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  #16  
Old 31 Mar 2008
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I haven't decided what to go with in terms of camera mounting yet, but the remote lens going into the camera seems best to me.

Getting good sound is not too hard with a few simple tools. See Rycote. A very long time British company that are the standard in film making. They make wind covers and wind protection for boom mics and for lavaliers and even camera mics. The best there is. The standard in Hollywood and London. They make small wind covers for Lav mics or camera mics. Plan to roll off some low end in post production/editing to lessen rumble. But a good screen wil get a lot of it. NO, you can't use "any" sort of foam or cover. You will just ruin the sound.

There are several other companies that make good lav wind screenes. Try MicroCat. Most keep wind rumble low up until about 50 mph. You don't want to bury the mic. But some experimentation is always good to find the "sweet" spot.

I think many cameras have two tracks available. So you could use the camera mic for ambiance and use a lavalier on your body for a voice over. Then mix them later. Or just use one.

I record production sound for a living so I have a few tricks. Get yourself a decent lavalier mic. I use Sanken (the best) but the Lectrosonics mic is not bad and cheap. Make sure they are compatible with your camera.

Go to B&H video & film site for a good source for everything audio. They sell a million mounting systems. Best to know what you want, bit overwhelming.

Patrick
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  #17  
Old 7 Apr 2008
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Has anyone used the 4kam action package??

4Kam - Helmet camera and onboard bike cam.

I am also looking to buy my first set up for the bike trip I've planed at the end of summer and found it all a bit daunting to be honest. I remember these guys dooing a similar package last year for £200 it's now up to £250. Ive just emailed them for more info on there DVR recorder. Seems the obviouse upgrade over the last one is the built in 2gb flash memory.

Sorry for the hijack.

But just wondering if anyone else has used this kit?? and any other info for my budget of around £250/£300 for some video recording equipment.

Kind Regards. Darren
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  #18  
Old 7 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darren_m View Post
Has anyone used the 4kam action package??

4Kam - Helmet camera and onboard bike cam.

I am also looking to buy my first set up for the bike trip I've planed at the end of summer and found it all a bit daunting to be honest. I remember these guys dooing a similar package last year for £200 it's now up to £250. Ive just emailed them for more info on there DVR recorder. Seems the obviouse upgrade over the last one is the built in 2gb flash memory.

Sorry for the hijack.

But just wondering if anyone else has used this kit?? and any other info for my budget of around £250/£300 for some video recording equipment.

Kind Regards. Darren
These look really good! It would be great to be able to switch between two different cameras on the go.
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  #19  
Old 8 Apr 2008
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I've just had a reply back from 4kam. My main enquiry was what makes the dv3 recorder included in there package. It's made by goodmans.

They had a package on there site last year at £200 but with a recorder made by them, These are not on the site anymore but are still available if you send them an e-mail and ask for the DV1 Package.

Im going to go for the DV3. should be here end of week. I'll give it a reveiw week after if anyones intrested?.
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  #20  
Old 8 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by darren_m View Post
I'll give it a reveiw week after if anyones intrested?.
Yes please, I'm looking at one of these myself.

David
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  #21  
Old 11 Apr 2008
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quick 4kam review.

Received 4kams (ARP) Package in less than 24 hours after ordering. Found there CS,via e-mail very very fast indeed. (Sometimes this wories me). Anyway's all very pleasant and as said item received in super fast time.

So onto the package........

At first glance it looks pretty impressive.Nice packaging etc.

xs.to - Hosting - 4kam_001760.jpg

Lots and Lots of cables to get yourself in a lovley tangle with.

xs.to - Hosting - 4kam_002585.jpg

first impression of the actual DVR player when you take it out of packaging is !!!! Unfortunatley it feels cheap!!!!!. The buttons dont imediatley respond as you would imagine. I-pods etc are available to most these days for around £99.00 and if you are expecting the same kind of responsive button pushing from 4kams DVR recorder then I'm affraid your going to be very very disapointed. (As I WAS/AM)....


The player/recorder lags very badly when trying to navigate the menu's at any faster than snails pace.

First impressions.....OMG Have I just blew £270 on nothing more than a 2mp camera and a bullet cam!!!!!!.

Still on the DVR rec/player....(That comes included in there ARP package)

It's obviouse that one of the boys behind 4kam managed a 2 week paid work/ recy mission finding out about and perhaps encouraging to stamp there brand name onto this little gadget...Perhaos they should have spent less on cheap and more on the product????




The player itself has all the natural beauty of a ZX Spectrum from 1984...
and the Spectrum was more responsive.....If only just.......But think more chrome,Or at least i think that's what they are calling it these days.

xs.to - Hosting - 4kam_010241.jpg

The recorder/player itself actually has rather alot of features,But no more than you would get from a top of the range mobile phone. You can

1.Record Video.
2.Play Video.
3.Audio Player.
4.Picture Viewer.
5.Digital Camera.(MAX 2MP)
6.DV In>>(Hook up a video camera)
7.Audio record (Think dictaphone)
8.3 games. (The nokia from the early 90's had 4)
9.Learning centre (Dictionary& e-books) No e-books included.
10.Tool box. (Calender,calc,notepad,memory,upgrade)
11.Set Up.(Very Basic)
12.Radio.
13.Flash Player.

And that's roughly it. So as i said....Think phone available everywhere. Minus the phone calls/texts/web....With a built in 2mp camera.......



So far (No so good).........



Peacing the unit together........

Decent enough instructions come with the package. And it took about 5 mins to asemble the whole thing and get up and running, But even this was proving to be a hassle.

to hook the bullet cam up with the DVR unit all you need to do is plug the bullet cam into the AV In socket on the DVR recorder, After dooing so I still had no picture and after ten mins of frustration and diging out 4kams- mail adress i found that with a bit of jiggling of the AV In cable the camera was finaly displaying a picture........Again the signs of a cheap Unit rearing it's ugly head...(If only I'd been charged a cheap price).......£168 for the DVR REC/PLAYER......Ouch......


I've contacted 4kam about the above and to be fair.... There respose was swift and helpfull.......


xs.to - Hosting - 4kam_013642.jpg

Onto the actual Bullet Cam....

I think this is where they have got it spot on.. It looks and feels like a top drawer peice of kit. Heavy enough to conivce the £99.00 price tag it commands,But still small enough to place covertly on your bike/car etc.

Boasting a 520 tvl res
And weighing only 45 grams.

Id be supprised if this wasnt where most of 4kams budget went.....

But even this has cheap and chearfully placed 4kam decals. I turned the lense on the camera (As you do) and the 4kam decal, Basicaly turned with it and split.....No biggie again but remember I didnt pay £99.00 for the whole package I paid £270 (Delivered)!!!!!!!!

So the first test was to set all resolutions to low(5 hours max recording on the 2GB internal hardrive of the DVR recorder). And take it for a test run to the local garage for some smokes and fuel!!!!!....

YouTube - xtz750.super tenere,4kam

To be fair again, The actual qaulity of the recording when watched back on my PC,is much better than the above video and even when streamed back onto my TV it;s watchable at full screen......But not perfect........

Video Size 320X240
Video Format. ASF,Converted to AVI (You can record directly to AVI via the DVR player as i found out later).

Largest size recordable 640X480.

So...........So far am I impressed???

Im probably 50/50 at the moment to be honest...

I havent yet tried it on full resolution.... And Im hopeing that it's much better than the settings I did record on......But on the same not is £270 for a basic plug and play package alot of money???????

It is for me considering Im on a budget!!!!!


Or is it just that a decent qaulity set up still isnt available for the money above...Again Im no expert just expressing my opinion.....

Im still on teh fence about the whole package to be honest,As with most gadget's it usually takes a few days/hours playing with them to get the hang of all there features and get it working at max capacity.

So we will just have to wait and see what comes of the 4kam ARP package But I'll update this review honestly as i get more hours with the little blighter....

But at the moment I'd probably (And probably will) spend money on the Archos DVR unit but still use the 4ka bullet cam....

Considering I've seen the Archos av500 go on ebay second hand for roughly between £100/150. for the 100gb vesrion. So add this with the £99.00 for a 4kam bullet cam and then £42 for the extension unit from Archos that you need to make the bullet cam work with the AV500 and your not far away from the 4kam ARP package and some extra SD cards......


4kam probably could have had this market all stitched up and hopefully will invest more in there recording device or stick to just the bullet cam in future as the adventure market/mobile video recording market for the masses has probably never been bigger.....But with customer's expectations and budgets beeing variable I'd say they were still pretty far off the mark even with there cheapest ARP (£270 delivered) package.

Couldn't be faulted for there customer service and friendly attitude and I hope that I'll be updating this review with good things once I've tried the cam on high res settings, But even that wouldn't detract from the cheap build qaulity of the DVR recorder included in the package deal....

And I doubt that my attitude on this will change..

So far I'd say buy there bullet cam (£99.00) and search e-bay for a second hand archos unit to plug the cam into.

I'll update as I use the cam package more...

This is totaly my own views and Im not trying to put anyone of buying the 4kam package in anyway.

Regards.Darren.

UPDATE...........

After having an afternoon using this little gizmo on full resolution settings Ive found it isnt that bad, When played back onto your TV via the cables supplied and the DVR's inbuild tv out setting, The qaulity of the picture is pretty impressive and the mic kit supplied with the camera works well.......This time i used my tank bag to store the DVR recoder in, But I still have a problem with the built in AV in jack on the unit it'self. I contacted 4kam about this and they have asked me to send the DVR recorder back and will replace it if found faulty. Can't really say fairer than that.......


Last edited by darren_m; 11 Apr 2008 at 21:08. Reason: update..
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  #22  
Old 11 Apr 2008
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Web cam on board ?

Is it possible to connect a web cam (USB) with a digital photo camera like Olympus... etc, which also has USB. ?
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  #23  
Old 14 Apr 2008
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Helmet Camera

Quote:
UPDATE...........
After having an afternoon using this little gizmo on full resolution settings Ive found it isnt that bad, When played back onto your TV via the cables supplied and the DVR's inbuild tv out setting, The qaulity of the picture is pretty impressive and the mic kit supplied with the camera works well.......This time i used my tank bag to store the DVR recoder in, But I still have a problem with the built in AV in jack on the unit it'self. I contacted 4kam about this and they have asked me to send the DVR recorder back and will replace it if found faulty. Can't really say fairer than that.......
Darren, many thanks for the great write-up .... excellent job.

I'm also about to buy a helmet cam and are currently looking at the X-sportcam here's the link GP 100 Onboard Video System [X-Sportscam] - €399.00 : X-Sportscam shop they sell complete packages and have cool extra's like remote on / off switch etc.... it also looks quite rugged.

Regarding the Archos, has anyone travelled overland with one ? did it stand up to out-door life ?

Many thanks Matt
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  #24  
Old 14 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nixa View Post
Is it possible to connect a web cam (USB) with a digital photo camera like Olympus... etc, which also has USB. ?
I use a Pentax W20 digital camera. With an 8GB SD card I can get 2 hours of video on it at 640x480 resolution. And it doubles up as my point-and shoot camera.

I haven't worked out where to mount it as yet....if you know what I mean.....
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  #25  
Old 15 Apr 2008
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Aerial Photos

I've been experimenting with one of these


and one of these (well a single line version)


to see if I can get aerial shots, so far I can't say they've been brilliant as the aim's been off, but I figure with the right sling mount I should be able to film myself travelling. Mind you launching is a two person job, and recovery is a little in the crash-landing category, thank goodness the cam's pretty tough. OK, it'll never be broadcast quality, but for web-viewing it should be fine.
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  #26  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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Archos 5

So i've looked at the Archos 5 series and its great, tough ali case, simple buttons, decent screen, decent size hard drive, plenty of extra functions including a web-browser, now Archos have a helmet camera pack ...

ARCHOS

dabs.com - Archos Helmet Cam for Gen 5 Players (500985)

So budget wise, you're looking at €500 +/- including the Archos 5 + camera+car charger..

i'll let you all know if i get one...
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  #27  
Old 9 Jul 2008
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Build your own kit

Hey guys there is a cheap option for all of this that works fine. I personally built mine using a cheap PMP (pocket media player) with hi-res recording facilities (£60), a CCTV bullet camera (£12) and a rummage with a few power options, I managed to get the bike to power the camera and charge the PMP using a DC adaptor.

Result footage:


Components:


[The bracket unscrews and leaves you with a cylindrical camera with a lead. Search eBay for "CCTV Bullet Camera". I paid £12 including shipping.]


[This PMP is the JxD 951, boasting a 4" screen, hi-res recording, and 2GB storage which is expandable onto SD cards. ~£61]


eBay these products. Although, I think JxD have stopped business but I'm sure you'll be able to find similar companies that do solid-state recording devices.
Solid state is better than mechanical recording devices, no interference with vibration and 100% retention.


This all being said, my kit went tits up on the channel tunnel, one of the cables snapped and I was left carrying around a bunch of kit the whole trip and no footage.

Given the choice again I'd get myself a GoPro Hero 3/4 (for the same amount of money)

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  #28  
Old 12 Jul 2008
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Smile Archos Camcorder

Hi guys & girls out there!
Right I'm brand new to this site, I have completed 3 trips around europe.

Last year I purchased a ARCHOS 504, I purchased the bullet cam which connects to it.
I bought this last year at PIXMANIA.COM, the complete package cost me £280. I did notice that everytime I wenty on the website it cost a different price, I guess due to the price they buy it in at.
Anyway this little device has 80 GB, you can get one with 160 GB.

It takes about (don't quote me, this is what I have been told) 1 hr recording per 1GB. This in effect will record 80 hours. However the actual real size of the recorder is about 76 GB, so you are looking at 70 hours recording I recon.
Try not to get bogged down with too many accessories, that's all I have to say. Buy the device, but when you buy the bullet cam, (purchased seperatley it costs around £109 from ARCHOS site) the cam comes with a travel adapter, don't buy one seperately as they cost £40 or so.

Quality - can record in 3 different types, high is very good.

I attached camera to top of my helmet, I bought some material, sewed it and attached the cam to helmet via velcro. Worked a treat even at 100 mph (autobaan for all those getting concerned)

Bad points 1 - right, this device is not waterproof, the device does come with a pouch and sat comfortably in my inside pocket. I used the device coming down the STELVIO pass, it was heaving with rain, however it carried on recording and did not break, obviously at some points the specs of the water on the lense blurred its vision occassionally but would blow off.
I am not sure if this is usual or whether I just got lucky. It was raining consatntly and so hard that my jacket leaked, device was moist (not wet) only due to the pouch it came in.

Bad point 2 - Battery life, lasts for about 1 hour on record - utter rubbish. Charge time can be done through USB on computer. This takes hours.
I am going on europe tour in August 2008, I am taking this device again, as it really is good. This time I am going to purchase a cigarette socket power for it and attach to the bike battery, it states that it can be used for charging and power, so I will give it a go. Batteries are expensive so refuse to buy them.

This device is also DVD player, music player etc. It really is a mini computer. DVD's can be copied onto it, it has a built in decoder to copy all DVD's ARCHOS I am told got all rights given for this by all DVD manufacturers.

I made a disc of my last trip and passed to friends, they were impressed with quality.

I have also become aware of DOGCAM, looks good DOGCAM.COM. recorders and bullett cameras for all sports including bike!!
Standard cam costs £325 includes recorder device, camera and holder to suck it on bike or helmet. Uses SD card (comes seperately of course) 16GB SD card costs £50.

Feel free to e-mail me paulspreadbury@vodafoneemail.co.uk
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  #29  
Old 8 Oct 2008
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bullet cams

hi guys

i have used a varety of bullet cameras in the past, through teaching / filming kitesurfing. and have found many to be seriously lacking. with either naff DVR recorders or sub standard camera manucfaturing. i am currently researching my next purchase which looks to be:

Actioncameras.co.uk

this seems to be a very robust bit of kit, but not entirely cheap...can handle up to 8gb [45 mins video per gb at best resolution] for a cost of complete package at £580.

i guess it all depends on what you want and how much abuse its going to get. i will be going to demo this camera next week..will keep you all updated.

i am also in the process of producing a custom built bullet cam, which is of commercial diving quality [machined aluminium billet body], and reasonably cost effective..this would just require a DVR recorder of your choice to handle the data..and would be 100% dirt, water and anything else proof! [way more depth capacity than a human can handle-as the guy im working with designs them for remote operated vehicles]

if youre interested let me know and we can talk more.

normanbp31 [aatt} HoTT M-a-i-l dot c.o-m
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  #30  
Old 8 Oct 2008
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Playback quality on the web!

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggles0449 View Post
...i guess it all depends on what you want ...
I'm wondering what it is people want, do you sit and watch your videos after on the TV, or are they just for sticking on YouTube or wherever? If it's the latter does it matter what quality your camera is given the relatively poor quality of .flv videos?

I'd have thought once you get past a certain quality it all becomes immaterial if all you're doing is loading on any of the video sharing sites. It's a pity that they don't seem to say the maximum quality you need for playback.

Of course if you're watching on the TV it's different.
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