With the miniaturization of camera components, including the increasing size of flash storage space in such small packages, the shrinking of cameras was inevitable. With the decrease in size, the ability to record just about every aspect of one’s life is also possible. Plus, the cameras can go where it was previously impossible. This makes it attractive to record those moments where we really feel alive – when the adrenaline is rushing. Thus, enter the world of the helmet cam(era).
After conducting a bit of research on which helmet camera offered the best quality video, the smallest size package, and the most robust features and camera body, I selected the VIO POV 1.5. It’s expensive, but I hope to recover some of the cost when I sell it later to fund another project.
The camera is the size of a lipstick case, and is connected to a solid state recording device which is about the size of a TV remote control. The recording device uses SD cards to record, and also includes a small LCD screen so you can make sure the camera is appropriately aligned for the recording. It also presents several options via menus, selectable via several small buttons below the LCD screen. A small remote control can be used to start and stop the recording without access to the recording device. The device is waterproof to three feet, and appears very solid and rugged. Perfect qualities for a helmet camera. So, what is the first thing anyone does with a new toy? Why, test it out, of course! I strapped the helmet camera to the front of an ATV and started out along the road. The camera recorded perfectly in DVD quality.
What would I change about the camera? First, I’d shrink the recording device. It needs to be about half as thick and about half as tall. Second, the ports on the bottom need an easier access cover, but the cover does its job effectively. Third, I’d make it waterproof to about 30 feet. That would cover SCUBA diving in most lakes around here.
I have a few more videos I would like to try. I plan to use it to see inside walls when running cable, to help see inside my car’s engine, and to look down the hole in the ice when I’m ice fishing. Either that, or I’ll see what it’s like to be a minnow in the minnow bucket!