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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: tpatter on November 25, 2010, 10:23 AM



Title: Helmet Cam
Post by: tpatter on November 25, 2010, 10:23 AM
A kite, a camcorder, a bike helmet and a few zip ties and you are all set!

I don't think the video quality approaches what a human camerman can do by any means, but if you are all alone and wish to capture your flying, this beats a tripod in at least some circumstances.

There are a few commercial items available that are small and can easily attach to a hat for example (even in the <$100 price range), but I just strapped my low-end Panasonic camcorder (still rather small) to my bike helmet and headed to the flying field to see how it might all work out. 

I was more impressed with the result than I thought I would be, but check it out for yourself.

Helmet Cam.m4v (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sD1BpDlGqQ#)

-Tom


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: Ang3lFir3 on November 25, 2010, 11:05 AM
Thats awesome Tom!!!!!


2 important things I noted.... you are always in frame (because you are looking at the kite) and you are not watching the flying some crazy sideways angle that may happen is the wind shifts while you have your tripod out.... awesome...


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: lasapcheong on November 25, 2010, 11:14 AM
Thats very nice Tom! The kite was captured in frame pretty well.

I made a similar video some time ago, camera on chest instead with some pretty disasterous results (Watch it at your own risk :) )

Stunt Kite Chest Camera Test (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjJioclqdQ8#)

This is motivating me to try to do it again with a helmet cam.

-Darryl


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: tonycarl60 on November 25, 2010, 02:00 PM
I just bought a pair of sunglasses with a built in cam, works pretty good :)



Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: mikenchico on November 25, 2010, 02:17 PM
Came out dang good Tom, better then I expected when I clicked it, much less shaking then I expected to see and I didn't find that really distracting. The rolling horizon from tilting your head was a bit though. Work on that will ya'?  :D  ;)



Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: WinterDaze on November 25, 2010, 03:51 PM
OK Tom,


I tried to avoid this post, really I did... ::)

As you know I'm in an abusive relationship with my tripod, to say it doesn't understand compromise is an understatement.

So seeing you were behind the post, i thought, well now here's a considered opinion, Tom wouldn't do it if it wasn't worth it...

0:17...

She was obviously worried Tom, the reemphasizing  of the word "exactly" in the second repeat of the question is a clear indicator that she's quite anxious at your appearance, note the wringing of her hands...  :D

If you hadn't answered in such an open and slightly self deprecating manner I could see her walking quietly off... and 10 mins later a 'team of men in black'
taking you quietly away for some obviously much needed help...


As to the quality of the video and framing...

Looks quite good, might even pass "temporary out of frames" regs.

Still on the fence ;)

Coolness has to have a voice

So what does Eli think?


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: DWayne on November 25, 2010, 04:21 PM
Pretty cool. I may have to give this a try.

Denny


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: tpatter on November 25, 2010, 04:25 PM
OK Tom,


I tried to avoid this post, really I did... ::)

As you know I'm in an abusive relationship with my tripod, to say it doesn't understand compromise is an understatement.

So seeing you were behind the post, i thought, well now here's a considered opinion, Tom wouldn't do it if it wasn't worth it...

0:17...

She was obviously worried Tom, the reemphasizing  of the word "exactly" in the second repeat of the question is a clear indicator that she's quite anxious at your appearance, note the wringing of her hands...  :D

If you hadn't answered in such an open and slightly self deprecating manner I could see her walking quietly off... and 10 mins later a 'team of men in black'
taking you quietly away for some obviously much needed help...

She certainly was concerned - it didn't help that I had headphones, a hat, and a helmet over my ears, but she eventually got through to me.

Turns out that she and her brother were quite interested kites - the helmet, etc - less so!  It wasn't until I took that stuff off that they talked to me again.  :)

Quote

Coolness has to have a voice

So what does Eli think?

I am quite sure he would deny even knowing me if asked who I was while I had the helmet on!  :)

For sure, it is NOT cool looking.  In fact, it looks completely ridiculous.




Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: Allen Carter on November 25, 2010, 04:39 PM
After her reaction I think we need to see what you look like with that contraption on your head.  :)

Sport kite flying looks goofy enough without props.

But seriously, that looked good. Nice flying.


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: tpatter on November 25, 2010, 04:52 PM
After her reaction I think we need to see what you look like with that contraption on your head.  :)

Sport kite flying looks goofy enough without props.

But seriously, that looked good. Nice flying.


I considered posting a shot of what the thing looks like while you are wearing it, but no-one would have gotten past that in order to even look at the video!  :)

It suffices to say that you pretty much look like a telletubbie with a large camera strapped onto your head!

(http://www.okbuydvd.com/images/upload/Image/Teletubbies%20Seasons%201-3%20DVD%20Boxset%205.jpg)

But, I think it works much better than wrestling with a tripod if the wind is up or you need to move around alot.  Now, the challenge is to try and make it un-noticable.  I saw a "black friday" sale for a muvi by veho for $50 - the thing is only the size of your thumb and should be able to be held in place with a sweatband.   In other words, I don't think anyone would notice it at all.

I wanted to prove to myself that the idea could even work before buying anything.

-Tom






Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: coogee on November 26, 2010, 02:31 AM
Hi Tom
          apart from the Blair Witch Project feel it was good to see a POV kite video. The motor racing crowd do it very well with cams on the Moto GP bikes. Great flying and I love the scene with the girl, very geek ahhh... meant sleek ahhh...
      Mike


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: sbrown on November 26, 2010, 11:22 AM
Nice touch with the end credits!


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: ko on November 26, 2010, 02:33 PM
great job tom!! that is also the whitest sand beach i have ever seen looks toasty


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: tpatter on November 28, 2010, 05:54 PM
Thanks for all the encouragement.

Got an update - there are a few issues aside from the aesthetics!  :) 

I tried flying with this getup yesterday and it is very difficult to simply forget about the helmet and get into the "flow" of flying. In that regard, a tripod is much better - you forget that it is there after awhile and just fly.  Flying with a helmet on just feels (and looks) very unnatural. Then again, VF is not all that often, so it may be bearable for a couple of hours per quarter!  :)

I did buy a 2MP clip-able camera for $50 that I will be trying out soon (reasonable quality could be a concern with it).

-Tom


 


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: mikenchico on November 28, 2010, 10:07 PM
We've seen some pretty decent video's come off the keychain camera's, same resolution, it's fine for web/youtube. Those clip ons appear to have a better lens then the pinhole used on keychain cams so I'm guessing yours will be better. You can use that clip on for other things too so that's a nice choice but did you check out the eyeglass cams? Same specs as what you got just mounted in a set of sunglasses, clear lenses optional. Not the height of fashion either but not as retro as a headband.





Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: RobB on November 29, 2010, 01:10 AM
Thanks for all the encouragement.

Got an update - there are a few issues aside from the aesthetics!  :) 

I tried flying with this getup yesterday and it is very difficult to simply forget about the helmet and get into the "flow" of flying. In that regard, a tripod is much better - you forget that it is there after awhile and just fly.  Flying with a helmet on just feels (and looks) very unnatural. Then again, VF is not all that often, so it may be bearable for a couple of hours per quarter!  :)

I did buy a 2MP clip-able camera for $50 that I will be trying out soon (reasonable quality could be a concern with it).

-Tom


 
First off, Tom, I thought your results with this were really good. I totally understand the whole interruption of flow of flying, I think the camera just has to be on, whether itís on your head, or on the groundÖ itís going to mess with your flying. I was trying to get some VF footage yesterday, and Iíd turn the camera on, my flying would instantly suck. Turn the camera off, my flying would instantly get better. On, SuckÖ off, better. Like a light switch.  ::)

As far as those cheap cameras in the sunglasses and the likeÖ the one thing you have to watch out for is the frame rate. When youíre looking to capture something thatís moving pretty fast, you need to have 30 frames per second (is it 29.something ?) for the video to look good. My camera will shoot 60fps, but that setting reduces the resolution. Thatís why youíll find some helmet cams and eyeglass cams that are too-good-to-be-true cheap, and if you look hard enough, youíll find some that are considerably more expensive.

I think itís a great idea, something that I might be able to try, thereís nobody to call Dept. of Homeland Security on me where I fly these daysÖ  ;D

~Rob.


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: mikenchico on November 29, 2010, 06:55 AM
Surprisingly the eyeglass cam I was looking at does do 30 frames per second, they are a couple hundred dollars here in the States, under $30 shipping included from that action site direct from China or Hong Kong. Same with the clip on, under $20 from the orient shipping included, $150 here. The keychain camera's are closer, about $9 - $18 from the orient, $20 - $25 from auctioneers here in the States, there is a voice activated model too but the best I could understand the translation was any noise above 60 db started it recording.

HD at 720 x 1024 or something is starting to hit those little cams now, I'm sure it won't be long before the 8 mp with true 1080p gets in them now that that is what we are seeing in the cell phones.


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: RobB on November 29, 2010, 08:45 AM
Surprisingly the eyeglass cam I was looking at does do 30 frames per second, they are a couple hundred dollars here in the States, under $30 shipping included from that action site direct from China or Hong Kong. Same with the clip on, under $20 from the orient shipping included, $150 here. The keychain camera's are closer, about $9 - $18 from the orient, $20 - $25 from auctioneers here in the States, there is a voice activated model too but the best I could understand the translation was any noise above 60 db started it recording.

HD at 720 x 1024 or something is starting to hit those little cams now, I'm sure it won't be long before the 8 mp with true 1080p gets in them now that that is what we are seeing in the cell phones.
Wow, the ones that I've seen were lacking that 30fps. My wife actually got me a head camera for my BD last year, but I didn't even open the box when I found out it took less than 30fps. I exchanged it for a Sanyo HD flash camera, and have been pretty pleased with it. It's not as great as the cameras that run $1000-$2000, but I'd rather spend that $$$ on more kites !


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: DD on November 29, 2010, 09:30 AM
i have one of the keychain cameras thayt look like a keyfob for your car. It will do 30fps and has a slot for an micro sd card. I originally got the idea for one of these off of the r/c helicopter forums. It takes ok video. I really wanted to mount it on a kite but never got around to it. :(
I also have an oregon scientific "tube" camera that i have mounted on fairing of my kart when racing. It's light enough that i have though about putting a headband on it and trying to fly with that. didnt get to try that either :(


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: Jynx on November 29, 2010, 01:50 PM
Here's one of the key-fob cam videos I recorded. I attached the cam to the tip of a Revolution 1.5 and am flying on 250' quad-lines.

I made a rig that fits into the leading edge, and used velcro to hold the key-fob cam to the rig. (I have rig photos posted on Facebook "Colleen Baker akaJynx").

I'm also experimenting with an angled rig to get a better video angle. I have also attached the cam to goggles and have few other ideas in the works.

Key-Fob-Cam from Revolution Quad-line kite on 250' lines (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FfFmQOGhXc#)

The date stamp incorrectly shows 2008 (this was actually shot in 2010, before I learned how to change the stamp).

Fun, and relatively cheap! (at less than $20)


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: mikenchico on November 29, 2010, 03:55 PM
Technology marches on, im sure last year they only did 15-20 fps. This year they are moving into HD quality at 720i and 30 fps, next year the sensor and driver chip being used in our new phones may be available for other application. Looking at the sensor through the window of the droid it doesn't look any bigger then the current 2meg 480i units.


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: Ang3lFir3 on November 29, 2010, 07:05 PM
When youíre looking to capture something thatís moving pretty fast, you need to have 30 frames per second (is it 29.something ?) for the video to look good.


ahh you are thinking of Drop-Frame Time Code for NTSC ... 29.97fps designed to fix a simple problem with a complex solution read more here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMPTE_time_code#Drop_frame_timecode).

anything from 30fps to 120fps recording would be awesome. I believe 120fps is the current video standard for digital movie production... not sure but I think it is...



Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: tpatter on December 23, 2010, 12:30 AM
Got an update on this.........

Helmet cam?!?!?!?

It was an interesting experiment, I think now we just need technology to move on a bit and its a go.

For the video on my youtube page:
Helmet Cam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sD1BpDlGqQ#)

I used my standard old tape-based Panasonic miniDV camcorder.  I literally strapped the thing to a bike helmet.  You look like a IDIOT wearing the thing and it is for sure not comfortable.  It does allow reasonable video I think, however.  I just can't bring myself to put it on unless I am about the only one on the field.

So, I bought a mini HD camcorder that only weighed 50g (VEHO Muvi) that only does 480p, but is very tiny.  So small that I easily clipped it to a headband strapped to my Tulley and could not even tell it was there while flying.  The downside is that the video is pretty bad (20-30 FPS as near as I can tell, bad contrast, bad sharpness, just dreadful really) and I wouldn't want to use it.  I searched on some other cameras as well, but based on the output I see from them on youtube, they are little to no better.  There are some decent HD minis out there, but they are too large to easily just clip to your hat and have them go unnoticed.  I guess perhaps something like the Flip HD might work, but it is really at least twice the size of what I would like (you can't clip it to your hat).

My current strategy is to build a head-strap for a standard smallish camcorder so I will not need the helmet.  It will still draw some attention I would imagine, but I do honestly think that wearing a crash helmet to fly a kite is considerably more ridiculous than affixing a camcorder to the top of a hat.  We'll see..........

For the time being, however, I am likely back to the tripod. 

I can't wait until a device comes out that is the size of the Muvi, but which also has decent imagine stabilization, a good lens, 60 frames per second at at least 780p, a view finder, a 8+ GB of storage, etc. Oh yeah, and fairly cheap!  One thing I will say is that Veho has the form factor down on the Muvi - it is perfect for clipping to your clothing and just forgetting about.

If you have the guts to wear it, however, go for the helmet cam - it for sure makes it much much easier to stay in frame, although you do need to learn to point your head more than you would naturally.

-Tom



Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: Kantaxel on December 23, 2010, 02:00 AM
Got an update on this.........

Helmet cam?!?!?!?

................................... but I do honestly think that wearing a crash helmet to fly a kite is considerably more ridiculous than affixing a camcorder to the top of a hat.  We'll see..........


Tom...
Actually a good idea if I'm flying on the same field....There's a certain lady and a kid..............at the hill...................oh well, a different story, but I know you KNOW what I mean :D


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: DonB on December 23, 2010, 03:46 PM
Neat video, thanks for posting!

I've been thinking about making a video of my new kite when it comes and the 'helmet cam' approach has me intrigued. I found this 'headband cam' on Oz eBay for AU$30 & AU$7 local shipping that looks interesting.

(http://d.imagehost.org/0163/HeadCamera1.jpg) (http://d.imagehost.org/view/0163/HeadCamera1)

(http://b.imagehost.org/0342/HeadCamera2.jpg) (http://b.imagehost.org/view/0342/HeadCamera2)

I like the use of AAA batteries which last a lot longer and are cheaper than the little coin sized ones.  Seems a lot simpler to mount and use than the keychain and other small cameras.

Specs are:

    * 1.3MP Mobile Video Camera.
    * Model number: AT-21.
    * 1.3 mega pixels sensor.
    * Video with sound: 640 x 480.
    * Max. frames: 30FPS.
    * File format: AVI.
    * 64MB internal memory.
    * Expandable card slot up to 8GB.
    * Requires 3 x AAA batteries.

From what has been said on this thread the specs look ok if not exactly scintillating.

Any thoughts on this?







Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: mikenchico on December 24, 2010, 09:00 AM
Looks like minimum specs for viewing on YouTube, others have mentioned 60 fps as a minimum frame rate, but it solves all those other mounting and fashion problems doesn't it.

The Kodak Playsport cam is trumping the Flips in reviews right now, cheaper, does 720p at 60 fps and is waterproof to 3 Meters. Watch those after Christmas sales, running $120 right now.


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: Scott Blake on December 25, 2010, 09:35 AM
Sweet video!  Nice work and flying.  How long are those lines?


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: tpatter on December 25, 2010, 10:05 PM
Sweet video!  Nice work and flying.  How long are those lines?

Pretty short - around 65'.


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: tpatter on March 15, 2011, 10:52 PM
Update.

I recently came across a smoking deal on a Kodak Zi8 and couldn't help myself (I bought it for $75 and it came with extra batterys and a remote).  It does 1080/720/480p at 30fps as well as 720p at 60fps - the battery lasts a good hour.  Pretty small - maybe the size of a pack of cards.  The video is quite decent - I was blown away by the quality that it shoots, although the image stabilization is a bit weak.

Preliminary results are quite good - the camera seems to do a great job and only weighs about 100g which is light enough to securely attach it to the brim of a baseball hat with only a small screw by utilizing camera's standard tri-pod connection.

It still looks silly, but perhaps much less-so than an actual helmet-mounted camera!  :)

Video to follow - certainly for the next vf.


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: indigo_wolf on March 16, 2011, 11:44 AM
FWIW, especially for those that use a GoPro:

(http://gopro.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/683_large_Chesty-021.683x426.jpg)

GoPro Chest Mount - Review, modifications and test footage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P39KovEgYVQ#ws)

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/gopro-mounts-part-1-2010.html (http://www.pinkbike.com/news/gopro-mounts-part-1-2010.html)
http://www.everydayriding.org/2010/03/diy-gopro-hd-chest-mount.html (http://www.everydayriding.org/2010/03/diy-gopro-hd-chest-mount.html)

ATB,
Sam


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: Allen Carter on March 16, 2011, 01:05 PM
I recently came across a smoking deal on a Kodak Zi8 and couldn't help myself

Was that a new product or a used package? If new, is it still available?

Allen


Title: Re: Helmet Cam
Post by: tpatter on March 16, 2011, 06:29 PM
Mine was used (craigslist), but I saw them on Amazon for $99 shipped.

You then need an SD card - it does not come with one.