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Old Oct 9, 2008, 12:20 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 887

I have the previous two helmet cam efforts by Oregon Scientific. The first one suffered from low resolution, lousy picture quality, and using 4-AAA batteries. The second one was even bulkier, it dropped the still shot mode and had a useless microhone, but had improved resolution and was waterproof. Both of them suffer from extremely inconvenient button controls with inadequate audio/beep feedback, painfully slow reactions to the buttons, cmos swimming image artifacts, cheap sensor contrast problems, lousy auto white balance, and too narrow a field of view.

A cam being used as these were intended need clear, instant tactile and audio feedback from the controls. I was forever having to take my helmet off to see what mode they were in. And you can't always stop to adjust them, or ride a bike for 4 seconds one-handed while the other hand reaches up over your head to hold a button down.

A cam being used as these were intended will be shooting precisely in conditions where the inherent charactersistics of cmos sensors will be the most problematic. Same with the width of the field of view. Using a cheapo sensor and processor unit just to keep the price down a few dollars helped make these things unusable.

So they gather dust, a waste of money. This latest version will be even heavier and bulker. What good is a screen in the situations where you'd want to use a helmet cam? Even on a handlebar mount, who's going to be able to look at it while filming? The screen is useful only for reviewing footage, so it should be a separate, plug-in module. Or just an a/v-out port. Since Oregon Scientific says nothing about using an improved sensor or video processing unit, or better controls, or faster response times, I have to assume they're just as bad on this new cam.

Looks to me this will be most useful as an underwater cam, as long as you can keep the subject matter in the focus zone. Oh, and don't try to hold it underwater while you're standing, because you won't be able to see the screen from above.

"Won't get burned again."

I'm curious to know your role in digital cameras or helmet cams, James.
sgspirit is offline   Reply With Quote