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Old June 7th, 2012, 11:37 AM   #1
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Back-Up Camera as viewing solution for GoPro 3D rig?

Dear all,

I love my GoPro 3D rig, but of course, the lack of viewing solutions prohibits its use as more than a POV camera, and limits it even there. I have an LCD backpac, but at best I can previz the shot, and often (like when I mount it on my bike helmet), I have no way of seeing what it's viewing at all, until I'm reviewing the footage later.

So I've been considering mounting a third POV camera, preferably between and below the other lenses, preferably ~170 degrees to match the GoPros' field of view, just to monitor what they're seeing.

Since I don't need recording or HD for this camera, I am looking at back-up cameras (for mounting to the back of one's car), which often come with their own monitors, are sometimes wireless, and are often $80 or less for the whole rig. Plus, I've noticed several that were 180 degree FOV, which is close enough to approximate.

I am wondering if anyone else has pursued this route already, and if so, did you find a product that worked well? Also, what was your solution for the 12V power for the camera, without overly weighing down the rig?

Thanks!

-matt faw
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Old June 8th, 2012, 05:52 AM   #2
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Re: Back-Up Camera as viewing solution for GoPro 3D rig?

What about using a second 2D GoPro with the up-coming wifi unit on it? GoPro are claiming it will be able to stream to an iOS device, for example.

I like the sound of this (on a slightly bigger scale I use a Teradek Cube with my Z10000 in a similar way) but of course it won't work directly on the GoPro3D rig because the expansion ports are used for the 3D sync cables... :(
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Old June 8th, 2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: Back-Up Camera as viewing solution for GoPro 3D rig?

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Originally Posted by Neil Richards View Post
What about using a second 2D GoPro with the up-coming wifi unit on it? GoPro are claiming it will be able to stream to an iOS device, for example.

I like the sound of this (on a slightly bigger scale I use a Teradek Cube with my Z10000 in a similar way) but of course it won't work directly on the GoPro3D rig because the expansion ports are used for the 3D sync cables... :(
Thanks for the reply, Neil. Yeah, I considered another GoPro with the wifi unit, and that's still a possibility. After all, it could probably integrate into some of the same mounting hardware.

Downsides: it's big and bulky for the use, compared to many of the back-up cameras, which are lipstick-sized or smaller. It would be hard to mount it between and below the other two lenses. It's also a lot more expensive than what I think I need (and I'd have to buy an iPhone or tablet), since I only need a reference image, rather than something in full HD.

Many of the back-up cameras also come with wireless set-ups, designed to reach at least from the bumper to the dashboard, although I haven't seen any of them in use. That'd be great for some of the RC car (and copter?) work I want to do, or for use on the end of a stick, etc. And most of them include the 3.5" monitor for the price, which I could probably mount on my bicycle helmet, or the bill of a baseball cap, etc.

I figure I could use the GoPro monitor backpac to align my reference camera with the 3D unit, lock everything down, and then rely on the backup camera for rough framing. I just had an extensive bike shoot ride on Hollywood Blvd., getting what seemed like pretty good shots, only to find that the GoPros had gotten knocked back at some point, and were shooting upwards, the whole time. And earlier in the day, I shot pointed a little too low, and caught my own shadow in the shot. Last weekend, my first experiments with the camera were very successful, and much of the footage looked great (but even then, a lot of it was accidentally dutched). So I'm convinced that this is going to be a great way to get interesting 3D footage, but I need to at least have a rudimentary way of being able to check framing throughout.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 11:10 AM   #4
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Re: Back-Up Camera as viewing solution for GoPro 3D rig?

This may be one kind of small 12V solution for the camera, assuming the amperage is appropriate. If mounted on a steadicam, like the smoothee, the batteries may be able to act as the counter-weight on the bottom.

Sanyo 12V 1100 mAH Ni-Cad Small Battery--Fitness & Sports-Paintball & Airsoft-Airsoft Guns
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Old June 8th, 2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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Re: Back-Up Camera as viewing solution for GoPro 3D rig?

I'd look for a lithium pack for some tool, drill or something. Ni-cad has too many issues and is too heavy for given output.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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Re: Back-Up Camera as viewing solution for GoPro 3D rig?

Matt, I'd be interested in any links to these little cameras you mention.

I bought a GoPro3D a couple of weeks back but found it quite frustrating to set up andnever got the footage I wanted. I suspect there was a problem in one of the Hero2's I'd borrowed (I did the firmware update and everything) but I'm sufficiently interested in the shots it may be possible to get with it to persevere some more.

The inability to frame your shots is a pain. My friend Al Caudullo solved this by cutting a hole in the side of the GoPro3D case so he could get an HDMI cable in and ran it to a separate small monitor - cute, but I think this compromises the watertight integrity-ness of the case ;)

Cheers

Neil
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Old June 11th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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Re: Back-Up Camera as viewing solution for GoPro 3D rig?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavel Houda View Post
I'd look for a lithium pack for some tool, drill or something. Ni-cad has too many issues and is too heavy for given output.
Thank you, Pavel, good point.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: Back-Up Camera as viewing solution for GoPro 3D rig?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Richards View Post
Matt, I'd be interested in any links to these little cameras you mention.

I bought a GoPro3D a couple of weeks back but found it quite frustrating to set up andnever got the footage I wanted. I suspect there was a problem in one of the Hero2's I'd borrowed (I did the firmware update and everything) but I'm sufficiently interested in the shots it may be possible to get with it to persevere some more.

The inability to frame your shots is a pain. My friend Al Caudullo solved this by cutting a hole in the side of the GoPro3D case so he could get an HDMI cable in and ran it to a separate small monitor - cute, but I think this compromises the watertight integrity-ness of the case ;)

Cheers

Neil
Hi Neil,

Interesting about Al's solution. I considered that, as well, but I wanted to wait until I was sure that I had found the right HDMI-in portable monitor and/or until I was sure I was willing to sacrifice the seaworthiness of the rig. That said, it's good to know that Al's solution works, because it may prove to be the most elegant approach. Do you know whether there are any performance downsides to Al's innovation? Would it work out of either GoPro, or is one better than the other? Do you know if he had to cut the HDMI cable, and then re-wire to get it to fit (or did he just cut a big hole)? I wonder if plumber's silicon caulk or something could affix the HDMI cable in place, and restore the waterproofness? And do you know what monitor he used?

This is one interesting low-cost possible solution for small HDMI monitor:
http://www.coollcd.com/on-sale-lilli...-out_p775.html
With the super clamp (like a mafer) rig, I might be able to mount this from my bike helmet, and drop down into view. It might also work, slung from a kangaroo case, around my neck, for when I want to put the GoPros on a doggy-cam or steadicam rig.


As for links to back-up cameras, I've so far only googled them, and gotten a ball park idea. But the link below shows the design that I thought was promising. The camera is mid-way along a bracket that's supposed to bridge across the license plate screws. So it seems reasonable that each side of the bracket could be mounted onto the GoPro rig, with the camera in the center, between and below the GoPro lenses. The wireless system seems similar to that of a cordless phone. The camera is supposed to turn on automatically when you shift into reverse, because it gets its power from the reverse lights, but I figure I could just put an on switch in there, instead, between the camera and the 12V supply.

Peak PKC0RB Back-Up Camera 3.5"

Of course, I don't yet know one camera from another, but I'll try to see if Best Buy or Fry's has some display units that I can check out. If I find a good solution, I'll post again with links. But maybe, by then, I'll be convinced that Al's solution is the best one. Thanks!

Last edited by Matt Faw; June 11th, 2012 at 11:45 AM.
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