Jealous of Mack's setup. Mine is a cautionary tale. I decided to go the cheap route and got a I got a ATC2K all in one camera from Oregon Scientific. (product page
) To mount it, I used a ZTechnik GT mirror mount from Pirate's site. (http://piratesk12site.net/ZRadarmount.htm
Multiple problems have prevented me from getting useful video from this setup:
- aiming is challenging. With no direct view through the camera, it's very hard to aim it properly. It captures a wide angle, but I've always ended up with straight ahead not being in the center of the picture.
- positioning the mount is challenging. It's a very flexible setup, but all available positions end up looking through the windshield, and it's easy to set up the mount such that the camera hits the windshield when the bars are turned.
- vibration is a huge problem. The ztechnik mount's lever arms coupled with the somewhat loose camera attachment means the video is constantly jumpy or wobbly. The camera doesn't capture video like a film camera, instead it reads a line at a time from the CCD, so when the vibration is faster than the frame rate of the camera you get a weird ripply compression effect in the video.
- it's very hard to turn the camera on and off, and know whether it's recording or not. The weatherproof buttons are hard to push with gloves on, and the little LCD readout that shows camera status is best viewed from the top down, so it's very hard to see while riding.
- finally, the worst problem, the camera shuts itself off randomly. I suspect this is caused by vibration from the bike making the batteries lose contact inside the unit. Typically I record anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes of video before the camera just stops.
I actually don't fault either of the items:
The ZTechnik mount would be perfect for a radar detector, GPS, or radio. It puts whatever's mounted in a good position to be seen by the rider. It's just not solid enough for a camera.
The ATC2K camera works quite well handheld or mounted on something that doesn't vibrate so much. It comes with a helmet mount which I've used off-road with decent results. The video quality is fine when the unit isn't vibrating all over the place. (And it was only $100...)
Oregon Scientific has since come out with similar products that include an LCD on the back to show what's being captured. I imagine this would be a big improvement. The vholdr camera has a similar design but has a much better switch and a laser aided aiming system and a much more solid mount.
I'd really like to find a solid and unobtrusive place to mount something like the ATC2K camera where I can get it out from behind the windshield. I've been pondering a mirror platform that I can snap the camera onto when filming, but which isn't a pain to remove and doesn't look like ass when the camera isn't mounted. I want the camera mainly for touring, where I stop and leave the bike a lot. ...or maybe I'll just get past looking like a complete idiot and use the helmet mount.
Honestly, the best video I've gotten on a ride was from my Canon SD870IS camera in movie mode, held by my passenger. Lots of benefit to that setup!