My Moto Vlogging Kit
Updated: May 4, 2020
The Yellow Forza which involves me riding my scooter around Thailand and visiting places away from the normal tourist scene as well as some of the famous attractions. For those unfamiliar with scooters the Honda Forza 300 is a mid size scooter and quite capable of travelling long distances without putting too much strain on the rider. I have written posts about my camping trip in January/February of 2020 all 4,000km of which were done without a single issue as far as the bike is concerned, in total the bike has done 28,000km and apart from regular servicing it has never seen a mechanic.
Much of my riding is filmed and documented, partly as a means of having proof if there are any accidents I am concerned in (as a foreigner here it is easy to be blamed for things that are not your fault) but mainly to show the world what riding a scooter in Thailand involves. To do this obviously requires a set-up consisting of video, sound, and also a means of editing the footage into the final videos seen on YouTube. This post will review everything I need to make the accompanying video which I will then also post to the basvlogit YouTube channel.
The most basic necessity is obviously a camera, I normally use two cameras when filming a vlog and that is usually but not always one facing forwards and one to the rear. I have mounts attached to the front of the fairing, one on my topbox, two on my helmet, and one on the rear of the bike. These cover a variety of angles and the cameras easily swap between the mounts in a few seconds. My two main cameras for motovlogging are both GoPros, with the Hero 8 Black being the latest and the Hero 7 Black almost being just as capable, but not quite. Quite often I will run with no microphone and let the onboard mics record the surrounding sounds, but at other times I will use the Rode Wireless Go microphone to record my voice onto the front facing microphone. Add to that my Ejeas intercom system and a mobile phone with Google Maps acting as a navigator and I have all I need to travel anywhere I like and film it for posterity. However, recently we purchased an app called Relive which will record the journey and any highlights which can be recorded via the phones camera, this will also become a regular feature of future vlogs.
I shoot in 4k as YouTube will then be forced to process the footage using a high quality codec. Action footage will look very blocky if shot in 1080, unless you have a high number of subscribers in which case YouTube will automatically use their high quality codec when compressing your uploads. Filming at 60 frames per second (FPS) would allow me to show things in slow motion, but this also adds considerably to the storage required for possibly ten seconds of dramatic footage. For this reason I film almost everything in 4k at a frame rate of 24 FPS this means the quality is as high as possible but there is not the possibility of slow motion action shots as I overtake Ferrari's. Shooting at 24fps also uses less processing power than a higher rate so batteries will drain slower, still quickly, but slower.
The difference in quality between the two cameras is noticeable but not overly so, the Hero 8 has better stabilisation and in my opinion produces a better image but this is not as clear after it has been edited and uploaded. One real advantage the Hero 7 has over its younger brother is that the lens cover is replaceable, so if a stone was to get flicked up by the car in front and it chipped the lens, this would not be a disaster; the Hero 8 is not replaceable and although GoPro use a toughened glass as the lens if this was to chip then the camera may as well be thrown into a bin, for this reason alone my front facing camera is almost always my Hero 7. My Rode Wireless Go microphone sits in a cold-shoe on top of the Hero 7's case and plugs directly into the camera, the other half of the mic goes inside another cold shoe in my helmet and connects up to a Rode lavalier microphone which lives permanently inside my helmet
I will go in to more detail on specific items in future reviews, this article is just covering the basic set-up. As stated earlier we have a subscription to an app called Relive which you may find of interest. It is just a very quick and easy way to track any activity you do in the outdoors, here is an example of a completed Relive video from the ride I took in making the basvlogit vlog.
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