What camera?

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TwoPlusTen
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What camera?

Postby TwoPlusTen » 27 Apr 2010, 9:36pm

Following on from the thread about cameras and their use... here's my question (or barrage of questions) for those of you that DO use them.

Having recently been cut up by the same private hire vehicle here in the space of two weeks (a complaint has been filed to Wokingham Borough Council) I am considering the use of a camera for evidence-gathering purposes.

So, questions aplenty...

What camera/s do you use?
Bike mounted or body/helmet mounted?
- And where?
Ease of setting up?
How long do they last? (on a charge of battery)
How much?
... Anything else I should know?

Thanks one and all!

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gaz545
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Re: What camera?

Postby gaz545 » 27 Apr 2010, 11:45pm

My Cameras:
Front:
Make and Model: Vholdr ContourHD
Estimated Price: £200
Pro's:
720p size and great quality.
Good size
Light Weight
big red light when recording
1 hour film takes around 4-5GB on best quality.

cons:
occasional issue where sound isn't recorded
Helmet mount has a slight design fault and can wobble on bumpy roads.

Rear:
Make and Model: Veho Muvi
Estimated price: £50
1 hour filming is around 2.2GB.

Pro':
Small
light weight
doesn't look like a camera

Con's:
Video quality is poor compared to the ContourHD


My contourHD is mounted to my helmet and my rear on the frame. Front facing cameras are best on your helmet, they then show where you are looking and your neck will balance any bumps you have. Frame mounted cameras are generally going to vibrate a lot and the image quality will be poor because of this.

My youtube channel for video examples: http://www.youtube.com/user/gaz545

iamanidiot
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Re: What camera?

Postby iamanidiot » 28 Apr 2010, 12:32am

The Veho Muvi is just an arbitrarily uppriced version of this.

Which as you can see is £9.
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gilesjuk
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Re: What camera?

Postby gilesjuk » 28 Apr 2010, 8:56am

I have the original Vholdr, I wasn't that impressed with the company to be honest. They said they would upgrade the firmware and add additional features, fix some issues. But they never did, they claimed some of the fixes weren't reliable in testing so never released the firmware. Sounds like bad design or lack of commitment to me, not good for a small up and coming company.

I think things like charging indicator lights that work aren't a luxury, they are things that should work from day one.

I think the image quality from the £9 camera on ebay is on par or even slightly better. But obviously not as durable.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: What camera?

Postby EdinburghFixed » 28 Apr 2010, 8:58am

I would recommend grabbing a Muvi (or equivalent) as a first step, and seeing whether it does the trick for you or not.

The ContourHD (720p version) for around £200 is definitely the sweet spot from looking at YouTube clips, but obviously it is a serious investment.

Personally, I think having a head-mounted camera (I use a strap under my buff as I don't wear a helmet) is far superior to bar-mounted, which often yields quite frustrating video that doesn't quite show what you're getting excited about.

gilesjuk
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Re: What camera?

Postby gilesjuk » 28 Apr 2010, 10:16am

£15 + £7 shipping. Probably similar to all these other cheap cameras from China, pretty good SD quality. HD is better of course but costs big money.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mini-Cam-Camera-A ... 27ae8c98ce

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: What camera?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 28 Apr 2010, 12:02pm

Anyone got any footage for the £15 version?
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gilesjuk
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Re: What camera?

Postby gilesjuk » 28 Apr 2010, 12:55pm

Try this:

http://www.163pan.com/download/80f000b0k.html

It's all in chinese, there's three buttons that appear, click the button on the right.

Doesn't look too bad, some motion blur but certainly better than the Oregon I bought a while ago. I've ordered a camera myself.

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drsquirrel
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Re: What camera?

Postby drsquirrel » 1 May 2010, 2:32pm

iamanidiot wrote:The Veho Muvi is just an arbitrarily uppriced version of this.

Which as you can see is £9.


That's a clone, and is only really 15fps (it repeats the frames). It's not even 720 wide (720x480 remember, it's not 720p which is 1280x720). It's just a stretched 640.
There is a better clone for around £30 that has the sliders switches and does 20fps.

The form factor to me is annoying for helmet mounting.


The CoutourHD looks nice, 720p does 60fps if you use a lower res, and the 1080p does 720p@60fps - 60fps is better than the extra resolution! Problem with this is it's too big for a helmet, imo. And for something that takes larger videos, it uses MicroSD... standard SD would have been much better ta!


I had a "Mini DVR2" which has the bullet cam separate but sent it back, quality was too poor, and I am pretty sure I could have just bought the cheap ebay versions (angeleye, even mine had the angeleye boxing) and would have been the same quality. I just assumed the ebay ones were clones and of lower quality! (most of the ebay ones though come with the button cameras, not bullet cameras).

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CyberKnight
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Re: What camera?

Postby CyberKnight » 1 May 2010, 3:05pm

I got one of those clones from hong kong and it will not record for more than 20 mins even on full charge.

Trying to get a refund is like getting blood out of a stone, they said they would refund $3-4 kh which is uhm about 25p.

If anyone has got a good cheap one link plz , seen one on amazon for £23 or £16 on ebay

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Compact-Camcord ... 552&sr=8-2
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Ivor Tingting
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Re: What camera?

Postby Ivor Tingting » 2 May 2010, 12:37pm

I recently bought a Veho Muvi VCC 003 DV cam on Amazon for £49. With an additional 8GB micro SDHC card it will hopefully record for several hours (Camera comes with a measely 2GB microSD card which is not up to the job as footage is too jerky). Haven't found out yet. Quality of footage is reasonable for £50. Although the additional 8GB micro SDHC memory card class 6 was £18 it is worth it to get smooth footage. £18 is a rip off really as the cards are tiny (Got mine from 7Dayphoto as they were the cheapest. Veho want £30 for just one 8GB microSD card!!!!!). Veho claim that the camera can be used with an 8GB card so the battery must have sufficient power for this length of recording time. As I say I haven't yet found out how long it will record for. I really need 3 hours out of it which Veho claim it will do. The camera's battery cannot be removed or swapped for another when it is flat. To recharge the camera it has to be connected to a USB lead connected to a PC, laptop or a USB specific plug.

The only other down side to this little camera, the size of a small cigarette lighter, is that it's not weather proof. The rubber cover Veho supply is useless as it can't be used over the camera once it is placed in the helmet mount. They produce what looks like a full plastic case but this is £40!!!!! Apart from these gripes the footage is pretty good. Just don't use it when it's ******* with rain. It's small enough to be very discreet and not so heavy as to affect the weight of your helmet too much. I tried mounting it facing rearward on the seat post but the vibration was so much that the footage was jumping around all over the place - totally useless. You need a camera mounted on your head/helmet as your body acts as a massive damper. Plus mounted higher up you can angle it very very slightly down so as not cause the camera to think the scene is really bright if pointing skywards, thus closing down the lens meaning everything but the sky is in shadow.
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drsquirrel
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Re: What camera?

Postby drsquirrel » 2 May 2010, 6:17pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:The only other down side to this little camera, the size of a small cigarette lighter, is that it's not weather proof. The rubber cover Veho supply is useless as it can't be used over the camera once it is placed in the helmet mount. They produce what looks like a full plastic case but this is £40!!!!! Apart from these gripes the footage is pretty good. Just don't use it when it's pi55ing with rain. It's small enough to be very discreet and not so heavy as to affect the weight of your helmet too much. I tried mounting it facing rearward on the seat post but the vibration was so much that the footage was jumping around all over the place - totally useless. You need a camera mounted on your head/helmet as your body acts as a massive damper. Plus mounted higher up you can angle it very very slightly down so as not cause the camera to think the scene is really bright if pointing skywards, thus closing down the lens meaning everything but the sky is in shadow.


It won't record for that long, even the "proper" ones will only just about get 2 hours, colder or just older and you will be looking at 1hr20 a safe bet up to around 1hr40 on a good day.

2gb will record around 1hr10 to 1hr20, as the bitrate is variable the recording size/times vary in regards to storage - complicated details like tree leaves etc incur higher bitrates, whereas looking at a white wall will have a lower bitrate thus longer recording time. Good if you want to record paint drying.

The plastic case is just recent, so best to wait for the Chinese "clones" to come out. And considering it's just a case, they will be almost exactly the same - the "original" company will have these made in a factory in China anyway, and once finished it's common for Chinese factories to continue using the tooling (since it costs nothing extra) and produce some more and sell on direct (without import taxes and all that hassle). Added to that the Chinese government subsidises the mail there to encourage exports.

I've used mine in rain, it will be fine if it's not submerged... BUT the camera assembly is recessed, just enough for water tension to hold a bubble in front (look at my youtube links for muvi in the rain).

I've never had a problem rear mounting mine, although I do use rubber strapping/mounts rather than the silly kit that you get with the camera.

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Phil_Lee
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Re: What camera?

Postby Phil_Lee » 2 May 2010, 11:54pm

I use a Kodak Zx1, which I got from Amazon.
720P @ 60fps, so decent quality.
It runs on AA cells (2x precharged NiMh 2100 mAh supplied, with charger).
It also came with USB, video and HDMI cables, a rubber cover, lanyard and PC software for importing, editing and uploading to various sites including youtube.
It has no usable memory built in,so I got a 16GB class 4 SDHC card and a USB2.0 cardreader for it (my old one only does SD).

Total cost of all the above including VAT and delivery, £67.

Result can be seen Here

The camera has a standard tripod thread in the bottom, so many mounting options are possible, although on the tourer I just attach it to the handlebars with rubber bands, with the lanyard as a security strap.
The card holds about 4 hours worth on full definition, but the batteries only last a bit over 2 hours (but I have a spare set, and can swap them quickly).
It is also shower-proof (but I don't have enough confidence to try it in a total downpour).

Note that the video is highly compressed by Youtube - raw footage is far higher quality.

Anyone interested in checking the quality, I could email a short clip, but be aware that it is about 1.6MB per second.

Ivor Tingting
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Re: What camera?

Postby Ivor Tingting » 3 May 2010, 12:36am

That footage is really good quality and pretty steady for a handle bar mounted camera. How big is your Kodak camera? Would it be small enough to mount on a helmet?
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

gilesjuk
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Re: What camera?

Postby gilesjuk » 3 May 2010, 10:32am

I notice it's a bit wobbly, I don't mean camera shake it's the deinterlacing technique used. It smears a little when things move. My Oregon did that and it made it pretty bad to watch, your footage is better since the resolution is higher.