open topic, for anything cycling related.
I bought a Sony Action Cam as a "safety camera" to record my commutes to work.
This is the commute from Chatswood to North Sydney yesterday morning around 6:40-7am - recorded with 170 angle with no steady shot:
Some plus and minuses. As a bike camera, it seems to do the job - good video quality - the steady shot and 120 angle makes a big difference - may leave the camera in this mode.
Battery life is great - after recording an hour of video, the battery meter is still showing full. Someone on the web is claiming they got 13 hours of recording time out of the battery. Sony must have really optimised the power draw of the chipset.
The camera itself is really small and light - it's surprising how tiny it is.
However, there is no way to mount the camera unless it is encased in the waterproof housing. Which makes the camera twice as heavy and bulky. BAD BAD BAD - I'll rather leave the housing at home.
The camera also has wifi, and allows the iPhone to be used as a remote control and viewfinder. Will probably not use this feature - can you imagine me using the iphone to control the camera whilst riding?
I am surprised I didn't see myself in your video! I might have been about 10 min ahead of you yesterday though.
I had a couple of shockers this week, catching every red light from lane cove all the way to North Sydney, despite the near empty road.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
Ah! This is cool and I like.
Where did you pick up your unit from? I didn't see it when I walked through a JB Hifi store this morning. Have seen photos but would like to see the real thing for size amongst other parameters of interest.
BTW, were the images of sufficient quality and frame rate to read off car number plates (at moderate distance) when you go frame by frame?
Thanks again for this interesting report.
I bought it directly from Sony. I'm a "Sony X" member (which means I get all Sony stuff at discounted rates). Email me if you want me to get one for you (I think Sony allows me to buy for others, not sure they are happy for me to reveal pricing over the Internet)
The frame by frame image quality seems pretty good. It's actually a 16 megapixel Exmor sensor, so there's plenty of latitude to allow some details to survive all the video processing and compression.
Nice riding. I was tossing us between the Contour, Hero and Sony. Liking the Sony package the most after this. RRP is $399 and includes 2 batteries, waterproof housing. Just need to find a deal.
Nice little comparison here http://www.cnet.com.au/sony-action-cam-hdr-as15-339342124.htm
Thinking that this is a nice Xmas pressy - just need to convince the other half
Edit: $342 at Harvey Norma for the Bundle.
I know Lexy Savvides - the CNET reporter who wrote that article. Lexy knows her stuff and is pretty good at telling it as it is.
This is BNA has been testing the Sony Action Cam. The Review is coming very soon, though we have made the video available.
Link: Sony Action Cam on Trial for Cross Country Mountain Biking
And this is a direct comparison with the GoPro Hero2. We tried to organise the Hero3 - where the silver version is the best match on specs, but it didn't happen.
Link: Sony Action Cam verses GoPro Hero2
(worth setting the quality at 1080p when watching)
This. Nominate permalinking as instructional videos for new commute riders.
Christine, can you work it 170 with steady shot on? I like seeing your hands as it helps show exactly what you're doing.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I don't know much about video (or how much the variations I'm seeing are due to settings that can be tweaked) but speaking as as a photographer I much prefer the colour and lower contrast of the GoPro over the Sony.
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Unfortunately, no. It needs the space to do the steadyshot thingy, hence the restriction to 120.
Pro's and Con's, The GoPro has more colour / colour saturation and is attractive. Strangely the detail when pausing the video (via youtube) seems clearer on the GoPro though in the moving footage the Sony has more detail. That said, I film on a very bright day so assume a different result in conditions with less contrast.
I agree, if I was in the market for either one and they were similar price, the GoPro would get my money. Firstly because of the above mentioned colours etc and because GoPro is a proven camera, it is used by professionals in a lot of different fields.
Fair point BUT the GoPro Hero 2 doesn't have wifi, so costs ca. $100 more for this.
I found the Wifi really useful for setting up the shots though also agree if it is a daily camera, once it is set then it is not a necessity, and you still have to connect to the camera's wireless network first to then adjust settings and record, may be more than you need if you just want to start and stop. The Sony Wifi was shakey though I have heard with the updated app that this should now be solved though wasn't able to test as I returned the camera.
Based on Spec, the GoPro Hero3 Silver is a better match and I would love to do a comparison on these. Without steady shot I am assuming different (perhaps more accurate) footage on the Sony though it does a great job in stabilising.
I am thinking of getting the head strap - may be more useful for recording traffic rather than the bike mount. Having said that, I wouldn't mind a second bike mount for the 2nd bike.
Christine, the headmount wont work on a standard helmet. Only a full face or skater type helmet.
There is a place in Lindifeld on the pacific Hwy that sell cameras and mounts so may have one you can test - for the chance that you could get ride of the elastic, but use the plastic part of this mount and cable-tie it to your helmet. I found on the MTB helmet that it wasn't a good fit. Didn't try my road helmet.
The attractive thing on head mounting is a little less vibration and it doesn't use the waterproof case - so is quite light. You could then keep the case and handlebar mount on reserve for rainy days.
Another pro of the GoPro is that it is chest mountable.
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