Actually it wasn’t Santa- it was Awesome Wife who gave it to me:
I don’t know that a helmet cam is going to help me watch the world wake up all that much more effectively, but it sure is a lot of fun. It’s the VholdR CountourHD, which was recommended to me by reader Joe in this post back in September. (Joe posted a review in a November follow-on comment to that same post.) Though I’m not ready to provide a review yet, my initial experience has been great. It was a cinch to set up, record and download video, and for a 4oz camera on top of a helmet, I’d say the video quality is pretty decent.
It doesn’t come with a real helmet-mount; you have to order it separately. But I rigged up the gogglestrap-mount with a spare Velcro strap, and it works just fine*. The camera comes with a 2GB memory card, which is supposedly enough for ~1 hour of HD video; I picked up a 16GB card at BestBuy. I’ll have to play around with the sound; the mike seems to pick up little except for wind…
*Although there was a titch of play between mount and strap, which I took care of with a small piece of cardboard wedged in-between.
Interestingly, video seems to make a ride appear faster than it seemed at the time. Keep in mind that in these videos I’m rolling on packed snow with regular mtb tires; I don’t think I topped maybe 18 MPH. But it sure looks like I’m moving. Can’t wait to try it out on fast, dry singletrack…
BTW, if you’re a non-Utah reader, this next video gives you a good idea of what a Salt Lake Valley inversion looks like. For most of the video I’m riding North along the Wasatch foothills at ~5,500 feet; you can see the haze filing the valley to my left. (Or just skip to 2:20, when I switchback from Southbound to Northbound, taking in a quick panorama of the valley.)
Thanks Joe for the recommendation and review. And yes, Colin, I will be bringing it along on our next Gooseberry trip. I figure it will sort of balance out the ukulele.