Author Topic: Which helmet-mounted video camera  (Read 303 times)

Offline chrisdb

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Which helmet-mounted video camera
« on: December 20, 2021, 08:06:40 am »
I've been using a Contour HD, no longer available, which has a cylindrical shape and is side mounted. Can anyone recommend a replacement video camera, preferably side-mounted? This is for filming caving trips but not diving. Needs to be suitably proof against bumps and the occasional encounter with damp pitches. All suggestions or tips gratefully received!

Offline Stuart Marshall

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Re: Which helmet-mounted video camera
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2021, 08:37:11 am »
I’ve been looking at the insta 360. Not particularly for its 360 ability but rather for its software. It can cut an area from the 360 image to give perfect image stabilisation.
The advertising vids look good but I’ve never seen it used in a cave. It’s waterproof too and has interchangeable lenses.


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Offline ILT

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Re: Which helmet-mounted video camera
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2021, 12:37:52 pm »
Never used the Contour but does the roam use the same helmet mount? If so, and 1080 good enough then it would seem suitable.

The Insta360 is bulkier and more awkward to mount. The image stabilistion is internal software processing and nothing to do with cutting an area of the 360 footage. The dual lens (ie 360 rather than wideangle lens which is single direction) isn't really going to work unless you mount it on a stick on top of the helmet...clearly not an option for caving. Closely mounted it would give you some options of forward + backward video views which could be useful for creativity. Insta do some intersting kit and I use them for 360 photography in buildings when I don't need true pixelpeeping definition. Basic battery life is shockingly poor in 360 versions.

I use gopro (or far cheaper clones) for convenience of their now common finger mount. Mounts each side allow a spare torch to be fitted.
Note that the newest gopros are water-resitant but now larger body (9 and 10). They do have amazing image stabilisation (a touch better than Insta again.... for now).

May be worth looking at what type of cameras are used by people who do motorcycle goontube stuff as they'd have a requirement for helmet mounts, water-resistance and general robustness possibly. Surprisingly, perhaps, I know a lot of motorcylists (who video for themselves not goontube) who use old Hero4 gopros in the waterproof casing still. The old Drift Ghost is also popular but I'm not familiar with the newer versions of those and no nothing about battery life.

Offline JoshW

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Re: Which helmet-mounted video camera
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2021, 01:21:53 pm »
Have seen people swearing by paralenz - got no experience myself, and they look a little out my peace range.
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Online Steve Clark

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Re: Which helmet-mounted video camera
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2021, 02:21:52 pm »
The Paralenz (current model 'vaquita' - £670) is very good underwater. Robust and has pressure sensors for on-screen depth display etc. We tried to use the previous model in 'dry' cave and the low-light performance wasn't as good as an older-model go-pro. It did seem to suffer from condensation on the screen, but this may just be because there's a lot of aluminium in the body and it had been stored cold in a van. 

Currently using a Go-Pro 8 (~£200-300). That seems good for low-light / high contrast. Stabilisation is very good.

We shot this with no proper lighting at all, just a Fenix head-mounted lamp on medium and the camera held in my hand :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/37p3g5ioaw73j9o/Long%20Churn%20-%2018Apr21.mp4?dl=0

Offline Stuart Marshall

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Re: Which helmet-mounted video camera
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2021, 03:25:56 pm »
Loving this discussion. I was going to get an Insta, but now having a rethink!


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Online snebbit

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Re: Which helmet-mounted video camera
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2021, 12:42:18 pm »
In defence of the Insta, it performs reasonably well in low light conditions imo, and there is a bunch of post-processing stuff you can do in the software as well as the onboard stabilisation. It also seems to be rugged enough (in friendly caves at least  ;) ) which is more than can be said for many supposedly rugged devices.

Still not figured out a convenient way of helmet-mounting it though, as mentioned. Which doesn't give it any weight in this particular thread

 

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