Jan 27, 2005, 2:29 AM
Post #1 of 13
Top Mount Sony HC40
I'd like to listen to some opinions regarding having the video camera on top of a helmet.
I already did it this way because I think it is, and have read some articles in which it seems like a better solution than having it at the side. I'll use it mostly for BASE jumps and just for info, I've never jump with a camera before.
The pros basically would be having the weight centered and avoiding riser strikes which could lead to off heading openings (not good) or any other opening problem when one side has more tension than the other. Am I correct? On the cons side, the only problem I have been told of would be when having a low line twist. The camera could get in the twist making it difficult for head movement while trying to untwist the lines and possibly correcting heading direction. Also if jumping slider down, it would be better to remove the slider completely from the rig, which I already do everytime.
So, does it seems like a good idea? Anything else I didn't think about?
One other con (which is true of all topmounts) is that because it's higher on your head and therefore further away from your neck (which is the pivot point) you'll feel the weight of the camera more on opening. Maybe the difference is negligable but BASE openings are brutal enough for me!
One other con (which is true of all topmounts) is that because it's higher on your head and therefore further away from your neck (which is the pivot point) you'll feel the weight of the camera more on opening.
Acctually it should be less damaging to the neck if you keep your eyes on the horrizon on deployment. The neck (and spine) will take the load better "in line" than off to the side.
I see what you're saying. Take it to the extreme though and put your camera on the end of a 1m pole coming out of the top of your helmet and even little movements are amplified. Like I said though, the difference is probably negligable.
Sounds like you need new Velcro. The best Velcro pile only lasts 100, maybe 200 cycles.
Which is exactly why you shouldn't use a factory diver as a camera helmet.
1) Not secure enough to not move around when the air hits it. Cameraflyers understand just how snugged down a helmet has to be for the camera not to shake.
2) Not a cutaway system installed. I know the older models don't have cutaway capability. But why, with the ability to have one on your camera helmet would you -not- want to upgrade your safety. Those of us in the business of flying camera, who have lost comrades, understand.
3) The top of the regular RW helmet isn't flat which makes for a more insecure mount with a flat camera/box surface. Sure the nice duct tape makes it look cool and all, but does it provide stability in freefall?
btw, 983, would you mind filling out your profile so we know who we're talking to? :^)
(This post was edited by ltdiver on Jan 27, 2005, 8:51 PM)
I always thought that because a topmount is more in line with your spine it is easier to bear the weight there?
If you manage to keep your head straight, yes it is, if it is in line with your neck and spine, the weight will feel the same. If you don't manage to keep your neck straight, an increase in distance between neck -pivot point- and camera - weight- will result in an increase in AUCH!!!!
Sidemounts have an advantage in this aspect.
A good opening procedure helps you to keep the weight centered, and increases the camera-flying lifespan of your neck.
(my drill is: get into a sort of knee-flying position looking straight forward about 2 milliseconds after I released my pilot-chute, looking at your opening is nice, and gives you nice footage, but can hurt like hell. Looking forward leaves you like a blind person while your main is opening, so you have to try to feel what is happening, if it takes too long you can always look up anyway)
938, why not get a helmet made for cameraflying, it doesn't have to be all that expensive to be safe and strong! I can imagine this one falling of your head on opening (my girlfriend lost a Z3 without extra weight on opening), and when BASE-jumping you should always want to keep the helmet on your head 'till after landing...
*editted twice since my english spelling sucks big-time* *and a third time since the 2nd editting sucked!*
(This post was edited by AiRpollUtiOn on Feb 2, 2005, 1:31 PM)
In my experience, top mounts expose you to significantly more risk as far as neck strain on a hard opening. The leverage issue seems to far outway the right to left balance issue.
On the other hand, riser strike on a side mount, while rare, can be bad news on a base jump.
Jumping camera on a base jump is particularly dangerous, and I'm not solidly convinced that either option is clearly better. I lean slightly towards top mount, but wouldn't want to jump camera slider down/3 second delays too frequently! Ouch.
If your risers are long enough, your camera shouldn't be a problem top mounted, because the slider should still be sufficiently above the camera to avoid snagging.
Lots of variables. Good look sorting out what's right for your situation. -Josh