Best and Cheap Motorcycle Helmet Cameras
Can you imagine going on an adventurous motorcycle trip without a camera that would capture the moments, sceneries, and the memories of your journey for you to glance back when you are feeling low? Sadly, it used to happen with our classic motorcyclists a decade ago, when all they had was a piece of paper with some notes written about their journey.
Luckily, today, motorcycle helmet cameras are capable of capturing beautiful photos and high definition videos that you can share with your friends and family once you have completed your journey or even while you are at it.
But any ordinary camera can shoot and record, so why bother to buy an action camera for a helmet?
Trying to capture something interesting and beautiful, we, in fact, isolate ourselves from reality; we see not the events themselves, but their faded pixel copy on the mobile or a camera screen. An action camera is the only way to shoot and see at the same time. When you pick up an action camera, you feel an interesting psychological effect, which can be called the syndrome “I think I’m 16 years old again”. All unfulfilled ideas and thoughts, hopelessly left in the past, suddenly become desirable, real, and feasible again. You will want to rediscover the world of outdoor activities, return to sports, get a motorcycle, perform a stunt and, of course, head out for an expedition. Action camera makes you feel younger. Besides, possessing an “extreme” device, you yourself become a little bit extreme and change your way of life.
When shooting with an action camera, the angle is usually the same as the first person view. The camera is rigidly fixed, which is why every movement relative to the environment is felt in the picture. Dynamics is the middle name of action cameras, so while watching such videos; the effect of complete re-immersion in the experience is created.
Comparison of Motorcycle Helmet Cameras
|Model||GoPro Hero8 Black||Garmin VIRB Ultra 30||GoPro Hero7 Black||Sony FDRX3000||Campark ACT74||DJI Osmo Action||Apeman A87|
|Dedicated Bike Mount||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Slow Motion Video||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|View Angle||150 Degree||150 Degree||150 Degree||170 Degree||170 Degree||145 Degree||170 Degree|
7 Best Motorcycle Helmet Cameras for Your Next Adventure
GoPro Hero8 Black
The GoPro Hero8 Black is a high-tech helmet action camera from the renowned brand GoPro. It has many useful features for motorcycle enthusiasts with an exceptionally high video quality. It features a portable, streamlined design that’s built to last. While attaching it to a helmet is a child’s play.
Finding a helmet camera superior to the GoPro Hero8 Black is no easy task (in this price range). With it, you are able to capture interesting content for several hours without needing to change the battery, thanks to its 2 hours long battery backup. Buying this gadget is not just about putting a cute little camera on your helmet, but an opportunity to join the big army of GoPro fans. You will get unlimited access to invaluable tips, tricks, and all kinds of support.
We were previously impressed with the GoPro Hero 7 Black, but the creators of the new Hero 8 Black managed to improve the already excellent action camera. The camera is now equipped with the new HyperSmooth 2.0 video stabilizer and 1080p of live streaming, which has increased its capturing quality from its predecessor.
The camera has great capabilities in slow motion mode; you can shoot 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, and 1080p at 240 frames per second. Other enhancements include improved background sound, advanced night mode, as well as wider dynamic range. In addition, HDR image capture has been improved and the quality of the shoot is simply amazing!
But one of the most significant improvements is digital image stabilization. Now, even in the most difficult shooting conditions, the image in the frame remains more stable. The detailing of the frame, although not at the highest level, but its uniformity in all areas is really impressive.
The GoPro Hero 8 Black is by far the best GoPro model to date, so get it; it’ll be worth your investment.
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
Garmin’s VIRB Ultra 30, as you might have guessed, offers the best video and photo quality, and has great features and accessories. In addition to its sleek, boxy design and an incredible light weight, the device is designed to record ultra-high definition video up to 4K resolution. For most motorcyclists, this is more than enough to capture every scenic ride.
Now you will say that any high quality helmet camera can record up to 4K, right? The most unique and impressive feature of this camera is 3-axis image stabilization, which allows you to record video even in the most unstable conditions. As a result, you get a professional footage that looks like a shot taken from the best Hollywood cameras.
A large 1.75-inch display on the back of the camera lets you see what’s being filmed. You can also easily change basic settings with it. In addition to the manual mode, it has a built-in voice control function that allows you to start and stop recordings without touching the device with your hands. You’ll also love one-touch live streaming and an intuitive color LCD touch screen.
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 has built-in GPS for more than just showing you your location. With G-Metrix, you can access critical data such as altitude and speed, making it easier to track your rides.
GoPro Hero7 Black
Another great option from the GoPro line-up is the Hero7 Black action camera. Like other versions of GoPro, this motorcycle helmet camera comes equipped with a variety of accessories and mounts. You can place it on your helmet in almost any way, including front, side or top mounting. It allows you to get a unique angle, perfect for capturing all the exciting moments of your trip.
Weighing only 120g, the camera is small and streamlined, with built-in video stabilization, touchscreen function and can record videos in 4k resolution. The 12MP sized optical sensor makes it possible to take photos in high quality. You can use different modes, including time-lapse mode for photos or videos.
Other great features that make the GoPro Hero7 helmet camera attractive include 720p live streaming, water resistance, and Hyper Smooth; which eliminates any shake during recording to produce insanely smooth videos.
If you are not impressed with any of the above, you might want to try the hands-free voice control feature. The GoPro7 comes with 16 different voice commands so you no longer need to touch the camera to control it while driving. You can simply say “GoPro, turn on” or “GoPro, take a picture,” and the little camera in the helmet will work as instructed.
Don’t worry if you don’t speak English well. The device understands different accents. It can also receive commands in French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. It’s creative!
When it comes to electronics, Sony is a trusted name, which explains why the Sony FDRX3000 is a popular choice among motorcycle riders. But it’s not about the famous brand; the FDRX3000 is a versatile and rugged helmet-mounted camera capable of capturing videos even in the wettest conditions.
With a 12MP optical sensor, you can be sure that this beautiful helmet-mounted camera will capture high quality photos. It can record videos up to 4k in high definition. The streamlined design allows for installation on either side of the helmet or on top. And since it’s a narrow chamber, you won’t have much of a problem with wind resistance.
Like other cameras on this list, the FDRX3000 also has built-in image stabilization, so your videos and images are sure to come out smooth and professional. It is also capable of adjusting the angle of the view, has impressive zoom capabilities, and allows you to download footage via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or via a direct connection with a computer. The device is protected by a waterproof case, making it suitable for operation in the rain.
All the buttons on FDRX3000 are located at the top for easy access. You can access the settings and change them from the small screen on the side. This easy-to-use camera is the perfect choice if you have to travel a lot in humid environments.
Not everyone wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a motorcycle helmet camera just because they can afford it. You may be sceptical about these devices, especially if you are using them for the first time. Here’s what to keep in mind. Buying quality helmet cameras without spending good money is quite difficult. But thanks to Campark ACT74, you can own an action camera, which is cheap, yet equipped with all the features you may need during your adventure.
This camera is very popular amongst motorcycle enthusiasts not because of its low price, but for the impressive advantages it has over other high-end cameras. Sure, you won’t have a lot of accessories available in the market that are compatible with it, but if you want to record your rides without spending too much, Campark ACT74 is your answer.
While 1080p is usually sufficient for video recording, the device is capable of recording up to 4K, which is pretty impressive considering the price. With a 16MP image resolution, it can shoot slightly higher quality photos than some other expensive options like the GoPro Hero7. However, it lacks voice control.
Campark ACT74 comes along with two mounting brackets and two rechargeable batteries; each of which can last up to 90 minutes. Keep in mind that other high-end models usually use a single battery. The device is completely waterproof and you can take it with you on the rainiest trips.
DJI Osmo Action
DJI has continued to amaze its fans, and this time, they have achieved perfection by launching the Osmo Action camera for adventure enthusiasts.
Almost all action cameras have the same design. In this regard, the new product practically does not differ from competitors. But still, there are some key features that make them distinct from each other. For instance, Osmo has a round lens cap with screws (competitors have a square one), and if required, it is possible to replace the lens without any problems.
Synchronization with DJI Mimo Video Editor is supported. Through this application, you can configure the camera, download all the files from it and edit them. It has a dual screen, rear measures 2.25 inches, whereas the front measures 1.4 inches. Each of the screens has a resolution of over 300 pixels per inch. For this reason, they are crisp, beautiful, and have an excellent brightness. The Osmo Action camera is made of high-strength plastic and an anti-slip coating.
DJI has implemented a couple of synchronisation modules to connect to a smartphone and quickly transfer captured files. The connection can take place via Wi-Fi, as well as via Bluetooth.
Despite the fact that for DJI development of an action camera was a completely new direction. Yet, the company overcame this challenge with perfection. From the design point of view, DJI did not make a breakthrough, but the quality, performance, richness of functionality, and a wide range of modes have made Osmo one of the most desirable gadgets that is truly worth buying.
The Apeman A87 action camera is the last on the list, but this does not mean that it is the last in quality among motorcycle helmets cameras. It has all the impressive features that can be found in any high-end action camera, and you will have an access to all the tools that come equipped on an expensive option, yet you pay only a tenth of their price. In other words, this is another insanely affordable option for motorcyclists who are looking for a cheap but good quality action camera.
The model has been upgraded to record up to 4K HD resolution at 60fps. You will be able to record in several modes, including continuous loop, single frame, slow motion, and several other video modes depending on different environmental conditions. Thanks to the ultra-responsive touchscreen display on the side, you can quickly switch between different settings such as preview, footage playback and shooting.
It comes equipped with a carrying case and 22 different accessories, including two extra rechargeable batteries. Considering its price tag, the Apeman A87 is a great choice, especially if you’re just starting out as a beginner.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet Camera
Majority of the renowned brands have worked tirelessly to improve the reliability and functionality of their action cameras. So, whether you are into extreme or adventure motorcycle sports, action camera allows you to capture the moments with minimalistic difficulties. Lately, the market is filled with wide range of models that are equipped with wide variety of technical and operational characteristics. However, users should consider the following important aspects when choosing a motorcycle helmet camera.
- Ease of use; no matter how sleek, beautiful, lightweight, durable, and functional a camera is, it’s useless if you can’t use it. The last thing you want to do is fiddle with the device while riding. This is both risky and illegal, and it’s just not worth it. Try to choose models with single button or the ones that have voice control; the freer you are from the camera, the pleasant and safe your ride will be.
- Frames per second; choosing the right motorcycle sport camera should depend on several factors. First of all, pay attention to the image resolution that this camera offers. The best are 4K devices. Recording at 60fps or 30fps allows for smooth images even at higher speeds. Image stabilization is extremely important in motorcycle cameras. Thus, the frames are practically motionless even if you are driving on uneven surfaces. Usually, special suspensions are used for stabilization. In this case, there is no such need.
- Lens angle; the angle of the lens is very important. Narrow lenses (110 degrees) allow most of the terrain around the motorcycle to pass. Cameras with a wide angle lens (140-160 degrees) will be a much better choice, capturing not only what is happening in front of the motorcycle, but also the scenes on the sides.
- Resolution; modern day helmet cameras have a resolution of at least 1080 pixels. Take higher if possible, but don’t settle for less. While footage captured with a lower resolution camera may look decent on a small device like a smartphone, you definitely won’t enjoy viewing it on a wide screen TV, laptop, or computer. While 4K is usually too much, but you can choose 4K when you really need crystal clear images. One thing is certain; with 4K, you can be absolutely confident while displaying pictures even on the largest TV screens.
- Size; this is a no brainer, bulky or heavy cameras are not suitable for helmets. You don’t need anything to affect your posture or balance when riding a powerful vehicle like a motorcycle. Besides, a bulky camera takes away the fun of riding. It is best to choose lightweight, small or portable cameras. If you can feel the weight of the camera after attaching it to your helmet, then you should probably ditch it.
- Mounting options; a device with limited mounting options may not be the right fit for your needs. Consider options that provide the ability to mount on helmets, handlebars or other locations where you prefer to fix for a unique angle.
- Battery life; look for models that provide a battery backup of at least 90 minutes. It’s even better if you purchase models that have a backup of 120 minutes. After all, it’s the last thing that you would want to worry about during an adventure. Some models come with extra batteries, for instance, Campark ACT74. The set includes not one, but two additional batteries.
- Video capture settings; do you desperately need to shoot in 4K? Or is 1080p enough? What is your video editing skill level? Looking for image stabilization? These are some of the important questions to be answered before choosing the right action camera for your motorcycle helmet. Your answers will help save you money without having to spend it on unnecessary features.
- Touch screen; the built-in touchscreen is another useful feature that assists recording while riding. Touch screens allow you to quickly access and change settings or switch between modes. You can also preview your footage on screen before transferring it to your computer or other devices. Also note that some small cameras do not have a screen on the side or at the back. So, while portability is a great feature, you’ll have to find a balance between small size and the ability to easily change settings.
- Durability; choose a helmet camera with a durable body. Rugged, waterproof camera is suitable for recording in all weather conditions and on all bike tours. No matter how amazing the features are, you’re more likely to start looking for a new one if it turns out to be short-lived. Fortunately, all the cameras on this list are reliable and carefully selected. In addition, they are suitable for most of the motorcyclists.
- Storage options; if you want to record long duration videos, your best bet are cameras that record to an SD card. One of the worst things that can happen while recording is running out of memory. This bitter experience alone can darken your entire motorcycle trip, at least for a while. To prevent inconvenience, avoid cameras with features that only offer built-in storage.
- Transferability; many modern day action cameras have the ability to share beautiful photos and videos wirelessly. While wireless sharing is not a mandatory requirement, it makes things a lot easier while transferring files from one device to another.
- Sound; Sound quality only matters if you are using the action camera for specific purposes other than recording while riding a motorcycle. Wind noise at high speeds will drown out any engine sounds or your voice. So don’t get hung up on the quality of the sound, instead, focus on features that deliver high quality photos and recordings. However, if you need to record clear sounds, purchase a dedicated microphone for this purpose.
To fully enjoy the action camera, you need to choose between the models of well-known brands and manufacturers. Lately, there are many “incomprehensible” action cameras of unknown brands (mostly Chinese) available in the market, which are positioned by sellers as “100% replacement for GoPro action cameras, but 2 times cheaper”. You need to understand that “2 times cheaper” makes the quality of the components two times worse. Besides, these cameras rarely work appropriately for more than 2-3 months, after which a person is forced to either completely abandon an action camera or opt for a branded one.