News: *NEW AND IMPROVED* Helmet Cam

*NEW AND IMPROVED* Helmet Cam

*NEW AND IMPROVED* Helmet Cam

My first attempt at a helmet cam, yielded ok results, but I wanted something even better.  The downside to all of this was cost, but it is very close to what I want now.

Yes the camera is upside down, and yes there's a solid piece of fabric covering the view.  Read on to find out why this is better in every way to my other helmet cam.

*NEW AND IMPROVED* Helmet Cam

Here's what's on the camera, from left to right:

1. Canon 7d (of course) with 18-55mm kit lens.  I'm actually thinking a wider lens, like the Canon 10-22mm would be better for POV work, but for now this lens works fairly well.

2. The 7d is attached to a Manfrotto 577 quick release assembly.  This is extremely handy for quickly switching setups (tripod, slider, etc.).

3. Above the assembly is a Slik SBH-280 ball head.  This is invaluable for leveling and adjusting your camera, to account for your head and neck position.

4. This entire mount is attached to an aluminum strip which is screwed into the helmet.  Aluminum is great because it's lightweight and easily moldable, but stays rigid under the load.

5.  A cloth is wrapped around the helmet to prevent light leaking into it, which would render the next item almost useless, in bright sunlight. 

6. Behind the camera (visible in the next image) is a modified Vuzix Wrap 310.  It's basically a set of glasses that have video screens inside of the lenses.  When viewing through them, it's as if a screen is projected out in front of you.  I'm not going to lie, these glasses are of poor quality and were extremely frustrating to mount properly (the new XL versions may have corrected this, but I'm not sure).  Firstly,  the glasses don't sit right on your head, out of the box.  This makes them unusable without tilting them awkwardly up on your head.  So I took them out of their sunglasses shell (luckily they are easy to slide off).  I tried mounting the screens to other sunglasses and goggles that I had laying around, but to no avail.  Finally, I found a mic goose neck that I taped to the screens.  This is what is taped to the side of the helmet.  The gooseneck allows me to move the screens around and position perfectly to my eyes.  But even with all of the blackout fabric and perfect positioning, the screen image quality isn't great, but it is the only thing that works right now.

7.  Velcro-ed to the back of the helmet is a canvas bag (which I got from an Army surplus store) that holds lead fishing weights.  I used a few 12oz weights to counter balance the front, but I have a few different sized weights, should I need to adjust the balance.

*NEW AND IMPROVED* Helmet Cam

Pictured above are the screens from the Vuzix Wrap 310, mounted upside down, with tape, to a mic gooseneck.

I am still experimenting with this rig, but it works much better than the last one.  Because the camera is mounted closer to the center of gravity, it has far less camera shake.  This allows for running and very smooth walking.  I still want to try another setup with an hd field monitor.  But I'm still waiting for my monitor to arrive.

2 Comments

Excellent! I'd like to see the short film you mentioned. Is it posted anywhere online?

Hey Zach,

I shot a film with this rig a couple months ago, but it didn't turn out as I'd hoped. But I still plan on using this rig for something. I'll keep you posted.

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