Helmet Camera Reviews
There are some amazing things that can be captured by a helmet camera. If you love to bike, rock climb, go kayaking, or simply want to capture any adventure without needing to use your hands, a helmet camera is definitely the way to go. There are a number of different models out there, and many of them are a little on the expensive side. Be sure to keep in mind what kind of mounting you’ll need. Many of these cameras require you to purchase a specific kind of helmet and mount, and that will effect your decision about what camera you choose. Also, consider what kind of sport you’ll be using the camera for. For instance, if the sport involves water, then you’ll certainly need to purchase a camera that is waterproof. If you intend to ski with your camera, then you need to find a model that can easily withstand the cold. Lastly, the price of the camera is important. It’s essential that you steer clear of the cheaper versions because often they just can’t stand up against the rigor of sports.
Helmet Camera Buying Guide
Hands free helmet camera technology has come a long way. The resolution, ease of use, reasonable prices, and fun make personal action cameras within reach for outdoor enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies of all types. Since new models keep arriving, helmet camera reviews are outdated almost as soon as they are made. Here’s a helmet camera guide to show the way.
The activities that you want to do, and how you will watch your videos, are the keys to choosing the best helmet camera for your lifestyle.
Activities speak to features and accessories. For snow sports, waterproofing and temperature range will be important. Skydivers may be interested in altimeter triggers, while SCUBA divers will want to explore waterproofing depth and light sensitivity. Shock resistance for a rough landing or fireproof for rescue workers are also demands that will filter out unsuitable choices.
Features of Helmet Camera
Most wearable cameras come in a cylinder (AKA lipstick or bullet) or rectangle shape. Others, less suited to helmet use, come in a button or other shapes with much less support for accessories.
A rectangle is more likely to have a built in viewer so you can see your videos immediately. Most are LCD, a few are touchscreens.
If you will be wearing gloves during use, be sure the controls are manageable.
The quality of your video is a combination of resolution and frame speed.
A resolution under 720×480 will be noticeably pixelated. Helmet camera HD videos must have a 16:9 aspect ratio, specific frame rates, and resolutions of 1080 or 720 horizontal lines to be official. Quad HD, ultra HD, or cinema quality 4k resolutions are available, too.
Frames per second (fps) is the number of sequential pictures used to create one second of video. This can vary within a camera, depending on the resolution selected. The normal playback rate is 30 fps.
60/30 fps means it films at 30 fps then shows each frame twice. Real 60 fps is noticeably smoother and 60 fps, or more, allows for slow motion. 120 fps is for super slow-mo.
Resolution for still images is measured separately, in megapixels.
The field of view, AKA degree of angle, measures how much of the environment around you is captured. More is better, until it’s not. For example, a “fisheye” lens of 170° can cause barrel distortion, where lines are no longer straight.
Some models can handle extremely low light conditions and a few even have infrared or other night vision technologies. Others have troubles balancing the darks and brights of a normal scene, and should be avoided.
Digital zoom and image rotation is only available in some models.
A helmet camera external microphone accessory or a built-in microphone can provide sound for your video. Pay attention to mono versus stereo recording.
Helmet Camera Battery Life
Most batteries are rechargeable and often last one to ten hours. Battery life tends to be exaggerated more than any other specification, so test your device under a variety of conditions before an event that can’t be recreated.
Removable backup batteries are a good idea until you get a clear idea on how long your device will keep running. Temperature also has a significant impact on battery life.
Camera weight tends to be just a matter of ounces. Often the batteries and accessories weigh more than the actual device.
Data Storage And Output
Because internal memory would be too limiting, a removable data card or micro memory stick (sold separately, in most cases) is usually supported to record your videos. Check the class and maximum size of the removable memory.
You also need to get the movie out of your camera. Aside from the memory card or stick, options include different sizes of USB or HDMI cable, and WiFi.
Remote Functions and Preview
Some models allow for remote monitoring or control using wrist-mounted equipment or smartphone. This can be quite handy.
If, however, the camera is on your helmet and you are looking at a remote monitor or controller then that’s filmed, too. This works better if you either mount the camera away from your head or if a friend manages the remote. If someone else is helping, check the connectivity distance specifications.
Helmet Camera Mount
Attaching your camera to a helmet comes with a variety of choices to meet every activity. Compatibility with common brands is the way to maximize your possibilities.
Helmet camera side mount or top mount is an early choice to make. Protect against things that might routinely brush your helmet like branches or rope. Mounting location is also a factor based on your point of view, for example, on the left side in a counterclockwise race.
Mounting hardware to fit various helmets comes in a truly dazzling array of options based on straps, clips, double-faced tape, or some combination thereof.
If you take the occasional break from activities requiring a helmet, alternative mounting options are virtually unlimited. Shop for a shoulder, wrist, foot, chest, or even pet harness. Action camera mounts also span nearly every mode of transportation from air to sea, including cars and bikes.
Protection From The Elements
The majority of cameras are at least somewhat weather resistant, but most will need a case for protection. If you expect to be near water, snow or rain, it’s a good investment. Be certain one is available for your style of camera and maximum water depth before the camera purchase.
Be advised, the sealed environment will reduce your sound quality and limit accessories that plug in to your camera.
Helmet Camera Options
Helmet camera kits can be augmented with any number of accessories, but some upgrades like an altimeter only come built-in.
A helmet camera stabilizer can either be software that minimizes the appearance of shaking or an actual accessory like a helmet camera gimbal that manages physical position.
If built-in, helmet camera GPS telemetry can track your location and speed. This is great for sports where your finish location may be variable due to currents, or for safety in case of an accident.