While running I came across the most beautiful places. Wouldn't it be nice if we could record our performances so you could watch them again later.
So I bought an action camera. Did some small adjustments to make it possible to wear the camera’s body mount underneath my shirt instead of on top. And off I went! The biggest test with this setting was my first half marathon.
It didn't go as smoothly as expected and the footage was kind of shaky. After using a trick that I found on Youtube, I got the final time lapse movie less shaky, but I lost 2/3 the of my original images. Did I mention I had the camera set to record images instead of a movie? Camera set on movie or time lapse movie was not an option because of the shaking in the footage. So I choose the image recording option.
After some research I bought an electronic gimbal device. Why? I still haven't found the answer myself. You know how you sometimes buy useless stuff in an impulse? This was one of them. If you do the research, you better do it right. You can buy real professional gimbals. I found many possible good once but they were very pricy. (Between €150 and €500). Because I do not have a sponsor, I kept it as cheap as possible (€23)
Cheap is not always better. What was the problem? I just bought the wrong device that's all. I bought a device that was specially made for quadcopters (mounted underneath). Nothing wrong with that, except that it was a 2 axis controller that can only handle roll and pitch (tilt) rotation. While running the shaky part comes from a yaw (pan) rotation.
What I really needed was an electronic gimbal with a 3 axis controller. By the way, the 2 axis controller worked fine for the roll and pitch part. Was it a complete waste of money? No, the controller also came with a direction sensor. The mpu6050 can sense all 3 rotations. So if I would buy a 3 axis controller, I can still use the gimbal by only replacing the controller part and leaving the sensor and 2 axis brushless camera mount. Because I do not need to control the 3 rotations, a 2 axis mount should do just fine. But there is more. While testing the electronic gimbal, I notest that running with this device mounted at my chest, is not that comfortable at all. It is heavy and you have the wear extra batteries for the controller and electro motors. But difficult does not mean impossible, so I do not exclude the possibility that I will test this in the future.
Back to the drawing board. An other device I tested was a deshaker based on Anti-Vibration Rubbers. I am going to be very short about this: doesn't really do anything noticeable.
Next was the Gyroscope stabilizing device. This is still on the todo list. Haven't tested this because I having serious doubts about running with this kind of device mounted on my body. The devices are mostly used for making movies while you are walking around. Do not see myself running with a stick between my legs. Could be a nice Youtube movie dough.
Conclusion: all dough many shops will sell you a body camera mount, this kind of mount is not very suitable for steady recordings while running. No problem if your are just hiking or walking. All tests showed that the problem lies with pan (yaw) rotation. This can only be fixed with the correct kind of gimbal controller.
So what is next? Buying a 3 axis controller or placing the camera on my head. “Head?”, yes, I notest that the head is the most stable part of your body while running. But i'm not going to put the complete camera on my head, that would feel strange and unhandy. I would probably try to adjust an existing camera by removing the lens part from the camera box and rewire the whole piece so only the small lens can be place on top (or side) of my head. Buying a 3 axis controller (approx. €25) is also an option but I would still be struggling with fact that it is much too heavy on the body. I already have my eye on a very cheap 4K action camera. To be continued...