Archos Helmet Camera Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Archos Helmet Camera Review

    Here is my review of the Archos helmet camera system.

    I got a great deal on the Archos 404 on Circuit City’s website for $199 and the helmet camera at Buy.com for $118 (both with free shipping). The 404 is a nice unit. All metal with easy to use buttons and menus and a very nice large screen. As a media player this is one of the best out there and awesome for the money. The helmet camera was small and the headband comfortable. I shook the 404 and even tapped it on a table to try and get it to skip. It did not. Taking a few videos around my house resulted in decent video. But when I took it outside the shortcomings became apparent. In bright sunlight colors while moving were surrounded by rainbows. The compression also made it impossible to make out much detail. It basically looks like a uTube video. But after fiddling with the settings I decided to take it out on the trails. I went to Plumbers Landing and rode Ribbon Candy. The 404 fit very nicely in my pack and I never even noticed it. After fiddling with the camera I managed to get it to tuck it beneath the edge my helmet. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep my sunglasses or edge of my helmet out of the frame. The head band also doesn’t have an angle adjustment and as a result I feel like it was a little low. I also didn’t like how the recording light on the inline remote didn’t stay on. It would only flash when you turned it on. In bright sunlight it was difficult to see if it flashed or not. And taking the 404 out of my pack defeated the purpose of the remote. The video quality was a little better on the shady trails but still unacceptable. And the audio wasn’t synced with the video. I had such high hopes for this set up. It seemed perfect for mountain biking. Simple, compact, inexpensive, and easy to use. Especially since the video I’ve recorded with my tiny Canon SD400 still camera comes out very good (its difficult to ride when holding the camera with one hand though). I returned the 404 to my local Circuit City for a full refund. I was going to keep it but I already have a 40gb Creative player and the Archos didn’t shut off and resume with my car. I am still waiting for the RMA from Archos for the camera. I got one from Buy.com but their return policy states that I may be hit with a 15% restocking fee.

    So now I’m not sure what to do about a helmet camera. The systems out there now are way too bulky, heavy, and expensive with too many wire adaptors and battery packs for mountain biking. While at Circuit City I looked at the hard drive HD video cameras. Some were very small and light. Now why can’t Archos use the same lens assembly and processor for their helmet camera? The technology has existed for years. Maybe someday someone will recognize the market and make one.

    Kevin
    Last edited by woodsguy; 04-27-2007 at 10:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    I told you so!

    I told "you" so! We go through this at least once a month here.

  3. #3
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    Like I said in my review. I had no reason to expect anything less than what my 2 year old, $200 Canon SD400 could do which produces very good video. Besides, if all you are going to do is post on uTube than it would be a perfect helmet cam system. The quality is at least as good as anyting I've seen on there.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: Evil Patrick's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd never spend the time and effort to make a video that never rose above
    the crappy quality of uTube.
    -- Evil Patrick

    Some of my Music

    My Videos

    The trail...shall set you free.

  5. #5
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    Amen!

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    Personally, I'd never spend the time and effort to make a video that never rose above the crappy quality of uTube.
    Amen! That has needed to be said by someone for a long time now

  6. #6
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    Me neither that is why I returned it.

  7. #7
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    do you think a better graphics card on your computer would help watching videos from www.youtube.com ?

  8. #8
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    No

    Quote Originally Posted by ussprinceton2004
    do you think a better graphics card on your computer would help watching videos from www.youtube.com ?
    No. Unless your graphics card is more than 10 years old it should not make them look any worse than they do now

  9. #9
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    I'm enjoying my Viosport AC3 mated to my DCR-SR80. Gorgeous digital video that's easy as can be to edit and DVD quality.

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