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Viosport Adventure Cam 3 Helmet Cam System

Viosport Adventure Cam 3 Helmet CamThe defacto "helmet cam" systems for the last 10 years have consisted of simple security camera style lipstick cameras attached to a helmet with wires sprouting forth like vines in a jungle. The Viosport system has not eliminated the all the wires, but it has significantly raised the bar for lipstick style camera setups.

The Adventure Cam 3 Helmet Cam camera is Viosport's (now VIO) high-end external analog helmet camera. With a shiny silver housing, 520 lines of resolution, spiral stretch cable, quick release connections, and integrated microphone the Viosport Adventure Cam 3 represents a highly refined version of the typical mass produced lipstick style security cameras. Keep in mind that this is NOT a fully integrated system - this means there is an external battery pack with wires and the the camera itself must be attached to a recording device such as a camcorder (not included) with external video inputs. The Adventure Cam 3 helmet cam comes with the camera, AA battery pack, necesary A/V cables, a camera mount, and a tool kit. The cost: $279.95. Read on for the rest of the review of the Viosport Adventure Cam 3 Helmet Cam system.

Visit www.viosport.com for great deals on helmet cams!

Many people ask us - "What do you use?" Well, the core system we use now is the VIO POV1 fully integrated digital system. The reality of analog helmet camera systems based on lipstick style analog cameras is that they are all pretty much the same. Same chipsets, same resolution, same color, same power consumption. The cameras out there do vary in quality, but the specs for the cameras make it clear to the buyer as to what they are getting. If a vendor claims their camera is better than the others just compare the specifications. The 2 main factors are: Lines of resolution (Clarity) and Field Of View (of the actual lens). The 520 Line Resolution cameras are about the best right now and you will pay a premium for it. The Adventure Cam 3 uses the high-end Sony Ex-View CCD chipset - as do many other helmet cam vendors products. The other common resolutions out there are 480, and 380. There is a noticable difference between the 3 steps. We use 480 line cameras, but plan on upgrading to 520 based cameras. The newer chipsets also handle white balance and color much better than ones from the past. As for Field of View, basically helmet cameras need at least a 70 degree view of the world, anything else is too narrow of a view. Too narrow = "Cannot see what is going on close to the camera" = "Boring". All cameras being marketed as "helmet cams" will have at least a 70 degree field of view. Viosport sells a variety of lens with varying FOV's. The only time when you might change your FOV is when experimenting with placing cameras in places other than the helmet: your hand, arm, end of a pole, back of bike, etc. I'm babbling.

Quick Review of the good: The Adventure Cam 3 helmet cam has great video quality, color, flexibility, and good connectors. Viosport has EXCELLENT online documentation, faqs, and videos on "How To Build a Helmet Cam". The Adventure Cam 3 connected to a MiniDv camcorder = GREAT helmet cam footage. Viosport has a user friendly website, user friendly equipment packages, and what appears to be good customer support. All in all they run a pretty tight ship and are definitely at the front of the pack when it comes to helmet cam vendors. HelmetCamCentral.com RECOMMENDS Viosport helmet cam systems!

Adventure Cam 3 included contents.

11 Responses to “Viosport Adventure Cam 3 Helmet Cam System”

  1. f2f Says:

    oops, change the second one to:

    http://9grid.net/andrey/movies/biking-20061124.mov

  2. CactusJackSlade Says:

    I finally popped for this somewhat expensive system. I have several others but I was searching for even better quality. First off what Chad said about the packaging, documentation and support is all good, top notch. What about the realities of this system? Read on and see.

    I finally did a side-by-side comparison of three of the popular systems out there, Viosport being one of them (Sony chipped 520 res). The others: Twenty20′s (NEW 2007 model) a CMOS chipped system and KT&C’s Sony chipped 520 resolution bullet cam. This is the cam commonly sold on eBay in a package for about $175 with all the cables and microphone.

    Each system has its pluses and minuses. In short the Viosport had the best image quality MOST OF THE TIME throughout the spectrum of my testing: Cloudy day, bright sunlight and indoors. When I say best overall, I mean that it had the best color and contrast stability and balance under MOST conditions. My conclusion about VIDEO performance at the bottom of this comment…

    Now for my biggest complaint with this system. In an effort to “streamline” their system and reduce stray wires they have integrated the microphone into the “Y” cable that plugs into the cam. In theory this might sound OK, but in reality it sucks. The cam has 30″ of “Newly designed” cable with two 4” sections of inline “curly Q coils” for strain relief THEN you plug into the Y cable with the integrated mic, which is only 8″ from the plug in for the recording device and battery pack.

    So if you are following me that means there is THREE FEET of cable before you get to the mic and then only 8″ before your camcorder. So if you want to have the mic near your mouth and have the camera on your helmet forget it! So I ordered the extension cord thinking that would help… this only served to add 3 more feet between the cam and the mic! The mic was still only 8″ from the camcorder and battery pack! ARGH!

    When you try to stuff all this into a back pack or fanny pack the only thing you will be recording is either the whirring of your camcorder or your own farts! If you have quiet conditions you will indeed pick up voices, otherwise you get all the road noise and muffled voices.

    Does it sound like I’m ranting? You bet! For a “top end” $300 system with the best support, documentation, packaging and overall video quality, this microphone deal is LAME and INCONCIEVABLE if you ask me! I honestly wonder how they think you will set up your microphone? And the coil cords – LAME also, they just add weight to your head and bulk to the system.

    OK, back to the video. Over all the Viosport did have the best video, and I say OVER ALL. In both bright and cloudy conditions it was the most stable. By this I mean it did not stray too far from correct color or white balance during transitions from bright to dark in shadows etc.

    The Twenty20 cam (new 2007 model) was a close second in bright and cloudy conditions and has an EXCELLENT layout for the wire harness and mic (that works). (Separate review on this system later)

    The KT&C always seemed washed out and not enough color… until you get indoors. In low light (indoors) the KT&C was the champ giving exceptional (almost stunning?!) quality, followed by the Viosport, then the Twenty20.

    If you have bucks to blow and do not care about audio, get the Viosport. If you can stand slightly less color stability and a system with much better cable and microphone layout get the Twenty20. If you are on a budget, or shoot indoors the KT&C system is still an admirable performer. You can also add a polarizing filter to enhance the color a bit on the KT&C… I’m awaiting these filters right now.

    I will post side-by-side video of these tests here very soon: http://www.helmetcamreview.com soon.

    I hope this helps!

  3. CactusJackSlade Says:

    I now have side by side comparisons posted here http://www.helmetcamreview.com along with additional comments

  4. Melt Says:

    Thanx for a great review.
    If you find better, let us know.

  5. GAWIE LIEBENBERG Says:

    Can anyone send me some video footage of this cameras?

    Thanks

    Gawie

  6. CactusJackSlade Says:

    Yes, to see side by side (split screen) footage, just go to http://www.helmetcamreview.com

  7. HiddenMaster Says:

    Bonjour,

    je ne sais pas vers quel cam je dois me diriger pour avoir une bonne qualité et un bon rendement. Sans avoir un prix trop élevé. C’est pour une utilisation en VTT, en montage. Que vaux les cams qu’ils y a sur ebay??

    Merci pour vos conseils

  8. HiddenMaster Says:

    Bonjour,

    Je reposte ce message car l’autre n’est pas trop lisible.

    Je ne sais pas vers quel cam je dois me diriger.Car je recherche une bonne qualiter et un bon rendement a un coût moyen.

    Et que faut il pensé des cam que l’on peux trouver sur ebay.

    Merci pour vos conseils.

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  10. cactusjackslade Says:

    I simply HATED my Viosport wire harness so I just had it converted to a now usable and excellent system with a great (waterproof) microphone. It was done by XtremeRecall.com for around $65. photo of it here:

    http://www.helmetcamreview.com/Photos/VioConversion2XRparts.jpg

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