1 2 3
Franknbeans1
Franknbeans1 New Reader
1/21/18 5:53 p.m.

I use the GoPro HeroBlack. With their software you can do overlay. 

 

 

 

 

Desy
Desy New Reader
1/22/18 1:36 p.m.

For anyone on a budget - but still want a name brand and warranty. I bought a GoPro Hero3 refurbished from Amazon. Under $200 for camera and mounts. Not the best in low-light but great for daylight.


I would like to upgrade to something with better low light performance and longer battery life however.

te72
te72 New Reader
1/22/18 10:59 p.m.

Also worth mentioning, for those of us on a budget (hey, this IS GRM, right?), you might try using a more traditional point and shoot. Have yet to try it in the car, as I ran out of time to build a mount before the end of last season, but a few bucks worth of fabricating flat steel, a welder, and a 1/4-20 thumb screw, and I should have a decent homebrew camera setup.

 

We have a Sony DSC-HX20V, takes great pics, and pretty awesome video quality too. Will have to see how it holds up to car vibrations though... picks up sound nicely, for not having an external mic, I'm impressed. That said, if it falls of your car......

Desy
Desy New Reader
1/23/18 1:58 a.m.

In reply to te72 :

I built something similar back in the day. Used the Defrost vent to mount a camera ball (so it could be aimed.) ended up getting a little wiggle but worked OK for what it was.

 

Later I took a piece of box aluminum and some U bolt/clamps (for like wire interior garage door latch pulls) to mount them to the headrest post of a seat. Had the camera centered and that worked really well. However, it wasn't very compact and quickly changed around like a gopro style camera with suction cup mount.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/23/18 9:16 a.m.
te72 said:

Also worth mentioning, for those of us on a budget (hey, this IS GRM, right?), you might try using a more traditional point and shoot. Have yet to try it in the car, as I ran out of time to build a mount before the end of last season, but a few bucks worth of fabricating flat steel, a welder, and a 1/4-20 thumb screw, and I should have a decent homebrew camera setup.

 

We have a Sony DSC-HX20V, takes great pics, and pretty awesome video quality too. Will have to see how it holds up to car vibrations though... picks up sound nicely, for not having an external mic, I'm impressed. That said, if it falls of your car......

I used to do this in the days before "action cams," and it works but it's an enormous PITA, everything needs lots of work and fiddling to get it working correcty, and then you're still using a huge and fragile camera in a harsh environment. I would recommend a cheap/used action cam over this route.

Edit: Also you'll save money on wide angle lenses.

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
1/23/18 10:19 a.m.

Back in "the day", we used to rent a VHS video camera (way too expensive to buy at the time) and tripod, duct-taping it to the roll cage.

Carry on.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/23/18 2:12 p.m.
kb58 said:

Back in "the day", we used to rent a VHS video camera (way too expensive to buy at the time) and tripod, duct-taping it to the roll cage.

Carry on.

There's a video somewhere of a dude hanging out the side of a Group B rally car on course with a ginormous camcorder. Human camera mount surprise

te72
te72 New Reader
1/23/18 11:00 p.m.

Desy, sounds like my plan for the Supra. Not sure if you're familiar with the Mk3 seats, but they have beefy sides where the head rest mounts. Gonna make a square bend that can be clamped tigher as necessary to make sure things stay put.

 

GameboyRMH, I appreciate the input. Biggest thing for me, is sound quality. I've yet to hear a video taken from an action cam that sounds as nice as the videos we've taken with the camera. Totally hear you on the fragility aspect though, I've always been one to make sure that if things fail, they fail safely. Worth the extra effort to prevent catastrophe. Heck, Sony has diving cases for these cameras... may look into that option.

 

kb58, that is awesome sir. Revolutionary in that time, I'm sure. Now folks just wonder what the heck you're doing if you bust out videotapes...

Stefan
Stefan GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/23/18 11:04 p.m.

In reply to te72 :

To get proper sound, you need to use a mic that picks up from the floor and a separate recorder or a camera that has an external mic input.

SnowMongoose
SnowMongoose SuperDork
1/24/18 12:34 a.m.

Big fan of the VIRB, though a lot of that is tied up in how nicely it plays with SoloStorm.  

Yeah it's pricey, but I've had none of the issues that came with several generations of GoPro ownership.  

And finally, it can do cool E36 M3 like sync up with my Garmin Forerunner running watch and overlay my heartrate data from during an AX run.

te72
te72 New Reader
1/25/18 9:57 p.m.

In reply to Stefan :

Interesting, sounds like I have a lot to learn, no pun intended. What makes a mic at floor level the trick?

Stefan
Stefan GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/25/18 10:39 p.m.
te72 said:

In reply to Stefan :

Interesting, sounds like I have a lot to learn, no pun intended. What makes a mic at floor level the trick?

It isn’t bothered by wind noise, so filtering out vibrations is easier while getting just the pure noise.

te72
te72 New Reader
1/27/18 11:11 p.m.

In reply to Stefan :

Totally makes sense, thanks for the educating! I won't be putting the camera on the outside of the car, but if I were to have the windows down, I could see wind noise getting picked up... Pretty much everything I do with that car is for fun anyway, so if it gets decent video, cool. If not, I'll try something else. =)

Knurled.
Knurled. GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/28/18 5:50 a.m.
te72 said:

Also worth mentioning, for those of us on a budget (hey, this IS GRM, right?), you might try using a more traditional point and shoot. Have yet to try it in the car, as I ran out of time to build a mount before the end of last season, but a few bucks worth of fabricating flat steel, a welder, and a 1/4-20 thumb screw, and I should have a decent homebrew camera setup.

 

I did try that.  It "worked", although it was fiddly, and I could never figure out how to mount it so it both didn't vibrate so the tape didn't record or bounce all over the place.  Was sort-of okay at the dragstrip although I never bothered to encode track days or, later, rallycross footage, because it generally sucked.

 

Then I tried a security camera with a VCR, so I could soft mount the recording device and hard mount the camera. 
That sucked too.

 

Then I tried the security cam and a digital recording device, which sucked, and failed to record audio.

 

Then, after a particularly juicy year end bonus, i just bought a damn GoPro.  For less money then I ended up spending farting around with trying to not spend money.

te72
te72 New Reader
1/30/18 12:44 a.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

Sure sounds like you've had quite the adventures trying to record your err, adventures! I'm into the setup I have in my head maybe $10 in fabricating materials I already have, as well as a camera that we already have that's known to record nice looking and sounding video. I'll give it a shot.

 

Worst case, I end up buying a more focused camera when some expendable budget finds its way to me.

Jaynen
Jaynen UltraDork
2/28/18 4:56 p.m.

I'm thinking I am going to go with 2 SJCAM models with the "car mode" on which means it starts recording when it gets power and I will just wire up a double 12v outlet or something.I want to put one above the windshield and one in car to see primarily my inputs. but not sure about how to attach it/run the power cable down from top of the car on the miata to the power

sevenracer
sevenracer Reader
7/4/22 1:01 p.m.

My search didn't find any newer threads on this, so resurrecting this one.

Any word on the latest options for a budget in car cam? I have been using 2 ancient go pro's forever, an original hero and a hero 4 for front and rear views. They work fine, but I have a major gripe with how difficult it is to start them from the driver's seat. The older one in particular, with limited ability to reach them and terrible off-angle sight lines to see the tiny markings on the displays, I have had many sessions where I didn't get video, mainly because the camera switched out of video mode because the power button is also the button to toggle through the modes.

 

So, I thought in the 8 years since I last bought one, the Go Pro knockoffs must have become decent enough, right... right?

 

I purchased an Akasa V50x off Amazon - major attraction being the included remote control to allow video start and stop.  Buuut, this model has no front side screen and inexplicably has no recording light either. So, if you can only see the front of the camera (as when I'm in the race seat) There is no way to tell if the camera is on or if it's recording.

So, got an Akasa Brave 4 pro instead with a little front side screen. Still no recording indicator light (crazy to me), but I can see the recording indicator on the front screen. Problem is, you can't set the camera to default to the front screen, you have to manually switch it over each time you power it up. Seemed straightforward enough in my living room, but I only had a 50% success rate at the track this weekend. Just didn't switch over - strapped into the car, it's impossible to see the rear screen to tell if it is turned on/in the right mode. And, the video it did produce had rolling shutter waviness at certain times - like Wayne and Garth entering a dream sequence. Sound kinda sucked too compared to my gopro.

 

tldr:

Is there anything out there more affordable than a GoPro that has a remote start stop switch and a front LED indicator - that also takes stable video (no rolling shutter wobble)? The Akasa options I tried had the issues noted above, and the higher end Akasa's are near GoPro money and unclear if they solve the issues of their lower end products.

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/4/22 1:12 p.m.

Probably not what you want to hear, but for some of the newer GoPro Blacks there is a dev firmware that makes the unit record when it gets power through the USB port.  I have an 8 now and it is one of the supported units.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/tech-tips/gopro-motionusb-power-triggers-auto-live-stream-gopro-labs/191191/page1/

Mount the camera wherever you want, wire in a USB adaptor through a switch on the dash.  Flip the switch up - now you recordin'. Flip the switch down - now you ain't.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/4/22 1:16 p.m.

I'm still using Gen2 GoPros with the WiFi bacpac remote system - to get such a system working these days would almost certainly require soldering in replacement batteries though (as I had to do on the BacPac). It has lights all around the camera and on the remote to let you know when it's recording, and the remote also shows which mode the camera's in. Last year I went shopping around for replacements, but I wanted a camera that can record H.265 video and there were no affordable options with that at the time.

What you call rolling shutter waviness sounds like vibration-induced video waviness, which is not a sensor issue but a mounting issue - true rolling shutter issues could be seen by holding the camera in your hand and recording a spinning aircraft propeller for example. What you describe is very commonly caused by people mounting GoPros to the roll cages of cars with very stiff engine mounts.

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
7/4/22 1:54 p.m.

I commented early in this thread about how much I loathe GoPro (duly earned through experience with three generations of them - I'm not bright enough to learn...) and that I was looking at alternatives. Ended up going with the Sony ActionCam or SportsCam or whatever they call it. Works well, meaning that it does as it's told, every time, and the stabilization is really nice.

wake74
wake74 Reader
7/4/22 2:43 p.m.

Since I can't seem to expunge the frugal Yankee in me (or cheap SOB as my friends put it), I'm still using a couple of old ReplayXDs.  I really like the start Record based upon external power on.  As mentioned above, camera switch on the dash panel, which powers a 12V to USB to a splitter to feed both cameras.  Old, but effective and video quality is good.  Sound on them stinks, but a $15 external mic fixes that.

sevenracer
sevenracer Reader
7/4/22 4:03 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Probably not what you want to hear, but for some of the newer GoPro Blacks there is a dev firmware that makes the unit record when it gets power through the USB port.  I have an 8 now and it is one of the supported units.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/tech-tips/gopro-motionusb-power-triggers-auto-live-stream-gopro-labs/191191/page1/

Mount the camera wherever you want, wire in a USB adaptor through a switch on the dash.  Flip the switch up - now you recordin'. Flip the switch down - now you ain't.

That's actually pretty appealing. I'm not anti GoPro, the 2 I have served me well overall. The user interface is just outdated/lacking on them. I was hoping there was a lower cost option out there.

sevenracer
sevenracer Reader
7/4/22 4:06 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:

 

What you call rolling shutter waviness sounds like vibration-induced video waviness, which is not a sensor issue but a mounting issue - true rolling shutter issues could be seen by holding the camera in your hand and recording a spinning aircraft propeller for example. What you describe is very commonly caused by people mounting GoPros to the roll cages of cars with very stiff engine mounts.

Ok, so wrong terminology, but the Asaka Brave 4 definitely does it, my Hero 4 does not. Same car, same mount, etc.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/4/22 4:09 p.m.

GoPros are still at the top of the heap for action cams in terms of video and audio quality, at least until you get into ultra-high-end stuff expensive enough to make even GoPros seem affordable. There are a lot of cheap options that can get somewhat close for a fraction of the price though...but you aren't guaranteed a better UI with those either.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
7/4/22 4:22 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Probably not what you want to hear, but for some of the newer GoPro Blacks there is a dev firmware that makes the unit record when it gets power through the USB port.  I have an 8 now and it is one of the supported units.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/tech-tips/gopro-motionusb-power-triggers-auto-live-stream-gopro-labs/191191/page1/

Mount the camera wherever you want, wire in a USB adaptor through a switch on the dash.  Flip the switch up - now you recordin'. Flip the switch down - now you ain't.

This, but pretty much all the knockoffs support "Car Mode", so no need to give Go Pro your money.

Normally I'm a fan of supporting the innovator in the space, but in my experience Go Pro products have been pretty crappy.  Grab a $40 chinaCAM and do what Pete said above.

You can also just get a monster SD card and forget all about the switch and let it record pretty much all the time - but its more of a pain to sort through after the event.

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners
1U6zcToezkbBUImXn9A1cBcpiHmBgc6UA3mmZ6D3hNYkpEy16gHkjPqrKIcv09nj