Viosport Adventure Cam 3 Helmet Cam System
The 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.
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!