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HD Camcorders

Old 09-04-08, 01:40 PM
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HD Camcorders

Anybody here running an HD camcorder on the track? I'm just starting to look into these so I still have a lot to learn. I would love to have one that can do 1080i at least, but I'm not sure how these are stored. I'm sure tons of storage will be needed (several GB per hour). Any particular brands/models that are best? Any features I need to be aware of?

Oh yeah, and I'm not looking to break the bank with this.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:12 PM
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It has mixed reviews from non-track users, but the Aiptek A-HD camera looks to be somewhat popular with track people from what I've seen on the web. Here's a new version A-HD+ that claims 1080p, though it's not really full 1920x1080...

http://www.amazon.com/Aiptek-1080P-D.../dp/B0019BPTMI

Also does 60fps at full 720 resolution. No provisions for external mic though. $145 is pretty cheap.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:40 PM
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This DXG one is $200 but records in full 1920x1080 at 30fps, or 1280x720 at 60fps:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1205026863556

Never heard of this brand before. Then again never heard of Aiptek either. Also can't find much in the way of reviews for this camera.

Last edited by DigDug; 09-04-08 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 09-04-08, 03:00 PM
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something that could be directly linked to the a computer / harddrive ? or it could be done with that one u posted in the above link
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Old 09-04-08, 03:12 PM
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Well these use SD cards to store the video in Quicktime MOV format. Then I could transfer that to my PC, though my video card can't do high enough resolution to display an entire 1920x1080 video. They do have component output, so I could get 1080i on my HDTV connecting the camera directly. Otherwise I guess I'd have to burn a Bluray disc.

Last edited by DigDug; 09-04-08 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 09-04-08, 03:18 PM
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Guys, check out this camera. I'll probably get this one.

It's only $179

The video quality looks amazing

http://www.goprocamera.com/
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Old 09-04-08, 03:25 PM
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check out the videos here http://gopro.vsocial.com/
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Old 09-04-08, 03:26 PM
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Old 09-04-08, 05:07 PM
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I have the GOPRO Motorsports Hero camera and it's hard to beat for the $. The 2gb card will record almost 1 hour and you can download it. The biggest drawback is that there is no remote for operating it, so I start it and then slip it into it's mount. The video quality is excellent.
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Old 09-04-08, 05:39 PM
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That camera system looks cool, but I want HD. Check out this video, click on full screen:

http://www.vimeo.com/1561901

That's from the Aiptek in 720p, compressed however vimeo does it.

There's no doubt the Gopro system is better for in-car use, but it's not HD. I need to be able to read the brand on the tires in the tire wall without driving over there.
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Old 09-04-08, 05:56 PM
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I record in HD Full 1080p up to all resolutions you have posted. If I were you, I would look into all the camera's people have RAN or talk to anyone with first hand experience in camera's for what YOU want to do.

This is why.. Hard Drive Disks DO NOT LIKE vibrations or hard shutter noises suppressing the microphone (making the sound section clip). This will cause the camera to shut down or reboot the Hard Drive Disk, causing it to not capture, then start capturing once writing space in your HDD is found - this is OF COURSE, depending on the vibration system, etc. Some camera's that store in a memory stick also suffer from this, so watch out.

I would recommend a MiniDV camera with an awesome filtration lense, recording at its highest resolution setting.

HD captures in different formats, so unless you already have software capable of reading that format and you already have a general knowledge of it, then go for it. If you have no experience with this, I wouldn't recommend it, but it's worth a shot. Try it out and see how you like it. Just remember, THE SOFTWARE MAKES THE VIDEO QUALITY, NOT THE CAMERA when dealing with HD.

If you are rendering in 1080p/i, a 3 minute clip is going to be about 250MB's.

This is what I am "operating" with.

Last edited by rajahFD; 09-04-08 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 09-04-08, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rajahFD View Post
I record in HD Full 1080p up to all resolutions you have posted. If I were you, I would look into all the camera's people have RAN or talk to anyone with first hand experience in camera's for what YOU want to do.

This is why.. Hard Drive Disks DO NOT LIKE vibrations or hard shutter noises suppressing the microphone (making the sound section clip). This will cause the camera to shut down or reboot the Hard Drive Disk, causing it to not capture, then start capturing once writing space in your HDD is found - this is OF COURSE, depending on the vibration system, etc. Some camera's that store in a memory stick also suffer from this, so watch out.

I would recommend a MiniDV camera with an awesome filtration lense, recording at its highest resolution setting.

HD captures in different formats, so unless you already have software capable of reading that format and you already have a general knowledge of it, then go for it. If you have no experience with this, I wouldn't recommend it, but it's worth a shot. Try it out and see how you like it. Just remember, THE SOFTWARE MAKES THE VIDEO QUALITY, NOT THE CAMERA when dealing with HD.

If you are rendering in 1080p/i, a 3 minute clip is going to be about 250MB's.

This is what I am "operating" with.

Nice! Those Sony cameras are high dollar. Definitely looking to run something cheaper on the track. I've read the same comments on the hard drive cameras WRT vibration and shock. Turns out there are a good number of track folks running the Aiptek, some good threads on rennlist and other sites about it. They seem to get very good results at 720p and 60fps.

As far as software and video quality, is there a software package you would recommend for editing and encoding? Is it resampling that causes the video quality problems you're talking about?
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Old 09-04-08, 07:34 PM
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I bought a Sony minidv camcorder off of ebay for my track camcorder. Cheap tapes and the ability to hook it up to pretty much everything.

I run Pinnacle on my main system for editing.
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Old 09-04-08, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DigDug View Post
Nice! Those Sony cameras are high dollar. Definitely looking to run something cheaper on the track. I've read the same comments on the hard drive cameras WRT vibration and shock. Turns out there are a good number of track folks running the Aiptek, some good threads on rennlist and other sites about it. They seem to get very good results at 720p and 60fps.
Something cheaper for an in-car would be nice. Damaging these bad boys is not good..

As far as software and video quality, is there a software package you would recommend for editing and encoding? Is it resampling that causes the video quality problems you're talking about?
The quality comes from the capture and the rendering, other than the camera. I am recording at Full HD (1920 x 1080) on my Camera, but since the population out there that will watch my videos don't have a card that will fully use the HD to its highest visual potential and their screens cannot fit the picture, I render in 620, NON-HD.

Programs.. let's see. Look into ULead (newest copy, also this program is more user friendly) or Sony Vegas 8.0 Pro, which is what I use and it is the ONLY version of Sony Vegas that will read your HD files.

Sony Vegas will take time to get used to, but certainly do-able if you just want to capture and render video without any snappy editing, etc. Video Editing with premium software is not for everyone, so PLEASE, PLEASE BE PATIENT!

Just to show you what NON-HD - 620 - 3.1MB/s looks like, here's a small clip of a video I am working on. I shot this clip, straight capture from my Sony HDR-SR11 with one custom filter setting in Slow Motion.

http://salinasracing.com/videos/rast...clipslomo1.wmv - 10MB
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Old 09-04-08, 08:46 PM
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There's a reason the in-car video systems are more expensive; they are built to withstand the punishment. I just killed a four-month-old Canon HD flash-based video camera after a couple track days and an auto-x. I hit the power button right before another 25 minute session at Nelson Ledges; I got a lens error and the camera would no longer turn on. Sports Car Magazine just did an article on in-car video systems.
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Old 09-04-08, 10:26 PM
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I bought the Aiptek Action HD about a week ago, here is a test I did the day I bought it driving home in my truck. I should have some track footage after this weekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvROvzgxM24&fmt=18

It was overcast and I was just holding the camera on the dash with my hand

Dan
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Old 09-05-08, 09:19 AM
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a bit of topic but can someone recommend a camera mount system?
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Old 09-05-08, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DigDug View Post
Anybody here running an HD camcorder on the track? I'm just starting to look into these so I still have a lot to learn. I would love to have one that can do 1080i at least, but I'm not sure how these are stored. I'm sure tons of storage will be needed (several GB per hour). Any particular brands/models that are best? Any features I need to be aware of?

Oh yeah, and I'm not looking to break the bank with this.
Heh that's funny because I've been looking into the same thing! I've had my eye on a couple previous-generation HD cameras used on eBay. A few criteria I've been looking at:

-Records to memory cards, not HDD/DVD/Tape.

-Optical (not electronic) image stabilization.

-Video format (MPEG2, AVCHD, .mov, etc). AVCHD seems to be the current thing, but I've read it takes some serious processing power and software to edit. I'd stay the heck away from Quicktime.

-5.1 audio recording and supports external microphone. There are plenty that do this, but the only support a single mic, not multiples for true surround recording. A lot of them will do 5.1 recording with the built in bi-directional microphone. Also look for cameras with wind-noise reduction.

This site has been of tremendous help in deciding which camera is the best:
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ratings.php

I've bid on a handful but haven't won anything yet for the price I'm willing to pay :P
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Old 09-05-08, 10:22 AM
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AVCHD files are the HD files I am talking about. Depending what company you go with, they will turn into .MTS files.

These files are HUGE and you will need a decently set up computer for it not to buffer when you are editing the film. There are only a few programs as of right now that will recognize this file, so make sure you can get ahold of a program that can read them first before buying if you DO decide to go that route..
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Old 09-05-08, 01:41 PM
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Well I bought an Aiptek A-HD+ for $145. It isn't really a great camera, but I like the quality of the videos I've seen posted. I think it will work for what I want. Other people seem to be getting good mileage out of these.

It generates H.264 Quicktime MOV format, so I guess I'll need software that can work with that. I don't plan to do any serious editing, just clipping videos down to sessions or laps, maybe skipping segments and stuff like that. Nothing fancy. But then it would be very cool if I could burn a bluray with video, so I can view it on my HDTV. I think the PS3 will actually play movies burned to a DVD, though I've never tried that and I don't know what formats it supports.

Thanks for the info on the software. I have a lot to learn apparently.
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Old 09-05-08, 01:47 PM
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IOPort has a camera mount that mounts to a roll cage, I use that and am very happy with it.

I second using cheap equipment. Frankly, HD is overkill for me, and I like being able to replace a camera for 100 bucks if the vibrations kill it (which eventually they will), so my track cam is a Canon ZR-60.
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Old 09-05-08, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DigDug View Post
Well I bought an Aiptek A-HD+ for $145. It isn't really a great camera, but I like the quality of the videos I've seen posted. I think it will work for what I want. Other people seem to be getting good mileage out of these.

It generates H.264 Quicktime MOV format, so I guess I'll need software that can work with that. I don't plan to do any serious editing, just clipping videos down to sessions or laps, maybe skipping segments and stuff like that. Nothing fancy. But then it would be very cool if I could burn a bluray with video, so I can view it on my HDTV. I think the PS3 will actually play movies burned to a DVD, though I've never tried that and I don't know what formats it supports.

Thanks for the info on the software. I have a lot to learn apparently.
Where did you buy from?
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Old 09-05-08, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Viking War Hammer View Post
Where did you buy from?
Ordered it from Amazon. Best Buy has it for the same price, but I found a good deal on a 16GB SDHC card and a remote control for the camera on Amazon so I ordered it all from there. Free shipping.
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Old 09-05-08, 02:49 PM
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I have an older Aiptek and the only issue I had with it was focus. I mounted it on the hood and it was always wandering in and out of focus. When I had a car in front of me it would focus in on the car, but the instant the car got off to the side it would start searching again.

Hopefully the newer Aipteks fix this.
Here's the video:

http://www.rxracing.com/July2007Images/gpsmall.wmv

-Trent
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Old 09-05-08, 04:25 PM
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What encoding does that video use? I just get trippy colors when I open it, I can make out cars and movement but the colors are way off. I get the same thing when I open the video that rajahFD posted above. WMP doesn't complain but it sure doesn't render right.
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