Doing video on a drive

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mossy7
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Doing video on a drive

So...I thought I would try making a video of a drive out in the 7, but have no idea of the best gear. 

Can anyone suggest a bracket for the roll bar to hold a DSLR and an external mic? Or maybe suggest a better system like a Go Pro? 

Cheers

Andy

Wrightpayne
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If its a one off or trial why not use an old phone? Just need a cradle.

I was discussing using an iPhone with some seven friends and you (apparently) can plug in the ear buds / microphone to use as a remote microphone to wrap it and/or get out of the wind to prevent buffeting.

Just a thought!

Ian

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Hi Andy,

I would be wary about using a DSLR on a mount. The weight and vibration would be a tough challenge for the image stablisation software to compensate for - so the resulting video may not live up to your expectations.

I use a Go Pro Hero 8. Have a look at my YouTube channel for the results. The external mic is mounted under the bonnet for better induction sound… and less wind noise.  

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLyMVPqGXnNasgXYVeZYhkQ

1800 K-series, Roadsport 140

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLyMVPqGXnNasgXYVeZYhkQ/

Benton
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A lot depends of what your eventual aim is and hence how much time/effort/cost you're willing to spend.

Video wise a Möbius or GoPro clone (Akaso for example) mounted via an Amazon <£10 roll bar mount will be of sufficient quality to entertain yourself/family/friends etc., the sound will be pants however unless you invest in external mic setup etc.
Personally I wouldn't use a DLSR without some sophisticated mount to reduce the extreme vibration felt through the chassis, risking damage to the camera.

Having dabbled a bit, I soon found the novelty of recording drives out wore out pretty quickly,  unless you have a specific purpose/aim in mind, or unless you want to make it part of a wider hobby, video production etc., so starting cheap would be my recommendation.

Having said that I wouldn't mind playing around with a 360 degree camera sometime just to try the technology, maybe one day Hehe

Pondboy
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GoPro has good image stabilisation and there are mounting kits that will fit just about anything. I use one mounted to the handlebars of my mountain bike and the resulting video is comfortable to watch. https://youtu.be/1g3ItRdJVr4

The sucker mount held on the roof of my M3 during a track day with no problems (I did fix a cord to it that led though the drivers window, just in case it became unstuck, but it didn't).

I also have some fantastic underwater video of turtles swimming in the Caribbean. https://youtu.be/KFXxqspTomE

Purplemeanie
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Hi Andy,

  All that advice sounds good. I would also not recommend a DSLR. I've tried a few and keeping them steady is problematic and any image stabilizing software struggles. They also take up a lot of space once you have them secularly mounted (sometimes you need struts on the mounts to keep them from shaking when mounted to the screen for instance). Smaller micro-4/3's cameras are better in this respect. You also get problems with the exposure time-constants on DSLRs... as you drive in and out of shadows the exposure settings often don't change very quickly on a DSLR and so you don't get such great results that are also difficult to fix in any editing software. You can change the exposure time-constants on some DSLRs and that can help. Obviously you can fix aperture/shutter-speed/ISO but that can be a real challenge when lighting changes so much in an open top car. Action cameras like the GoPros are better in this respect as they're meant to be used in these sorts of conditions. Action cams also have good time lapse options now and those can look cool too.

Philip bloom did a good video section recently about how he does camera setups and when to use in-camera stabilization and when not to - its a much longer video about the Insta360 Go2 which might be an option but I haven't tried so can't recommend. Jump to about 19:00 in this video...

https://youtu.be/W9YdVLvCmW8

A camera on top of the roll over bar is good, but needs external mic to get good audio as others have said, or you can use a "wind shield" on something like a GoPro to reduce wind noise - though I've not had particularly good results with that either, but it is better. Some "dead cat" material glued in front of the mics can help too. But external mics or an external sound recorder (a phone works well too) can be used to mix back the audio onto the video in post production.

Here's a quick video I did using a 360 degree camera if that piques your interest:

https://youtu.be/x35hgkJ1Mak

The post production work on a 360 image is also quite a learning curve and is certainly not just taking the video and posting it on YouTube - though you can get quite adept at it if you practice. You can also get a really cool shot if you put a 360 camera mounted on a pole off the back of the roll over bar. Software, like from Insta360, will be able to remove the pole and make the camera look as though its floating behind you.

And here's a video I did that uses GoPros in various positions (sorry, its not specifically about camera positions) for different shots: facing forwards on roll over bar, facing backwards on roll over bar, Centre of dash for people shots and mounted to the front grille for low to the ground shots.

https://youtu.be/LWJNlmP8M6E

That video was done very early on in my Caterham life and so the audio is shocking in places and various options I tried for audio failed miserably.

FYI (though not at all recommending for a starting rig or the feint hearted), my standard camera rig for a day out at the moment is a GoPro Max (360) on the roll over bar, a hero 9 either on the left inside of the screen pointing at me or in the Centre dash pointing at me and passenger. Then possibly a hero 9 mounted to the grille or on a suction cup suckered to the nose cone, side panels, rear panels or rear wings. As for audio, I use a Zoom F6 to take in audio from a Rode Wireless Go II setup (wireless mics for myself and passenger) as well as an ambient mic for engine sounds. If I'm using headsets then at the moment I use Sena headsets (Tufftalks) with a remote Sena helmet receiver feeding into the F6. Picking up spoken audio is also more difficult if you don't have any doors on... sometimes I use a cheek mic into the F6 if I have no doors (I can't even hear myself speak but the cheek mic picks up good audio). All completely over the top of course and I absolutely know I'm going way out of the bounds of what would be called reasonable :-)

GoPro have also recently enabled what they call "lab" features on their more recent cameras. You can turn a GoPro into a dash cam for instance and do various extra things with time-lapses, motion detection etc etc. I also use the QR features in that Lab Software to set up the GoPros how I want them and to sync all their clocks together for better post production. At one point I was using kit from TimeCodeSystems to do time-code sync but it got too complicated in the end and then TCS got bought and seem to have stopped updating their products.

Other tips I would suggest:

  • Don't try pointing cameras out through the windscreen from the dash - you can get a lot of internal reflection that ruins what you thought was a great shot. 
  • Don't get the screen top rail or the rear-view mirror in your driving eye-line, what I mean by that is that it drives me bonkers when I can't see the apex of an upcoming corner in a video, when there's an obstruction in the way.
  • I record in 4K, 25fps, 1/50th but auto ISO. 4K so I have cropping options (I only ever produce videos at max 1080p). 25fps to stop strobing effects with any lighting (unlikely but a force of habit). 1/50th is 180 degree shutter angle so you get smooth, more realistic footage. Auto ISO means the GoPros sort everything else out.
  • If its a bright sunny day then may need ND filters on the cameras with those settings.
  • I use the bottom of a GoPro goose neck mount to clip a GoPro on the roll over bar. Though if I'm at a track then I use something more secure like a Manfrotto clamp.
  • For a GoPro on the dash I use a Jobi Suction Cup & Locking Arm (sometimes without the arm). The suction cups on those don't last forever but they are compact and I find they are sturdy enough yet flexible in mounting options.
  • I try and mount cameras that point at me to be higher in the cabin. That way you don't get camera angles pointing up noses. So just below rear view mirror or top left of windscreen.

I have a video that I'm working on that discusses all these issues, but it'll be a few weeks before I can get it released I think (I've been working on it for ages but its now got to the top of my list so does stand a chance of getting done now).

Hope that helps.

John

 

Caterham 420R SV, lowered floors and some creature comforts.

Yet Another Blogger: https://www.purplemeanie.co.uk

Ivaan
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I've got several old Go Pro videos that need editing / stitching together. What's the easiest / best editing software to use?

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mossy7
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Thanks all for some great advice.. and videos!

Cheers

Pondboy
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I use Shotcut https://www.shotcut.org/download/

It is a free professional level video editor with a steep learning curve, but lets you merge multiple sources together (i.e. GoPro in car, external fixed view & drone footage, with a separate sound track. Slo-mo, picture in picture and just about anything else you can think of.

It might break your brain at first, but the effort & results are worth it. There are lots of good youtube videos to show you how it works. 

Purplemeanie
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Hi Ivaan, adding on to #9...

If you're on Windows 10 then I know people who use the Microsoft Photos App to do simple video editing (I think the Movie Editor is actually part of Photos - confusing even from the start!). If you're pre-10 then I think Movie Maker is the equivalent. Though I also know that many of the people I know who started there have progressed to apps with more features pretty soon.

If you're on Mac then iMovie is probably one of the simplest. People seem to get by on iMovie for quite some time if their editing needs are simple.

To follow on from what Pondboy said... I find that even the simplest video editing apps are a bit mind bending at first. I'm not aware of any video editing apps that are simple - even though they try to be.

FWIW, I use Final Cut Pro on a Mac... Like similar tools they are a steep learning curve and then it gets steeper! :-)

If you want to go all in, then Davinci is a good free video editing tool. I haven't used ShotCut but it looks to be in the medium complexity sector of the tools (even that will keep many people happy for a very long time), hopefully Pondboy will comment if I got that wrong. For simple videos I think the Movie Maker and iMovie options are where people start, they then eventually go to something like either Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro or Davinci.

The ones I wouldn't recommend are the GoPro apps. I've never got on well with GoPro's software. Their mobile apps (now called Quik) are probably the best of a bad bunch but I steer clear of all the GoPro apps and only use the mobile apps to control the cameras settings and start/stop video. Some may disagree, but they drive me nuts.

Hope that helps. If not and you want some more help then please DM me or send email to [email protected] and I'll see if I can help some more.

John

Caterham 420R SV, lowered floors and some creature comforts.

Yet Another Blogger: https://www.purplemeanie.co.uk

Ivaan
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Thanks for the pointers John, Pondboy. I'll give them a try.

I have used the Go Pro software and found it very difficult to figure out.

Clive

BECs Rule !