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  1. #1
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    helmet cam at night

    Has anyone tried using a helmet cam at night? What worked best for you. I tried it for the first time last week but not extremely happy with the results. I have tried it before on my dirt bike and it came alittle better but I was using more light. Wondering if that is my problem or if helmet cam's at night just won't work good.

    Here is a clip from the ride.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icaY5lEwFNU

    Its a bar mounted mount so it slipped at the very end of the downhill so that's why you get a great shot of my forks and front wheel, haha. I guess I was hoping to see more than just the stop light and then complete black everywhere else. I am using homemade lights with 6 scc p4 led's at 1amp. When I tried it on my motorcycle I did the 6 p4 led's on the bars and the helmet cam mounted on my helmet with a scc P7 flashlight taped right next to it. I was afraid of the camera plus flash light on my helmet to be too heavy so I tried the bar mount this time.

    I can also play with the camera settings. I adjusted the exposure down about 3 stops from normal but can go more. I was also recording at 720p@60fps where my other option is 1080P@30fps. During the day the higher framerate looks better on moving shots but I don't know if that applies at night as well. Camera is a countourHD 1080.

    My next night ride is tomorrow so maybe i'll make some adjustments and try again. Wanted to get some suggestions from people that have tried it before. I can't be the only one that has tried to use a helmet cam at night? Or maybe I am the only stupid person that thinks it can work, haha.

  2. #2
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    I would suggest setting the contrast to 100 and exposure to 4.
    60fps mode probably won't work as well at night. My suggestion is to use 960p mode at 30fps. I get good results with this.

    The problem you have is that CMOS sensors don't pick up reflected LED light very well. This means that the camera kind of lies about what the lighting is like. If you want better performance for the camera but don't mind about weight or expense, look at a halogen lighting system.

    A big problem for the ContourHD is the auto light metering. The more light in the picture the better the metering and the picture but if their isn't much light, then the picture is poor.

    If you want decent videos from night time, then you need to use a camera that uses a CCD, basically you need something like the VIO POV 1.5.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz545
    I would suggest setting the contrast to 100 and exposure to 4.
    60fps mode probably won't work as well at night. My suggestion is to use 960p mode at 30fps. I get good results with this.

    The problem you have is that CMOS sensors don't pick up reflected LED light very well. This means that the camera kind of lies about what the lighting is like. If you want better performance for the camera but don't mind about weight or expense, look at a halogen lighting system.

    A big problem for the ContourHD is the auto light metering. The more light in the picture the better the metering and the picture but if their isn't much light, then the picture is poor.

    If you want decent videos from night time, then you need to use a camera that uses a CCD, basically you need something like the VIO POV 1.5.
    Ahh thanks for your reply. I bought them camera for my motorcycle races and since I have it I thought that I would try it out on the bike riding. But I do have some night motorcycle races coming up in the summer so I thought I would work the bugs out of filming at night. But if my camera isn't well suited for it then I will just skip it or live with the crappy video's. The night shots isn't its main usage so getting a CCD camera or a halogen light isn't worth it for me.

    Any tips on how I can improve with what I have. What makes the LED lights not good for the CMOS sensor? Is it the lack of red light? What if I add a red led's to the lights, would that make for better? Or mabye a red filter? Or maybe some IR led's? I think adding a few led's would be easier than creating a halogen setup.

    Do you think adding more light would make the video better or worse? The lighted area would show up brighter but then it would make everything else darker that isn't in the full spot of the light. I know a flood light would be better than the spots I have on it now. But would adding additional flash lights help? They would be around 700 lumens each but be more of a spot than flood.

  4. #4
    Light freak
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    What camera you using?

    Here is one that I took of our morning "before work" ride a few months ago with a GoPro HD.






    ***

  5. #5
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    Its tough.. I need help also.

    I have tried many many setups for night time video.. The problem I have run into is having to much power with the helmet light. It creates a hot spot on the film you do not see while riding.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAdgb...layer_embedded

    About the best thing I have found for me was to create more distance between the light and the cam, Mounting the light on the bars and cam on the helmet really doesnt get the point across.

    http://www.cyclopsadventuresports.com/?page=videos&id=1

    Sorry for the com. content.. cant get ride of it..
    I can also use some pointers from those that might know more..

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar
    Here is one that I took of our morning "before work" ride a few months ago with a GoPro HD.






    ***
    what was your setup?
    from the video it looks like goPro on a bar mount with a bar light and helmet light?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by off road rider
    I have tried many many setups for night time video.. The problem I have run into is having to much power with the helmet light. It creates a hot spot on the film you do not see while riding.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAdgb...layer_embedded

    About the best thing I have found for me was to create more distance between the light and the cam, Mounting the light on the bars and cam on the helmet really doesnt get the point across.

    http://www.cyclopsadventuresports.com/?page=videos&id=1

    Sorry for the com. content.. cant get ride of it..
    I can also use some pointers from those that might know more..
    I had the same problem with the hot spots when I had the camera on my helmet and a flash light tapped right next to it. But it kinda depended on what I was looking at. If I was looking ahead then it was fine but if I looked at the ground near my front tire it wold be a hot spot. That's why I was trying the bar mount to see if it help fix that. The camera and light are basically fixed pointing at the ground a certain distance away. But in my video's all you see is that spot of ground and nothing else. I think I am going to try mounting it on my helmet tonight with a flash light and play around with more settings. If anything it will give me a comparision shot vs my bar mounted video. But like you I don't have any good solutions yet, just trial and error.

    Another person in my other thread sugested filming at dusk instead but I won't be able to do that till day light savings as our rides start in the dark right now.

  8. #8
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    Both Vids shot with the Motocam 360 system and only a single helmet mounted light.
    No bike mounted lights.
    I have found that separating the light and cam helps ,but I still get that hot spot??

  9. #9
    Light freak
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    Originally posted by brent878
    what was your setup? from the video it looks like goPro on a bar mount with a bar light and helmet light?

    Bar light (6x SSC P4's @800ma)




    GoPro HD mounted directly on top of bar light



    Helmet light (2x Cree XP-G R5's @800ma)


    ***

  10. #10
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    Jay, Nice video and one heck of a down hill run.. The thing I find interesting about snow is; No matter how much light you have, snow tends to create a " tunnel vision " effect with almost no long throw. If you were riding the same trail without snow, the video would of likely shone your lights throwing a lot further. This is why beam shots on snow usually suck.

  11. #11
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    Here is one that Jaydude took of our ride last night with a Go-Pro using a handle bar mount (and the Go-Pro in his hands unmounted). The trails we are riding are pretty technical and this makes them look flat and easy-oh well, at least we had fun trying!

    The last segment is Hightechredneck coming down a high-speed techy trail with the bar mount Go-Pro. He only uses a helmet light (XP-G Amoeba), but it looks like he's using one of those old miner's lights with a candle for as much light as the camera is picking up...






  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent878
    I had the same problem with the hot spots when I had the camera on my helmet and a flash light tapped right next to it. But it kinda depended on what I was looking at. If I was looking ahead then it was fine but if I looked at the ground near my front tire it wold be a hot spot. That's why I was trying the bar mount to see if it help fix that. The camera and light are basically fixed pointing at the ground a certain distance away. But in my video's all you see is that spot of ground and nothing else. I think I am going to try mounting it on my helmet tonight with a flash light and play around with more settings. If anything it will give me a comparision shot vs my bar mounted video. But like you I don't have any good solutions yet, just trial and error.

    Another person in my other thread sugested filming at dusk instead but I won't be able to do that till day light savings as our rides start in the dark right now.
    Here is one we shot at dusk, Great ride but still the same issues with hot spots.
    I wonder if moving the cam down to chest level might help?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZCMm...yer_detailpage
    Im jelous that you guys have such sweet trails so close to the city..Looks like a blast!!

  13. #13
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    Here is a video of our Weds morning FIFO (First In First Out) before work ride. We started climbing at 5 am. The video is from the downhill section as the sun is rising at about 5:45-6:00 am. Temps were 27 degrees at the start and 22 degrees when we got back to the cars. No better way to start the work day!

    Camera is mounted on the bar light.



    ***

  14. #14
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    Ghost Helmet Camera II - Adrenaline systems

    For night use the best helmet camera I have used and now have it the Ghost Cam II ( Adrenaline Systems )
    It has night vision with very good resolution both during the day and night. The shift is automatic to varying levels of light.
    The DVR comes with a handy tft screen which makes mounting and review very easy.
    All my footage goes on an SD card for later editing.
    Check it out at:

    DVR 225 + GHOST CAM II EXTREME NIGHT AND DAY CAMERA !


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhcheese View Post
    For night use the best helmet camera I have used and now have it the Ghost Cam II ( Adrenaline Systems )
    It has night vision with very good resolution both during the day and night. The shift is automatic to varying levels of light.
    The DVR comes with a handy tft screen which makes mounting and review very easy.
    All my footage goes on an SD card for later editing.
    Check it out at:

    DVR 225 + GHOST CAM II EXTREME NIGHT AND DAY CAMERA !

    Do you have any sample night video's. I don't think the night vision would work that well on a MTB. Those IR led's don't look like they would be enough. But a sample video would really be worth seeing.

  16. #16
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    Awesome videos!!!!

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