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Discussion Starter #1
I need to get a new camera to record what I do in the car during an autox. I had a samsung NV3 and it worked pretty good other than quite a bit of wind noise. I tried a one of the new samsung dual view cameras, but the sound was great but it jumped around alot so it got returned. My NV3 died today, so I need to find something that works great with no jumping(NO image stabilization becuase that seems to be what does it), along with HD video preferrably. What kinds of cameras are you guys using with success? I would prefer a dual purpose camera because gopro's and I dont seem to get along, lol.
 

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Well, I was gonna say GoPro. I had the regular one for a few years with no issue's. Got the HD now but haven't even used it yet. One of the guys I know uses a regular ol camera that takes video's and he's vids look real good. Trick is in the way you mount it so it doesn't vibrate. He uses a small towel between the camera and dock.
 

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I've got this camera and this WIDE angle lens.

Mounted to an I/O port rollbar mount. and using an homemade L-bracket to provide a more robust mount. Read this thread on bimmerfourms.com

Here is a video you can gauge the amount of stability. NOTE: somehow, I smudged the lens before my run, so it appears to be WAY out of focus, but you get an idea of how well it does with vibration...


I still need to get some 20% tint to optimize the setup, but it works pretty well as is. Sound is only ok, lots of wind noise. I think I am going to get a separate mic setup and use my software to link them together.

I've also used the camera skiing, etc. It works well for the money...
 

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I've never bought a camera just for in-car recording but rather use what I have lying around. I used to use an old Kodak 8mp digital camera that would pick-up wind noise pretty bad. I recently got a Samsung SMX-F40 video camera that is much better with the wind noise. I haven't used it much yet. My girlfriend just purchased a 14mp Sony Cybershot DSC-H55 camera that I haven't tried yet, it takes great pictures though.

This is probably the best video example of the old Kodak camera and it's wind noise. I'm currently using a different mount that is a little higher and can focus though the windscreen better.

 

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I'm only going to make two recomendations because there's so many cameras out there that will work fine.

First, the standard seem to be the GoPro Motorsports HD. It's not the best, but it is the most economical, especially when you take into account the cost of the mounts you'd have to buy to duplicate the capabilities of the GoPro. Image quality is pretty darned good -- god enough to many broadcast shows like Mythbusters.

Second, whatever you get, use an I/O Port camera mount if you can. this is a FANTASTIC device, provided you have a roll bar to mount it to. (If you're handy with metalworking, you can make other mounts for it as well.)

When it comes to cameras, getting one with image stabilization is important. It makes a big difference.

Also, avoid cameras that record to DVD or an internal hard drive. Hard drives don't operate well in high vibration or high g-load environments (most 2.5" harddrives in cameras shut themselves down when subjected to high g-loads, assuming the camera has been dropped.) Direct to DVD cameras have to do DVD encoding on the fly in realtime, and since powerful CPUs are expensive, they use cheap ones and compromise on image quality instead. When good is HD video if it's pixelated?

Instead get a camera that records to non-volatile memory (SD cards, SDHC, compact Flash, or internal flash memory,) OR get one that records to tape. I use both and either seems to work equally well, though getting the video off of tape and into the computer is slower than getting it off a flash device.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My dad has used a couple video cameras that record to tape and not very many of those can take a watchable video. And the ones that did have a watchable video did not have image stabilization. I dont know if I got lucky with this camera or not, but it took great video which is why I was surprized the second samsung was such crap
 

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My dad has used a couple video cameras that record to tape and not very many of those can take a watchable video.
I doubt it's because the cameras used tape.

Tape is VERY vibration tolerant. I used to work on military vehicles as a software engineer (Apache, F-35, F-22, RC-135, ARH-70, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and several UCAVs.) Every one recorded video (generally gunsight cameras,) to tape until recently.

The space shuttle flight computers use magnetic tape for mass storage instead of disk drives for the same reason -- better resistance to vibration.


And the ones that did have a watchable video did not have image stabilization.
Image stabilization isn't likely to cause problems.

There's a lot more to getting a good image than IS. First off, the camera MUST be solidly mounted. Any flex in the mount or its connection to the car is going to show up as camera shake, which blurrs the image. IR can deal with that to some extent, but not a whole lot. You HAVE to have a solid mount attached to a solid part of the car.

Having a lightweight camera helps a LOT. The heavier the camera, the harder it is to keep it from shaking. The mount has to be MUCH more rigid. Look at the GoPro setups. they work well not because they're super-rigid, but because the camera is so lightweight.

IR helps in that it can smooth out any camera shake that exists despite the mount -- to a point. Some cameras are better than others. My Cannon DV camcorder's IR setup appears to be pretty good in this recgard. I've seen older Sony 8MM camcorders absolutely freak out if you try to use IR. It seems that it's set up to handl a shaking hand but little else.


Two other things I left off earlier:

  1. Get a DC-DC power supply for your camcorder. Nothing sucks more than having the battery die just as the session starts. (Yes, you can use the AC power supply that came with the camcorder along with a voltage inverter, but the idea of having 110VAC inside a race car bothers me for some reason.)
  2. Get a camcorder with a remote control. Sooner or later you're going to forget to start recording and chances are also good that you won't be able to reach the darned thing while strapped in. A remote control velcro'd to the dash can be very handy..
 

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I use an older SONY that uses the VHSc (I believe) tape for in car

I also have a small lipstick camera for outside

here is a video


 
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