Calvin vs bike

Hi def helmet camera

I picked up the newest version of the #808 keychain camera. I've had a #3 (standard def) for a bit over a year now and it's been OK for the < $20 I paid for it, but a low battery life and lower resolution limited its usefulness.

The new version, the #16, is a result of a very nice collaboration between the Chinese manufacturer and the user community. These cameras are heavily used by radio control airplane buffs, and also cyclists and to some extent car users. New features suggested on forums have been incorporated, and firmware updates have been done several times.

This version is high def (720p, 30fps), has a bunch of configuration options, such as selectable resolution, audio level, loop recording and more, plus it can run from an external power source, has a proper LiIon charging circuit to prevent overcharging, and has a replacable internal battery (and new batteries are actually available). It records on micro-SDHC and can take up to a 32m memory card, all for $38 shipped.

I also paid $5 for a little box that takes two AA cells and puts out 5V into a USB socket (intended as an emergency charger for iPods and phones and such). With that on my helmet, I should be able to record for hours. The old unit could only make it about 45 minutes and only if you remembered to charge it, and it could be overcharged easily, damaging the battery.

I tried it out this evening on a short ride and it works well. I can make out license plate numbers of passing cars, which I could not before.

So for < $45 plus a memory card and a pair of rechargable AAs, it's a darn nice helmet camera solution. Not waterproof, but for the price it's hard to complain.
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Re: sample video
It will be Friday before I ride again, I'll post some video after that ride.