Forums Trip Reports Mt. Albright helmet Cam
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  • #569850
    2486 Posts

    Ok gang…rate my helmet cam

    J.Prine riding Mt. Albright last saturday. Will,jack and Nomad..the shots of you riding at Albright didnt turn out. The camera focused on the snow on the lens and you guys are blurry. But I do have good footage of you guys friday. I just wanted to put this up and see what people think.

    This file will not stream. Right click and “save as” to your hard drive and then view it

    125 Meg File HD You will also need Quicktime Vers. 7.0 or better. Enjoy

    Mt Albright Video

    Rico in AZ
    559 Posts

    Cool 8) That appendage on yer head takes pretty good pictures. Makes feel like I was there. Thanks for the stoke dood.

    11 Posts

    Nice movie. I love the image quality! I like the shots where you are close to your friend cruising through the trees.
    What kind of helmet cam and what HD recorder are you using? It would be neat to see a picture of how the camera is mounted. My brother and I have been capturing video for the past month using a sony bulletcam and a 3 year old canon handheld camera. We just ducktape the cam to a helmet and call it good. 😛
    I would like save up and buy a hd camera for next season. What do you think of yours so far?

    2486 Posts

    Thanks Guys.

    Goldoro-Im using a Sony HDR-HC7 High Def consumer camcorder with a universal Adapter plate form

    I then mounted the plate to the top of a cheap full face mountain biking helmet. The rig is about 2 pounds and although I look like a (kook,freak,dumbass…insert it all here) I like what comes out. It doesnt replace my big camera and a tripod but if you are going out with fast people and you dont have the time to set up for shots it works pretty good. And I have a quick release plate mounted to the bottom so now I can use a tripod also and can change over quick. This camera is about 1000 at B and H photo but it gives an excellent image quality and it will also shot 6.1 megapixle pictures while it is recording video. I love this little camera

    2068 Posts

    Sweet, Tex. Nice run.

    525 Posts

    quality footage! great production, some good terrain, and riding conditions as well; that looked like a pretty fun run.

    1669 Posts

    I think I’m gonna puke.

    But really tex, great quality and pretty still for a headcam.

    That looks like a long run.

    I like your media logo too.

    16 Posts

    Nice filming Ray.
    Looking good on the ride J
    I gotta get my shit uncoiled and get out there.

    46 Posts

    @TEX wrote:

    Ok gang…rate my helmet cam

    my monitor was bouncing around on my desk… 😉

    I think if you zoom in on the rider and getting closer to the subject it’s much better even with the shake, if you zoom out and have all the trees and scenery in a wide angle frame, it’ very bouncy and nervous. But that’s just me.

    BTW those are some nice slopes TEX, found some good powder too. Show us more.

    2486 Posts

    Thanks for the Reviews all. I need that feedback to decide weither this setup is worth it. What you watched was one LOOOOng run and I would not put anyone through that, But what I will do with this view is only pick out the best, clearest shot for short additions to a movie.

    So although shaky looks like it has its place. One problem I have noticed in filming with this is human nature, As the guy filming I want to stay as close as possible to the rider. The Rider want to look good so they go all out. means if I hestiate while I start or anything they instantly are too far away.

    But on another note is the image clear enough?

    And Thanks to all you who put in your input. Its the only way I know if it blows or if its a go

    More to come

    377 Posts

    Nice Tex,
    That takes me right back, Albright is a looooooooong run! Good job on not hitting a tree while following Jeramie.

    1421 Posts

    Nice shot Tex. But damn, I think my last OS update was smaller than that! 🙂

    A few thoughts:

    – I would turn off the auto-focus when in helmet mode. You probably don’t need it for helmetcam stuff, and it seems like the only time the focus changes is when you don’t really want it to (i.e. auto-focusing on snow on the lens).

    – Does your camera have image stabilization? Might be worth checking that out to see if it smooths out the picture. You could also try some shock-absorbing material between the mount and the helmet.

    – You might try a wider angle lens, if you are going to ride close to the rider this might compensate for that.

    Oh, and why doesn’t your logo have the goiter-cam??

    2486 Posts

    Howdy Jim…you are correct about the auto focus. I have determined I need to use manual focus set at infinity.

    The camera does have image stabilization but that will only stabilize so much. I also have stabilization filters I can apply in FCP but the problem with that is just as much as it smooths it also distroys image quality …I think it was made for small hand jiggles and not riding down a slope.

    And with this camera I am using the widest adapter avalible at this time. But it does give me a different angle for short little shots withing the movie.

    I have also learned that unless I am riding I can take the helmet off and shoot by hand and the helmet acts as somewhat of a stabilizer.

    And I am starting your Adapters 😀

    About File size: The only way to control Image quality is through codec. I dont like Youtube or Vimeo. Both destroy your image so whats the point in shooting HD?

    Most of the videos posted here are one song long 3-5 minutes. A 3-5 minute HD Video at 1220×980 is several GIGABITES before compression.

    125 meg isnt a big file for an HD clip…you will just have to get used to that. Oh yeah I could get it down to 30 meg but I dont want to post small shitty quality Vids. Im tired of youtube

    352 Posts

    Great quality and not that much shake imo. Anyone whining about file size should get off dial-up!!

    1421 Posts

    The connection isn’t the problem for me at least, it’s disk space. Got too much crap on the computer, videos, music, pics, etc. etc. Believe me I know way too much about raw HD/DV file sizes, compression etc. I dislike youtube and some other video hosting sites as well because you have less control over the final output. I think you could come up with a happy medium though, perhaps a smaller frame size but same compression quality (significant file size saving), and offer different downloads. I don’t mind downloading 125 MB for cool footage. I get pissed when I download 125 MB and it’s boring. Of course, all of your stuff will be rad so we don’t have to worry about that! 🙂

    About the helmet-as-stabilizer idea: I guess you could stick the helmet on top of a ski pole, and now you have a makeshift tripod! 🙂

    2486 Posts

    I see your position Jim but I think everything is heading to much larger files and downloads. But at the same time memory speed is up processor speed is up and storage space is a lot larger on todays computers.

    Like my cable company telling me after 09 no analog. Times are a changin.

    The next one will be smaller but by dropping frame size its only going to drop by about 20 meg

    1421 Posts

    Dude I’m on the bleeding edge of technology, writing software that helps people make those big-ass videos… you don’t have to tell me the trend is bigger faster more. I’m just sayin’, consider it for other folks. You can easily have a smaller streaming version, and a big ass download for full quality. I remember the days not so long ago when people were b*tching about 40 MB video downloads being too big. Now you guys got yer HD cameras and it’s all OK. Maybe this is just a sign that I’m getting old and crusty. 🙂

    If you’re only dropping 16% file size by reducing the frame size then it sounds like something weird is going on (well depending on the frame size). There are so many options with compression settings, you could spend a week just messing around with that finding optimum settings.

    2486 Posts

    All True but as the person who made the clip it is a form of artwork…it may be shitty artwork but I should have some control of what the person on the other end sees.
    In the future you will see a Windows option but with streaming and other host sites it just takes too big a bite off the quality end for me.

    I have gotten browbeat for buying the wrong camera …not knowing about codec….not compressing enough…you name it. So when I decided to do this I did it for me. I went from a guy who could barely send email to posting HD vids on the web.
    So when I choose to make the commitment to learning this stuff I decided if I was going to all the trouble to learn HD then I would post in HD.
    I post a lot over at and there are some heavy hitters there who do this on the big stuff and some of them are still in SD because of the learning curve of HD delivery.

    So..why would I lug all that gear (fast and light is for pussies) and pull my hair out night after night for months at a time just to post the same ol low quality stuff?

    1421 Posts

    I hear ya man. I’ve been there too (well not quite hauling around the same amount as gear as you!). I am in no way saying you should just give up on quality for file size. I hate the quality of most videos on sites like youtube. I post some stuff there and at Google, but mainly for ease of distribution, i.e. I can just email people links and they can check it out w/o downloading large files. For my friends, I post higher quality downloads or just send them a DVD. I guess an analogy would be if you had a feature film, you post a teaser clip that is good quality but short and small, then you sell the DVD or show it in a theater for the full quality.

    But I have seen some very high quality, small size previews of feature type films. I think it’s doable without compromising too much. But yeah, don’t put anything out there that you don’t feel good about.

    And yeah, fast and light is for pussies!

    4150 Posts

    Cool viddy Tex (and wyosplit_ride)! 8)

    Conditions look prime. Woulda liked to see wyo jib around a little in the lower section…180s to fakie pow turns, buttered muffins, etc. Some of the shakiness with the cam could have been solved in the edit. Not with stabilization filters but with breaking the clip before the shake or inadvertent pan and adding a small crossfade. Easier on the eyes.

    Re the other stuff. I hear ya Tex. Unless people are paying you, ultimately whatever workflow you wanna go with you can. They can either watch or not watch. There is a huge difference between HD and SD even if you’re not serving up true HD for the internet. You can tell a difference when an HD camera is used over SD regardless of compression. As jimw suggested I’d vote for a smaller viewing screen but still use a strong compression ratio. Think about your target market, are they watching on computer monitors or HD tvs?

    Thanks again for posting!

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