What video cam are you using with helmet cam?

Just wondering what everyone was using or would recommend with the helmet cam. We are stepping up from our old VHS-C and want to get an 8mm or Hi8 camera. Possibly a digital cam also but I am wondering if the lower resolustion helmet cam would detract from the benefits of a digital cam.

Hi there..

I'm using a Canon ZR10 unit with pretty good results. In Canada it was $1150 http://www.canondv.com/zr10/index.html

...and I didn't think about searching ebay :)



I recently picked-up a used Sony Hi8 unit from e-bay. Payed $326 and am very happy with it so far. Works like a champ.

The helmetcam is good for only 380 lines, while the Hi8 unit is 410 lines or so.

Did a test the other day. If you want, you can check it out at:


Good luck with your upgrade!

Pretty interesting thread: Are there pencil type cameras available that transmit digital signals via FM frequency to a base unit? Seems like McGrath put a tiny camera on his helmet that didn't have an onboard tape. If I was going to do this, I wouldn't want something heavy attached to my helmet.

Just got my HC in the mail last night. Does that little strip of velcro really hold that thing on the helmet securely?

Another Q: what are you using to carry the video camemra and battery for the HC? Did you get their fanny pack? Does it have pockets for all that? Or or you using a backpack or something else?

I'm no expert on this stuff. In fact, I just got my HC for x-mas and have only one test run on it to see if it is mounted properly( ie: to make sure I'm not videoing the tops of trees or something other than the trail ). Be sure to take the time to mount it in the right place. I followed Heywood's advice and used cheapo velcro to experiment with location and angle. A few blasts around the block later I was happy with the position, removed the cheapo velcro and installed the heavy duty stuff supplied in the kit. This stuff really holds that sucker in place once you press it on firmly. Unless you take a major header, it's not going anywhere.

About carrying the VTR (hey '00, I'm learning what to call it), I put mine inside a tight fitting padded camcorder case, along with the HC battery, a few tapes, and a spare camcorder battery. Then the loaded case goes inside my backpack. About the backpack - If your going to try this I highly recommend a backpack designed for motorcycle riders. HUGE difference in the way it fits and is secured to your body.

Other little things I've discovered so far -

The microphone that is built into the HC works good, but when you get going over 30 MPH the wind makes an awful noise. I fixed this by covering most of the hole where the mic is with electrical tape and then making a "cone" with e-tape over the mic to protect it from the wind. Others have mentioned using an external stereo mic. I will try this some day.

The "look and feel" of speed on tape is weird. I had my WR WFO on a fire road and when I watched the tape on TV it looked like I was riding a moped going about 30 MPH.

There I go again - getting carried away with a long post. I hope to be able to help with this stuff more in the future. Still learning what's going on. Gonna get some good footage this weekend. It's finally raining here in socal and will be riding from the desert up to the snow with some buddies that want to see themselves going nuts on tape. Should be fun!

That is some serious Velcro, seems to hold the camera very solidly. No need to worry.

As far as carrying the camera, I use a plain old fanny pack that is large enough to hold everything. A good selection is usually available at the hiking stores. The fanny pack works for me as it allows relatively easy access to stop/start, change batteries, etc. It's surprising how often you need access to the camera....

I say relatively because it's still painful. All your buddies take off, and you're still zipping up the fanny pack!

I tested mine this morning and it works. However, I am hearing a pretty fair amount of audio hum on playback. I really doubt this is normal. I don't think is was any of the RCA connectors. Do you guys get hum on playback?

Also, the clear housing shield was all scratched up. I called them today and requested a new one and they said they would get that out immediately. So far I like their customer service.

Hey Ron, originally I couldn't see the video because Indeo was windows only at the link you posted, but here's a link for the Mac guys:


Good luck getting through, however, with the fresh hw/sw releases a few days ago.

Ron, I checked out your test video. That's some fast fire roading. I like the entry-posts tight spot!

What hardware did you eventually choose for digitising the video?

OH come on CUEBALL. All your buddies ride 2-smokes, you don't have any trouble catching up after zipping up the camera bag.


400 EXC--stock&great

YAMAHA 250--sold

200 EXC--ordered

250 sherco--coming

There's a couple of you guys that are tough to catch (even the ones on 2-smokes)!!

That bugger B.J. has had me WFO a couple of times just trying to keep up. Imagine what he'd do on a 'real' bike. And I'm thinking Johnny might add a couple MPH now that he's joined the thumper ranks....

Tech, I ended up using an old video capture board I had stashed in my closet for the past few years. It's a MiroVideo DC10. These things were sold for a few hundred dollars about five years ago. It was considered low-end back then. I'm using my good old home pc for now (SCSI Pentium 133 w/128MB ram). It works, but just barely. Good enough for now.

Went riding on Sunday and recorded some killer footage. Have not digitized yet but will this week. Anyone have some web-space they want to fill up?

BTW, thanks for the mac link. :)

Nothing wrong with 3.1:1 compression mjpeg quality. Have you tried cranking up the quality for processing? I saw the posted clip was 304x228 30fps, an obviously necessary reduction for the web.

Ya gotta post your first crash sequence when it inevitably happens...

For those interested, I've digitized more video and have started to upload to my ISP. The problem now is I'm out of space! :)

Take a look at:


Sorry guys, no crash footage yet… :D

nice footage. :) I like the topo maps showing the location and such..

damn.. we have to find a place to store this sort of stuff. I can see a library of video footage piling up :D


I tell ya, Ron, it's just like being there. Blue fender, whoopdeedoos, revs bouncing around on throaty 4 stroker yammie, handle bars doing the bounce and twist. If it wasn't for not being able to recognise the trail to save my life, I'd swear it was some of my own video.

Thanks guys. You two ('00 in Calgary & techman) have helped me figure this HC thing out. I'm having fun experimenting with capture settings and editing. Now the two major bummers are web storage and my lame 56k connection. I'm currently shopping around for a IPS that offers DSL and LOTS of space for a reasonable monthly price.

No new footage this weekend, too many chores backed up due to my fiddling with this new toy. Next weekend for sure!

About cranking up the quality for processing, 304x228 is the max this card, not to mention my weak pc, can handle. Will be fixing this in the near future.

:) Yeah Tim!

I was hoping someone would say that. I'll e-mail you soon about the details. Headed to the supercross race tonight and walking out the door soon. Planning on getting some good shots in the coming weeks…

I was just looking at your site and it has me thinking about taking a vacation up your way this summer. I'll talk to my buddies and see if I can get them interested in a Utah trip!

[This message has been edited by Ron in SoCal (edited 01-20-2001).]

Sounds great Ron,

We've got about 50 Mgs free on the server and won't have much to do with it until we get some of our own videos up (if i ever get around to it). Just let me know what you wanna do.

Enjoy the races!


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