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Head-mounted cameras


#1

Anybody out there using head-mounted cameras to record video of
themselves doing work? I don’t have a helper to handle the camera,
and I’d love to record what I do. It’s a pain to stop after each
operation and shoot with a still camera, and it means my hands are
never in the photo with the tools or metal. (I used to be able to
talk & fly at the same time, so I figure I can talk & solder or saw
at the same time and not draw blood.)

What do you use, and what do you like/not like about your camera?
What file format does it shoot (.mov,.avi, etc), how close will it
focus, how is the sound, what kind of lighting works best?

I’m going to gift myself with two major tools soon - a hydraulic
press, and a head-mounted camera.

There are ‘sports’ cameras out there are sound ideal
except…closest focus is 2 feet. So that probably wouldn’t cut it.

If you make your own video (without assistance or assistants!), what
would you recommend to me?

Thanks for your time,
Kelley Dragon


#2

Hello Kelly,

I don’t know about headcams but I would suspect they would be
problematic for the kind of close-up work you want to capture.
Producing a serious video would really require a camera operator to
get any kind of professional results, however if you are just wanting
to document the work here’s the way I did it.

I used an old crt monitor arm that clamps to the desk edge and
replaced the table with a pan and tilt tripod head. I connected the
camera to a composite monitor so that I could see what the camera
’sees’ without getting up. The arm allows the camera to be solidly
positioned without having to move stuff off my bench to accommodate
it which a tripod would require. It’s also easy to change the camera
angle, height and distance with little other than pulling it around
to the new position.

I have a Sony Handycam Hi8 and a Panasonic Lumix FZ28 both focus
down to a couple of inches.

Tony.

Anthony Lloyd-Rees.
www.OpalsInTheBag.com


#3
What do you use, and what do you like/not like about your camera?
What file format does it shoot (.mov,.avi, etc), how close will it
focus, how is the sound, what kind of lighting works best? 

It is all depends on what you are after. You will not be able to
produce high quality video with head mounted camera. So my question
would be how much degradation would you accept.

As general process, cameras record in proprietary formats, which
needed conversion to whatever software format you are using. Output
of software needed to be compressed to give manageable size. There
are many moving parts in this process.

To make a video requires software/hardware integration. Camera is a
very small part of it. My suggestion is to acquaint yourself with the
whole process before committing to camera purchase.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#4

Depending on what type of work you are doing, a tripod mounted camera
might work for you. You would have to set it in one position to
record your hands at work. And only stop work if you needed to
refocus or reset the tripod. There are all sizes of tripods. Somehow
I feel a head mounted camera would sort of fly around the room at
times if you moved or swung to one side or the other. And even
imagining it, I feel a case of vertigo coming on!


#5

I use the time delay on my camera for shooting the picture, gives me
ten seconds to be in the picture.

John


#6

I have a FlipVideo camera, and mounted it on my helmet when I ride.
When I’m making studio vids I put it on the tripod. I have a MacBook
and use iMovie. You can choose the format but I think mine is.mov.
You can also capture frames to make still photos, and they are
really clear and crisp.

Dinah


#7

At New Approach School, Blaine Lewis works right in front of a
powerful camera lens while looking at a monitor to see what he’s
doing. That way, the camera gets a “jeweler’s eye view” with no
crazy motion. I don’t think many of us could do this-- at least not
without a lot of practice!


#8

The way I avoided the large footprint of a tripod (which gets in the
way) was to mount a tripod head on a heavy-based microphone stand.
It stands on the floor, is easy to move, and takes up little space.

I have a camera mount which is on a small rack-and-pinion. This
allows the camera to be moved toward and away from the item being
photographed for more critical focussing and to fill the field.

If you want I picture I can send you one.

John

John Moe
Pentaluna Jewels


#9

Hi All.

Firstly don’t forget to assist with a donation if can towards the
Ganoksin office flood clean-up. It’s a worthy cause at the best of
times but even more so now.

Now to Camera tripods and stands etc. I have made or adapted many
but the two that have worked best are as follows

1: A flexible lamp holder such as the clamp mounted ones or a desk
top version. You know the ones with the foot or so of flexible tube
so you can point the lamp where you want. Well source the most steady
one you can find & remove the light fitting at the top & attach a
camera bracket. I’ve made a few & it didn’t take much engineering.
This idea is strong enough to hold most compact digital cameras but
not heavier SLR’s

2: There is a product called a Ball Head Copy Stand or Macro stand.
The one I use has 3 flat sections that sit flat on a desk top & one
central arm that adjusts upwards from the centre section with the
mount on top. I removed the arm from the stand & mounted it securely
on the side of my bench so it can swing out over my work at almost
any angle. This is very steady and holds any weight camera.

Thanks
Phil


#10

Check the cameras at http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/18u The software
lets you flip the image in any direction so you get true point of
view. They will focus down to 1/4" and will adapt to a microscope. I
have a new 7200HD, powered by the USB port.

Bill


#11

I finally had a moment to do a little research into some wearable
cameras because I also am behind the camera when documenting my work.

Here are 3 cameras, all with bluetooth, all HD and pretty much don’t
even have to post produce the video and I think pretty seamlessly
would allow one to do live video to the web with either Apple or
Android devices

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1f8

If you happen to choose one and take delivery of it before I do, let
me know how it works and send me links to work that you document. If
I get one first, I’ll do like wise.

Keith Hible
masterjeweler.net


#12

Keith -

I think these models are the most likely candidates if I go this
route. Only thing is, I suspect the closest focal distance is about
24 inches (sorry, can’t find the reference tonight)…my working
distance of eyes to hands is 12-18 inches, so I’m out of focus range.

However, the audio capabilities look awesome.

I’ll let you know what I get. Sometime in December I hope.

best regards,
Kelley


#13
I finally had a moment to do a little research into some wearable
cameras because I also am behind the camera when documenting my
work. 

Well Keith, Now you’ve done it… Another toy I “Gotta Have”…
Please forward a check (since its your fault) to… :wink:

THANKS!! for the link!!! NEAT CAMERA!!!

Dan.
dearmondtool.com


#14

Dan, you have to post feedback and a link to your results, or it
didn’t hapen!

best regards,
Kelley


#15

I AM torn. Hmm… a vulcanizer and affiliated supplies to replace
the one I lost OR morph to strictly cold molding, scrap the
vulcanizer idea and get this camera.

I believe that I ( or anyone else for that matter) could definitely
use this camera and very quickly have it pay for itself. Whether it
be used to connect with retail customers who LIKE seeing the
craftsman work or perhaps used to make instructional videos for a few
of the processes many of use in our craft.

The problem I see with it (other than the mention of it’s focus
distance, which I am now going to research more closely) is the
peridyn shift to actually putting it on before starting to work AND
thinking about talking out loud about what it is that I am doing AND
making a mental note to myself to be sure any mumbling done while
working is “G” rated!

I can imagine mounting this camera to my head, allowing it to follow
me as I do jewelry related tasks, including a fade from this camera
to the camcorder attached to my microscope and then zooming the
microscope to full magnification.

I have screen recording software that allows me to make movies of
the computer side of things I do on the PC that is jewelry related
and could use that as a training tool. The problem is in actually
puposing to do so and adopting the processes into my routine.

Keith Hible
masterjeweler.net


#16
I believe that I ( or anyone else for that matter) could
definitely use this camera and very quickly have it pay for itself.
Whether it be used to connect with retail customers who LIKE seeing
the craftsman work or perhaps used to make instructional videos for
a few of the processes many of use in our craft. 

I think you will find that videos from such a camera will be
unwatchable without an air sickness bag :slight_smile: You will not be able to
hold your head still enough to make an acceptable video.

The vulcanizer will probably pay for itself faster.

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#17

I feel the same as Jim. Ever watch the videos of someone who just
got a camera and doesn’t know h frightening - not to mention
dizzying! Now, put that camera on a forehead, as that person works,
he or she reaches for a tool that is on the left – over we go! Now
back to centre! Not that the people on the list aren’t good
photographers, it’s just good to keep a camera for what it was
intended for. Prevail upon the generosity of a friend who can hold a
camera properly or get a little tripod that sits on your workbench. I
bought mine for $1.50 at the local dollar store.

Barbara, having just come back from a sunset walk on the beach with
Juliet, the fierce sandpiuper chasing Brussels Griffon studio dog.