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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old May 9th, 2002, 01:58 PM   #1
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2nd camera and or helmet cam?

I hope these topics aren't too off topic for this board. Anyway, . . .

I have an XL-1 and would like to supplement it with a smaller camera. One use will bet fitting one of those"devices" that would allow me to keep the camera in a back pack with the device mounted to my motorcycle helmet. Hence the expression helmet cam. I have heard them called lipstick cameras but I don't know if that is the real name or not.

If I could afford an XL-1s I would buy one, but I also worry about such a large and expensive camera getting damaged bouncing around like it would on my back. A GL-1 would probably be ideal but they are still $2,500 or so.

Has anyone supplemented their XL-1 with an additional camera? What did you go with? Also, if anyone has any information about getting a "helmet cam" setup, please post it. I don't know who makes them or anything.

Thanks.

Greg Matty
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Old May 9th, 2002, 02:08 PM   #2
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It sounds like you're looking for an industrial CCD camera. These a relatively small video cameras that feature the same kind of CCD blocks that standard video cams have. I've seen them used usually mounted in odd or remote locations. These are just cameras, however. They are not recorders.

At B&H photo's site (bhpoto.com) go to Professional Video > CCD & Specialty Cameras & Accessories.

Warning: These are not inexpensive cameras, particularly by the time you power them. If you want to cut the budget (and, alas, the quality) down you might look at Smarthome.com for some of their small camera rigs.

Good luck.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 02:19 PM   #3
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Also Greg, I wouldn't recommend a GL1 but there are in fact much, much less expensive than $2500. Currently they're about $1700 with the Canon $250 rebate.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 05:41 PM   #4
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Chris,

Without risking too much damage to "the son of the watchdog," what don't you like about the GL-1? Are there specific issues, or were you referring to this one specific application.

BTW, those of you interested in a similar helmet cam type of scenario might check out helmetcamera.com. You can get their setup, a single 1/3" CCD with 360 lines resolution, for under $300. For casual use or my planned motorcycle video, it should suffice.

Thanks for the replies.

Greg Matty
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Old May 9th, 2002, 06:27 PM   #5
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You could use a handlebar mount also. That way the camera's always facing the direction of travel as opposed to the direction you're looking with a helmet cam.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 06:55 PM   #6
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John,

I considered that idea, but the camera would bounce around way too much. I may not have mentioned that this would be a dirt bike video. A handlebar mount might work on a street bike however.

Also, the unit at helmetcamera.com is water proof and looks protected from the roost thrown up by another bike's rear tire.

I also checked out B&H but they are pricey! Time for that grant!

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Old May 9th, 2002, 09:50 PM   #7
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Greg,

correctly mounted a handle bar cam works well. I remember seeing some footage shot by Standard Films of Seth Enslow that showed just how much he moved around on the bike, and being Seth how much he moved off the bike to.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 11:49 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Adrian Douglas : Greg,

correctly mounted a handle bar cam works well. I remember seeing some footage shot by Standard Films of Seth Enslow that showed just how much he moved around on the bike, and being Seth how much he moved off the bike to. -->>>

Adrian,

It looks like I spoke to soon. Obviously the handlebar mount must work okay. I would still worry about a trail riding scene where rocks thrown up by the lead bike could damage the camera on the trailing one.

I will take a look for a setup just in case and will look into building one myself.

Greg
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Old May 10th, 2002, 03:47 AM   #9
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Does anyone remember who it was that posted a URL recently in one of the threads showing some footage shot on a mountain bike? If I remember correctly, it looked pretty steady...but I'm not sure if it was a handlebar cam or a helmet cam.

Anyway, Greg...if you can find a reference to that footage, it's a good example (and I think appeared more steady than the samples shown on the helmetcamera.com site).
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Old May 10th, 2002, 02:07 PM   #10
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John,

Any idea what type of camera was used for the shot?

That should not affect how steady the footage is, but I am still interested in knowing.

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Old May 10th, 2002, 10:30 PM   #11
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Greg, to solve the 'Rock in the Cam' worries, use an old cut down handguard like the ones that come standard on XR's, TT's etc. It can be modified and rivited to a front plate and the lipstick cam tucks inside.
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Old July 23rd, 2002, 08:58 AM   #12
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I had no idea a handlebar mount would be so hard to find!

Anyone have ideas who manufactures something that can be rigged to a mountainbike handlebar, and that can hold an XL-1?

And before I get bombarded here, let me say...

- Nope...not going off road with it. Only steady, smooth shots on level paved "city" surfaces.
- Can't afford a smaller camera right now...so trying to make do with what I've got

Basically, I'm just looking for a poor man's alternative for traveling shots.

Thanks.
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Old July 23rd, 2002, 09:24 AM   #13
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I'm not sure how expensive you want to get. Bogen (Manfrotto) http://www.bogenphoto.com/ makes gear that will handle what you need. Start with a super clamp, then the magic arm. There are generic versions of the super clamp for $20. After all it is just a pipe clamp. Magic Arms are really cool, it's like a douple jointed arm. It's also very rugid and locks into place and doesn't move. Your camera would be very safe. This combo is also usefull around the studio and on location, so it not single purpose. If this is too heavy let me know there may be some lighter gear I can think of.

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Old July 23rd, 2002, 06:08 PM   #14
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Jeff,

went to the Bogen site and checked them out. The Super Clamp looks great...just not sure if a camera mount can be added to it directly. As for the Magic Arm...that I have doubts about. Seems to me that if the camera is mounted right where the neck meets the handlebars (one of the most secure, jostle-free areas), with a piece that attaches firmly to this area, then there would be little camera shake. But if I use an arm to extend, then there will naturally be a lot more shakiness.

I'm going to try to find a local Manfrotto dealer and look at the Super Clamp and see if there are any accessory mounts that can be added to it.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old July 23rd, 2002, 06:12 PM   #15
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The super clamp has a flush mount stud (1/4 20 or 3/8 thread) that you can mount a ball head or quick release platte to. Bogen has several and there are plenty of ball heads available from dozens of mfgs.

Jeff
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