Helmet camera question
Posted May 13, 2003 - 08:35 AM
I see www.hemetcamera.com as on option for the helmet mounting, are there any other good options available?
Posted May 13, 2003 - 08:54 AM
I got the mini kit since i already had a camera.I have been happy with it and have caught some cool stuff to show my family and friends.
Posted May 13, 2003 - 10:12 AM
I wasnt 100% happy with my HC from helmetcam.com
Dont get me wrong. Its a great HC. But it has some flaws too.
My biggest gripe was while using the helmet cam, sometimes it would just lose the video signal for no reason whatsoever. It would be filming fine one second and then the next... blackout.
My second problem with it is it is very hard to get the whole thing together before you go ride. all your buddies are sitting waiting on you and your stuffing the camera into its protective housing (in my case this was a huge bagel container with padding) then tape up the lid w/duck tape to keep water out, then put it in the fanny pack, run wires oout of the fanny pack up the back of your chest protector (the hardest part I thought) all while its plugged into your helmet. Then you have to make sure no wires are protruding out so they dont get caught on tree limbs.
Once your done putting it on, your ready for a break. I mean there has to be a better way with all the technology we have today.
I went to California for the Elsinore GP in 2001 and I was all stoked to use it in the race and the stupid thing wentout on me right before the practice lap. I was so pissed I swore I was gonna sell it as soon as I got home. And I did.
BTW: From what I was told when I bought mine the image stabilazation function on your video camrea is useless for the HC. Just works for the camcorder.
I was impressed however with the video quality when I got the thing to work. It looks great!
Posted May 13, 2003 - 06:40 PM
I do this kind of thing for a living. www.baughan.com
The image stabilization will not work because you will be using the camera as just a recorder when using an external camera. Tips: Put on a WIDE angle lens to minimize the vibration/ movement. Hold your head steady and be mostly aware of keeping the horizon even (no tilting). Do tests so you know the camera is pointing not too far up or down. Dress the cables so they don't get stressed and disconnect at the first turn. Chase someone, so there's always a reference in the shot (keeps viewers from throwing up).Try to build your own mounting set-ups as helmet cam is boring after a few seconds. Check out NASTAR. They mount cameras all over the car now. Be aware that good shots take work and expermentation so don't keep your buddies waiting.
Posted May 14, 2003 - 03:25 PM
I tape mine all around the helmet and tape the video / audio connections together so they don't pull apart. I learned they come out easily after the first couple of rides. You get home and have no video.
The video is suprisingly stable. Definately make sure someone is in front of you most of the time. The only thing I find "nausiating" is when you are not riding and you move your head all around just looking at things. If I can remember, I try to keep head movements smooth and slow.
I don't worry about the audio because I put music over all the riding. Otherwise it is just very annoying noise. Plus it helps keep non riders interested. Because only you and your riding buddies are going to enjoy the tape. Everyone else will be like "OK, I have dishes to wash" after 10 minutes.
I do like it though. It is fun to pull out the tapes in the winter and get your fix.
Posted May 14, 2003 - 04:57 PM
At first I was thinking that I needed a super-duper high-speed camera to ensure that the final image is nice and viewable, but it sounds like recording the image via helmet-mounted optic basically by-passes most camera add-on functions? (image stabilization, night-vision, ect.)
After you find out where you want to mount the optic (I like the idea of various mounting positions. Only having one position available would probably become a little boring, over time. Sounds like it is a good idea regarding this camera situation too! ) is it difficult to switch it around mid-ride, or are you stuck in one mounting position per ride?
Now I want to ask the big question, and let the cat right out of the bag, but I won't........
Posted May 14, 2003 - 05:24 PM
Posted May 18, 2003 - 09:52 AM
I got very nice water resistant camera from a security shop for only $90. I connected it to my Digital video camera with AV (AnalogVideo?) input function and it works GREAT!!! I have a little security battery 12V working for the helmet camera and with current reductor I also power my recording camera. Hope this helps...
Posted May 19, 2003 - 06:28 AM
Posted May 19, 2003 - 07:29 AM
It's been a while, did you do any searching about video cams in the archives? I did a bit of blabbling about video cams a year back and captured it into a few web pages.
MOmilkman has some stuff in there as well
Here's a link to my video page...
and I made this street video as well
I'm not in here as much as I was back in 2000/2001 but if ya have questions I'll happily answer what I can.
Posted May 19, 2003 - 10:58 AM
Neil has got some great footage and he has the video/mpeg thing figured out. I still havent.
Posted May 20, 2003 - 06:09 AM
How can I help? I used Adobe Premier 6.5 for the capture and editing. To get the highest quality out of your files, you have to select a resolution format that isn't going to choke your 'puter. So I capture and edit with raw DV footage (720x480) and when I render it I take that down to 320x240. Premier outputs a multitude of formats, but the best quality (least quantizing) is *.avi So I render to AVI first.
Then I use WinMedia ver9 now, but vers7 & 8 will work as well. microsoft has got a gret video compression engine going with their winmedia product. It's free as well I drop the usually huge AVI (often in the gigs) into win media and have it export a *.wmv file that is usually 10 -15% the size of the original. The drawback for the small size is the microsoft isn't really compatible thing, so you lose out for folks on older Windows versions and those on MACs. UNIX, BSD, etc.
oh yeah.. quantizing is where the 'puter averages several shades of colours into a single colour. Like posterization. It's done to reduce the amount if inforamtion needed to re-make an image, but the quality is questionable.
Posted May 20, 2003 - 08:40 AM
Anyone know if this is true?
Posted May 20, 2003 - 11:01 AM
From what I priced the jump to a DV with AV is a couple hundred bucks Eeeech
There are very few DV under 500 bucks that have AV In
Posted May 20, 2003 - 12:59 PM
One of the main advantages of a DV camera is the IEEE1394 port on them. Firewire is the other name of IEEE1394. This port allows your 'puter to control the camera and it makes capturing from tape much easier.
Posted May 20, 2003 - 08:39 PM
Posted May 21, 2003 - 02:56 AM
Posted May 21, 2003 - 03:56 AM
Ok for the experinced guys here. Whats the best way to compress files for emailing? I have the set up and have been using it. Trying to send some short files and stuff. I'm getting some files in the 4-5 MB range for 30 seconds but my quality looks almost to low when I start getting them this small. I'm using Ulead software for editing and compressing. Thanks in advance.
The best consumer level (that's us) quality vs size compression out there right now is MPEG-2. Since it's recognized as the best thing going, those that invented it haven't released the rights to it and charge for it's use. Most large editing programs want you to purchase the right to use it as they don't own the rights either. There's a reasonable FREE version found here. BBMepeg2 is the name of it.
Here's a pretty good site for software....
right click on this link and you can d/l the BBmpeg2 plugin for Adobe and Ulead editors.
The Mpeg2 may not get you much smaller than what you have now though. 4 or 5 meg for 30 seconds is not outragous at all. Television cameras output 170meg a second so you have to keep it in perspective. Check out the use of Winmedia as a final step. Microsoft has a really good compression engine in WinMedia9 and it's dropped my file sizes dramtically.
Try reducing your frame rate from 30 frames per second to 15 or 12 fps. This reduces your file size as well. I don't make files that I want to send around much larger than 320x240. It's a reasonable trade-off of physical (screen) size vs quality vs file size.
Don't e-mail your video files around. Find or start an FTP server that will allow people to click on a link in their e-mail and snag the file when traffic is slow. I don't appreciate getting large files in my e-mail as its long download time may keep me from getting something really important. AND a large video file has a good chance of maxing out my e-mail limits.
Hope that helps...
Posted May 21, 2003 - 09:12 AM