Helmet camera question

I am looking at getting a helmet camera set-up, and I am specifically wondering about the image stabilzation function. If I get a camera that has the image stabilization capability, then hook a camera optic on my helmet, will I lose the stabilization function?

I see www.hemetcamera.com as on option for the helmet mounting, are there any other good options available?



I wasnt 100% happy with my HC from helmetcam.com

Dont get me wrong. Its a great HC. But it has some flaws too.

My biggest gripe was while using the helmet cam, sometimes it would just lose the video signal for no reason whatsoever. It would be filming fine one second and then the next... blackout.

My second problem with it is it is very hard to get the whole thing together before you go ride. all your buddies are sitting waiting on you and your stuffing the camera into its protective housing (in my case this was a huge bagel container with padding) then tape up the lid w/duck tape to keep water out, then put it in the fanny pack, run wires oout of the fanny pack up the back of your chest protector (the hardest part I thought) all while its plugged into your helmet. Then you have to make sure no wires are protruding out so they dont get caught on tree limbs.


Once your done putting it on, your ready for a break. I mean there has to be a better way with all the technology we have today.

I went to California for the Elsinore GP in 2001 and I was all stoked to use it in the race and the stupid thing wentout on me right before the practice lap. I was so pissed I swore I was gonna sell it as soon as I got home. And I did.

BTW: From what I was told when I bought mine the image stabilazation function on your video camrea is useless for the HC. Just works for the camcorder.

I was impressed however with the video quality when I got the thing to work. It looks great! :)


I do this kind of thing for a living. www.baughan.com

The image stabilization will not work because you will be using the camera as just a recorder when using an external camera. Tips: Put on a WIDE angle lens to minimize the vibration/ movement. Hold your head steady and be mostly aware of keeping the horizon even (no tilting). Do tests so you know the camera is pointing not too far up or down. Dress the cables so they don't get stressed and disconnect at the first turn. Chase someone, so there's always a reference in the shot (keeps viewers from throwing up).Try to build your own mounting set-ups as helmet cam is boring after a few seconds. Check out NASTAR. They mount cameras all over the car now. Be aware that good shots take work and expermentation so don't keep your buddies waiting.


There are pros and cons to the helmet cam. Like Darin said, it is a pain to set up and get going. All your buds are waiting around and want to get going. But they sure do like to watch themselves over some beers.

I tape mine all around the helmet and tape the video / audio connections together so they don't pull apart. I learned they come out easily after the first couple of rides. You get home and have no video.

The video is suprisingly stable. Definately make sure someone is in front of you most of the time. The only thing I find "nausiating" is when you are not riding and you move your head all around just looking at things. If I can remember, I try to keep head movements smooth and slow.

I don't worry about the audio because I put music over all the riding. Otherwise it is just very annoying noise. Plus it helps keep non riders interested. Because only you and your riding buddies are going to enjoy the tape. Everyone else will be like "OK, I have dishes to wash" after 10 minutes.

I do like it though. It is fun to pull out the tapes in the winter and get your fix.

Hey you guys, I really appreciate the input.

At first I was thinking that I needed a super-duper high-speed camera to ensure that the final image is nice and viewable, but it sounds like recording the image via helmet-mounted optic basically by-passes most camera add-on functions? (image stabilization, night-vision, ect.)

After you find out where you want to mount the optic (I like the idea of various mounting positions. Only having one position available would probably become a little boring, over time. Sounds like it is a good idea regarding this camera situation too! :) ) is it difficult to switch it around mid-ride, or are you stuck in one mounting position per ride?

Now I want to ask the big question, and let the cat right out of the bag, but I won't........

Merf and I split the cost of helmet cam, from helmetcamera.com and so far I'm happy with it. We havn't done a ton with it, mostly MX track stuff but it seems pretty stable on the picture even with all the jumps and stuff. I took some time with mine in the living room, I adjusted it on the helmet with the helmet sitting on the floor so I had a flat plane to look at on the screen of my vid recorder. If you can find a buddy to split the cost with it makes it even better, unless your gonna use it a ton yourself.


PM xxxsandman. He's one of my riding buddies that spends the rest of the week as a computer geek. He has the sweetest helmet cam I've seen. He'd even talked about putting some together for other people.

Good luck,


Hey BrandonW,

I got very nice water resistant camera from a security shop for only $90. I connected it to my Digital video camera with AV (AnalogVideo?) input function and it works GREAT!!! I have a little security battery 12V working for the helmet camera and with current reductor I also power my recording camera. Hope this helps...

Hey Momilkman the reason you are probably getting a black out is due to the poor power connection on the battery pack. I had the same problem untill I spread the internal pin on the connections so now they are very tight and I do not lose power and no more black outs

Hey there...

It's been a while, did you do any searching about video cams in the archives? I did a bit of blabbling about video cams a year back and captured it into a few web pages.

MOmilkman has some stuff in there as well :)

Here's a link to my video page...

and I made this street video as well :D


I'm not in here as much as I was back in 2000/2001 but if ya have questions I'll happily answer what I can.



That figures. I figured it was probably something fairly simple, but it pissed me off so bad on my trip to CA that I swore I'd never wear it again.

Neil has got some great footage and he has the video/mpeg thing figured out. I still havent. :)

Well, just as you guys seem to be all-knowing about dirtbikes, jetting and aftermarket goodies, I've spent a bunch of years working in the video world. It does boils down to the editing & rendering package you are working with.

How can I help? I used Adobe Premier 6.5 for the capture and editing. To get the highest quality out of your files, you have to select a resolution format that isn't going to choke your 'puter. So I capture and edit with raw DV footage (720x480) and when I render it I take that down to 320x240. Premier outputs a multitude of formats, but the best quality (least quantizing) is *.avi So I render to AVI first.

Then I use WinMedia ver9 now, but vers7 & 8 will work as well. microsoft has got a gret video compression engine going with their winmedia product. It's free as well :) I drop the usually huge AVI (often in the gigs) into win media and have it export a *.wmv file that is usually 10 -15% the size of the original. The drawback for the small size is the microsoft isn't really compatible thing, so you lose out for folks on older Windows versions and those on MACs. UNIX, BSD, etc.

oh yeah.. quantizing is where the 'puter averages several shades of colours into a single colour. Like posterization. It's done to reduce the amount if inforamtion needed to re-make an image, but the quality is questionable.


Not long ago I was reading and article about what kind of camera would would work with a lipstick camera. I seem to remember it saying that if you had a digital camera with either RCA outputs or a minijack output that the camera would work through that port.

Anyone know if this is true?

Bonzai :)

As far as I know the DV has to have a AV (Audio Video) In component, most DV's have only AV out.

From what I priced the jump to a DV with AV is a couple hundred bucks Eeeech

There are very few DV under 500 bucks that have AV In

Yeah DV is a good way to go. On lots of them the 'AV-out' is the same as the 'AV-in' so it's somthing to check out. Both my Canon cameras are set up this way. Something to keep in mind is that you don't have to have a DV-specific camera. Since you're mostly using it as a recording device, a Video 8, HI8, or the newer Digital 8 cameras will work fine. You have to decide how expensive a camera you're willing to crash with.

One of the main advantages of a DV camera is the IEEE1394 port on them. Firewire is the other name of IEEE1394. This port allows your 'puter to control the camera and it makes capturing from tape much easier.

If you get miniDV camera it is so small and lightweight that you can easily put in some good protection case and have much better chance not baking it in a crash.

Ok for the experinced guys here. Whats the best way to compress files for emailing? I have the set up and have been using it. Trying to send some short files and stuff. I'm getting some files in the 4-5 MB range for 30 seconds but my quality looks almost to low when I start getting them this small. I'm using Ulead software for editing and compressing. Thanks in advance.

Ok for the experinced guys here. Whats the best way to compress files for emailing? I have the set up and have been using it. Trying to send some short files and stuff. I'm getting some files in the 4-5 MB range for 30 seconds but my quality looks almost to low when I start getting them this small. I'm using Ulead software for editing and compressing. Thanks in advance.

The best consumer level (that's us) quality vs size compression out there right now is MPEG-2. Since it's recognized as the best thing going, those that invented it haven't released the rights to it and charge for it's use. Most large editing programs want you to purchase the right to use it as they don't own the rights either. There's a reasonable FREE version found here. BBMepeg2 is the name of it.

Here's a pretty good site for software....


right click on this link and you can d/l the BBmpeg2 plugin for Adobe and Ulead editors.


The Mpeg2 may not get you much smaller than what you have now though. 4 or 5 meg for 30 seconds is not outragous at all. Television cameras output 170meg a second so you have to keep it in perspective. Check out the use of Winmedia as a final step. Microsoft has a really good compression engine in WinMedia9 and it's dropped my file sizes dramtically.

Try reducing your frame rate from 30 frames per second to 15 or 12 fps. This reduces your file size as well. I don't make files that I want to send around much larger than 320x240. It's a reasonable trade-off of physical (screen) size vs quality vs file size.

Don't e-mail your video files around. Find or start an FTP server that will allow people to click on a link in their e-mail and snag the file when traffic is slow. I don't appreciate getting large files in my e-mail as its long download time may keep me from getting something really important. AND a large video file has a good chance of maxing out my e-mail limits.

Hope that helps...


Maybe you can help. I can make avi files easy from my helmetcan and computer software. I will try to compress these as you suggest here. If I succeed at that, can I just store them at a location such as where my digital pictures are and send the address to TT for viewing. The big question, with probably a big answer, is what is needed to be done to make larger files video stream.. Thanks, Jim

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