Automatters & More

Automatters & More

Press access, in-depth reporting & pro photography on a wide variety of topics.

Jan Wagner
I just added a very cool, professional "Jack Ryan Training Field" VR experience video (Amazon Prime Video) from my coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2018 to "Riderless BMW Motorcycle Defies Gravity at CES 2018" (AutoMatters & More #574). This is in addition to my video that shows the riderless BMW motorcycle in action at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Jan @tribe
Jan Wagner
I've done it again! Due to the popularity of this week's post about the 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition, I went back into it, added a video of the RF top retracting (on a non-30th Anniversary Edition car, since they are not available yet), added and replaced some photos, and rewrote and reedited much of the text -- in part due to some additional research. Here is a direct link. Jan @tribe
Jan Wagner
I just edited and added two videos to this week's "Road Trip Day Trip in Orange County, California" post: the train and the mountain lion leaping from the tree. Jan
Jan Wagner
What are your thoughts about the passing of the long-established format of "The Grand Tour," and which were your favorite episodes?
I, for one, will really miss the familiar format of "The Grand Tour" and, before that, "Top Gear" on the BBC, as presented by Clarkson, Hammond and May. Sadly, their chemistry together cannot and will not be replaced.
Their two programs gave us marvelous gifts in each of their many series, a wonderful combination of:
- Amazing road trips around the world, in cars and trucks ranging from the truly exotic to the wacky to the ones that were mercifully relegated to the automotive scrap yard of history
- Ingenious and usually hilarious vehicle builds (long live John, the 4x4 that could -- and did!).
Engaging audience interaction.
- Hot laps by an expert driver to determine which cars were quickest and slowest on the show's private track.
Conversations between the presenters about car news and miscellaneous events of the day.
- Interviews with celebrities, complete with their on-track adventures. At least these will live on in the archives.
At least we can still look forward to specials.
Jan Wagner, AutoMatters & More tribe
Jan Wagner
Hey everyone. I need your help.

I would like to begin shooting usable video of these road trips, through the top passenger side of my windshield, with my Nikon A1000 pocket camera, but the video I am getting has excessive vibration.

Last Saturday I mounted the camera on a Panavise mount with an attached Panavise extension arm (necessary to get the camera away from the inside of my Miata's windshield) and a metal cellphone clamping attachment. I'm reasonably certain that the Panavise extension arm is amplifying the vibrations, so I will next try stuffing soft foam between the arm and the inside of my car's windshield, to simulate hand-holding the camera.

Using the threaded camera mount (instead of the clamping cellphone mount attachment) to attach the camera would position the camera upside down.

Nikon's A1000 DOES have Image Stabilization but, like with iPhones, it does a terrible job of controlling vibrations in a vehicle -- especially on anything other than a very smooth road surface.

How effective is the Image Stabilization on GoPros for smoothing out automobile vibrations? I suppose I could buy a GoPro if it has good Image Stabilization for vehicles, but the Nikon is a perfectly good, small camera, and it shoots RAW.

I am leaving on Wednesday to go to "Miata Reunion" at Laguna Seca Raceway this weekend. There are over 1,200 Miatas registered, and we will get to do parade laps around the track. I would like to shoot a usable video of that.

Thank you.

Jan @tribe
Al Wong
Excellent work as always
Jan Wagner
How quickly do you respond when you see the TPMS warning symbol lit on your car's instrument panel?
Jan Wagner
What do you think? Could the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid be the best all-around SUV ever, with 39 miles of all-electric range; uncompromised, spacious cargo area; all-wheel-drive, over 300 hp, Toyota's second-fastest accelerating vehicle, a wide range of driving safety electronics and much more.
Jan Wagner
@Tribe Regarding my AutoMatters & More post 631entitled: "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland Park" (which includes my two edited ride videos), have you ridden Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Rebellion in both Disneyland Park and The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida? Are there differences? Which attraction do you like better? What hidden Star Wars memorabilia have you discovered at each? I can't wait to go back again and again. Here is a link if you have not yet seen the post: Jan
Ben K
Hi Jan! Great article today!
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