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2011 Tachyon XC HD Review

The Tachyon XC HD is available for purchase now over at The Shop.

Tachyon recently came out with an HD version of their popular camera to compete against the GoPro HD 960 and the Epic HD. Tachyon makes a nice product, which is very popular with the motor cross and paint ball crowds who are known to be rough and tough on equipment. The Tachyon HD gets people into an HD package at a very affordable price. Similar to the GoPro HD 960 and the Epic HD, the feature set on the Tachyon HD is not as extensive as the higher end cameras, but it provides enough customized settings to satisfy most camera enthusiasts. This new HD camera continues Tachyon’s tradition of offering a durable product that provides impressive video quality for a very reasonable price. One thing that sets this camera apart from the competition is the IR Remote that is included in the original package.

Table of Contents for Review of the 2011 Tachyon XC HD

  • What’s Included
  • Key Camera Features
  • Performance and Comparison
  • Conclusion and Pricing
  • Sample Videos

Tachyon XC HD


Cliffed Out! Secret Back Country Extreme Terrain Challenge

Last winter HCC hosted a back country ski challenge at Cliff Lake, a local alpine tarn with massive cliffs lining it. Dozens of riders showed up for the BBQ and competition, and it turned out pretty epic! Attending was ripper Josh Smith, who also happened to film most of the event. Check out the vid below!

Secret Backcountry Snow Party BBQ ~ Cliffed Out from freeboarder on Vimeo.

Introducing the POV.HD Video System by V.I.O.

The VIO POV.HD is available for pre-order over at the shop. Get yours before they sell out!


Introducing the POV.HD Video System by V.I.O.

Advanced Point-of-View 1080p Video

Marquette, MI (November 2010)—Caveat Emptor: not all HD is created equal. V.I.O., the decade-long leader in point-of-view video technology, is proud to announce the all-new POV.HD video camera: the most flexible, rugged and easy to use point-of-view HD video system available. The POV.HD is V.I.O.’s response to video professionals and athletes who demand advanced high-definition video with vibrant color and superior camera control that excels in extreme environments.

The new POV.HD follows the award-winning form-factor of its predecessor, but with all-new internal components and functionality. The POV.HD features new in-field flexibility capabilities and records up to 5 hours of crisp HD video. Thanks to the exceptionally small and robust nature of the POV.HD camera head, options for capturing creative and beautiful video angles are limitless. Clint Slack, Marketing Director at V.I.O., says: “The POV.HD not only delivers advanced HD video, but also provides a host of unique recording and exposure options designed for the discriminating video enthusiast.”

The POV.HD comes with a laundry list of proprietary functionality driven by user feedback. The recording unit features a 2-inch LCD screen to view footage in the field, edit video and make exposure control adjustments. A simple set of controls allows the user to easily “tag” the best footage in the field, so final editing is finished quickly back in the studio. The recorder, run by Texas Instruments’ new Da Vinci DM368 Video Processor, supports a real-time video pipeline that enhances image quality and produces crystal clear 1080p H.264 video. The 2-oz wearable camera head captures 142 degree FOV, at 1080p 30fps—the widest point-of-view camera angle available on the market. The camera head also features video capture at 720p 60fps, a high-quality 6-element glass lens and a native 1080p CMOS sensor designed specifically to produce optimal-quality, Full HD video.

In addition to utilizing the best video components available on the market, the POV.HD excels in the single most important test for point-of-view cameras: durability and ruggedness. The POV.HD is IP67 certified and is commonly used in a wide variety of extreme environments due to the unit’s dust, water and shockproof ratings and ability to handle extreme temperatures. Todd Jones, Founder and Producer for the action-sports film company Teton Gravity Research, said: “Thanks to the exceptionally small size, bombproof nature and production-grade video quality of V.I.O.’s cameras, we’ve been able to capture unique and beautiful shots of our athletes in extreme situations that otherwise would have been unattainable.”

The POV.HD Camera will be available Nov. 15, 2010 at HelmetCameraCentral.com, B&H Photo and in other fine camera/video establishments across the country. View video, photos and learn more at: vio-pov.com

Since its inception in 2000, V.I.O. has been the leading innovator in point-of-view video technology. The V.I.O. pointof-view system is unique in that it?s designed specifically to capture adventure and tactical video. V.I.O.'s customers include professional and amateur athletes in a wide variety of sports such as mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, skydiving, motocross, snowmobiling and auto racing. Other industries relying on V.I.O. video systems include the military, law enforcement, aviation and movie and television production. For more information, visit vio-pov.com or call 1-888-579-2267.

The VIO POV.HD is available for pre-order over at the shop. Get yours before they sell out!

GoPro HD HERO 960 Review

The GoPro HD HERO 960 is available for purchase now over at The Shop.

GoPro is well known in the industry for making an excellent point-of-view (POV) camera, and they offer the best warranty. With the introduction of their 960 model, GoPro has targeted those camera enthusiasts who want HD quality but don’t have 300 clams. GoPro has trimmed down some of the features from their high-end 1080 model, and is selling this camera at a price well below the competition. At $179, you get beautiful HD video, an excellent assortment of mounts, GoPro quality, and the ability to shoot in extreme conditions including underwater. The main competitors of the GoPro 960 are the Contour HD, Oregon Scientific ACT9K, Drift HD170, and the Epic HD.

Table of Contents for Review of the GoPro 960

Differences between the GoPro 1080 and 960

To offer an HD camera at a very competitive price, GoPro decided to tone down some of the features that certain enthusiasts may not require. First, they reduced the highest resolution setting to 1280 x 960. Unless you have a large HDTV that is over 50”, the normal viewer cannot easily tell the difference between 720, 960, or 1080. Second, they removed the BUS expansion port, which would allow you to connect a GoPro LCD monitor or alternate power source to the camera. I would mention all POV cameras started off without an LCD monitor, and though they are nice to have for playback purposes, users have gotten by without them for years. Lastly, the 960 will only shoot HD at 30 frames per second (FPS). Unless you do a lot of slow motion effects in your final movie production, video shot at 30 fps should be fine for most folks.


Contour Launches New Video Sharing Community!

The good folks over at Contour just announced their new video sharing community! This is in conjunction with their awesome new GPS enable wearable camcorder, the ContourGPS, available for pre-order here. See the original blog post from contour below:

Hey Gang -

The recent launch of the new ContourGPS camera came from Contour's love of providing new tools to tell your story. In turn, it has inspired us to assess our community experience, the canvas where your stories of adventure unfold. We've snooped around on the forums and listened to your feedback - the good, the bad, and the hilarious. From this wealth of information, we set forth on a journey six months ago to rebuild and improve the Contour community.

Today marks an exciting day - We're launching the beginning of the new Contour community! We've built the entire experience to make the community faster and more responsive. This is just the tip of the iceberg, more exciting features are in the works.

The following reflects what's new, what's changed, and a few new features you can expect in the coming months.

What's New -

Video & GPS Integration - We've introduced the first player that integrates video and a map of your run so you can track your location, speed and elevation.

Profiles - The new user profiles log your videos and show your community activity.

User Profile Example - Dje

Create a Story - Our new "create" experience includes a new video engine so your video uploads faster. You can track its progress while developing the context of your story.

Discover Stories - We're all about creating fun ways for new stories to be discovered! The unique video collage experience highlights a myriad of stories in different size windows. You can quickly scan over the images to see what catches your eye!

Discover Stories - Video Collage

"Storyteller" App - We've rebuilt the desktop software. Let's be frank, the old version just wasn't good enough. Software so new and improved deserves a new and final re-name. We like it and we're sticking with it! This will be available in a few weeks so look for an upgrade email coming soon.

What's Changed -

Forums - Get Satisfaction is a really cool company that now drives the Contour Forums. They have a near-genius interface to help you find threads to questions you have and to quickly connect with the Contour support team.

Messages - Yep, they're gone for now. We'll bring them back...soon.

What to Expect -

Integrated Social Experience - Oh, the places you'll go in the world wide web! Look for an improved embed experience and easier integration with several social communities so you can flaunt your swagger on your favorite on-line haunts.

Followers - We're replacing buddies with followers so you can follow your favorite video mavens and send them messages.

Community - We're bringing community back including video contests and leaderboards!

We want to hear from you! Share your ideas about the software, web features, and new camera ideas. We're committed to providing the best products we can and incorporating the features that mean the most to you.
Shoot us an email - ideas@contour.com

It's game on and we're ready to bring it!!!

Have fun and keep shooting!


Epic HD Helmet Cam Review

The Epic HD is available for purchase now over at The Shop.

Stealth Cam based out of Grand Prairie, Texas enters the HD market with the introduction of their Epic HD Action Cam. It shoots at 720p, and competes against the Oregon Scientific ACT9K, the VHoldR Contour HD, and the GoPro HD. The Epic is easy to operate, and includes an LCD screen to help navigate through the menu, and display shooting modes. It runs on AAA batteries that are readily available anywhere, and records to an SD Card (not included).  It comes with various helmet mounts and a USB cable to connect the camera to a computer.

Table of Contents for Review of the Epic HD



If you're in the Nor-Cal area you may want to stop by Chico on October 1st. HCC sponsored kayaker, Shon Bollock, will be there with his production company, Shasta Boyz Productions premiering their new video 'Wet Dreams'. Also Huckin Huge will be there as well reppin their new vid 'Haymaker'. See Shon's blog post below for more info:

"Hope everyone has been enjoying the week. I am getting fired up for the Feather Festival this weekend and looking forward to out upcoming premier. The show will be hosted by Shasta Boyz and Huckin Huge, so you know its going to be a good time.

The event will held in Chico, CA at Dragon Graphics on Friday OCT. 1st

We are asking people to start showing up around 5:30 pm for Wet Dreams and then HAYMAKER will follow. Here is a poster with all the details.

Photo Courtesy of: Justin Patt

Make sure to come by if your in the area, we will be giving away gear from Hippy Tree, Sanuk, Snapdragon, Five Ten, Watershed, and much MORE!!!!!!!

Hope to see everyone at the show and check out the trailers for the films below.

HAYMAKER Trailer from Huckin Huge on Vimeo."

ContourGPS Helmet Cam Review

The ContourGPS is officially available!  Order one from Helmet Camera Central

Contour (formerly VholdR) has done it again! Helmet cameras have already reached the highest video resolution that is currently available, so what comes next? Integrated GPS of course! Introducing the ContourGPS. Record life-like, full resolution, 1080p HD video on your head, track your position, speed, and elevation and share it online in seconds with Contour’s new ContourGPS, the world’s first full 1080p HD wearable camcorder that allows you to shoot HD video AND track your progress on GPS. At just $349.99, the ContourGPS was designed with the needs of outdoor enthusiasts in mind. This durable camera provides amazing video clarity (choose between a plethora of high definition or high action video modes), ease of use, and a host of mounting options and accessories. Contour continues their successful ContourGPS series with the same form factor, and amazing video quality, and improves it with the addition of a GPS.

Highlights of the ContourGPS :

  • Integrated GPS: Tracky your location, elevation, and speed.
  • Full HD - 1080p (1920x1080) @ 30 fps
  • Tall HD - 960p (1280x960) @ 30 fps
  • Action HD - 720p (1280x720) @ 60 fps
  • Contour - 720p (1280x720) @ 30fps
  • Fast SD - WVGA (848x480) @ 60fps
  • 135-degree wide angle lens
  • 5 Megapixel Sensor
  • Internal microphone (Adjustable)
  • Quicktime H.264 MOV with AAC Audio
  • MicroSD/SDHC up to 32GB (2GB included) - Up to 8 Hours of HD video
  • Rechargable Lithium Ion Battery - Up to 3 hours per charge
  • iPod(USB) Charge Compatible
  • Adjustable Contrast, Light Metering, Exposure and Mic Sensitivity
  • Fits Contour TRailTM mount system
  • Contour Edit and Share software
  • Read the full review with sample video after the jump!


Contour Releases New Wearable Camcorder ‘ContourGPS’

That's right folks, the beast has been dubbed the ContourGPS. This badboy is similar to the ContourHD 1080p but with a few upgrades and GPS! Read below for an overview of this awesome piece of equipment. Supplies will be limited, and we're one of only three retailers that will be carrying this puppy initially, so make sure to head on over to the product page and pre-order yours now!


Recording your story just took one phenomenal leap forward.

Add an entire new layer to your storytelling.  The built-in GPS receiver tracks your location multiple times per second with pinpoint accuracy so you are able to capture your location, speed, and altitude while recording in beautiful hands free HD.  Watch your run via interactive map and video player that allows you to see and control the action as it happens.  Challenge and compare stats with your friends to see who measures up.

Hands Free

The Contour HD revolutionized the way people shoot and share video by creating the first wearable HD video camera.  Its secret is the low profile design mated to the patented TRail™ system that makes it easy to slide and lock to your body, equipment, or vehicle.

The camera, at only 5.2 ounces is the smallest and lightest combination of handsfree video and GPS in the world, like it’s little brother, the Contour GPS practically disappears while wearing it.   The dual laser alignment helps you line up your shot assuring you that you don’t miss a single captivating moment no matter where it’s placed.


The Contour GPS captures beautiful 1080p video.  It utilizes a 135° wide-angle lens that delivers a true high quality image that captures all the action with minimal distortion and no fish-eye.  It records Full HD in all its glory.

We provide several different camera settings so that you can get the shot that best fits your activity. Choose between 3 resolutions, 2 frame rates, or a still photo mode so that you can get the best shot.

- Full HD 1080p (1920 x1080 @ 30 fps) to capture those awesome moments in the highest resolution available.

- Tall HD 960p (1280 x 960 @ 30fps) for those sports like surfing that are better suited to a taller image.

- Action HD 720p (1280 x 720 @ 60 fps) when frame rate is more important than resolution.  The perfect setting to capture the fastest action.  It reduces blur and rolling shutter effect.

- Contour 720p (1280 x 720 @30 fps).  When space on your card is at a premium and you need to record that last epic adventure. This setting takes it easy on your memory.

- Still Photo. When you want to freeze frame the action, the photo mode is your perfect shot. You can pick from 6 rates (1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 sec) to best capture that moment.


Developed by a real rocket scientist, the built-in omni-directional microphone captures the rich sounds of the ride while keeping the wind noise to a minimum.  Using AAC Audio Compression the front facing microphone assures you that you will hear every whisper or scream.


The compact and lightweight design principle was carried throughout every detail of the Contour GPS.  The locking back door keeps the internal Micro SD card safe so that it can capture hours of HD video content.  When expanded up to 32 GB, it will record over 8 hours of HD content on one card.


We provide a simple to us Storyteller application to download the videos from your camera to your computer in just a few clicks.  Editing is as simple as an “Awesome” button to feature the best parts of your story, then you can become the ultimate producer by adding a title, description, and tags. Watch your run on the interactive map that lets you see and control the action as it happens.


You provide the story, we give you the platform to tell thousands of members just like you.  Challenge your buddies to see who can log the most altitude in one day, or see who has the best run on your favorite mountain.  When you want to share it to more than your closest buddies on Contour.com, make it easy to share to all of your favorite social media sites.

Oregon Scientific ATC9k Action Camera Review

Oregon Scientific has upped their game with the introduction of the ACT9K. It incorporates a 5 megapixel CMOS sensor for high definition shooting, includes a nice quality LCD for video playback, and offers the ability to customize a variety of shooting parameters through its onboard menu.  The camera is waterproof to 20 meters, allowing you to shoot in extreme conditions and underwater. It records video onto a MicroSD Card (not included), and stores video files in an H264 format. Its feature set is comparable to the GoProHD and the ContourHD, and is priced at $299.00 USD retail.


Drift Innovation HD170 Action Cam Review

The Drift HD170 is the latest and greatest camera from Drift Innovation, the company who previously brought us the X170. This time around Drift Innovation's camera is packing full HD 1080p video! Other upgrades include a lithium ion battery pack as opposed to AA batteries and support for up to 32GB SDHC Cards.Read Below for a full review of this awesome new camera from Drift Innovation.
X170 action cam

Highlights of the Drift HD170

  • The HD170 delivers full 1080p HD quality video and 5MP photographs
  • Functions can be controlled by a wireless RF remote control
  • A 1.5" screen helps you to line up the perfect shot and to show off your video right away
  • Memory expansion up to 32Gb on an SDHC card
  • Wide angle lens of 127° in 1080p and170° in 720p & WVGA
  • All the mounts that you need are provided, plus it has a metal 8mm mount
  • HDTV component out cable included


Kayaker Shon Bollock at it Again!

Filmed with a GoPro HD Hero, more product information is available here.

HCC sponsored kayaker Shon Bollock is back in town for the summer, and he sure isn't wasting any time. Check out this sweet video of Shon and the Shasta Boyz crew loving the rapids here in Helmet Camera Central's hometown of Mount Shasta, California.

Also check out Shon's Shasta Boyz Productions Blog!


Drift Innovation Launches World’s First HD Wearable Helmet Camera with Integrated LCD Screen and Wireless Remote

Breaking news! Drift Innovation just announced their new full HD helmet camera, the HD170! You can read the press release after the break, and we have the camera up for pre-order, you can check it out here.


2010 Tachyon XC Helmet Camera Review

2010 Tachyon XC Product Review

  1. Introduction
  2. What’s Included
  3. Key Camera Features
  4. Camera Performance
  5. Sample Video
  6. Conclusion
  7. Pricing
  8. About HelmetCameraCentral.com
  9. About The Author
  10. Changelog


The 2010 Tachyon XC is an inexpensive helmet camera that is well constructed and waterproof to over 30’. It uses the same CMOS chip as its little brother the XC Micro, making the video and audio performance is pretty much the same as the Micro version. There are other similarities, so a lot of the comments in this review are the same for the XC Micro. The main difference between the XC and the XC Micro, is that the XC offers a lot more features that you will read about later on in the review. Like its little brother, the XC is built for extreme conditions, and could be used in a variety of sports where rain, snow, water, and mud are a factor. This camera is particularly popular with the paintball crowd. Tachyon offers Lens Armor to protect the camera lens from a paintball impact, and other flying objects. No other manufacturer offers this type of feature for their camera. The manual for the XC is only available on Tachyon’s website, so you can either read it on-line, or download it to your computer. The XC’s primary competitors in its price range are the GoPro Wide, the Oregon Scientific ACT3K, and the Epic Action Cam. The XC records video in AVI format, and can accept up to a 32GB SD Card. It is slightly larger than the XC Micro, and runs on (2) AA batteries. It comes with a nice selection of mounts that allow you to secure the camera to the top or side of your helmet, or to other mounts that use a ¼-20 thread (i.e. tripod). Its CMOS chip boasts low light performance, though it is configured to shoot best during a sunny day. As you will read, I think you will realize that the XC is the best in its class (along with the Micro version).

Tachyon XC 

Tachyon XC Micro


Tachyon XC Micro Helmet Camera Review

Tachyon XC Micro Product Review

  1. Introduction
  2. What’s Included
  3. Key Camera Features
  4. Camera Performance and Comparison
  5. Sample Video
  6. Conclusion
  7. Pricing
  8. About HelmetCameraCentral.com
  9. About The Author
  10. Changelog


The Tachyon XC Micro is an entry level helmet camera that is well constructed and waterproof to over 30’. It is built for extreme conditions, and could be used in a variety of sports where rain, snow, water, and mud are a factor. The manual for the XC Micro is only available on-line, so you’ll need to download it to learn how to operate the camera. Its primary competitors in its price range are the Oregon Scientific ACT3K, and the Epic Action Cam. The XC Micro records video in AVI format, and can accept up to a 32GB Micro SD Card. It is relatively compact and runs on (2) AAA batteries. It comes with a universal mount that allows you to secure the camera to the top or side of your helmet. Its CMOS chip boasts low light performance, though it is configured to shoot best during a sunny day. As you will read, I think you will realize that the XC Micro is the best in its class.