Helmet Cam?

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.

Tony Hawk Helmet Cam

I’ve found two options. actioncameras.co.uk 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!?

Oregon ATC-2K Helmet Cam

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?

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Comments
3 Responses to “Helmet Cam?”
  1. Zaskoda says:

    My friends have that ATC-2K and while it takes reasonably good video – it’s a bitch to keep it targeted. I think laser targeting is worth the investment, if you can find it.

  2. Gavin Hope says:

    Yeah you’re right, that looks the business! It’s more expensive than I’m looking to spend right now, but it is definitely a good looking bit of kit. Thanks

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would check out the vholdr too. It seems to be a little more durable than the two you have listed. http://www.vholdr.com