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by Aditya

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I'm looking for suggestions on equipment to use for shooting while riding the bike (road-bike, for that matter). My list of requirements would be:

  • Light
  • To be fixed on the handle bar
  • Durable or cheap enough to be replaced

If it's a video cam that can take reasonable good still images, that's fine as well.

I would use the camera always to shoot in the direction of driving, I don't want to dismount the camera to take a particular shot. It's more meant to be like "as seen from the bike's perspective".

Update Thanks for the responses so far, the suggested mounts look good. Any recommendations on the actual camera? I'm not willing to mount my DSLR for that purpose. It's more meant for drive-by-shooting (please don't quote that out of context :)

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For clarity: bicycle or motorcycle? –  ex-ms Aug 6 '10 at 18:36
    
it's for the bicycle :) –  jhwist Aug 7 '10 at 13:13

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't think there's any camera, even "rugged" ones, that are guaranteed to be durable enough to survive a spill, so I would stick with your personal value of "cheap". Buying used on local craigslist or equivalent might bring down the price.

The only two things I'd consider must-haves would be a standard tripod mount, and the ability to use some sort of remote shutter release (or be ready to buy an adapter as well).

For the mount, a small ball head can be very handy. Some mounts don't have any way to adjust the camera independently of the mount, and some have lousy plastic versions that work decently while still, but creep around when from the normal vibrations and bumps of riding.

I have a Manfrotto 482 that I've used on my bike and a few other odd places. It's all-metal, and durable as anything. It's been rock-solid on long rides with small cameras. I paid around $60 at the time, which isn't cheap, but it was the only thing in stock locally when I needed it. I'm still happy to recommend it despite the price; it's a solid little piece of gear.

On the cheaper side, for under $20 Slik has a similar product (B&H link - Slik's own site is useless) that's much cheaper and seems like it would work just as well, and there are probably a few others that would be worth a try as well.

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I've been quite impressed by some videos made with GoPro's line of cameras and their mounts meant for this kind of usage. The cameras have a water- and shockproof casing. If the casing breaks, it can be replaced separately. There is a wide selection of mounting options available, including handlebar/seatpost mounts and two kinds of helmet mounts - for regular and vented helmets.

HD Hero 960 is a decent 5MP model with an attractive price. HD Hero, the flagship, adds slightly fancier video options and possibility to attach an extra battery or LCD.

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I would recommend the GoPro as well. My primary shoot is a Canon 5DMKII, for sports and music photography, and as rugged as those gigs can be I prefer to avoid strapping it to a ride. I'm a fan of sports cameras for POV shots; currently using the Contour 1080P, but mostly my GoPros, ranging from a HD Hero 960, HD Hero 1080, and a HD Hero 2. The last one is my favorite, as it is a major upgrade in quality, and performs great on mountain bike and rock climbing shoots. Definitely something to consider for your road biking. Hit Vimeo and YouTube for a mountain of videos. –  ddri Dec 7 '11 at 23:14

There are several companies that make handlebar camera mounts, one example is the Delkin Devices Fat Gecko Bike Mount, and another is the Aiptek Bike Mount.

Both are relatively inexpensive, and seem to fit your needs. Also, I have not used it, but I have seen a "vibration dampener" that is designed to work with a camera system for hunting, but it might be helpful in your situation.

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This home made bicycle camera mount looks like it could work, or this even cheaper, similar to this. You can mount any camera on it (that has a tripod mount), so you could use a reasonably cheap camera.

An alternative could be to mount it on your helmet.

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A super clamp might do the trick as a mounting solution... and then you have a super clamp as a bonus. Most DSLRs support the use of a cable release, which you could use to fire it. I have thought about doing this before, but have never gotten around to it.

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there is an example of using this with a Canon 1d mk 2 in EOS Magazine April/June 2009 (page 40) –  Rowland Shaw Oct 24 '10 at 15:55

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