Extreme Helmet Cameras for the Extreme Enthusiast–Or Not

 11 Jun 2011 - By Omar Yesid Mariño+

You don’t have to be extreme to want a helmet cam to record a first-person view of your high jinx, but that is the market to which most of these camcorders’ manufacturers push their products. There’s nothing saying you can’t strap one to your head and walk around a comic convention or just walk down the street to make an interesting YouTube video. Whatever you plan to use for the helmet cam, you have to know that it has come a long way in just a short time—even models that were top of the line last year have taken a backseat to the new crowd. So here are four cameras that will do what you need them to. They will work in pretty much any situation.

Contour+ Helmet Cam

The Contour+ helmet cam is one of the bulkiest in this lineup. It’s basically an upgrade from the Contour which-in itself-is a highly capable little machine. So what do you get for the near $500 price tag?

Helmet Cameras

The camera takes full HD video (1080p) at 30 frames per second. It has a built-in GPS function for added versatility and has a super-wide viewing angle (up to 170 degrees) from the lens (which is rotatable, so you can get a level shot every time or get creative if you feel like inducing a little nausea in your viewers).

One of the coolest features is the Bluetooth compatibility. You can use this feature to sync your helmet camera to a smartphone (Android is coming soon but there’s an IOs app in the App store already) and turn your device into a mobile viewfinder, so you can always line up the perfect shot. I wouldn’t recommend doing so while riding a bicycle through Manhattan streets however.

To get your lovely digital creations off the camcorder, there are a variety of methods available. Of course, the built-in SD card slot means you can just remove the memory and go from there, but this camera also has a built-in HDMI port so you can send that data to any HD TV or compatible computer. Heck, the company even throws in an HDMI cord “saving” you $20-$50.

You can learn more at the official Contour Website.

Replay XD Camera

The Replay XD is tiny and ultra lightweight but still manages to shoot in full 1080p HD format. In fact, the company claims it is the smallest and lightest camera available on the consumer market. Measuring in at just 1.1 inches by 2.6, it’s not hard to believe that claim.

Replay XD Camera

The camera itself is round, making it an easy carry for handheld shots, but the company was kind enough to throw in a huge variety of mounts and brackets, so you can put this little beast on just about anything from a helmet to a bicycle.

Even though the case is so small, it still sports an HDMI out port which is great for transferring your videos flawlessly. However, Replay did not throw in a complimentary HD cable like Contour did with the Plus.

One feature that does make this little camera stand out is its ability to utilize external audio sources. Plug in the adapter and you can use just about any type of microphone you want to get the best audio quality possible.

There’s no word on an official release date yet but when the camera does hit shelves, the kit will retail for $299 which includes a 4GB microSD card to stuff in the slot.

Learn more at the official Replay website.

Tachyon OPS and OPS HD

If you’re looking for helmet cams that are even smaller, check out the Tachyon line-up. It includes the Tachyon OPS (about the size of two quarters lined up) or the HD model (add another quarter’ length).

They are by no means the most durable we’ve seen but they are handy, light, and quite functional.

Tachyon OPS and OPS HD

The OPS is a VGA model that will retail for under $100 while the HD model shoots 720p video and will set you back an additional $50. Keep in mind, neither of these cameras are waterproof so if you’re looking to record your water sports action, you should upgrade to the Tachyon XC.

In addition, the company has manufactured a ton of different mounting brackets, so it’s almost impossible to find something that this camera won’t stick to.

Hit up the Tachyon Website for more details.

Looxcie 2

Lastly, we have the Looxcie 2. It’s an updated model of the Looxcie (the “helmet cam” that was designed to look like a Bluetooth headset.) It’s smaller, sleeker, and still has the IOs apps to help you broadcast your life to the world.

Looxcie 2

There are two models available: the five-hour model which retails for $179 and the 10-hour model for $199.

Hit up the Looxcie site for more info.

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