Helmet Cams.

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DSam103rd
Posts: 3
Joined: 4 Dec 2012, 10:41am

Helmet Cams.

Postby DSam103rd » 4 Dec 2012, 10:46am

Hi All,

I am thinking of getting a helmet camera. I think the gopro's are to big - does anyone have a suggestion for me? I am thinking around the 70£ price but can stretch if im unable to get one.

Thanks all
Sam.

Brucey
Posts: 33521
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby Brucey » 4 Dec 2012, 12:03pm

technology moves apace here.

I'd suggest that you look carefully at your requirements and decide if you are sure that you need a top-spec camera in the first instance or not.

For less than £25 you can get a basic helmet cam with which you can test the waters. This will allow you to see if you need HD, better waterproofing, if the size is really important, if you need a different mounting option, what battery life is OK for you, that kind of thing.

If a basic camera doesn't quite work for you I'm sure you can sell it on at a small loss, and chances are that by then you can buy something better with confidence, and at a better spec/lower price, too. Six months is plenty long enough for the game to move on with this kind of gadget.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16847
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 4 Dec 2012, 12:45pm

I've just bought a £45 camera set from the bay.

It's designed for car use, so I'll nee to provide a waterproof housing for the main camera but it has the following features I was looking for:

- Second camera on a cable (one front, one rear, one device)
- Reasonable quality probably - 720p * slightly less)
- Loop recording, while externally powered
- Wide angle lenses (140 degree)

It also has:
- Remote control
- G sensor - meaning that in the event of a shock > 6g it will not overwrite the few minutes either side of the shock (presumed to be a car accident)
- "Incident" button - manual process to copy the g sensor
- USB power source (so I can use my dynamo to power it)
- IR LEDs for the "main" camera

It will be mounted to the trike with the main unit facing backwards in a waterproof container and the secondary camera mounted under the front light (I might need to smear some sealant around this camera, but one of the advertised locations is as an external rear facing camera). This should allow me to get decent continuous footage without faffing.

This would have provided enough evidence to convict my assailant earlier this year with dangerous driving as well as assault.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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BSRU
Posts: 265
Joined: 7 Jul 2010, 9:53am

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby BSRU » 4 Dec 2012, 2:24pm

You may want to stretch to a Sony HDR-AS10 from EBay, about £120.
At this time of year is low light capabilities are unrivalled.

jochta
Posts: 406
Joined: 13 Mar 2009, 11:54am

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby jochta » 4 Dec 2012, 2:46pm

I use one of these...

http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/dogcam-bul ... -WIDE.html

Battery lasts about 2hrs. 16GB card will hold tens of hours. Small, light and waterproof. Works best attached to helmet. Sound and night capabilities not great. Only drawback I find is I have to remember if it's toggled on or off as you can't see the light! Example videos here...

http://youtu.be/odXpVOJ1x2g

http://youtu.be/woNMRJfbaU0

John

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philg
Posts: 421
Joined: 7 May 2009, 12:13pm
Location: Porlock, Somerset

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby philg » 4 Dec 2012, 5:16pm

I am waiting for delivery from China of this

Full 1080p HD and waterproof! - battery life not great, but it is replaceable and comes with a spare. Will report back.

DSam103rd
Posts: 3
Joined: 4 Dec 2012, 10:41am

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby DSam103rd » 5 Dec 2012, 11:24am

Im actually thinking of a front facing camera and another to face backwards which is why I think some are too big. Cars are filming now with stuff like http://www.carcamwarehouse.com this going on and I think if I ever get hit from behind I need to be covered - for all I know the driver could do something stupid and then cut it out - say approach at ridiculous speed and then slam on the brakes at the last second. Also I would like to be able to show the car approaching me from behind and then overtaking he would appear in the front camera. They tend to only record from the front - so if I had them from *my* front view and they did the dirty, then im covered from there aswell.

Having one front and back would be a great deterrant for drivers thinking they can pull a fast one.

Jochta the ones you show there are very small indeed and I like the look of them - I may well have to stretch the budget a bit. Ive looked at the footage at the velo and that is excellent. I wonder if I can wrangle one for christmas!!!!!!! :)

DSam103rd
Posts: 3
Joined: 4 Dec 2012, 10:41am

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby DSam103rd » 5 Dec 2012, 11:28am

Hi Phil that package is also amazing - whats in the box shots on the listing are really comprehensive - good price aswell - ive never bought from china do they actually send it!!!!? What happens if its broken on arrival are you covered. Yes I would like to see footage from it for sure!
Cheers


philg wrote:I am waiting for delivery from China of this

Full 1080p HD and waterproof! - battery life not great, but it is replaceable and comes with a spare. Will report back.

jochta
Posts: 406
Joined: 13 Mar 2009, 11:54am

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby jochta » 5 Dec 2012, 11:42am

DSam103rd wrote:Hi Phil that package is also amazing - whats in the box shots on the listing are really comprehensive - good price aswell - ive never bought from china do they actually send it!!!!? What happens if its broken on arrival are you covered. Yes I would like to see footage from it for sure!
Cheers


philg wrote:I am waiting for delivery from China of this

Full 1080p HD and waterproof! - battery life not great, but it is replaceable and comes with a spare. Will report back.


Example videos from that camera on YouTube look pretty impressive..

e.g. http://youtu.be/y2VtBCfToF4 and http://youtu.be/H0P1c9vQKIw

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philg
Posts: 421
Joined: 7 May 2009, 12:13pm
Location: Porlock, Somerset

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby philg » 5 Dec 2012, 11:53am

DSam103rd wrote:Hi Phil that package is also amazing - whats in the box shots on the listing are really comprehensive - good price aswell - ive never bought from china do they actually send it!!!!? What happens if its broken on arrival are you covered. Yes I would like to see footage from it for sure!
Cheers

I've bought loads of stuff from China and (touches wood) not had any problems apart from delivery times which can be up to a month. They are a very good source of cheap, blindingly bright lights & torches.

Just pay with Paypal (as you almost always have to on eBay) and you're reasonably well protected (having just done a successful reversal on Wiggle!) though you might have to send it back if broken; about a tenner to China, but still works out far, far cheaper than anything offered by local suppliers IME.

BTW - you can get the lesser spec version from 7dayshop - not HD or waterproof but very reasonable price just to try out the camcorder idea from a reputable dealer.

jochta
Posts: 406
Joined: 13 Mar 2009, 11:54am

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby jochta » 18 Dec 2012, 5:00pm

I bought one of those Chinese cameras from eBay out of interest and as a 2nd camera. It is a LOT bigger and bulkier than the Dogcam one. Would be heavy and very very tricky to securely attach it to a helmet using the enclosed bits. Picture quality is a bit better, especially in the corners, although overall the image is still rather soft. It does 60fps at 720p and has a 30fps 1080p mode. Does show some compression artifacts, especially at 720p.

It vibrates when you start and stop recording which is a nice reminder. It did switch itself off during a recording on my test run with it attached to the handlebars which led to a corrupted file. Handlebar mount demonstrates the 'jello-vision' limitation that all these CMOS cameras with a rolling shutter suffer from despite it having a built in image stabiliser.

Overall, the Dogcam camera is lighter, smaller and easier to attach to a helmet and has good enough image quality for what most users would want one for.

John

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philg
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Joined: 7 May 2009, 12:13pm
Location: Porlock, Somerset

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby philg » 18 Dec 2012, 5:20pm

^ I agree with all of that, assuming the dogcam is the same as my ACT20 (I think it is)

2 points in favour of the HD version; it is waterproof (the ACT20 most definitely isn't though it does seem to recover once dry) and the wider field of view is much more suited to a bike cam.

The helmet mount is pretty secure, but only when mounted on top - the unit is just too heavy to be side mounted IMO.

The major drawbacks are
1. The run-time is only 45mins. The eBay seller states 90mins and supplies 2 batteries - I failed to make the connection! :(
2. No time/date stamp in the video - in fact I'm not sure how to reset the time (the date was correct as delivered)

jochta
Posts: 406
Joined: 13 Mar 2009, 11:54am

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby jochta » 18 Dec 2012, 8:47pm

philg wrote:^ I agree with all of that, assuming the dogcam is the same as my ACT20 (I think it is)

2 points in favour of the HD version; it is waterproof (the ACT20 most definitely isn't though it does seem to recover once dry) and the wider field of view is much more suited to a bike cam.

The helmet mount is pretty secure, but only when mounted on top - the unit is just too heavy to be side mounted IMO.

The major drawbacks are
1. The run-time is only 45mins. The eBay seller states 90mins and supplies 2 batteries - I failed to make the connection! :(
2. No time/date stamp in the video - in fact I'm not sure how to reset the time (the date was correct as delivered)


The Dogcam I use is http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/dogcam-bul ... -WIDE.html and is better for the reasons I gave above IMO. I don't think it's the same as ACT20. It's rainproof, I've used mine in torrential rain and it's been fine.

The ACT35 from ebay is a bit too big and heavy to use as a helmetcam. Date and time are completely wrong on mine and no instructions on how to correct it. for the Dogcam you put the current time and date in a text file in a folder on the MicroSD card and the camera uses that as it's starting point, I'll have to try the same trick.

Here's a size comparision between the Dogcam Bullet HD WIDE (top) and the ACT35...

Image

The Dogcam weighs ~30g, the ACT35 weighs ~100g. The ACT35 plus the helmet mount that came with it weighs a whopping ~150g.

John

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philg
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Joined: 7 May 2009, 12:13pm
Location: Porlock, Somerset

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby philg » 20 Dec 2012, 11:18am

Ah that isn't the ACT20 - it does look good from the website videos.

The ACT35 has another 'feature' which I have complained to the vendor about - I initially though it was a battery issue, but it isn't - my message to them below
Hi
The batteries have been charged correctly.
I have done more tests and although the batteries do not meet the 90 minutes, they do last more than 70 minutes which is OK
The problem is within the camera.
After about 40-45 minutes of continuous recording the unit stops recording and does not respond to button press.
The last file is 0 bytes and the one before this is a full 400+MB but corrupted and cannot be viewed.
All the other previous files are OK
If recording is stopped before 40 minutes and re-started there is no problem and it will record OK until the battery goes flat with all files good.
If you have a firmware update to cure this then that would be helpful.
Regards


I think given all this then for £60 I wouldn't recommend this camera. Either go for the ACT20 HD at around £40 or the dogcam at £100.

Ayesha
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Joined: 30 Jan 2010, 9:54am

Re: Helmet Cams.

Postby Ayesha » 20 Dec 2012, 11:52am

When a cyclist buys a helmet camera, they are required to sign a statement which forces them to ignore this part of the Highway Code.

147

Be considerate. Be careful of and considerate towards all types of road users, especially those requiring extra care (see Rule 204). You should

• try to be understanding if other road users cause problems; they may be inexperienced or not know the area well
• be patient; remember that anyone can make a mistake
not allow yourself to become agitated or involved if someone is behaving badly on the road. This will only make the situation worse. Pull over, calm down and, when you feel relaxed, continue your journey
• slow down and hold back if a road user pulls out into your path at a junction. Allow them to get clear. Do not over-react by driving too close behind to intimidate them
• do not throw anything out of a vehicle, for example, cigarette ends, cans, paper or carrier bags. This can endanger other road users, particularly motorcyclists and cyclists.

They are told to ignore the proverb "Two wrongs don't make a right",

and to erase from their heads, these famous words :-

"As we forgive them that trespass against us".


They recieve a permit which allows them to take the law into their own hands, and a membership card for The Holier Than Thou club.

When a motorist sees a helmet cam in operation, they will immediatley recognise the cyclist as a person of 'self imposed importance', and pay them little regard or respect, up to and including hand gestures, shouted obscenities and vulgar name calling.

Cyclists who wrap black tape round an empty lavatory roll tube and attach it to their helmets get the same low wit abuse from motorists, for some strange reason.