Imagine being able to view and experience the winding, hilly dirt road of a trail bike rider or the tricky snow covered slope of a snowboarder descending from the top of a path to the bottom and all from the rider’s perspective. The thought of it prompts a tentative memory of being on a roller coaster grimacing as you anticipate the next turn and dip of the coaster car. You look forward to the last loop while envisioning your ride coming to a grinding halt and you’re released to freedom.
Anyone wearing a helmet that is involved in an adventure or OMG sport has looked forward to being able to share the experience with those of us who choose to stand by on the sidelines and just watch. Some users even wear helmet cams just as a matter of habit.
From downhill skiers to skateboarders they seek to capture the fun, thrill and exhilaration of their outings through video which is normally performed with a camera attached to their helmet, bike frame or chest. While there are specialty cameras available to capture video recordings, not just any device will do. The preference among most adventure enthusiasts is a waterproof camera for helmet use because of the prospect of inclement weather. The device also should be shockproof able to hold up under the pounding it will take especially if the rider takes a tumble.
Not many cameras are up to the task because of the difficulty of being securely fastened to the helmet. Factors that may affect obtaining quality video are the equipment being used, terrain, weather and other issues. When choosing a waterproof camera for helmet use, the following criteria should be considered:
- Ease of use: The user won’t have time to make adjustments to the device while riding and can even operate it with gloves.
- Quality of video and audio: It’s important that the video is clear and able to record even in low light and inclement weather. Audio should be clear and not muffled or drowned out because of wind noise.
- Battery life: Batteries should last more for the entire event without the user having to change them out frequently.
- Multiple mounting options: should be versatile and permit mounting on a helmet, front or rear frame of a bike or by a chest harness worn by the user.
- Weight: the lighter the camera the more stability and mounting options you have (On top or in the front or on either side of the helmet).For the heavier models you can mount them to your equipment or on your body using a chest harness.
- Wide viewing angles: to be able to capture as much of the action as possible in one camera frame.
In helmet cams or Point of View cameras, the two most popular are the GoPro HD Hero 2 and the Contour HD Series. Both are excellent choices and because of this consumers spend a lot of time researching the features of each model. Both have similar features, but what it basically comes down to is the personal preference of the buyer and end user.
The GoPro HD HERO 2 Edition which comes in three styles, motorsports, outdoors and surf. This model is wearable and mountable on your sports gear, its shockproof and waterproof to 197 feet with the housing on and has a 170° wide-angle lens. Image capture includes 1080P and 720P HD quality video and 11 MP still photos all done hands free! On all sides of the camera are LED lights so you will know from any angle when the camera is on. It is made for action no matter the sport from scuba diving to dirt track racing, it’s tough enough to take a spill on asphalt, in mud or water and keep on filming. Click here and take a look at the video.
The Contour POV (Point-of-View) camera has three models, the ContourRoam, ContourGPS and Contour+. Each style has different features, but one thing that remains the same is the quality of video you will obtain. The Contour+ has the most features and is costly. Among other premium features, it has GPS, Bluetooth and more. During your research, you may run across the Contour HD model, this is the older model to the new ContourRoam.
All of the Contour models include 1080p, 960p & 720p HD Video, USB output and an internal microphone. Additionally, the Contour Roam and Contour+ has a 170° wide angle view, except the ContourGPS which has 135° wide-angle view. Out of the three models, the ContourRoam would be the better choice because it has a water resistant aluminum exterior that can stave off mud, water and more. The CountourRoam is waterproof to three feet and if you add the waterproof case, water depth increases to 197 feet for submersion sports such as scuba diving or surfing.
The Contour and GoPro helmet cams are designed to be mounted on a helmet, body or sports equipment. If you are more comfortable mounting one of the popular waterproof digital cameras to your equipment or yourself using a chest harness, these devices can offer decent quality video and still photographs. Some of the models recommended by consumers are the Nikon Coolpix AW100, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 or the Pentax WG-2.
Filed under: Waterproof Camera Buying Tips
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