Would a Go Pro on the side of a helmet be bothersome for long rides?

I’m going to buy an action camera for my road trip to spain next month. I’d like it to go on my helmet and have been looking at Go Pro’s and these seem to be the most versatile in terms of other applications and accessories and in terms of video and feature quality. What I’m not so sure about is how much do you notice one of those stuck to the side of your helmet and would it trouble you on a long ride for say six hours or more? They’re not exactly aerodynamic. Also, it needs to stay stuck on when cruising at high speeds.

I’ve looked at some reviews for other cameras better suited to helmets with more aerodynamic profiles, i.e. the Drift, but they just don’t seem as good as the Go Pro in terms of quality, array of features and usability, things like the Drift for example.

What’s people’s opinions?

I could stick the Go Pro on the bike, but would prefer it on the helmet as it’s obviously going to get more footage than just riding, i.e. getting off, looking at things, etc. I’d also like to use it for all city riding for protection against numpties and hilarity when you see someone do something dumb, which is like every day :slight_smile:

One feature I do like on other cams are the arm-mounted control for the Drift. Video tagging would probably be better for long rides and commuting, rather than recording continuously for a few hours being able to mark interesting moments, rather than having the ball ache of editing long videos. Though I’ve just seen a post by @tom22 where the camera crashed and corrupted his video. Is this common?

Not really as you will have to stop every 2 hours to change batteries. If you going on GS you would not notice it at all.
In GoPro days I had no problem with storage or file corruption. It might be memory card fault, ask tom22 what brand he is/was using.


PS. and just to clarify it is extended battery pack.

Thanks. GC?

I’ve started to do a motorcycle-centric comparison spreadsheet of the cameras if anyone is interested:

Just to point out Jay, there was a thread not to long back, and IIRC the gist of it was that someone was killed or seriously injured as a result of the camera mount on the helmet. You’d be better having it on the bike itself.

Hrm that doesn’t sound good. I assume it was complications after the crash not that it actually caused the crash…

I better get the search feature back in :wink:

Hah, I only clicked through here to post

There’s a lot of claims that Schumacher’s crash was made worse by his having a camera on his helmet. Having seen at least many tens of people crash in full-face helmets with GoPros attached and none of them end up paralysed I’m not convinced, personally. But lots of the Internet is, and they might be right.

worth bearing in mind that Schumy was wearing a ski helmet not an MC helmet though, and I would imagine they are made very differently.

but yes, the argument is that impact at a certain angle and velocity onto the camera “could” reduce the surface area of the impact and result in a helmet failure.

personally speaking I am already accepting a level of risk by riding a motorcycle in the first place, is a GO pro on my lid increasing that risk to an unacceptable level? nah!

I’d like to think the strength of your neck is greater than the strength of the camera mount, therefore the camera mount would break first, but when it comes to such matters, you can’t blame people for being conservative!

I’m leaning towards the Drift Ghost-S as critically you can run an external mic that’s placed inside your helmet so you can actually have commentary! This camera is smaller and sleeker so perhaps not as likely to get caught on anything like the Go Pro? I haven’t factored in the Contour yet. My only gripe is that the Go Pro video and features are superior. Check out the bit-rate, resolutions and frame-rates above. Crazy. Awesome night performance too.

When I had a go pro on my helmet one alps trip, I could feel the wind drag above 50/60mph. It got a bit annoying, so I kept taking it off till getting to twisty bits.
I now mount my contour to the bike or the should strap of my backpack predator stylee :slight_smile:

I would add Sony cameras (AS15, AS30 and FDR-X1000V) and Garmin Virb to your list.

Thanks for the info nivag, that’s exactly the sort of feedback I was looking for.

Thanks nails, I’ll look at them.

I’ve always been a Contour fan, as I didn’t like the boxy look of GoPros when they stick out from the side (or top) of a helmet. The Countours fit relatively flush to the helmet and they’re so easy to operate, you’ll never get confused as to whether you’re recording or not. There may be minor differences in quality between these and GoPros, but I think Contour should be considered very strong competition.

I have the original Contour Roam, which is my daily London Commuter silliness camera and has recorded over 1200 videos flawlessly, and also a Contour +2 which I use mainly for track days, as it features GPS for overlaying lap times etc, and Bluetooth so you can set everything up with your smartphone. I have waterproof cases for both of these, and have recorded some amazing diving videos too, so they’re very versatile.
I’ve also just bought a Roam 2 for my wife, as she has recently started motorcycle commuting too.

When touring, I’ve found that helmet-mounted video is not as good as bike-mounted video. Because you’re looking through the corners, it has the effect of ‘straightening’ them out, so the most dramatic twisties actually produce somewhat boring videos, which are not very steady. Mount it low on the bike with a bit of fairing or a wheel in the shot, and the footage is much more interesting.

I’ve also been contemplating the Sony action cameras, as they have fantastic image stabilising features. Some of the footage I’ve seen from those cameras is amazing, plus they’re ridiculously tiny, making even the Contour seem cumbersome. The only thing that has put me off is that all mounting options appear to be to the bottom of the camera, rather than a nice flush side mount. Also, the camera doesn’t feature a rotating lens like the Contour. This means that if you want it on the side of your lid, you have to have some rather unwieldy scaffolding to get the camera in the right position, and that negates the benefits and aesthetics of the little Sony unit.

I’m also very keen to hear feedback on the Garmin units. They seem to offer a very good spec, though prices are still pretty high for them.

There is a lot of debate about whether it’s safe to mount a camera to your helmet. From an engineering perspective though considering the shape of a helmet there is a reason that the surface is almost perfectly smooth and that the profile of vents and such follow that of the helmet. It’s not just for aerodynamics it’s so if it’s sliding down the road there is nothing on the surface that can catch. Plus nowhere on any helmet manufacturers website will it recommend mounting a camera on their helmets. Finally on most track days helmet and body mounted cameras are banned. That tells its own story.

I have a Virb Elite which I bought to make videos showing integration with the Garmin Zumo for YouTube (which I’ve not done yet). The built in GPS in the Virb is handy and you can also pair it with a heart rate monitor and other peripherals. Of the footage I’ve shot so far I’m in danger of dying from boredom watching it. It’s not that interesting to look back at.

I’ve added Contour’s and Sony’s to the spreadsheet. The Sony X1000V is pretty incredible. It has the best image quality and in some videos I’ve seen great image stabilisation but not in others, so perhaps it’s not on by default? Stabilisation doesn’t work in 4k though. It can’t as it crops the view to do stabilisation and there aren’t enough pixels in the sensor at 4k :slight_smile:

Here’s a great video to show the quality. I viewed it at 1440p and it was pin-sharp, but not stabilised:

This one is also at 1440p and is stabilised I think:

It’s the winner hands down in terms of picture quality and stabilisation though there’s no option for an external mike, it’s also a ton cheaper than the comparable (top) Go Pro. You also can’t wire it in to a power source as the socket is behind the rear door, which you won’t want to leave open. I was hoping to have the option of being able to wire something to the bike as I have a power outlet at the front of the GS. You can do this on the simpler Sony models mind.

Garmin Virb elite.
Footage is amazing, top that with GPS route tracker, gforce and speed monitoring and many more… IMHO at the moment no brainer. Battery life and from factor water resistant case is a bonus. And yes, is well cheaper than GoPro.

I assume they’re your videos Blade? What bit-rate was that? I have to say it wasn’t sharp. Also, I never considered this but 60fps did make me feel a bit queasy watching it. Hrm, I thought 60fps was going to be a big win.

1080 60fps. and 720

I was experimenting with the settings for a while. Key were vehicles registrations.
What’s not sharp?

The whole image is a bit soft compared to the Sony. It’s good mind, but not as sharp. The Sony also does 4k so there’s some future-proofing benefit there. Ultimately for me it comes down a select few features I want (continuous recording, tagging ideally) and then I need to make a decision on whether or not I want it on the bike or my helmet. I’m leaning towards the bike so I can get the Go Pro Hero 4 Black which is the daddy of features.

That said there’s something about being able to have it helmet mounted with a mic.

Another option which might work but I can’t test easily is if a Garmin Virb Elite would connect to my intercom or the Garmin sat-nav and route audio through that, i.e. the chat with Claire. Doubtful but would be cool.

We can try that one day. I don’t have twatnav so can’t comment.