Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Snowboarding Helmetcam Update

I had a few questions come up about my video setup… so here it is, in all its simplicity. At first it was side mounted, but this hurt my neck after several hours, so now it’s on top.

IMG_4323_sm

Equipment:

  • Nvertigo-X Skydiving camera helmet with chin cup
  • Canon Vixia HF200
  • Kenko KGW-05 wide adapter
  • Manfrotto 323 quick-change adapter
  • Newton cross ring sight with Schumacher rotating clamp
  • Home-made neoprene “camera condom,” from an old wetsuit hood
  • Piece of gaffer’s tape over the “mode” switch so it stays on video, can’t be bumped to photo mode (which screws everything up if you don’t notice it)
  • Pattex glue for the neoprene (glues neoprene like nothing else, according to some friends who SCUBA)

Photos of the new Neoprene cover with side opening. I left an open area by the lens so the Instant AF sensor can still work.

Top-mounted Helmet Cam

I made this side opening cover after many pain-in-the-$%# moments on the slope, when I had to completely remove the (old) cover to use the viewscreen.

Side-opening Neoprene camera condom

Settings:

  • Highest quality setting, at 1920×1080 Full HD
  • Shutter speed (Tv mode) 1/500 or higher (maybe 1/250 but then you get a bit more motion blur in the video)
  • Optical stabilizer on, though it doesn’t help much when you are moving
  • Virtualdub and Deshaker software used to stabilize clips
  • Editing done with Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate Collection

Hope this helps some other camera-amateurs like myself! Next on my list (if I find time) is to make one of the home-made steadicams from PVC pipe, like you see in many YouTube tutorials. Not sure I’d put it on the helmet, but for handheld stuff, it might eliminate the need for the (slow, slight-quality-reducing) Deshaker step.

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Posted in Photography and Skiing+Snowboarding 7 years, 8 months ago at 11:00 am.

6 comments

6 Replies

  1. I have no idea what you’re talking about, however, I love to pop in nevertheless!

    Good post… I think? :)

  2. Hi Dave,
    Looks pretty good now. How did you correlate the sight-finder ?

    Is the camera off centre or did you check the weights to make sure its balanced in the middle ?

    P

  3. Joe L. Feb 15th 2010

    ContourHD man. It’s the wins
    http://www.vholdr.com/contourhd/helmetcam

  4. Hey Wendy, thanks :-) I think you’ll like the finished product, whenever I get 1h of good video edited… hehe.

    Paul, I correlate by zooming in on the cam, then adjusting the sight until what’s dead-center is what the cam’s zoomed on.

    Joe, I think my system is gonna be better overall results, but it’s an order of magnitude more effort. Had the 1080 ContourHD been out when I started this project, I might have one now. But then I think I’d be disappointed. What’s the shutter speed? I love setting it at 1/500, Virtualdub stabilizer works perfectly.

  5. Wow, you made that? Awesome!

    What was the advantage of having the camera on the side of the helmet? Are there pro-built helmetcam’s out there or are all of them do-it-yourself?

  6. Hey Heza, on the side it’s easier to deal with (harder to hit with that safety bar on the lift, for example). And easier to reach with gloved hands. But it was killing my neck from the unequal strain on the side.

    There are some ready-made ones like GoPro and ContourHD. But they aren’t quite as high quality video, they cannot zoom, they have no display screen (so you can’t review video until you’re home), and I think no shutter speed settings or other advanced settings. Probably great for YouTube, but I plan to make a DVD, so… :-)