7k is only 15fps, which would be useless on a motorbike, ideally you want 60fps at whatever resolution you want to record at.
 

auntRhonda

Wannabie Member
Sep 28, 2018
4
3
3
26
I ride a
Honda cb400
#18
On that site you linked to, it slates it, so I'd not touch it with my money. It says the 1080 is garbage but the fps on the 4k and 2.7k is only 15fps, which would be useless on a motorbike, ideally you want 60fps at whatever resolution you want to record at.
Thank you.
So I choose Sony
 
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