We’ve talked about snowboarding audio, but what about video? I’d quite like to try out a helmet cam next year in Fernie. I’ve seen some footage around the web that looks pretty good, and then there’s some of the examples from snowboarding films.
My current video camera doesn’t have video-in, however, which eliminates nearly all of the options on the market. As far as I can see, it certainly eliminates the chance of getting half-decent video quality.
At first I decided to just drop the idea, due to the camera’s incompatibility. But since then I’ve seen a couple of self-contained helmet cams that might be worth considering.
I’ve found two options. actioncameras.com has a decent summary, with the only suitable models being Oregon’s ATC-2K and the Tony Hawk Wireless Helmet Camera.
Of course the quality on these devices isn’t great, but you’d expect that given the size and the price. The self-containment does have several advantages, the main one in my eyes being that I don’t need to carry the larger, more delicate camera all of the time…
I hate riding with my camera in my backpack. I don’t mine riding with it while I’m using it, and of course, if I’m riding while one of my friends is using it then all the better 🙂 A small helmet cam could be carried in a pocket, giving the option to get some video at any time, without having the backpack with you.
I’ve pretty much ruled out the Tony Hawk camera as the resolution is too low at 320×240. It’s only 640×480 when attached to a pc, what’s the point in that!?
That leaves the ATC-2K. There’s a good review of the camera on Helmet Cam Central, which includes some links to sample footage: one being the raw footage and the other a YouTube sample.
There’s another good review of the ATC-2K on Nollie, which looks at some of the usability issues, including the act of attaching it to a helmet!
So what am I thinking?
- The camera is cheap, as are additional SD cards for storage
- Self-containment is a big plus. Being solid state it’s also pretty robust. These benefits to me are worth the trade off in quality
- I’m concerned about how well it attaches to the helmet
- I’m concerned about regular batteries working in cold conditions
- I’m concerned that the choice of memory card might effect the quality
So will it end up being a waste of money, or a really handy device to carry on the hill to use either in the hand or attached to my lid? I’ll be updating you here, as I’ll be using it on the mogul fields this weekend. So make sure to check in!