Roadhawk Bullet R+ camera
The Bullet R+ is a higher-resolution replacement for the Roadhawk Ride, recording 1080p (or 720p) video. For such a tiny camera – it weighs 62g by itself and about 100g mounted – the video quality is excellent. I could stop the playback and easily read number plates. The 135-degree field of view is good too. It’ll record 90 minutes video on the supplied 8Gb SD memory card; 16Gb and 32Gb cards are available. You can record in one chunk or on a 15-minute loop, automatically overwriting earlier footage to stop the card becoming full. Run-time from the integral battery is the limiting factor. Roadhawk say 60-90 minutes; I often got less before the camera turned itself off without warning. An extra battery pack, with cable, is £40.
I didn’t like the single button operation. There’s no positive click, just a whirring noise, a blue/green light that’s hard to see in sunlight, and a brief laser flash so you know where it’s pointing. I sometimes turned it on and off again by accident. I didn’t like the stick-on helmet mounts either. Only one would fit my Bell Array helmet securely, and only on the side. That made the helmet feel unbalanced. Not having the optional strap-on helmet mount (£12.95), I used an Exposure Lights helmet mount – a vast improvement.
I had teething problems editing the footage on my i7 Macbook Air. The camera’s H.264 MOV files didn’t always play nicely with Photos, Quicktime, iMovie or VLC, flashing up error messages or failing to save. Windows PC users or those with more video experience may have an easier time. I did finally produce edited footage, adding a soundtrack as the camera’s audio isn’t great. In summary: an excellent little video camera that’s only limited by its battery life, audio quality, and learning curve.
This was first published in the June / July 2015 edition of CTC's Cycle magazine.