Looking for a “Combat Cam” to take to Afghanistan

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    • #43163
      Avatarkatana
      Participant

      Hello, I am looking for an extremely durable and compact camera to take videos in Afghanistan. Price range would be approximately $300. I want it to be able to attach to my rifle. Is there such a camera?

    • #180885
      AvatarGrinner Hester
      Participant

      The short answer is no but at that price point, you could take a handful of miniDV cameras over there and just grab the tape once they bite it. Sand will be your worse enemy (well, the camera’s worst enemy, anyway). Even when th ey croak, you’ll be surprised how many you’ll be able to get back to l ife once ya get em home and give em a good cleaning. Canned air is yer buddy.

    • #180886
      AvatarXTR-91
      Participant

      Have you did some research on a “gun-mounted camcorder”? Couldn’t find anything in that particular region, but did come across a website selling camera mounts that are compatible with gun barrel mounting. Rain covers for camcorders also exist, so I’d consider adding some of them to prolong the camcorder’s life. A handful of good, cheap, camcorders can be found on eBay. As far as cheap goes, MiniDV will probably be your best bet. You won’t be able to purchase more than just a couple of camcorders within a narrow price range.

      http://www.deerridgeinnovations.com/store.htm

    • #180887
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Katana,

      As a former Combat Photographer, my suggestion is a POV style camera you can mount on your helmet or weapon like a VHolder, V.I.O. or a Sony HXR-MC1.

      The VHolder is within your range of $300, but has limited mounting accessories. However, it is HD and like all the other cams mentioned uses flash recording media.The V.I.O. is just outside the $300 range, but was designed specifically for what you’re wanting to do as it has many inexpensive mounting accessories. Unfortunately, it is standard def but if you’re looking to do DVD or post to websites that will do just fine.

      The Sony is way out of your intended budget, but with some creative use of zip ties could be mounted to your weapon as to be able to look at the included monitor while pointing it downrange. It too is HD so it all depends on what you plan on doing with the footage.

      Be advised soldier: I’m sure you’ve been briefed about footage shot in the field. Make sure you clear it with your command before you post any footage online or submit it to any news agency. I’d hate to have to read about you pulling down a long stretch in Leavenworth because you were retarded enough to post potentially classified video on YouTube.

      You can plug-in the keywords; helmet cam, and HXR-MC1 on the bhphotovideo.com to see the models I mentioned. And when you get to the ‘Rock Heap’, keep your head on a swivel and cover your ‘Six’.

    • #180888
      Avatarkatana
      Participant

      Ah, well the purpose of the recordings is for personal dvd’s only. I don’t intend to publish them to any news stations or online or anything like that, so HD isn’t really important. I think I’ll look into the V.I.O. that you’re talking about and the VHolder. Thanks for the responses.

    • #180889
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Katana,

      Glad to be of help.

    • #180890
      Avatarkatana
      Participant

      Okay, so I got the vholdr with the goggle mount accessory and the extra 8gb sd card. It seems exactly right for what I need, thx a ton for the advice on that. My question now is that I am looking for a device to unload all the video off of my SD cards, as I don’t want to bring my high-end laptop with me for it to get destroyed. Is there a way just to store the videos on something?

    • #180891
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Katana,

      I’ve been looking around for a solution for your question. There are some devices you can use as a recorder for your SD Cards, but they are expensive. Your cheapest solution is to get a notebook computer for less than 500 bucks to take out with you and get a portable harddrive to download and store your footage to. Take at least 2 cards out with you to the field for recording and download when you get back. Make sure the notebook has a firewire (iLink) connection and your portable HDD is firewire capable. Downloading footage with USB will move slower than time on KP duty.

    • #180892
      AvatarBrian
      Participant

      Have you tried the Riflecam?

      http://theriflecam.com

    • #180893
      AvatarGarry Frankel
      Participant

      Try the Colorspace from Hyperdrive. It reads almost any card and has different sized hard drives depending on your needs. Also, a pocket full of little cheap cards along with a something like the Colorspace will keep all your files. Store it in a ziploc bag to protect it from dust and sand.

    • #180894
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Garry,

      I took a look at the Colorspace and I’m surprised it hasn’t popped up on my radar until now. It really looks like a viable storage option. After some digging I see it’s Mac/PC friendly and can back up still, video and audio files. I’m curious if you can reformat the drive from FAT32 to NTFS.

      Katana,

      This looks like a good bet for you though I still say even with this you’d want to have a laptop with another portable drive to dump your footage to just in case the hyperdrive gets damaged or ‘magically grows legs and walks’ out of your footlocker. I would look into a 250 or bigger if you’re going to be shooting during the full course of your deployment. Same goes for your portable backup drive.

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