Camcorder & helmet cam choices???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Camcorder & helmet cam choices???

    I would like to buy a camcorder that would accept a helmet cam. From my understanding it is the cheapest and best quality way to go.

    Could someone give me some models to choose from and the pros and cons of the different formats? I would like one with a remote option, but it's not a need, just a want. A decent helmet cam choice too if possible.

    I would like to keep the cost down to under $500. for both if possible

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Prez NMBA
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    the best quality and cheapest set up is a MiniDv recoreder. You will need to find one with a/v INPUT and a LANC input. the lipstick camera plugs into the A/V input and you can get a remote control that plugs into the LANC input. Make sure and get the LANC remote from the lipstick camera company, theirs will turn the recorder on in the "VCR" mode which is what you want for use with the A/V input, whereas a LANC remote from the recorder maker will typically turn it on in the regular record mode which records from the recorer's built in camera and won't do what you want (been there done that)
    your gonna need to do the homework on what unit has the AV input
    http://www.jonescam.tv/ is where i got my lipstick unit and LANC remote from

  3. #3
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    How about this one.

    It has the A/V input and the LANC. I just don't know how old this cam might be or it's quality.

    How about these bullet cams. Sony 580 res ,comes with remote,battery pack and charger, various mounts? Seems to be a decent seller?
    Last edited by spacoli; 12-06-2008 at 08:38 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Cheaper and better solution

    A cheaper and better solution is to skip the lipstick cam and just put the camcorder on your helmet. The video quality will be much better. Just make sure you get a camcorder that accepts a wide angle lens.

  5. #5
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    I have been thinking of doing the same thing. I was looking for something that will record with the LCD cover closed and is compatible with a mac so I can use iMovie. I had bought the Sony DCR SX40 and figured out a great way to mount it to the top of my helmet but it was not compatible with a mac. Unfortunately, I don't believe the JVCs can record with the LCD closed (this is the only way to turn it on or off). The search continues...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer19
    I have been thinking of doing the same thing. I was looking for something that will record with the LCD cover closed and is compatible with a mac so I can use iMovie. I had bought the Sony DCR SX40 and figured out a great way to mount it to the top of my helmet but it was not compatible with a mac. Unfortunately, I don't believe the JVCs can record with the LCD closed (this is the only way to turn it on or off). The search continues...
    I have been using the Adventure Cam 3 (Viosport lipstick cam) and helmet mounted cams with wide angles and editing on Macs for many years. I would rank helmet cam video quality in this order #1) a quality cam (with stabilization) mounted to the helmet, #2) Viosport AC 3 (and a close second), #3) V.I.O. POV 1.5, ....... and then every other SD recording device, falling off fast in quality........(generally along with the price-point) The mini dv cams I use are old but still produce good results....2x Canon Elura 50's & a Sony DCR-DC42. No troubles with iMovie HD or 09. You could probably find both on ebay for dirt cheep. Here is an AC3 on ebay......http://cgi.ebay.com/Viosport-Adventu...3A1%7C294%3A50

    For the direct "camera to helmet" mounting attachments, I went to BoneHead Composites (they make enclosures for sky diving), as they make a box that fits the Sony and brackets to fit the Canon's. http://www.boneheadcomposites.com/cammount.htm

    They are easy to shape to fit your cam's interface with a Dremel tool.

    Hope that helps someone
    Last edited by proxy; 04-20-2009 at 07:55 PM.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by proxy
    I would rank helmet cam video quality in this order #1) a quality cam (with stabilization) mounted to the helmet, #2) Viosport AC 3 (and a close second at that), #3) V.I.O. POV 1.5,
    I would rate them: Full Cam mounted on helmet, POV 1.5, the AC3 based upon my experience and the video that I have seen from the above setups.

    The reason why I don't think the AC3 is a close second to a camcorder, let alone better than the POV, is because of the video source.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kung Pao Maew
    I would rate them: Full Cam mounted on helmet, POV 1.5, the AC3 based upon my experience and the video that I have seen from the above setups.

    The reason why I don't think the AC3 is a close second to a camcorder, let alone better than the POV, is because of the video source.
    I would love to see any links you have comparing the two, because I have yet to see any clips where the color, foliage and trail detail (at speed) exceeds the AC3/Elura50 (especially in shadows). I'm a fan of Viosport/V.I.O., and am looking VERY hard at getting a POV 1.5 for its convenience, but I'm still on the fence and would welcome more data.

    http://www.helmetcamreview.com/Video...1vsVioAdv3.wmv ......A side by side I found for POV1/AC3

    http://www.helmetcamreview.com/POV1vsAdvCam3.htm ......Review
    Last edited by proxy; 04-20-2009 at 07:50 PM.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by proxy
    I would love to see any links you have comparing the two, because I have yet to see any clips where the color, foliage and trail detail (at speed) exceeds the AC3/Elura50. I'm a fan of Viosport/V.I.O., and am looking VERY hard at getting a POV 1.5 for its convenience, but I'm still on the fence and need more data.

    http://www.helmetcamreview.com/Video...1vsVioAdv3.wmv ......A side by side I found for POV1
    Sorry, I forgot a key word "analog."

    "The reason why I don't think the AC3 is a close second to a camcorder, let alone better than the POV, is because of the *analog* video source."

    I haven't seen any AC3 video yet that compares to video straight out of the camcorder. You simply cannot pack the same speed exposure comp, white balance comp, etc. into such a small package. On top of that, you're feeding an analog signal into a digital deck, rather than a digital signal straight to tape. Then there's the size and quality of the lens on a camcorder vs. the AC3.

    If you have some great AC3 footage that blows away the POV/is a "close second" to camcorder MiniDV footage, I would love to see it.

    The helmetcamerareview.com comparisons are much too small a size to get any meaningful feedback from, for me. Most of what I see in those small side-by-side vids are white balance adjustments and it also looks like the raw POV's exposure needs to be corrected in post for those lighting conditions.

  10. #10
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    spacoli............

    In answering your question.....As many have stated above (and many others in other threads), the best quality comes from directly mounting the cam to your helmet, but that can get heavy or be to bulky at times so the next best thing is to use a high quality (500++ Lines of resolution) bullet/lipstick system (Viosport, Hoyt Tech, Extreme, and etc), which I believe is what you are seeking. I happen to think the AC3 was the top “system” of choice in this group and thus “a close second” to the direct mount. This of course still gives you the option of using the DV cam as a direct mount (with something like the "BoneHead" camera box I mentioned above, also on Wherewolf's website ) or with a bullet/lipstick cam “system” for a more concealed kit. It also has the added benefit of being relatively low cost (also what you were seeking) since many/most items can be bought dirt cheep used on ebay. You will just need to make sure it has all the features mentioned by "nmba guy."

    Steamer19.........

    Apple supported NTSC Mini DV Camcorders are here http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1014#6
    Many of the older Canon and Sony Handy Cams (DCR-DC####) provide the functions your looking for.

    Kung Pao...........

    First, a belated welcome to the forums! Since I’m not aware of any digital systems offering the versatility discussed above, nor better image quality (with the exception of the Sony HXR-MC1 Full HD Compact POV Camcorder @ $2,400.00 ++), I still think they (Viosport, Hoyt Tech, Extreme, and others) are the next best option to direct mounting, and certainly more cost effective as the OP wanted.

    As for quality sample footage of the mini DV bullet/lipstick cam systems (specifically AC3) just watch any of the early “Kranked” or “North Shore Extreme [NSX]” dvd series. I think they are all quite good examples.

    With your first hand experience with the POV system, you are in the best position to help us all out. It would be great to see clips where it meets or exceeds the mini DV/ Viosport, Hoyt Tech, Extreme, and other similar systems. I keep looking for comparisons or MTB examples but find few. As I said, I would very much like to add one to my video kit for its apparent ease of use, so please share your resources (clips, reviews, and etc.)! I'm an eager buyer, I just need to see more footage than the one MTB example on their site

    Just to clarify.........
    Quote Originally Posted by Kung Pao Maew
    …….” I haven't seen any AC3 video yet that compares to video straight out of the camcorder”……...
    You will get no dispute there, no one was saying it would, just that its better than the other offerings.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kung Pao Maew
    ………..”If you have some great AC3 footage that blows away the POV/”………………..
    .....“blows away”…… again who said that? I’m still trying to find any raw POV 1.5 MTB clips to use for comparing (which is why I keep asking for them).
    Last edited by proxy; 04-21-2009 at 02:43 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Anyone have feedback on the Polaroid DVC-00725f as a bike cam? Seems small enough to put on a helmet and cheap enough to not cry about if it gets busted...?

  12. #12
    Santacruiser
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    Quote Originally Posted by proxy
    spacoli............

    .....“blows away”…… again who said that? I’m still trying to find any raw POV 1.5 MTB clips to use for comparing (which is why I keep asking for them).
    Hi proxy,

    Here you will find one raw POV 1.5 clip form my trailride.
    Download-Link #1: http://rapidshare.de/files/46853610/CLIP0024.AVI.html

    cheers,

    j

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by janisj
    Hi proxy,

    Here you will find one raw POV 1.5 clip form my trailride.
    Download-Link #1: http://rapidshare.de/files/46853610/CLIP0024.AVI.html

    cheers,

    j

    Many thanks for doing that !!!!!! I sent you a PM with some quick questions, but that has made the decision for me
    Last edited by proxy; 04-22-2009 at 02:54 PM.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer19
    I had bought the Sony DCR SX40 and figured out a great way to mount it to the top of my helmet but it was not compatible with a mac.
    Negative, iMovie 08 and 09 work just fine with the DCR SX40. I felt compelled to sign up just to dispute this because this post almost caused me to loose hope on this model. I switched it to USB mode, plugged it into the USB port, launched iMovie'08 and I was told the camera was detected and it asked if I wanted to import from the main memory or the video card, no issues.

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