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Thread: Camera Position with only 1

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gian's Avatar
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    Default Camera Position with only 1

    I was wondering. What is the preferred camera angle when watching race footage?
    I personally think for learning and instruction it should be as close as possible to the windshield. So you can just see the steering inputs with as much of the track and centered as possible.
    For just learning the track. I like a full view. Outside center above the windshield.
    That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

  2. #2
    Sir flink
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    Driver's view if poss. And it must show the hands! Not showing the hands is terrible information loss.

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    Track Whore Pure EvoIX's Avatar
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    Best position is between the driver and passenger seat and about ~6-8 in back. Basically where you can use a camera mount on a roll bar or rollcage. Have FOV not at 170 but 140deg ish or so. The medium angle. You can see the driver, the hands, the shift knob, full windshield, passenger mirror, rear view mirror, half out the passenger window, maybe a bit out of the driver window if not blocked. Keep distortion at a minimum and perspective somewhat realistic. Also get some yellow electical tape and tape the top dead center of steering wheel. MUCH easier to see steering angles and inputs on video vs black on black that is not as obvious.
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    Senior Member Gian's Avatar
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    I'll have to agree with seeing the mirrors. I do like seeing whats going on behind as well.
    That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

  5. #5
    enjoys driving fast Jack Olsen's Avatar
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    A lot of this will depend on your camera. Many of them will have contrast or focus issues that will keep them from showing both the driver/cockpit and window view in the same shot. Many don't. You need to try it with your camera and see how it works.

    I have three cameras in my car. One is on the rear-view mirror stalk, which gives a windshield perspective and is also out of the way. One is over the shoulder looking down at the driver. one is on the rear license plate. They're all HD cameras, but they're small and inexpensive ($38). They're the size of a key fob -- in fact they're designed to look just like a key fob ().

    I use the editing software that came with my computer to combine them.

    Here's a clip with all three cameras included.

    Short Session on a Slippery Track

    Here's one with just two cameras for most of the clip, with a cutaway to the third late in the clip.

    My Quickest Lap at Willow Springs

    Oddly, I find the one that's outside the car gets the best audio.

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    Senior Member rhouck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Olsen View Post
    I have three cameras in my car. One is on the rear-view mirror stalk, which gives a windshield perspective and is also out of the way. One is over the shoulder looking down at the driver. one is on the rear license plate. They're all HD cameras, but they're small and inexpensive ($38). They're the size of a key fob -- in fact they're designed to look just like a key fob ().
    Name/info on those cameras? $38 would be great for adding a few extra cameras, especially on interior views.

  7. #7
    enjoys driving fast Jack Olsen's Avatar
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    My apologies in advance for diverting the thread. To the original poster: right between the seats and about as high as a headrest is the best place for the camera.

    On the little cameras, you can get them for $38.99 (delivered) here. They'll be coming from China, so don't order them three days before your event.

    I got the lenses from Dealextreme. For the view of the driver, I use a full fish-eye. For the other locations, I use one like this.

    And thanks to some technical-minded kid on some RC board I happened onto, I know that this adhesive does a great job with the plastic the camera cases are made of. I just positioned the camera in a holder (a little panavise, used gently), verified the view by plugging the camera into a laptop, and dabbed the adhesive around the perimeter of the lens base.

    I got a USB-type cigarette-lighter charger and then ran USB cables to each camera so I never have to think about the batteries. I put 32G micro-SD cards in each one, which pretty much means I can run them all day.

    Downsides to this, compared to GoPro/Hero/whatever: there is no monitor on the camera, only a blinking light to tell you it's recording. So you have to make sure it's pointed the right way with a laptop or by testing it and then downloading the footage. Upside: the cameras are cheap as dirt and 720p.

    Here are some not-very-useful pictures. But they're all I've got. I later reinforced the license plate mount so it wouldn't vibrate as much. It now has a triangle-shaped support underneath it. The roll hoop mount is a slice of PVC tuping pop-riveted to a piece of metal. For the mount on the base of the rear-view mirror (for forward-facing video), I used a hose clamp to hold a small piece of aluminum that the camera is taped to. It's all pretty much improvised. But the cameras are so light, it's hard to screw up.

    I actually have the front camera mounted upside down, which makes the buttons easier to get at. I flip the image with my editing software (Quicktime and iMovie on a Mac).



    I sync the audio by turning all three cameras on before I start the car's engine. The sound of the motor cranking shows up on all three cameras' audio. If I'm just using the two inside-the-car cameras, clapping my hands three times makes syncing even easier, since it's on the video track too.

    Here's a video review of the camera:

    The 808 #16 Micro HD Cam - YouTube
    Last edited by Jack Olsen; 08-31-2012 at 09:57 AM.
    rhouck likes this.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Olsen View Post
    A lot of this will depend on your camera. Many of them will have contrast or focus issues that will keep them from showing both the driver/cockpit and window view in the same shot. Many don't. You need to try it with your camera and see how it works.

    I have three cameras in my car. One is on the rear-view mirror stalk, which gives a windshield perspective and is also out of the way. One is over the shoulder looking down at the driver. one is on the rear license plate. They're all HD cameras, but they're small and inexpensive ($38). They're the size of a key fob -- in fact they're designed to look just like a key fob ().
    I use the editing software that came with my computer to combine them.

    Here's a clip with all three cameras included.

    Short Session on a Slippery Track

    Here's one with just two cameras for most of the clip, with a cutaway to the third late in the clip.

    My Quickest Lap at Willow Springs

    Oddly, I find the one that's outside the car gets the best audio.
    I've seen those (or something like them) on ebay. I agree with you. More is better and love your videos (Watched them more then once) But for right now I was mostly asking because I'm heading out the the Nationals and wanted to know what people like to see most of.
    That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gian's Avatar
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    Jack, great info... Thank you
    That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

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    Senior Member azngotmilk's Avatar
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    thats awesome, i might actually look into this.. i "love" the go pro but they're a bit expensive if you want more than 1..

  11. #11
    Sir flink
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Olsen View Post
    A lot of this will depend on your camera. Many of them will have contrast or focus issues that will keep them from showing both the driver/cockpit and window view in the same shot.
    Yup. I tape a strip of tinted film over the camera lens so it darkens the outside view but leaves the inside view unaltered. To decrease the amount of contrast which the camera has to deal with. It works pretty well.

    Without:



    With:



    Mainly so the instrument cluster is readable in all lighting conditions.

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