Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Another Cheap Helmet Cam

Recommended Posts

Several years ago I began messing around with cheap cameras thanks to this thread: http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/807345-helmetcam-cheap-17-cheap-very-cheap/

 

I may have found another winner. The Vivitar 785HD.

 

$T2eC16R,!yEE9s5jFRYjBRc8CvV+IQ~~_35.JPG

 

I paid $29.95 + $5.25 shipping. This requires a separate micro SD card which the camera supports up to 32GB, however, I'm using a 16GB, Class 6.

 

It comes with a waterproof case (I haven't tested that part) two mounting brackets, one mounting rotating arm, and a pop-on/off mount. Both mounts use a 1/4-20 threaded bolt like most camera components. The mounting arm uses a tab buckle like the goPro, unfortunately, it does not work with the goPro mounts. It probably could work if you alter them with a dremel though.

 

It shoots 5 minute segments of video in individual files. There may be a way to set the date/time, but I haven't found it.

 

The camera has three modes, photo, video and "vehicle". Not knowing the difference between video and "vehicle", I used "vehicle".

 

It may be the waterproof case that ships with the camera, but it appears the microphone does not pick up higher pitched sounds as well as it does lower pitched sounds. It also seems to reduce static and wind noise.

 

I used KDEnLive to stitch the video segments together and render the video before uploading to YouTube. From what I can tell, this is seamless. I'm not a video guy, so there may be a better way, but this is what I know works.

 

Video from this past weekend on a bar mount. Other than stitching segments, this video is completely unedited.

 

I also have video from the "helmet mount" which I used Command release double sided tape to stick on the front number plate. The number plate is very loose so it's very shaky even after asking YouTube to stabilize it. Clearly I need to mount the number plate better if I try this again.

 

I read the reviews online which were mixed. I'm guessing a lot of these shipped early on with crappy firmware or other problems and they were hit-or-miss. The number of bad reviews has seemed to have been curbed, but maybe that's because there is a newer model that's attracting people's attention. I did meet one gentleman on Saturday who had a bad camera he purchased from a brick and mortar store.

 

I'm thinking about buying another one and mounting it rear-facing.

 

Thought some of you cheapskates like me may be interested.

 

If anyone is interested in the original MD80 cameras, I have a few which have seen their fair share of use and may or may not work (I haven't used them in a while) and if you want to use or re-purpose them, I'll gladly send them to you.

Edited by Smacaroni
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't argue with $35.

 

As much as I love GoPro, Chinese alternatives are going to press them pretty hard, as the above camera shows. I hope they keep their brand strong...it's really all they have!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up. Was thinking to get a couple cameras soon, so not against giving a try to something with less of a following as one alternative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several years ago I began messing around with cheap cameras thanks to this thread: http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/807345-helmetcam-cheap-17-cheap-very-cheap/

 

I may have found another winner. The Vivitar 785HD.

 

$T2eC16R,!yEE9s5jFRYjBRc8CvV+IQ~~_35.JPG

 

I paid $29.95 + $5.25 shipping. This requires a separate micro SD card which the camera supports up to 32GB, however, I'm using a 16GB, Class 6.

 

It comes with a waterproof case (I haven't tested that part) two mounting brackets, one mounting rotating arm, and a pop-on/off mount. Both mounts use a 1/4-20 threaded bolt like most camera components. The mounting arm uses a tab buckle like the goPro, unfortunately, it does not work with the goPro mounts. It probably could work if you alter them with a dremel though.

 

It shoots 5 minute segments of video in individual files. There may be a way to set the date/time, but I haven't found it.

 

The camera has three modes, photo, video and "vehicle". Not knowing the difference between video and "vehicle", I used "vehicle".

 

It may be the waterproof case that ships with the camera, but it appears the microphone does not pick up higher pitched sounds as well as it does lower pitched sounds. It also seems to reduce static and wind noise.

 

I used KDEnLive to stitch the video segments together and render the video before uploading to YouTube. From what I can tell, this is seamless. I'm not a video guy, so there may be a better way, but this is what I know works.

 

Video from this past weekend on a bar mount. Other than stitching segments, this video is completely unedited.

 

I also have video from the "helmet mount" which I used Command release double sided tape to stick on the front number plate. The number plate is very loose so it's very shaky even after asking YouTube to stabilize it. Clearly I need to mount the number plate better if I try this again.

 

I read the reviews online which were mixed. I'm guessing a lot of these shipped early on with crappy firmware or other problems and they were hit-or-miss. The number of bad reviews has seemed to have been curbed, but maybe that's because there is a newer model that's attracting people's attention. I did meet one gentleman on Saturday who had a bad camera he purchased from a brick and mortar store.

 

I'm thinking about buying another one and mounting it rear-facing.

 

Thought some of you cheapskates like me may be interested.

 

If anyone is interested in the original MD80 cameras, I have a few which have seen their fair share of use and may or may not work (I haven't used them in a while) and if you want to use or re-purpose them, I'll gladly send them to you.

Could you give us the link?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are looking for a decent camera I own a reaplay xd mini it was 200 bucks and is a very nice camera also about the the size of a tube of Chapstick. It is made in the USA and I think they just came out with a new model. Google them its a nice slightly cheaper alternative to go pro. I really like mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be upset until the next heat or practice session if I lose $30 because I wrecked and my camera got destroyed. Last weekend I "lost" half of $110 in track fees cause my bike broke mid-day and I'm still a little miffed about it. I don't want to risk $200. That's why I won't buy a goPro.

 

But I'm glad you have a solution you like.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be upset until the next heat or practice session if I lose $30 because I wrecked and my camera got destroyed. Last weekend I "lost" half of $110 in track fees cause my bike broke mid-day and I'm still a little miffed about it. I don't want to risk $200. That's why I won't buy a goPro.

But I'm glad you have a solution you like.

i here ya that's whats crazy you buy a decent go pro and some attachments your wearing 500 bucks on your helmet that can easily be knocked off or destroyed I think I only payed 50 bucks for my helmet on sale lol. The would ruin my day also. People always say rude stuff like if you can't afford that you can't afford to race. I think that's bull I feel like saying oh I didn't realize having fun was only for the rich. Any way I'm rambling. Lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×