MotoComm Ridercam 30F for helmets and handlebars – Review
There are so many things wrong with the MotoComm Ridercam 30F, it’s hard to know where to start. So I thought I’d start with what’s right with it.
The Good Aspects of the Ridercam 30F
The camera comes with a range of mount options, including helmet and handlebars. There are so many of these bits and pieces, I’m not even sure what they’re all for. And it comes with a useful little bag to hold all the bits and pieces. (Unfortunately the bag looks and feels cheap, but it is still a bag.)
Finally, as you would expect with a helmet cam, it’s small and very light. Also black and shiny and pretty good looking.
That’s about it for what I actually like about this camera.
The Bad Aspects of the Ridercam 30F
I have had this camera for seven months, and I have really tried to make it work. Tried and tried and tried and tried. But I have not succeeded. All I have achieved is to take vast amounts of useless video footage, including:
- Endless footage of the pavement on the Central Valley Roadway (just the pavement, nothing else).
- Ditto of the Sea to River Route in Burnaby.
- An enormous amount of footage of cyclists on the Stanley Park Seawall, all taken sideways – so that you can only watch it if you tilt your head 45 degrees to the left – not recommended, as I can tell you from personal experience. (Not to mention how the physiotherapist looks at you like you’re an idiot when you tell him how you hurt your neck. And it’s hard to disagree.)
- Limited amounts of footage that are actually the right way up, but where the sound has been mysteriously replaced by a series of clicks.
In short, I have taken far better videos with my little Canon SureShot that I bought for $60 off Craigslist.
So why all the problems with angles? Simple: I discovered that once you mount the camera, it is almost physically impossible to UN-mount it, unless you have the strength of Shrek. So I elected to just leave it permanently attached to my old helmet. This was a mistake, because on the helmet, you have absolutely no way of telling what angle your camera is at until you download the footage and find yourself staring at endless views of undulating pavement – and nothing else. Or find that the world appears to have turned sideways.
Apart from the depressingly awful footage, the Ridercam 30F also has these problems:
- The controls are TINY, so if you don’t have a pen with you, you can’t work them. (I would be prepared to accept this if the trade-off was a great camera, but it really isn’t.)
- There is no battery meter, so you don’t know your battery is low until the camera just stops working.
- The on/off button is very poor quality – really not what you’d expect on a camera that set you back more than $200.
- The sound quality was reasonable at first, but after just seven months, it seems to be broken and is really awful.
- It does not come with a memory card, and when you buy it online from the Source it does not remind you about this, so when your camera arrives and you set off excitedly to use your new toy, you discover you don’t have a memory card, and are highly annoyed … plus you cannot just use any old memory card lying around in your camera bag, because the Ridercam 30F requires a special, tiny card (smaller than the nail on my pinkie).
Bottom Line on the Ridercam 30F
A helmet cam without an LCD viewing screen is worse than useless … after I return this horror to the Source I will shell out the extra money for a camera that includes this feature. I replaced it with the V.I.O. POV 1.5, which is a much better helmet cam (I reviewed it here). I used it to make the video below of the Stanley Park Seawall.