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mySVT 04-12-2006 03:19 PM

Help me pick camera setup for Sebring
Ok, I have bought and installed a CrusieCam headrest camera mount, now I am testing it and trying to figure out which setup works best. First off, I didn't really think the mount was high enough straight out of the box, so I swapped the actual piece that you mount the camera on for the very top part of my tripod. This allowed a little easier adjusting and positioned the camera about an inch higher, which helped, but not enough. So I tried to leave the CruiseCam's mount on and bolt my tripod mount on top of it, and that adds another inch or two and seems to work like a charm. Now you can see much more of the road over the dash than you could before.

The other problem I've found is that my digital camera wasn't made to be used as a video camera mounted to a moving object. The internals of my camera rattle a little if you shake it, but when you add all of the vibration thats coming thru the seat, the microphone picks up an almost constant completely annoying rattle. I've tried using a thin piece of dense foam between the camera and the mount to isolate the vibrations, but it does not seem to help much. One thing that does seem to help is when someone is riding with me it must keep the passenger seat from vibriating as much. As far as the video, the vibration is not even noticable, but the rattling sound is horrible! I think one or two models up from my camera has an external microphone jack, but of course mine (olympus c750) does not! If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate it.

Now on to the reason for this thread/poll, which lens to use. I have a wide-angle lens that I think gives a great view of the entire cockpit, but I'm not sure if it is better than the standard lens in the long run.

In the wide-angle, you can see all 3 mirrors, but I'm not sure you would be able to see anyone behind me in any of them. You can also see a little thru the side windows, maybe enough to see an upcoming turn, maybe not. Remember this is for a road-course, and it is primarily a right turn course (3 of the 4 sharpest turns are right - #7, 10 &13). The other advantage is being able to see the gear shift (esp if I angle it down just a hair more). The disadvantage is everything being a little smaller than in the normal angle lens because everything is kinda smushed to fit in the extra at the peripherals.

In the normal angle, you can see what really matters, the road, better. Plus you can make out my gauges a little better (when the light hits them) since they are bigger. You can't see the gear shift, but you can tell when I shift gears. So the biggest thing lost is the views out the side, but is that a big deal?

Now, here are links to the videos:
Wide Angle

Please vote and let me know which option you would go with, especially if you have done in-car camera stuff before. Thanks!

WD40 04-12-2006 03:45 PM

After doing several videos of my AutoCross runs now, I most definitely vote for "wide angle"
It's too distracting (and dizzying) with the standard lens.
The wide angle gives the viewer a chance to look left and right,
and actually see the same things the driver is looking at when coming into, and out of turns.

Course, now, after looking at your vids, I see my wide angle is somewhere between your two views.
Anyway to lose the "circle" cropping on the wide angle?
Regardless, I still say go with the wide's easier on the viewers eyes.
It's also easier to critique your own runs (checking out lines/apexes and such)
when you can see more to the sides with the wide angle.

A regular video camera certainly would be better for what you're trying to do,
but there goes another chunk of money.

In case you need some more examples, here's my "vid" page.
(Please "save as" instead of viewing on the site)
Both "Malmstrom" runs are with the normal lens, the other two from "Helena" are with a wide angle.
The fifth vid is HUGE and a compilation of the whole season.

This is total coolness. [:D]
Glad to see another FF'r that's going to be posting racing videos.
There's a few of us around here, so hopefully the other folks will chime in too.

Egz 04-12-2006 05:46 PM

The wide is nice. I wish my car camera can do it.

I lose so much with my setup: Click here to watch JF05---Egz

WD40 04-12-2006 06:22 PM

^^^Nuts. I'm only getting audio, no video. [dunno]

mySVT 04-12-2006 06:24 PM


Originally posted by WD40
...Anyway to lose the "circle" cropping on the wide angle? ...
Yeah, I can zoom in a little and lose the fish-eye circle, but then I would probably lose the side windows and mirrors. After zooming in that much, it might not be much wider than my normal lens.
I can't seem to get your vids to work right now... how much more does your wide angle get than my normal lens?

HaveBlue83 04-12-2006 06:35 PM

hi "bob" [hihi].......I need flash 8 to see it, but I would DEF. say the wide angle, for the whole picture....[thumb]

WD40 04-12-2006 06:46 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I can't seem to get your vids to work right now...
Click on the video that you want to see, then in the next screen,
when you click on the little film real it'll ask you to "open" or "save".

how much more does your wide angle get than my normal lens?
It's about 1/2 way between your two settings.
Here's a screen shot from one of the vids:

Reedicus 04-12-2006 07:44 PM

I think the mirrors are going to be useless on video, they are adjusted for the driver, not the camera, the passenger mirror shows the side of the car. I would try a video that frames the entire width of windscreen (no more no less). I am not super familiar with sebring but most racetrack corners are surprisingly "not tight". I just looked for videos and found this of a mini cooper s at sebring, his camera is tighter the windscreen width and only a few corners get cut off. Overall I think the larger viewing area (zoomed in) is worth a few apexes being lost.

Egz 04-12-2006 08:40 PM


Originally posted by WD40
^^^Nuts. I'm only getting audio, no video. [dunno]
Really? Thats odd.

I do think the wide angle will play nicely on a road course. Here is a quick compilation from BeaveRun, and you see the normal angle loses a lot in the corners. The turbo bug keeps popping in and out of scene.

(And that guy was insane; he was flailing the 1.8T all day, only stopping for fuel. Definately a good driver)

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