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Cameras/GoPros... and Some dam chat!

I’ve been seeing some amazing photos on Instagram taken from cameras or GoPros mounted to the bows of kayaks.
What do you use? How is it mounted?

Comments

  • edited January 12

    @Photecs I have two cameras a GoPro and an RP Tronix Primo HD camera. I use both the GoPro and RP on my Harley for long rides such as my xcountry trip from Mass to South Dakota (7k mile round trip in 14 days). GoPro low mounted on front fork and RP on my faring so I can turn it to face me or anywhere I want. I spend almost $700 on spare batteries and assessories for the GoPro vs. $349 for an ENTIRE kit from RP. RP caters to motorcycles but it is great on my kayak mounted with the included sticky taps and leashed to my yak. The RP is almost identical to the GoPro and I feel the Rp is much better for these reasons.

    • The parts and accessories come WITH the RP Tronix Primo camera vs. extra money with a GoPro.

    • The RP Tronix uses an RF Remote using button batteries vs. GoPro Remote being WI-FI sucking battery life down and only rechargeable with a special plug. (Lost two plugs so far...more money spent)

    • The RP Tronix has a waterproof remote
    • The RP Tronix goes into a auto “standby” mode and with a double click of the record or photo button turns on in about a second...GoPro always on and may not be recording but suck battery to keep Wi-Fi remote connected.
    • Cost is much cheaper for RP Primo and again comes with all accessories
    • GoPro and RP have the same HD Quality and I think RP actually looks better.

    Again, I do run both a GoPro and RP on my motorcycle but the RP is my go to for my yak.

    Here is a link to the RPTronix Primo HD camera. You can also watch comparison videos on YouTube.
    Hope my input helps

    http://ww.rptronix.com/index.html (link to site)

    All this below for $350


  • edited January 12

    I use a gopro some. There is a stills mode on the camera but I generally just shoot movies and do screen captures with software to create jpg stills. I don't like to turn the camera on and off a lot. Gopro movies themselves can be a bit tedious unless you change the camera angle and do a lot of cutting of footage. I generally shoot from the helmet mount as this eliminates some of the water droplets that get on the housing (like the photo below). Condensation can also be an issue with temperature changes. I have mounted a go pro directly on the kayak and it makes everything look bigger, like waves. The fish eye lense tends to bend or distort close up objects (notice the paddle shaft in the pic below) but I really haven't fooled with the settings much so maybe that could be corrected. Remember, just because a camera housing is "waterproof" doesn't mean it is "river proof". I've seen my share of lost and damaged cameras. I know firsthand that any saltwater is absolutely toxic to go pros fortunately they have improved the housing door design. I always run a tether from the camera to the helmet or if mounted on the boat, to a tie point as a back up. The large battery helps but you have to change out the housing door to use it. Hope that helps.

  • I went the cheap route with an amazon clone of the gopro. Not as good a picture but good enough for what I wanted. Plus only 45 bucks with all mounting hardware like shown above. I have mine on my helmet.

  • I heard just the other day that studies have been done that indicate you will remember more by observing carefully than by taking pictures (CBC Radio documentary). But that's totally against the grain, so whatever floats your boat - literally.

  • @dc9mm, that looks like a great option... especially to start with. Thanks.

  • @Photecs said:
    @dc9mm, that looks like a great option... especially to start with. Thanks.

    Yea they are so cheap if you lose it no big deal. They are not as good as the newer Go Pros but a friend has an real old one and its better than his old one. I think it was one of the first ones though. If you want it for pictures I would get a Go Pro. but for video its ok .

  • edited January 17

    There are lots of camera mounts available - suction cups for kayaks, clamps for canoes.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Camcorder-Mounts/ci/13931/N/4071351447

    Most people I know that use GoPro's use a helmet mount, and usually for video. If the objective is to get a picture, you will get a higher-quality image by taking a still rather than a screen-shot of a video, but whatever works. tdaniel's picture above looks pretty good.

    I have an old waterproof Pentex Optio that I use for pictures and video. I have two cameras, so I will mount one in the boat that I can point forward or back, and I will often put one on shore on a tripod. It takes a bit of time, so I don't do videos very often, but I did this one at my local park-and-play spot a couple of weeks ago - you can see the camera clamped to a thwart on front of the boat in the shots from shore. If I was going to do pictures this way I would set the camera to do timed interval shots.

  • @eckilson thanks for sharing

  • Nice one, Erik, but admit just looking at that dam on the video made me nervous given the Iowa thread.

    There's a small dam on a popular river up here. There are a couple of cables strung across the river just before the water flows over - perhaps to stop any foolish paddlers who ignored the warning signs posted along the shore upriver?

  • @Rookie said:
    Nice one, Erik, but admit just looking at that dam on the video made me nervous given the Iowa thread.

    That dam is nothing compared to the one in IA, but even so, you learn to stay away from them. Around here the rivers are smaller, but there are dams everywhere. The Slater Mill - the first water-powered textile mill in the country - is about 20 miles downstream from where I was paddling, and there are 11 dams in that 20-mile section. At one time, each provided power to a textile mill.

    http://eckilson.blogspot.com/2010/10/rolling-dam-blackstone-waterford-dam.html

    On just about any river trip you do around here (MA, RI, CT) you will have to deal with a dam, or a breached dam. In the video above the river was around 3 feet. The first half of this video is what it looks like at 7 feet.

    At flood stage (30 feet - I have only seen it once) the stone arches of the bridge are completely underwater and the river is dead flat but moving incredibly fast. Not someplace that you want to be.

    The second half of the video shows the Manville Dam, which is the next dam downstream, and another of my park-and-play spots. If you are interested, there are some pictures of the old Manville Mill here, and the collection of raceways, flywheels and belts provided power to the mill.

    http://eckilson.blogspot.com/2010/12/exploring-old-manville-mill-november.html

    Gone pretty far off topic for this post, sorry about that.

  • @Rookie said:
    There's a small dam on a popular river up here. There are a couple of cables strung across the river just before the water flows over - perhaps to stop any foolish paddlers who ignored the warning signs posted along the shore upriver?

    Yup - you see a lot of those around here - usually with orange floats on them. They last for a while, but eventually floods or ice take them out, so you need to replace them frequently.

  • Speaking of dams, I wish that the US would make more use of extended weirs on smaller rivers and streams, as the British do. In fact, the Brits design them specifically so that canoes and kayaks can slide down them without any risk by building them with a notch that provides an entry path over the lip. The long gradual runout of a concrete weir creates very little turbulence at the base. I had the pleasure of dropping in canoes and kayaks over several of these on rivers in Yorkshire on my trip there in 2017.

    One notable difference between the UK and the US is that the former designs much of their infrastructure around people (and their recreation) rather than commerce and machines. In fact they even build the weirs with whitewater recreation in mind -- the Howsham weir on the Derwent has gates in the mill outwash rapids for play and competitions. We crossed this one and the weir at Kirkham Abbey upstream. It's really quite fun and sure beats portaging. Fish can cross these safely too. This is one reason why you see more river paddlers in the UK in small WW boats rather than touring kayaks, even on rivers that are mostly flatwater.

    Howsham Mill, on the island in the background of the video, is an ancient medieval water-powered grain mill that was lovingly restored and converted to a hydropower generator with a turbine plus three Archimedes screws. No vehicles were allowed on the site -- all the moving of equipment and material was accomplished using horses. The island is a landscaped park with hiking trails and the mill building is open to the public and has facilities for classes in environmental science. In the US, the old mill probably would have been torn down and replaced with a fast food franchise or some rich snob's McMansion.

  • @eckilson said:

    @Rookie said:
    There's a small dam on a popular river up here. There are a couple of cables strung across the river just before the water flows over - perhaps to stop any foolish paddlers who ignored the warning signs posted along the shore upriver?

    Yup - you see a lot of those around here - usually with orange floats on them. They last for a while, but eventually floods or ice take them out, so you need to replace them frequently.

    One on that particular river is above the water. Can't recall how high it was, but it looked like it would certainly make body contact. Not sure if that's a life saving or liability issue. When the air temps get into positive numbers again, maybe I'll take another hike there and get a photo.

  • Mildly curious ... is that one of the remaining Boardman dams?

  • @rival51 said:
    Mildly curious ... is that one of the remaining Boardman dams?

    Bear River, which has the WW park.

  • @Rookie said:
    One on that particular river is above the water. Can't recall how high it was, but it looked like it would certainly make body contact. Not sure if that's a life saving or liability issue.

    Above the water - that's not good - hopefully no one is putting it there intentionally. Once you are out of the boat you are really at the whim of the current.

  • edited January 19

    @willowleaf said:
    Speaking of dams, I wish that the US would make more use of extended weirs on smaller rivers and streams, as the British do.

    We are starting to see those now. The weirs are designed to make it easier for fish to migrate upstream. Here is one on the Pawcatuck River in southern RI - a series of six stone weirs with a channel down the middle for paddlers.


    I some cases these dams have been there so long (this one dates back to the 1860's) that the wetlands behind them have become habitat for birds and other wildlife that they don't want to remove. There are also issues with contaminants in the sediments behind the dam. The weirs allow the dam and the wetland behind it to remain, but allow easier access for fish and people. Unfortunately, we don't have any with slalom courses yet.

    Now we have really hijacked this thread.

  • @Sparky961 said:
    I heard just the other day that studies have been done that indicate you will remember more by observing carefully than by taking pictures (CBC Radio documentary). But that's totally against the grain, so whatever floats your boat - literally.

    I think there is something to that, and that is why I don't take as many photos as I used to. But video requires no attention, until editing later - and that helps the memory, IME.

    I don't like watching video from helmet mounted cams though. Too jumpy, from all the head-turning.

  • Eckilson: I don't think we've hijacked it. The post is tagged for cameras AND dams.

    I'm happy to hear that there are some weir projects in the works this side of the Pond.

    I live in Pittsburgh, and our 4 major rivers, that combine to make the Ohio (which feeds the Mississippi eventually) all have a bunch of low head dams which have repeatedly proven deadly to boaters of all kinds. Two summers ago a local pair of young women bought rec boats and threw them into the Ohio upstream of a 16' low head, ignoring all the warning signs and buoys, even sending phone selfies of themselves (sans PFD's of course) just before washing over to their deaths (the PFD's would not have saved them but might have speeded up recovery of the bodies.) We've even had commercial marine craft become trapped in the outflow cauldron of low heads with the crew and pilots being killed.

    I have no data upon which to base the notion, but I would think that a low gradient weir is more durable and requires less maintenance than the conventional steep drop low head, though I suppose it might be more costly to build due to more material being needed to create the slope. But the absence of the scouring recirculating hydraulic at the base I imagine must mean less erosion over time. Should have thought about this before I retired from the big engineering company -- could have called the guys in the hydro division.

    I lived a few years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which has fish ladders on the Grand River (at the rapids, of course), so I've seen those.

  • @willowleaf said:
    Eckilson: I don't think we've hijacked it. The post is tagged for cameras AND dams.

    lol. Ya, I edited the title! All good.

  • Damn cameras - is that what this thread is about? :wink:

  • So we DID hi-jack it. Oops! (not sorry.)

  • edited January 20

    @willowleaf said:
    Eckilson: I don't think we've hijacked it. The post is tagged for cameras AND dams.

    I'm happy to hear that there are some weir projects in the works this side of the Pond.

    There are a couple around here - here is another. On this one they didn't even remove the old dam - just build the stone ramps on the downstream side

    Jim C running the Kenyon Dam

    I have no data upon which to base the notion, but I would think that a low gradient weir is more durable and requires less maintenance than the conventional steep drop low head,

    We'll see - neither of these has gone through a serious flood yet. Definitely safer that the traditional low-head dam.

  • I would love to see the camera portion of this thread continued sans dams.

    Jon
    http://3meterswell.blogspot.com

  • @Chodups said:
    I would love to see the camera portion of this thread continued sans dams.

    Feel fee to post something camera related.

  • edited January 20

    Here’s something with good reviews. Is it a GoPro? No. Is it going to be just fine for my needs. Yup.
    I’m sure this would even out perform first first couple generations of the GoPro, but yes, this won’t compare to a $709 setup. I think I’ll give it a shot along with a RAM twist suction mount.

    Apexcam 4K 16MP WIFI Action Camera:
    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07HP18CWC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_TQlrCbSADXM4K

  • ok, I'll take another nibble again at the original thread. OP inquired specifically about gopro but really prefer a jvc camcorder for stills and video. The tricky thing is holding it steady while still on the water in the boat. I keep it in a dry box in the boat when I have it stowed but mostly I just stuff it down the sprayskirt tunnel for quick access. I've yet to swim with it, and there's a good chance I'd lose it in that case.

    a couple of stills

    http://camcorder.jvc.com/product.jsp?modelId=MODL029410&pathId=171&page=10

  • @Photecs said:
    Here’s something with good reviews. Is it a GoPro? No. Is it going to be just fine for my needs. Yup.
    I’m sure this would even out perform first first couple generations of the GoPro, but yes, this won’t compare to a $709 setup. I think I’ll give it a shot along with a RAM twist suction mount.

    Apexcam 4K 16MP WIFI Action Camera:
    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07HP18CWC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_TQlrCbSADXM4K

    I wasn't aware of so many lower-priced cameras. Does anyone know any boaters who are actually using them and could comment?

    Jon
    http://3meterswell.blogspot.com

  • It was DC9mm’s post near the top of this thread that turned me onto them. I had no idea there were cheaper GoPro clones either... but really, what isn’t there a knock off of today?
    Reviews on amazon are great, some of which specify kayaking.

  • How many among us are using GoPro knock offs with success? I'm interested but don't want to be a test pilot.

    Jon
    https://3meterswell.blogspot.com

  • edited January 22

    Iam on my second knock off. The first one lasted 2 summers but started shutting off after about 15 minutes of video. You can still use it but have to restart after 15 minutes. It was a 1080 model at 30 fps;. I now have the 4k one BUT still shoot 1080 at 60 fps. I saw not much better quality in 4k plus that was only 30 fps. I have mine on my helmet and it comes with a water proof case it goes into plus a crap load of mounts. I tried taking just stills but wasn't happy with quality of stills. I use my waterproof camera for stills. Much better. The video is NOT as good as the newer go pros. But its good enough for me. If money was plentiful I would buy a go pro,.

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