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Videos

Videos can be a great way of recording driving sessions and they can also help you improve your driving or share the fun with your friends.

Co driver training videos (rally)

ESPR SS8 w/ pace notes

ESPR SS4 w/ pace notes


On-board cameras

The popular GoPro camera is a favorite among racers. We also use ContourRoam cameras that are cheaper and better adapted to some uses.
Here are the pros and cons of each camera:
  GoPro Contour
 Price$200 for older models up to $450 for more recent one ContourRoam 3: $85
Other models are way more expensive and not worth it (avoid GPS, not high frequency enough)
 BatteryVery weak point of the GoPro even if you turn it off when not in use and don't use Wifi.
Get the Wasabi kit for additional batteries and charger
 The Contour will usually last the whole day but the battery is not replaceable and you can only recharge the camera through USB. You will have to recharge between sessions if your battery runs low.
 MountsThe GoPro comes with few sticker mounts.
Get the suction cup mount for $25.
If you have a rollbar, get the rollbar mount for $17.
The Contour comes with few sticker mounts.
The suction cup mount costs $40.V
For rollbars get the flex strap mount for $15.
Video/Sound quality720p at 30fps is usually enough for most racing conditions and it will use a reasonable amount of storage on your SD card. No need to go crazy with higher definition or higher fps. Luminosity remains a challenge in the cockpit and sound quality is pretty bad whatever you do. Sound is always challenging in racing situations but the GoPro case has 2 doors (one open, not waterproof and 1 closed, waterproof) that can mitigate wind noise. Some versions allow the connection of an external microphone. 720p at 30fps is usually enough for most racing conditions and it will use a reasonable amount of storage on your SD card. The image quality is pretty comparable to the GoPro and the image quality will mostly depend on the luminosity and what weather you have that day at the track. The sound recording is just average and there is no option to use an external microphone imput.
Ease of useThe GoPro has many options and is not easy to use. If someone presses the wrong button you can easily change modes and if you are using Wifi to check your setup the battery will drain very quickly. The camera is also bulky which prevents pretty much from attaching it to a helmet. When attached to the side of the car you will need multiple adapters to be able to put the camera in a position where it will face up.The Countour is much more compact than a GoPro and it just has a slide button to start/stop recording (very easy to turn on once you are strapped in the car). The camera can be put in any position and you can just turn the front lense to align 0 degree with the vertical. It is also very easy to put on a helmet with the provided sticker mounts. The Countour is waterproof but the lense can be scratched in rough conditions, you can order replacements for cheap (when they are in stock) from Contour.
 PartsThere are plenty of vendors selling accessories and parts for GoPros. They are pretty sturdy cameras but if you scratch the housing in front of the lense, a replacement housing will cost you about $50. If the front lense of your Contour is scratched, you can replace it easily. It usually costs more in shipping than the price of the plastic lense. Buy in bulk!

Here is a video that shows our setup for RallyX:

Videos at RallyX


Video rendering software

If you are taking videos from different cameras, you will need to edit the footage to integrate it in a nice looking video.
After using Sony Movie Platinum Studio 12 for more than a year, it is really painful to use and pretty slow especially to render final videos. The ergonomics are terrible and I would not recommend it to anyone.
I am now using Power Director Ultra and while it has its reliability issues, it is much better, faster and overall easy to use. It allows you to synchronize multiple clips automatically by analyzing their audio track which makes it a breeze to edit multicam videos.
To integrate telemetry data, I started using RaceChrono2AVI which is free and allows you to render only the telemetry as a video clip that you can integrate the way you want in your own video using Power Director. It is not very reliable or pretty and can quickly become tedious to use. I recommend paying the $40 or $50 for RaceRender 2 that will give you many options to include a customize telemetry overlay in your videos. RacerRender also includes tools to visually synchronize the telemetry with the video which is always the tedious part.
Another tool that we tried as DashWare but at the time it was lacking some of the features of RaceRender and was not attractive at the asking price.

Here is an example of a video made with Power Director and RaceRender:

Best of compilation for 2013