Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Hybrid Still/Movie/MP3 Digicams

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 18, 2005, 10:28 PM   #11
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 887
Default

Later, after viewing the videos from the V1 with and without the spycam.

Once blown up beyond the camera's screen size, the limitations of the spycam are very evident. It is rather grainy. For instance, overhead wires or trim strips on cars appeared as a series of dots instead of lines. It was also slow to adapt to changes in illumination. I couldn't tell which lens/sensor handled motion or colors better. The spycam, despite having a larger lens, suffered from distortion (rounding) around the perimeter of the frame.

I guess this is why you can get a Sony CCD version for $200, but I think the one I have is still good enough to be useful.

As for the sound, the spycam's microphone was so sensitve it picked up things I didn't recall hearing while I was filming. I guess that's part of being a spycam. The background buzzing wasn't too bad.
sgspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24, 2005, 9:10 PM   #12
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 887
Default

Digital Blue Tony Hawk Helmet Cam
http://www.playdigitalblue.com/produ...lmet_cam/info/
http://www.shop.com/op/aprod-p27503039?sourceid=13

Here's a neat product for people who want a cheap helmet cam solution. A great feature of this thing is that it includes a laser for aiming the camera. And auto focus. Cheap, too. Too bad it has no video-out port. If it did, owners could output to tv's, for playback, and people with video-in hybrids could use this thing for an external lens. Let's hope for an improved version soon.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...&CatId=129

sgspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2006, 12:15 AM   #13
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 887
Default

I've given up trying to get this to work using the av-in port of a hybrid. There are just too many things that can go wrong, most of which go wrong, and operating the setup is a hassle.

1. The spycam lens head requires its own 9V battery. So you need a separate battery holder, and you have to remember to connect and disconnect the battery since it is not switched with the camera's power.

2. The extended dc power cable for the spycam picks up electrical interference which is then picked up by the spycam's data cables. In turn, this corrupt video signal causes the camera to go offline and shut down.

3. The AV-in jack sticks so far out of the hybrid it won't fit in its case. It's also loose, and falls out with very little provocation.

4. The 920 has to have the screen opened to turn on, and reversed to keep it on. To shut it off, you have to reverse all that. A power switch not covered by the screen would be handier.

5. With all the various components, cables etc, the whole thing is a hassle. I didn't mention removing, storing, and replacing the spycam's lens cover.

6. Carting my 920 around in my pocket all the time greatly increases the risk it will be lost or broken. Where do I keep all this stuff at work, when running errands?

So I decided abandon this experiment and get a Digital Blue Tony Hawk helmet cam. It comes as a single integrated unit, no more hassling with cables, connectors, batteries etc. It's rigged up to strap onto one's head or headgear. It uses AAA batteries, and I have some nice rechargable NiMh ones. It uses SD cards, which I have. It's output is .avi files, like the hybrids. It has a simple power button. It's cheap. In fact, it costs little more than the spycam did. $40-50usd on eBay.

The helmet cam's output is only 320x200 at 15fps, which is the main drawback. However, that was the output of my sypcam, so there's no loss. Not clear if it takes stills. A 640x480 version is in the works. A bonus is that it has a laser aiming system, something the spycam and hybrids have no need for.

The spycam is not a waste. It can be used for macro videos and clips, right down to .5cm from the subject matter. Full-screen ants!

Then I came across the Oregon Scientific ATC-1000. 640x480 at 15fps. It's a complete camera that will take stills and output to a tv. So it could be used as a backup for my hybrid during travel. Avi output. Takes low-resolution stills and even has a multisnap function. It costs more than the Tony Hawk, and lacks the laser feature. But, that means it's safe for little kids to use. The only other drawback is that it shuts off after 10 minutes, while the Tony Hawk shuts down after 15. That means I'd have to repower it more frequently. It accepts a 1Gb card, and uses 4AAA's, which should mean longer between charges. It's possible the av-out port can be used as a signal source for a hybrid.

$45-90usd on eBay, or $80 from Amazon.com.
sgspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2006, 11:24 PM   #14
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 887
Default

Interesting and very critical review of a Samsung Miniket in helmet cam usage:
http://helmetcameracentral.com/2005/...eview/#more-11

I noticed Oregon Scientific, who makes the ATC-1000 helmet cam, aslo makes a hybrid, the DV100.
sgspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2006, 2:48 AM   #15
Moderator
 
fishycomics's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NYC NY
Posts: 9,621
Default

there is an artical in cn magazines about this camera and you should find that article andread up its interesting whatthey did
fishycomics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2006, 12:27 PM   #16
Moderator
 
fishycomics's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NYC NY
Posts: 9,621
Default



Click the pic it'll expand to a readable file size
fishycomics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11, 2006, 9:32 PM   #17
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 887
Default

I realize that discussing helmet cams isn't totally relevant to the hybrid forum, but maybe just this one topic?

The Oregon Scientific ATC-1000 arrived in due course and I've been getting used to it. The camera is much like a hybrid, with a CMOS sensor, 640x480 video at 15 frames per second, stills mode, a/v output, .avi video clips, and records to sd cards up to 1Gb. 1Gb yields just over an hour of video capture at the highest resolution. Unlike hybrids it has no screen or mp3 mode. It could use image stabilization, but lacks it. It comes with a cd-rom with video editing software etc. Power comes from 4-AAA batteries, and the whole thing is shaped like a rifle scope. It comes with a pile of mounting gizmos, but no headstrap. It's a bit bulky and heavy to mount on a helmet, but is far easier to live with than a unit with separate recording, lens, battery etc. connected by cables.

I've found it is slow to react to the controls, which is the opposite of what one would like for the purposes for which it was intended. To video, you have to hold down the power button for at least 3 seconds. You then have to wait 7-8 seconds until it indicates on the readout that it's ready for use. Of course, with the camera on your helmet, you can't see the readout. Then you hold down the video button for at least two seconds, and a few seconds later, it starts recording. So you really have to anticipate when you want to film, and set aside some time to get the camera going. Not mentioned in the manual at all, and very helpful in this process, are that most operations are accompanied by various beeps.

One oversight is that many of the activities for which this camera is intended, require wearing gloves. You can't operate the camera with gloves on. So that adds more complication.

If the camera is held still, the video resolution looks pretty good. Having it in motion and moving around means the compression system has to work overtime causing loss of detail. Even though it lacks a screen, the relatively wide field of view means it is pretty easy to aim when handheld, and thus can act as a backup camera to your main hybrid for travelling. You can also connect the ATC's a/v-out port to a hybrid's a/v-in port, and use the hybrid as the recording unit, with the advantage of using the hybrid's screen. But then that loses the hands-free operating advantage of the helmet cam.

Stills are limited to 640x480 because that's the resolution of the sensor. It does have a 3-shot multisnap mode.

The helmet brackets that come with the camera are a bit much. Sticky-back velcro patches on the camera and helmet, plus a strap or zip-tie are more than sufficiently secure, add a lot less weight, and make the camera less prominent. If you mount it as the manual shows, the double-latch bracket is difficult to open, and like the wider velcro strap, will cover up controls or the screen.

And does it capture motorists violating the traffic laws? Yes, indeed. In the first 10 minutes of use on a major street, I filmed two illegal parkers, one u-turner, and 3 red-light runners. You can see them in the intersections when they should not be, with the traffic lights above them. The ATC-1000 would also make an excellent dashboard cam, especially with the mounting systems that come with it.

and for fishycomics:
http://www.runryder.com/helicopter/t243977p1/

sgspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20, 2006, 12:18 AM   #18
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 887
Default

A couple of updates.

One is that the camera reacts faster to the controls the less memory there is in it. It's almost fast enough with just the integrated 32Mb, but that's not enough memory to be useful. I've seen this before with hybrids, but some do not slow down the more memory you add.

The other discovery is that I was wrong: a hybrid can't use the ATC's av/out port as an input to record, using the ATC as a remote lens. The ATC's av/out port works only to playback stills and video already recorded on the ATC.

Since the ATC does not have a screen, you can't view what's on it using the ATC itself. If you are travelling, and have an ATC and a hybrid with you, and the hybrid has an av/in port, and you have a mini/mini stereo jack cable to connect them, you can use the hybrid to view what you've recorded on the ATC. I have the cable and so I can use my DDV-920 to do this. You can't put the ATC's memory card in the hybrid and replay the videos directly because the ATC uses a different file naming convention (IMAGExxx.avi).

sgspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2006, 8:50 AM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 33
Default

My friend has the Samsung SC-X210L with the external lens and he let me use the external lens to use with my Aiptek MPVR for a little. It uses the same AV in connector and it runs off its own batteries. Work like a charm, now I just have to find a way to buy that external lens without having to put down 500 or so for the SC-X210L.

Edit: Would it make more sense to just buy the atc-1000 and use that as an external lens? I see it onlie for as cheap as $80.
ObjectAgnosia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2006, 11:28 PM   #20
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 887
Default

The ATC-1000 is going for as low as $50 on eBay, but as you noted, $80 is the lowest I've seen from on-line retailers.

As I noted above, I tried using the ATC as a remote lens attachment for my DDV-920, and the ATC does not work that way. The av/out port on it works in playback mode only. So you can playback videos in the ATC to the 920, but you can't record on the 920 using output from the ATC.

Good to hear the Samsung's bullet cam works as a video source for other cameras. Good luck buying the bullet cam by itself, though!
sgspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:56 AM.