With the implementation of a new law in Georgia about using electronic devices while driving a vehicle, I’m faced with the choice of either ceasing contributions to Mapillary altogether, or buying an action camera to use as a dashcam, which the law provides an exception for when shooting video (but who’s going to know if I have it in photo mode, right?).
After reading through pretty much all of the current forum threads on the subject (most of which are fairly old, actually), it appear that there has been a wide range of experiences with various models. All of the available forum information has my head spinning, so I wanted to see if I could get some condensed answers from people with experience with various models in one place. I’ll outline what I’m looking for, some of the Mapillary-related features as I understand them, and see if anyone has any recommendations or at least can tell me if his/her camera does or doesn’t fit. There is a lot of brainpower in this forum, and quite a few people have done many experiments and tests with different models. I’m counting on y’all to help me figure this out.
- Inexpensive. Which is probably the least-achievable one in the list, but I can hope
- Usable while connected to vehicle power (i.e., not dependent on battery power to operate)
- 12MP photos minimum
- Car mountable
- Integrated GPS
- Camera logs GPS data to photos (i.e., doesn’t require merging GPS data later using an app)**
- Remote control or voice control (to comply with the law which prohibits touching the camera to operate it)
- Screensaver or screen-off operation (to help comply with the law, which prohibits watching on-screen video when operating a motor vehicle)
- 128GB SD card supported at a minimum; bigger would be better
- Produces high-quality (not just high-resolution) pictures with appropriate ISO & other settings
- Produces reasonable pictures in low-light conditions
- If in time-based capture mode, will pause taking pictures when stopped (I don’t think I found any that would do this, but asking in case someone knows of one)
- 360 degrees. I’ll be mounting it inside a car. 360 is useless there. But, if the camera meets what I need, and can be used in a non-360 mode, then it’s a contender.
As best I can tell, none of the cameras that would work with Mapillary will do distance-based capture, like the phone app does, but if someone knows of a reliable, compatible camera that does, speak up!
Also, unless something has changed and I just missed the post, the Mapillary Android app still doesn’t have any camera integration/control capability, correct? Only the iPhone app does that?
At the moment, the GoPro Hero5 seems to be the lowest-cost camera that fits everything and is reliable. But I’m open to other opinions, especially if they cost less!
And I’m sure I’ve forgotten an item or two from my lists, but they’ll probably come up in the ensuing discussion.
** If someone has after-imaging GPS merging working super seamlessly, easily, and that requires minimal manual intervention, then it might be something I’d consider.