I have come across a couple of times in which having a camera would be useful when commuting by bike. The video mounted camera is especially useful if you get into an altercation. It seems that very often the police do not do a good job enforcing violations when bikes are involved and having video proof helps to make your case if you or your bike were hurt in an accident. This is definitely something for increased safety and a good cover your butt move.
These are the following things that you need in a good bike camera:
- Video capture capability
- Memory storage which covers the time length of your commute one way
- Able to mount on your bike, person or helmet – depends on what makes you most comfortable
- Able to handle the expected temperature extremes you may be riding in of -5 C to 45 C
There are many different cameras out there that fill this need. The best known name in the extreme sports section is the GoPro camera. These cameras are quite good, and very expensive. The asking price of the GroPro Hero 3+ silver edition is $299.99 as of August 2014. On top of everything you are looking for above this camera is also waterproof up to 40 m water depth (deeper than sport divers). Additionally, this camera can be synced with your iPhone and you can see in real time what your camera is recording, in order to optimize the positioning.
For those looking at a midrange camera I recommend the Polaroid XS100. This is also a very solid camera and priced around $120. Of all the cameras, this camera has the best price to quality ratio. You cannot go wrong with this unit. It is also waterproof up to 30 m too, which is at the maximum depth of sport divers (if you are into that).
However, if you are a little more price conscious than I recommend the camera from Asone. It has many adapters and fits very well on to your helmet. The asking price is $67.42 as of August 2014. It has good reviews and appears to be a solid plugger.
Any of these choices are solid cameras that can be a great add to your bike commuting set up. In the end I recommend that you mount your camera on your helmet, if you wear one. This limits the amount of vibrations you see on the screen. Even though some of these cameras are able to stabilize the picture, the fewer vibrations on the camera, the better the picture, and the fewest vibrations are when the camera is mounted on you rather than on the bike.
Let me know if you have had experience with other cameras or what your experiences are with the cameras I mentioned above.
Good luck and happy riding 🙂