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Old May 5th, 2004, 05:34 PM   #1
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helmet cam and bed of pickup

I looked at several old posts for helmet cams. Does anyone have any advice on mounting a small mini-dv cam on a helmet, say a sony-trv?

Also, what about advice about bracing a camera out of the bed of a moving pickup?

Thanks
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Old May 5th, 2004, 05:39 PM   #2
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While I've never tried to do that to a small camcorder, if you could elaborate a little bit more on your budget and desire.

If you're going to buy this camcorder for this purpose, etc, consider getting a lipstick camera and using that, feeding the video output to your main camera.

If this IS your main camera, I wouldn't risk it, personally :). Too easy to see it go falling off... Though you could use an old bike helmet (With a chinstrap), and a bunch of Duct tape. If you have an old and useless tripod quick-detach thing lying around you could always secure THAT to the helmet and then not worry about duct tape residue on your camera.

About bracing the bed of the truck, Do you want to brace it so you can see over the tailgate, or just to shoot the bed contents? If the truck has an openable rear window, there's always that. If not, it might be an interesting shot through the glass with the help of a wireless microphone. Either way, inside the bed or behind the window, I'd secure it with a sturdy suction cup mount. Hope this answered some of your questions,

Phil
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Old May 5th, 2004, 10:49 PM   #3
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An alternative, if your camera has an LCD screen is to reverse it and fold it back against the body of the camera. Then, sitting facing the left side of the vehicle, point the camera to the rear.

You watch the LCD screen.

The advantage to this is you hold the camera close to your body with both arms bent and able to act as shock absorbers.

I've done this to tape Motorcycle Police practicing synchronized maneuvers for the Harley-Davidson Police Motorcycle competition. It works well even when the ground is not too smooth.

For additional fun, slow the shutter speed way down. Focus on the following action that is keeping up with your truck. Everything else gets this dreamy smeared ribbon appearance.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 01:11 PM   #4
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Michael-

If you are serious about a helmet cam please look at investing in a small, lightweight camera appropriate for the job. I've been using the 480EX from jonescam.tv with great success. I plug it into a Sony TRV-17 that is stored in a fanny pack along with the battery and worn by the 'operator'. I simply duct tape the helmet cam to the helmet to get the POV i'm looking for. Samples should be available soon at ffkgvideos.com.

I've also tried using Jonescam's wireless system but have not been happy with the results. I'm working with them (Pete and Brian, are you reading this?) to see what can be done to improve the situation.

As far as vehicle mounting, check out Stickypod.com for some options. I have had lots of fun with this. Also, depending on the shot, have you considered mounting a tripod in the back of the truck and securing it snugly with straps? this can provide a very stable platform and still allow tilt and pan operations.

Good luck.

Jim
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Old May 6th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #5
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Michael,

I use the hawkeye from arrowdynamics http://www.arrowdynamicsinc.com/ for BASE jumping and skydiving. The manufacturer has a number of boxes that will support sony trv and pc model mini dv's.

You'll not have to worry about losing your camera as these setups are very sturdy and withstand the sometimes brutal opening shock of a deploying parachute. I would recommend the hawkeye with chin-cup upgrade.

I know a number of people who also use this configuration to get awesome shots while riding motorcycles.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 03:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the great posts. I'm shooting a long-distance bicycle race and for some of the shots I want to take a camera with me as I ride down some of the big descents. A helmet cam seems like my best option but I'm on a very limited budget and I will have an extra, and small digi-cam that I was thinking of rigging to the top of my helmet.
But if I can get a helmet cam for cheap that would be fantastic.
Also, does anyone have advice for shooting people inside of a car. This will be necessary for the story, shooting crew ect., and this type of shooting has a reputation for being hideous. Any tips?
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Old May 6th, 2004, 05:41 PM   #7
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1. Avoid this like the plague.

2. Gel the side and back windows only in back of your subject. This means you need to switch the gel from side to side.

3. Use a dynamic lav if you want to avoid much of the noise simply because the microphone doesn't pick it up. These are about the size of a half-roll of dimes (Shure SM-11 for example).

4. Shoot only when the car is stationary if you can.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 12:38 PM   #8
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I have a toolbox mounted in the back of my truck and I attached several clips to the toolbox that allowed me to very securely attach an inexpensive tripod (partially open) with thin bungee cords. I put my camera on the tripod, hooked up my remote on/off zoom gizmo (can't remember what you call it), ran the cable to the cab and off I went.

When I was ready to shoot, I stopped the truck, made sure the shot was what I wanted and clicked the on button from inside the cab. Having the camera pointed behind the truck created a cool effect when I reversed the footage and sped it up. (as long as no other traffic was around because they would appear to be going backwards)
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