Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The YouTube Cockpit

"Personal Video" has gone mainstream.  Seems like everyone from pilots to skiiers and snowboarders to skateboarders to mountain bikers to...well, anybody in outdoor motion is slapping on these small, rugged, HD-quality, purpose-built camcorders to immortalize every breathtaking moment.
Imagine how different memorial services are going to be in 2082.
All it takes is your desire to slap a camera onto a helmet, headband, monopod pole, suction cup or get some Ram Mounts and tape/sticky-back/bolt/clamp them to a vehicle hard point and you are Good To Go!
And by vehicle, I mean airplane, car, snowmobile, dune buggy et al, but also ski, snowboard, hang glider, shoe...you name it, the Adventure Vid gang is doing it.
We've talked about some of these tres' cool cams in the past but I just got re-seduced by the phenomenon yesterday.
After wrapping up my Phoenix motorglider pilot report, due out in late spring's Plane & Pilot, Jim Lee of Phoenix Air USA told me about a new POV camera he'd used to tape the 127 mile all-soaring flight he just made in that truly fabulous airplane.
Check out this video, it's an awesome teaser for the joys of soaring flight in a motorglider.

After seeing Jim's vid, I was hooked; started searching around the net; found this friendly company which offers three top-selling, small, HD-quality cameras that you can mount about anyplace to make some very cool videos...and yes, I bought one!  (I am a tech junkie, why do you ask?) 
 For my LSA coverage, which includes inflight video of pilot reports and to supplement GA photo shoots, I jumped on the same camera Jim has: the Drift Stealth HD 170 "helmet camera".
Two main reasons: the remote control and the several HD modes.
Here's a few more notable highlights: I'm hoping to do a Tech Talk column soon on the Stealth for the mag.
Drift Innovation's Stealth HD170.  That little button at left is the (wrist wearable) remote
 * HD Video: 1080p at 25 or 30fps, 720p at 25, 30, 50 or 60 fps
* Zoom: 4x Digital zoom in 720p and WVGA
* Microphone: Built-in.  Optional external mic jack (for radio and intercom chatter using a headset Patch Cord (Aircraft Spruce has it, I use it with my tape recorder for inflight note taking)
* wireless remote control (several brands don't have that!)
* slow-motion/interval shooting (one pic every 3/5/10/30 seconds for cool time lapse sequences)
* lens rotates to support any mounting angle
* Sensor type: CMOS
* Video format: MOV (H.264)
There's a lot more to check out, I'll leave you to it.
MyPOV360 has other top POV cam setups too, but it's got a great package deal going on right now for the Stealth, and no, I don't get a commission.  This is the setup I jumped on because once in awhile, you just gotta grab the tech and join the party.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice camera package.

Yes, should make for some dramatic memorial service footage. Maybe this will be the cockpit voice/video recorder for LSA aircraft, with post-event value.