There are some rides that you wish you could relive again and again, and thankfully there’s a way that you can – with an HD action camera. So whether you’re a pro behind the bars, or relatively new to bikes, recording your rides is a great way to relive experiences, show off your riding skills, or even analyse performance.
Action camera technology is progressing at an astonishing rate, with the vast majority of new models built to the highest specifications, with the newest technology available. This progression has allowed many modern cameras to record in full 1080p HD quality (the best video quality available) while maintaining minimal size and weight.
GoPro, Drift and Replay are some prime examples of camera manufacturers that continue to push the boundaries of action camera technology, and prove extremely popular with bike enthusiasts due their multitude of features and ease of use. Three market-leading models available at the moment include the GoPro HD2 Motorsports Edition, Drift HD and Replay XD 1080, all of which can record in full HD and include additional functionality such as the ability to capture still images at a quality that rivals most point-and-shoot digital cameras.
Your choice in camera will inevitably come down to personal preference, but aside from looks and price, there a number of factors to consider.
Firstly, do you need a camera that will record in full HD? While the option to do so is nice, there are other cameras available (such as the Drift HD 720) which record at a slightly lesser quality, and subsequently have a smaller price tag. While 1080p is preferred by the majority of users, 720p still provides some very high-quality footage.
Secondly, consider the battery life of the camera. While most action cameras average a healthy record time of two-three hours, some have a built in battery, which will render them useless while charging. If you regularly take long rides that exceed the battery life of a camera, you should consider a camera with removable batteries so you can pack plenty of additional juice on long trips.
Additionally, you should think about the size of the memory card you think you will need. Most camera packages will include a 4GB or 8GB card, which will hold around one hour and two hours of full HD footage, respectively. For longer rides, you should consider investing in a bigger card, such as a 16GB or 32GB.
Technology aside, the biggest consideration when buying a motorcyclecamera is where you’re going to mount it. As a general rule, there are two mounting options; on your helmet, or on your bike. Each of these methods provides a very different perspective, and the decision is very much down to personal preference. However, it’s very important that you use the right mount for the job.
If mounting a camera on your helmet, you should use a purpose build helmet mount, built specifically for your model of camera. Likewise, if mounting a camera on your handlebars, for example, be sure to use a bar mount that’s purpose built for the task.