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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You know what would be really helpful in this forum? A list of all the
different options for in/on-car recording, with package costs, and pros/cons.

I'm sort-of shopping for a new camera, and just those options alone
( DVD, MiniDV, D8, interfaces, prices ) are impressive, before you add in bullet cams, mounts, solid-state
recorders, and purpose-built systems. Some of the bullet-cams seem cheap, but then
you have to add a mount, and recording device, and they wind up costing almost as much
as something like this -> http://www.stackltd.com/tdivdvrharsh.html

Well, okay, maybe not quite that much.
 

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I think the reason you've gotten no replies is although this is a *very* good idea, it's also an extremely daunting task. :smile: There are just so many options out there, from the system you linked to, to ConeCams, to the ghetto bolt-a-camcorder-to-your-storage-bin method I use. Some of it also depends on your creativity, whether you save a few bucks and make your own mounts and such, or whether you spend the money and buy the good stuff.

Maybe a "what setup do *you* run" thread would work better, because in the end you'll get lots of people posting about setups that work for them (and maybe some that don't). Not as comprehensive as listing *all* the options, but it'll give you the most popular ones.

And people are always willing to talk about their super cool setups. :thumbup
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the reason you've gotten no replies is although this is a *very* good idea, it's also an extremely daunting task
This is why I want someone else to do it ;)

Maybe a "what setup do *you* run" thread would work better
The problem is, from what I can tell, we all use minor variations on two themes. Either a Handycam mounted to a rollbar or custom-mount of varying design, or a ConeCam wired to a camera in a secure location.
 

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hillman said:
This is why I want someone else to do it ;)
LOL - fair enough. :)

hillman said:
The problem is, from what I can tell, we all use minor variations on two themes. Either a Handycam mounted to a rollbar or custom-mount of varying design, or a ConeCam wired to a camera in a secure location.
From what I've read, that sounds about right to me. The ConeCam seems to be a pretty standard configuration, although it's also the most flexible because you can put the cam itself anywhere.

So far, I know of camcorders mounted to the following places:
  • Roll/harness bar
  • Headrest mount
  • Bolted directly to part of the car (storage bin, etc.)
The exact methods of attachment vary for each, but that's the general list I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think, like you, that this project is too big for one person. It'd be a
lot more tackle-able as Wiki-type project, though. Maybe someone with more time can Wiki-up a
framework, and we can all bite off small pieces of it. I'm already looking into
solid-state recorders, because that seems to make the most sense. They aren't cheap, though.
 

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As mentioned elsewhere in this forum, here's another easy way to mount a videocamera .... on the dash using Velcro tabs. Velcro is used below the camcorder to anchor it to the dash and above it to attach it to the windshield. (that tab need only be about 1" square so it doesn't affect your view when the camcorder is absent) This camcorder below is stable like this with 2 mounting points, and has never fallen off during autocross, track racing or dozens of hours of enthusiastic street driving even on bumpy roads. It's easy to remove or adjust the angle of the videocam too like this, even while driving... or to change the cassette or the battery. Most videocams have a different shape though, and would require a foam spacer above their lense that the upper Velcro would be mounted to. Used, these now discontinued Sharp VL-NZ50 MiniDV camcorders cost less than $100 on Ebay and work quite well.

 

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FYI, as far as camera's go, MiniDV is probably the standard now. Do not use DVD to try to record in a race car.

Does anyone know of a cheap MiniDV recorder that uses a RCA inputs (or similar) to record instead of a lens. This would be dedicated to use with a ChaseCam.

-Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What's wrong with DVD cameras? That's the way I looking to go, because the media is
an order of magnitude cheaper.

In general, all but the bargain-basement Sony Handycam will have RCA-ins. Sony isn't
the cheapest manufacturer, though, obviously. Same appears to be true for other makes, where they
make one cheap model without any inputs.
 

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DVD's don't record well when bouncing and vibrating all over the place.

Canon's ZR line of camera's seem to be very popular. I'm not really sure why, other than price.

I would recommend getting a used Camcorder from Ebay, epsecially if you plan on using a bullet cam most of the time. You can easily get a decent one for under $200.

MiniDV tapes are around $3/ea and can store up to 90 minutes. They are also re-usable.

I/O port's mount has a bushing built in to absorb some vibration, although I'm not sure how well the bushing works. ChaseCam also has a variety of nice mounts and are signifigantly cheaper.

If you have any other specific questions, let me know.

-Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
DVD's don't record well when bouncing and vibrating all over the place.
Do you know anyone who has tried in-car with DVD? Any samples online? This is one
of the reasons I started this thread... because DVD seems to be the way to go on all
other points. I'm sure DVD is going to outlast, and in fact kill, MiniDV soon, the same way MiniDV
killed D8. I already have an obsolete archive of D8 tapes, and the last thing I
want is another useless archive, this time on MiniDV.

MiniDV tapes are around $3/ea and can store up to 90 minutes. They are also re-usable.
Versus 25 cents and 3 hours for DVD. Hence my previous question.

If you have any other specific questions, let me know.
What's the cheapest solid-state option, and will it record for 2 hours?
I love the idea of going solid-state, but haven't seen anything affordable yet.
 

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A camcorder that records onto a DVD is compressing the video signal more than one that records onto MiniDV tapes. A 60-minute MiniDV cassette holds 2x-3x more data than does a 4.7 GB DVD. Thus, any subsequent editting from the DVD will have somewhat lower quality video.
MiniDV tape is popular and will be around for quite a while. It also probably is a safer media to store your video on; DVDs recorded with a laser and not pressed commercially are not predicted to be readable after many years, though using better quality DVD media may double its lifespan. If you keep your MiniDV tapes away from heat and magnetic fields, I suspect they will outlast well-stored DVDs over the years.
 

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DVD camcorders use minidvds that record 30 min in SP 60min at the lower setting. Recording in SP will be similar quality of a miniDV but slightly lower. Price as low as 65 cents each. I have a Sony dvd camcorder and it seems to be working fine. My car does vibrate alot! I would upload some videos but I haven't converted the files yet.

IMO, DVD cams aren't going to replace miniDV yet. MiniDV records longer, has less compression, is easier to edit, and cheaper. Higher end DVD cams w/ better CCD's are showing impressive results.

camcorderinfo.com
 
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