Which Helmet HD cam?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mtbdudex, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    On my MTB forum I've seen people post videos of their group rides, I'm on the fencepost of buying a water proof HD helmet cam, I'd use it for:

    -epic MTB group rides
    -Family events; white water rafting, family bike rides, hikes, etc

    I'm trying to justify getting one of these by multi-usage.
    They are also decent P&S camera, underwater capable, etc.

    Share me your real world experience by users here:
    I'm vaguely aware the GoPro’s HD Helmet HERO, are there others to consider?
    What the Pros/Cons from your experience?
    Based on your experience, would you buy it again or another one?
    Can they go in the ocean? (salt water issues? )

  2. Linkzi macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2010
    I own it and really like the compact size for travel. I mount it on my helmet and on a monopod with the tripod mount (sold separately). I took it to the San Diego Zoo and raised the monopod up high to get close to the birds. Everyone was in awe! hehe.

    Low light or night usage is not recommended. I used it in the ocean a few times with no problems except for the condensation fogging inside the casing. You will need to insert some moisture packets inside if temperature changes will occur quickly.
  3. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I have the 720p model of the VholdR ContourHD. The latest ones do 1080p. I've used it mountain biking, XC skiing, and for flatwater kayaking. It's small and compact and comes with great mounting hardware. I get relatively little camera shake when I have it strapped tightly to my helmet. The shake that does occur is the result of the helmet shifting on my head or head bobble. It's got a very wide field of vision, which causes some distortion and vignetting at the edges. But that is the tradeoff of the wide angle lens.

    The ContourHD has little laser sights on the front that allow you to level the camera. The lens can be rotated for horizontal or vertical shots, which allows you to mount the camera from the side and still level the shot. The frame is aluminum and so far has stood up nicely to wear and tear.

    My only "complaint" is that it isn't waterproof. I've gotten caught in some rain with no ill effects, but it cannot be submerged. If you are thinking about getting a camera to use for whitewater rafting, then I'd get the GoPro. I do a lot of rafting and was considering various waterproof cameras, but ultimately decided to get the ContourHD because I primarily wanted it for mountain biking and I liked how compact it was. I already deal with enough face-slappers, and I don't need branches ripping at the camera or mount.

    From the surf videos I've seen, the GoPro can definitely be used in salt water.
  4. hampshireman macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    Is it Mac compatible for downloading direct via USB?
  5. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    The ContourHD is, and I assume the GoPro as well. Most of these cams, as with the flip-style camcorders, record in h.264, readily playable in QuickTime. You connect the camera via USB and it mounts like an external SD card. Then you just copy the movie files or import into iMovie or Final Cut, etc.
  6. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    I have used them all and I suggest the HERO.
    Pros: great quality, tons of mounting applications for objects, all-in-one design, wide angle, cheap.
    Cons: bulky, no place to put it if you don't want it to be seen (ie on the side of your skull), easy to get caught on things on your person.

    I also really like the VIO POV 1.5. I like the split design so the lipstick cam works much easier on a goggle strap. But it is expensive, not HD and getting old in terms of product cycle.
  7. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    The gopro has better image quality than the contour IMHO. I have both and I've used the gopro on 3 different tv shows that were broadcasted here in Norway. I've put it on helmets, under the wing of a Cessna 185 (small airplane), on skis, on the handle bar on a waterskiing rope ( it kept recording after the guy fell and the rope with the camera was doing 30 knop)
    Just transfer over USB. It's faster to use a card reader than the actual camera

    PS on a 911 4S turbo, on base jumpers, skiers etc. It's amazing for the price and size. On our last production we had 7 and 1 broke down
  8. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    I have the Hero and its awesome. I was able to do an update via Mac OS X and a SD card.
  9. hampshireman macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
  10. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    In case you wanted to see some footage of the GoPro, this trailer was shot on a couple 7D's and a couple GoPro's. You can see how the footage fits well together.

  11. kermit4161 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006

    That is an amazing trailer! :D
  12. elisedriver macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    Another vote for the GoPro Hero HD here :

    I use it strapped to the car - as well as on my helmet for other track day type events.

    Footage is the best of all the products I've tried and seen - copes VERY well with changes in lighting conditions (eg, driving through mountain passes where it can be direct into cam sunlight, followed by dark shadow )

    Only downside is when it is very poor light - eg after sunset / dusk without any other light source.




    Plus, usng it's time lapsed stills photo mode to make stop-gap animation

  13. zblaxberg Guest


    Jan 22, 2007
    I have the GoPro HD that shoots 1080p. This thing is a beast. We strapped it to my buddy's car and got up to about 80 or 90mph and this thing didn't budge with the suction cup mount. It's so easy and all you do is plug it in to your mac to charge or to transfer footage. It's in an MP4 format though so you can't use Final Cut Pro to edit it. You'll have to use mpegstreamclip or compressor to convert the footage into an editable format. iMovie however will work fine.
  14. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    Even if you can edit it in imovie you shouldn't edit h264 but transcode it into another format.
  15. Erendiox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Totally recommending the GoPro. I use it for urban riding. Great quality, good price, and plenty of mounting options. This is me flying over my handlebars with the gopro running.
  16. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    Haha, that's why I don't use any brakes. ;) Sorry to laugh... it happened to me a bit more abruptly when I got doored last summer by a chick getting out of a cab on the street side. Glad to see the guy with the Pista helped get your rig out of the street. :D
  17. lee8668 macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2010
    There's a great comparision table of a few of the best HD cameras on the market at http://www.actioncameras.co.uk/comparison_of_hd_helmet_cameras. It shows a direct comparison of the main features of the GoPro HD, ContourHD and Drift HD170, comparing the mounting options, video specification, battery life and much more.
  18. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010
  19. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    I have Drift Innovation's HD170.

    Great little camera.

    the 1080P quality is fantastic. Sound is terrible, but not unexpected b/c it's rubberized for weatherprotection so the mic is covered.

    I think like most of the action cameras, it comes with almost every connection and strap needed to attach it to anything.

    i've been happy with it. they just released a 4 hour battery for it as well.

    there are some comparison videos out there.

    bottom line: i don't think you can go wrong with either the drift or gopro.

    best of luck,

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