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Whether you are a family trail rider or MX pro in the making, the chances are good that you have done a little experimenting with helmet cams. The concept has always been an attractive one; Step 1) Hit Record, rail a couple berms, clear a big gap, or obliterate some nasty chunky climb that peaks out at 13,000 feet with a killer view Step 2) Some creative editing, a kickin' soundtrack and a quick push up to YouTube to make your work buddies drool!If you have tried this in the past you may have been a little disappointed with the results. It’s a good bet you came home to find a grainy, choppy, low quality recording that somehow just didn't do justice to the difficulty and grace of your jaw dropping wheeled performance. But before you give up on the idea altogether, we recommend you at least take another look at the next generation of helmet cams that has hit the market.
First up is the new Twenty20 high def helmet camera which can produce high quality professional looking movies at 1080P resolution, resulting in a BlueRay quality video of higher quality than most of the DVDs and jump videos on the shelf in your den. The tube shaped cameras are about 4 inches long, weigh only 3-4 ounces and are designed to be operated easily with gloves on. They come with a removable micro SD memory card compatible with up to 32GB and the rechargeable battery offers about 2-3 hours of recording time. Other product highlights are the water resistant construction and the mobile phone remote control and preview tools available with some models. For all that filmmaking power, the prices are still attractive at just $200 - 400 depending on model.
Another affordable and popular 1080p camera is the HD Helmet Hero series from GoPro. These industry leading cameras can also be purchased for $200-400 and they deliver a great picture from a durable package with a flexible mount. They differ from the traditional helmet camera solution in that they are not tube shaped, but they are a durable fully self contained package with no wires to run and a quality lens. Like the Twenty20 cameras, these too have the ability to automatically shoot stills at regular timed intervals during your ride.
Bottom Line? Technology moves much more quickly than we can write so be sure to visit the manufacturer's websites to find the latest models and features, but the takeaway should be that if you were discouraged before, now is a good time to give helmet cams a second look. Even if you do nothing but archive the footage, it might be worth building a small video collection of the riding you've done and scenic trips you've taken. When you get to the rocking chair and start spinning your unbelievable tales of conquest and adventure, you'll need something to back it up. Capture it now so you can share it later.