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camera phone as a bike action camera with gimbal?

maradamarada Posts: 7
edited September 2018 in MTB general
What do people think about using something like a Samsung Galaxy S9 plus on a gimbal, which is attached to a manfrotto magic arm clamped to the bike. With this setup you could even use it to vlog on the bike. can't see why a gopro would have any advantage over a setup like this. What do people think?

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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Gopros are tough little buggers. Smart Phones aren't.
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    cougie wrote:
    Gopros are tough little buggers. Smart Phones aren't.

    This, I'd rather smash my cheap Chinese FauxPro than my expensive Galaxy.

    Also not sure why anyone would want to vlog on a bike, or indeed watch other people vlog on a bike... but then I'm not really one for the whole "watching other people do things I could be doing myself" thing that seems to have become the new normal (see also: watching other people play videos games - my kids do this and it baffles me).
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  • cougie wrote:
    Gopros are tough little buggers. Smart Phones aren't.

    My experience with Gopros has not been good. I had a new Gopro which was dead on arrival, and another break in only a few months. In contrast, I have never had any problems with phones, despite rough treatment.

    But my question is really from a video quality perspective. In my opinion the camera on the S9+ is better than the GoPro.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,657
    Sounds like a silly idea to me. Just asking for trouble.
    Mobile phones are delicate items and not intended for the use you are proposing. A flying stone, a tree branch encroaching on the trail, a tumble and your very expensive phone is toast.

    As for vloging on the bike - really?
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  • JBA wrote:
    Sounds like a silly idea to me. Just asking for trouble.
    Mobile phones are delicate items and not intended for the use you are proposing. A flying stone, a tree branch encroaching on the trail, a tumble and your very expensive phone is toast.

    But Gopros are not the cheapest item in the world either. I got my Samsung from abroad for only a couple of hundred more than the Hero 6 sells for in the UK. Plus the phone is insured.

    I just think the the quality of video produced will be a little better with this setup.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Well if TV shows are happy to use Go Pros - (see Top Gear and the Grand Tour) then either they're doing it wrong - or you are.

    I know which way I'm voting.

    I've never had a problem with Go Pros.
  • fenix wrote:
    Well if TV shows are happy to use Go Pros - (see Top Gear and the Grand Tour) then either they're doing it wrong - or you are.

    How can you be "doing it wrong" when you receive new products that are dead on arrival? Also if you google gopro you will see thousands of reviews from unhappy customers.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    You asked, and got advice.

    If you disagree, use your phone.
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  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    marada wrote:
    How can you be "doing it wrong" when you receive new products that are dead on arrival? Also if you google gopro you will see thousands of reviews from unhappy customers.

    ...mixed in with many more thousands of reviews from happy customers. Using Amazon as a proxy I did what you said and found the overwhelming majority of reviews for various GoPro cameras were more positive than negative.

    A GoPro is designed specifically for the task you describe - a phone is simply capable of it when modified or otherwise forced to fit the role. You'll soon munch through battery and storage too. Besides, there are other cameras besides GoPro.
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  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,657
    marada wrote:
    How can you be "doing it wrong" when you receive new products that are dead on arrival? Also if you google gopro you will see thousands of reviews from unhappy customers.

    I have had 6 GoPros and all have been spot on. No problems with any of them. Thousands of poor reviews doesn't give a true reflection. The people most likely to post reviews are the unhappy customers who want to moan or complain. There are probably millions of satisfied customers who haven't posted reviews.

    If you want to use your phone then carry on. I would be interested in seeing the resulting footage. It may be very good.
    However, I will stick to using a device designed for rough use rather than an expensive device designed for voice calls, texts, e-mail and web browsing and being kept nice and safe in a pocket or bag.
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  • marada wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    Gopros are tough little buggers. Smart Phones aren't.

    My experience with Gopros has not been good. I had a new Gopro which was dead on arrival, and another break in only a few months. In contrast, I have never had any problems with phones, despite rough treatment.

    But my question is really from a video quality perspective. In my opinion the camera on the S9+ is better than the GoPro.
    My experience with GoPros has been the opposite. I've has 3 now and all have been excellent with no faults at all. There's no way I'd be strapping my Note 8 to my bike or any other part of my body. They're just not designed for this idea (where as GoPros are). Go for it though if you want, it's your phone after all.
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  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    marada wrote:
    I just think the the quality of video produced will be a little better with this setup.

    Why do you think the video quality will be better on a phone compared to that of a camera ?

    I don't see the logic. I'm sure your phone will be better at doing email or watching videos on, but the go pro camera is a camera first and well that's it.

    I'm sure you will be fine using your phone for video but I don't expect it to stay in the gimbal over rough ground and crashes.
  • fenix wrote:

    Why do you think the video quality will be better on a phone compared to that of a camera ?

    I don't see the logic. I'm sure your phone will be better at doing email or watching videos on, but the go pro camera is a camera first and well that's it.

    I think phones now rival and surpass many point and shoots for photos. Just look at something like the huawei p20 pro. As for video I have indeed been very impressed with the S9 Plus for the quality of the 4k video. Here is one guy who put his phone on a gimbal:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-YU5KYW1Sc

    Here is another video of a guy who tests a gopro against an iPhone, and I think I prefer the iPhone footage:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKhLWf2UYIA

    Do you honestly believe that the quality of video on the gopro is much better? Even if you think it is much better, the fact is most people will not rate it so much better that it is worth spending their hard earned cash on. On my last skiing trip, I saw far more people shooting video down the slopes with phones than gopro's. Why do you think gopro is struggling as a company?

    My experience with gopro has been bad, faulty equipment. Plus I don't like the fish eye look. Granted you can choose something like linear, but again this does not work in the highest setting with stabilisation. So it leaves me struggling to correct this in post production. In any case I don't rate the digital stabilization very much, even on the latest hero 7 black. They call it "gimbal like", but you get much better footage with a gimbal.

    Other things I don't like about go pro:

    1) the latest go pro camera's force you to use that stupid bulky usb mic adaptor. If you want external audio, that's the only way to go. With my phone I can just plug a mic straight in.

    2) Gopro have made it more difficult for 3rd party manufacturers to make accessories for the gopro. Look at what you had available for the hero 4 compared to now. For instance they use hardware encryption for that stupid external audio adaptor. Their approach is purely profit driven and not customer driven.
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