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Absolute power does what?
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3,201 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
All,

I've posted a few of my videos over the years and really enjoy putting them together and sharing them. I usually run 3-4 cameras, a mix of my built in Chasecam, SD GoPro and HD Contour cameras. While the videos come out great they're a lot of work as I have to import all the separate videos and get them all in sync, they overlay the data. Huge PITA and while sometimes worth it I'd love something more integrated and automatic. Hell just remembering to start all the cameras is a pain.

So I'm looking for a system that would have 3-4 HD cameras all hard wired into one (or multiple linked) units. That way when they start they all start together and are basically in sycn already. Don't necessarily want the data overlaid automatically as I like the flexibility of doing that myself.

Anything out there that will do this? While I have a good budget I wouldn't say the sky is the limit or anything.

-Ross
 

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Short answer: No, not the way you want it.

Long answer: Maybe with an ugly hack.
I think most current-gen action cameras support controlling multiple cameras with either a remote or a smartphone app. If you can start all the cameras more or less at similar time, then they'll be in sync within a few seconds. Then you fine tune the sync manually in post.

OR There are camera cables that'll set the cameras to be in sync. AndOne of the example for that would be older gen GoPro stereoscopic 3D cable, and here's a hacked version for specialized purposes. This is needed because perceiving different images for the eye will be vomit-inducing. The said cable doesn't exist for current GoPro yet afaik.


Whatever you do, you will still will need to merge the video in post because the data rate and processing power to record from multiple HD camera is far greater than a typical embedded system and their microSD card.

OR You can probably buy/custom build a specialized equipment at non-consumer-friendly price point.


There are plugins for some video editors that'll sync multiple cameras. They are typically used for filming people, like interview settings . They typically use sound to sync the video on the editor's timeline.
Plural Eyes comes to mind, but I'm not sure if this is suitable for filming driving events.



My current workflow is:
1) Upload timing app data that has OBDII and GPS data to dropbox.
2) Create gauges in a gauge creating software.
3) Toss Video and gauges in video editor, and sync.
4) Make edits.
5) Render.

note: My gauge creation software can't handle 1440p, so I have to create the gauges on a green screen and do chroma key in the video editor to remove the green screen. This step is unfortunate, but only adds maybe a minute or two. The video quality could be superior, too, since I don't trust the gauge creator's video encoder.
If I were to add multiple cameras, they just have to be imported onto the video editor and sync'd by hand.
 

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Forum Founder
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Very soon. We had our mutilple SD video and data system, but of course the world has moved to HD. We (ChaseCam) are developing an HD recorder with multiple video feeds and real time graphics. We showed this system at PRI in December and release is this summer.
 

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Absolute power does what?
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3,201 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input guys, Randy I think you may know I have the original SD Chasecam now and other than the SD quality I really love it. Mainly I love that if the Traqmate is running the camera is recording and I just don't have to think about it. I have a 16GB CF card in it so don't ever have to worry about space issues either.

I did reach out to Race Logic about their VBox solutions and am considering going with their 4 camera SD solution, pending seeing some sample video to see what the quality is really like. In some ways SD would be ok so long as there isn't a ton of shake and jitter. After looking into the various options and thinking about what I really want here are the things I'm looking for:

- Ability to record each camera to it's own file. All files would be synced for start/stop.

- Ability to setup PIP in a very custom way if you can't do separate files per above. For example the nose camera would be the primary, full screen. Then a pedal camera in the bottom center, driver face (hopefully wide enough to get the shifter) in bottom left and passenger face in bottom right. Or pedal camera in bottom left, driver in bottom right and rear view up top where a rear view mirror would go. Having it auto-create the synced PIP video could be extremely helpful (save tons of time in post).

- Ability to turn on/off data overlay. For me the data piece isn't important at all so ideally that would be a separate module that I wouldn't even have to buy/pay for. Perhaps it's an add-on for those that don't already have a data system like Traqmate. Won't give up the Traqmate as I share data with friends.

- If it does data overlay the ability to customize that a fair bit would be nice. I'm sure that's a rather complicating piece for development and for me not key. Certainly the ability to chose certain gauges and enable/disable them.

- Data that reads from the CAN bus via the ODBII port (or some other easy integration). Specifically the ability to pull RPMs for a tach display. Obviously display things like lap times, etc.

Really I'd settle for something that would just start/stop a group of cameras to keep the files in sync. I haven't looked at the GoPro options but something tells me there may be a solution there in terms of starting all the cameras together. Basically what you've detailed Scotty as I don't mind doing some work in post. Sure having something created the synced PIP video would probably be ideal as that would save a ton of time. Something tells me that's a few generations away.

Randy what of the above are you guys considering? Any chance you're looking for technical beta testers? If you don't know I've worked in IT for the past 25 years, have done a ton of beta testing for a range of products from hardware to software, am as geeky as they come and obviously am your target market. Let me know if I can help in some more formal way.

-Ross
 

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Multi-camera systems

I think, all 'race' data logging systems have a multi-camera capabilities i.e. multiple (4 or more) with one recorder and synch to the data log.

I know of 2 that I have used or seen used:

1. AiM (MXL)
2. Race Technology
3. I am sure Mote3c has one ($$$).

None of the above is as inexpensive as running 4 GoPro's...

Anton
 

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Absolute power does what?
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3,201 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Interesting, do you know any details on the system? Something about it did seem off - it seems slow/laggy in a way. Not like the video is lagging but like things are sorta in slow motion, especially the pedal camera. Can't say I like the gauges at all so I'd want to dump that but that is pretty close to what I'm looking for.
 

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Absolute power does what?
Joined
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3,201 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I think, all 'race' data logging systems have a multi-camera capabilities i.e. multiple (4 or more) with one recorder and synch to the data log.

I know of 2 that I have used or seen used:

1. AiM (MXL)
2. Race Technology
3. I am sure Mote3c has one ($$$).

None of the above is as inexpensive as running 4 GoPro's...

Anton
Thanks Anton, I'll start looking into those. You're right about the cost of 4 GoPro's which is sorta what I'm doing now. I have a SD Chasecam built in the car, an SD GoPro for my pedal camera and 4 Contour HD cameras I can put on various locations. The issue is that I ofte n forget to start them and getting out/in the car on grid takes 3-5 minutes between unbelting and then belting back in - and asking the guy running grid to start them for me has proved to be very unreliable. So that's just such a PITA that I rarely run all of them but if I had an integrated system that started all 4 cameras at once I'd be far more inclined to use it.

Mainly I'm a video nerd (did a lot of video production in college back on the Amiga / Video Toaster days) and I do learn a fair bit from watching my videos - in terms of seeing things that I'm doing wrong that I'm not necessarily realizing in the car. I can post-track instruct myself and I use the videos with students/classroom session, etc.

-Ross
 

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Less is Better
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2,441 Posts
Interesting, do you know any details on the system? Something about it did seem off - it seems slow/laggy in a way. Not like the video is lagging but like things are sorta in slow motion, especially the pedal camera. Can't say I like the gauges at all so I'd want to dump that but that is pretty close to what I'm looking for.
The lag may be YouTube. It looks pretty good on my computer. His system is a few years old. It's mainly a data logger setup. This is the company:

Products - Racing - Race Technology Ltd - Automotive Technical Excellence

Here's the version he's using:

Products » Video » VIDEO4 - Racing - Race Technology Ltd - Automotive Technical Excellence

Here it's used in a 2-11 with the Lotus gauges.

 
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