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Old Jul 4, 2007, 9:38 PM   #1
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First post here, and just joined up. I have read most of the relevant posts here on hybrids and am looking to setup a good quality helmet cam system. Two parts of the equation are the camera itself, and some way to record it. The camera part is failry obvious to me based on my needs, but the video recorder part is not.

I am looking for a hybrid camera or just a mini-dvr that can record broadcast quality video from line in, or close to broadcast quality. The Aiptek line seems to have this covered with at least one model. My confusion is which one would suit my use best. I am not as worried about the built in camera as others might be as I am mainly concerned with the quality of the line in recording. 640x480 at 30fps is a requirement, but 720x480 would be nice. I cannot tolerate any "waviness" in the image.

I am not stuck on Aiptek, or any specific manufacturer for that matter. So which of the current models on the Aiptek.com site meet my needs? What about the SVP HDDV-8800 as another choice? Anything from DXG? Mustek?

Thank you for any help on this.

P.S. edited for speeling missteaks
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Old Jul 4, 2007, 10:10 PM   #2
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Try any inexpensive discontinued digital camera (about a 3 mp should be fine and it may even include some optical zoom too) and it will in all likliness be better than a hybrid.

I see hybrid cameras as "jacks of all but master of none" cameras with the exception of being compact.

BiLL

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Old Jul 4, 2007, 10:15 PM   #3
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I think you misunderstand. I need line video in to record signal from an external camera. A regular digital camera has no provision and cannot be mounted in the place or situations I need.
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Old Jul 5, 2007, 12:40 AM   #4
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Welcome atsi,

In the topic called "Hybrid List", any camera with "VI" at the end of the line has a video-in port. There must be at least a dozen.

I've tried doing what you seem to want to do, and I found it quite a hassle. The external/bullet cam requires a power supply and a switch, which may or may not be built into the remote lens you're using. If the power supply is remote from the bullet cam, and the power wires run next to the signal wires, the power wires have to be shielded.

The whole thing was such a hassle I gave up and got a Oregon Scientific ATC-1000. It was only semi-satisfactory, so I also bought an ATC-2000. The 2000 probably is even worse.

It seems if you want decent helmet cam footage, you have to throw some money at the problem and get gear designed for that.
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Old Jul 5, 2007, 1:02 AM   #5
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sgspirit wrote:
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Welcome atsi,

I've tried doing what you seem to want to do, and I found it quite a hassle. The external/bullet cam requires a power supply and a switch, which may or may not be built into the remote lens you're using. If the power supply is remote from the bullet cam, and the power wires run next to the signal wires, the power wires have to be shielded.

It seems if you want decent helmet cam footage, you have to throw some money at the problem and get gear designed for that.
Thanks for the information. Could you tell me what cameras and recorders you tried? if I have to spend more I will. I know the trap of trying to do soemthing on the cheap and then having to do it 2 or more times only to spend more than if you started out the right way the first time.
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Old Jul 5, 2007, 12:24 PM   #6
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If you seach the forum for my id and "helmet cam", you'll find the long version.

I tried a Digilfe DDV-920 with a spy cam. The spy cam is a small thing that contains a lens, sensor and microphone. It's designed to be used with security systems, but has a video output that's compatible with the video-in ports of the hybrids that have them.

But the spy cam requires a 9V power supply, so you have to connect a 9v battery to it, plus have some provision to turn it on and off, separately from getting the camera itself operating.

I have found a use for this spy cam, however. We had water seep into our basement this winter. I taped the spy cam to a rod, and also attached an LED flashlight, plugged the spy cam into a hybrid, and lowered the assembly down pipes that are part of our house's drainage system. I was able to map out the system doing this, plus make a lot of headway into determining what the problem was.

I also forgot to mention the Tony Hawk helmet cam, which I have not tried, but looks interesting and should be into a second model by now. I would not recommend the ATC cameras to anyone. Unfortunately they sound great on paper, but don't work very well.

You might consider the Samsung Miniket Sport models. They have an external lens attachment, and I haven't seen complaints about how well they work.
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Old Jul 10, 2007, 1:09 PM   #7
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I've got the DXG Roadster 521 and the AV-In is utterly shit. So dont use that tbh I expect most Hybrids at the bottom end of the market wont be anywhere near DVD/Broadcast quality, spend the extra and get a proper Camcorder with AV-In, also make sure you have atleast a 520 line decent bullet cam.
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Old Jul 11, 2007, 1:22 AM   #8
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I've been impressed at the quality of the video-in recorded on the DDV-920 from a tv. Startlingly better than video from the camera's own sensor. If the footage is from a vhs tape, then it will be limited by the quality of the original recording. I don't think there's much lost in the conversion.
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