Interested in buying a helmet camera to capture your dirt bike adventures? Here are a few things to look for that may help you choose the right one.
A helmet camera, also known as a bullet camera or lipstick camera, is an awesome way to catch footage of you and your mates’ riding. They offer a completely different perspective than regular filming does. The footage they produce provides a fantastic viewpoint of what it looks like from the rider’s seat, and the great thing is it doesn’t have to hinder your riding or fun! The other useful thing about them is you can use them to improve your riding skills. Study your riding technique after a day on your local track and see if you could’ve chosen better entry lines, or check your body positions e.t.c.
Helmet cams are small cameras that are easily fitted to your helmet or on a part of your bike such as the front mud guard. They record without you having to actually hold the camera, so are ideal for those of you who like the idea of capturing those magic moments but can’t be bothered standing around recording your mates.
Due to the increase in sports film creation, the amount of people out there wanting to create their very own videos, and advances in technology, helmet cameras have evolved to become not only light-weight and affordable, but they also produce a very nice final image.
There are really only two types of cameras used on the market today. CMOS cameras which are generally cheaper because of their simpler sensor pick ups, and CCD cameras which use more complex technology to produce a clearer overall picture. CCD cameras adjust better to changes in light exposure.
Features to look for in a quality dirt bike helmet cam unit:
- High resolution (though this alone does not guarantee a better picture) – over 420 T.V lines should give a nice result. A lot of cams are over 500 lines now
- Tough, durable, water proof and shock proof camera casing and mounts – these things get the bejeebers shaken out of them when attached to dirt bikes! It won’t last long if it’s not tough
- Motion stabilizer technology
- Multiple mounting possibilities ex. not only on your helmet but can be mounted to the frame, handlebars and fenders
- Quick adjusting lens sensors to combat over exposure and sudden changes in light conditions – for example, when jumping you will often face into the sky, if the camera can’t regulate the amount of light allowed through the lens quickly enough then all you will catch on film is a bright haze
- Simple to set up and operate
- Quality microphone system with wind noise reduction
- Wide angle lens
- Anti fog lens for wet/cold conditions
- Strong waterproof connectors to keep the duct tape away – or even better, wireless
- A remote control
- Long life battery use or rechargeable batteries
“I’ve always thought about buying a helmet cam. Now I’m definitely going to get one! Cheers for the good advice.” – Matt
Here is a great clip of the kind of footage you can expect to achieve with a modern helmet cam..
So if you’ve been sitting around with your mates dreaming about the great footage you could be getting if you only had a helmet camera, why don’t you get together and put in for one between ya’s? With prices for a quality cam beginning at around $300US it’s not out of your reach. And the thrill of having those amazing days of riding forever caught on camera will be priceless!
Some places to begin looking:
Twenty20 Helmet Cams produce a great range of outdoor cams for different sports and conditions. They make a camera that doesn’t require a camcorder to be connected. Instead, it records directly to a Micro SD card which is in the unit. No cables and less baggage. If you enjoyed what you saw in the video clip above then the GoPro HD Helmet Camera is for you. And make sure you check out my experiences with it in this helpful GoPro Hero 2 Review.
My advice before you buy? As with any product, have a look around online and compare prices before you jump in. Make sure you get a warranty of some sort, and don’t necessarily go for the cheapest model!