Does anybody have any experience with helmet cams?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Does anybody have any experience with helmet cams?

    Instead of a new digital camera, I am looking at getting a helmet cam and DV recorder to make videos. If you have experience, what have you used and how has it come out (i.e. Viosport bullet cam with mini DV recorder or HDD, etc).

    Thank you for your help.
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  2. #2
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    PStar - You've done some helmet cammage - can you help 98?

  3. #3

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    personally, I would recommend either a hdd recording device paired with a viosport remote lens. I'll look more into it later.

  4. #4

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    yes indeed, cp, i've done a little work with the ol' helmet cam. i do like the newer ones that are memory driven, but dv tape still works well. the viosport has a good lens inside, but the do vary by model. the guts inside the cam should be by sony, they make the best ccd unit that adjusts the light levels quickly (important as you ride in and out of the trees) -anyway, what kinds of things do you want to know? just remember to check the cam angle before heading out. i once filmed an entire ride with the camera velcro'd sideways in the mount. it made it a 'little' hard to watch!

  5. #5
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    Okay well, I want to create good video of the rider in front of me, or myself with say the handlebars or wheel as a point of reference. Will the Viosport III coupled with DV be good? I've heard people say they're leeery of HDD with all the moving around, shaking, etc.

    Can the DV be used with a differnet lens in order to have someone off bike taking video?

    hope these questions make sense!
    Last edited by mtnbkrdr98; 01-16-2007 at 12:01 PM.
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  6. #6

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    yeah, you basically plug the viosport lens into the camera...

  7. #7
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    Understood, mang. Is a firewire port needed or will a standard USB work? apparently 1 hour of footage is approx 12 mb.
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  8. #8

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    12mb's for an hour??? that's some crap quality...

    it depends on the camera, but most modern cameras have firewire and usb

  9. #9

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    firewire is the way. the helmet cam plugs right into the dv camera. i use a sony mini dv camera (shoots in 480p) and the helmet cam is basically a viosport but under a dif name. it uses the sony ex lens/ccd. the minidv is no more or less subject to shaking than the hdd camera. the hdd camera is usually cheaper, but limited by several aspects including storage space and record speed.

    my helmet cam has it's own power supply, something like 8 AA batteries. it's heavy when combined with the camera and all the other crap in my camelbak. however, this gives it excellent shooting time. the hdd ones sometimes are integrated and use a common power supply that doesn't last as long. so you wind up taking along just as many batteries and changing them often. 6 of one, half dozen of the other, it's really the same thing. i looked around alot before i bought mine and decided i wanted the versatility of having the mini dv for normal use and being able to add the helmet cam to the mix whenever adventure called (or bombin4x has some crazy downhill he wants to do so he can see his dh bike bouncing along the trail like a pogo stick!)

    the things you'll want to remember is not to turn your head to look to the sides of the trail, don't look down at your feet/chain rings much, these are the things that make the viewer get all seasick... having the minidv camera does make it easy to unplug the helmet cam and hand it off to someone for off-bike shots. also, remember to wrap the all the wires together and run them through either the shoulder strap of your camelbak or your shirt sleeve. this makes it less likely to snag on something (branch, bar ends, etc) as you film.

    bring extra batteries and tapes. you can film the whole day that way where using the hdd type of camera usually requires downloading the images to free up memory for more filming. some of the hdd ones have a limited memory and unless you want to bring your laptop along to download at the car halfway through the day, it's easier to change tapes. they also make cameras that use flash memory and this works well, but for the price, tapes are cheaper. also, the hdd type might give some 'pixelation' of the image at speed whereas the mini dv won't show this defect as much. it's really about the speed of the recorder/camera and the tapes usually record at a higher speed. and yes, you can use a different lens with the mini dv camera. i have several including a 'fish eye' and a macro that zooms in a ton.

    don't forget to check the lens after each run for dirt, dust. and don't forget to make sure before you start the camera is oriented in the mount the correct direction (personal experience!) otherwise, it's all pretty simple really and easy to take the camera when done, plug it into the pc and download it. then you can edit, burn to dvd, and amaze (or sicken) your friends. i use adobe premiere and a combination of dvd editing software. the software that sony provided with the camera sucked. any more questions...feel free to ask. i'm currently working on building a watertight plastic box for my camera so i can take it snowboarding. but it's been great for biking.

    hope this helps...
    p*
    Last edited by pstar; 01-17-2007 at 11:18 AM.

  10. #10

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    Just curious, what kind of money are you willing to spend, and what quality are you looking for?

  11. #11

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    Which Cam Corder To Use

    We use a Sony DCR-HC 32 mini DV camcorder, with hand built wiring harness specific to the Sony HC 32 mini cam corder.
    Check it out at our web site, www.321actioncams.com.
    There you can see some of the cameras we use, and sell, along with some footage that we captured this past summer (2006).
    There's a few good crashes to see, along with some race footage crashes.
    (If you race the DH course at the Downieville classic in 2006, and wrecked out at the rock garden, then be prepared for the pain. If you see yourself in the crash clip, we will send it to you...just ask...through our E Mail via our web site.)

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