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

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

  1. marchyman

    marchyman Cam Killer

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    Some people have been reporting problems when using the older Contours with machines that support USB 3. If that is your issue try a different (older) machine. In my case the camera won't talk USB to any machine in the house, including the machine that used to work great.

    The camera is semi-toast. :bluduh
  2. munchmeister

    munchmeister Grow'd Up Mini Trail

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  3. Blakduk

    Blakduk Just trying to get by.

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    Well I'm bumping up this thread, adding some of my own thoughts and hoping for some more up-to-date thoughts from inmates.

    I'm in the market for a helmet cam for the more singletrack type off road riding. My mate bought a brand new Contour plus 2 for road riding and his work and showed me how absolutely fantastic the footage was. He's all keen on me getting one too. I believe that this is the top camera by Contour at the moment.

    I'm also looking at the Drift Ghost, which I believe is the top Drift product at the moment.

    The Drift Ghost seems much the same as the Contour +2....

    The Contour has a laser to help you aim it. The Drift has a mini screen on the side. Both will talk to a smartphone so you can change settings or look at your footage. The Contour has a GPS which he doesn't use. It uses extra battery, but I reckon he will eventually use it to have on the corner of his screen "240km/h" etc!!! I think it shows current speed which is not a dirtbike essential I reckon, but on a big dual purpose might be cool.
    The Contour has a brilliant big on/off switch that works well. The new Drift has a remote on/off switch you put on your handlebars. (good? extra battery? gimmick?)



    Other thoughts:
    I've also read that higher resolution settings don't allow as fast a frame rate, so really fast close stuff 'might' appear less smooth.
    I've also read that higher resolution shows great peripheral footage - allowing for better indication of speed - but diminishes straight ahead distance perception (a bike in front of you appears further away).
    This would suggest to me that you'd go slightly lower in the res, i.e. not 1080, but maybe 960 to get a good compromise?
    The laser aiming thing is only really important when you first set up your helmet mount. Or the preview screen might be handy if you swap it around between people who are 'handholding' it.
    Price of accessories (2nd battery, car/AC charger, mounts, lens cover/repl) is important up to a point.
    For hardcore dirtbiking, either a lens cover or cheap/easy replaceable lenses might be important.
    I think a camera that can move from shade to light quickly would be important for single track.
    Previewing footage is handy when you are becoming familiar with the camera, setting it up etc; but my mates experience is that once it is up and running; you turn it on, you turn it off, later you download footage. He does nothing with the settings anymore. Just swaps it between work/home/race helmets.
    So..... is a little screen just another thing to go wrong?

    The GoPro sticks out like a teletubbies knob, and I really think I would knock it off on the first single track I hit. Besides....I reckon it looks stupid.

    So next important bit, pricing.
    So far I have:
    Contour Roam $200-250, Contour +2 $480-550, and Drift Ghost $350-420. This is rough, from ebay and in $AUD.

    Feel free to fire up this thread and shoot me down, add new cameras, give some technical expertise.....

    Edit: Oh yes, the newest gimmick is on the Ghost. This is a loop thing, where the camera will constantly record and overwrite; and only store the last 5 or 3 or whatever minutes if you hit a switch. e.g., you've been cruising around, then have a mindblowing stretch of riding, then hit the switch to go back 5 minutes and save the lot of if. (not ending up with hours of crap footage you have to edit later).
    Prediction: Next generation of other cameras will get this too. (Go-Pro top camera surely already has this too).
  4. bross

    bross Where we riding to?

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    My VIO POV.1 has had that "feature" for years. :deal
  5. Blakduk

    Blakduk Just trying to get by.

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    ...hmm, noted. I guess I need to do more reading!
  6. marchyman

    marchyman Cam Killer

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    From past experience:

    My Contour HD will no longer communicate over the USB. It can charge. And the camera works. But I have to use a card reader to access the video and I can't change things like date/time, audio level, video quality, etc.

    My Drift HD does not like vibration when recording. My conjecture is that the memory card momentarily loses contact. Whatever the cause when the vibration level is high (as when mounted to a motorcycle) the camera locks up hard. The only way to reset is to pull the battery. Works OK when mounted on my helmet.

    GoPro hero3 black... yeah, it looks dorky but so far it has worked. It's still too new for me to say it is any better in reliability than the above two cameras.

    The quality of the Hero3 is better than the other two... but it's 2 years newer than the Drift and probably 4 years newer than the Contour.
  7. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

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    But that "feature" cost how much?

    :deal:evil
  8. robdogg

    robdogg turnip truck driver

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    the gopro has been around for ten years now and has seen more single track then all the others combined no doubt.., so no worries about it getting knocked off.. and if it does, dime to dollar it survives impact way better then most due to the extremely tough case

    just saying

    oh, and it's had loop recording from the get go as well..
  9. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

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    The GoPro only got loop recording with the GoPro HD 3 Black.
  10. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    If you put the card in your PC, you should be able to change the camera settings inside the Contour storyteller program.

    The camera settings are stored on the SD card, not the camera.

    Hope that helps!
  11. marchyman

    marchyman Cam Killer

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    Tried that when the camera USB first failed. Alas, storyteller does not see the card as a camera so won't update the missing settings. Whatever fried the USB also took out a memory card. Perhaps if I had one that had originally been in a Contour this would work. It does not work with a freshly formatted memory card.
  12. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    Can you still format a new card on camera? I never connect the camera by USB and I can change the settings.

    I just bought the contour+ to go with my roam. The ability to view the camera feed on my phone is very cool.

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 2
  13. marchyman

    marchyman Cam Killer

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    The ContourHD (original, 720p version) has one switch for power, one switch for record, and one switch for SD/HD. That's it. Everything else (date, video quality, audio level, contrast, etc.) is changed using Storyteller.
  14. darkstarmoto

    darkstarmoto Am I evil? Yes I am

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    Well here's a better example in 1080/30, I'm slowly learning quality is affected by the hosting site as well. The raw footage onmy PC is super sharp. What I was excited to see in this is the transitions from sunlight to shadow was pretty good compared to what I've seen from other cameras.

    http://youtu.be/fyX_5RACVd8
  15. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    I could only get that to come up in 720, if it was shot using 1080 than you're missing out on some resolution at rendering time. What cam was it shot with? Asking because the sound quality leaves a little to be desired.

    This was shot at 720/60 and rendered up for 1080. GP HD and H3B cams
    http://youtu.be/P3Q9zf7Ypr8
  16. darkstarmoto

    darkstarmoto Am I evil? Yes I am

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    ^^ Hmm I see what you're saying. I hiked up the settings to the highest I could using a free video editor and reloaded the video. Still can't set it higher than 720 on YT, but I think the quality is better than my 1st attempt. I also figured out how to turn off the background noise.

    The mic on the HD Ghost does leave something to be desired, I'll admit. I'm looking at the external mic to see if it's any better. The issue is the mic is right at the front of the camera so it picks up nothing but wind noise, I may try putting some tape over it and see how that works too.

    http://youtu.be/fyX_5RACVd8
  17. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    Yeah, that def helped. The cam is going to have a ard time whenever it's headed into the sun like that, esp when there's trees that switch the picture back and forth between light and dark. It taxes the CCD sensor's ability to switch brightness (they slightly slow to react) It's probably one of the worst filming situations to get nice pic. Keep playing with the settings, you'll get it up to 1080P.
  18. darkstarmoto

    darkstarmoto Am I evil? Yes I am

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    And I think I figured it out, didn't realize I had a choice of what format to save in. I just thought it was up to settings, I can actually save it in HD. I'll have it reformatted and re-upload on Monday cause its on m work PC.

    EDIT: Now much better...I'm so new to this stuff....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=cBsj2WU2I0I
  19. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    Looks good!
  20. darkstarmoto

    darkstarmoto Am I evil? Yes I am

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    ^^ thanks, I hope I can have it all dailed in for 14 day trip in Colorado end of June into July.