Best helmet camera?

by Henry Batten   August 26, 2014  

It was only a week or so ago that I thought it would be good to ask if there were any recommendations around a helmet cam for recording other road users. Having been knocked off on Saturday when the driver didn't stop, having the situation recorded would have assisted the Police in tracking down the driver concerned. What I think I should be looking for is something that isn't as big as a GoPro [I have one of the first ones] and has the ability to store many hours of footage. I've seen some for a car, that re-write over the same memory unless you stop it and tell it to record permenantly... any advice would be gratefully recieved.

16 user comments

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DuraAce all the way

Leodis's picture

posted by Leodis [213 posts]
26th August 2014 - 15:30

1 Like

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur, happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr

posted by Izaak30 [81 posts]
26th August 2014 - 16:12

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Hi, I bought a Sony AS30 - I liked the shape better than the GoPro and it was cheaper (Argos). Techmoan.com has some great reviews of cameras both car and helmet and is well worth a look. I too had need for this device recently when I was hit by a car - it recorded the event clearly but due to the angle of the impact didn't recored the reg. no. but the driver stopped so wasn't a problem. Battery life seems the biggest issue - mine runs for just over 2 hours on one battery charge but I can swap the battery mid-ride. I have mine bar mounted as it was too heavy on side of helmet and footage is puke-inducing if helmet mounted.

posted by Ants [22 posts]
26th August 2014 - 20:57

2 Likes

The problem with the GoPro is that, when affixed to your helmet, it makes you look like, well, a helmet*! (This is from seeing people skiing more than cycling)

I used to use a ContourHD when skiing. It fits to the side and is less obvious. It was OK, but I can't rave about it TBH.

* or, worse, a tellytubby

posted by truffy [322 posts]
26th August 2014 - 21:38

4 Likes

I was in the same situation, a car driver almost took me out so I looked into the best headcams. I ended up getting the gopro because it was the best quality and performance.
I have to agree with truffy, you do look a bit of a tool with it on your helmet. I use the baseball cap fitting slotted onto my helmet visor - slightly less embarrassing.
However, there's a great benefit in having a visible camera that drivers see easily - I've noticed drivers are a lot more courteous once they spot the camera Wink

posted by Tintow [6 posts]
26th August 2014 - 23:05

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Tintow wrote:

However, there's a great benefit in having a visible camera that drivers see easily - I've noticed drivers are a lot more courteous once they spot the camera Wink

Exactly this. Whenever someone comes to a stop behind me at a red light light I make a point of pretending to adjust / check something on my rear-facing rack-mounted camera just so they pay attention to the fact that I have a camera there as well as on my helmet and don't attempt a stupid overtake manoeuvre once the light turns green.

I keep meaning to put an easily readable "cyclist with camera, drive safely" message on the back of a gilet, just need to find a snugly fitting gilet in black to stitch the letters in white on it. Or maybe some other colour combination that makes it easier to discern at a distance.

Prevention is key.

That means making them aware they're being filmed, meaning the police will know exactly if they're going to do something stupid. Because most people know perfectly well that they shouldn't behave the way they're behaving. They normally just do it because think they can get away with it.

Rob them of that notion and suddenly, lo and behold, they remember the highway code! What miracle! Nasty fuckwits.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [288 posts]
27th August 2014 - 1:08

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There are some reviews on this site under reviews, and few more over on Bikeradar.

Don't think the perfect commuter camera yet exists - lets say 4 hours battery, HD, smallish, continuous loop and can be powered on the go by dynamo for set and forget ease... for under a hundred...

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [267 posts]
27th August 2014 - 7:35

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I have the Contour, happy with it. Thinking about some of the cheaper eBay GoPro clones for a rear-facing camera:

Does anyone have any experience of those? Seen decent reviews, but not sure about their relevance for me.

posted by jacknorell [388 posts]
27th August 2014 - 8:54

1 Like

I have this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rollei-ActionCam-Youngstar-Digital-Camcorder/dp/...

Really good for the money... footage is pretty clear and hd quality good. The sound is the one downside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jnVDYz1Vb4

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1256 posts]
27th August 2014 - 9:16

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I was eyeing up the Contour Roam 2, but in the end went with this one for my helmet:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monoprice-110159-MHD-Action-Camera/dp/B00BZWOHKQ

Picture quality is rather decent, comparable with the Contour - here's a direct comparison between the two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy24PqYLGLM

Sadly the MHD doesn't do time stamping, so I got another cheap one - but I wasn't happy with the picture quality of that one, hence it's currently on rear facing 'support cam' duty, as it were. It's this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00E9QEY76 (not recommended!)

Once I find my 'perfect helmet cam' that's where the MHD will go.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [288 posts]
27th August 2014 - 17:13

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I've been using these for the last year and are not bad...But then again I've not had a helmet cam to compare against Smile

http://sunnycamglasses.com/

posted by Yorkiechan [8 posts]
27th August 2014 - 21:37

1 Like

These don't look bad. I have not tried either of them

SJ4000
Review from Techmoan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnHDu-oW7_Y
Footage compared with GoPro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCZ837-yeOw
Cheapest ebay I could find
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sport-Cam-Camera-Waterproof-Full-HD-1080p-Video-...

Mobius (no display)
Review from Techmoan (who uses it on his car dash)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wmIyD1fM4M
(shows how to attach to helmet at about the six minute mark
Footage Compared with Gopro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqQ77nXSfVw
cheapest ebay I could find (that provided by Techmoan)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mobius-ActionCam-Full-HD-Sports-Camera-1080P-30F...
Bike footage
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mobius+camera+bicycle

posted by timtak [25 posts]
28th August 2014 - 3:05

1 Like

I looked into all the budget cameras quite a bit last year. Techmoan is a great guide, but my concerns were battery life, physical size, quality and cost.

Both the SJ4000 and Mobius have rubbish battery life, just over an hour. You can swap the battery on the SJ4000, the Mobius has it sealed inside.

The SJ1000 has the best battery life, upto 2.5 hours. It's also the largest and the mounts are a bit rubbish. I have seen one or two cyclists in London with them on their lids, and using the waterproof enclosure to do it. It's quite a fashion statement...

I think the Mobius beats them all on image quality, it's a stunning bit of kit for the price. In the end, I McGyvered a custom handlebar mount for the Mobius, and run it with an an external 2600mah USB battery (also handlebar mounted). With a 32GB card, that will run for over five hours, and all in cost me about £80. It's also the lightest setup, even with the battery. The camera is taped up to protect it, it's not waterproof but it's been out in some fairly terrible weather and survived unlike some lights I've owned.

I've also used the SJ1000 in its waterproof housing as a rear facing seatpost mounted camera, where it's handy to have something a bit bigger and more visible (I only use it when I need to ride in central London). Again, I had to McGyver the mount a little out of bits and pieces, and the original plastic parts aren't that strong,

The SJ4000 is compatible with GoPro mounts, which is ideal if you're less of a hobbyist.

Sorry, must share this video, cyclist with helmet mounted SJ1000 Wink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuGD_yQ952g#t=30

posted by bikebot [554 posts]
28th August 2014 - 19:57

1 Like

Thanks for further hands on information regarding the Mobius and SJ4000/1000.

One hour is not long but it is longer than most of my rides and I could get a spare battery or two if I use the SJ4000. I guess that I could also use my Dual 18650 charage on a USB lead to power either of the SJ4000 or Mobius. That video was great.

posted by timtak [25 posts]
29th August 2014 - 7:02

1 Like

I use a 'Ghost HD Drift' it has a helmet and bar mount, two long life battery's and a remote control that can be attached to your wrist or bike. The lens can be rotated so helmet or bike mounting can be any which way you choose.

It's also very pretty Love Struck

posted by Binky [109 posts]
29th August 2014 - 11:52

1 Like

I do understand your reasons for not wanting a GoPro sticking off the top of your helmet - I wear mine like this, and I look like a total pratt.

But I don't care. Big Grin

I would rather the rearward traffic see clearly I have a camera bolted to my head and possibly slow down a little, than just forget I am a human being, just like them, only less protected.

And if the worse ever does happen, hopefully the c**t who takes me out will get caught by the footage. And given community service.

Regards

Skybird

Skybird's picture

posted by Skybird [13 posts]
29th August 2014 - 22:40

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