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  1. #1
    Senior Member Winter76's Avatar
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    What kind of video camera?

    I think it'd be fun to film my commutes, I often see neat things (yesterday I saw a car being spray painted by an angry teenage girl, another girl riding her bike with cannibis seedlings in a plastic bag and a flooded out bridge) but I have no way to take pictures at speed.

    Does anyone have any experience with handle bar or helmet mounted video cameras?

    Thanks for your help!
    3 years commuting while there's no snow on the ground. 20km round trip.
    Quote Originally Posted by madfiNch
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!

  2. #2
    e-Biker
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    My handlebar video camera consists of a Canon Digital Elph mounted on a simple mount. The Elph has a 640X480 video capture capability is which is more than enough for Youtube. With a 2GB SD card I can film up to 47 minutes which is also more than enough.

    I actually had a Samsung mini camcorder, the one with the bullet cam atachment, and the Elph does a better job anyway. And the Elph uses SD cards instead of stupid Sony memory sticks.

    I'm going to upload a few demo videos on Youtube once I do a few edits.

    The only problem is that I've often looked down and noticed the camera was off. I don't know why it does this but sometimes it shuts off all on it's own while it's recording. I think it's because of the big bumps I often take. Maybe the sudden shock disconnects the battery or maybe even the power button toggles or something.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Winter76's Avatar
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    Does the elph do image stabilization at all? How do you have it mounted?
    3 years commuting while there's no snow on the ground. 20km round trip.
    Quote Originally Posted by madfiNch
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!

  4. #4
    e-Biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winter76
    Does the elph do image stabilization at all? How do you have it mounted?
    No image stabilisation. It'll pick up bumps and vibrations. If you want to remedy that you'll have to build some type of stabilizer mount. I think Make magazine had a how-to for a mount a few months ago.

    I'll take pics of the mount and post them.

  5. #5
    e-Biker
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    Sample video HERE on youtube.

    This is from my Canon SD30 mounted on my handlebar. You'll notice that it picks up lots of the vibrations. The really loud vibration you'll often hear is from the electric motor starting up and when it switches over into regen mode (when I use the rear brake). The chirping sound at the end is the squealing from my disc brakes.

    The video didn't turn out too bad but you can see where the lack of some damping can really hurt video quality. The current mount is nothing more than a metal bar with a u-bolt to mount onto the handlebar and a simple bolt the camera screws into at the other end. I'll need to redesign this thing with damping in mind. I'm thinking of simply using some springs to dampen the vibrations.

  6. #6
    e-Biker
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    I can't see what Pete posted, I'm ignoring his BS. Did he post BS once again? Wouldn't surprise me.

    PS: Pete is an eBike hater in case you didn't notice.

  7. #7
    e-Biker
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    I think I've fixed the SD30 shutdown problem. I noticed there was some slack in how the battery is held in the compartment. I think that under a really hard bump in can compress the spring in such a way that it'll push the battery completly off the contacts.

    I fixed it by adding a piece of electrical tape at the end of the battery. This ensures the battery is nice and snug. Seems to work pretty well; I took it off-road this afternoon and it didn't shut down once.

  8. #8
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    Love the vid, looks like paradise; I've got to get out of the city. I really want to get myself a video cam for my bike. Ideally, I want to be able to get a good enough video stream to read number plates at about 5m and get a good picture of the driver's face at about 2m. Do you have any idea whether this is possible? I'd also like to record reasonable sound. I'd like to mount the camera on my helmet so it sees what I see, but does having a lump of metal on my helmet compromise the protection the helmet offers?

  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    my canon mini DV dont do much better little 23c tires on bumpy roads at 40+ MPH it dont like it

    http://www.streetlethal.net/vids2/183.wmv
    Old school 93 iron horse FS works
    06 trek 1000SL mavic cosmic wheels Truvativ rouleur crank set.

  10. #10
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    its a brand new camera it just dont like the shock.
    Old school 93 iron horse FS works
    06 trek 1000SL mavic cosmic wheels Truvativ rouleur crank set.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    To the OP. Also look for a digicam with a flipable screen. The Canon Elph does not have that. With a flipable screen like my Canon S2-IS (no I am not mounting this digicam to the bike unless you paid me ) You can ride while taking a look at the screen at the angle you set it to. If you're riding with say wide angle or 1x zoom you can still ride without much issue without taking the head off the road much.

    Obviously it would be nice if you had a helmet mounted digicam with a flip down screen with 0x and 1x zoom while riding so you have one eye with perception of the road and depth of the road and obsticles while the other eye scans and you take a photo with a button on the finger. I don' tknow of any systems like that but I'd like one. You might want to ask Steve Mann because I /could/ be wrong that it does not exsist.
    Zero_Enigma

  12. #12
    Senior Member dendawg's Avatar
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    I had thought about getting one of those lipstick type of helmet cameras, but the good ones require an external recorder. Then I saw an ad for this in a kayaking magazine. http://www.goprocamera.com/ . I just might spring for one. I like the fact that it is waterproof to 100 feet.

  13. #13
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    A buddy of mine built a custom mount that fits on top of his helmet
    and then he has an image stabilized Canon DV cam on top of that.

    Only downside: after a while the weight gets to his brain but he
    also did a custom handlebar mount with stabilization that fell apart
    on a ride once.

    I tried taking a Konica-Minolta digicam with 640x480x30fps mode
    on a ride but I can't use it on my standard road bike or mountain
    bike. I did do a 35 mile recumbent ride and here's the result:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuUoe__oECs

    I'd rather try my JVC DV cam. The biggest problem is there's
    no mount so I had to hold it and steer one handed. Not idea
    since it was a recumbent on-loan and I'm more partial to
    uprights.

    The other problem is that youtube tends to degrade any video
    sent thru it. That's another issue.

    I think Pete has a custom helmet cam, I know he's got
    a whole part of his website devoted to the how-tos of it all.

  14. #14
    Senior Member dendawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dendawg View Post
    I had thought about getting one of those lipstick type of helmet cameras, but the good ones require an external recorder. Then I saw an ad for this in a kayaking magazine. http://www.goprocamera.com/ . I just might spring for one. I like the fact that it is waterproof to 100 feet.
    I picked up the Hero3 camera a couple of days ago. I found it difficult to mount to the handle bar of my road bike, but they are coming out with a bike mounting kit and helmet mounting kit for it in a month or two. The camera is incredibly small and light. When out of its waterproof housing it is only about 1.5" x 2.5" in size. Video quality is not bad at all. They claim up to 54 minutes of video on a 2gb SD card, but I have not been able to get that much battery life as yet. Best I've gotten is 45 minutes on rechargeable NiMh, much less on alkaline. It uses 2 AAA batteries. I'm going to try both a handlebar mount, and helmet mount using tiewraps to fasten it it place. One of the problems with the Velcro strapping it comes with is that it slips to easily when you hit any kind of bump or rough road surface. I'll post some video as soon as I get a chance to edit some down to a manageable length.
    Last edited by dendawg; 09-10-07 at 09:11 AM.

  15. #15
    kle
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    Senior Member kle's Avatar
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    Are there any helmet-cameras that will take still photos at intervals? Like, take a shot every X-seconds or so?

  16. #16
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    I am between the Oregon Scientific ATC2K Waterproof Action Cam and the GoPro Digital Hero. It sort of looks like this.

    Batteries:
    Both use 2 AA

    Memory:
    Both use SD card, up to 2Mb

    Mac Compatibility:
    Both

    Video resolution:
    Both are 640x480

    Still resolution
    GoPro 3Meg
    ATC2K n/a

    Accessories (helmet strap)
    GoPro n/a
    ATC2K Yes

    I would really like a helmet strap, or some way to attach the camera to my helmet.

    Has anyone looked at both of these? They look pretty similar except for the still capability of the GoPro and the helmet attachment of the ATC2k.

    Any recommendations?

  17. #17
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Well, I sent this to GoPro

    Subject: Digital Hero question
    From: "Robert Crawford" <crawford.robert@gmail.com>
    Date: Sun, September 09, 2007 11:05 pm
    To: support@goprocamera.com

    I am very interested in the Digital Hero camera and am comparing it to the Oregon Scientific ATC2K Waterproof Action Cam.

    Is there a helmet mount device for the GoPro Digital Hero? This is a concern because I want to use the camera for filming my bicycle rides with a helmet cam. I am currently in China and would like others to "see" my rides as I see them.

    This is the answer that I received.
    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for your email! Without sounding biased...which is impossible, I know...our camera is so much better than the Oregon Scientific camera, it's not even in the same league. The Oregon Scientific camera suffers from:

    - heavy design
    - difficult buttons to use
    - grainy video
    - telephoto lens captures narrow field of view and this enhances "shake"
    - horrible sound that is also very soft
    - very poor mounting design

    Even if you don't buy our camera...that's ok. Buy something else...but don't buy the Oregon Scientific camera.

    We've been developing our camera non-stop as this is all we do...make these cameras. Our sound is EXCELLENT and our video is blessed with great clarity and color saturation. Our camera is not much bigger than a small book of wooden matches and it is waterproof to 100' (the Oregon is waterproof to 10'). Our camera shoots terrific 3MP stills, triple shot burst (3 photos in 2 seconds), and has a "Photo every 5 seconds" mode for hands free photos with the ease of video...only they are photos! On fully charged NiMH batteries you can shoot for over 2hrs...that's 1400+ photos when using the "photo every 5 second" mode on just 2 AAAs!

    To answer your question...you can easily zip tie or otherwise attach our camera to your helmet or bike...but on NOV 1 we're releasing a line of attachment accessories that allow you to mount the camera onto you helmet, bike, moto, car, skis, etc. via an innovative quick release system.

    You can see it here...all available NOV 1:

    http://www.goprocamera.com/catalog.pdf

    Thanks for your interest, Robert! We're here to help! :-)

    Many thanks,

    GoPro Support
    http://www.goprocamera.com

  18. #18
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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  19. #19
    Senior Member dendawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kle View Post
    Are there any helmet-cameras that will take still photos at intervals? Like, take a shot every X-seconds or so?
    The Hero3 I just bought will do that.

  20. #20
    aka. vertical jon WhiteCarbonDude's Avatar
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    When I saw this thread it made me think of this guy who put a camera on his bike for I ride I did.
    http://www.orangesmoothie.org/breathless/#Making

  21. #21
    kle
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    Quote Originally Posted by dendawg View Post
    The Hero3 I just bought will do that.
    Interesting, and its price-point might be right up my alley...Thanks for the tip!

  22. #22
    Senior Member dendawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kle View Post
    Interesting, and its price-point might be right up my alley...Thanks for the tip!
    according to their manual, in shoot every 5 seconds mode (the only option for time lapse) it will record 1400+ stills on a 2gb card on fully charged NiMh AAA batteries. FWIW other than ebay B&H seemed to have the best price on it.

  23. #23
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dendawg View Post
    according to their manual, in shoot every 5 seconds mode (the only option for time lapse) it will record 1400+ stills on a 2gb card on fully charged NiMh AAA batteries. FWIW other than ebay B&H seemed to have the best price on it.
    Here I am wishing I had not gone with ebay. I ordered one but now I am having PayPal problems. So, I have to pay for it but paypal is not letting me.

  24. #24
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Part I

    Mine arrived a few days ago (It had to be sent to family in the states and then re-mailed). Like said, it is small. It is easily removable from the clear, plastic, case that provided the weather and water protection.

    It is simple to use and I didn't need to use the manual to begin with it. I did need the manual to make a rather odd change. There is a setting for use in countries that have 50hz power. this is odd because there is no provision for the use of external power. I expect that it had to do with scan rate. I can say that my indoor photos looked a lot better after making the change.

    There are only two operation buttons. The first is on, and hold for off, the second is the shutter release (of course, as a digital camera, there is no real shutter to release). The on Button also cycles through the modes.

    1. Single photo
    2. Three shot sequence
    3. Video
    4. Self timer of about 10 seconds
    5. delete all pictures
    6. Delete last picture
    7. Settings
    a. hold function, this allows the camera to return to the last mode used when it is turned on
    b. power Fr setting for locals with 50hz power
    c. ntsc/pal setting
    d. auto power off setting selectable from 60, 120, 300 seconds, and off

    That is it.

    the status led is in the view finder. There is also a status light on the front of the camera. On the front is also a small LCD that reports how many photos have been taken. It does not count down, it only counts up. It stand to mention that the counter counts a video as a single picture; so, a single "picture" could fill the entire card.

    The LCD also has a battery status indicator and an indicator informing the user that there is a SD card inserted (as if I can't just look at the SD card slot and see that there is something in it). On the subject of the SD card, ther card and the USB socket are on opposite sides of the camera and have no covers (other than the waterproof cover that comes with the camera). In case you were not clear on this point, it uses AAA batteries, two of them.

    So, how good are the pictures. Well, from a camera like this there are no real expectations of great photos. They are better than those taken with a cell phone camera but in no way comparable to a dedicated camera (I use a Fuji s5000 as a comparison) The poor light photos were poor. I general, it compares to the early digital cameras that were on the market. I am not bothered by this as I can use other cameras for times I want a better picture. this camera fits in my watch pocket and will meet the basic need for a small, always with me camera. ANY camera will take better pictures than the camera that you didn't take with you because it was too big.

    The videos look okay. I will post some soon, I strapped it to my handle bars before my commute today; however, I am having trouble getting yo youtube, I will post the pictures later. As far as the strap, it is usable but is realy intended for use as a wrist strap and will not easily adapt to smaller things like a handle bar.

    The video pictures were what one would expect from a camera like this, suitable for youtube and other web use, you are not gong to film a major action flick with it. License plates are only clear enough to read when you are within three to four meters of them.

    Before purchasing, I contacted gopro and this is part of the letter I received from them

    We've been developing our camera non-stop as this is all we do...make these cameras. Our sound is EXCELLENT and our video is blessed with great clarity and color saturation. Our camera is not much bigger than a small book of wooden matches and it is waterproof to 100' (the Oregon is waterproof to 10'). Our camera shoots terrific 3MP stills, triple shot burst (3 photos in 2 seconds), and has a "Photo every 5 seconds" mode for hands free photos with the ease of video...only they are photos! On fully charged NiMH batteries you can shoot for over 2hrs...that's 1400+ photos when using the "photo every 5 second" mode on just 2 AAAs!
    As far as I can see, there is no provision, whatsoever, for recording sound. There is also NO "Photo every 5 seconds" mode for hands free photos. It simply is not there.

  25. #25
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Part II
    I wrote to GoPro service about the issues I was having and they responded in the same working day. They informed me that it appeared I had an older version of the firmware in my camera; I had purchased it from an ebay vendor.

    They sent me a copy of the updated firmware and the installer. I have not been able to test the installer because of problems that I have with this computer (I wanted to reinstall windows on this machine so I would know I was starting from zero; however, it turns out that there is not a single, legitimate, copy of windows on this entire campus of close to 50,000 people. That is an entirely different issue and beyond the scope of a camera review).

    I am still not able to post, or access, youtube. I expect that has more to do with the "Great Firewall" than anything else. I will make a recording as I go to get my lunch this afternoon (it is a Saturday so there shouldn't be too much of a crowd) and will then try posting it on another hosting site.

    Please be aware that I am not sure if these work. I can not play back Video here, it is forbidden.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...arch&plindex=0
    Heading back from getting lunch. I am still working on something more stable for mounting. I know it is not very steady.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...arch&plindex=0
    on my way to lunch after getting some batteries. I do not have a real estimate of battery life yet.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...arch&plindex=0
    A picture of my commute. The camera did not sit square on the handlebar of my scooter so it has a slight cant.

    A couple of other notes. There is no way, that I have found, to change the date in the camera. So, the photos are all dated to some day in 1961. Also, it keeps no record of what it has done. As example, if you make a video recording it gets titled xxxx001 if you then remove that recording, the next one will also be xxxx001. This means that you need to rename the recordings before you remove them from the camera.

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