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Helmet Camera Question

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, was surfing around the internet the other day (I'm looking for a good helmet camera to record while I ski so I can have something to show my friends/family who aren't able to go) and I stumbled across this:

http://tachyoninc.wordpress.com/

After further looking into this Tachyon camera, I'm fairly impressed with what they offer (compared to the Gopro or Vholdr and such that I've been finding). The video quality seems to be as good as they say from the videos I've found, too.







Even found this place, www.helmetcamreview.com that has a couple of videos/articles comparing it:

http://www.helmetcamreview.com/MicroCams.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG5HZuRKLvg&feature=related

What do you guys think? I'm looking for some other opinions out there before I dive into buying one of these, don't want to get bushwhacked, ya know?
post #2 of 16
i have the tachyon 2010-bought it for 149.00 on their website

it;s pretty good and i'd recommend it. 

takes AA batteries-my 2300mah batteries lasted 2 days. 

I put a 32 gb SDHC card in it and it gets 8 hours of record time.

has an audible beep so you know it is recording and the buttons can be pressed easily with skigloves on.

there is an LCD on top to show you status

the format it records in is 640x480 AVI

the only odd thing about it is that when you connect to a PC using the USB cable, it acts as a read only drive.  to erase videos on it, you have to press a small pinhole button with a thumbtack to format or take the card out and read it on a PC reader.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah? So you like it, tek?

I've been looking around and this seems the only good camera at a decent price range. Wow, it takes 32 gb cards? The Gopro and Contour and such seem to max out at like...2gb.

Couldn't you solve that odd part by using an SDHC card reader? 'Cause they're usually always read/writable, and can still reformat the card via the computer, that's what I do with my Nikon D40 at least.

Anyone else out there have an opinion?
post #4 of 16
My bro-in-law is big into RC helicopters.  A lot of heli people are using dirt-cheep ebay spy-cams in their helis.  They're like a key-fob car remote or pack of chewing gum.

Here's a good page describing many models--
chucklohr.com/808/

Obviously they are not weather-proof or robustly constructed so a crash could kill the things.

I just bought a gum-pack-shaped one on eBay for $12 with shipping from HK.  Should be here in a week or two.  I intend to velcro it to my helmet and see how it works.

Some of the heli videos are actually pretty good so it might be a fun cheap toy.   I'll report back on how it works (if it works).

-l2t
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Interesting Learn, I'll take a look into that too. I've seen things like that before but always shrugged them off because if they're that small, I always doubted that the quality would be so bad it wouldn't be worth watching.
post #6 of 16
If you are interested, by sure to read the whole page I liked to carefully.  There are a lot of very similar looking devices with differing results.  The chewing gum pack one I ordered is not listed on the page but because-- 1) it takes a micro-SD card and 2) produces 720x480 files, I suspect it is the same electronics as the type #3 listed on that web page.  But who knows? For $12, it's worth hacking around with.

Also, watch some of the heli videos.  They ain't bad for $12. 

I'll let you know when I get it how (and if) it works.

-l2t
post #7 of 16
Thanks for all the threads. I just ordered the tachyon xc..they are currently on back order but should be out within a week or so.  I can't wait to try it out next month and snowbird.  I decided to go with the 16 gb card...if needed I can always get another one.  I am interested to see how the editing/posting will work.
post #8 of 16
i would defintly recomend the tachyon 2010. i have one and iv never regretted the purchase.
post #9 of 16
in response to Mark Tebor-

I have the heavier version only because it takes standard SD cards and rechargeable AA batteries.  I use a 32 gb SD card(gets 8 1/2 hours of video capacity) and 2700 MAH batteries to get atleast 4 hours of use so I have more capacity than i need.   you can get away with an 8 or 16 gig card.  you basically get 4 gig an hour at 640x480.  having the max sd card in their is good for when I forget to erasse the card.

in practice, I have never recorded more than 2 hours of footage per day in an 8 hour ski day so 4 hour of battery life is fine thus far.   to save battery, I turn the unit off riding the chairs and between runs.  you don;t want to end up with 1 large AVI file anyway.  the avi file sizes are huge.  it;s funny how much "dead time" there is between actual skiing!

as for the mount, the goggle strap mount is not the greatest.  the 2010 version is larger and heavier than a lipstick camera.  as a result, it flops around a little and is aimed a little low-you end up getting video of the tips of your skis.  I am using the velcro they provided(3m industrial Velcro) mounted to my helmet and it works better for aiming the camera and is pretty secure.  most people comment on how stable the videos are-either my head is really stable or the unit has image stabilization.  the XC model is smaller and sleeker in design so it might be better. 

I haven;t crashed wearing the camera so can;t tell you how it would survive.  actually when I am filming my ski buddies, i tend to ski in the back and more conservatively anyway.    of course i check to see if the unit is still attached after loading every creaky fixed grip chair.

I have used it on 3 weeklong trips now with good result.  i will try to post a pic and a video.

did a side by side comparison with the cheaper Oregon Scientific camera(99$).  they mount to the helmet using a large rubber band and the quality of the videos wasn;t great-very pixelated MP4 format.  had a friend who bought the CountorHD and was not a fan of the proprietary battery.  the Viosport would be the "cadillac" of solutions.  one of my friend had one so I got a look at it upclose and it was cool to see instant feedback.  However, the price was upwards of 600$ which might be a bit more than anyone wants to spend. 

goodluck!
Edited by tekweezle - 3/22/10 at 11:23am
post #10 of 16
Thanks, I went with the XC model and a 16 gig card instead of  the micro.  I wanted the extra battery life.  Do you use the remote to start/stop or just take off the helmet? 
post #11 of 16
okay, thought you bought the new micro sd version.

my remote is useless because it is infrared.  it only works if pointed at it directly which is never if it is on your head.

i just hit the record button with my gloved hand.  there is an audible chirp/beep when you hit it to know you have turned it on, off, start record or stopped.  I just wish it was a unique sound-the problem is that is the same.  atleast the on/off button and the record button are different shapes so you can feel which one to press.  pretty easy to do even if you are moving.

next upgrade will be 3100mah batteries when they get more reliable.  you might get 5-6 hours of record time.
post #12 of 16
Here is a small video I created using the Tachyon

http://www.facebook.com/v/1414696844947

might not do the picture justice as it was recompressed into WMV and further compressed onto facebook

ypu need flash plug in to view
post #13 of 16
here is another one that might be a good candidate

https://www.mypov360.com/shop/drift-x170-action-camera/
post #14 of 16


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post

My bro-in-law is big into RC helicopters.  A lot of heli people are using dirt-cheep ebay spy-cams in their helis.  They're like a key-fob car remote or pack of chewing gum.

Here's a good page describing many models--
chucklohr.com/808/

Obviously they are not weather-proof or robustly constructed so a crash could kill the things.

I just bought a gum-pack-shaped one on eBay for $12 with shipping from HK.  Should be here in a week or two.  I intend to velcro it to my helmet and see how it works.

Some of the heli videos are actually pretty good so it might be a fun cheap toy.   I'll report back on how it works (if it works).

-l2t
 

 

I actually got one of these from ebay as well (md80?) as a cheap experiment.  I velcro it to my helmet and it holds very well.

 

However, while a very cheap solution, I wouldn't really recommend it.  There are a few problems with using this unit for skiing.

 

First, there are no audible chirps to let you know if the unit is recording or not.  There is one VERY small light and depending on it's actions, you know what it's doing (off, standby, recording).  However, it is IMPOSSIBLE to see the light outdoors on  the slopes.  So basically, it's a complete guess whether it's recording or not.  In my case, Murphy's Law kicked in and I missed all of the footage I would want and recorded many chairlift rides :-)


Second, the internal battery does not do well in the cold.  Skiing in Taos on a pretty mild day, it would completely crap out on me.  Due to the problem mentioned in the previous paragraph, I'm not really sure how much battery life I got out of it.

 

Third, while the picture quality is actually pretty good, it doesn't have any image stabilization whatsoever.  I'm sure some of this could be dealt with using some post editing software, but it's pretty shaky.  Also, it gets a little washed out in the snow and makes it hard to differentiate between the varying terrain.

 

So, for the low cost of entry, it was a fun experiment.  In my case, the end result was a little frustrating because I missed capturing some amazing powder runs.  Moving into this season, I am once again looking for another option.  Right now, the Contour 1080 seems to be the front-runner, but I would certainly entertain spending less for something comparable or close.  The Tachyons seem pretty good, but I wonder if it would be worth the extra $100 or so for something better.

 

So if anyone else has any suggestions on this thread, would love to hear them.

 

The Dude
 

post #15 of 16

 

Quote:
 The Gopro and Contour and such seem to max out at like...2gb.

 

 

Not true. I have a 6gb card in mine, and I woulnd't want to fill it up as it would take forever to edit. Top to bottom footage left on the entire time on average groomers is about as fun as watching paint dry.

 

The helmet cam in the OP looks like crap. The exposure is way off.

post #16 of 16

I bought the Contour and am happy with it, although I'd wait until you absolutely need a cam before buying one.  They will keep improving the Contour and Go Pro, and will likely keep lowering the price.  The sound is always a problem when skiing, and I simply tape over the mic or edit out most of the wind noise.  Exposure can also be a problem, because it is not automatic and must be preset off your laptop.   Experiment before skiing the epic run you want to show everyone, so you get the exposure right.  Battery length?  No problems so far. And that is with a 8 GB card which, IMO, is a necessity.  These things aren't cheap, but the picture quality is suprisingly good when the exposure is right.  And good memories last a lifetime, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elduderino View Post


 

 

I actually got one of these from ebay as well (md80?) as a cheap experiment.  I velcro it to my helmet and it holds very well.

 

However, while a very cheap solution, I wouldn't really recommend it.  There are a few problems with using this unit for skiing.

 

First, there are no audible chirps to let you know if the unit is recording or not.  There is one VERY small light and depending on it's actions, you know what it's doing (off, standby, recording).  However, it is IMPOSSIBLE to see the light outdoors on  the slopes.  So basically, it's a complete guess whether it's recording or not.  In my case, Murphy's Law kicked in and I missed all of the footage I would want and recorded many chairlift rides :-)


Second, the internal battery does not do well in the cold.  Skiing in Taos on a pretty mild day, it would completely crap out on me.  Due to the problem mentioned in the previous paragraph, I'm not really sure how much battery life I got out of it.

 

Third, while the picture quality is actually pretty good, it doesn't have any image stabilization whatsoever.  I'm sure some of this could be dealt with using some post editing software, but it's pretty shaky.  Also, it gets a little washed out in the snow and makes it hard to differentiate between the varying terrain.

 

So, for the low cost of entry, it was a fun experiment.  In my case, the end result was a little frustrating because I missed capturing some amazing powder runs.  Moving into this season, I am once again looking for another option.  Right now, the Contour 1080 seems to be the front-runner, but I would certainly entertain spending less for something comparable or close.  The Tachyons seem pretty good, but I wonder if it would be worth the extra $100 or so for something better.

 

So if anyone else has any suggestions on this thread, would love to hear them.

 

The Dude
 

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