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Anyone Here Used a Helmet Cam?


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Hi, Bikers.
 

I’ve noticed the growing use of Helmet Cams these days. My guess is that they’re better quality and cheaper than those early models, as with all technology. I’d like to record a few trips once in a while, but it certainly won’t be an obsession. Thus, I don’t want to spend a small fortune on something that gets occasional use. Can anyone shed any light on the helmet cams in Thailand, or perhaps point me to some reviews? I really have no idea what I should be looking for.
 

Thanks in advance.
 

Stubby

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Can't go wrong with a GoPro if you can afford it.  Especially for their image stabilization.  I like my SJ Cams- the SJ6 and SJ7.  Also have an EKEN that's pretty nice (and cheap) and a XiaoMi.  Tons

I had a Cam on top but she complained that I was driving too fast and she kept falling off-road rash 

I had a chest strap for the cam, I didn't want it on the bike or helmet, I also used a battery bank so I didn't have to worry about the battery

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5 minutes ago, impulse said:

Can't go wrong with a GoPro if you can afford it.  Especially for their image stabilization.  I like my SJ Cams- the SJ6 and SJ7.  Also have an EKEN that's pretty nice (and cheap) and a XiaoMi.  Tons of choices out there in action cameras, most of which use GoPro compatible mounting accessories.  Unfortunately there's a lot of cheap garbage knockoff units with wonky operating systems.  I have a couple of those, too.

 

Don't be surprised if you get shaken down for having a modified helmet.  Kind of makes sense because a camera sticking out could cause injuries in a crash.  It's also pretty irritating to watch a helmet cam video that darts back and forth every time the rider moves his head.   You may want to mount yours on the handlebars. The SJ Cams have a great motorcycle mount with a waterproof connection to a USB charging cable.  Great if you want to record more than about an hour or 2- which is the capacity of a typical internal (replaceable) battery.

 

I'd suggest getting on Lazada to find out what's currently available in Thailand in your price range, then turning to YouTube for reviews and lengthy discussions (some way too lengthy) about the models that fit your budget and pique your interest.

 

Thanks for your detailed response, Impulse, it's most useful 😉 

I don't want to spend too much, but if the budget-end cams are not worth the plastic that covers them, then I'd sooner not bother. At least not until I'm a bit more enthusiastic about recording trips. Anyway, you've given me a few ideas to think about. The GoPro HERO 7 looks interesting, though a tad pricey. I think I'll go and check out the SJ Cams to see what they're all about. 😉

 

BTW, I agree, handlebar mount is probably the way to go. I have seen helmets online with a built-in cameras, but I can't find any review

 

Thanks again, buddy 😉

Stubby

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I used a Sena 10C for about 3 years to record my daily commutes back in the states and some riding through Northern Thailand.  What I liked about this camera is that it was relatively small, sleek and it mounted on the side of the helmet.  I'd buy it again if I was in the market for a helmet cam.  

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2 hours ago, Stubby said:

BTW, I agree, handlebar mount is probably the way to go. I have seen helmets online with a built-in cameras, but I can't find any review

I have no personal experience with cameras. But I read a couple of times about people who had problems with vibrations. If you mount the camera on the bike you will likely have those vibrations distorting the image quality. One and two cylinder bikes are mostly worse than 4 cylinder.

The vibrations should be no or only a small problem if your camera is on your helmet. 

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Tons of YouTubes showing how people mount their action cams to their scooters and helmets, along with the video they shoot for their channels.  You can buy a 50+ piece accessory pack of different mounts on Lazada, usually for around 500-700 baht.  And stop by most IT markets and you can find lots of different mounting gizmos, from dirt cheap to stupid expensive CNC machined, anodized monstrosities.  That's one great thing about action cams.  There are tons of accessories and a lot of them fit most brands.

 

The YouTubes are handy to see what you should look for and how to use some of the strange gadgets that come with the accessories.

 

Aside from the quality of the motion stabilization (look it up if you want to see comparisons on YouTube), GoPros are also waterproof, meaning that you don't have to use it in a waterproof enclosure that messes up your audio on the road.  Still, I was very happy with the video quality of my SJ cams for about 1/4- 1/3 the cost of a GoPro at the time.  I especially liked doing time lapse videos off my apartment and hotel balconies- but that's for another thread.

 

Just to be clear, I don't have a GoPro.  I never ponied up the big $$$.  I'd suggest trying out one of the cheaper (but well rated) models (SJCam, XiaoMi, EKEN) to see if it's something that interests you once the novelty wears off.  I'd rather take my learning lumps and maybe get bored with 1,500-2,500 baht worth of stuff than 15,000 baht worth.

 

Edit:  I just noticed that EKEN has put out a scooter enclosure for their H9R, which is the model I have (about 1200 baht plus 550 for the enclosure).  It allows you to run a USB charging cable to the H9R while it's in a waterproof enclosure.  Otherwise, the battery is good for 1-2 hours before you have to swap it out.  That puts the H9R up a notch in my book.

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On 10/15/2020 at 12:14 AM, pseudorabies said:

I used a Sena 10C for about 3 years to record my daily commutes back in the states and some riding through Northern Thailand.  What I liked about this camera is that it was relatively small, sleek and it mounted on the side of the helmet.  I'd buy it again if I was in the market for a helmet cam.  

Thanks, pseudorabies. Looks great, but can't justify that price for occasional use. 

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On 10/15/2020 at 12:45 AM, OneMoreFarang said:

I have no personal experience with cameras. But I read a couple of times about people who had problems with vibrations. If you mount the camera on the bike you will likely have those vibrations distorting the image quality. One and two cylinder bikes are mostly worse than 4 cylinder.

The vibrations should be no or only a small problem if your camera is on your helmet. 

Good points, OMF, I never thought or that. The workaround for a handlebar mount would be excellent image stabilization, but that comes with added cost, I guess.

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On 10/15/2020 at 3:07 AM, impulse said:

Tons of YouTubes showing how people mount their action cams to their scooters and helmets, along with the video they shoot for their channels.  You can buy a 50+ piece accessory pack of different mounts on Lazada, usually for around 500-700 baht.  And stop by most IT markets and you can find lots of different mounting gizmos, from dirt cheap to stupid expensive CNC machined, anodized monstrosities.  That's one great thing about action cams.  There are tons of accessories and a lot of them fit most brands.

 

The YouTubes are handy to see what you should look for and how to use some of the strange gadgets that come with the accessories.

 

Aside from the quality of the motion stabilization (look it up if you want to see comparisons on YouTube), GoPros are also waterproof, meaning that you don't have to use it in a waterproof enclosure that messes up your audio on the road.  Still, I was very happy with the video quality of my SJ cams for about 1/4- 1/3 the cost of a GoPro at the time.  I especially liked doing time lapse videos off my apartment and hotel balconies- but that's for another thread.

 

Just to be clear, I don't have a GoPro.  I never ponied up the big $$$.  I'd suggest trying out one of the cheaper (but well rated) models (SJCam, XiaoMi, EKEN) to see if it's something that interests you once the novelty wears off.  I'd rather take my learning lumps and maybe get bored with 1,500-2,500 baht worth of stuff than 15,000 baht worth.

 

Edit:  I just noticed that EKEN has put out a scooter enclosure for their H9R, which is the model I have (about 1200 baht plus 550 for the enclosure).  It allows you to run a USB charging cable to the H9R while it's in a waterproof enclosure.  Otherwise, the battery is good for 1-2 hours before you have to swap it out.  That puts the H9R up a notch in my book.

Excellent points as usual, impulse 😉 The EKEN H9R sounds interesting. I'll see if i can find a few reviews on YouTube. Everything points to GoPro, though, so it might be worth holding back for a while. Biking season starts properly next month, so I'll take my time 😉 Thanks very much for your detailed feedback.

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On 10/15/2020 at 4:38 AM, scubascuba3 said:

I had a chest strap for the cam, I didn't want it on the bike or helmet, I also used a battery bank so I didn't have to worry about the battery

Thanks, scubascuba3. That's not something I would have thought about. The stuff you learn on TV 🙂

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12 hours ago, revgreen said:

I've been using a GoPro Session for about 5 years now. I will upgrade soon. GoPro is definitely great.

Thanks, Revgreen. It certainly seems the brand consider going by what folks have said so far. It seems like its stabilization technology is the best selling point.

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21 minutes ago, Stubby said:

Thanks, Revgreen. It certainly seems the brand consider going by what folks have said so far. It seems like its stabilization technology is the best selling point.

I bought an Apeman cam from Amazon, good for videos incase of accident but not the best for videos you might want to look at later, also the stabilisation in it wasn't great. Highly rated on Amazon though so it all hangs on what you want it for

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