What camera?

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drsquirrel
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Re: What camera?

Postby drsquirrel » 3 May 2010, 3:46pm

Ivor Tingting wrote: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?


I've seen people mount that camera on the helmet, it's like the gopro... which looks weird imo!

You must all remember that just because a camera is (1280x)720p doesn't mean it's better than other cameras that are still in 720x576 etc, just like these 100mp</sarcasm> cameras, most of the time the resolution is higher than the sensor itself so "MP" (and resolution in this case) is interpolated, and good for marketing.


eg. My old DSLR only takes 6.2mp images but is 10x better than the newest point and shoot 12mp


What you want is something that captures the highest bitrate possible, the higher it is the more processing power your device needs (hence increased cost. Ironically you need high quality to preserve bad quality ;)

Higher FPSs are a bonus too, you just need to make sure there is enough light getting into the lens, either a large aperture (which then restricts depth of field, and increases camera size) or just really good weather :p

gilesjuk
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Re: What camera?

Postby gilesjuk » 3 May 2010, 4:17pm

Personally I want low noise, good lens and wide dynamic range. On sunny days some of these cameras can't cope with a bright sky.

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gaz545
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Re: What camera?

Postby gaz545 » 3 May 2010, 4:57pm

I think thats where the ContourHD comes into play, plenty of settings to play with including: bit rate, contrast, exposure and sharpness. Also plenty of mounting options... but it comes at a price.

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drsquirrel
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Re: What camera?

Postby drsquirrel » 3 May 2010, 7:56pm

gaz545 wrote:I think thats where the ContourHD comes into play, plenty of settings to play with including: bit rate, contrast, exposure and sharpness. Also plenty of mounting options... but it comes at a price.


imo, the ContourHD is quite cheap ;)

It's too bad you cannot legally use your camera for any commercial usage without a licence... ho ho ho.

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simonineaston
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Re: What camera?

Postby simonineaston » 5 May 2010, 12:18pm

Just to let you folks know, the quite tempting 'water-proof', all solid-state, Kodak Zx1 is available on Amazon at under £50. :)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kodak-Zx1-Defin ... B001SN72TK

k_zx1.jpg
Kodak Zx1 mini camcorder
k_zx1.jpg (10.62 KiB) Viewed 10210 times
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Phil_Lee
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Re: What camera?

Postby Phil_Lee » 5 May 2010, 5:56pm

Ivor Tingting wrote: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?


I wouldn't try helmet mounting it, but then I don't wear a helmet ;)
Seriously, it would be possible but not convenient or unobtrusive, and aiming it would be "interesting".
It's heavier than some, as well, but then that's a compromise decision (AA Cells and rubber covers on all ports add size and weight, but I reckon that's worth it).
I see someone has posted a picture already, so I'll just note the dimensions - 6cm wide at top, narrowing to 5.5cm at the bottom, 10cm tall, and 2.5cm thick (all these measurements are in it's rubber "ruggedised" case, which is a freebie from Amazon if you buy it from them (until 31st July, see here).
A velcro strap passed around the camera inside the silicon rubber case could well be a viable helmet mount.

Camera is here at £47.79 (£2.20 more if you want it in pink or red, £29.30 more if you want yellow :shock: ),
16GB Class 4 SDHC card is here at £17.99,
And I also got a USB2.0 SDHC card reader because my existing one was only compatible with SD/MMC, from here for £1.30
All with free delivery.
Don't get the "recommended" SanDisk card as it's only class 2, which will give very jerky results - it just isn't fast enough.
If you want to go upmarket with a class 6 card, and really guarantee best possible data flow, there's one here at £30.99

gilesjuk wrote: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.


It is due to the vertical shake, and the faster the processing, the less obtrusive it is.
It's also worse if I mount it on a clamp with the tripod screw on the bottom, as this allows more movement.
It isn't too bad in low light, either - I tried a ride home from Cambridge last night, and it was good enough to get numberplates (and shows that the Busch & Muller Ixon IQ is pretty good) :)

I'm reckoning on getting a spare card for it, so that if I record something with serious evidential value, I can leave the card untouched until it has been verified as untampered with.
Having said that, I may also wait until class 6 cards come down in price a bit, so I can see if that gives any improvement (in theory, class 4 is fast enough, but it depends how "bursty" the data is). Then I could use the class 6 most of the time, with an option to use the class 4 I already have if I need to preserve the veracity of what's on the card, or on the rare occasion I just need more endurance.
It uses just over 4GB per hour, on 720P setting, although this will depend on content, as compressing detailed subjects with lots of movement will not be as effective as for slow moving or plain subjects. Camera shake probably makes it less compressible :( so you may get more capacity from helmet mounting.

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drsquirrel
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Re: What camera?

Postby drsquirrel » 5 May 2010, 9:21pm

Phil_Lee wrote:I'm reckoning on getting a spare card for it, so that if I record something with serious evidential value, I can leave the card untouched until it has been verified as untampered with.
Having said that, I may also wait until class 6 cards come down in price a bit, so I can see if that gives any improvement (in theory, class 4 is fast enough, but it depends how "bursty" the data is). Then I could use the class 6 most of the time, with an option to use the class 4 I already have if I need to preserve the veracity of what's on the card, or on the rare occasion I just need more endurance.
It uses just over 4GB per hour, on 720P setting, although this will depend on content, as compressing detailed subjects with lots of movement will not be as effective as for slow moving or plain subjects. Camera shake probably makes it less compressible :( so you may get more capacity from helmet mounting.


Camera will move a lot more on a helmet, which would decrease the recording capacity (although only very slightly).

If something is serious enough, I wouldn't be that worried about continuing to record later on :p

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simonineaston
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Re: What camera?

Postby simonineaston » 6 May 2010, 9:24am

I wonder if the choice of camera made not be the whole story... I'm vaguely aware that the only image format regarded as 'evidential' is the RAW format. Are there similar legal criteria for movie clips?
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drsquirrel
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Re: What camera?

Postby drsquirrel » 6 May 2010, 4:07pm

You mean for stills imagery RAW is only valid?

Well technically only approved video devices can be used for evidence, but realistically I don't think this matters (from the amount of Police that go around knocking on doors of people that have "home cctv" systems).

The output format is just a compression format, like jpg would be. Just uncompressed video at PAL is a few minutes per gb, at 720p and above it would be a huge amount more.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: What camera?

Postby EdinburghFixed » 6 May 2010, 4:18pm

simonineaston wrote:I wonder if the choice of camera made not be the whole story... I'm vaguely aware that the only image format regarded as 'evidential' is the RAW format. Are there similar legal criteria for movie clips?


This is interesting, as there's nothing about RAW which means it hasn't been forged. It's just a different way of storing the same info, nothing more.

With enough care, you can forge anything (although I think it would be considerably more difficult to forge a couple of minutes of video, and forge the soundtrack to include the driver's voice).

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Re: What camera?

Postby simonineaston » 6 May 2010, 4:52pm

For those of you with time on your hands, here's a great read... :?

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-of ... st0501.htm
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: What camera?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 May 2010, 5:21pm

simonineaston wrote:For those of you with time on your hands, here's a great read... :?

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-of ... st0501.htm



Time - lots of it....
The current law on the use of images as evidence

2.14 Although there is no legislation which expressly covers digital images used as evidence, nor any reported cases in which the fact that an image was collected in digital form was at issue (Crown Prosecution Service p 167) there is a substantial body of the law of evidence which deals with the problems arising from technological recordings. This body of law will equally apply to digital images. Indeed, witnesses including the Senior Counsel from IBM (Q 263) and solicitors from Bird & Bird (Q 78) regarded the differences between digital images and other evidence as being one of "degree rather than of fundamental kind" (Q 78).
Special requirements for admissibility

2.15 The rules of evidence of common law jurisdictions normally exclude from evidence certain types of document. The most unreliable kind of evidence, under these rules, is 'hearsay', which is not admissible as evidence unless it falls within one of the numerous exceptions to the rule. By contrast, information captured by a recording device, with no human intervention, is not normally hearsay and can be admitted in evidence. Video and image recordings are not therefore excluded as hearsay.

2.16 In civil litigation, there are no prior requirements which must be met before a document (which would include a digital image) can be admitted in evidence. Section 1 of the Civil Evidence Act 1995 abolishes the hearsay rule for civil proceedings, and Section 8 provides that where a statement in a document is admissible, it may be proved by producing a copy of the document (even if the original is still in existence) and that the number of removes between a copy and the original is irrelevant (ie it may be an nth generation copy). Furthermore, under Section 9, documents which form part of the records of a business (defined very widely) are automatically admissible and the absence of an entry in those records can be proved by an appropriately signed certificate[12].

2.17 In criminal cases the position is a little different, as the House of Lords has decided[13] that the provisions of Section 69 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (see Box 3) apply to all computer records, whether they are hearsay or not. This means that in criminal cases, any use of a digital image as evidence must be accompanied by the certificate required under Section 69. This certificate, given by a person responsible for the computer system in question, must state that either the computer system was at all times operating properly, or that any defect in its operation was not such as to affect the accuracy of the record.
Box 3: Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE)
Section 69 of PACE refers to the admissibility of evidence from a computer, and requires assurances about whether the equipment was being used properly and was functioning normally at the time. The implication of Section 69 is that any party relying on computer evidence has to provide oral or written certification of the reliability of the computer, or for each computer if a number have been involved.
Section 69 Evidence from computer records
(1)In any proceedings, a statement in a document produced by a computer shall not be admissible as evidence of any fact stated therein unless it is shown:
(a) that there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the statement is inaccurate because of improper use of the computer;
(b) that at all material times the computer was operating properly, or if not, that any respect in which it was not operating properly or was out of operation was not such as to affect the production of the document or the accuracy of its contents; and
(c) that any relevant conditions specified in rules of court under subsection (2) below are satisfied.
(2)Provision may be made by rules of court requiring that in any proceedings where it is desired to give a statement in evidence by virtue of this section such information concerning the statement as may be required by the rules shall be provided in such form and at such time as may be required.
2.18 The Law Commission has recently recommended the repeal of Section 69 of PACE because it "serves no useful purpose". The Law Commission said that it was impractical to certify all the intricacies of computer operation and experience showed that most computer error was either easy to detect immediately or had resulted from human error in data entry rather than from malfunction. With the repeal of Section 69, a presumption of proper functioning would be applied to computers (Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Hearsay and Related Topics, LAW COM No. 245, June 1997).

2.19 As new technology (and in particular information technology) finds a place outside the research laboratory, its reliability and accuracy is established through use and public acceptance grows through familiarity (or indifference). Debate over the use of the technology moves on from whether the hardware and software are reliable to how the technology might be used to greatest effect, hence the move by the Law Commission. If the proposal of the Law Commission is accepted, legal challenge to new technology may now be reoriented to establishing authenticity and suitable weight for the evidence which it generates.

2.20 The underlying problem that remains is the potential for image tampering: how to be sure that an image has not been unfairly modified and what, if any, image processing in the name of 'enhancement' is justified. The Home Office already gives 'type approval' for systems where the only evidence of a crime is an image taken by an enforcement camera (eg speeding and bus lane violations), but the general concept of a 'self authenticating image' and how it might be used in a court of law is still something which needs to be evaluated.

2.21 The courts always have discretion to exclude evidence which has doubtful probative value. A prosecutor or party to litigation will always need to be prepared to offer further evidence about the source of a digital image and the processing and storage it has undergone since it was first recorded. It has been held that the person adducing a recording as evidence must describe its provenance and history, so as to satisfy the judge that there is a prima facie case that the evidence is authentic[14].
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wazztie16
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Re: What camera?

Postby wazztie16 » 9 May 2010, 8:08pm

I use the Muvi Micro, strapped round my head with the headband i got in the Sports Pack. Stayps put, definetly worth considering, however if you're only going to use the camera for helmet/head, make your own strap for a couple of quid or whatever. Youtube vids if you wanna see. Remember, i have it strapped in the middle of my forehead. http://www.youtube.com/user/PoliceMadAd
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bromcycle
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Re: What camera?

Postby bromcycle » 14 Sep 2010, 7:34pm

simonineaston wrote:Just to let you folks know, the quite tempting 'water-proof', all solid-state, Kodak Zx1 is available on Amazon at under £50. :)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kodak-Zx1-Defin ... B001SN72TK

Thanks for sharing the details, I have just bought one!
How are you holding it onto the bike please? I was impressed with the video clips I saw via this website, but have just tried a gorilla tripod, but the camera does vibrate a bit (tall camera, mounting at the bottom!!). The picture does look good when it isn't vibrating though.

Chris

gilesjuk
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Re: What camera?

Postby gilesjuk » 14 Sep 2010, 8:55pm

I bought one too. It's good quality for the money. But I hate this obsession of camera designers to make them in a phone form factor, it makes it a pain to mount them on a bike or helmet.