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Camera setup in my race car

 
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3083
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:43 pm    Post subject: Camera setup in my race car Reply with quote

I've received many questions about the camera setup in my racecar, so I thought I'd address them all in one place to make it easy to reference later.

First though, here is a sample 150mb video of a race of mine in May 2006
http://www.bmwpugetsound.com/videos/IRDC_May_21_high_rez.wmv

List of stuff, of these, only the camera and mount are essential for getting started:

Camera:
Sony DCR-HC32 (or other newer better quality camera)
I bought mine from Amazon.com, there are many listed for sale on ebay.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007M3PKI/unofficialbmwweb
Here is the PDF manual to this camera:
http://www.unofficialbmw.com/images/DCRHC32-42.pdf

If I was buying a new camera today, I'd get a pure digital one that directly supports a format that YouTube or Vimeo support.
Pure digital let's you copy the digital file from the memory stick on the camera, saving the time it takes to capture the video from a MiniDV camera.
Having a YouTube or Vimeo format directly supported saves the conversion step.
With digital, you can just copy the file over, edit, export/publish, and upload.
With MiniDV, you need to capture, convert, edit, export/publish, and upload.

Cable, USB or Firewire:
With this Sony, you can use USB (1.0?) or Firewire, since Firewire is faster, I wanted to use that and bought a Firewire cable.
There are 2 different types of Firewire connections, see end of this post for details, get the right one for your camera and computer.
This is the type I use, 4wire on one end for the camera, and 6wire on the other end for my computer.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001TH7GVY/unofficialbmwweb

Mount:
Original mount $5, 2 "L" brackets from Home Depot and 2 hose clamps to attach this to the roll cage. Bend a bit and it's nice and solid. Use large zip-tie for secondary attachment of camera to roll cage.

I/O Port Camera Mount $99, very nice flexible mount.
http://www.apexperformance.net/cartgenie/prodList.asp?scat=233

Wide-Angle Lens:
I bought a generic 30mm 0.5x wide angle on ebay.
Here is a Sony 0.6x wide angle 25mm lens on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001GUQZM/unofficialbmwweb

Or get complete kit of lens and filters at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GF8FKG/unofficialbmwweb

Polarizing Filter:
I bought a generic kit of 30mm that came with an adapter to attach to the 25mm lens of the Sony camcorder. If you want to use this with the wide angle for in car filming, be sure to get one with threads on both sides of the filter.

Get complete kit of lens and filters at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GF8FKG/unofficialbmwweb

Extra Capacity Battery:
I bought a generic FP90, supposed to be good for 4 hours, around $49.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000294HD0/unofficialbmwweb
Or check http://www.atbatt.com

Software:
I'm using the FREE Microsoft Movie Maker software, download it here:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/updates/moviemaker2.mspx
Windows Vista/Win7, come with a newer version that supports HD video editing.

DVDs:
I'm using a LiteON DVD-Recorder 5115 from Costco $120
http://us.liteonit.com/us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=162&Itemid=158

The above are the basics, I'll go into more detail here.

Camera:
I bought the Sony DCR-HC32, but the 21,42,26,36,46 models all are good choices as well. They all use the same MiniDV tape format to make it easy to swap with your friends, they all have a 25mm lens so you may borrow a filter or wide angle from another guy with the same setup.

You may also use this camera to take digital still images if you buy a stick of Memory Stick Pro Duo, I'll probably buy a 1G version soon:
My understanding is this is only for the still images, you may only store video to MiniDV tape.
Here is a 1GB from Sony for $46 on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00083JQY0/unofficialbmwweb

What about bullet cams? Check out these guys for the bullet cam systems, see their sample videos, they don't look nearly as good as mine in the higher resolutions
http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/

To build your own multi-cam system from various pieces, check out this page:
http://www.s2ki.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=332928

Firewire:
4wire left and 6wire right



More details on Firewire:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394_interface

YouTube:
Here are some guidelines on resolution, FPS, other specs for video files to upload to YouTube.
http://www.youtube.com/t/howto_makevideo

My settings are:
File type: WMV
Bit rate 2.1Mbps
Size 720x480
Aspect ratio 4:3
FPS(frames per second): 30

YouTube help on file formats:
http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55744
YouTube help on editing videos and uploading
http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/topic.py?topic=16561
http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=16560
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Last edited by dale on Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3083
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've updated this post with some new information on how I'm doing video in the race car.

Dale
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