RE: Demo camera

Subject: RE: Demo camera
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Nancy Allison" <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2008 12:31:39 -0400

On Behalf Of Nancy Allison wondered:
> Is anyone using a wearable camera to record demos of physical
activities?
> I have a chance to create demos about household repairs, and for at
least
> some of the footage, I'd like to wear a camera close to my eyes that
would
> see the same things I do.
>
> Anybody doing this? What kind of hardware did you use?

Years ago, we used a helmet-mounted video camera to record the antics of
students and of experienced skydivers. Aside from aligning the camera to
match frames with a sight that hung in front of my right eye, the big
challenge was vibration damping. You wouldn't have the vibration
problem.

"Fast forward" (sorry, had to say it) ten or 15 years later, and there
are probably purpose-built rigs made for today's palm-sized hi-def
cameras, and don't involve skydiving helmets. If you already have a
camera, and it's sufficiently small consider using one of those
headlight affairs that are just a small battery-powered light attached
to a set of elastic straps that go around your head and over the top.

I have such a light that was intended for hiking at night (I think) but
I use it when I'm crawling around under my desk to fiddle with PC guts
and connections, and want both hands free. In a pinch, I could mount a
small video camera to that.

A better (still home-made) option would be to get a cheap
construction-site helmet and take the shell off. That'll leave you with
an adjustable framework of strong, light-weight plastic straps. There'll
be lots of options for attaching a camera.

Start out just using rubber bands, little bungies, or maybe duct tape to
secure the camera to the head-band straps. You want to get the right
positioning before you decide to void the warranty on your camera by
putting screws through the case to attach to some sort of more permanent
mounting plate...
For a vertical-format camera, you probably want to mount it vertically
alongside your head. Vertically-on-top would also work, but:
a) that puts the lens kinda far from your line-of-sight, for close-up
work
b) something sticking up several inches above your head would tend to
get bashed a LOT during most kinds of household repairs... you'd have to
remember to duck before going through doorways.... well, depends on how
tall you are/aren't...

Nah. Beside-the-ear is probably the best mounting position. You might
also wish to mount an object of similar weight on the opposite side of
your head, perhaps a high-output light for working in confined spaces
under sinks or inside furnace enclosures, etc.

Good luck with that.

Kevin
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References:
Demo camera: From: Nancy Allison

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