Helmet Cam

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Anyone have one? Any thoughts on what would be good? What's top of the line?

I'm thinking we need more videos on this site.

Thoughts?
 

J-Dro

Well-Known Member
Helmet cam videos can be great, but they are tough to pull off successfully. Usually, the camera is bounced all around so that it makes the viewer dizzy. Or the camera is aimed too low and you only see the front tire instead of the trail ahead.

IMHO, helmet cam video works best when spliced in with other trailside video. Also, good image stabilization is a must. And it works best when there is a rider ahead of the camera to focus on. Just my $.02
 

dhsean

Member
No helmet cam vids please

Helmet cam videos are rarely exciting. I have seen helmet cam vids from Diablo's best trails look incredibly boring some how. If I had to watch helmet cam footage from a cross country trail like Allaire I would shoot myself. It doesn't capture the speed or aggression that well. Besides we all want to ride, not take video. It is boring and time consuming. I'd rather just pedal and hopefully someone out there with the video bug captures some footage.

Head on footage of people suffering in a 24 hour event to see the blank looks on their faces could be fun though. :puke:
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Helmet cam videos can be great, but they are tough to pull off successfully. Usually, the camera is bounced all around so that it makes the viewer dizzy. Or the camera is aimed too low and you only see the front tire instead of the trail ahead.

IMHO, helmet cam video works best when spliced in with other trailside video. Also, good image stabilization is a must. And it works best when there is a rider ahead of the camera to focus on. Just my $.02

Sounds reasonable. Maybe that's why you really don't get much. I would think you'd need some actual interaction, like Jake asking Brett to hold his hand, and so on. Maybe get a bunch of people on a very technical and take video of it.

Sean - duly noted. But remember, I'm not asking you to make it for me. So no sweat off your back.

Given the astounding popularity of YouTube, I think people do like videos though. Now if only I could get a walrus on a bike.
 

Glancing Aft

Active Member
I have a vio sport helmet camera. I've been really happy with it and they have great customer service. In the past I posted up videos from six mile, Ringwood and allaire on the site. They came out decently well, but as dhsean said can get a little bit boring. The video editing is a pain in the @$$ too since you end up compressing a 2 hr ride into a 3 min video. Before you know it you've killed 5 hrs putting the video together. I didn't bike with the camera at all last year, but I can bust it out some this year if people want.
 

warcricket

Like a Jerk
helmet cams make me dizzy. trail side cams w/ interesting angles are the best way to make a mtb video. However; if you do decide on a helmet cam, never ever mount it next to your wheel and make one of those videos in which half the screen is consumed by a tire and spokes.
 

dhsean

Member
never ever mount it next to your wheel and make one of those videos in which half the screen is consumed by a tire and spokes.

I believe Mr. Vreeland has some of those from way back at Diablo. Maybe he can post them for laughs. Not trying to kill the video idea, just know how difficult and time consuming it can be. Like I said, capturing the suffering and drama of a 24 hour event would be cool but not with a helmet cam and probably best left to the professionals.

Norm, maybe a video section in the media room. I have some youtube videos in my favorites that I can post from Diablo, Mount Snow, Plattekill, etc... Pretty much all DH related though.
 
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jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
I in fact do have one of those handlebar videos staring at my tire from Diablo, I believe also from Rays,I can dig them and post them so you can see how un-exciting they are...:D

-Jim.
 

pinkshirtphotos

Active Member
the best "helmet cam" style videos are mounted on the chainstay looking at the cassette and derailor. You can see all the shifts and stuff and see what the rider just went over. But even that is boring. My buddy once taped a camera to a stick and the stick to his helmet. it was a reverse helmet cam and you could see what he was doing as he blasted down the trail. but that would be really boring for xc videos. Some cool angles of packs of riders racing would be neat but keep it off the head.

my $0.02
 

jbogner

NYCMTB: President
JORBA.ORG
Helmet cam is dead. Cable cam is what's next. Check this from the guy who runs bikerag.com:

http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=31146371

I've had mixed luck with helmet cam footage. An absolute must- WIDE ANGLE LENS. Nothing kills helmet cam footage like too much shake, and the narrower the lens, the more pronounced the shake. The heavier the camera and counterweight, the more solid the footage, but of course the more neck fatigue you'll endure.

I like a nice mix of helmet cam footage and trailside footage. There's something cool about being able to watch first-person as someone hits a big drop. But it's really dull when it's the *only* POV.

IMO, the lenses on the lipstick cams lead to dark and shaky footage. The best way to go is to mount a handheld cam to your helmet.

And if you don't like editing, then don't bother shooting video. It's another couple hours of work at night after the ride, so get ready to endure the complaints from your wife: "But you were out riding most of the day, now you want to sit at the computer and spend the rest of the night editing the video of you riding?" ;)
 

clarkenstein

JORBA Money Launderer
JORBA.ORG
filming is tough... IMHO for a good video, you have to go out with the intention of getting footage, versus going out for a hard ride. kinda like taking photos on the trail, it'll interrupt things quite a bit if you are looking to just ride.

that said, i have always thought about putting together some videos of stuff, but i'm not good enough to ride half the crap or to go fast enough to make anything look exciting... even for me to watch myself.

i dont mind riding with the intention of taking photos. i do ride so much, i sometimes would like some more pics... at least more than the "there i am once again at the starting line of a race i didn't even come close to winning" shots, but usually when i am out with other people, they generally get annoyed if i try to take a pic here and there too much. i can understand that tho... so now i only bring the camera out on solo rides.

my bro-in-law has some decent footage of some local parks. his best videos are the ones that have the shots from off trail, versus just showing what the trail looks like from the vantage point of a helmet. the editing time takes him a while. i have tried to post his stuff on youtube, but i haven't had the time to look for a good DVD to youtube format converter...
 

NJ-XC-Justin

KY-DH-Freddy
Helmet cam is dead. Cable cam is what's next. Check this from the guy who runs bikerag.com:

http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=31146371

That's like the Roam zip line cam. Completely boss. Watching the Roam behind the scenes vid, it seems like it took endless hours to set up.

And yeah video editing takes me FOREVER. We shoot digital vid of our son doing various things (opening presents, eating snow, peeing on the floor, etc) and it takes me 3-5x as much time to edit as there is footage. Admittedly I could be faster if I did it every week, but it's painful just translating one file type to another just to get it into iMovie.
 

VelocityBoy

"Sleeveless Joe"
I have a vio sport helmet camera. I've been really happy with it and they have great customer service. In the past I posted up videos from six mile, Ringwood and allaire on the site. They came out decently well, but as dhsean said can get a little bit boring. The video editing is a pain in the @$$ too since you end up compressing a 2 hr ride into a 3 min video. Before you know it you've killed 5 hrs putting the video together. I didn't bike with the camera at all last year, but I can bust it out some this year if people want.

Will,

Your vids are great. As you know, with your permission I posted the RW and 6 mile videos on my bike club's site over the past few months and the response has been tremendous.
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
i prefer helmet cam for twisty, fast trails. for technical features and camera on the side of the trail would be better. a cable cam would be the best.
 
C

Crankfire

Guest
I picked up a sony lipstick helmet cam a few years ago and it certainly did not pan out to be as exciting as one would think.

Overall, I will admit it is pretty neat here and there, but hitting any sort of chop or chatter at speed kills the video, and even if you do manage to eliminate the "shake" - the footage never really translates that well to real life. Jboo is right though, wide angle is a necessity!

Best if you follow someone, but with the wide angle lens you have to stay right on their tails (dangerously close imho).

I suppose it's just that they tend to be expensive. If they were like $25 I would probably say they are the greatest things ever?
 

crash_in_nj

New Member
I picked up a vholdr for $350. It works pretty well except for the audio, but I think I found a fix for that. I posted a link to this in another thread, but here it is again in case you missed it. Allaire video

Ideally you'd mix video types so you get different looks at the cool stuff. Tight trees are nice to show off speed. It's weird how some stuff looks good on a helmet cam, and some stuff just doesn't. Putting some good music to the video helps:)
 
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