Sunday, 14 June 2015

Around The Bay: Part 5, motorcycle media from the trip

The story told in a photo is told as much by the viewer as it is
by the photographer, and it's non-linear.
Since I was solo on the circumnavigation of Georgian Bay I brought along some gear to capture the moment.  I prefer photography.  I think a good photo is an entire world you can get lost in, and unlike video it isn't forcing you to follow along frame by frame.  In a photo you're free to wander with your eyes in a non-linear way.

Having said all that, I brought along some video gear to try out on this trip.  I'd love a GoPro, but since they cost almost as much as my bike did, I got a cheap Chinese knock-off instead (and a cheap knockoff it is!)  The Foscam AC1080 takes fantastic video (full 1080p) and decent photos (up to 12 megapixels), and at only about $140 taxes in, it's less than 1/3 the price of a GoPro.  Where it falls apart is in the fit and finish.  In a week of what I'd describe as gentle use for an 'action camera' the buttons never lined up right with the unit inside the waterproof case (I ended up having to remove the camera to start and stop it), the case itself was so rickety it would just blow over in the wind (the GoPro has a ratchet in the stand that locks in position, the Foscam is just a plastic screw), and the case itself snapped at the base after only a few uses.  It also gets uncomfortably hot when it recharges.  I have some concerns about the physical capabilities of this 'action' camera.

The Foscam takes nice stills too, when it takes them.
The other shaky part of the Foscam is its operation.  You can start it up and it'll stop again for no apparent reason (though this might have to do with convoluted options buried in menus).

You might think the GoPro lacking in options, but it has very streamlined operation and always gets what you're filming (which is vital in action video), and it does it without an LCD or menu options buried three deep.

The Foscam also saves in a .mov file format which Sony Vegas seems determined not to render properly.  If you can get past all that frustration you can get some very nice video out of the Foscam:
... and you can find you've got nothing because it shut off just when you were about to do a one time thing:
A quick video of the boarding of the Chicheemaun ferry in Tobermory - why did I take it from the Olympus Camera around my neck?  Because the Foscam shut off for no apparent reason just as we were about to board.  But hey, when it works it makes nice pictures.

The go-to camera was my trusty Olympus Pen.  This is the best camera I've ever owned - a micro SLR with swappable lenses and full manual control.  It also takes video in a pinch.  This camera punches well above its weight.  If I were to pony up for something better, it would be an Olympus OM-D that takes the same size lenses, and then go on a lens hunt for some macro and telephoto madness.

Also on this trip I brought along a Samsung S5, which takes nice pics and decent video.  Smartphone cameras have gotten so good that I don't think about point and shoot cameras any more, they are redundant.  My only regret is not picking up the bonkers Nokia Lumia 1020 with it's massive camera built in, but then Telus didn't have it.

I'm not really through with the Foscam yet.  Once I've got it worked out, hopefully I can still use it to get some quality video off the bike.  The other day we were out for a ride so I decided to focus on getting some audio instead.  Yes, riding a bike really is as fun as this sounds.  I'm going to look into making some finer audio recordings to catch the sound of riding, it's a different angle on motorbike media.

Over the summer I plan to look into more advanced 3d modelling and micro-photography as well as maybe some drone work.  I'm looking forward to pushing the limits with motorbike media creation.


Google Album: photos from the trip
Google made a story: Google Photos auto-arranged pictures from the trip into scrapbook.