Friday, October 3, 2008

Camcorder "Rolling Video"

You can tell from the nip in the air that summer is on the wane. We are in the midst of a large low pressure ridge that has moved all the rain clouds our way . Of course we hope that it doesn't rain all the time.


For a change I took my motorcycle SV650 to work. It was cool in the early morning as I leave around 7am and on this day it was misty with a little drizzle. It actually felt great to be wearing all of my motorcycle apparel as in the summer heat it gets very toasty, but not today - it was just right. I am lucky that our office is in an industrial area with lots of parking available. I park right outside my office window, that way I can keep an eye on it all day


There is not much concern for others to tamper with the bike as it is parked behind the concrete parking bumpers and as you will notice I am not the only rider in this building.

While there are a lot of bikers in this city, you are generally not able to find a lot of dealers who carry motorcycle specific accessories. I had been looking for a way to mount my cameras on both my scooter and motorcycle. At the "Rally Week in the Gorge" last August, Sound Rider had some Ram-mounts for sale so I purchased a couple of items to be able to mount my digicams. I decided a few months ago that I wanted to shoot "moving" video on my bike. I was looking for a camcorder that I could use and settled with a Panasonic model that was both WATERPROOF (underwater mode) and shock proof. I did not want a DVD recording model, nor one with a HDD because of vibration, and I really didn't wish one with minDV tape as then I would have to transfer the video to my computer in "real time" . With the SDHC card I can just drag over the file using windows explorer. I won't go into all the problems I had trying to edit the video except to say that it was a BIG learning curve, learning what codecs to install. My other criteria was to try to use all Free/Shareware. In the end, I only had to purchase ONE specific program in order to convert .MOD / .MOI files to .AVI For all the editing/rendering and all the YouTube stuff was all done with Freeware. So Mission Accomplished


The main anchor point for the Ram attachment is a U-bolt around the left mirror mount. I had to move the camcorder as far to the left as possible to clear the windshield. Or course you cannot use the right side because of your throttle and the fact that you have to push the start/stop button on the camera.


Here is the view from the rear. Not the ideal position since the screen on most video cams open to the left and you have to move your head in order to view. I thought about mounting it on the right mirror. While the view would have been more centered I didn't like the idea of having to move my left arm crossing over to the right in order to operate the zoom and start/stop button(s). It would have been just too dangerous IMHO . Too bad this model didn't have a remote control option.


This is the front view. On the motorcycle the windshield moves WITH the handlebars, so when you mount the camcorder in a specific position your job is done. I am having a greater problem on my scooter as the Windshield is fixed and when you move the handlebars the position of the Ram-Mount allows the camera to HIT the windshield on a full right turn. I think I will need a custom mirror bracket but I am still working it out in my mind.

Anyway, here is my first "test" video

cambie street vancouver bc.wmv


  1. Great video! I liked how you were able to get your set up to work well. Also, how do you like your Suzuki? It's a beautiful bike. I have been thinking of making a foray into a larger motorcycle and everyone I talk to suggests your bike as a good overall bike. I am looking at either a vintage Japanese bike (such as a 70's Honda CB450 or Suzuki GS500) or a newer bike like the 500cc model of yours.

    I checked out your other blog - is the Reverend your alter ego? (or should I say "altar" ego?? - I crack myself up!!) I like gospel as well, and he sounds like a pretty cool guy!

    Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Lance:

    actually that is a good topic for my blog. I was actually thinking of doing a scooter / motorcycle comparison. I have had bikes since the 60's which include a CB350, I recently sold my GS400s and I have owned several GS's up to 1100cc. The SV650n is a great bike. As you notice it is the 'naked' version which everyone wants. more upright sitting position. It is a very forgiving bike for new or experienced rider. I would readily recommend one but get at least a 2003+ as they are FI (fuel injected), less problems and easier starting. Lots of info on (My handle over there is "bESS") I am also on some other motorcycle forums using that name. I was going to keep my vintage bike but in the end I decided to go for something more modern and reliable, as you will have much less problem for parts availability. IMO

    As for the "Reverend", I am also active with the local scooter group and "Robert, the Reverend" leads many group rides. I was originally going to share postings with the Reverend on "his" blog, but decided in the end to just do my own. Perhaps I should update a post . . .

    I have owned many Suzuki's since the early 80's and I find them very well built and reliable, but then again I have owned a couple of Honda Nighthawks.

    If you go to my YouTube Page you will see my SV650 getting washed by the Flying Swan Hot Chicks

  3. I've got a useless laptop. I can't see any of your pics or the video.

    Time for a new one, I think.

  4. Problem solved! I re-installed Firefox.

    Great photos, great video!

  5. john:

    that's great that you are able to see the photos. I tried to include a lot of photos with my dialogue so that you can get a feel for the beauty of the Pacific Northwest