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helmet cams

nuclear 674

Monkey
Aug 12, 2005
172
0
ahead of you!!!
does anyone use or know someone who uses a helmet cam? what kind, how well does it work, how easy is it to use? I am looking into one and am curious. Thanks for any info
 

Five

Turbo Monkey
Mar 8, 2003
1,506
0
West Seattle, WA
ggrubb has one - some of the footage on his NWDC video are shot w/ the helmet cam. Quality seems pretty good. I ran his helmet cam once - it's pretty easy to use.
 

Kntr

Turbo Monkey
Jan 25, 2003
7,536
20
Montana
Try this;

http://www.helmetcamera.com/store/products.php

I just bought their top of the line helmet camera. It is super clear and tough. The only thing I didn't like was the battery pack cord. Its real small and could break pretty easily but I just wrapped black tape around it. I called them and told them about the cord and they are coming out with a more durable one real soon. I really like mine, plus it has the most lines of resolution that I have found. You cant go wrong with Viosport or 24.
 

Fast&Smooth

Monkey
Jun 24, 2002
446
0
Bothell, WA
i have the origonal viosport cam.

the only one that can have a wide angle lens, 105 degree field of view, very nice for riding shots.

image is less than that of say, a canon z6 60 or any real basic 1 chip video camcorder.

you hook them up into your camcorder, as long as it can do RCA video IN, then hit record on the camcorder while in playback mode, just like a vcr.
 

Kntr

Turbo Monkey
Jan 25, 2003
7,536
20
Montana
nuclear 674 said:
thanks for the link, I looked at that as well. What kind of camcorder are you using to record to?

I have a Sony HC42. All my friends run the HC40 or 42. They are small, tough, and a most of all its a Sony. I love Sony stuff. I got the camera for $449 and the helmet cam for about the same. If you get the helmet cam, get the waterproof remote turn on/off switch. You can leave the camera in the bag and not have to remove it all the time. Also, you will want the water proof connector so you can disconnect the helmet cam from the camcorder when you take your helmet off.
 

ggrubb

Monkey
Jul 3, 2002
366
0
Endub Empire
Five said:
ggrubb has one - some of the footage on his NWDC video are shot w/ the helmet cam. Quality seems pretty good. I ran his helmet cam once - it's pretty easy to use.
I have the Viosport Adventure Cam III with a Sony DCR-HC40. On the camcorder, you have to have an analog "IN", viosport has a good list of the compadable camcorders. If you want to use the LANC remote (which is nice and easy to use) you are pretty much going to have to use a sony. The adventure cam III has after market lenses for different wide angles and filters (I dont actually have these but it can).

I have everything in a dedicated pack so it is all self contained and all the cables are tucked away.

The only pain is all the cords, remembering to turn on the camera battery, and having the camera set so it is not recording the back of the lens cover (sorry Lars).

I dont know much about the new Samsung, but have heard good things. One cable from the cam to the unit. It is memory card instead of tape so you might be limited unless you have a bunch of cards or somewhere to dump it. It is tiny!!! and doubles as a MP3 player.
 

Kntr

Turbo Monkey
Jan 25, 2003
7,536
20
Montana
I took my cables and set them up and then wrapped black tape around them. Now I have one big cord! It works awesome. Its way easier to route one big cord verse 4-5 small cords.
 

Natedogg

Monkey
Jun 10, 2003
164
0
Mazzzzchappi
Anyone use the Samsung SC-X105L?

I dont know anything about cameras or helmet cams... what are some things to look for, stay away from, etc (both dig video cam and helmet cam)?
 

fattyfat1

Monkey
Mar 22, 2005
163
0
Kelso, WA
Natedogg said:
Anyone use the Samsung SC-X105L?

I dont know anything about cameras or helmet cams... what are some things to look for, stay away from, etc (both dig video cam and helmet cam)?
i got one (samsung) and love it except for one thing. the battery life is pathetic.
 

Natedogg

Monkey
Jun 10, 2003
164
0
Mazzzzchappi
Thanks for the replies...

RhinofromWA said:
http://dirtrider.com/av/141_0511_helmet/
Systems reviewed:
CatchItCam
Hoyt Technologies HC-PRO
MotoCam HD with ShockBox
Twenty20
Viosport Adventure Cam II
Viosport Adventure Cam 3
Ok, I really am a NEWB with this stuff... are these just the remote lens? Ie., there is no recording device with these things, right?

Is that the best way to go? Get a decent camera, and then add on a external lens?

Fattyfat1 said:
got one (samsung) and love it except for one thing. the battery life is pathetic.
How is the quality?

What is quality measured as, anyway? Frames per second, # of lines, resolution (720x480)...? Where do I go to learn this stuff? Is the Samsung a decent camera overall?

I see it comes with 512 memory. Can I upgrade? I have a 1GB flash for my digital camera, can I use that?

Sorry so many questions, Im stupid. :mumble:
 

RhinofromWA

Brevity R Us
Aug 16, 2001
4,625
0
Lynnwood, WA
yes the lens (helmet camera piece) is the important part. SEcondary is the recorder device.....assuminig it fits your needs. But the quality comes from the resolution that is picked up from the helmet lens.

I don't have personal experience but I have heard the package deal Samsung was lower (among the lowest) resolution quiality. i guess it depends on what you want to do with it.....I read somewhere that the samsung is ok for internet movies....not dvd/big tv playing.

I think the quality of the lenses are measured by lines or another way of saying resolution. The motorcycle magazine did an OK job reviewing the helmet cams.....I will have to reread the article. I have the magazine somewhere.

Rhino

PS- guy in my moto club said he just bought a set up. When it was all said and done he was into it about $1000. The accessories eat you up. The remote start stop is nice to have....some exteral battery packs, etc. HE said you can get packaged deals for like $600 but I am not sure what package deal he is talking about. *shrug* i really don't know a whole lot, except I would need to know more before I bought :)
 

RhinofromWA

Brevity R Us
Aug 16, 2001
4,625
0
Lynnwood, WA
Pulled from the DirtRider site:

Are you sold on the idea after perusing our Helmet Camera Comparison? Capturing your ride on video is definitely loads of fun. But there's a lot that goes in to getting set up to record. The helmet cam feature in our November issue introduced six different helmet-mounted systems, and each of those has a corresponding sample clip, coming soon on DR.com.

In addition to selecting a helmet camera, there are other things to consider before you'll be ready to hit record. The following guide to helmet cameras will advise you on all the decisions you need to make to get yourself fully plugged in, powered up and mobile!


Battery Packs

Open enclosures give your batteries a chance to shop out and turn off your camera. And as we all know too well, Murphy's Law say that's going to happen right before you pull off the greatest feat in video history.

Battery configurations come in two choices: a single 9V pack or an 8 AA pack. The 9V pack is significantly small and can run 15-20 hours* before needing a new battery. AA packs are bulky and usually only last 5-7 hours. Moreover, as the total voltage begins to drop in your battery pack, the system will lose quality in recording, most notably in color separation and brightness. You'll find yourself changing the batteries much more often with a AA pack in order to maintain the video quality. All of this adds up over time, so if you plan to go with a AA pack, do yourself a favor and buy a few shares of Duracell stock.

*There is a new Lithium-Ion battery that is sold for smoke detectors at many national hardware chains for about $8. It's made by Duracell and promises battery life that is ten times longer than a regular 9V, meaning one of these puppies could keep you juiced for up to 200 hours.


Selecting a Recording Device

If you have a recording device already, you'll want to check with your helmet camera manufacturer and make sure your device is compatible with their camera. In most cases, as long as your device is capable of dubbing from another video source (you can look this up in your manual if you're not sure), then your system is most likely compatible.


Camcorder or Personal Media Player?

If you happen to be in the market for a recording device then you need to decide between a digital camcorder and a persona media player. Either can be found in the $200-$250 range.

Camcorders offer the highest quality setting you can get for your helmet cam. The camcorder is also the only device that is capable of hosting LANC input (remote start/stop button). The camcorder is also fragile and bulky, with more moving parts. Also, the cost of DV tapes can add up. You will also need to consider the additional requirements when it comes to getting the footage onto your computer (discussed below).

Personal media players are extremely compact, lightweight and durable. They allow you to record your helmet cam footage directly to compressed mpeg4 format—a standard computer-ready video file—via an internal hard drive or removable Compact Flash memory. The quality is slightly less than a miniDV and battery life can be a challenge if you cannot make use of a car adapter.


Connectors:

Cheap Wires = Cheap Signal = Poor Video

Connectors are the most common weak point of any audio/video system. If you use the cheapest RCA connectors available with an expensive DVD player, it will produce output similar to a discount model.

The same theory applies for camera systems. When you use RCA connectors or telephone wiring, you are leaving your signal unprotected


Equipment Storage

The last thing you need is a place to hold your battery pack, excess wire and your recording device. This can be any combination of what you want, have or need. Even for extreme weather conditions, there are waterproof cases available, such as the Pelican case. If you ride desert or cross-country and need a water bladder, then be sure to get a pack with a little extra storage space. Or you can simply use an old fanny pack (note: smaller = tighter pack = less bouncing and shifting while the pack is in use).


Sharing

If you only want to replay your videos on your TV, then you can skip this section, as any recording device will have A/V output cables that can be attached to your TV for direct video playback. However, if you want to share your files online, edit your footage and/or burn CDs or DVDs for others to watch, then you're going to need a computer. The choice of recording method from above will drive how much computer you're going to need.

Computer needs: A firewire card is required to get footage off of a miniDV camcorder and onto our computer. But if you opt for the personal media player instead, you'll save yourself a trip to the store. The files on many personal media players can be transferred via USB, and the compressed video is more manageable (vs. the larger file sizes of miniDV footage), so no extra RAM was required for tweaking our files.


Video Editing

Most computers have Windows Movie Maker which will do fine for basic editing functions, such as cutting dulls spots, adding sound (music), and stock video mods like brightening. However, the videophiles of this world are probably going to run out and drop $800 on Adobe Premiere so they can drool over the 1 million tools that they'll probably never use. But hey, they like the security of knowing that the fish-eye-disintegration-mezzotint-adjust tool is there, just in case they need it.

If you don't want to bother with the downloading and editing software, but still want to look awesome on video, do what we do; send your raw footage to the guys at Twenty20. For a small cost, they'll put together a professional quality action video... starring you! For more info on Twenty20's video editing service, click here.
 

FatalExposure

Monkey
Sep 2, 2005
127
0
fattyfat1 said:
i got one (samsung) and love it except for one thing. the battery life is pathetic.
I agree that the battery life is terrible for both the camcorder itself and also for the camera which requires 2 triple A's. Probably little more than a solid HOUR+ on each. Also I think the whole setup is needlessly fussy and requires user input on about 6 levels to get the camera up and running. The overall quality of video is quite low. Nothing is waterproof on the camera (I dripped sweat onto the viewfinder one day and it left a ghost imprint there for weeks), it uses a DIVX format that isn't officially a standard yet requiring you to BINK or SMACK every file to manipulate it for editing. Oh **** I could go on...the SAMSUNG 105 SUCKS A$$!

Here's some test sample videos I out together after purchasing one of these cameras showing the quality of this camera's output.

This was on the lower res setting

http://www.ascensionist.com/Gallery/data/500/68Sisters3.wmv

This was on the higher res setting.

http://www.ascensionist.com/Gallery/data/500/68LakeSawyer.wmv

You can see that there is a ton of distortion, camera jiggle, etc, and the finished product is disappointing.
 

Natedogg

Monkey
Jun 10, 2003
164
0
Mazzzzchappi
Werd... thanks for all the input...

Just realized that these posts are in the WA regional boards--I just did a search for helmet cams.

Ugh, guess I have a lot of research to do before I buy a camera... :help:
 

Qman

Monkey
Feb 7, 2005
633
0
Walla Walla State Pen
I have yet to see better helmetcam video than Pete's:
www.petefagerlin.com
and he's got a pretty good 'how to' section. I'm hoping to do more of this next summer as the helmet mount company "Think" recently changed hands and the wait time was close to a year for the helmet mount...That'll give me the winter to figure out Premier I hope.
 

justsomeguy

Monkey
Oct 3, 2005
723
0
Qman said:
I have yet to see better helmetcam video than Pete's:
www.petefagerlin.com
and he's got a pretty good 'how to' section. I'm hoping to do more of this next summer as the helmet mount company "Think" recently changed hands and the wait time was close to a year for the helmet mount...That'll give me the winter to figure out Premier I hope.
Wait, I'm all confused.

Someone called ""natedogg" being replied to by "Qman" who IRL is Nathan aka Nate.

More fodder for the folks who are considering that Samsung toy ( I wouldn't recommend it to anyone due to the poor quality):

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Samsung-SC-X105L-Camcorder-Review.htm
 

Natedogg

Monkey
Jun 10, 2003
164
0
Mazzzzchappi