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Does using a Helmet Cam (GoPro) distract you from skiing?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at gettin ga GoPro Helmet Cam this year. I'm concerned that I'll be distracted with fiddling with it rather than focusing on skiing, which would defeat the point of skiing in the first place. I can fiddle with electronic gadgets at home without having to get up early, sit in the cold, wear heavy clothes, etc. For those of you who have used them, are they easy to use? Is it hard to maintain focus on your friends, ski buddies, and others? I don't want to have to mess with it other than start and top and want to leave it on my helmet rather than take it off (until the end of the day when I go process video).
post #2 of 22

it will take some time for you to get used to, in the beginning is quite distracting specially because you have to turn on/off every run... so you lose some time, and then you keep thinking how the video is gonna look like rolleyes.gif

 

but then after some time it's pretty straight forward and you don't even think about it anymore, still you have the on/off, but that's no big deal!

 

Just watch out for people that insist on lowering the chair bar!

post #3 of 22

I have used a helmet cam and don't like it up there but if you really want one don't limit yourself to thinking Go Pro is the only manufacturer. I use a Drift mostly on my bike mounted on the drop bars. The Drift comes with a lot of accessories and looks cool also.  It's cool to video a least a few runs on skis but I sure would not want to attached to a camera all the time.    

post #4 of 22

I use a contour, there is no distraction, when I want to film I slide the massive switch forward. Usually while i'm in motion.

post #5 of 22

For me, there is some distraction.  I usually try to ski better and not fall when I have the cam going.  You kind of get used to it but it is on your mind that if you do an epic shit eating it will be on cam.  Then your friends can make gifs out of it like this one they did of my shit eating.

 

http://witsorgtfo.com/CoreFail.gif

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post

http://witsorgtfo.com/CoreFail.gif

roflmao.gif

post #7 of 22

I'm not distracted by it - it's just a button push to start and stop recording - but I find that I don't always ski as well when I'm recording my own POV.  After some trial and error, I've seen that the most watchable POV is good form on gnarly terrain at speed with the least amount of forced edits, so performing for the camera I find myself skiing past my endurance limit with diminishing returns.  But getting footage of your group should be a snap and editing at the end of the day is almost as much fun and addicting as the day itself.

post #8 of 22
I use a Contour. Definitely great for minimal distraction. I can operate it while buckling my boots, and it mounts to the side of my helmet, much less obtrusive than top mounted gopros. The only problem is when I forget about it being on, and record 45 minutes of lift rides.
post #9 of 22

+1 on the Contour Roam for those exact reasons.  Also +1 on forgetting to turn it off LOL.

post #10 of 22

Get a chest mount or put it on the ski, one heavy impact where the camera cranks the helmet into your neck will cure you of wanting it on the helmet.

post #11 of 22

what ever helmet cam you get.....get adobe premier and learn how to use it.

post #12 of 22
contour closed its doors, not sure if it's a good idea to buy one at this point! even though they are still selling in their website and seem to be fully functional as a "shop"
post #13 of 22

I spent the last season with a GoPro on my helmet.  There's not a lot of gadget-level distraction for the simple reason that it has very few controls.  Once it's set up, in terms of mounting angle, field of view, etc., the only interactions are "on" and "off".  It's not like you're going to watch what you just recorded on the nonexistent screen.  There is an iPhone app, but it's not practical on-slope, and the wifi will kill the battery.

 

That said, skiing with the camera on is a bit distracting.  The human head wasn't meant to be a video tripod.  In order to get good footage, one needs interesting terrain, at speed, with a steady head.  This is at odds with my normal safety routine of looking all around constantly.  I'm now self-conscious about every move of my head.  According to my early footage, I tend to bank my head as I turn.

 

Definitely beware of the safety bar.  And, you'll probably get a stronger neck from the additional weight up there.  Don't worry too much about injuring your neck; the mount attaches to the helmet well enough not to lose it, but not indestructibly.  Be sure to attach it to smooth plastics (not paint), clean with solvent, pre-warm helmet and mount, and hold pressure.

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post

contour closed its doors, not sure if it's a good idea to buy one at this point! even though they are still selling in their website and seem to be fully functional as a "shop"

There are two ways to look at it.  You can buy a Contour (a great camera) that will now start selling cheaper as stores eliminate their inventory, or stay away and find something else.  The market for this stuff is smaller than most people imagined, and now SONY and other big names are entering the space.  I suspect the OP will use camera mostly for filming the family on skis (like I do), on bikes, and doing whatever else they do.  He'll find whatever camera he chooses non-distracting once he is used to it.  BTW, he should consider making or buying a clamp that attaches to tubes for those up-the-chairlift shots (using a ski pole) and for his bike (using the handle bar).

 

There are also a couple of companies that have the camera inside a helmet.  That is non-distracting!  I saw one at the SkiFest in SF last year and it seemed to work OK.  My concern was the ability to get replacement lenses at a reasonable price,  The rep said you could.

 

 http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-08-21/three-lessons-in-the-wipeout-of-contour-cameras

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

 Don't worry too much about injuring your neck; the mount attaches to the helmet well enough not to lose it, but not indestructibly.  

 

 

Pretty indestructibly if you are unlucky.  I was pretty shocked that neither the mount or case broke when I wound up going in head first after hooking a gate.

post #16 of 22

GoPro - Not distracting, on / off. I don't think about it, although sometimes it's good for verbal note-taking while skiing. Also, I took a header and the camera popped off it's mount - this is either good or bad depending on how you look at it. Occupational hazard. Image quality is great.

post #17 of 22

So is Contour folding?  If so, what's the alternative for POV cameras?  Just GoPro to run a monopoly???

 

Don't get me wrong, I think GoPro has amazing video quality, is now easy to operate, etc.  But the fundamental problem is their mount....top of head (look like an idiot) or chest (I prefer to have my pockets and pack not restricted by chest straps).  Frankly, I find the size/style of the GoPro very lacking in terms of design; it looks like a 5 year old designed it.  At least Contour was sleek and discrete alongside a helmet.

 

In any event, is it now buy a GoPro or else go home?

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

So is Contour folding?  If so, what's the alternative for POV cameras?  Just GoPro to run a monopoly???

 

Don't get me wrong, I think GoPro has amazing video quality, is now easy to operate, etc.  But the fundamental problem is their mount....top of head (look like an idiot) or chest (I prefer to have my pockets and pack not restricted by chest straps).  Frankly, I find the size/style of the GoPro very lacking in terms of design; it looks like a 5 year old designed it.  At least Contour was sleek and discrete alongside a helmet.

 

In any event, is it now buy a GoPro or else go home?

There is also the Sony Action Cam, which is a bit bulky but has the mounts and case that can be used like a gopro.

http://store.sony.com/c/Action-Cam-Full-HD-Camcorder/en/c/S_Sony_Action_Cam

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldjeep View Post

There is also the Sony Action Cam, which is a bit bulky but has the mounts and case that can be used like a gopro.

http://store.sony.com/c/Action-Cam-Full-HD-Camcorder/en/c/S_Sony_Action_Cam

I heard sony is coming up with an updated version, anyone heard anything about it?

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post

 

Just watch out for people that insist on lowering the chair bar!

 

This. My god! I'm just tall enough where I have to duck to avoid getting smacked by the bar in the first place, but having a go pro helmet mount can mean that not only do you get smacked, the bar gets caught on the camera.

 

I had several times last year where not only did the moron hit me with the bar, but got me caught and started doubling me over. I will never understand why it is so tough for some people to actually watch the bar to make sure they aren't going to hit somebody.

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Skier View Post

I'm looking at gettin ga GoPro Helmet Cam this year. I'm concerned that I'll be distracted with fiddling with it rather than focusing on skiing, which would defeat the point of skiing in the first place. I can fiddle with electronic gadgets at home without having to get up early, sit in the cold, wear heavy clothes, etc. For those of you who have used them, are they easy to use? Is it hard to maintain focus on your friends, ski buddies, and others? I don't want to have to mess with it other than start and top and want to leave it on my helmet rather than take it off (until the end of the day when I go process video).

 

I don't really think so. You press the button to record and listen for the beep to turn it on and off, and in between you ski. Sometimes you will have it aimed wrong, but that is something you find out later when you look at the footage- it doesn't really impact your ski day.

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

So is Contour folding?  If so, what's the alternative for POV cameras?  Just GoPro to run a monopoly???

 

Don't get me wrong, I think GoPro has amazing video quality, is now easy to operate, etc.  But the fundamental problem is their mount....top of head (look like an idiot) or chest (I prefer to have my pockets and pack not restricted by chest straps).  Frankly, I find the size/style of the GoPro very lacking in terms of design; it looks like a 5 year old designed it.  At least Contour was sleek and discrete alongside a helmet.

 

In any event, is it now buy a GoPro or else go home?


GoPro is the dominate player in the space for sure, but there will be no monopoly.   The big players are the 600 lb. gorillas that can grab market share any time they want. The Cannon, Nikon, SONY, FUJI, Ricoh, etc. of the world can crank out a sports oriented video camera without too much effort, assuming the market is there.  Sooner or later the market will be big enough for one of them to get aggressive.  Meanwhile, GoPro and Contour are the two best choices.  I own an older Contour, but I am not sure I'd buy one now unless it was discounted heavily. 

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