Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Best Helmet Cam?
- October 13, 2007 at 11:58 AM #39859ccParticipant
I just purchased a helmet cam from Helmet Cam.com, but I’m not sure thias was a good move. They have a list of compatible camcorders listed on their website, but my local Best Buy doesn’t stock any of them! I bought an inexpensive Sony DCF-HC38 Handycam, but I can’t get the helmet cam to work with it. Very aggravating! Has anyone had any experience with helmet cams? Any suggestions? Thanks.
Since the Handycam cost less than the Helmet Cam, I’m thinking of strapping it to the handlebars instead of paying add’l $$ for a helmet cam. 😛
I use Viosports cameras. Here’s a link to the video I did for my son’s freeride:
These cameras need a camcorder that takes an analog input. I have a couple of Canon ZR series cameras that have that input. Their new system records on an SD card. http://www.viosport.com
Yikes! I think $849.00 is a bit steep for a helmet cam if I’m only using it as as auxiliary camera. I appreciate the reply tho and maybe if I find my helmet cam needs increase, I’ll keep that page bookmarked.
(ps. nice vid of the mtn bikes)
Yes, it is a bit expensive if you look at the total. However, when you consider how much you pay for the separate high quality helmet camera and then try to find a compatable camcorder, it’s very reasonable. Besides being built to military specs, you don’t have to keep buying tape stock.
Here is what the complete system kit looks like:
An alternate point of view:
This $800 VIOhelmet cam records to 720×480 mpg-4 using the DivX codec. I have found that some NLE’s wont edit this type of video. This means that you may have to "convert" your Mpg-4 to some other format, like AVI or something to edit it. This may reduce its quality or cause other problems all together. This format is also an extreemely compressed format. While SD cards seem like a great idea for filming, mini-DV is still better, in my opinion.
BTW, you can buy a similar video camera that records the same as a VIO for $149 at walmart. Its called the Vupoint Vu-DAV-Vp1 or soemthing. It also records to 720×480 DivX, and to SD cards. It can be used as a mp3 player, a voice recorder, game player and a picture taker. It’s a nifty little device for motorcycle travel. Its the size of a classic Ipod and you sure can strap that your helmet or anything else you like.
I recommend against spending the $$$ on the VioCam. Consider for the price of one of these things you could completely outfit yourself with a mini-dv recorder and several smaller cameras. Your idea of using a cheapo mini-DV and strapping it to the bike is not a bad one. But you can also use mini-cameras, similar to surveillance cameras, provided you choose high resolution. The VIO cam uses a CMOS chip, no idea what size, ’cause it doesn’t say. But you can get a camera with a 1/3" color HADD chip that will look even better. Some of these cameras use chips that are the same or better than what is found in your cheapo mini-dv camcorder. And they come with adjustable, interchangeable lenses. You can get one of these cameras for @$100.You plug the mini-cam into your mini-DV recorder that accepts analog passthru. (Ha! and the Vupoint accepts analog passthru too!)
Some of these mini-cameras cameras come in waterproof lipstick housings, some do not. But in any case you can build your own waterproof housing & customize your power hookup & camera set up. Rather than plug & play, think components, and assembly. It’s not that much harder, and you get more options for filming in the end.
I have had great luck avoiding the hole helmet cam idea, and saving $$$ on the side. Gear wears out fast when it is used in an active setting, regardless of wheather you spent $800 or not. You’ll want replacements on the shelf or in your budget. More cameras means more angles, more footage, a better end product. You’ll have backup cameras, you can use the camera for other things besides being strapped to a helmet, and the line resolution/low light capability is almost always better than a helmet cam.
An interesting comparison, instead of the usual camcorder article in VideoMaker, would be a comparison in the way these helmet cams, Vupoint cam, and mini- cams work, and their end results. From practical experience I have been surpised and you might be too.
One option, if you’re trying to keep it on the cheap, is to go get a small camera like this one:
…pay the $50 for the camera and plug it directly into the RCA jacks on your camcorder. It’s cheap enough that you won’t feel guilty if you total it, but it is color and has enough of a resolution to give you the rough idea of what’s going on. It’s also tiny, about one cubic inch total, and can be mounted with screws, glues, or whatever to a helmet or surface.
Hope that helps.