New Sony Action Cam

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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:14 am

AUbicycles wrote:Christine, the headmount wont work on a standard helmet. Only a full face or skater type helmet.


Thanks for the heads up Christopher. I think one of the JB Hi Fis in the city has the headstrap - may check it out before buying and see if there is a way to cabletie it to the helmet.
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by BNA » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:43 pm

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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:43 pm

Christine Tham wrote:Thanks for the heads up Christopher. I think one of the JB Hi Fis in the city has the headstrap - may check it out before buying and see if there is a way to cabletie it to the helmet.

You may have to get really creative, the inside (helmet) edged is soft curved rubber and I had the same thoughts but in testing, even if the elastic was removed, I didn't spot many options (particularly with the ridges you find on road helmets) but won't say it is impossible. I no longer have this though perhaps this mount can be dismantled (i.e. the screw and helmet mount surface) and a DIY part made that suits a road/commuter/mtb type helmet. I guess that defeats the point of this headmount, however the black casing does nicely hold the camera and the yellow release latch is convenient to get to the camera for recharging and downloading footage.

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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:14 pm

Is there any vertical tilt range available from that mount Christopher?
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:14 pm

Unfortunately not, just on the axis of the screw you see.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:58 pm

LOL I ended up ordering another bike mount and the headstrap thingy from Sony - should arrive next week. Didn't have time to stop into JB Hi Fi to look at the dang thing.

Looking at the photo I am wondering whether it's feasible to wear it on the neck, assuming that it can be tightened enough without constricting breathing.

In any case, look forward to applying a bit of MacGyver on it when it arrives.

PS - I think the stick on mount that comes with the bundle should allow the camera to be used in a car. Although it is a bit dorky to use the underwater housing inside the car.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:18 am

The Sony Action Cam review is up on BNA. It is targeted specifically towards cycling.

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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby sogood » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:55 am

This question about image rotation, do we know for sure that's something will implement in an upcoming firmware update? Or pure speculation by users/reviewers?
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:40 pm

AUbicycles wrote:The Sony Action Cam review is up on BNA. It is targeted specifically towards cycling.

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Thanks for the review, Christopher.

I am getting better battery life - Have recorded over two hours at 1080p and still have battery life left. If you have turned Wi Fi on, remember to turn it off again - leaving Wi Fi on drains the battery faster.

Also looked at the Action Cam vs GoPro - I think I prefer the colours of the Action Cam - the Go Pro have a slightly too warm white balance and the greens are almost flourescent in their saturation. The Action Cam tends to veer towards the bluish side, and Sony has applied rather aggressive contrast enhancement, but that actually suits the use as a safety cam.

I wonder if the battery will hold up to a three hour bike ride. I suspect it would. May give that a try this weekend.

One thing good about the battery is that it shares the same battery as the highly acclaimed Sony RX100 which I also have - allows me to bring both the RX100 and the Action Cam on a ride and share a spare battery between them.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby sblack » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:27 pm

Christine Tham wrote:Also looked at the Action Cam vs GoPro - I think I prefer the colours of the Action Cam - the Go Pro have a slightly too warm white balance and the greens are almost flourescent in their saturation. The Action Cam tends to veer towards the bluish side, and Sony has applied rather aggressive contrast enhancement, but that actually suits the use as a safety cam.

I have been checking this thread and plenty of videos out comparing the Action Cam, Go Pro (2 and 3) as well as some other cameras and would have to say my preference for colour is highly dependant on the scene being shot. I agree the Action Cam tends to the bluish end of the spectrum while the Go Pros tend towards the red. So the dirt in Christopher's comparison looks more vivid with the Go Pro which I think is was leads most people to prefer it. Look at any videos with lots of sky or water in them and the Sony is now much more vivid and what I believe most people would find better looking. The true colour is probably somewhere in between the two. I've noticed many occasions where white will be blue on the Sony and brownish orange on the Go Pro.

I've been doing plenty of research on all the options and have pretty much decided on the Sony. The price for the bundle is pretty hard to beat even before taking into account it's low light performance, battery life and steadyshot.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:37 pm

I used it for an extended ride this morning (slightly over an hour) and the camera splits the video into 4GB chunks (makes sense since that's the max file size for FAT filesystems). But it definitely recorded the whole ride.

Looking forward to seeing if it will record 3 hours. The max is obviously under 5 hours since that would be the limit of the 32GB card.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:29 am

Just came back from a ride. I took a non-fresh battery (one that has been sitting there for a while) and it lasted the entire ride (2.5 hours) although the battery was quite dry by the time I came back.

I fiddled around with the headstrap and had no problems wrapping it around my helmet. I did secure it further using two cable ties, but even without the cable ties there were no issues me cycling around Chatswood. Got a few stares from motorists though.

I'll post an iPhone pic of the camera attached to the helmet using a headstrap later on.

PS - One issue I discovered today is that on long rides the camera heats up in the waterproof housing and causes fogging around the lens. Sony sells an anti-fog satchet - yet another thing to buy for the camera ... sigh ...
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby GraemeL » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:23 pm

Christine Tham wrote:
PS - One issue I discovered today is that on long rides the camera heats up in the waterproof housing and causes fogging around the lens. Sony sells an anti-fog satchet - yet another thing to buy for the camera ... sigh ...


I have posted a few ideas in the Video Camera thread page 79 viewtopic.php?f=12&t=37405&start=1950

We were talking about the GoPro fogging up sometimes, but the info I posted will apply to any camera.

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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:50 pm

Okay, here is a photo of the Sony Action Cam mounted using the headstrap onto the helmet. There are two cable ties in front holding the strap in place. At the back, the strap kept in place by a shallow indent in the helmet design.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:42 pm

Thanks for sharing. That is a groovy helmet... grooves in the right place to better fit the strap and the camera seems to be relatively upright. Can you let me know in which place you used the cableties.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Baalzamon » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:17 pm

Phil had is camera on today and on MTB and it was moving a heap time. I had my GoPro on my chesty :)
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:19 pm

AUbicycles wrote:Thanks for sharing. That is a groovy helmet... grooves in the right place to better fit the strap and the camera seems to be relatively upright. Can you let me know in which place you used the cableties.


So how long do you think it will be until GoPro or Sony talk to the helmet people and get helmets made to take their camera form factors? Would you wear one if they did?
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:00 am

AUbicycles wrote:Thanks for sharing. That is a groovy helmet... grooves in the right place to better fit the strap and the camera seems to be relatively upright. Can you let me know in which place you used the cableties.


If you look at the lower right of the photo one of the cable ties is just visible.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:05 pm

Short segment from this morning's Xmas ride using the headstrap.

Hmm - I think I need to attach the cam more securely to the helmet - it's drooping to one side. Maybe I should tighten the strap, or put more cable ties?

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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:37 pm

Sorry Christine but I can’t see anyway of securing that particular camera mount in such a way as to keep the camera perpendicular to the road even with more cable ties.

The other thing I don’t like is that if you pull the strap really tight it’s going to place compression stress on parts of the helmet that were not designed for it.

The only way I can see it happening is if an appropriately shaped rubber wedge was glued either to the helmet or under the mount to keep it more stable on a flat area of the helmet.

The other option would be if a software update to keep the camera filming in the horizontal plane regardless of the camera angle were to be possible.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Boognoss » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:52 pm

greyhoundtom wrote:Sorry Christine but I can’t see anyway of securing that particular camera mount in such a way as to keep the camera perpendicular to the road even with more cable ties.

The other thing I don’t like is that if you pull the strap really tight it’s going to place compression stress on parts of the helmet that were not designed for it.

The only way I can see it happening is if an appropriately shaped rubber wedge was glued either to the helmet or under the mount to keep it more stable on a flat area of the helmet.

The other option would be if a software update to keep the camera filming in the horizontal plane regardless of the camera angle were to be possible.



Me neither. Too late for you to buy a GoPro, so you have a choice. Tilt your head to the left about 10 degrees when running the camera, or handlebar mount again? ;)
n = 3 for now

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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Phil » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:05 pm

Yeah the did the Kep Track yesterday and it the camera was bouncing around alot on the Handlebar mount.

Used a thicker spacer today on the Kalamunda MTB circuit and was still pretty ordinary.

Going to look for other options - needs a decent helmet mount.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:02 pm

Managed to fix the horizontal tilt problem.

Basically, the weight of camera was causing it to droop away from the helmet. I could tighten the strap, but a much better solution is to use double sided sticky tape to affix the camera mount to the helmet. I used 3M removable tape (used for affixing posters to walls). Not much sticking force is required, since the camera is quite light and the strap already does most of the work - the sticky tape just prevents the droop.

Short video demonstrating the effectiveness of the solution:


One last problem is that the camera is pointing slightly downwards when riding due to my posture. This can also be fixed by angling the camera slightly upwards when applying the sticky tape. However, I am not sure this is advisable due to the use of the camera as a safety cam - I think it's important that the camera points to wherever the head is pointing at - at the end of the day I am not making a video for the sake of entertainment. So I have decided to leave it as is.

Edit: forgot to mention it should also be possible to use cable tie to secure the camera mount to prevent it from drooping. I may investigate this tomorrow.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby Christine Tham » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:16 pm

Phil wrote:Yeah the did the Kep Track yesterday and it the camera was bouncing around alot on the Handlebar mount.


The bouncing around is caused by two problems:
1. the grip on the mount to the handlebar is not very effective - the mount rotates somewhat even when tightened.
2. the mechanism that adjusts the camera rotation angle isn't very rigid - there is some flex which causes the bounce.

I would suggest if you want a really rigid mount is follow the same ideas as Nate - basically for a few dollars you can buy the parts from Bunnings and construct your own mount, or you can buy one from Nate (I seem to recall he sold them for $10).

I don't like the handlebar mounting option anymore as I really want the camera to record what I am seeing rather than straight ahead (for its intended use as a safety cam).
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby AUbicycles » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:37 pm

BFV, we reviewed the Kali Amara with helmet camera mount though in our testing it didn't fit the Sony. A top mounted camera is would be preferable for weight distribution.


Christine, when we used the mount it was the best "camera own brand" mount (For GoPros the K-Edge mount is a must). For the sony, the handlebar mount with inserts worked fantastically on the MTB and it didn't twist or turn. There are three different sized (pairs) of inserts - you could mix and match for the right fit though it needs to be done up tightly. Also consider mounting up-side-down, this puts any weight or momentum that the camera generates down below the handlebars so is (in various equipment I have tested) less susceptible to movement. The disadvantage of the Sony is that you can't set/flip the recording 180 degree so have to do it in video editing software.
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Re: New Sony Action Cam

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:23 am

AUbicycles wrote:BFV, we reviewed the Kali Amara with helmet camera mount though in our testing it didn't fit the Sony. A top mounted camera is would be preferable for weight distribution.


D'oh! Probably where I got the idea from in the first place. I never miss reading a front page article on BNA :D
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