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I'm Lost Drive What You See
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Guys,

I'm looking for a good cheap camcorder that we can tape in car footage with. We have a expensive hard drive camera that would shut off after I step on the gas.

Thanks
 

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eating dust taking photos
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3,740 Posts
Guys,

I'm looking for a good cheap camcorder that we can tape in car footage with. We have a expensive hard drive camera that would shut off after I set on the gas.

Thanks

Any MiniDV or flash memory based unit should work out just fine. There are lots of MiniDV camcorders for under $175.00 new...
 

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I am not here anymore
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2,798 Posts
The trick is to use an external lens and pack your camera in foam.
The hard part is having the right inputs/outputs and controls.
The hard part is remembering to turn it on and dealing with the camera's auto-off feature.

Also, at least in the vintage of DV cameras that I have had available, there was no A/D converter in the camera, so it couldn't take input from my lipstick camera. I used a Digital8 camera, which does have a A/D converter.

alan
 

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eating dust taking photos
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3,740 Posts
The hard part is remembering to turn it on and dealing with the camera's auto-off feature.

Also, at least in the vintage of DV cameras that I have had available, there was no A/D converter in the camera, so it couldn't take input from my lipstick camera. I used a Digital8 camera, which does have a A/D converter.

alan
There are a couple of Canon's and at least one Sony under $250.00 that should. I just can't seem to recall the model numbers at this point...
 

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Cheddarwagen Pilot
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1,805 Posts
Most of the DV cameras now have external input (advertised for recording TV shows).

I like the cheap Aiptek DVR's (A-HD is ~$150) and Sony CCD based bullet cams.

Like Alan, my biggest issue is remembering to start & stop recording (I've got more tire changes and transits than I care to admit). The auto-off was easy to disable (learned that before the first stage).
 

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Dramamine is for DramaQueens
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Most of the DV cameras now have external input (advertised for recording TV shows).

I like the cheap Aiptek DVR's (A-HD is ~$150) and Sony CCD based bullet cams.

Like Alan, my biggest issue is remembering to start & stop recording (I've got more tire changes and transits than I care to admit). The auto-off was easy to disable (learned that before the first stage).
The problem is to find a cheap unit that has AV in for the bullet cam or one that has a remote AND a mic jack for intercom sound.
 

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eating dust taking photos
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3,740 Posts
If you don't care about audio that much you could always get a GoPro.

Forum vendor Checkpoint Racing carries them and they seem to work quite well minus the audio issues (no external mic input and bad ambient mic). Grab 2-6 decent 2gb SD cards and you are good to go for a whole rally... Plus the suckers are tough...
 

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We use a Canon miniDV. External power (via an inverter) stops it from powering down after 5 mins of standby and it has a remote which makes it easy to start/stop when we're strapped in. I rigged up a hacked headphone speaker via a Radio Shack line amp from the Peltor audio out and Velcro'd it to the front of the camera! We get a great blend of intercom and car audio. Here's a sample. Only problem now is that we pick up some RF interference when the radio bursts our APRS packet.

Simon
 

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Kevin Welker
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479 Posts
I just purchased the Matt Johnson recommended Aiptek A-HD+ cam along with a $25 16GB SDHC memory card from newegg.gom. It has all the inputs for external cam and audio.

Now what bullet cams are recommended that do not break the bank?
 

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Driver & Navi
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827 Posts
I just purchased the Matt Johnson recommended Aiptek A-HD+ cam along with a $25 16GB SDHC memory card from newegg.gom. It has all the inputs for external cam and audio.

Now what bullet cams are recommended that do not break the bank?
Kevin,

I also just bought an Aiptek unit, too.

I bought one of these bullet cams on ebay.

There are a ton of them. Search for "Bullet cam sony 580". I think I paid $114+shipping.

The quality of the bullet cam is just OK. I haven't tried it in the rally car yet, but I did screw around with my street car. I think it will be just fine for the vast majority of the in-car video needs that I have. I have real suspicions about the claims made by the 3-4 Ebay vendors selling these. They claim to use a Sony chipset and be 580 lines. I couldn't find any other references on the web to Sony 580 line chips, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I also found only a few reviews for these cameras (Look for "Extreme Cam helmet/bullet cam"), but I am fairly sure that these are all "fake" reviews because they all appear on forums in May and are posted by someone making their first post.... and it's the identical review on like 10 forums around the world.

The quality from the video in my street car was a little grainy, but not too bad. I'm just not sure how much to expect from a tiny little lens like that. We've been using a 15 year old 8mm camera mounted on the rollcage. The video was pretty good when it wasn't bouncing around (which was almost never).

The carrying case with the camera is basically useless. The "stereo" mic is super crappy. But I plan to use the output from the Terraphone anyway.

I have some .mov files that I could probably share with you so you can see the quality, but they're pretty similar to the ones that Matt shared in the other thread.

I'd love to hear from someone who has a ChaseCam bullet camera. How does that look?

Anyone know what the "pros" use?

Doug
 

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Dramamine is for DramaQueens
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Does anyone know if you plug in an external mic if the built in mic also pics up sound? I don't have a way to test it, but I was wondering if I can get the sound of the car as well as intercom/scanner.
Generally it will kill the internal mic. but you can split the feed into the stereo input and add a second (better) mic to collect in-car sound.
 

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I'm Lost Drive What You See
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
WOW thanks guys for all the responses, YEAH we did check the stand by it was the first thing we checked. The Camera didn't like being strapped to the car.

I'm going to go with the gopro cam it looks bullet proof and it looks like it can take a beating.

Steve
 

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I am not here anymore
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Dramamine is for DramaQueens
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Here's some of my video from Pines, recorded with a 520 line ChaseCam and higher settings, then compressed to xvid and youtubed. be sure to check the high quality version. The biggest issue is that the chasecam interlaces which doesn't look so great on a computer but looks great on a TV.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPTWPYYI1P8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs5SkKlXAIg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mSnW8o3Zkw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0ln63zYgDE
what were you recording with ... the chase digital unit?
 

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Hi Keith, yes, that's recorded with the pdr 100 on one step down from best quality. I get 43 minutes on a 2GB card at those settings, perfect for changing at each service. I put reminders in my notes to turn it on and off. Audio is straight out of the peltor.

You can see the interlacing in the jagged trees, but I find you are it more before compression and it softens when put online. I'll try to post up a short uncompressed clip later tonight.
 

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One other thing, I originally bought the chase cam bullet to feed my miniDV camera but it eventually failed so I upgraded to the pdr.
 
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