Helmet / bike camera (merged) mega threadfest...

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by AJ2, May 14, 2002.

  1. Renazco

    Renazco Formerly AKA Boejangles

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    Well if you want a real nice set-up I would go with http://www.helmetcamera.com/ , the system can even work under water. I'm using the Sony HC40 with this set-up.
    #41
  2. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

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    I also looked at the helmetcamera, and I agree that it is also a nicely built cam.

    My main criteria was resolution. The VioSport has 520 lines vs 480 lines produced by the helmetcamera.

    Also, the VioSport allows optional lenses to be placed on it (including a wide-angle), along with Neutral Density filters...

    Either way, you can't go wrong!

    Edit: on further review, helmetcamera does have additional lenses for sale, but no listing for any filters. My Bad!
    #42
  3. deepcdiver

    deepcdiver Nobody Special

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    You can get decent helmet cam kits on eBay for $150, with the Sony 480 line ex-view camera. The difference between 480 lines and 520 lines will not be noticeable on a consumer TV. If you are going to project the image or use an upconverter to HD signal, there will be some improvement and the VioSport is the best rez out there. Depends whether $150 vs $300 means much to you. The Sony ex-view 480 does have interchangeable lenses by the way, they are about $30 each, and I think in fact the VioSport is also a Sony cam, just the improved version of the 480 Ex-View although I could be mistaken. I think a search would reveal the same cam cheaper without the VioSport tag on the side...Filters can be adapted to any camera with a little tinkering.



    #43
  4. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Same here. :thumb

    I'm using various camcorders (DV, Digital 8, etc) for acquisition.

    No problems at all with the camera. Been using it for production work for a while.
    #44
  5. bernbern22

    bernbern22 Adventurer

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    Question, I just want to record my commute/ drivin around, whats a good camcorder to use with the helmetcamara
    thanks
    #45
  6. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Anything with A/V inputs will work fine. Most newer camcorders use a cable with a little mini plug on one end and 3 RCA plugs (audio L, audio R, video) on the other end. The mini end goes in the camcorder; the RCA plugs mate up with the lipstick camera. Sometimes you'll need a little barrel adapter to go male-to-male. They're a buck or two at any Radio Shack. Some kits include them.

    If you can get a camcorder with LANC input that's even better. That will allow you to use one of the remote controls that will turn the camcorder on, start recording, stop recording, etc.

    If your camera has microphone input you can plug in the little lavaliere mic that comes with the helmet cam. You'll want to put it somewhere so that it's not getting a lot of wind blast. If worn on the rider, clip it inside their jacket but away from the zippers, etc. so there's no noise from the mic hitting hard bits.

    If you're using a tank bag, you can suspend the mic in the tank bag so that it doesn't contact anything. It'll pick up exhaust noise/engine noise just fine.

    So--look for:
    A/V input
    microphone input
    LANC input

    Sony Digital 8 is a good inexpensive format and is backwards compatible for Hi-8. You can find older ones on Ebay--like the TRV240--for $200 or so. I've been using the TRV240 for about 4 years now for a cheap acquisition deck. Never a failure in the field, even when strapped to motorcycles, ATV's, etc.

    Everything is moving to miniDV now. That's fine, too. Just look for the features I listed. I tend to not use my expensive DV gear for an acquisition deck/camera just because it's expensive to fix/replace if the rider wipes out. The lipstick cameras themselves...especially the Helmetcamera.com model with the CNC protective mount...are pretty indestructible. I usually make a few mods to the wiring and battery pack so that I"ve got some redundancies and all my battery packs are identical between gear, but other than that I use a stock Helmetcam.
    #46
  7. bernbern22

    bernbern22 Adventurer

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    thx for the info
    do you record your drive for just for fun, or what?
    #47
  8. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    You don't need much of a camcorder if all you plan to do is use it with your helmet camera.

    The camcorder simply acts as a recording VCR for the helmet camera that you are attaching. All the upper end features such as quality lens, image stabilization, a kazillion lines of resolution, etc, don't enter the picture.

    If your helmet camera is a 380 line unit, then that is all you'll get in picture quality, even if your camcorder is a 525 line unit.

    Here is a link to a thread on the Horizons Unlimited forum that I started.

    I've done a bit of on-bike video recording on previous tours. Makes for great memories.
    #48
  9. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Professional photographer. I often take on assignments where I have to mount these cameras on or in anything from F-15's to tanks to motorcycles.
    #49
  10. bigsnowdog

    bigsnowdog Sylvan Dweller

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    What about bugs?
    #50
  11. Mr. Reaper

    Mr. Reaper Been here awhile

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    Why???
    #51
  12. Renazco

    Renazco Formerly AKA Boejangles

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    They sell an anti bug spray and it avoids bugs hitting the lens, works on headlights and face shields as well,,,,
    what will they think of next :augie
    #52
  13. Oly

    Oly Deadlines whooshing by

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    Can I apply with a helicopter? I have about 5,000 of cotton just comming out of the ground that I would like to keep the bugs off.
    #53
  14. gts

    gts Bark Buster

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    Anyone else do this? I got into it when I started riding offroad in '99. The hassle of running it takes away from the pleasure of riding but it pays back now that now that bike season is over in Boston. This is my setup:

    [​IMG]

    My camcorder is an old bulky sony digital but it's still kicking - I have crashed it hard enough to skip the recording head, I've ridden in heavy rain, dust, heat, basically done everything to it that the manual says not to. My only regret is that now, one that's 10x better is a lot less than the $735 I paid back in the day :huh Now you can buy digital decks about the size of an old walkman for a lot less...

    I've posted in the tech forum on purpose; not sure if my web host limit can handle the hits that most of this site gets. I've seen a little video here but would like to see more - I'm sure there is some to go with all the killer photos that get posted. I'll bump this once in awhile.

    Here's a shot of 12A just south of pratt road in alstead NH. The road was ground + overlaid last summer, then closed by floods in October.

    http://h1.ripway.com/gts/street/12A-WEB.wmv
    #54
  15. Ron Seida

    Ron Seida Adventman

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    Thanx for the info, i've often wondered how to plug a remote camera into my Sony. Say, what kind of mike do you use?
    #55
  16. sfarson

    sfarson On a Ride

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    gts... Excellent. I think we've exchanged a message or two here and at H-D TechTalk. Your brief vid was nice as well. Great potential eh? Especially when one can't fire up the two wheeled thing. You captured very well the great H-D exhaust note. How did you mask the wind noise to the mic?

    You did hit upon one of the hassles (if not the major hassle) of using a bulletcam with a camcorder -- the nasty spaghetti network of cables.
    #56
  17. janders

    janders Been here awhile

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    Great video and cool setup! :thumb

    What helmetcam are you using? And how did you mount it to your helmet?
    #57
  18. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    In extreme situations I can get up to 7 cameras mounted to my GS since I do ride training video. They're all D8 cameras, and I just route the cabling into a specially-modified Pelican box. For just one camera for my own personal use or easy shoots, I just put the record-camera into my tank bag, and run the cabling through a custom harness to wherever the camera is mounted. I use a modified ram mount system combined with a shock-mount for the armored case for the lipstick camera since it can be adapted to several hard points on the GS easily. I usually isolate the mic if it's there for ambient noise, or mount it taped to the rider's chest inside their jacket to eliminate wind noise, offset so there's no fastener/zipper noise.

    The guy I work with also has a camera tower mounted to his training bike...we can get a nice aerial view from above and behind the rider.
    #58
  19. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer

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    I have a old Canon camera and am using a "Helmetcamera.com" lipstick camera. This setup works good when the camera is mounted on the helmet but I get a lot of vibration if I try to mount the camera on a RAM mount. The only problem I have with this setup is the bulk as you have mentioned. I got really stupid the other night and went out and bought a Samsung Sports Cam Corder as it is about as compact as it gets. I will report back after I have had a chance to get it mounted up and on a bike. Here is a link to what I got. http://product.samsung.com/event/optin05/sportscam_site/

    I fully expect the video quality to be much poorer but time will tell.

    BTW: Fantastic audio on your clip. HOW did you do that?:dj

    But only Sfarson can take real video's of any of us here in Colorado.:bow

    Cheers.
    Marc
    #59
  20. gts

    gts Bark Buster

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    Thanks for the responses!
    the camera can be analog or digital, but video inputs are required. On mine when you run it in "vcr" mode it knows to record through the remote.

    The mic is from radio shack, I think it's a tie-clip type; not very high quality. It's a lot less sensitive than than the camcorder mic, plus I wrap it in foam to cut out wind + bag noise and it's usually inside a fanny pack or saddle bag. The wires have to be packed pretty carefully or the connections will snap/crackle/pop during playback - real annoying to listen to. My current bike has pretty loud pipes when I get on it :evil it's the first vehicle that has come through that dinky mic so clearly. I had a real sphincter moment later in that clip when a wet straightaway ended... it would really suck to crash while trying to get something on film.

    I've used www.helmet-cam.com and www.helmetcameras.com for parts; the first website has a nice housing for the camera that velcros to your helmet or the bike. Tank mounts give great shots of the speedometers + leaning but being able to turn the camera with your head is good too, just make sure you watch the road of course. A helmet mount will help absorb some bumps too, and with mine I was lucky to have the image stabilizing function work through the remote. Pretty important for off road filming LOL.

    7 cameras, now that is a lot of spaghetti! I've mostly stuck to helmet mounts. Here's a wacky one I did on a previous bike; the vibration was pretty bad with this one.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty silly setup so I only did it once :D Here's a clip from that ride

    http://h1.ripway.com/gts/street/ADV/TailCam.wmv

    Bonus points if you can name the helmet graphics. Those training videos sound like a lot of work went into them, I'd be interested to see some. Someone once told me that data collection was easy + it's the processing that's a PITA... they were right as far as filming. Editing takes time + patience. I'll post some more here once in awhile, thanks again :thumb

    Janders, great sig, and photog, I fell for your link...
    #60