Everything is on YouTube these days. Then why not your anecdotes from some off-track motorcycling be there? Helmet camera and camcorders are gaining momentum in the market as we all grow fonder of digital documentation of our lives. Helmet cameras are used to film your race, your trail, your stunts and the very enthusiasm of the moment. With the right kind of camera and mount, you can fix these up on your helmet and make your ride memorable for everybody. As capitalism goes, there are a wide variety of helmet cameras in the market. If you are new to this you might want to get your priorities in order, to buy the best motorcycle helmet camera.
To help you out, we have drawn up a buying guide that will walk you through the steps of purchasing a helmet camera:
There are cameras that can be mounted on your motorcycle itself, on the handlebar or fenders for example. But these are prone to wiggling owing to bumps in the ride. You might end up with fuzzy video that needs to be recreated manually. Handlebars also need to be correctly balanced and the weight of camera can skew this. The best point of view for any motorcycle ride is your own. Be it the scenery or the oncoming vehicle that tried to run your over. So, motorcycle helmet camera is your best bet if you want any decent footage of your ride.
2. Image resolution:
Helmet cameras are available for different levels of picture quality. Usually a high clarity picture will take more space on the memory card. The measure of resolution in helmet cameras is denoted by ‘lines of resolution’. You have both vertical lines of resolution and horizontal. Vertical line resolution is the number of horizontal lines that can be resolved on a display. Since these lines are tallied from top to bottom, this is called vertical resolution. A TV image is always made of 480 horizontal lines so vertical resolution is fixed. In a helmet camera, the deciding factor is horizontal line resolution as this depends on the recorder. You should check your recording medium for the maximum horizontal line resolution it can display. Your helmet camera should have higher horizontal line resolution than this for a good quality picture.
Always note that 1080p will hog more memory than 960p or standard 720p definition.
3. Frame speed:
A video is a quick succession of images. These images, called frames, must run fast for a better video. Helmet cameras record at 30 frames per second or more. As the frame per second count increases, so will the memory space of the recording.
4. Camera Memory:
If you plan to be on the road for a long period, camera memory becomes a major consideration. Many helmet cameras have an option to adjust the picture quality. So if you are close to your subject, you might not need high resolution. This gives you some control over memory management. Most helmet cameras use SD cards ( Secure Digital ) to save your visuals. These can be easily connected to PCs using an SD card reader to transfer images and videos. Expensive helmet cameras allow you to directly stream this video to your phone app or laptop using Wi-Fi. With SD cards being so small and affordable, you don’t have to worry much about memory space.
5. Battery life:
The cardinal kill-joy in an electricity-driven world. Battery life ranges from 1 to 4 hours on helmet cameras. Shooting higher quality will drain more battery life.
GPS tracking is more of an additional perk. In off-track riding, it is possible that you might get lost or off the off-track. Coupling GPS and helmet camera can help you determine whether you are putzing around in the same area.
As with all electronic devices, brand value buffs the balance of this decision. Helmet cameras are produced by a handful of manufacturers of which GoPro is the easily identifiable one. GoPro helmet cameras are climate-friendly with waterproof features. They are as rugged and ready for their ride as the motorcycle rider. Apart from helmet cameras, they also have a bunch of supporting accessories in their line-up.
There are a number of knick knacks that can aid your helmet camera for a successful performance. Bolt on Wi-Fi kits allow you to directly download your film on phones and laptops. LCD screens can be used in lieu of Wi-Fi kits to view the footage from your helmet camera. Waterproof cases that can protect the helmet cam but still allow it shoot unobtrusively are marketed separately. 3D kits couple two helmet cameras and 3D glasses to view your race in 3D. Android and Iphone apps to control helmet cameras are common. They let you view the video and manage settings without disturbing the cam.
Learn more about buying the right helmet with our helmet buying guide