CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Computers, GPS, 'Smart' 'Phones

go pro alternatives

(43 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by splitshift
  • Latest reply from neddie

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  1. splitshift
    Member

    Hi people, havnt been posting of late, cause am on my bike ......................
    Now I know this has been asked before, but are there any REAL alternatives to the expensive go pro cameras ?
    I have seen review sites that mention hit cases , and fancy equally expensive sony stuff, but what about all these chineese copy things that I can never find !I am looking for a camera for use by the "youth group" that I am involved with, it will be , bolted to bike riders, helmets etc,kayaks, and even inside aircraft cockpits.Needs to be relatively easy to get data from the unit to computer and fairly sturdy ! I know the old adage, you get whit ye pay fur but, surely there must be some cheaper alternatives ? The little things in maplins etc seem like they would only last a couple of minutes ! If any one has any experience then please let me know, even if its the cheapo things in maplins, if they work, that's it for me ! Obviously I am not Cecil B Demill so serious quality and editing ability while nice isn't really that important, just the ability to let parents etc see the smiles on the kids faces when I ask for another million quid to buy another adventure sports equipment list !
    Thanks in advance ,Scott

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    Well...

    In view of your requirements I would have a look at

    http://www.veho-world.com/main/shop.aspx?category=camcorder

    This was shot with the first generation muvi and mounted on bike.

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Flash Videos

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. Arellcat
    Moderator

    I'm minded of this thread from six months ago:

    http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=11604

    in which we learned of the Techmoan website, an all-testing, all-finding-out repository of video camera information.

    Gizmodo also did a recent test of the six big hitters:

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2014/04/the-best-action-camera-spring-2014-edition/

    in which the GoPro Black came out on top again. Calumet Photographic also has the Dogcam Bullet HD2 (not the wide-angle version though), which is half the price of the GoPro (so still a lot). The clever money might be more on the new cams that Techmoan digs up.

    (On a personal note, I don't use a helmet cam. I do have the old Oregon Scientific ATC2K, and frankly it's rubbish.)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. Greenroofer
    Member

    I had a Veho Muvi, but gave up on it after a bit. Definitely sturdy (albeit not waterproof) and very small. It wasn't hugely reliable, so is probably fine if you are filming for fun and don't mind if you don't get the shot, but no good if you want to record rides for evidential purposes and want to be sure it's working all the time.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. neddie
    Member

    I bought a cheap Chinese thing, new for around £20 - even included an 8GB SD micro card. Amazing value. Records fairly decent standard resolution. Haven't seen it for sale recently...

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. Kenny
    Member

    I had a Dogcam Bullet and it was terrible. I know of others who have had the same experience with it. I'd suggest you steer clear.

    In terms of alternatives to the GoPro, if you're wanting a picture as good as the GoPro, then no, I don't believe anything compares to the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition in terms of picture quality, or features. There are of course many alternatives to it so long as you are happy to accept less quality picture or features.

    I'd recommend the above mention from Arellcat of the Techmoan web site. It will give you plenty of options to choose from.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. i
    Member

    I think this review echos what Kenny said. But it does give some other alternatives, (good website, they put a lot of effort into their reviews.) Another review from gizmodo

    If you don't want all the bells and whistles, consider the Contour Roam 2 for ~£150. Its probably the cheapest you get before losing reliability and video/optical quality. Dave and David reviewed them. Camera mount ~£20, its good, I find it struggles at night time, but most cameras do.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. Kenny
    Member

    One other thing for the GoPro - the mounts you get for it are better than anything else I've come across. They are so good, the Garmin Virb has some kind of adapter to allow you to connect it to any GoPro mount - which pretty much proves that GoPro mounts are the ones to beat.

    That all said, it is ludicrously expensive. The Contour cameras are very good in terms of picture quality, and if you get a solid mount for it, then the Roam 2 is probably far better value. Put it this way, the picture on the GoPro is not more than twice as good as the Roam 2, whereas it is more than twice the price!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. Darkerside
    Member

    Also have a Dogcam bullet, and never use it. Too much of a faff to mount, not a good enough picture, pants battery life.

    I've used a gopro a few times, and it's always been a much more satisfying experience. If I could afford it, that's what I'd go for.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. twq
    Member

    I'd agree with the comments on the Contour Roam 2. It feels very sturdy, and I've not had an issue with it in the year or so I've been using it.
    It does suffer in low light, but I've found that tinkering with the VLC player settings afterwards can improve the image.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. acsimpson
    Member

    The GoPro mounts are incredibly versatile but it's worth noting the basic package doesn't come with much.

    The handle bar mount is also very hard to get tight enough by hand to stop it moving and it can be a bit fiddly to fit as the nuts and bolts come away from the brackets.

    Once fitted though it provides some great footage.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. Kenny
    Member

    The K-Edge handlebar mount for the GoPro is much better than the GoPro one. You'll be unsurprised to hear it's also ludicrously expensive, but if you can afford the camera, maybe the justification is you can afford the mount...

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/k-edge-go-big-gopro-handlebar-mount-pro-version/?sku=5360486807

    Posted 8 years ago #
  13. acsimpson
    Member

    Thanks Kenny, the go pro was a gift before I had to worry about the cost of nursery provision in Edinburgh.

    However that bracket looks good so is now on my birthday wishlist.

    Incidentally Tiso and Alpine bikes stop go pro cameras and accessories and do 20% off events for their outdoor experience cardholders from time to time. If you are considering buying one or need accessories that's the best deals I've found. If you can't wait you can always get 10% off but that may not be quite as competitive.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  14. I've been using a Contour Roam 2 since last September and it's been great (so long as I remember to charge it up every few days and remember to delete the files so that the 32Gb card doesn't fill up!).

    As others have said, in low light and the winter darkness it's not so great, but still acceptable enough.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  15. skotl
    Member

    I just bought one of these, an SJ1000, from Amazon.
    This was covered in one of the Techmoan reviews and seems very good except for the awful handlebar mount which shakes it around all over the place.

    I swapped my camera over to a generic handlebar mount last night and, while much better, I'm probably going to superglue the gimble tonight to see whether that improves stability. You can see the (admittedly static) quality http://www.naden.de/blog/bbvideo-bbpress-video-plugin -->

    [+] Embed the video | here - I'll post up a more active shot, later.

    " target="_blank">Video Download
    Get the Flash Videos

    Oh - one thing I would say about the SJ1000 is that both the manual and the menu / config are incredibly opaque. It's taken me four days to just figure out how to get it to record one hour of continuous video. Got that going now, except that I have managed to mute the mic and can't figure out how to turn it back on!
    For £45, tho, it still seems a good buy.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  16. deckard112
    Member

    I use the Decathalon branded Geonaute camera. Used on road bike and on the MTB with some great video as a result. Comes with a robust plastic case and a number of different attachements with a 1080p and 720p option (720 gives a better wide angle).

    I've found the quality to be excellent. Prices from £65>

    Posted 8 years ago #
  17. Focus
    Member

    @ skotl

    "I have managed to mute the mic and can't figure out how to turn it back on!"

    ask on Techmoan's review page as either Mat or another user will almost certainly have the answer.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  18. Snowy
    Member

    I had the Dogcam Bullet HD. Picture quality wasn't up to much whether in wide angle or normal, although it didn't suffer from vibration and does have a good range of mounts. No use in low light.
    Eventually the micro SD card slot stopped working, as ever just after one year.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  19. splitshift
    Member

    guys , thanks,all very good info, the sj1000, skotl, looks good enough for all we will be doing, or perhaps the decathlon branded thing also, all well within the price hopefulness ! Its always good to actually hear from actuall users , who come along warts and all, hopefully will get some footage on here so you will know that your help was listened to !
    scott

    Posted 8 years ago #
  20. condor2378
    Member

    I have a Mobius and an SJ1000, both of which are very good. The Mobius is very small and light and is my helmet cam but it doesn't have a screen or a waterproof case (but you can get one from JooVuu atm for a reduced price of £18 inc p&p at the moment, mine should arrive this week).

    Videos I've posted here before have all been from the Mobius. I'm going to employ the SJ1000 as a rear facing cam but haven't worked out a way to attach it to the seat stem yet without all the shaking as described by @skotl

    For what your looking for I'd go with the SJ1000. I got mine from Banggood.com, and with a bit of Googling you should be able to get a code for 15% off making it about £40, but delivery is around 3 weeks. I used it on holiday last week both in and out of the sea and it's excellent quality.

    There is also the SJ4000 which has the same form factor as a GoPro and is compatible with all their mounts but essentially has the same internals as the SJ1000, EXCEPT for battery life, which in the SJ1000 is around 130 min but the SJ4000 only lasts about 75 minutes. Techmoan has the details.

    Additional SJ1000 (and SJ4000) batteries can be bought on eBay for about £6 if you need to go longer.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  21. jdanielp
    Member

    I'm considering getting an action camera of some kind and the SJ1000 looks appealing - is it USB chargeable?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  22. condor2378
    Member

    @jdanielp

    Yes, though when charging, mine shows a full battery, regardless of the % stage of charge. Not an issue but does seem a bit strange.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  23. jdanielp
    Member

    @condor2378 that is reassuring if a little odd. Can you provide any further hints about what to Google for? I'm finding lots of specific codes but none are applicable.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  24. condor2378
    Member

    @JDANIELP

    I used "bgdeal". Just tried it and it takes off 10%.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  25. jdanielp
    Member

    @condor2378 thanks, although I'd found that code and it still won't apply when I have the camera in my basket – it does however work for two... It requires $70+ total spend according to the error message when trying with one. I'm trying to talk a colleague into ordering too!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  26. jdanielp
    Member

    Oh, I just found out that the code works fine if I add a 'backup' battery to the camera in the basket, coming to a total of £40.33 for both, as compared to a total of £79.45 for two cameras (same discount for some reason).

    Posted 8 years ago #
  27. jdanielp
    Member

    The camera despatched today according to an email which identified it as coming to a sub-total of $69.99 of the total order price which may be why the code didn't work on just that... A spare battery should be handy though.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  28. jdanielp
    Member

    My SJ1000 arrived at last, minus the 'backup' battery that I ordered with it so that I could apply the code, but with an extra plastic hinge-style accessory in the box (beyond those pictured in the instructions) and a UK mains plug adaptor loose in the plastic mail bag.

    I have so far had some trouble getting a 1GB micro-SD card that I already had to record video, being shown a "Custer size wrong, please format" message when trying to do so. Formatting on the camera didn't help, and I have yet to achieve success using computer formatting, but it sounds like 32kb clusters will be the way to go.

    A new micro-SD worked fine however, although the next challenge will be to find a way of mounting the camera to achieve a reasonably stable picture – the standard handlebar mounting accessory appears to be incredibly shaky, as mentioned by skotl above, not to mention the fact that the assembly is surprisingly tall overall...

    On the whole I am fairly impressed with the camera for the price, but it would definitely benefit from a more careful approach to the hardware and software usabilty.

    Hopefully I'll have some ok footage to play with soon!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  29. jdanielp
    Member

    And next will be auto-tracking camera drones as per this kickstarter campaign that was featured on BBC Click the other day: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/airdog/airdog-worlds-first-auto-follow-action-sports-dron

    Posted 8 years ago #
  30. neddie
    Member

    This could be an interesting alternative:

    http://petapixel.com/2014/11/04/360-action-cam-kodaks-interesting-response-gopro/#more-150243

    http://kodakpixpro.com/Americas/cameras/activeCam/sp360.php

    360deg vision, whatever that means. Actually it's a 180 fisheye, so capturing a hemisphere at least. Post processing allows you to show it as a 360 pano though.

    Posted 8 years ago #

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