Author Topic: Helmet Cams  (Read 946 times)

Helmet Cams
« on: August 31, 2018, 05:44:03 pm »
Errmmm, hi there. Not sure where else to put this and I did try searching the forum for answers, but I was either too vague or it's not a common subject.

Anyway, I'm looking to add a helmet/handlebar cam to my shopping list for my great cycling comeback and I was wondering what the consensus was on them. Especially on the budget range.

I was looking at this one in particular. http://amzn.eu/d/iYmhhMd
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T42

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Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 09:54:47 am »
I once knew a bloke called Helmut Kam*.


* lie: his first name was really Peter.
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Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 10:14:00 am »
Con-sen-sus? What does that mean? Not sure I can even pronounce it ;)

(FWIW I'm one of those who feel that cameras (especially just helmet cams) are counter productive)

Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 01:35:55 pm »
The Cycliq Fly6/Fly12 seem to be the benchmark for bike-mounted kit, but they're not exactly cheap. AIUI the main problem with (some of) the cheaper cameras is their low-light performance; if you want to use them to roadsafe poor driving on your commute they may not reliably pick up numberplates. It may be worth looking at the cycle cameras thread on LFGSS; I think a fair number of forumites there for the commute.

(Ham, do you mean you think having a camera causes extra aggro from drivers, or that cyclists with a camera are more likely to get into if over poor driving, or something else? The roadsafe thread on LFGSS has enough instances of camera footage actually getting a response from the fuzz that if I were urban cycle commuting I'd seriously consider getting a cheap cam set.)

Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2018, 03:49:59 pm »
One of my clubmates has a cheap headcam that he uses for touring - generic thing about the same size as a Gopro. He paid 40€ for it and it is good enough for the end of season picture show. Even he doesn't know what make it is though - found on the web somewhere although I have seen the same thing in shops over here.

T42

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Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2018, 04:17:33 pm »
I was looking at this one in particular. http://amzn.eu/d/iYmhhMd

I have 3 like the one you show, though they're all different brands and different guts. AFAICS they're all much of a muchness, although the SJCAM series claims not to be a GoPro knock-off but a re-creation thereof, the way Linux apes UNIX but - they say - does it better. Some of them out there are SJCAM knock-offs.

Main thing about the ones I have is that the video is prone to rolling-shutter "tear" when the thing is shaken.  Video taken from the bars is usually jagged, unless you're riding on utterly smooth tarmac. Authentic GoPros are supposedly less susceptible to this. 

Other than that, after recording for a certain time the interface on mine goes to sleep. It needs another press to wake up. That doesn't stop it recording: that needs yet another press. Now, if you can't see the camera, e.g. because it's on your hat, you don't know if it's gone to sleep or not so you don't know how many times to press to stop it. Eventually you find that you've recorded lots you didn't want and very little you did want, and that the audio contains a few choice expressions.

It is theoretically possible to control the things from an app on your phone, which in turn needs your phone to be on the bars.  I've had limited enough success with this not to bother.  With one of my cams the app just refused to connect, while another connected then found some reason not to work.  I haven't bothered trying the third one, which was a gift.  You also have to download the app from Google Play or iWhatever, and maybe tolerate it pumping out your data and sending it to Xingkiang.

The time-lapse feature is fun, though, but it's not really good for cycling.


Would have written all that earlier but was kaput this morning after a (for me) heavy ride yesterday.
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Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2018, 04:20:19 pm »


(Ham, do you mean you think having a camera causes extra aggro from drivers, or that cyclists with a camera are more likely to get into if over poor driving, or something else? The roadsafe thread on LFGSS has enough instances of camera footage actually getting a response from the fuzz that if I were urban cycle commuting I'd seriously consider getting a cheap cam set.)

My view is, it's complicated, and ultimately a matter for personal choice, but here goes....

(1) I think that using a camera can negatively impact your safety. Basically (and it isn't this simple) instead of taking evasive action there is a tendency towards the view "If the driver does THAT then I'll have him!".

(2) I think that using just a helmet cam doesn't achieve much, if you can see it you can mostly avoid it but see (1). If you really want a record of dangerous driving, front and rear cameras would be required

(3) I think that using a camera can negatively impact your enjoyment of a ride, but that's really only an observation of those who appear to have footage from each ride. Also having a collection of negative incidents feels like it would reinforce the "cycling is dangerous message"

(4) The wide field of view of the lenses often fails to impart what it felt like on the road. Close passes don't always look anything out the ordinary.

And, for the incidents where the police follow up, maybe there will be a small proportion of drivers that say "oh yes, I was driving badly, I'll try to drive safely in future" but my feeling is that recording road behaviour doesn't appear to alter it much. Penalties imposed are still less effective at changing behaviour. Look at some of the videos from car recording coming out of eastern europe where video recording is now very common, if you don't believe me.


T42

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Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2018, 05:05:34 pm »
Pretty much how I feel.  I don't commute so traffic videos don't concern me, but having to fiddle with the wretched thing on other rides spoils the fun. Every few years I give up on photography for the same reason: it spoils the walk.

And in any case, with very few exceptions, cycling videos are utterly boring to everyone except the guy who shot them.
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Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2018, 07:04:28 pm »
FTR, I'm very relaxed about people who want to record their ride for whatever reason (and, I've really enjoyed some vids where some thought has been put into the production, eg from LEE), I am less relaxed about the vigilante camera users, but then I think that they are just knobs, and on the whole I'd rather have a knob on a bike than driving a car. So, I relax again.

T42

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Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2018, 08:43:37 am »
FTR, I'm very relaxed about people who want to record their ride for whatever reason (and, I've really enjoyed some vids where some thought has been put into the production, eg from LEE)

As I said, with very few exceptions. The rest are like going through the wedding photos of a very distant auntie.
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Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2018, 12:59:45 pm »
.
And, for the incidents where the police follow up, maybe there will be a small proportion of drivers that say "oh yes, I was driving badly, I'll try to drive safely in future" but my feeling is that recording road behaviour doesn't appear to alter it much. Penalties imposed are still less effective at changing behaviour. Look at some of the videos from car recording coming out of eastern europe where video recording is now very common, if you don't believe me.

Most of the bad passes etc I'll just shrug and move on, albeit with a little adrenaline boost, but occasionally there's one so egregiously bad that I want punitive justice; not really in any expectation of changing that driver's behaviour, and certainly not of drivers more widely, but I just want that driver to pay somehow. Roadsafing video is just about the only lever you've got in that situation (unless they actually hit you, in which case camera footage may be useful for insurance), but I would only bother if I were cycle-commuting; out here in the lanes really bad passes are thankfully rare.

Re: Helmet Cams
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2018, 08:35:25 pm »
The ones that sit on one side weigh enough to make your helmet go lopsided, which probably reduces its efficacy.
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