hemet/bike cams -- nubie looking for opinions and thoughts
I have been inspired to install a helmet or bike cam -- still have not decided where to mount the device -- for several reasons.
- to serve as evidence in case of some weirdo event
- it would be cool to share some ride videos
- it would be useful for online cue sheets
Other than what I learned over the weekend, I really know little about this. So I'm interested in other opinions and experiences with these action cameras. If you have not seen these incidents, the video has proven helpful in some collisions or near collisions ...
I plan on starting with either a helmet or front mounted cam and potentially springing for a rear mounted camera. After a weekend of reading a few reviews, checking out some youtube videos, and looking at company websites, I'm thinking that picking up one of the following:
Tachyon XC Micro ... http://tinyurl.com/yk6bd7q
Drift X170 ... http://tinyurl.com/256a8v6
From what I gather, both are
- reasonably waterproof
- small and lightweight
- have memory capacity for several hours of video
- run on commercially replaceable batteries
- available through Amazon
- take decent video; although not HD
Some of the differences ...
- Tachyon uses AAA batteries while the Drift uses AA
- the Drift comes with an assortment of mounts
- the Drift has an LCD screen
- the Tachyon and Drift have 90 and 170 degree lenses respectively
- the Tachyon is $30 cheaper ($129 and 159)
Presumably, even though their reported weights are about the same, with the AAA batteries the Tachyon will be lighter than the Drift. I have not determined whether having a wider view with some distortion at the edges is better or worse. I believe both will work with Macs; but if anyone determines otherwise please let me know. The LCD screen is nice not only for reviewing video but checking to see whether the placement is appropriate.
As an aside, Jeff (bikesafer) the cyclist almost hit by the snow plow in the second link, uses older (and much cheaper) ATC2k cameras which are now less than $60. Looking at his video, however, the picture quality is bad enough such that picking out license plates and other fine details appears just about impossible.
Thanks for reading and (potentially) sharing thoughts and ideas.
Any helmet cams with non-wide angle lens OR video capable digital cams with +2hr run?
One disadvantage of the dedicated helmet cams mentioned in this thread is that they all come with very wide-angle lenses. That means when a motor vehicle license plate is close enough to have an image size & resolution that is legible, it is moving rapidly across the camera's field of view.
Originally Posted by CyciumX
A not so wide to perhaps slightly telephoto lens could get images of the plate at a greater distance when the image was not moving across the camera's filed of view so rapidly. There would be trade-offs of lens speed (longer lens tends to be smaller, slower aperture), rate of change of license plate image (telephoto better), and road vibration effects (telephoto worse and depends upon how rough the road is vs. image stabilization hardware+software and type of camera mount).
One reason an Olympus Stylus Tough or similar camera might be preferable if license plate imaging is a priority is that they provide an optical zoom that could be set for whatever is optimal for your cycling situation in terms of available light, relative motor vehicle speeds, road vibration, and camera mount. I only wish these cameras had at least 2 hours of video recording per battery charge.
Anyone know of a reasonably priced helmet camera capable of HD video with a non-wide angle lens? Or alternatively, an HD video capable weatherproof digital camera with at least 2 hours video recording on one battery charge?