New Video Camera

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Photo and video by MJ Klein

By now all our readers know that I enjoy riding, especially the recumbent trike.  I’ve taken lots of photos and done ride reports using my Nikon D80.  But I’ve been looking for a camera specifically designed to capture action for activites such as rides, and I’ve found such a camera – the Gopro Helmet Hero WIDE angle.

Helmet Hero WIDE

The Helmet Hero comes in an impressive package with a clear plastic case on top.

While not intending to be a review of the camera, I will tell you a few of the cool features:

  • Records on an SD card (up to 56 minutes of continuous video).
  • 5 MP still camera.
  • Self-timer.
  • Interval photo mode, either 2 or 5 seconds.
  • Has a waterproof plastic case (to 10 meters).
  • Various mounts that stick on flat or curved surfaces.
  • Helmet mount (for vented bicycle helmets).
  • Wearable head strap.
  • Versatile mounting system to adjust X and Y axis position.
  • 170 degree field of vision (very wide-angle!)
  • Upside down capture mode for increased mounting flexibility.

This camera was more than I bargained for and I am very pleased with the results I am getting.  I recommend reading the information on the website as well as viewing the sample videos there to get the maximum information.  I purchased the camera in Taiwan from Riddle Technology (through PC Home).  They made it very easy because their salesperson is on Skype and speaks English.  I gave them my CC information in an email and they shipped me the camera.  It couldn’t have been easier and the whole transaction beats having to use a Chinese website to order something!

Now of course you know that right away I took the camera out for a ride and gave it a test.  I used the Giant MTB and rode to the other side of Hukou and got lunch to take back home.  I shot video (using the helmet mount) and captured the ride.  It was actually raining a bit so the waterproof case came in very handy.  I’ll leave you with this first video to enjoy.  I’m looking forward to bringing you lots more ride videos!

Lunchtime Bicycle Ride from MJ Klein on Vimeo.

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15 comments

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  2. is the camera still working busman what kind of price would they be
    rideing the red roads of issan with one of these straped to my head could be fun

    1. hi John. i just got the camera this week. the price should be less than US$200. you could get some pretty wild ride videos in Thailand, that’s for sure! thanks for visiting and your comments John.

  3. Mj it is good to see the drivers there are much like here in Thailand and turn in front of you, you are only on a bike they are in a car.

    The camera is a ripper MJ, and I am surprised at the price. I recently bought a video camera a Sony DCR-DVD 610. I like it as I can record straight to rewritable disks or to a memory stick. Best I thought was being able to put the disk straight into a player and play.

    I read a lot of views and most were okay as it is only an entry level dvd recorder but I do think I should have paid the extra $200 for the 810 model which has 8GB internal storage and a lot more features.

    I am still learning a lot about the camera and shot a few small things, mainly of the neice dancing and being silly.

    I paid 12,000 Thai Baht for the camera and could have got the 810 for 20,000 Thai Baht. Live and learn as they say
    .-= Brunty´s last blog ..H1N1 Virus Isaan Thailand. =-.

    1. hi Brunty. yeah, turning in front of people is an Asian trait. people don’t consider it impolite to cut others off. i’ve been walking down the road only to have a scooter nearly hit me pulling into a parking space directly in front of me that would have still been there 2 seconds later if they had waited for me to pass. saying anything is pointless because it’s a total non sequitur.

      the camera is a fun little toy, and the price also surprised me.

      glad you got a new DV camera Brunty. now we can get some more videos from you! it’s going to be fun seeing some things from the point of view of video, as well as still camera shots. looking forward to it! thanks for your comments and take care.

  4. Looks like the type of camera I could use. I say this because… you said this camera has a waterproof case (to 10 meters) and now they are calling for off and on rain showers on Wednesday when the Tall Ships arrive.

    A quick look on Google found found the camera available for USD $140 to $190 (about NT $4600 to $6254) here in the USA.

    Well… I guess I’ll experiment putting my camera on a tripod and taking pics with the wireless remote. This way if it isn’t raining that hard… I can have my hands free to keep me ANd the camera dry with an umbrella and still be able to take pics. Maybe find a way to put the camera in a plastic bag and leave just the lens adaptor outside ofthe plastic bag. I really would like to try and get some pictures of the Tall Ships coming into Boston.
    .-= mike01905´s last blog ..2009 Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party =-.

    1. Mike, i wonder is there is a mount you could use to hold it on the stalk of the umbrella? or some arrangement to hold the umbrella up over the tripod? maybe something like what’s used for a flash umbrella?

  5. Wouldn’t that be nice 🙂

    When I looked up the camera on Google and seen it was available for at various places for USD $140 to $190… I dalso found some kind of “expansion kit” for like USD $70 *about NT $2300) on the Eastern Mountain Sports website (which means it can most likely be found for less at other places).

    According to the EMS website… it says some of the featuers/benefits of this expansion kit are…

    * Kit includes a polycarbonate camera housing that is shockproof and waterproof to 100 feet.
    * Included strapped quick-release base plates works with any helmet vent configuration
    * Bi-directional design for easy front and rear video capture
    * Triple-axis pivot arms included for side mounting on helmets and other gear
    * Two curved and two flat quick-release mini base plates are included
    * Attaches to bikes, kayaks, boards, vehicle, etc.

    Don’t know if this sounds like something that would be a “plus” for the camera or not.
    .-= mike01905´s last blog ..2009 Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party =-.

    1. Mike, all that stuff comes with the camera as standard. i have all those items with mine. there are different versions of the camera and you can also buy mounts separately. i have the Helmet Hero WIDE.

  6. How about the audio?

    I’m not very into editing stuff, so how does it sound if you put it on your helmet and then use your voice for the audio (you usually put a soundtrack over it)?

    Could you make one with some live commentry if possible?
    .-= Peter´s last blog ..Concentrate, Dammit! =-.

    1. hi Peter. on the last 2 videos i put the camera on HI audio sensitivity. i’ve been experimenting with that recently. you can hear my swearing (which i’ve bleeped over with a tone). what i’ve recorded is not good enough for narration, but it’s good enough to hear conversations. the camera has a LO setting and the company recommends this for most uses because of wind noise, etc. the first video that i did, i set the camera on LO. when on the LO setting it makes a noise, like an op-amp is going bad. it’s definitely either a bad component or a circuit design flaw, as my 30+ years experience as a recording engineer tells me. if you view the first video and turn the sound up all the way you can hear this hash noise. but on the last 2 videos, the Air Pump and Big Hill, Revisited, the camera is set on HI and to be honest i don’t think the sound is that bad. sure, there are some pops and bumps but i would expect that. i find the audio to be perfectly usable in the HI setting and i intend to keep it set like this.

      if i were to speak a bit louder i probably could do commentary in the camera directly. the preferred method is to do a narration track. Windows Movie Maker allows you to insert another audio track and adjust the volumes of the original and the secondary tracks individually (including muting them). i should do some experimentation with recording conversations. the waterproof case does dampen the audio a bit but on the other hand, the case cuts the wind noise down too. thanks Peter.

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