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Author Topic: Digital video recorder
Rob Gendreau
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I was using an old Canon ZR with a lipstick cam for video. It's died. I need a new digital video recorder that works with SD cards. Suggestions? It's not hooked up to data acquistion or anything.

chrisp993 Verified Driver
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Rob

Two options, both full hi-def, both use SD cards. Note that even hi-def "lite" of 1280 by 720 is approx. 2GB/hr which may be more than you are used to with the Canon ZR. Full hi-def of 1920 by 1080 would be much more, so you may need new SD cards!

Lower cost would be the Go Pro HD: GoPro Motorsports Kit at about $300

Higher cost would be the new BulletDVR HD-1 from BulletDVR at about $550.

The bump in cost for the BulletDVR unit buys you (among other things) higher quality, longer battery life, LCD screen, control over image parameters e.g. exposure and direct HDMI out from the DVR e.g. to a flat panel. Sample video at: Bullet DVR @ Vimeo

The AIM Smartycam which Mark (below) mentions is also a really nice and very compact, portable unit but is std-def only which is a shame [Frown]

Chris

Mark Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I used to use an Aiptek camera with bullet cameras. It worked well and was very inexpensive. Using bullet cameras avoids having to rely on the wimpy camera mount in this camera and mount the camera somewhere safe and secure. I just velcro'd the camera to my radio box so it was easy to manage the controls and aim the bullet cams. With industrial velcro it wasn't going anywhere. Now using an AIM Smartycam. A very nice upgrade.

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Mark
http://www.ironcanyonmotorsports.com

W. Bonsell
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Year : 1991
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I have a GoPro HD and the picture and sound quality is excellent. It does record in mp4 format and I haven't quite figured out how to covert it to a wmv format for easy viewing and uploading on Vimeo.

My 5 year old computer can't handle playback on the SD card, but highly recommend the camera. Bought the cage mount and there is zero vibration.

Bill

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William Bonsell
SCCA/ICSCC #26
SM/ITA

Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Enduro addict

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Bill, exactly 30 seconds of Google gave me this:

http://www.vimeo.com/help/faq#what_types_of_video_files_does_vimeo_allow

There's probably a lot more info there in the Vimeo help center which will solve your problem. Or you can try any of the several solutions your racing buddies attempted to provide you in the pits last weekend. [Wink]

--------------------
Crew Chief, 3D Racing #64, aka Team Scrappy 2.0
3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
E2 Champions, 2008 25 Hours of Thunderhill

W. Bonsell
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Geez Pat...take it easy on me...not all of us are as computer savy as you Boeing guys. I can't upload to Vimeo from my computer in the mp4 format. I am not sure why. I also can't get Windows Movie maker to work with the mp4 format, hence the need to convert it.

My computer is 5 years old, 3.06 ghz and runs on 500 ram I think. Hate to think I need to buy a new cpu to work with the HD format. I am working on it and one way or the other will figure this thing out. But it sure plays nice on my big HD television.

The real bummer is that just as we went through turn 9 of the pace lap, my SD card max'd out and the camera shut down. Go figure, eh??

Bill

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William Bonsell
SCCA/ICSCC #26
SM/ITA

Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Enduro addict

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Just giving you a hard time... I'll try to get more info and work with you offline to get your uploads working. There's gotta be a way, and your computer speed shouldn't really matter. [Smile]

Back on topic, Rob all the GoPro HD footage I've seen has been stellar. Sound quality isn't the best, but the video is great for the price point.

--------------------
Crew Chief, 3D Racing #64, aka Team Scrappy 2.0
3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
E2 Champions, 2008 25 Hours of Thunderhill

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Windows 7 does MP4 just fine. Sounds like you need to upgrad anyway. What do PCs go for now days, $3-400?

-b

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
2010 Monte Shelton Driver of the Year
2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
Oregon Region SM Class Advisor

Rob Gendreau
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Thanks guys...The BulletDVR looks nice, but the lipstick cams I have probably don't rate much more than the Aiptek cameras. There are some older ones out there that look like they'll work, or maybe I'll just use it as a rear-view mirror/backup cam with one of those dinguses from an RV dealer and forget the recording.

SCCA_Racer
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I am looking at getting a new camera later as my small Cannon cameras currently only take 2GB SD cards and max out at 15min of recording at 640res 30fps. I end up shooting in 320res at 30fps for 40min of recording.
I recommend all drivers have two cameras. One pointed forward and one pointed backward, so when you are called into impound for an incident you have an unbiased opinion in your video recording.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

FastM3 Verified Driver
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Aiptek Action HD 1080p GVS purchased on Amazon for under $ 200 with a 16 Gig sd card works for an entire weekend. Just need to charge the battery after a couple of hours. Also have a chasecam set up so we point them in different directions.

Some video at http://vimeo.com/channels/68260

You can easily see the difference between the Chasecam and Aiptek HD or even the Aiptek with the HD off.

I think the Chasecam will do Hi Def I just need to figure out how. Am also interested in the chasecam video mixer to combine the feeds (front and rear) together in one video.

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Phil
Silver 38 SM/ITA

disquek Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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These are great little cameras for VERY short money. Their video quality is decent. The only down side is that if you let their battery die, they lose the video file. You have to make sure to shut them off before the battery dies.

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907...._sacat=See-All-Categories

There are lots of sellers of these things on eBay. I bought mine for something like $6 each and they were shipped from Asia.

I used two of them this past weekend to record the suspension on my GT car.

-Kyle

Muda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
ComingToAMirrorNearYou

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Vimeo's native upload resolution is 1280 x 720, 25fps.

The most expensive part of upgrading to HD is the ability to edit and process the video. I'd recommend a quad core processor with as much ram as you can afford (I use 6gb). Sony Vegas does an excellent job of editing HD and rendering it into practically any format.

I use an Aiptek GVS with a $20 wide angle lens. Very high quality for less than $200.

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Muda Motorsports
"We're all here 'cause we're not all there."

Brandon F. Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by W. Bonsell:
My computer is 5 years old, 3.06 ghz and runs on 500 ram I think. Hate to think I need to buy a new cpu to work with the HD format. I am working on it and one way or the other will figure this thing out. But it sure plays nice on my big HD television.

Bill

Bill, after purchasing my Flip UltraHD (1280x720p output) last year to capture the "early crawling" of a soon-to-be Spec Miata racer, I went to play (just play) the videos on my home desktop (P4/2.4/533Mhz/2GB RAM/Radeon9800) and was presented with a slide show.

Off to the corporate laptop (Thinkpad, Centrino Duo, 3GB RAM, Radeon Mobility); result was not a slideshow but put the CPU utilization at 50-75% rendering it's use for anything else impossible.

You will will have to upgrade your home computer to be able to edit (and possibly) let alone play these HD videos on it.

And this is coming from a home builder of PCs and an IT veteran of 15 years: I was shocked at the level of hardware required to even play an HD video! [Eek!]

I'm sure there will be others to chime in here noting "hardware acceleration" and all that so yes, there are those options available to you (dedicated HD processing essentially from a replacement video card) but you're still out buying equipment - so why not upgrade the whole kit-n-kaboodle?!

Best of luck!
Brandon

Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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+1

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Paul McLester

Muda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
ComingToAMirrorNearYou

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Brandon -

I had to work to get my Thinkpad (Core2Duo 1.86 with 4gb ram and the Intel Mobile 4 video chipset (POS)) to playback 1080p videos. I had to go into the built in power settings and manually force the machine into the maximum performance mode. Battery time drops from 7 hours to 1.5 but it gets the job done most of the time. Using VLC media player instead of Apple Quicktime can also help. Also, 60fps really pushes the capabilities of a laptop.

At the end of the day the computer upgrade cost 3x the HD camera upgrade. But worth it, IMHO.

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Muda Motorsports
"We're all here 'cause we're not all there."

TR6
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quote:
Originally posted by FastM3:
Aiptek Action HD 1080p GVS purchased on Amazon for under $ 200 with a 16 Gig sd card works for an entire weekend. Just need to charge the battery after a couple of hours.

There is a hack to build an in-car 12 volt charger for the Aiptek. We affectionately call it the Frankencharger. The key is to trick the Aiptek into charging and running (recording) at the same time. If you simply plug a USB 12V car charger into it, it will go into charge mode and will not record while charging. The Frankencharger swaps the USB pins to trick the Aiptek camera into charging while still recording. It requires buying the Aiptek wall charger and cutting the USB end off of it. I and several others have been using this with success for two years with no ill effects on the camera. Details in this rennlist thread:
http://forums.rennlist.com/rennforums/5424274-post52.html

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Greg H.
2002 red Miata #500
Denton, Texas

SCCA_Racer
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So by comparison which is better for the money a GoPro HD of the Aiptek's?
Does anybody have side by side video file of the two?
As far as I know the GoProHD can not charge while recording either as it has to be out of its case.

--------------------
Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

W. Bonsell
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The GoPro HD has great picture and sound. Battery life is actually pretty good...generally enough for a weekend. Or carry a spare. I have 8G SD card but filled it up over a weekend. Going to upgrade to a 32... Can't speak for the Aiptek but very happy with the GP

Bill

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William Bonsell
SCCA/ICSCC #26
SM/ITA

Vick Verified Driver
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As an added bonus on the go pros there are a lot of fun mounting options and mine do extra duty while snowboarding and surfing.

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http://www.volko.com

MPR22
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quote:
Originally posted by SCCA_Racer:
So by comparison which is better for the money a GoPro HD of the Aiptek's?
Does anybody have side by side video file of the two?
As far as I know the GoProHD can not charge while recording either as it has to be out of its case.

I have and like both. Go to YozoY.com and look at some of my Aiptek footage from TWS. I did not run the GoProHD that weekend but I will soon and I will post it on YozoY also so you can see the comparison.

My mount for the Aiptek was a little flimsy so it vibrates a little too much but, i just got a better mount an hope to solve the issue. I have it rigged to charge in the car also but not the Frankencharger. After a session I just plug it in to charger, when I head back out I unplug it. The sound on the Aiptek is poor and you need a wide angle lense in addition.

Video quality on line is not nearly as good as it is on my computers so you also have to take that into account.

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Michael Ross

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
Moonwalker

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I just found a new full 1080p bulletcam solution that has an external DVR with LCD screen. The downside to most bullet cam setups is that the cameras themselves are 580 lines analog so you aren't getting HD footage. This setup uses a new full 1080p digital bullet cam. I'm getting a prototype in the next couple of weeks - retail price will be ~$650. It has everything that an in-car camera needs: external mic, external power, wide-angle lens, water/dust proof, lipstick head for minimal vibration, handles up to 32GB SDHC card and has a wireless start/stop remote so the unit doesn't have to be within reach.

If the product is half as good as the spec sheet, it's going to be a big hit I think. Less than a ChaseCam but higher quality? I will update when I get my hands on it.

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MotorsportReg.com / Haag Performance / Team SafeRacer
2010 San Francisco Region SMT Champion

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
Now The Fastest "Blake" in Spec Miata

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we're all running Samsung SMX-C10. They're about $120 and very light on features but the video quality is pretty damn good and theyre direct to SD.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9HFU1yBIVw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqHOhvYqrOs

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http://btdtracing.com - YOUR Miata Parts Pimp

SCCA_Racer
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quote:
Originally posted by MPR22:
The sound on the Aiptek is poor and you need a wide angle lense in addition.

Is the sound bad from the factory mic or are you using an external mic. I was thinking of mounting the mic inside my helmet to hear what I say and hear. Any thought on this?
Brian, sounds like there might be a new player on the block too. Do you know if the DVR will be able to handle multiple cams? I really only want one single unit to handle both cams with the features mentioned.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
Moonwalker

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Joshua - the unit I'm looking at is a single cam unfortunately. At this time the manuf doesn't have a 2-cam version in the works but they said they're open to developing one. I think it's just a matter of time.

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MotorsportReg.com / Haag Performance / Team SafeRacer
2010 San Francisco Region SMT Champion

Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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If you plan on integrating your HD video with a Traqmate then you need to look at a camera with a Lanc input such as a Sony HDR-CX110 or 150. I use the GoPro HD and wide. The sound on the HD is fine and the video is awesome. Tech is getting better about not worrying about how you mount them so I put mine right on my dash where it is easy to turn on at grid. I am thinking of putting my wide next to it facing back.

Battery life on the HD is not as good as they advertise so charge the battery before you go out each time. I bought a 32gb class 6 SDHC card off-brand that none of my computers would recognize as a drive. I then bought my old standby Lexar in 16gb SDHC and it seems to work better.

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Paul McLester

SCCA_Racer
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All of this discussion about which HD camera is better, but did we ever debate whether 1080 is better than 720, or is it even noticeable. I think it all come down to the camera and not so much the specs. I know one thing I want to test on the cameras is there F-stop and light sensitivity. I know my older camera has to be zoomed just right to eliminate over exposing the windshield shot compared to the interior. Has anyone tried a camera where the video out the windshield showed white or nearly white?

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Brandon F. Verified Driver
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Having the Flip UltraHD, and getting decent usage out of it (both in battery life & recording length), I'll chime in and say 720p is good enough.

Here's it's specs: UltraHD

About the only time I see/notice anything is when my brakes decide to chatter and I get a wobble in my video it's like a flashback scene from Wayne's World with them doing the 'hand waves'...
(Doo del de doo, doo del de doo...)

Besides, I'd bet you'd have a hard time hosting anything above 720p online short of running your own service. Vimeo says to "...give us your highest definition video..." and they chomp it down to size (re-render it) themselves. But they apply a maximum file size limit essentially causing your videos to be double re-rendered (once by you to make them smaller than their size limit, again by them before streaming it).

It's all about whether you're pulling in any D-Aq and need to sync video with it as that will put you in bed with one of the major vendors and their inherent limitations.

Regarding the blooming/whiteout experience: there's one D-Aq compatible camera company that has a top-to-bottom "visor" you can adjust to help eliminate that (wish I could remember it!). The 'shade' essentially forces the camera to focus on the brightest areas and keep the F-stop/iris adjusted to see outside thus reducing the incidents of the whiteout.

Good luck!
Brandon

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
Moonwalker

Region: SFR
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The shade is an easy DIY project at home that works great:

http://www.ghidinelli.com/2006/05/15/improving-whit...or-racecar-bullet-cameras

I received the HD bullet cam in the mail today; charging my batteries now and will try to give it some testing and report back.

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MotorsportReg.com / Haag Performance / Team SafeRacer
2010 San Francisco Region SMT Champion

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
Moonwalker

Region: SFR
Car #: 12
Year : 99
Posts: 267
Status: Offline
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Said I would post some video when I tested the unit... here is some 720p recorded (the front facing camera) since my laptop isn't fast enough to play back 1080p at the track. The driving and my spin are both ugly on this particular day, but it's captured in glorious high resolution. [Smile]

http://vimeo.com/15602050

You can see the head unit mounted in the front facing camera just to the right of the center console. The rear facing camera is a Contour HD also at 720p.

We haven't decided to import them yet so feedback would be appreciated.

--------------------
MotorsportReg.com / Haag Performance / Team SafeRacer
2010 San Francisco Region SMT Champion

   

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