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What Is a Helmet Camera?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2014
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Sometimes referred to as a bullet camera, the helmet camera is a device that can be attached to a helmet or similar headgear, and used to take photos or create a video of events in the immediate area. One benefit of this type of camera is that the operator’s hands are free, making it possible to engage in other tasks while still shooting stills and creating video segments of the surrounding action. While the first helmet cameras were somewhat cumbersome, the latest digital models are lightweight and designed for quick and easy use.

There are two main categories of the helmet camera. One type is the CMOS design. This version makes use of an image sensor constructed with a complimentary metal oxide semiconductor, or CMOS. A helmet-mounted camera of this kind is very light and offers the advantage of using less power. While the clarity is not of the highest definition, the captured images are usually of good enough quality for most amateur endeavors.

The second category of helmet camera is known as the CCD camera. This camera makes use of what is known as a charge-coupled device image sensor, or CCD. The image output is analog rather than digital, and the camera uses more power than its CMOS counterpart. Professionals are more likely to go with this type of helmet video camera, since the picture resolution is of higher quality.

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The earliest versions of the helmet camera were heavier and somewhat larger than the models available today. Many were designed for wear with the helmets that are routinely worn by construction workers. Over time, the camera technology was refined, allowing the devices to be easy to attach to motorcycle helmets, as well as football helmets. Some of the consumer models on the market today are small enough to be attached to a bicycle helmet, making them ideal for taking images while engaged in a bike marathon or simply pedaling through an appealing countryside.

Lightweight versions of the helmet camera can also be attached to the foot or the waist, making it possible to keep the hands free and allow the eyes to move at will, rather than having to be trained on a subject at all times. The wide availability of these cameras has made them popular for parties of all types, as well as special events such as sporting events, outdoor concerts, and other venues where the use of cameras is permitted. While the helmet camera is available in most camera shops, consumers who cannot find one locally can choose from a variety of brands and models at online retail web sites.

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