Spring Riding On-Bike Photography

A Sunday in the teens (Celsius) meant that riding was inevitable.  The Tiger had been sitting in the garage as it hailed and snowed outside this past week, but once again we get a break in the neverending Canadian winter, so off I go.

In the fall I got a Ricoh Theta V, so this was the first go at on-bike photography with it.  Using the mount I made last year, I attached the new camera (same form factor and similar size to the SC I’d used before) and off I went for the first ride over to The Forks of the Credit and Higher Ground.

The ThetaV has better processing power for video than the older model, but the camera is similar spec, so still photos, where I like to work, weren’t likely to change.  Once nice thing about the V is that it processes way faster, so can do a photo every 4 seconds instead of the old camera’s one every eight.  Having twice the chance of catching a good corner was no bad thing and resulted in a number of good shots as I rode up and down The Forks, usually behind confused people driving beige minivans as slowly as they possibly could.  I waited for a gap on the return ride and got a bit luckier with space, though it was pretty busy on the first sunny Sunday of the year.

Winter run-off everywhere meant a cautious line, but the Tiger on Michelins is always sure footed whether it’s on snow runoff or piles of sand left over from winter.

I guess someone missed the switchback – bet it was a fast and furious type…

Stuck behind that tool in a big maroon mini-van again, so I’m waiting for a gap.  Nothing more frustrating than riding for an hour to find some curves only to be stuck behind a yobbo in a mini-van.

Quality of photo is similar between the ThetaSC and the ThetaV, but the V takes way more photos quickly, so you’re more likely to capture a good moment.

Parked up at Higher Ground in Belfountain. Don’t order a specialty coffee if it’s busy – the regular brew is good and you get it right away.

As capable as the V is, it suddenly flashed out on me when I went to ride home and wouldn’t start.  This was a bit of a surprise as all previous Thetas have been astonishingly tough.  The Theta V seems to have magically fixed itself today, but now I’m wondering if it’s up to the job.

In the meantime they’ve come out with the Theta Z1, a higher resolution 360 camera with a faster lens and even faster processing performance, including in-camera stitching of images together.  It looks very nice, but if my first upgrade won’t take photos when I need it to after it’s first real weekend of use, I’m second guessing a bigger, more expensive step further.

In another meanwhile, GoPro has the Fusion 360 camera, which is tough and offers similar high resolution imaging.  It’s a bit of a brick, so the Theta still seems like a more aerodynamic and logical choice for on-bike photography, but not if it doesn’t work.  More to come.  Hopefully this in-and-out Theta V was a one time thing.

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