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  1. #1
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    Looking for high def video camcorder as helmet cam?

    I currently have a 520 line helmet cam running into a neuros 2 i have setup to run of battery sources, but with the time and money I have spent it still is not satisfactory. I used it to tape my trip to colorado and I still feel the video sucks and it is a pain to get setup at the trail head.

    I seem you can get the HD Apitek video camera quite cheap and it still runs on SD cards. I wondered if anyone had used this video camera and what the quality is. I would like to view some video taped with it, because it seems so cheap compared to the other cameras.

  2. #2
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    Looks interesting, but how would you attach to your helmet? Here's a link to some video shot with it, looks good but there's no action in it. http://camcorders.about.com/od/camco...iptekVideo.htm

    I was looking at the Oregon Scientific model, Price Point has it for $109. If anyone has experience with this would like to hear about it. There's some video on the OS site where they hooked one to a model rocket and launched it. In one video the camera fell off at about 1200 feet and survived. Click on the word Video to find the clips.
    What, me hurry?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim Mac
    I was looking at the Oregon Scientific model, Price Point has it for $109. If anyone has experience with this would like to hear about it.
    I have that. If you get it, the first thing you'll need to do is make a new mount for it. The way it is built, the camera bounces a lot when it's on a helmet. The image quality isn't comparable to a regular camcorder, but it's actually not that bad. There's audio capabilities, but they are very limited.

    It does have some nice features. You use memory cards and a USB interface just like a digital camera. I like the memory cards because when I'm on a trip I don't have to worry about running out of space. I'll just buy a new card.

    It's durable and easy to use. My biggest complaint is the mount.

    PM me and I'll send some sample vids if you want.

  4. #4
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    I have a helmet cam right now, I will tell you that the video is not that great. My records at 520 lines in a 640 x 480 resolution. It is not that great. I don't think a helmet cam is the best expenditure of video if you at all are looking for quality video.

    Thus why I have begun to look into this HD Aiptek, I just wanted to know if the video would have alot of artifacts in it when the items are giong by so fast.

  5. #5
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    I was actually on the phone with Sony yesterday talking about fast moving objects (i.e. bikes) being blurry. It has something to do with the shutter speed. On my Sony camera, it will automatically slow the shutter speed in low light. I can turn the feature off, and (according to them) eliminate the blurriness.

    I also know that for picture quality, the lens has a lot to do with it. It looks like the lens on the Aiptek isn't that big, so I don't know if the image would really look like HD or not. Just my opinion.

    At $140 though, seems like a pretty good deal.

  6. #6
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    I actually just found some people that have posted videos on metacafe.com if you do a search for aiptek, and the quality looks okay until they start scanning back and forth.

    I wonder what result this would have for us. It also looks like the camera does not have any image stabilization.

    But look at the video where the guy is going down the highway in the car. That looks pretty sweet, little soft, but stilly pretty sweet.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelbiter
    I actually just found some people that have posted videos on metacafe.com if you do a search for aiptek, and the quality looks okay until they start scanning back and forth.

    I wonder what result this would have for us. It also looks like the camera does not have any image stabilization.

    But look at the video where the guy is going down the highway in the car. That looks pretty sweet, little soft, but stilly pretty sweet.
    Wow! Go for it. That video looks awesome. I noticed on the highway video, you can make out the rumble strips very well. I bet this would mean the trees and stuff wouldn't be blurry for a bike trail.

    That's an awesome camera.

    Here it is for $135 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...efinition.html

  8. #8
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    Potential drawback

    I suspect the field of view (width) would be too narrow to use as a helmet cam. Those of us who mount a camcorder directly add a wide angle lens. It doesn't look like the lens is threaded to accept wide angle lenses. Lipstick cams also have a wide field of view.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelbiter
    I currently have a 520 line helmet cam running into a neuros 2 i have setup to run of battery sources, but with the time and money I have spent it still is not satisfactory. I used it to tape my trip to colorado and I still feel the video sucks and it is a pain to get setup at the trail head.

    I seem you can get the HD Apitek video camera quite cheap and it still runs on SD cards. I wondered if anyone had used this video camera and what the quality is. I would like to view some video taped with it, because it seems so cheap compared to the other cameras.
    Currently, the only way to get acceptable quality HD video is by using a high quality HD
    video camera. In other words, no one makes a HD remote lens that plugs into an HD camera,
    and even if they did, no HD camera body has a port to accept the output coming from an
    HD lens.

    NOTE: I stand corrected. I just discovered that the Sony FX1 has A/V in/out. I suppose the big drawbacks
    to this revelation are:

    1) the camera is rather large
    2) the camera is over $3000
    3) there still is no HD bullet lens to plug into it
    (I don't even know if the port down-converts. Probably does. So...not HD.)


    So, you have to be willing to mount a good HD camera to your helmet.

    In my opinion, none of the newest offerings that use mpeg4 compression to record to flash
    are of any quality.
    Last edited by Evil Patrick; 12-21-2007 at 08:40 AM.
    -- Evil Patrick

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  10. #10
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    Over in one of the DV forums, some of the guys are playing with the A-HD. Cool camera for the price. Totally trash audio and the camera tends to macroblock when all the elements on the screen are moving (a video of a river flowing full frame did that.) While riding, everything moves, so the results may suck. I still think it is a cool camera for the price and if I had spare change, would try one.

    Mountain Bike Bill and I are using Sony HC series cameras. The last I had seen, Douglas Spotted Eagle was saying that the HC5 seems to work the best for extreme POV (Douglas jumps out of airplanes with his). The HV10/20 has a bad element shake. The HC7's OIS is similar, works a little, but is not ideal. The price is more right on the HC5 too. I use a Bonehead Composite's HC3 Dbox that I had to Dremel a little to get the longer battery to fit. Mine is mounted on the side with a counterweight. We have way too many trees and bushes on trails around here to mount it on top.

  11. #11
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    I am not sure if I know what the DV forums are, some clarity on this would be nice, and then I will post a question over there to try to get in contact with the people using the aiptek.

    I would really like somebodies raw video on my computer to look at. The only video I have seen off that website I posted earlier was streaming, so to isolate any streaming video quality issues if some one has a file I can download would be sweet.

    I also just looked and the aiptek has an input to record, so I wonder what it would like recording from a a bullet cam with the new 580 lines res (the most quality I have seen thus far) and recording to 480 p into the camera.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelbiter
    I also just looked and the aiptek has an input to record, so I wonder what it would like recording from a a bullet cam with the new 580 lines res (the most quality I have seen thus far) and recording to 480 p into the camera.
    Well, a major shortcoming will be the video coming from the bullet lens itself. See, in order to
    get a video camera into such a small package, quite a few compromises need to be made.
    These compromises will be:

    • Fixed focus
    • No adjustment for A/E
    • No adjustment for white balance
    • No "steady shot" capabilities


    In all, these add up to a video feed that will never have a quality anything close to the video
    that a good HD camera is capable of.

    In the end, it's all a decision about what you, personally, consider good enough and still
    affordable.
    -- Evil Patrick

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    The trail...shall set you free.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelbiter
    I am not sure if I know what the DV forums are, some clarity on this would be nice, and then I will post a question over there to try to get in contact with the people using the aiptek.

    I would really like somebodies raw video on my computer to look at. The only video I have seen off that website I posted earlier was streaming, so to isolate any streaming video quality issues if some one has a file I can download would be sweet.

    I also just looked and the aiptek has an input to record, so I wonder what it would like recording from a a bullet cam with the new 580 lines res (the most quality I have seen thus far) and recording to 480 p into the camera.
    This thread is just what you wanted.

    http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=102428

    And I know of no cameras that record from external in anything other than 480i NTSC / 520p 25 PAL. You could have a billion lines and it will still be 480.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    In the end, it's all a decision about what you, personally, consider good enough and still
    affordable.
    Adding ... And willing to deal with. Patrick has a dual rig DV side mounts. I have a single side mount rig with counterweight with a fullface. Mine weighs 5 lbs with the counterweight without counting the helmet.

  15. #15
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    I went to that link, thanks so much. Those guys have a few raw data files and the image is amazing when the camera is still. I am still leary of what happens when the objects are moving so fast.

    I also wonder when they talk about it only recording at 4 mb and that for 720p is low, and your comment earlier about how 480 lines is going to be the max a camera would record.

    Then having it record from an analog bullet cam at the 480 p could fix some of the jumping problem assuming the chip in the bulletcam is better than the chip in the camera.

    I guess my question now is, does the video look so pristine because it is being encoded and recorded the way it is and so a different lenses attached to the front of the camera could make the same picture, or does it have something to do with the the encoding, the lense, and the whole deal, thus recording from a helmet cam would make no difference, and probably look worse than the actual camera looks.

    Sorry about all the questions, but I think I am pretty sold. If it won't work as a helmet cam even going up the trail and videoing people coming down a cool section would be worth it. It does have that good of quality.

    Thanks for your help, sorry for the long post.

  16. #16
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    If you have AV in from a lipstick, it will by 480.

    As for what you have, I would have to see it.

    Try this http://www.versatilemediasolutions.c...deo/TAKMBD.wmv

    That is downres of my HC7. Stills are from other folks.

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