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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
I'm at the moment trying to figure out which HD camcorders that would be suitable for track use (as well as a little bit of 'normal' use).
From what I have been able to dig up, the following points is required to have a good solution:
Solid state storage.
Possiblity for wide angle lense(to record the sensation of speed)
The possibility for connecting an external microfone, to get the sound
recorded the way you like.

From the research I have done so far, the major issue is to get
sharp recording. I have understood that CMOS based cameras in particular
is susceptible to produce recordings that are rather blurry(due to vibration), but also CCD cameras are struggling.

I am aware of the chasecam option, but as far as I have understood
they have currently no HD solution available, although I have read that something is in the pipeline. (Although I would assume the initial price of such a solution would be rather high as well, given that other HD bulletcams are rather pricy)

Does any of you have experience of any HD cameras that would fit the
requirements for trackday video recordings?
 

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I recall a lot of Porsche guys use the Aiptek HD camcorder. They are very cheap (around $200?) and I remember seeing a video someone posted and the video quality was awesome.
 

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The Aiptek is a good cheap solution.

And our solution may be surprisingly affordable. But it will not be less than our present SD system, though we offer features and functions not found in Aiptek
 

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Of course the Aiptek can't compare to the Chasecam :bow: but its cheap enough for those that only do a few track days a year.
 

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I recently purchased a Panasonic HDC-SD9 HD camcorder for recording track sessions. I have not used it in the car as yet but it has solid state recording directly to an SDHC card and no moving parts. The 3 CCD imager produces beatiful video. The unit is small and light and I have mounted it to the passenger window via a suction cup mount. This will give the perspective of being a passenger in the car.

The camera also accecpts standard 28 mm lens, I have a wide angle and fish eye, should interesting!
 

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For Hi-Def, there are three categories:

1. $2,400 for the new Sony HXR-MC1 bullet camera setup, which maybe a bit expensive :eek:
2. $350 to $700 for numerous hand-held camcorders, all of which do a decent job
3. $120 to $200 for the very new, ultra-cheap HD camcorders

In group 3 would be the Aiptek-HD+, the Sony Webbie, the RCA EZ300HD and so on - a search on YouTube or Vimeo will give you clips to evaluate these cameras, although careful, sometimes the clip-author mangles the compression. Vimeo (if you have an account) allows you to download the original file for comparison

The main problem with most CMOS based camcorders - group 2. and 3. above is "rolling shutter" where the way in which the CMOS sensor is read to memory interacts with high speed motion or vibration to produce some strange "bendy/jelly" artifacts in the video. However, the Aiptek HD+ will run at 60fps which much reduces this effect.

The other problem with the camcorder solutions is they have relatively large, massy bodies, so are prone to mounting / vibration problems, hence a bullet camera is really the best solution.

You should give consideration to standard definition bullet-camera solutions

A. Chasecam is one solution Chasecam and this camera seems optimized for use in-car (handles the exposure problems of dar interior / light exterior very well) and as a CCD sensor doesn't have any rolling shutter issues. However, it produces interlaced video so there is some related ghosting, especially when passing vertical objects (trees, light poles etc.) which may or may not annoy you.

B. V.I.O POV 1.5 is another solution V.I.O. which uses a CMOS sensor but with a global shutter, so no rolling shutter issues. The downside is that it doesn't handle contrast as well as Chasecam, but produces progressive video which looks crisper than the Chasecam footage. Also has an LCD monitor built in which is nice for aiming / review. And is a "wearable" kit, so can be used for extreme sports.

There are other bullet cam + digital video recorder solutions, but the two above are what I'd consider

V.I.O POV is about $700 with accesories to install in a car - Chasecam is a little pricier. The ultra-cheap camcorders are less than $200. Your money, your choice ......... for my part, I have a Chasecam and recently a V.I.O. POV.

HD Bullet Cams can't come soon enough ......... calling Randy!
 

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If Randy had an HD Solution I would buy it today... Actually I believe Im pretty high on this list for when Chasecam comes out with HD Solution.
 

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Just recently in Skydiving anyway - a lot of folks looking for "budget HD" without having to sacrifice a whole bunch of quality, have been really raving about this compact camcorder: Sony CX100
 

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I recall a lot of Porsche guys use the Aiptek HD camcorder. They are very cheap (around $200?) and I remember seeing a video someone posted and the video quality was awesome.
I have used an Aiptek HD cam before. Super clear picture that was capable of reading the words on top and bottom of license plate from car ahead but the built in microphone was clipping really bad. I would suggest getting a camera with an external mic input. I would also suggest a remote for easy recording.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys!
Lots of good info.

Randy: Sounds good regarding price on your future HD solution. I'm fully aware that you have some really nice features that would be nice to have.
My "dream setup" is a dual camera HD chasecam + a HD camcorder for fitment inside the cabin :drool:. (depending on the price and my wallet we will see what's possible ;) )
So I thought I'd start of with a decent quality camcorder, which I could use for hollydays etc. as well.

I am considering the Aiptek (apparently they have a new version with the possibility for an external mic).
But as a "normal" camera it seems to be a bit basic.

The Panasonic HDC-SD9 is a camera I have also been looking at. And I have seen some recordings that have been decent, but I have seen a few remarks
that it is just as bad as any CMOS based camera. Could it just be down to the configuration of the camera?

The Sony CX100, is a camera I am not familiar with. I have not seen it in any of my local shops. Does any of you know if it has a different model number outside the US? (I'm located in Norway)


BTW: While I'm at it. A couple of questions regarding the chascam solutions.
Does the Dual camera solution record two full resolution video streams that might be edited together later, or are they composed PIP in the recording unit to one video stream. Is it possible to adjust the shutter speeds of the cameras?(apparently one can create different sensation of speed by tweaking the shutter speed)
Also how weather proof are the chasecam cameras?
I might attach the cameras to the outside of a car in snow and ice at temperatures as low as - 20 to - 30 degrees Celsius
 

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The PIP solutions are not separate streams but hard encode the videos together which is the downside of that solution as compared to using two recorders and doing PIP in editing.

Cameras are totally waterproof and handle freezing.
 

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For Hi-Def, there are three categories:

1. $2,400 for the new Sony HXR-MC1 bullet camera setup, which maybe a bit expensive :eek:
The Sony is $3k.

The guys listing it at $2.4k are a bait and switch place and they will not sell it at that price.
 

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Patricko

You're right (almost) as it's $2,900 from B&H Photo Video (reputable!) which makes me even more sure that it maybe too expensive :p

HXR-MC1 @ B&H

And, although Sony bills it as a "crash cam" it doesn't look very rugged to me :shrug: with a 43mm equivalent lens not seeming wide enough for in-car or on-car use?

Anyway, I am really eager to get more details / pricing on Randy's HD solution :clap:

Chris
 

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I was just looking into this myself. I really like the Chasecam, but it was expensive and from what I understand, only works in a car. I wanted a setup that I could use in a car, while I was mountain biking, or while I was karting, so something more portable and with the ability to run on batteries.

The Aiptek cameras were appealing. They are dirt cheap. Walmart has the Action HD for $160, and this model can take an external camera and I believe an external mike.
Walmart.com: Aiptek Action High Definition 1080p Silver Digital Camcorder: Camcorders

The downside was that it was not really an all in one unit if you added the bullet cam - just too many cables for me.

I really, really was tempted by the VIO POV.1. I found a place online that bundles the POV.1 with the wide angle camera head, a DC adapter for mounting in a car, a mount that threads to standard camera tripod threads (so I could use it with my Chasecam suction cup mount!), and a bunch of other goodies for $600:
VIO POV.1 DC Power Bundle - Helmet Camera Central

In the end though, my ADD kicked in and I ended up with a new laptop. :shrug:

One of my coworkers did buy the Aiptek linked above, so I might be able to get a hands on review of it soon.
 

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I think that HD camcorder + external camera = SD camcorder. The camera feed is SD.
 

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I was just looking into this myself. I really like the Chasecam, but it was expensive and from what I understand, only works in a car. I wanted a setup that I could use in a car, while I was mountain biking, or while I was karting, so something more portable and with the ability to run on batteries..
Just FYI, I originally designed the ChaseCam system for my shifter kart and internal AA batteries can be used to power the unit for 2-3 hours.

SO not sure why someone would think it only works in a car.

There are though smaller systems out there now. We could make our's smaller, have put it on a list of things to do.
 

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I think that HD camcorder + external camera = SD camcorder. The camera feed is SD.
Correct.

Even the present PDR is fed a 16:9 signal will record a 16:9 frame. But not many 16:9 bullet cameras.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've been looking at the Sony CX100 as mentioned above. It seems to be very promising(at least for skydiving), but I have yet to find any in-car recordings with that camcorder. Have any of you found any?

BTW, apparently the equivalent european model number for this camera is HDR-CX105E
 

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If I've got my math right, the field of view of the Sony CX100 is just ~ 40 degrees which would be way too narrow for useful in-car work :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I thought it was possible to fit wide angle lenses to that camera, is that not the case?

If I've got my math right, the field of view of the Sony CX100 is just ~ 40 degrees which would be way too narrow for useful in-car work :shrug:
 
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