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Budget Helmet Camcorder
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Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Budget Helmet Camcorder on 05/15/2014 21:33:15 MDT Print View

I'm considering a cheap helmet cam for two reasons. First I've played around with shooting videos on trips with my P&S. I really like being able to see live footage not just still shots. But I'd like better quality, my Nikon's footage is pretty shaky.

I also going to be doing some river paddling and there isn't time to stop and take pictures when you're shooting a rapid.

I'm looking at the JVC GC-XA1 and the Contour Roam 2 right now. Both are well under $200 which is important right now. Both seem to take fairly similar video. I'm thinking the winner is going to be the GC-XA1 due too is screen. Seem like that would be nice if I wanted to review what I've just filmed. With the Contour I have to take it home to see what I did.

Any other suggestions or opinions?

How well would it work to just strap my STYLUS TOUGH-3000 onto the bow of my raft and use that?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
JVC GC-XA1 vs. Contour Roam 2 on 05/16/2014 11:25:38 MDT Print View

Anybody use either of these?

Edited by Cameron on 05/16/2014 11:26:11 MDT.

Andrew Stow
(AndyS) - F - MLife

Locale: Midwest USA
Roam on 05/16/2014 12:18:44 MDT Print View

I have the Contour Roam. I've used it for helmet cam footage, and strapped to my bicycle.

Easy user interface. Slide switch forward to start, back to stop. Beeps to confirm.
Laser to ensure level.
Good video quality for the price.
Rainproof out of the box.
Nice selection of mounts.
No way to change settings without some sort of host computer/phone/tablet.
No screen.

Sound quality is terrible. May be just my unit. Gain all the way up, nearly inaudible.
Forgets the date & time fairly regularly. Again, may just be mine.
Very limited support (pretty sure they're effectively out of business.)
Switch comes on too easily. I have had hours of video of the inside of my pocket.
No way to remote power while recording without compromising waterproofing.

There are two main video modes: wide angle 720, and a narrower angle 1080. The helmet cam footage I took at 1080 narrow angle is essentially unusable. Way too shaky. Mounted to my bicycle frame in that mode for on-road use, it's fine. If there's going to be any shake, make sure it's on the wide-angle mode.
Use a piece of gaffer tape over the switch to prevent accidentally having it turn on.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Roam on 05/16/2014 14:56:39 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips Andy.