The Chainlink

Since I commute 20 miles daily I've been thinking it could be a good idea to get a cam....just in case.  

Any recommendations for a low-cost utility cam?  Picture quality doesn't have to be great.  I'd like a long battery life, though, and something around $50-100.  There a few cheapie cams like this one on Amazon for $35-50.  Does anyone have experience with those?  

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I use an Ion Air Pro. They're cheap. I think I got mine for like $25 via dealmac . com. The picture quality is good, but it's pretty no-frills.

Pros:

  • Good video quality
  • Cheap (usually under $50)
  • Pretty rugged -- mine's landed on concrete several times and works like a charm
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • The thread for the mounting screw is made of plastic and strips easily. My recommendation: get one of those mounting locks and just keep the camera on that thing. (Maybe even literally put glue in the threads, THEN attach the mounting lock.) That way you can easily slide it on and off the mounting bracket.
  • Sometimes needs a reset at the darnedest times, so keep a paperclip handy!
  • Sometimes it will refuse to record if you have under 1.5 gig free on your microSD card, so if you use the thing frequently, you need to empty it EVERY DAY just to be safe.

All the videos on this channel are done with that camera:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNvwpQ8z-L2wyRGP0ItCgjg

I'll second that. My best friend bought me one after I got into it with an Uber driver who nearly hooked me (shocking, right?) and the quality is pretty great.

https://www.amazon.com/Ion-1011L-Lite-Wi-Fi-Camera/dp/B00FZ3JTGI/re...

I bought the iON Cool-iCam S3000, but its recording length is 50 minutes, not the 3 hours as advertised.

If you're getting a camera just in case, then think again about picture quality.  Wouldn't you want to see (or have your surviving relatives see) things like license plate numbers and faces?  Those are important to me, but I'm also cost-conscious, so I went with the Gitup Git2 after testing several cheap cameras and GoPro knockoffs.  The big difference with this camera was the gyro image stabilization.  Try freezing a frame with cameras that don't have gyro image stabilization, and license plates are blurred.  The gyro image stabilization makes a big difference.  They have a package that includes a waterproof case and all kinds of mounts, which comes to around $130.  http://www.gitup.com/home/12-gitup-git2-action-camera-pro-packing.html

My commute is shorter than yours so I haven't fully tested its battery life, but I think it gets about an hour on a high quality video setting.

Example pictures are above.  Some more are in the "what's this doing in the bike lane" thread.

So I just got this one: https://www.amazon.com/AKASO-Waterproof-Camcorder-Rechargeable-Moun... and this afternoon when I get home, I can upload a short clip of how it records. It came with a ton of mounts and accessories including a waterproof case. The only thing not included was an SD Card, but that was a cheap addition.

Please do, Lucas.  As Mike M. mentioned above image quality is important, particularly if you want to capture a license plate number.  Just in case.  

So it appears that YouTube takes a while before you can view the video in 1080p, so at some point tonight, you should be able to see this in full quality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2avbJ6tRBY&feature=youtu.be 

I was able to pause on a decent amount of license plates and see them okay. Here are a couple of screencaps. The last one shows one that was a little blurry, so it wasn't 100%, but the vast majority were readable.

Pretty good, compared to several cheap cameras I've seen.
+1 on the Git2. I've had one for a while and it's really good for the money.

Pardon my tangent, but I refuse to subscribe to the popular premise that a video cam enhances my "safety" or my riding experience. I understand that the appearance of a Go-Pro on one's helmet may affect driver behavior, but I will not contribute to the panopiticam culture.

I don't think anybody's saying it enhances the safety of the ride, but more like...let's say, God [or whichever deity you choose, assuming you believe in one] forbid something does happen to you...you'll have video evidence to back you up.

Honestly, when I first got my camera, only thing on my mind was just capturing footage just for the fun of it.

Well, that's why I ride -- just for the fun of it. I don't need it mediated. I also oppose riding with earbuds -- my ears are essential sensors that heighten my greater awareness of my riding environment. Soundtracks are for film & television -- reel life.

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