Where NOT to mount your GoPro
Over the years, the people here at muvee have placed the GoPro camera at all imaginable places (and some not so imaginable ones, which, ahem, we shall not talk about.)
Good Vibrations. Now, there are good vibrations, and there are bad ones. No amount is vibrations is ever good in videos.
Cameras like the GoPro uses CMOS sensors to capture light. It does this by recording the light coming into the lens line by line, just like in a louvre window. So if there are micro-vibrations (like engines on your car, or riding an MTB with knobblies) you will get a what is called in the industry, a “jello” effect. It looks like a wave going through your video and your video will look like a blob of jello. The technical name for this is the “Rolling Shutter” artifact. This is downright ugly, and unwatcheable. So always test mounting your GoPro on various places on a moving vehicle, take it for a quick spin, and watch the videos before the big ride.
4 Places to Mount a GoPro on a bicycle
Our CEO is an avid triathlete, and as part of “product research”, he mounted 4 GoPros in various locations on his time trial bike.
Under the handlebar pointing forward
This is a very natural place to mount. However, unless you have good carbon forks, the handle bar will take a lot of the road vibrations, so you might end up with videos with a jello effect. (read this to find out more about the rolling shutter effect)
Under the handlebar pointing backward
OK, this will suffer from the same problems as above, but it does give an interesting view especially if you are riding in a group. However, it does tend to point directly at the rider’s crotch…let’s just say you should consider using this position and any footage sparingly.
On the Seat post pointed back
This is another great perspective especially if you can see part of the rear wheel and can see the peloton chasing you from behind if you are a strong rider. However, on stiff bikes, the bike post seems to pick up a lot of vibrations (so that it does not get to your buttocks), so yes, the videos you get from here can be Hello Jello!
On the rear wheel axle pointing forward or back
This position takes a little DIY and a drill. This is a closeup of how its done.
We drilled a hole in the GoPro mount and drove a simple screw and double nut through it onto the bottom bracket. This position (at least on Terence’s bike) is surprisingly stable. As you can see from the videos, the persepctive is also interesting as you are close to the ground, and yet behind the left leg. (the right is not recommended as it may get caught in the chains and break your rear derailleur if the mount comes loose!)
Where to mount a GoPro when doing the Tough Mudder (or just running a marathon)
So you signed up for the Tough Mudder and you want to capture all the action. You got a GoPro Hero 4 for Christmas last year and can’t wait to get some amazing shots of the race from your point of view. Where should you mount it?
Now, we have interviewed several runners, GoPro experts and by far the number one place to mount your GoPro is on your head. Why?
Because your head is a natural gimbal or stabilizer.
Think about this. When you run, does your head bounce up and down like a chicken? Actually no! Your spine naturally compensates for the up and down motion by contracting and expanding, twisting and bending to make sure you head is almost perfectly level and stable.
If you mounted videos wearing a chest harness, other than the fact that it will be getting caught when crawling under barbed wires, you are going to get footage that are almost unwatchable (without throwing up!) as it will look like this:
Here are some places where you can get the head mount.
Make sure to point it a little downwards so that you can almost see your feet if you take a big stride. This is so that when you are staring down over the edge of the platform you have to jump off from, it gives a very scary and dramatic “falling over the edge” look.