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Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


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Old November 6th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #1
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Buy a small helmetcam or a small AVCHD cam?

Hola my friends!
I'm very uncertain on buying a small HDcam that i'd like to use on cockpit shooting (fighter jets).
What would you suggest me to buy?
A COntourhd Helmet cam(for about 300$) or spend a lil more and buy a small sony(i'm going with sony cause i own already a z1)like the ones that record on AVCHD or on tape but the most important thing is that them should be small and that records in HD!
How could i fix on the cockpit of a Small fighter plane?

thx a lot
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Old November 6th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #2
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The Twenty20 ContourHD cam has been knowm to cause problems with Adobe, due to the proprietary recording format. I don't know about other NLE's, but just be aware.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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OPs Harm i didn't know that!Thanks....suggestions about my choice ?
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Old November 6th, 2009, 07:40 PM   #4
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Harm raises a good point that I was unaware of, however it may be a relatively minor issue if other cheap software tools like TPMPGEnc can transcode it into another format. Here's why. If you've done your homework you know that only CS4 can deal with AVCHD. CS3 and older versions won't. Also, unless you have a really beefy computer (think i7 at least) you won't like editing AVCHD. It can be done but it will be really slow and from others accounts, quite frustrating.

Just more grist for the mill.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 03:26 AM   #5
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From a format and weight point of view, as well as the card storage, the Contour would be my first choice of the 2 you mentioned. There may be others, I just don't know. I do know that the helmet cameras with wireless transmission, used on 9/09/1999 by SF (Schweizer Fernsehen) for a live-report of the climb of the Eiger Nordwand by 4 climbers were extremely capable, compact and sturdy. I would Google for more alternatives or contact SF to find out which helmet cameras they used during the climb. (DVD UPC # 7611719443472, Eiger-Nordwand, Rückblick auf die Live-Sendung)
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Old November 7th, 2009, 03:49 AM   #6
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Thank u guys!I need best quality as possible cause all this footage should be insert on a doc!The problem is that the camera should handle good auto setting cause the fighter pilot won't put the hands on it while his hand are on the cloche and throttle.....
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Old November 7th, 2009, 04:43 AM   #7
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Marcus, that requirement is not unlike the helmet cameras used during the climb I mentioned. You don't expect those climbers to adjust focus or exposure while hanging on to the rock and their life.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 05:00 AM   #8
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The ContourHD camera looks quite impressive. I'm considering getting one or two to provide additional POV's.

If you're editing on a Mac system, check out a program called MPEG Streamclip. It converts formats. A very nice application. Perhaps there's something similar for PCs?

You might also want to discuss camera placement and restrictions with the squadron. Get pilots and maintenance crew involved, if possible, to suggest places the camera can fit as well as how to mount it securely.

Something to consider: In a high-G maneuver, whatever is used to mount the camera has to tolerate several times the weight of the camera. If the camera weighs 4 ounces and the plane pulls a 6-G maneuver, the mount needs to be able to support at least 1.5 pounds of weight.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #9
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Marcus, I'm in the market for a new POV cam system and have been looking at footage from the upcoming GO Pro HD. There is some sample footage on vimeo of the camera on a formula race car and it seems to hold up really well to the high frequency vibration. I guess for your use, this has got to be one of the main priorities, this and the G's that it will be subjected to, as mentioned before. The Go Pro has a motorsport mount option, which might be more suited to mounting in a cockpit.

I would imagine that if you went with a small avchd cam, that there might be issues with the camera not really being up to the task and literally having the hell shaken out of it could cause all sorts of image problems.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #10
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Link to see tge camera mate?

I was thinking about the same thing about the small avchd cameras and the G's on the plane, guys take a lokk at this and tell me what u think:
YouTube - Speed and Angels (Pt.4)

comments on that...
1 is attached to the helmet and the other one on the cockpit, awesome config i guess!What's your opinion on that?

thx
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Old November 9th, 2009, 01:43 AM   #11
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The helmet cam in the cockpit works really well.

Here's the link to the GoPro site

GoPro HD HERO®: Pre-Production Test Footage
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Old November 9th, 2009, 01:49 AM   #12
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Good POV's. And nice shots.

Another POV is behind the pilot to see the pilot's head and the environment forward of the aircraft.

One thing about this sequence: I strongly doubt it was all shot during a single, actual training mission. Much of it has to have been staged specifically for the various cutaways.

From the small experience I had photographing an actual training exercise between the Air Force and the Hawaii Air Nat'l Guard, the planes don't get very close. In fact, gun range is about 1000 yards. Not a whole lot to see. And a lot of the exercise actually takes place at missle range, which is "BVR" or beyond visual range. Not photographically exciting.

Once the "fight's on", the planes are almost never flying normally and they're usually maneuvering fairly hard. Anything going "one-G" is a sitting duck. So they're either trying to get onto someone or getting away from someone. And that means being rolled hard one way or another, pulling g's and going inverted. To shoot that kind of action requires being in a chase plane that's not doing what they're doing. Imagine trying to aim a 10-pound camera that suddenly becomes 40 pounds.

Going through clouds during a training exercise at close quarters is a no-no. Too much risk of collision. Going close to the ground is a no-no. And a ground crew would be hard pressed to get great shots of aircraft doing exactly the right thing at the right time since a lot of the training takes place over an area measured in square miles.

That said, it's very nicely shot!
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Old November 9th, 2009, 04:37 AM   #13
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@adrian: did u use it on a cockpit?

@dean: i know that the shots of that movie.....r like u said.
So what kind of cam do u recomend?
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Old November 11th, 2009, 02:54 AM   #14
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Marcus, no the camera that I provided the link to is pre release.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #15
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Marcus....

I haven't used a small POV camera yet but am looking around for one.

Here's a review of the ContourHD camera: ContourHD 720p Road and Trail Test VBlog « Tom Guilmette
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