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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:44 pm 
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I have been having fun recording kayak and other activities with a mini body cam and am ready to upgrade to something other than a clunky goPro. Here are my naive thoughts on something that can be always-on to catch those sudden unexpected events. I am not looking for some formal point (or clamp) and shoot, but a set and forget.

Ehomful mini body cam:
- Not waterproof so must go in a phone pouch which can cause haze and reflections (any tinted ones?).
+ Simple 2 button operation in compact pen-like form factor easily attached to life vest for 3 hours.
+ Can manage continous HD recordings on 64G card, overwriting those from a dozen or so hours ago.
- Not stabilized; mainly suffers from jerky motions ashore but seems to work OK afloat.

Police style body cam (I am starting to experiment with 2 cheapos):
+ Nice flattish form factor with hefty clamp to life vest.
+ Somewhat simple operation with buttons rated to one meter water depth (=ip67)
+ Meant for somewhat long times on, with enough resolution to read lic. plates etc.
- Heavy weight and quirky software such as requiring passwords for secure access

Underwater camera
+ Flat form factor with excellent waterproofing
- Have to improvise a clamp
? Can it run for hours at a time
? Does it need fussy touch screen interactions?

Wireless camera
- Requires your phone to be draining battery as a receiver vs need to save battery for emergency.

Gopro and clones
- Bad long axis form factor and excessive clamp hardware; expensive.

I think I should have looked harder at regular underwater cameras - don't want to exceed $150 or so. I like the camera to point a bit off center from a lifevest and would have to make a harness somehow. Off center gives a bit of side view, but always shifting with the body instead of those static views when clamped to a hull. Other ideas? Some of these can double as a dash cam on the way home.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:55 pm 
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Consider an Insta360 One X with an invisible selfie stick. It is a little more than your $150 budget but it is designed to do exactly what you specified in your post.

https://www.insta360.com/product/insta3 ... YkQAvD_BwE


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:30 pm 
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Katchaser wrote:
Consider an Insta360 One X

Thanks! That small size and high frame rate is awesome, and will be worth keeping an eye out for discount/refurbish sources. In addition to the base price, it looks like I would also need either their "venture" or "dive" case to be water resistant or proof.

I spent an entire day taming Amazon's $69 police bodycam settings and mounting to my life vest. It's kind of cool in the sense of allowing me to punch a bookmark button at key moments, like when I once saw a sting ray jumping, a rogue wave pitching me vertical, or a carpet of rainbows from intense rain + sun beating on ocean surface. I found I had to compromise the resolution to get a needed high frame rate, so also put in an order for a newer generation police camera on ebay.

Here is a video log of a Hobie TI with mast cam + ama cam + stern cam (my favorite). He does a lot of whole trip videos. I just want to save highlights from the drivers point of view and not the lengthy look-at-me compilations.



Image

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:28 pm 
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In the unlikely event someone was about to order a bodycam based on the above, I will just clarify some differences.

Prove Tech X-01 1296p HD $70 on amazon

- Has tons of horrible reviews, but they give the impression of customers confused by the sparse brochure guide
- I love the human factors, battery life, and performance is very good. Can wedge against windshield as dashcam
- Big size and weight are main drawbacks; I suspend from lifevest using a keyring, with the clip only to stabilize

Boblov 1440P Body Worn Camera from ebay

- Second cheapest truly water resistant (ip67), but almost double price of the other (also ip67 which is uncommon)
- Mailed straight from China with suspicious (evasive?) customs declaration
- Dimensions slightly smaller which gives much smaller volume, altho still heavy. No key/safety ring hole.
- Instead of screen w/ menus, it can display on a phone via wifi. Laptop interface crude with poor human factors.
- In spite of higher theoretical resolution, I get poor results with motion, etc so far.

P.S. Most of the well known sports cameras require a bulky waterproof/resistant case that alone blows my budget.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:37 pm 
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After my Boblov disappointment I made one more experimental purchase, and felt I had to report how it seemed to outclass the eccentric police bodycam approach. Admittedly all but one of the police ones are expensive and always include person id and dept id numbers on the screen. It is cool that their batteries let you film for about 9 hours continuously and manage memory to keep the most recent scenes, broken up so no editing needed.

I found a $100 sports camera that seems to do about all as a gopro: CyclopsGear CGX-LT which is not (yet?) widely available and should not be confused with very similar CGX labels. It is waterproof (not just resistant) without an ungainly case. It's videos are very sharp with high frame rates for action. It is really compact and light weight, and about the only drawback is a brief manual with super tiny font. A pdf version should appear on mfg web site which could be enlarged, or inform potential buyers.

Beware I don't know much about such cameras. I assumed the many gopro pretenders in the $30-$60 range weren't even worth trying, and maybe even the cgx-lt will ultimately prove a disappointment to me. Signing out on this subject...

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