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