GoPro questions.

Thinking about buying one to do time lapse videos of car trips and bicycle trips, noticed used and refurbished ones on eBay for attractive prices.

  1. Assuming I just want to do 1080p / 30 video have they made any improvements with the image quality with newer models? What would be the oldest model you would buy?

  2. Are there ways to mount it to an exterior of a car SECURELY? As in I’m not going to worry about it falling off on a 100 mile trip? I do have a roof rack on my vehicle.

  3. What’s the recommended way to mount for time lapse on a bicycle? Head strap? Chest strap? Handlebar mount?


I have a GoPro, but haven’t used it lately, but I have answers for numbers 2 and 3.

They make various clamp and suction mounts. For a long trip I’d get a clamp mount for your luggage rack. Something like this one might be good. It would also work on your bike.

If you helmet mount, it will film where ever you look, may or may not be what you want.

A handlebar mount will add vibration on rough surfaces, also may or may not be desired.

I had a GoPro. The very first time I used it I mounted it on the head strap that came with it, and went snorkeling. After about one minute in the water I reached up to check it and it was gone. Be careful with the head strap mount.

I have found that a chest mount provides the most interesting footage on a mountain bike. Are you mountain or road biking? For road biking, handlebar or frame mount might be better, as the anti-vibration software in the GoPro is pretty darn good.

The newest model has some stabilization software built into it so the image don’t look as jerky when the camera moves. I’m not sure it’s on anything prior to the current incarnation (7). They do make gimbals that you can use with other/older models. For your stated purposes, be sure to buy a mountable gimbal, not a handheld one. I have a Feiyu one myself.

They do make suction cup mounts that should hold it in place (don’t use them personally); however, where I use mine I always use a tether (very first link in ebay) as loss of a camera could cause damage to property or even death. Mount it with a suction cup to the roof or get a motorcycle / large tube mount onto your cross bar & then loop the tether around the cross bar; that way if your mount fails you won’t lose your camera. having the primary mount come lose/fail might result in some sucky footage depending upon which way the camera ends up pointing, though. (I’ve had them turn on in my bag before. :smack:)
For what you want, I would not get a GoPro. Go with a Garmin Virb instead. Even the older Garmin’s run circles around the current GoPro in terms of GPS & other metrics. There’s even an attachment that plugs into your OBD port to get things vehicle metrics like braking & RPMs. Also, the Garmin’s have native timelapse built in. Set the camera to GPS on & the desired timelapse interval & turn it on. When you stop it, it automagically renders your timelapse. You don’t need to do anything other than view it. Though, if you want to add metrics (GPS, speed, distance, etc. you will need to run it thru the Virb Edit software first.) The older GoPros do not have timelapse in them natively. What happens is that it takes a photo every x seconds & you need to stitch the individual together in post-processing software.

Putting a GoPro on you or your car will guarantee a horrendous accident.

I received a GoPro several years ago as a gift. I used it a few times on my ski helmet to video my kids and I on the slopes. I used it last winter with some friends and used a head-strap (so I could video my friends skiing ahead of me, as well as behind me, being able to switch it around without much fuss). I also used a home-made tether for reasons already stated.

TBH - while it takes nice video, I have gotten stuck on the editing step, in creating usable video from it. GoPro’s own video editing software is lacking, and I don’t want to spend a lot on it, so my videos are not enjoyed or shared. Sorta defeats the purpose of taking video.

I dont know if Garmin has video editing capabilities for their product, but it cannot be worse than GoPro’s. I would recommend considering not only the hardware part of this, but also the software capabilities - if you cannot edit your raw footage, you are probably not going to be using it much.

I still have some old GoPro’s because they fit the gimbal I have but other than events where I want to use the gimbal I use my Garmins. Garmin does have software & it is very easy to use. In some cases it runs circles around the GoPro software. Except for the latest GoPro, both cameras are creating .mp4 & .jpg files, which means you can do editing in other software. I have also edited GoPro files & appended GPS data onto them in the Virb Edit software. It’s just slightly harder to do because you need to associate the .gpx or .fit data to the .mp4 where it’s natively included if you shoot on a Garmin Virb.