When I’m on cycling tour, making video summary is one of my mandatory works.
How I capture those video?
Let’s take a look at how and what gadgets I used in taking video clips.
The most fundamental one is my mobile phone, an Apple iPhone 6.
With its small size, I just put it in my rear jersey pocket. Pull it out and shoot. Easy and convenient.
Quality for Full HD video is really good and you can even take 4K video if you have iPhone 6S or later.
However, taking video with my iPhone (No discrimination, any mobile phone as well) in hand is extremely dangerous and I definitely won’t recommend. So I will only use my mobile phone for taking other’s riding when I am stationary.
I also got a SJCAM SJ5000+, a GoPro Hero lookalike action CAM. It came with a 16M sensor capable of taking 1080p 60 fps video, lapse video and WiFi connectivity.
In terms of video quality, it is quite acceptable. However, under low light conditions or uneven road surfaces, your will probably be disappointed with the blurry output.
However, at slightly below USD 70 for the CAM and the full set of accessories, it was already a real bargain for some casual works.
Later in the years, I have bought a SONY AS200 Action CAM and it is still in use for all my cycling tours as well as other outdoor activities. I got this for around USD 280 and it came with a waterproof case and basic mounting accessories.
Personally, I find the quality of the captured video is slightly better than GoPro. Furthermore, it looks great when mounted onto your bike.
The bundled video editing and movie making software also make the AS200 shine.
Other Supporting Gadgets
The Action CAM needed to be properly mounted before you can get a steady video.
Like a lot of other touring cyclist, I used a Handlebar mount for attaching the CAM.
This one I used is a combo mount from GUEE. It came with an integrated LED front light, bike computer mount and an Action CAM mount at the bottom.
I first used this mount when I was having my Round Taiwan Island trip in 2015. It’s rock solid and I had got some good memories with it.
Be sure to change the “Vertical Flip Shooting" option to “On" in the SONY action CAM control software if mounted using these type of inverted camera mount.
One major drawback of this mount is that the still picture/video captured is well below normal human eye level. Taking one of the still pictures I obtained during my ride along HsinChu. The view of the Wind Turbines were stunning but what I could get from the CAM was just the highway and the road fence. 😫
This led me to change the way I mount the Action CAM.
To raise the CAM to match what I actually saw. I used the Peak Design CapturePro, a well designed metal clip that hold a camera to your backpack strap.
I normally carry my small backpack during my cycling tour. By clamping the CapturePro to the strap, the level of sight should now be close to my eye level.
As the rider will normally be bended forward, the strap of the backpack will not be vertical and perpendicular to the ground. You have to adjust the arm of the CAM holder so that a horizontal view is obtained.
Another bonus of this mounting setup is that your body will now act as a “human suspension", absorbing some of the shocks during the ride. 👍
The last gadget in use is the remote control for the Action CAM.
The one I’m using is the SONY RM-LVR2 WiFi connected remote control with built-in LCD display. I got it at about USD 30 when bought together with the AS200.
You can mount the remote control on the handlebar or even wear it on your wrist.
Frankly speaking, this is not a “must have" item. However, this gadget saves you lots of troubles in starting/stopping the camera and changing the capturing mode from video to still picture.
For cycling, my preferred mounting position is the handlebar. Convenient and safe.
Having seen mine, so how about you?
Share with me your way of taking video on the cycling tour.