GoPro HD Hero v Contour HD+GPS V WIngman HD v Kaiser BAAS HD v Tachyon XD Micro

Firstly if you are only interested in the camera test click here: 6:39 or for some smoother video go here: 10:08 Before you comment please read the descripti...

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Comment by Jack on July 16, 2012 at 7:31am

All of the cameras were mounted on the bicycle in a way that each of them were equal. Unfortunately due to the combined weight my mount did vibrate a bit but, this affected all of the cameras equally (I could have run the cameras through a stabilisation filter but thought it best to leave them all untouched.) Weather on the day was extremely poor and it would be nice to do the test again in bright sunlight but as 2 of the cameras were borrowed this may never happen.
Performance: Both the Coutour and GoPro performed equally, I have recorded better quality video from the Wingman but in this test it seemed to be slightly out of focus. The Kaiser BAAS camera has always rendered poor colours I expect the fact that this is a very cheap camera ($87AUD) compared to the two main contenders. I fitted the Tachyon camera just because I had one, and looking at its performance even though it was only 640X480 it the poor weather conditions it held up well. (I did resize the Tachyon image from 4X3 to 16X9)
Mounting: Easiest to mount for this test was the Wingman, next the GoPro. It makes a difference having a tripod mount even though the GoPro mount was an after market accessory. Next easiest to mount was the Kaiser BAAS although I did not use the elastic strap that came with the camera they should replace that with loop and latch type material. The Tachyon with the curved base was an issue, this is an old camera and I note they now have quite a few more mounting options for the latest Tachyon generation of cameras. Hardest to mount was the Contour. Yes I could have used one of the mounting pads to make it easier but, as the camera was borrowed I did not want to waste one. Even if I had used one on the pads I am certain that the camera would have been more unstable for it seems to wobble when fixed to that rotating base.
Bang for buck: Out of the box the Wingman wins this hands down, with the tripod mount on the camera and on the weatherproof case plus the colour LCD screen, vented helmet mount handle bar mount and glass mount all as standard. As mentioned though the video quality of the Wingman in this test was poor. Also the on-off switch location and bad positioning of the weatherproof case latch are an issue. The GoPro HD Helmet Hero out of the box has a great vented helmet mount (here in Australia wearing of bicycle helmets is compulsory and most of them seem to be vented.) GoPro have a host of accessories but it would be nice if at least the tripod mount was included with all versions. Contour HD GPS. Out of the box the mounts are very limited it seems you buy the camera and then decide what mounts you require and purchase them as an accessory. 24 months ago any of the above helmet cameras had few or no Australian distributors, to purchase one of these cameras and then realise you need some more accessories to suit your application was very expensive. Accessory costs plus postage to Australia becomes a very expensive proposition. Now, with the popularity of helmet cameras many brands and models including accessories can be purchased locally.
Operation: Easiest camera to operate was the Tachyon, one on-off button, The GoPro, Wingman and Kaiser BAAS were also fairly straight forward. GoPro has a complicated menu structure but once that is set-up operation is quite simple. Kaiser BAAS needs to be setup using an external display. The Contour HD+GPS I found was the weirdest one of all to to operate, maybe it was because I was not used to it but compared to the others it was the most difficult.This also needs a PC or Iphone/Android to set it up.
I expect I may get some comments complaining that the test was not fair at all but I did try my best to put all cameras in the same situation.
Backing music is: Hornet By: George Ellinas
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