Helmet camera roundup

Whether it is for safety purposes on your commute or recording some extreme mountain bike downhill action, helmet cameras are getting popular amongst cyclists. The good news is, most of them don’t have as much of a heart attack inducing price tag as you might think.

See also: How a pro uses a helmet camera

Contour HD Helmet Camera

Contour HD helmet camera

This is the helmet camera used by my fellow cycling blogger Gaz. He praises the slim line and lightweight design. It is easy to use and has multiple mounting options. The Contour helmet camera also has two lasers that allow you to check the angle is right. Additionally, the lens can rotate separately to the body.

Amazon have the Contour HD camera for £229.99

Veho Muvi Cycle Camera

Veho Muvi helmet camera

Muvi Camera at the Cycle ShowIf you couple the stunningly tiny Muvi with the Extreme Sports Pack you’ve got a filming package that few would complain about. The Muvi first caught my eye at the Cycle Show and I’m glad it did. It looks like something out of a James Bond movie. The Muvi is fitted with a 2 megapixel camera and can record for approximately two to three hours. An impressive extra feature in this helmet camera is the voice activated recording for hands free operation.

To be the boastful owner of this helmet camera the price tag is actually £10 less than what I thought at £42.90 on Amazon.co.uk. This makes the camera a bargain compared to other options. Below I’ve posted up a clip of the camera in action – remember this video is compressed and therefore looses some of the quality..

Amazon have the Veho Muvi helmet camera for £42.90. The extreme sports pack is cheapest on Amazon.co.uk for just £9.99.

Veho muvi on Amazon


Go Pro Helmet Camera

GoPro Helmet Camera

When I was filmed cycling around London by ITV this was their helmet camera of choice. It records truly stunning video. It also does fairly well on the audio front considering the level of noise on some of the streets in London.

The most popular version most people will opt for is the 5 megapixel camera at £169.99. There is also a HD version that is quite costly at £319.99 but of course the results might make it worth splashing the extra cash.

GoPro 960 camera packageThe major downside to the GoPro is that it is fairly clunky and you can’t view the video recorded on the go. Therefore, it takes a while to get the setup just right to record. All the video recorded is stored in an SD card which can be quickly uploaded onto your computer. The helmet camera has approximately 2 to 3 hours battery life. The best part of the GoPro helmet camera is that it also comes with a waterproof case to survive the British winter.

Amazon is £176.99 and Chain Reaction Cycles is £169.99

Veho muvi on Amazon

See also:

Join 9,241 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter to get...

  • Advice on the best cycling gear
  • A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
  • Exclusive content not available on the blog

Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)

*No spam, ever!

As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

, , ,

22 Responses to Helmet camera roundup

  1. K 13/10/2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Those look very good, but if you’re on a budget you can consider doing what I did…

    I bought a cradle for my phone on eBay (about £20 incl. delivery). It works for most phones. Whenever I start a trip, I just press record on the camera. I haven’t had to use any of the video as evidence, thankfully, but it’s already recorded a few near misses I could choose to report.

    Since my phone multitasks I can run Endomondo in the background at the same time (so saving cash on a proper bicycle computer).

    I’ve used it in heavy rain and my Nokia E72 took it like a champ.

    Cheap and it works :)

    • Andreas 13/10/2010 at 3:11 pm #

      The DIY helmet camera solution is always a good one!

    • Heath Ravey 06/11/2010 at 7:03 pm #

      Theres a really good one just in with a new company called Emotive Solutions. There recorder is the Divemate. As the name suggests it can be used under water but comes with attachments for bikes, helmets, wrist and built in very bright torch. Very robust, plugs straight into PC or laptop and plays through media players.

      The British cycling team are using them at the veladrome in Manchester. There’s also footage on you tube of various sports including snowboarding, caving, diving cycling etc Its really good if your into a few different sports or even any sort of convenient recording.

      They are on facebook as well. Think its £130.00 all in.

  2. matt_fantastic 13/10/2010 at 2:38 pm #

    i’m loving my muvi camera to capture my ride to and from work. got a fast 8GB card to capture everything, and although a bit shaky and lots of wind noise, overall great value for money…

  3. maryka 13/10/2010 at 2:41 pm #

    We got one of the Muvi cams and it’s pretty good for a little cheapo camera. However I do find the sound and video to be out of sync. In my 3 min video for the Catford hill climb last weekend, it was already out by a second or so midway through.

  4. Gaz 13/10/2010 at 2:54 pm #

    No ContourHD?
    I’ve used the ContourHD for nearly a year now, and I love it. 720p/1080p HD quality, good design, water resitant and plenty of accesories for loads of options. I use two ContourHD’s front and rear.

    Muvi is deffiently the best bang for your buck. The picture quality (apart from in the dark) is great for the cost and although the mounting options aren’t great out of the box, it is very easy to bodge your own mounts and plenty of people have started posting videos on youtube using such cameras.
    The voice activation feature is useless if being used as a helmet camera, it will record for 30mins and then shut off until it hears something over a certain db and then start recording again, anything inbetween that is lost.

    Don’t even bother with the oregon scientific cameras, the quality is crap and it doesn’t really work helmet mounted.

    Whilst the GoProHD is clearly one of the best cameras out there.. a helmet camera? too boxy for me, which is why i went for the Contour’s. However a few people have mounted them onto there stems with very good results.

    If you want a camera on the cheap. Get the Muvi (or alternatively the MD80 which is very similar but at around £20 a bargin) But for quality you will want to be spending upwards of £100.

    It’s worth noting that these cameras use a CMOS sensor and in night conditions they won’t work very well without some sort of halogen light. For decent night videos you will need a camera which uses a CCD sensor, but these A. aren’t cheap. B. aren’t held in a single unit.

    • Andreas 13/10/2010 at 3:10 pm #

      I didn’t mention the Contour HD in the end in favour of the GoPro but both are good cameras as can be witnessed by your excellent YouTube channel ;)

  5. Lacy 13/10/2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Curious as to why you would pick just one and not both the GoPro and the Contour. While they are both, in essence, hands free cameras, they do a few different things and come with different features/packages.

    If anyone wants more info on the Contour, check out the reviews at Backcountry.com:
    http://www.backcountry.com/contour-contourhd-1080p-wearable-camcorder

    Lacy @ Contour

    • Andreas 13/10/2010 at 5:21 pm #

      I’m not hating on Contour! It’s a great Helmet Cam. It’s just I’ve had personal hands on experience with the Go Pro where as I’ve not with the Contour. If you guys send one over I’d be happy to review it for the site!

  6. thereverent 13/10/2010 at 10:50 pm #

    I’d recomend the MUVI as the camera is pretty good (struggles in low light but for the price is to be expected) and the sports kit helmet mount is very good (I keep it on my helmet the whole time). Its worth buying a larger and better quality SD card for it.
    Another benifit is you can plug it in to your computer without taking it off your helmet, so speeds up getting the footage. Oh and that it charges from a USB cable so no buying batteries and I charge it up at work from my desk computer.

    Before that I bought an Oregon Scientific ACT5K which I have been disapointed with. It was too heavy to put on a helmet mount, so I put it on the handlebars (which gives the picture a rocking motion which isn’t great). The picture quality isn’t as good as I hoped for (less than the MUVI). Its very robust, but not really that good for cycling footage.

    I’d like a ContourHD like Gaz, but thats in my purchase list behind a new commute bike, so not likely in the near future.

    • Andreas 14/10/2010 at 10:25 am #

      Watching through some of your videos you really wonder some times how people can drive that badly and for that matter cycle so badly! Definitely good use of a helmet camera.

  7. Adrian 14/10/2010 at 6:01 pm #

    I’ve got a Muvi close. I beleive that it’s similar to this camera from ebuyer (mine was from ebay shipped from hong kong). It’s proved pretty good so far, although I’d not trust it in the wet. I use a lacky band to strap it to my helmet. Here’s an example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMyFAjyhnnI

    link to camera here:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/183959

    • Adrian 14/10/2010 at 6:02 pm #

      Meant Muvi “Clone”

      • Kevin Campbell's Blog 04/02/2011 at 2:27 pm #

        that looks brilliant for the money adrian, considering it looks the same in design and video quality

        is it exactly the same though, apart from brand name? i am wondering if i would be able to use handlebar mounts? as that is what i would rather do if i had the choice of a camera on my head or handlebars

        thanks

  8. AgeMurph 14/10/2010 at 6:51 pm #

    I invested in a camera clamp and attached my compact Canon onto it as I didn’t want another camera (I have 3 already!)

    Clamp: http://www.pedcopods.com/products.shtml
    It’s the ultra clamp model, 28 squid on Amazon.

    Took it on the London Skyride in September and filmed this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X5E6I3EzuU

    Works like a charm, I’ve even used it on my scooter.

    -Age

  9. chris 18/03/2011 at 11:52 am #

    I used a GoPro HD on 5 second timelapse to make this video when I cycled around Portland, Weymouth and then to Bournemouth:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UC9D_YSJD4&hd=1

  10. AgeMurph 18/03/2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Wicked.. the 5 sec timelapse gives it a nice effect.. didnt know the GoPro did that. Got it on an old Sony and I used it from time to time. -Age

  11. Andy Clarke 30/04/2011 at 9:40 am #

    I have a tiny HD camera mounted on my helmet. It cost £25 from ebay and gives 40 minutes coverage. It’s reviewed excellently here complete with video quality examples. I’m in the process of getting a driver prosecuted for driving with using a mobile…the police were blown away with the quality of the video. If we all used these, we’d change diver behaviour overnight.

    http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2011/2/18/finally-a-real-hd-mini-keyring-spy-camera-11-808.html

  12. Jonomc 18/06/2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Maybe somewhat off the beaten track but I have an issue with helmet cams – my wife may notice if she views it that I tend to spend just a little too long behind a good looking female cyclist than maybe strictly necessary – I could end up in more trouble from her than any HGV! – OK you can all go back to being serious now :)

  13. doug 09/02/2012 at 11:09 pm #

    Hello,
    Is there a Bluetooth capable helmet cam? Seems silly to me to lug all the recording bits around on your head when most of us carry a Bluetooth capable phone (with a +4Gb card) in our back pocket. Pair the two. Switch on both when heading out. Delete if it was an uneventful ride and you don’t has to sue somebody.

  14. John Somers 09/02/2013 at 6:10 pm #

    I use the Contour HD1080P every time I cycle and while it is a great camera it does have a few quirks and features that I have come to know about:

    1) sometimes the video and audio becomes un-synched on long runs of an hour+ which causes a few headaches in that you have to process the video through some form of editing software to make it of any use – this is my main grip as my commuting run is an excess of an hour each way!

    2) the audio from the internal microphone is between pretty poor to appalling most of the time and now that the guarantee is up I will be investigating “modifying” it to accept and external mic in the near future, which shouldn’t be too hard as I am an electronics engineer.

    3) the mounts made for the Contour range of cameras could be better (especially when you consider how expensive they are) and the other problem is that you need to remember to fit the lid to the camera because they really are not that adaptable to some of the odd shapes that cycling helmets have, in incorporating vents etc.

    Never the less these are great bits of kit and I would highly recommend them for the price but do not be fooled that you can make films with them…but often enough to force councils to cave in with regard to claims for shitty potholed roads and for police to carry out investigations in to road traffic offences etc!

  15. Vladimir 25/07/2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Can I just ask – the Muvi camera, they’re not waterproof, are they? Hence you’d need the waterproof case as well?

Leave a Reply