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Best Camera to video inside race car??


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We are looking to purchase  a new camera for our racecar. There are so many available. GoPro seems to be the front runner but they are expensive $$! Also, I am finding that the battery life is pretty short (i.e 1.5-2 hours) which isn't preferable for 14 hour races... Any recommendations/links would be appreciated!!

 

 

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3 hours ago, MARC RUTHERFORD said:

We are looking to purchase  a new camera for our racecar. There are so many available. GoPro seems to be the front runner but they are expensive $$! Also, I am finding that the battery life is pretty short (i.e 1.5-2 hours) which isn't preferable for 14 hour races... Any recommendations/links would be appreciated!

I highly recommend GoPro. I have a hero3silver+ and have used a hero3 in the past as well. GoPro has some really expensive new cameras but as far as I can see, there is no advantage over the hero3silver+ unless you want to record in 4K and use a handful of 128gb SD cards to film a single race. 

 

We record in 720 at 30fps (minimum settings for hero3silver+) and it looks great, can even read the tachometer. A 128gb chip records 15ish hours on those settings.

Battery life is not an issue, cut a hole in the side of the case and run a USB charging cord. 

 

The sound recording on the GoPro is really phenomenal, twice we have had important bolts fall on track and watched the video footage to find the exact point in time when the bolts fell out... both times there was a very distinct "bolt falling on metal" sound which was picked up over the drone of our glasspack muffler.

 

The GoPro has been nothing but reliable, too. I turn it on and start recording with about 15 minutes until green, and then turn it off once we're back in the paddock after the race.

 

Twice we have had teammates show up with cameras of their own and we have used those only to find that the sound quality was pretty bad (loud static noise, enough to require turning the volume way down to make the video watchable). Also with one of them, the camera turned off after 3 hours for no apparent reason. Both of these were non-GoPro but I don't know the specific brands or prices. 

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19 hours ago, enginerd said:

I highly recommend GoPro. I have a hero3silver+ and have used a hero3 in the past as well. GoPro has some really expensive new cameras but as far as I can see, there is no advantage over the hero3silver+ unless you want to record in 4K and use a handful of 128gb SD cards to film a single race. 

 

We record in 720 at 30fps (minimum settings for hero3silver+) and it looks great, can even read the tachometer. A 128gb chip records 15ish hours on those settings.

Battery life is not an issue, cut a hole in the side of the case and run a USB charging cord. 

 

The sound recording on the GoPro is really phenomenal, twice we have had important bolts fall on track and watched the video footage to find the exact point in time when the bolts fell out... both times there was a very distinct "bolt falling on metal" sound which was picked up over the drone of our glasspack muffler.

 

The GoPro has been nothing but reliable, too. I turn it on and start recording with about 15 minutes until green, and then turn it off once we're back in the paddock after the race.

 

Twice we have had teammates show up with cameras of their own and we have used those only to find that the sound quality was pretty bad (loud static noise, enough to require turning the volume way down to make the video watchable). Also with one of them, the camera turned off after 3 hours for no apparent reason. Both of these were non-GoPro but I don't know the specific brands or prices. 

You can read the tach in your videos??  I can’t even SEE the tach in your videos (or even the dash). :lol:

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8 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

+1 on GoPro.

 

Have tried cheaper ones but they don't work well with "action" content. As for battery get a battery pack. Maybe you can get a used gopro?

If you go with an older model, make sure you check to see how big of a chip it will take and what the recording times are.  My old one can only go about 7 hours before it is out of memory. 

 

Make sure you go with something that has a “spot meter” so that you don’t end up with pristine interior video and a glare bomb windshield view.  

 

Dont record in in less than 720 or you will hate yourself later.  There is a lot of older 360 stuff on YouTube that is practically worthless.  For all you are paying to get on track, it is worth spending a few more bucks and getting good quality footage.  

Edited by Racer28173
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3 minutes ago, Racer28173 said:

If you go with an older model, make sure you check to see how big of a chip it will take and what the recording times are.  My old one can only go about 7 hours before it is out of memory. 

 

Make sure you go with something that has a “spot meter” so that you don’t end up with pristine interior video and a glare bomb windshield view.  

The older gopro we use (hero3silver+) does not list the 128 gb micro SD as a supported memory card (max listed is 64 gb), but I tried one anyway and it works just fine.

Edited by enginerd
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5 minutes ago, enginerd said:

The older gopro we use (hero3silver+) does not list the 128 gb micro SD as a supported memory card (max listed is 64 gb), but I tried one anyway and it works just fine.

Have you done a firmware upgrade since you’ve owned it?  If so, maybe that enabled the capability. I have a Hero +.  I will have to see if there is an upgrade for it. 

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I recently switched from a Hero4 silver to a Hero6.  The Hero4 recorded great video and I loved it. My Hero4 died, I believe due to an electrical issue with the in-car charger.  When my Hero4 died I bought a 'Hero'.  DO NOT BUY the GoPro HERO.  It's basically a $150 chinese knock-off.  I can't believe GoPro would even put their name on it.  I was going to buy another 4 to replace the 'HERO', but decided to go with the 6 because there was a $75 off black friday sale.  The video from the Hero6 is pretty unbelievable.  The minimum setting on the Hero6 is 1080P/30 (or 720P/60).  But with a 256GB card, you can record ~30Hrs.  So you never need to change cards.  I had some issues with 128GB cards seeming to intermittently not work in the Hero4.  I'm not sure exactly what the issue was, but I stopped using them and went back to 64GB cards just in case it was a card issue.  Note that I use high speed Samsung cards, so it should have worked with the GoPro.

 

At Barber, we started out with snow on both sides of the track and the sun out.  In those conditions the Hero4 would struggle a bit with exposure due to the brightness outside.  The Hero6 had perfect video.  It has software based dynamic stability control.  I'm not sure if I like it or hate it, but it did an excellent job of eliminating vibration.  My only complaint on the Hero6 is that it cut off during one of the stints and didn't record one stint.  On the stint that didn't get recorded, I must have accidentally hit the button twice because it only picked up 1s of video.  Not sure what happened on the stint that it cut off in.  When I turned the camera back on it had to repair the file.  It looks like the file actually is playable and that's a plus over the Hero4.  When the 4 turns off while recording, your last file is pretty much lost.

 

If you want to record in 4k (or various other high-def/high-frame rate settings), the Hero 6 uses a high efficiency compression method that your computer is probably not capable of processing (google it).  But I probably won't be recording at that high of definition/frame rate for a few years and hopefully it'll get worked out by then.

 

One of my friends bought a Chinese knock-off.  As far as I'm concerned it was complete garbage.  The only use I can think of for one of those would be for reviewing incidents and maybe just pointed at the driver or looking behind you. 

 

I'm sure there are other decent options, but I'm pretty happy with the Hero 6.

 

In short, the Hero6 is impressive, but not cheap.  The Hero3/4/5 will probably be adequate and you will get good video/sound.  If you decide on GoPro, I'd recommend picking up a used 4 or 5.  A touchscreen is handy as well and the 4 silver has one.

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14 hours ago, Snake said:

We just use a phone (Samsung S5) for streaming and a Go Pro to record/review later so we can give to renters.   Have a 128 card so we never need to change during the race.   

 snake, do you guys use FB to stream or a different website? we've been talking about doing this with one of our phones but hadn't heard much feed back from people who do it. 

Edited by Bguy03
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10 hours ago, Bguy03 said:

 snake, do you guys use FB to stream or a different website? we've been talking about doing this with one of our phones but hadn't heard much feed back from people who do it. 

We use the Larix/Racecast that Bill suggested in the Livestream section.    Few tweaks need to be done in the Larix app such as lowering the bitrate but other than that it works pretty good. I like the Wowza/GoCode App better but it no longer works for me.   Not sure why.   

Edited by Snake
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We used an iPhone 6 with AT&T. Wowza GoCode app set at 480x360 (too low but looked fine on a phone or iPad) to Racecast. We only used 2.1GB in 11+ hours of broadcasting because of the low settings. Frame rate set at 30 and Keyframe interval set at 30. 901 Motorsport at Barber. 

Edited by frankrehnelt
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More info here.
https://www.chasecam.com/chasecam-dvr-dual-video-recorder/

I picked up the new version to test on my way home from Barber. we will be testing it out in a car at Sebring

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For live video streams it will only output one camera, will not do picture in picture. But will record both while outputting one camera view to the live stream. 
GPS function is cool for later data integration too. 
 

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