New Toy: Helmet Camera
After my experiments last year with strapping my compact digital camera to my handlebars to film what I see when I’m out and about, I finally took the plunge & bought a helmet camera a couple of weeks ago. Really I wanted this for three reasons:
- Insurance. What?! Well, if anything happens, I want a record of who ignored the traffic signals etc.
- To recallibrate my own sense of the road. I can review film of anything ‘dangerous’ and ask myself if it was really as bad as I’d thought, or was there anything I could have done to avoid the situation in the first place.
- Because I see too many people driving while on the phone, and it bugs the hell out of me. At least if I can post their faces & number plates on Youtube, I’d have done something to vent my rage at this stoopidity.
- Because I live in a beautiful part of the world, and want to share. It’s not all road rage and muppets - the vast majority of road users are wonderful people (especially compared with London drivers ), and the scenery’s just great here. It’d be a shame not to record it!
Here’s my first edited & put together film, which is taken from my ride this morning. This clip falls into the second category, above:
Some technical details . . .
- The camera’s an Oregon Scientific ACT2000. VGA resolution at up to 30 fps, writing to a 2GB SD card. I’ve taken the frame rate down to 15 fps, giving me 90 minutes of recording time.
- The viewing angle of this camera is approximately 30º, it weighs just shy of 200g (7 oz ), and is water resistant to 3m. I’m fairly sure it’s going to come to the pool with me at a later date. The weight’s OK, but it means you have to wear your helmet a little tight. Maybe top-mounting it, or adding a counter-weight will help this.
- The film’s put together by cropping to the relevant sections using Quicktime Pro (’cos it’s QUICK). The graphics are then overlaid with Keynote, and iMovie HD then adds the soundtrack (which is just one of the Garage Band sample tracks in this case), before final export as a QuickTime .mov movie.
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 03/26/2008
- Time: 16:10:03
- Total Time: 00:53:00.00
- Distance: 15.5 miles
- Average Speed: 17.55 mph