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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Check this out:



Prototype 1:

http://www.youtube.com/v/ySu4MLXku_8


Prototype 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9xeDiwc0oQ


This is my new camera set up that snaps on and off in seconds!

I'm now using a real camera. No more crappy lipstick tube remote lens video!

So, now I have:

* AE that is tuneable :D
* Good white balance :D
* Auto focus :D
* Optical Image Stabilization (Steady-shot) :thumbsup:
* Stereo audio (listen to me huff-n and puff-n!) :p

And...

I can snap the camera on and off in seconds. This will allow me to use the same camera
for "off bike" footage that follows another rider cleaning a feature (or whatever). :thumbsup:

And...

I can drink the counter-balance weight! :D

And...

It's not mounted on top of the helmet (where tree limbs can whack it).

WOO HOO!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, it's a 16 oz water bottle that is not quite full (very close, but not quite) and that seems
to perfectly balance that camera, so I would guess this adds 2 lbs to a helmet that weighs
almost nothing on its own.

Now, that might seem a bit heavy, but check the weights of typical motorcycle helmets
on this site:

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/motorcycle-helmet-weights.htm


You'll see that a 2 to 3 lb helmet is not unusual.
 

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mtbr dismember
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Interesting

How are the mounts for the camera and water bottle cage attached to your helmet? Any drilling involved? One problem you may encounter is picking up the sloshing sound of the water in your videos. I find these cameras have very sensitive microphones. They pick up your breathing so they should also pick up the sloshing. And that continuous sloshing right next to my ear would probably bug me after a few hours on the trail.

If you ride areas where you have to worry about low hanging branches then side mounting is certainly the best. Pete and MTBBill have been mounting their cameras on the side for years. However, I rarely have to worry about low branches so the top of the helmet method works best for me. And thinking about your height becomes second nature, just like un-clipping your pedals. If you can do it the top of the helmet method is by far the easiest, lightest and most convenient method. Yes, it looks dorky, but I already look dorky anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wherewolf said:
How are the mounts for the camera and water bottle cage attached to your helmet? Any drilling involved?
Yes. One 1/4" hole for one bolt through the bottom of each quick-clamp and on through the
helmet. My nuts are fully recessed :D There is also a zip tie strategically located on each
plate to prevent any rotation whatsoever.



Wherewolf said:
One problem you may encounter is picking up the sloshing sound of the water in your videos. I find these cameras have very sensitive microphones. They pick up your breathing so they should also pick up the sloshing. And that continuous sloshing right next to my ear would probably bug me after a few hours on the trail.
In the past, I always unlinked the audio and video and threw away the audio - replacing
it with music. I might begin to use snippets of audio here and there, but I'm not too
worried about the sloshing being louder than the cacophony of noises that come from my
rides. :p


Wherewolf said:
If you ride areas where you have to worry about low hanging branches then side mounting is certainly the best. Pete and MTBBill have been mounting their cameras on the side for years. However, I rarely have to worry about low branches so the top of the helmet method works best for me. And thinking about your height becomes second nature, just like un-clipping your pedals. If you can do it the top of the helmet method is by far the easiest, lightest and most convenient method. Yes, it looks dorky, but I already look dorky anyway.
Yes. Here in central TX there are low branches everywhere. They're just additional trail
obstacles.

During my quest to get the camera onto the helmet, I had fabricated a top mount. I tested
it on an open section. Then, I removed the camera and rode the entire trail with just the
mount (no camera) still affixed to the helmet. It must have hit about 20 low limbs. And it
was fully 4 inches lower than what its height would have been with the camera mounted.
At one point, I snagged a limb so hard that I was stopped dead as my head got jerked
back. And that spelled the end of that prototype - not because it failed; it just failed the
test.

No denying that it was lighter. Obviously, half the weight. But, I had to go to side mount to
save the camera. In addition, I believe that having the lens closer to eye-height does a
better job of recording true POV.

I'll have to do another video to show what "convenience" really is with my set-up. I can
easily grab and unclip the camera and use it to film someone else - complete with zoom
control and good framing and then pop it right back into my rig and keep on riding.

:thumbsup:

Oh...I think my set-up looks every bit as dorky, if not more so! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
gsellis said:
EP, what are the mount pieces on the helmet and the snap in component?
I bought two of these and canabilized the shoe and clip.

http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/291660595.htm

The mount for the counter-balance is from an older tripod. I don't know the brand/model.

I'm going to buy another one of the Quantaray units and put an additional clip on the top of
the helmet for filming trail sections that have no low hanging obstacles.

The aluminum is just a piece of stock from Lowes Depot. It's about 1/8th of an inch thick.

I'll do a write-up of the assy and post it on my web page in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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I just ordered an Archos 404 (which has a 30gb hd) and the Archos helmet camera (VGA). The recorder is on sale at Circuit City for $199 and the camera I got at Buy.com for $117. The 30gb hd should be good for about 30 hours of video. They claim the battery lasts about 4 hours. I may pick up a spare just in case. I’ve been eyeing this setup for a while now. I like the idea of a small “pen” camera and the small digital recorder but didn’t like how all the other helmet cameras needed their own battery and adaptor cables. This setup seems perfect. I’m really excited to try it out! Keep an eye out for an extensive review sometime this summer.

Kevin
 

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urbantrailridingroadie
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I guess my biggest curiosity is how much dirt can the camera take over time?

For the handful of riders that mount your camera to your helmet, have any of you taken any kind of fall that damaged your handheld? How often? and how badly damaged did the camera become?

just being curious,
-tep
 

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mtbr dismember
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I fall a lot!

tep said:
For the handful of riders that mount your camera to your helmet, have any of you taken any kind of fall that damaged your handheld? How often? and how badly damaged did the camera become?
I fall a lot! I am the least skilled rider that is doing videos, and nobody falls more than me. But I've never had a problem with either the helmet mounted camcorder, or the lipstick cam with the camera in my pack. I've rolled over the camera in the pack scores of times. One advantage for me of mounting the camera on the top of the helmet is that I have never hit the top of my helmet in a fall, whereas I've hit the side of the helmet many, many times.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Take two...

felonious cog said:
I'm confused. Steady Shot or Super Steady Shot is a Sony trademark for their digital image stabilization.
Actually, the HC1 (one of the cameras I own) has and uses optical image stabilization.

Google this:

"Sony Steady Shot optical image"

then this:

"Sony HC1 Steady Shot optical image"

Read it and be amazed.

:D

felonious cog said:
Commercially available helmet enclosures offer the same feature (actually from the video it looks a bit slower than removing a camera from an enclosure).
A remote lens with image stabilization? :skep: Please do site the source.

BTW - optical is better than digital.

felonious cog said:
That's a good McGuyver. My concern would be the width of that setup for clearance issues, not the negligible extra torque that will be applied to the neck.
All fixed.

Prototype 2.

I just finished the second prototype. The weight of the set-up shown in my demo was
too far up and out. For prototype 2, I moved the camera lower and tighter in. The lens is
now really at eye-level. The camera is now right next to my right ear.

I also replaced the water bottle with a counter-balance that is tighter in, the same mass,
yet physically much smaller. Right now, it's a (get this) padlock! Yep. A freekin'
lock. But it's a perfect balance and way smaller, while being tight in.

The lower center of gravity and moment of inertia feels like there's nothing there. (For
anyone that needs a quick refresher, the moment of inertia of an object about a given axis
is defined as the level of difficulty required to change its angular motion about that axis.)


I'll post a new video showing the next gen soon. Probably Monday or Tues of next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ahh...charity work

Sorry, when I saw that you were still confused, I was on my way out the door for a
spectacular ride. Now that I'm back, I have time to help you out.

Right from the "horses mouth":

"Super SteadyShot® Picture Stabilization minimizes camcorder "jitter" and "shake" without any change to the quality of the image

Super SteadyShot® Picture Stabilization uses horizontal and vertical motion sensors located inside the lens assembly area. These sensors detect high frequency camcorder motion, like you might experience in a moving car, and an oversized CCD chip compensates for the movement.

The Super SteadyShot® system utilizes a Hyper Precision CCD chip with up to 3,300K pixels. Only 330K pixels are required to deliver an excellent picture, though Sony uses up to 690K. The extra pixels on the chip compensate for horizontal and vertical motion, minimizing camcorder shake without degrading the picture quality.

Different than most other digital image stabilization systems, Super SteadyShot® produces clear images even while zooming, shooting moving objects, or shooting in low light."


OK - so here's why it is "optical" image stabilization.

In the first "bold" section that I highlighted, you need to realize that this is a "mixed signal"
system - part analog, part digital. Certainly it can be argued that this is a digital image
stabilization system, but not in the same sense as the original/legacy, yet still employed
digital image stabilization systems. I'll explain that system in a moment. Focusing on the
Sony system, there are analog horizontal and vertical motion sensors that react to the
camera as it shakes. This signal is fed into a chip (a PIC - Programmable Integrated
Circuit). From that point on it is a digital signal that processes the information
available on the CCD (a Charged-Coupled Device; the image sensor chip). Now this too,
is digital information, but here's why it's better than the original/legacy, yet still employed
digital image stabilization systems. The information on the Sony CCD is there. Remember, as
Sony stated above, they have captured more than enough information by using a chip
that is physically larger (the second section that I highlighted). You can think of it this
way; there is a template that represents a "window" that is smaller than the CCD. This
window is the correct height and width (4:3 or 16:9, depending on user preference settings
) to capture images to the media This window is free to move around, to some extent, as
needed to correct shake and jitter. The movement of the window is indeed digital in nature,
but the information it "grabs" from the CCD is real. It was the actual image in the camera's
lens. Why does this make it better? Time for the primer on how the original/legacy, yet
still employed digital image stabilization systems.

Original/legacy, yet still employed digital image stabilization systems process in a completely
different way. The image is a fixed size and there is no other info available. From one
frame to the next, each pixel is analyzed. Each pixel contains the information that digitally
represents how the CCD was "excited" - there is information about the color, the brightness,
the white balance, the exposure, etc. So, as jitter is detected, each pixel of each frame is
compared to the information of the next frame that represents that same vector. Then,
digitally, a new, artificial pixel is created that is an average of these. Fake information.

I'm certain that you read the Sony page, so it must be that you didn't know how original/legacy,
yet still employed digital image stabilization systems operated.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
felonious cog said:
Sorry, you're mistaken again. I'm far from being confused about the subject at question.

ROFL!

Well, I suppose one doesn't have to have a degree in computer science (like I do) or a
degree in electrical engineering (like I do) or work at a company that builds hardware and
software systems that analyze video (like I do) to get called out for symantic gymnastics.
I believe that "symantic gymnastics" translates to "logic".

Yes, let's dumb it down a bit to get on the same page.

:crazy:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What's the difference between the lens moving to steady the jitter and project the image onto
the CCD vs the lens that doesn't move, has already projected the image onto the CCD,
but now the template for where to pick up the info has moved to grab from the area that
reduces jitter?
 

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Evil Patrick said:
What's the difference between the lens moving to steady the jitter and project the image onto
the CCD vs the lens that doesn't move, has already projected the image onto the CCD,
but now the template for where to pick up the info has moved to grab from the area that
reduces jitter?
1st thing I would say is optical quality, but for a video camera I wouldn't see it as such as a big thing as on a still cam.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh...let me answer for you. "The first system is optical and the second system is digital".

ROFL!

But wait, the image was optically placed on the sensor in the second system.

:madman:

"Damn logic!"
 

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EP, the HC1 is electronic IS. As you highlighted, it uses part of the chips field to stabilize the image. The HC7 is the first consumer Sony HD with OIS.

fc - Super SteadyShot is used for OIS too, but usually followed by "OIS" or proceeded by Optical. See the HC7 and VX2100 info.

But, EIS is vastly improved today and it is false to assume that EIS losses quality or is inferior to OIS. Sony uses Super SteadyShot in reference to lossless IS. Also, OIS can be done with the sensor and there are some new cameras (stills currently) that shift the sensor instead of a lense. OIS can also introduce issues of its own including "fireflies" during night shots and "sticky" images when used on a steady platform such as a good tripod. Also, OIS systems can be scrambled as my VX2100 is when it is near a Nextel DirectConnect signal. The OIS on the Canon HV10 is the most likely culprit for the unusable picture it creates when used in extreme sports POV such as a helmet cam application.
 
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