Action camera with remote for stills?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Sparrowhawk, Nov 9, 2021.

  1. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    I would like to find some kind of helmet mounted camera and remote that I can take stills while riding. I really don't have much interest in video.

    I miss all kinds of photo opportunities because I hate to stop riding just to take a picture. With my waterproof point and shoot it means pulling off the road, pulling the camera out of a pocket, turning it on and waiting for it to boot, maybe having to take a glove off, taking a picture, turning the camera off, and putting it back in a pocket.

    What I would like to do is turn my helmet in the general direction, hit a button on a remote, and continue riding. I can crop and adjust the picture as needed when I get home.

    Does such an animal exist? Will the camera and remote battery work for a days ride?

    Thanks for your ideas.
    #1
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  2. Snake Oiler

    Snake Oiler If the world didn't suck, we would all fall off Supporter

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    :lurk

    Like your thinking. I'll be watching for replies and others ideas
    #2
  3. BeachMoto

    BeachMoto Been here awhile Supporter

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    I am with you. I prefer a simple remote-controlled camera that I can mount on my helmet or the bike. I had a GoPro mounted on my old helmet (pic below) but the GoPro remote didn't last all day neither did the camera battery. I solved the camera battery issue by moving the camera to a mount on the bike and ran a usb power cable to it. I haven't solved the remote battery issue yet :-).

    GOPR0102.jpg
    #3
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  4. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    I have used a GoPro knock-off camera on a lanyard for quick shots while riding. Set it in still mode, and it boots up quickly, and I can snap shots on the move.
    #4
  5. jb882

    jb882 13HP of fury.

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    Maybe a Sena 10C evo would be a good fit for you( unless you already have comms you like). Battery life when not recording video is 8+ hours and to take a photo all you would need to do is hit the camera button once to turn the camera on and once to take a still. Or you could disable the auto shut off for the camera so it would always be ready and all you would need to do it hit the button but i don't know how long the battery would last, although you can plug it in and charge while using it so that may be moot. It may even work with Sena's handlebar mounted remote, more research would be needed on that.

    edit, i just checked the documentation and the Sena RC4 remote will indeed work with the 10c EVO and trigger a photo remotely by pressing the multi function button( provided that the camera function is on and ready).

    I had one of these and the ability to snap a quick still while never having to take my gloves off was really nice. I used it a few times while in motion but i feel like it did a much better job when stopped. The nice thing is i could stop, snap a pic and be on my way in seconds. Its the one part about the 10c EVO that i truly miss.
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  6. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    It looks like the newer remote uses a standard USB C cable to charge. Quick capture may be an option for me to check out. Not sure if it works for stills though.
    #6
  7. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    The 10 C Evo might be a good option. Thanks.
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  8. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    I appreciate the suggestions. For my purposes it looks like the GoPro Hero9 would be the best choice at the moment. Compared to the Sena 10C EVO, the GoPro 9 has a 20MP sensor vs 12MP for the Sena (and Hero8) and has a lot more control of the photo settings and different modes. Another issue with the Sena is the mounting position that includes a lot of the helmet in a photo without coming up with a way to extend the Sena out to the side. With a GoPro (9 not 10 apparently) mounted on the chin bar or under a visor you can use voice controls to wake it up and take a photo so no remote needed.
    #8
  9. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    I use a 10C Evo, and it's not a good camera, depending on your usage.

    Following your post above, it has essentially no manual controls for taking pictures. You press the button, and you get whatever it wants you to see.

    20MP vs 12MP is irrelevent unless you're publishing 36" posters. But things like shutter speed, aperture, white balance, and stability are all things the Sena doesn't have. If those things aren't important to you, you might be perfectly happy with the 10C Evo.

    The Sena works fine. It makes pretty pictures. But if you prefer to have some control over how your images look, it's not a good camera.
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  10. turtlespeed

    turtlespeed Been here awhile

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    check out the 360 degree cameras (ike the gopro: https://gopro.com/en/us/shop/cameras/max/CHDHZ-202-master.html).

    It will help you click a 360 pic and then later you can decide what angle of the picture to save.

    Next, i think some cameras have the min record feature .. like my Sena s10 has it, click the button and it will save the last 30 second and next 30 second video. This way if you see an interesting thing, you can record a video of it.
    #10
  11. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    The reason I think that MP matter is that all the action cameras are really wide angle. If you want to narrow the photo some to an area of interest by cropping it after the fact (same as electronic zooming) then the level of detail in the original photo becomes important. By the way, good luck with the "pun-free zone" on your ride report. Looks like all your followers are ignoring the rules. :lol3 I'm sure you're dealing with it OK, glad things worked out.
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  12. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    That's very cool, and maybe a real benefit for some folks but all I want to do is take some pictures without having to stop or spend a bunch of time editing when I get home.
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  13. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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  14. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    The Sony DSC-RX0 is smaller than the typical GoPro and uses the large 1" sensor that Sony puts in their DSC-RX100. In the RX0 they use only a 15.3 megapixel crop from the 20 megapixel sensor but still get 4800 x 3200 images from a sensor that is 13.2mm x 8.8mm. The large sensor is great but means a similar size lens will be slower and that is the case here.

    DSC-RX0.jpg

    The lens is a 24mm (35mm equivalent) fixed focal length with fixed F4 aperture. Most action cameras have much wider lenses and have the resulting barrel distortion. That fixed F4 is pretty limiting, but for an action camera I'm not so sure. The large sensor size means better performance at high ISO settings but that doesn't change depth-of-field. The RX0 uses contrast autofocus.

    Waterproof to 10 meters. Has a 1/4-20 tripod socket on the bottom.

    The remote doesn't look nearly as handlebar-friendly as some action camera remotes. The top of the camera has the power button and the shutter, so with a chinbar mount it may not need the remote.

    DSC-RX0Remote.jpg

    This looks like a decent still camera but some significant disadvantages. I would need a second camera for pics around the campsite, low-light, flash, or just more control. I'd really like even 2 apertures (4 plus either 11 or 16). I won't ask for 2.8 because the size would grow. Web sites say the battery life sucks but they test by taking an hour of videos. The standardized CIPA test says the battery lasts 240 shots. Probably less if you leave it on and adjusting focus all day. There is a manual focus, so for landscape pics from a motorcycle you might set a middle focus and forget it. There's an AF on/off switch on the remote.

    Random sample galleries from the interwebs:

    https://www.ephotozine.com/article/sony-dsc-rx0-sample-photos-and-video-31477

    https://havecamerawilltravel.com/sony-rx0-sample-images/

    I have looked at this a lot but it does seem expensive when compared to a GoPro or similar. I also don't "need" another camera. I have an RX100 and the large sensor is great. For motorcycle I've swiched to a waterproof camera or sometimes a mirrorless.
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  15. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    I had a Sony action camera with wrist wearable remote. It worked pretty well for riding. I don't remember whether the remote allowed for stills or just started and stopped the video.

    But it worked really well for aiming and controlling the camera. Image stabilization on that camera was also very good. I wish I hadn't returned it for a Sena. The Sony was a hell of a lot better camera.

    I believe that wrist remote works with all of them that have wifi. But I don't know for sure since my camera and remote were packaged together. Mine was an older model (AZ1) but similar to this:

    https://www.sony.com/gh/electronics/actioncam/hdr-as50r

    The image would sometimes go in and out on the remote. But the controls still worked. I usually mounted the wrist remote to my handlebar. For an idea of how well the image stabilization works, I mounted it to a KTM plastic front fender and went for a ride on a rough backroad:

    #15
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  16. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    Great topic you guys, subscribed with interest.
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  17. BillGsa

    BillGsa Been here awhile

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    I have a Drift Ghost XL, it can take stills but I keep it running in dash cam mode all the time. The battery lasts 7 or 8 hours so I turn it on before I leave & forget about it. Using HD Movie Maker-PRO on my desk top I can go thru the video frame by frame to get the best shot. There's no way I could have caught this Turtle DARTING out in front of me if I had to press a button

    DVR000271596991077-001.jpg

    Here's a few more pics

    DVR000451600961300-001.jpg Briery Gap Rd1617910151.jpg

    I’m sure I would have missed this if I had to press a button


    #17
  18. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    I looked into the Ghost XL and it looks like a very good motorcycle-specific camera option, currently available for $150. There are quite a few people complaining about the cameras failing and poor Drift customer support but that is probably you get what you pay for kind of thing.

    Get Your Very Own Drift Ghost XL | Drift Innovation

    Another GoPro clone-like option I found is the Campark V40 for $110.

    Campark V40 4K/30FPS WiFi Dual Screen Action Camera 20MP Touch Screen - Campark - Focus on Cameras

    The Ultimate Campark V40 Review - Action Gadgets Reviews

    Campark V40 Review - RTINGS.com

    Another GoPro clone-like camera that seems to get better reviews is the AKASO Brave 7 LE for $150.

    Akaso Brave 7 LE action cam review | Digital Camera World

    Or the AKSAL Brave 7 or 8 with better waterproofing and voice control. The Brave 8's price is getting into GoPro range at $280. The 7 and 7LE seem to have audio recording issues.
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  19. Snake Oiler

    Snake Oiler If the world didn't suck, we would all fall off Supporter

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    I just used the Akso 7 all summer and have to say I'm very disappointed in the video Stabilization of it. In fact I'm going to breakdown and spend the cash for a gopro. The videos almost makes me ill watching for any length of time. It was mounted to my chinbar and I know my head didn't move that much. That said the photos actually look pretty good.
    #19
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  20. BillGsa

    BillGsa Been here awhile

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    Drift’s customer service does suck, the internal mic in mine quit the 1st time I used it. They wanted me to send it to their repair center in California (I’m in WV) I said the hell with that & bought an external mic.
    Then again I’ve had it almost 1 1/2 years & 20,000 miles of continuous use with no other problems.
    It doesn’t have image stabilization so having it mounted on a helmet the video bounces around a bit, it’s better mounted on the bike. Doesn’t matter for stills though.
    Here’s a link to my YouTube channel, I’ve made a lot of videos in 20,000 miles.


    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOfckr2mSo-3Gd5iyzgmmDA/videos
    #20
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