What is the best camera for a motorcycle?


It’s great to capture your ride and the surrounding scenery in photographs, but a fragile SLR camera can be ruined by the vibrations and shocks of a motorcycle.

I found the best place to position them on a bike so they didn’t rattle to pieces was on in the tank bag, surrounded by a sponge or some soft material. Otherwise, keep them in a backpack.

Despite these precautions, I’ve still ruined several expensive SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras by carrying them with me on a ride.

Action cameras such as the ubiquitous GoPro are now being used to capture still photographs.

GoPro camera
GoPro Hero 4

These robust units are made to withstand the vibrations and shocks associated with road and even off-road riding, and they are usually waterproof.

However, they are limited in the adjustments you can make to get the best photographs. They are usually better for video when fitted to your helmet, body or bike.

While compact digital cameras are fine on a motorcycle as they are robust and will fit in your jacket pocket, they lack versatility for truly professional shots.

If these are fine, you will probably also be satisfied just sing your smartphone camera.

Digital camera

However, if you want to take high-quality photographs, you should be looking for something that is lightweight, easy to operate with gloves on, can swap lenses and is mirrorless.

By mirrorless, we mean it has an electronic viewfinder screen, rather than the optical viewfinder on a an SLR.

They are much more robust as they don’t have the delicate mirror and prism system for viewing through the lens.

They tend to be the same size as a compact digital camera, with the added bonus of being able to interchange lenses.

Canon EOS-M3 mirrorless camera allows interchangeable lenses
Canon EOS-M3 mirrorless camera allows interchangeable lenses

Plus, if you have older lenses from another SLR, by using an adapter, you have the flexibility of being able to use those on your new camera.

It is perfect for putting in your backpack, tankbag or panniers and taking with you wherever you ride. Plus, your bike can double up as a tripod when you need it.

The only drawbacks are that in direct sunlight it can be difficult to see what is on the screen and unless you keep the camera in a soft pouch, you can easily scratch and damage the screen.

They are also usually not waterproof.


  1. Just bought a Panasonic action cam weight at 45grams I have had it on my helmet and the video is very good and clear it does loop recording with high speed also you can view and change settings the footage on your phone with wifi. It is small and light but hard to turn on and off with gloves. I also use a contour which is easy to turn on and off with gloves on between the two it’s the contour every time.

  2. What do people think about a smartphone – iPhone 6 Plus for example. They have pretty good resolution these days but the problem is the lack of flexibility with the lens. Has anyone tried those add on lenses for them

    1. Hi Jacob,
      I’ve managed to take photos with an iPhone (4S, right up to 6+) that have been used as double-p[age spreads in glossy motorcycle magazines, so the resolution is just fine!
      The only problems with smartphones are the lack of lens interchangeability and managing tough lighting situations.

      1. I guess they win with durability and ease of carrying but yes, there has to be a compromise somewhere. Thanks for the advice Mark 🙂

    2. You’ll probably have to try a photo magazine to get a definitive answer to that question. I’ve seen the case mount lenses and one that sticks on with a suction cup that I’ve been tempted to try. It would be good to know If you have any luck with one.
      I just bought a k1s dual camera dashcam to fit to the bike as well as a Perfect brand action cam that unlike a GoPro does loop recording and has a g sensor so it can double as a dashcam, that I Velcro’d to the top of my helmet.

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