Showing posts with label camera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label camera. Show all posts

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Encounters with Rantwick, episode sixteen: Friends of the Freak

I mentioned in a recent post that I was gonna try my new camera on my helmet, where most would have in the first place. I must admit that I like that perspective best after all and since I edit all the video anyway, "head sweep" is not the problem I thought it would be.

Having had a camera mounted either on my bike or my person for a couple of years now, I was surprised at how much notice the new camera got. I suppose I shouldn't have been... it now sticks up off the top of my helmet in a conspicious, freakish way. London Ontario, while being a good sized city of 300K+, is not a metropolis where something odd surprises no one, and people have been reacting to the camera's presence.

Some people positively glower at me like they wish me dead. I'm not kidding. Those people, however, are not what this post is about, because I don't like them. I like the people who just shout out "hey, is that a camera?"

If I were participating in a bike race (yeah, right) or out on a MTB trail or something, I'm sure the cam would find greater acceptance and understanding. POV cams are for people who want to record their "recreational" exploits after all, right? Well, not always, and the fact that I'm recording others in the public space is interesting and exciting to some and simply pisses off others. I like the people that just shout out their curiosity rather than shooting me suspicious glances. I'm not trying to "catch" anybody doing anything. I swear.

Hey, Let Your Freak Flag Fly!

If you're like some of these good people and want a camera like mine, check out 

Buy GoPro HERO Camera at

Monday, May 4, 2009

Deshake It, Baby, Deshake It

As you may be aware, I've got a digital camera attached to the handlebars of my bike that I use to take video. Most of the time nothing interesting happens, but sometimes there's good stuff I can work with. Now, I have seen good video shot from bicycles, usually mountain riders for some reason. Fat Cyclist has started making videos of some rides, and they look great. When I look at my own stuff or on youtube for commuting / street footage, however, it is often very shaky, and sometimes bad enough to give one a headache, especially with "first person" perspectives using cameras mounted on the bike.

Here are a couple of representative examples:

I think better cameras and helmet mount systems can remove a lot of shake... but I don't have any expensive gear. I also think there is a reason that the best cycling videos are not shot from the first person perspective. There are, however, FREE (I am incapable of typing the word 'FREE' without capitalizing it... hmmm...) after-the-fact remedies for all the shake and vibration inherent to inexpensive setups like mine (and theirs). The remedies I speak of are two bits of FREE software; VirtualDub and a plugin for it called Deshaker. I forget where I got them, but just google 'em up, they weren't hard to find. What was hard to find was a mix of deshaker settings that worked well with the moving camera on my bike, which I finally found after much trial and error. This stuff isn't perfect. The edges of the video get weird. The improvement, however, is remarkable. I'm going to show you some before and after video now, of course! Watch the whole thing... there's a 'happening' near the end that's kind of funny.

First, the bad:

Please know that when I was riding by, that kid was laughing her head off over something, so no worries on the shove. Now, the deshaked version:

Crummy wind-noise and camera-rattle audio on both, I know. Normally I would replace that with some music, but didn't bother for this quick demo.

I don't want to bore everybody with the details of setting up deshaker. If you have an interest, email me and I will send you screenshots of the deshaker configuration screens and try to explain the process.

Shake It Only When You Should,