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Old June 14th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #1
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Flash mem camera to mount on a racing go kart

I'm looking for an SD flashcam with some specific requirements.

1 - It must take screw-on filters
2 - MPEG video format
3 - CCD not CMOS

The first is because I don't want bugs and detritus from the track impaling the lens. The second is because I use CS3 and want to avoid transcoding from MPEG-4/AVC. The third isn't critical but CCDs generally do better in lower light.

I'm a Canon guy so I looked there first. They pass on 3 but fail on 1 & 2. Sony failed on 1. Panasonic failed on 1 & 2. JVC failed on 2. Samsung also fails on 1 & 2. Actually, all the major brands I've found use CCDs so that's not an issue. Only the JVC units appear to take filters.

I've crawled all through the B&H web site and haven't found what I need. Any recommendations?
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Old June 15th, 2009, 05:07 AM   #2
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Tripp.

What is the outside diameter of the lens on the Sony Camera?
Perhaps you just need an attachment made to fit over the lens which can take a screw in.

I had some experience in on board karting footage, as I used to race in a team myself.
Kart-TV.com - Video Clips
However, this was about 6 yrs ago so we are talking old technology, (DV clamshell recorder in a bag on my lap!)

Also, where/how are you mounting the camera?
I would be interested to hear how you get on.

Cheers
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Old June 15th, 2009, 05:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Tapa View Post
What is the outside diameter of the lens on the Sony Camera?
Perhaps you just need an attachment made to fit over the lens which can take a screw in.
I don't know the diameter. It's not in the published specs. From the pictures, it looks like it's around 30mm but the opening isn't round. Here's more info on the model I was looking at. Sony | DCR-SX60 16GB Handycam Camcorder | DCR-SX60 | B&H Photo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Tapa View Post
I had some experience in on board karting footage, as I used to race in a team myself.
Kart-TV.com - Video Clips
However, this was about 6 yrs ago so we are talking old technology, (DV clamshell recorder in a bag on my lap!)
Interesting footage. You had to be creative to get it done! You were using an external camera connected to the camcorder? I thought about this as an option but a shock absorbed mounting for the camcorder is still the dodgy bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Tapa View Post
Also, where/how are you mounting the camera?
I would be interested to hear how you get on.
I use the Manfrotto Super Clamp in the race cars which works brilliantly. However the race car track is billiard table smooth so there's very little shock. Even if the car's involved in a shunt, the image/sound recording holds up quite well. I have more experience with that than my drivers would like. (grin). The problem with carts is twofold... No suspension and the transition from the kart track to the big track is pretty rough so the recording really falls apart there. Even on the smooth part of the main track, the heads cannot make decent contact with the tape. Hence the thought of using a flashcam. I'm rather afraid that over time the pounding of the karts will shake any camera into dust.

I'm still looking tho.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #4
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I'm not sure if this helps but if I were to film something like that again, I would use one of these.
Sony : HXR-MC1P (HXRMC1P) : Product Overview : United Kingdom

You really should use a special bracket attached directly to the chassis to take the camera head.
There will still be a lot of vibration though so use the widest lens you can.

I designed my own bracket and had it made by the chassis manufacturer in return for their logo being clearly visible in the clip.

Is your shoot for work or for fun?
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Old June 15th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Tapa View Post
I'm not sure if this helps but if I were to film something like that again, I would use one of these.
Sony : HXR-MC1P (HXRMC1P) : Product Overview : United Kingdom
Yeah, but it's US$2,800! For that I'd sell my XH A1 and get the XH A1s. (grin) I ended up getting this: Sony | HDR-CX100 High Definition Handycam Camcorder | HDR-CX100. It's CMOS and not CCD but it's both SD & HD which gives me some options that are nice and it satisfies my other criteria. The spend wasn't too dear either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Tapa View Post
You really should use a special bracket attached directly to the chassis to take the camera head.
There will still be a lot of vibration though so use the widest lens you can.

I designed my own bracket and had it made by the chassis manufacturer in return for their logo being clearly visible in the clip.
For go karts, that's an extremely valid idea. I only tried putting a camera on a kart last Friday and you know the results. I've been putting cameras in race cars for over a year now and the Manfrotto works brilliantly. In fact, "Top Gear" use the same rig to mount smaller cameras on their cars, as do other shows over here. Karts, however, are a different bowl of grits.

I prefer a rock solid mount with any image stabilization turned off for virtually everything. I used to shoot sailboat racing on board and inadvertently left on the IS on one camera clamped to a railing. I have never gotten seasick, but I got twinges watching that footage. I also think that the vibration from the kart, if not too bad will impart more of the feeling of what it's like to drive the kart. I may be completely wrong here, but I'm going to try it and see what happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Tapa View Post
Is your shoot for work or for fun?
It's work, but I'd almost do it for free. I shoot all the races at a storied oval track in Maine and sell DVDs and now BDs. They liked my work well enough to hire me for their commercials this year.

If you're interested in seeing some of the stuff I've done, check this: Oxford Plains Speedway Channel on Vimeo

To get the best sense of the racing, check this: Oxford Plains Speedway - 2008 Year in Review or this, One Great Mini Stock Heat. I don't generally put full races online as I don't want to cannibalize the channel. The piece I'm probably most proud of was this: Ben Ashline - Profile of a Young Racer

Thanks for your help, Mike.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #6
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If I remember right, some of the older miniDV consumer cameras can records MPEG-2 to memory sticks. Probably only 320x240 though.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #7
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Flash memory camera

You might check out the VholdR Contour HD camera. It records in both SD and HD. CMOS not CCD. Not sure if it will take filters, though there might be a combo of adapters from Tiffen or Schneider that might work. The best part is it costs $279.

David
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Old June 25th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #8
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Flash camera

Another thought, Tripp would be to go with an Iconix HD-RH1 combined with a Flash XDR or Panasonic AG-HPG20 recorder. Both of these items are available for rent. DC-Cameras in Arlington, has the Iconix along with the Panasonic recorder. I have rented from them before. Talk to Erich. I have the Flash XDR for rent. The Panasonic uses P2 media while the Flash XDR uses CF media.

David
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