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Helmet Cams: Will They Ever Be Right For TV?


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#1 FastestSector

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:32

So, this weekend Lewis Hamilton has had a go with the helmet camera (View the video of that here)

There's been quite a bit of discussion in various topics here about it. Some say the angle is off-putting, some say it's too hard to make out what's happening and others think it makes you feel like a driver and is amazing. Where do you stand?

I personally still think the usual TV camera view (T-cam) is better. It is cool to see the driver so low down etc, but I don't think I'd like to see the race director always cutting to that view.

What about you?

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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:34

Today's helmet cam was the best I've seen, including the in-visor ones they used to run in CART. Which didn't allow you to see much.

#3 Funkyskunk2

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:37

Better quality


I like it.

#4 GX390

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:37

It's a pretty cool camera, but they won't be much good until the quality significantly improves.

#5 PNSD

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:39

Today's helmet cam was the best I've seen, including the in-visor ones they used to run in CART. Which didn't allow you to see much.


Agreed!

Do you know what the joke is? We could not have got any more than about 3 mins coverage yet we got a lot more pictures of folk in the Mclaren garage, and general no news crap that FOM wanted to show.

FOM and FIA need to make this coverage so much more accessible. Like, a constant onboard view on the website. We've had a few drivers this season yet the coverage has been minimal. These video's are getting locked away in some FOM storage centre instead of being available to the fans.

edit - Same with the goodwood FOS. There were loads of onboard cameras yet coverage was little. It's such a shame.

Edited by PNSD, 06 July 2012 - 18:40.


#6 slideways

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:43

I want to see more of them. Auto correcting gyro like in motogp may improve the shakin/leaning too.

#7 midgrid

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:48

I want to see more of them. Auto correcting gyro like in motogp may improve the shakin/leaning too.


But what's the point in attaching a camera to the driver's helmet and then artificially stabilising it? I thought the whole point of these cameras was to present a more accurate representation of the driver's experience, including vibration, looking around, etc. If you stabilise it then it just becomes, in effect, another static camera, inferior to the the T-bar location because the view is worse.

Edited by midgrid, 06 July 2012 - 18:49.


#8 SirRacer

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:50

Well I wouldn't like it if all the normal T-cam got replaced by cameras in the helmets, but it's always nice to have an unusual camera on the drivers, sometimes in the FW, sometimes in the helmet, sometimes in the rear wing... I don't know, I like the way FOM are doing

#9 FastestSector

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:52

But what's the point in attaching a camera to the driver's helmet and then artificially stabilising it? I thought the whole point of these cameras was to present a more accurate representation of the driver's experience, including vibration, looking around, etc. If you stabilise it then it just becomes, in effect, another static camera, inferior to the the T-bar location because the view is worse.

I agree. If you don't show the movement then it's pointless.

#10 SirRacer

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:53

But what's the point in attaching a camera to the driver's helmet and then artificially stabilising it? I thought the whole point of these cameras was to present a more accurate representation of the driver's experience, including vibration, looking around, etc. If you stabilise it then it just becomes, in effect, another static camera, inferior to the the T-bar location because the view is worse.

A more accurate representation would be if the image was stabilised.

We, humans (amongst other animals), have got this awesome gyro device called eyeballs and neck that allows us to keep looking at the same point even if we are shaking :lol:

Edited by SirRacer, 06 July 2012 - 18:54.


#11 slideways

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:54

Because the drivers aren't seeing that vibration, the human eye & brain correct it. I am no camera tech though, I have no idea how to capture it more accurately.

#12 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:55

There's not that much vibration, and a bit of movement gives you a sense of the speed and loading on the driver.

#13 JRizzle86

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 18:57

There's not that much vibration, and a bit of movement gives you a sense of the speed and loading on the driver.


It might improve on quality over time but in terms of camera location it ain't gonna get much better unless you want to put a camera over the driver's eyes.

#14 Atic Atac

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:16

It might improve on quality over time but in terms of camera location it ain't gonna get much better unless you want to put a camera over the driver's eyes.


I´ve always thought that you could put a camera on both sides of the helmet and use an editing program to "create" a image simulating the actual point of view of the driver. I don´t think it´s that hard really.

#15 Seanspeed

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:22

Its cool, but the sense of speed doesn't seem as impressive as normal onboard shots for some reason.

#16 mdaclarke

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:38

We, humans (amongst other animals), have got this awesome gyro device called eyeballs and neck that allows us to keep looking at the same point even if we are shaking :lol:



:lol: :lol: :lol:

#17 engel

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:45

There's not that much vibration, and a bit of movement gives you a sense of the speed and loading on the driver.


yeah but visually, for the non anoraks, it's crappy TV, that's why they don't use them that much

#18 Obi Offiah

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:46

Today's helmet cam was the best I've seen, including the in-visor ones they used to run in CART. Which didn't allow you to see much.

I said pretty much the same thing in the McLaren thread Ross. The view angle isn't quite right as its a little high, but the quality and image damping was impressive. Overall (if only one view was allowed) I'd prefer the standard T-Cam because it allows the viewer to make more accurate judgements about what they are seeing as well as providing a more complete forward view.

#19 Obi Offiah

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 21:53

But what's the point in attaching a camera to the driver's helmet and then artificially stabilising it? I thought the whole point of these cameras was to present a more accurate representation of the driver's experience, including vibration, looking around, etc. If you stabilise it then it just becomes, in effect, another static camera, inferior to the the T-bar location because the view is worse.

In my opinion it is more accurate to have the image stabilised to quite a degree. The human body as well including it's senses such as the inner ear, will naturally dampen a lot of the vibration and tilt angle witnessed in undamped videos.

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#20 OoxLox

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 23:02

I'm not bothered about helmet cams, though the latest one is a lot better than the last few efforts we've seen. What I want is something like this which gives me the same sort of view I'd get from the pillion seat if this were a sports bike and I were wishing I'd decided to wait for the bus (been there, thrown up afterwards). I can see Senna bouncing around in his seat and his head shaking with the car over the kerbs and bumps. They had some cracking camera positions on the late 80's cars and the "behind the driver" look seems more "there" to me than helmet views, probably from all those times looking over a mate's shoulder thinking "no way we're taking that bend at this speed".

#21 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 23:56

But what's the point in attaching a camera to the driver's helmet and then artificially stabilising it? I thought the whole point of these cameras was to present a more accurate representation of the driver's experience, including vibration, looking around, etc. If you stabilise it then it just becomes, in effect, another static camera, inferior to the the T-bar location because the view is worse.

The problem is that shaking around isn't actually realistic. The brain has a steady cam software. Does your vision really shake around all the time while you're walking?

#22 Anonymous

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 00:21

If it's HD, then yes.

#23 Romulan

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:04

The problem is that shaking around isn't actually realistic. The brain has a steady cam software. Does your vision really shake around all the time while you're walking?


An amazing bit of "software" indeed. ". . . your brain takes its own picture of [an] object for comparison purposes. It knows where your eyes are going to move next, and it forms an image of the object that precedes our conscious, visual perception of it. Then, when our eyes do perceive that object in a sensory way (meaning we can see it), our brain has already laid the framework for a smooth transition. There's no shakiness and no instability. The brain has anticipated what our eyes are going to see, and it uses that anticipatory image for comparison to make sure the world has indeed remained stable in the split-second between the before shot and the after shot."

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Contemplating the human brain anticipating itself and filling in the gaps gives me the goosebumps. I mean, who the hell's in charge here anyway?




#24 goldenboy

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:57

I absolutely love it the way they have done it all year and obviously the lewis one is the best.

Don't understand what the fuss is about though as it will never replace t cam, it's just a nice little bonus they will sometimes show.

#25 SUPRAF1

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 02:50

I don't particularly like them. They are good at times but the regular stable overhead is the best because you get a clearer view of how close cars get or contact between cars (which is what they're mostly used for), and the driver's lines through the track.

Not to mention the image is very very clear and crisp and makes for great TV :)