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      08-16-2008, 11:36 AM   #1
lucid
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Camera recommendations for the track?

I will be buying a camera for recording on the track. What do you recommend? Please speak from experience with a specific model rather than broad opinion on electronics. Meaning, please recommended devices that you know work well as opposed should work well.

The only requirements I can think of are that it should have effective image stabilization and be able to record 2 hrs of video, which, I suppose, is a function of desired resolution and memory size, but I am curious about what people think is appropiate in that regard.

Thanks in advance.
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      08-16-2008, 11:50 AM   #2
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The "hero" is a great lightweight little camera that can be mounted just about anywhere...cheap too at about $180 with window mount

http://www.electricsupercharger.com/products-hero.html

I need to buy one before my next track day
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      08-16-2008, 01:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemang17 View Post
The "hero" is a great lightweight little camera that can be mounted just about anywhere...cheap too at about $180 with window mount

http://www.electricsupercharger.com/products-hero.html

I need to buy one before my next track day
Thanks. Does anyone have experience with this camera? Maybe another requirement is a mic jack as I might consider using an external mic.
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      08-16-2008, 01:22 PM   #4
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The industry standard is ChaseCam. Not cheap, but neither is the M.
http://www.chasecam.com/
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      08-16-2008, 04:33 PM   #5
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I started with a regular DV camcorder mounted onto a bar mounted onto the passenger headrest supports. At that location, you will probably need a wide angle lens adapter, assuming this is for DEs and you want to see A pillar to A pillar out the front window as well as your hands/steering wheel.

Relatively cheap these days, great quality, high res video, and most camcorders will do well with changing light conditions and interior/exterior brightness differences. But watching it you have to deal with tape winding, and if you want to upload, you have to connect it to your PC, transfer, edit, etc... becomes a bit troublesome to deal with. Would avoid hard drive/CD type camcorders if you go this route, the vibration is a problem from other people I know who have tried.

I then shifted to a "digital" recording solution a couple of yrs ago. Went with a Hoyt bullet cam (was cheaper than ChaseCam at the time would still take a look since I think they use the same Sony electronics for the bullet cams), connected to an Aiptek MPVR mini digital camcorder (was ~$100 at the time). The Aiptek camera/optics absolutely suck, but it does take a standard video input and converts/records to MPEG. So the bullet cam is just providing the video signal and the Aiptek is just digitizing and recording it. Nice thing about the Aiptek being a "camcorder" is that it has its own display screen, which is useful when mounting/aligning the bullet cam, plus I can play back and watch the video on the spot.

Nice thing is that I just take the memory card out, pop it into the card reader and I can just watch it on the PC as a video file. I only record at quarter VGA resolution, so I think about 2 hours will fit on a 2GB card. My bullet cam is only 380 lines of resolution, so more than enough for QVGA.

With the bullet cams, because they have a wide field of view and are lightweight, image stabilization is not really an issue IMO. There are probably newer/better digital video recorders now.

Assuming you are recording goal is more to be able to review what you did on the track, and aren't planning to produce a high def video, you can go with lower res digital solutions. lucid, I can send you a sample video if you want to see how it looks.
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      08-18-2008, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace996 View Post
The industry standard is ChaseCam. Not cheap, but neither is the M.
http://www.chasecam.com/
That looks good, but not sure if I want to shell out that much at this point. $1000 with the built-in accelerometer, which would be a must I'd say. Thanks.
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      08-18-2008, 09:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cchan View Post
I started with a regular DV camcorder mounted onto a bar mounted onto the passenger headrest supports. At that location, you will probably need a wide angle lens adapter, assuming this is for DEs and you want to see A pillar to A pillar out the front window as well as your hands/steering wheel.

Relatively cheap these days, great quality, high res video, and most camcorders will do well with changing light conditions and interior/exterior brightness differences. But watching it you have to deal with tape winding, and if you want to upload, you have to connect it to your PC, transfer, edit, etc... becomes a bit troublesome to deal with. Would avoid hard drive/CD type camcorders if you go this route, the vibration is a problem from other people I know who have tried.

I then shifted to a "digital" recording solution a couple of yrs ago. Went with a Hoyt bullet cam (was cheaper than ChaseCam at the time would still take a look since I think they use the same Sony electronics for the bullet cams), connected to an Aiptek MPVR mini digital camcorder (was ~$100 at the time). The Aiptek camera/optics absolutely suck, but it does take a standard video input and converts/records to MPEG. So the bullet cam is just providing the video signal and the Aiptek is just digitizing and recording it. Nice thing about the Aiptek being a "camcorder" is that it has its own display screen, which is useful when mounting/aligning the bullet cam, plus I can play back and watch the video on the spot.

Nice thing is that I just take the memory card out, pop it into the card reader and I can just watch it on the PC as a video file. I only record at quarter VGA resolution, so I think about 2 hours will fit on a 2GB card. My bullet cam is only 380 lines of resolution, so more than enough for QVGA.

With the bullet cams, because they have a wide field of view and are lightweight, image stabilization is not really an issue IMO. There are probably newer/better digital video recorders now.

Assuming you are recording goal is more to be able to review what you did on the track, and aren't planning to produce a high def video, you can go with lower res digital solutions. lucid, I can send you a sample video if you want to see how it looks.
Thanks for the this suggestion. This type of approach seems like a low-cost option, probably in the order of $250-$300.
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      08-18-2008, 03:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
Thanks. Does anyone have experience with this camera? Maybe another requirement is a mic jack as I might consider using an external mic.
A friend runs that site...he races the red 928 with Heros all over the place....including on the rear bumper....it gives some great footage....look him up on youtube and you can see for yourself...his handle is zanick
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      08-19-2008, 03:53 AM   #9
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I bought a JVC Everio. It records in Compact Flash card. Pretty light, good lense, $400 on ebay. It works quite well.
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      08-21-2008, 12:44 AM   #10
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Here's my low budget solution. My daughters low end Hitachi DVD camcorder. It records on 30 minute DVDs. So you essentially have to change out a disk per session. I hook it to a cruisecam.com mount which clips to the headrest mount. I think the mount was about $50. I put it on the driver's headrest so it's looking right over my right shoulder. It's quite adjustable for angle and position left and right.

Next problem is the camcorder battery, since it only lasts about an hour, I hooked up a small (350 watt) Radio Shack power inverter in my trunk which I previously secured with duct tape and cable ties to the bar that was next to the battery in the trunk on my E36. However for my E92, I'm going to use those metal pipe sinching things (can't think of the name), and secure it to just above the HD radio mount. (on my car with HD radio, left side of trunk, there's a plastic tray, I'm going to pull the tray out and secure the inverter to the metal mount for the radio.) I'm going to use this set up for this weekend and I'm going to hook it up tomorrow night, so I'll take pics.

I haven't done this in my E92 on the track yet, so this is the first attempt, however I did some test fitting tonight and it seems like it will work.

Here's some video using this setup in my E36. Perhaps not wide angle enough, but it's good enough for me. For the most part the camera is pretty steady, even on a rough track like Summit Point.


Here's some video using this setup in my E92, not on the track.


Not perfect, but it works great and it's low budget.
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