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My aim : (purpose - long drive activity)

  • to record a 10-12 hour long video (not a time lapse)
  • possibly ultrawide (upwards of 130 degrees or something like a super-view from GoPro)
  • higher resolutions upwards of 2k or 2.7k
  • physical size not too Huge (not aiming for bigger than around 10x8x5 inches in general)
  • Cannot Spend More Than $1200 Just For Camera Unit Alone.
  • not overtly complex to set up and control

My Flexibilities :

  • Am willing to get a big power-bank (already have a 600-750 Amps battery jumper of my car that can power most of my electronics for 10 hours straight)
  • Am willing to get high quality max-memory storage cards
  • Am ok with it being a dash cam, rash cam, stash cam or mickey-mouse's twinkle eyes for that matter (i believe you get the point). Could be any category of cam.

My research so far : I searched twice for around 3 to 4 days on the internet on this matter but couldn't find any valuable clarity of guidance and gave up today. Mostly found people frantically sharing what they know in the world and having nothing to do with the context/matter of the question. for eg :- found individuals who started describing how handsome Brad Pitt would look in a specific lens as opposed to another specific lens (which obviously had nothing to do with the question).

From my search, the only helpful and relevant pages I found were the following :

My Thots : (layman level)

  1. Would a newest model of GoPro be able to do this? (thinking if I remove battery and connect to power-bank the whole time)
  2. Are there dash cams which can do this?
  3. If yes, then what are the cautions do I need to take?
  4. Are there rental services for this kind of tech?

Can i achieve this task? Really want to know before I start buying a wrong setup only to fail and suffer some un-reasonable expenditure per my current budget.

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2 Answers 2

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Partial, started as a comment but anyway:

If its a driving setup, surely dash cams are a route to look at:

  1. Recording times would only be limited by card capacity (can be set to overwrite or just stop when full).
  2. Wide angle, wide dynamic range.
  3. Powered constantly via USB to vehicle.
  4. Not large.
  5. hi res (but..)

The -but- with dash cams is that the camera tech is lower quality video compared to GoPro even though it might be hi-res.

I do not have a specific model to look at because the market is saturated. Just need to look at the higher spec ones.

Heres an example:

  1. BlackVue DR900
  2. 8 megapixels CMOS sensor recording in 4K Ultra High Definition (3840x2160) at 30FPS
  3. 162-degree angle takes full advantage of the 4K UHD resolution
  4. 128 gig sd card – 4K UHD @ 30 fps – 10HR 40Min
  5. 7.64 x 4.84 x 3.9 inches
  6. 1.65 pounds
  7. $600 (i think with card)

I think this has been out for a while, so there are a few variations of it.

But yeah, this is what I do for long drive recording.

But before dashcams and GoPro were a thing:

I recall doing a setup like this many decades ago, for recording military ops, which of course required wide angle, long periods of recording and was not too large (mounted on BA, kpots, weaps, etc ). This was of course before GoPro, but to a degree, GoPro would still not suite your needs due to limitations of recording times. I looked at new cheap tech and ended up with hard drive video recorders, custom battery banks, and bullet cameras, the latter kept the size down but i needed cables to battery and hard drive recorder packs. For even smaller and longer, I also tried early CCTV tech. - but this was for wearing it. Sounds like you're in a vehicle, so less of an issue.

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  • Clarification : This is really helpful information. So then if choose to upload this 4K-UHD-30fps video to Youtube for my future use, would the video quality still look good after the youtube's compression kicks in? or would it become ruined/horrendous ?. Basically, i will upload it to youtube to empty the space in my memory cards for next. I am ok if the quality goes down slightly BUT i Dont want it to look horrible. i am ok AS LONG AS the vid looks not the highest but still high quality n clear with negligible stretching or pixelating or blurring u know what i'm'sayin?
    – Code Man
    Feb 24 at 3:21
  • I have heard from people that when you upload a dash cam video to youtube the quality becomes horrible or you get a lot of sun glare/reflection if you are opp to sun etc etc. I dont want to face that. See, as long as a 4k becomes 3.2K or smthing i am ok with it........... Also in that case what would your opinion or recommendation be? a GoPro Hero 10 plugged to power source with max quality memory card , OR , A Latest BlackVue DR 900/1000/1million. I ask so much bcz it is my first time.
    – Code Man
    Feb 24 at 3:30
  • @CodeMan the only future use for a video on Youtube is for final viewing, you could not use it after that for editing or processing - thats where you need to save the original files - those are the files you work with. Never use YT as a storage option. Anyone will tell you thats a huge nope. If you need to dump and run, dump to a portable hard drive - get multiple cards and just swap them out, dump when you got more time, to a drive (either self contained or via pc). Feb 24 at 4:36
  • Glare and reflection - better dashcams will cope with it better but unlikely to eliminate, but you will have that whatever camera you choose. You can't avoid it if you're going to shoot into the sun or whatever. Whether GoPro or dashcam or anything else, YT will squeeze the life out of it. Quality-wise, GoPro is always better but won't have the recording time, dashcam, despite being hi res, will always be inferior, but gives you the recording time. For recording and storage - multiple cards and hard drives every time. Feb 24 at 4:40
  • ahh, this is extremely helpful and gives me clarity. It seems like i might have to go with a GoPro plugged into the power source for the whole time because my end goal is to have a clean/clear watch quality when i upload and avoid pixelation or stretch-up or any kind of blurr or similar downgrading. Maybe i will have to point AC vent to it directly and switch memory cards with multiple 512 GBs. The blackvue option is very attractive tho, its just that i am concerned about end visual quality. VHTY.
    – Code Man
    Feb 24 at 4:51
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A software-side comment:

I have a note for you that might be helpful, but it only addresses a narrow section of your question and might not be what you're looking for. I'll share in case you're interested.

If the camera hardware you obtain is able to be used as a webcam (i.e., you can plug it in as a USB and it is selectable on your computer), which seems to be possible with a GoPro after a quick google search, a rather minimal Python script using the OpenCV module can collect either individual frames* or segments of video**. Making your own software can really cut down on costs and also allows you to control finer aspects.

Note that this all could be managed with a Raspberry Pi and an external hard drive, which might just barely fit within your size requirements.

Hope this helps!

*easier to store on hard drive, and don't require footage gaps, but requires converting back to video, but that's not too bad

**ready-made video files, but might require small gaps in footage (a few seconds at most) to allow for the computer to save video files

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  • Yes, this is definitely very helpful. Yes i agree it is a great idea to get a script going which can manage storage, with the webcam mode that wud be less resource hungry than other modes. This was good to know and will keep in mind proceeding with my decision.
    – Code Man
    Feb 26 at 16:36

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