Camera Setup
 
Camera
Photography is one of my hobbies and I wanted to find a way to take pictures of some of the great sights we see while riding our bike.  The problem was, my primary camera is a Canon digital SLR which is far to heavy (and expensive) to mount on bicycle handlebars!  The first camera that I used was a Nikon Cool Pix 4500.  This camera made a nice "bike cam," in fact most of the pictures on this website were taken with it.  One great feature is that the portion of the camera housing the lens rotates (see picture to the left).  With the camera mounted on the bike I can take pictures of what is in front of us or rotate the lens 180 degrees (toward the back) and take pictures of us with scenery in the background.  Unfortunately, age started taking it's toll on that camera.
In looking for a replacement, I still wanted a camera that would allow me to take our "self portraits," and yet be small, light, and relatively inexpensive.  I ended up getting a Samsung TL210.  The primary reason was the second LCD screen on the front.  In some ways it doesn't work as well as my old one, but it was the best I could find that met all my criteria.
 
Mount
The only stock camera mounts I could find do not allow for easy camera adjustments while riding the bike.  Specifically the ability to pan from side to side.  If you want a fixed mount, models like those made by Ram Mounts (far left) would work fine.  But there are often sights I want to capture that are not directly in front of us.  I also like to take "self portraits" of the two of us while we're riding, which means I need to rotate the camera around.   I decided I really needed some of the the functions of a tripod.  The unit I bought is a DJ-80 monopod mount made by Benro (near left).  After finding the right mount, then I just needed to figure out how to fabricate a way to attach it onto my handlebars!
My big challenge was finding the right place to put the camera.  It had to be high enough to shoot above the fairing, but couldn't block my view of the road.  It also needed to be far enough to one side so when shooting our "self portraits" we're both in the picture.  Plus, it needed to be in easy reach since I'm taking pictures while riding down the road.  Once I settled on the right location, I just had to play around with various hardware to make it work.
 
Initial Concept  
At first I wasn't sure the bike cam idea was going to work at all.  I thought the vibrations would be so bad that at least half of the pictures would be blurry.  What I discovered was that the shutter speed was high enough so that only about 10 - 20% of the images are unusable.  The picture to the left was my original handlebars with my trial camera mount.  It was a clamp-on mount that I found at a local photography store.  I clamped it on the handlebars and then used electrical tape and "zip ties" to secure it further.  It did it's job, it proved that my idea would work!  The system above is actually my the third or fourth generation camera system, but it all started this this one.
 

 
 
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