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NexGenSkydiver

Prefered Camera Helmet Setup

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Just trying to get an idea of what different camera flyers like. If you wouldnt mind adding a little comment about why you picked what you did. Also, do you use adjustments for different styles of jumps? Cutaway or no cutaway? Do you have a box around your camera or no protection? Open face or full face?

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See my avatar ;)
Rear-entry camera helmet.
Topmounted video (in box, but have jumped without too).
Frontmounted stills, either vertical or horizontal depending on what 'm filming and which lens I use. My stills camera is too big to go up top, might try that otherwise.
I would only use sidemount if you really have to, like for AFF/coach jumps but not for tandems, FS, CRW etc.
Cutaway: of course. Should IMO be mandatory on every camera helmet (including -especially- go pro's etc), so this precludes using a fullface in general.

ciel bleu,
Saskia

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Rear-entry (Vapor Wes Pro), because it provides the most real estate for various equipment, and allows a more compact (i.e., more snag-resistant) sight assembly.

Everything on top, because it is easier on my neck. I did damage to my neck prior to this using front-mounted stills. My DSLR can be mounted horizontal or vertical, but 99% of the time it is horizontal.

No boxes. I think they are silly in many ways, particularly for top-mounted cameras. They make otherwise small cameras unnecessarily large, and keep you from easily accessing various camera settings. Just don't bash your head/helmet/cameras against doors/ceilings/other jumpers—but this is good advice either way. ;) FWIW, I have gone sans box for almost a decade and thousands of jumps, and have never damaged a camera or lens jumping.

No cutaway. My EPs do include jettisoning the helmet (one-button release). I expect to get flamed for this. So be it.

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those guys are pros - take my pic knowing I don't know anything yet about video

here's my 'starter' setup - the only remaining update to this one is a new mounting plate so my still will be rightside up and so there will be a 2nd contact point on the still for more security (a good friend came up with his own custom enclosure for the mindwarp we see here - I think it's super clean and not complicated at all - I have it setup so I can swap out batteries and cards and do previews all without dismounting anything. the only disassembly would come from swapping out the tongue switch)

i get a little jitter filming 4-way (I think I need thicker padding with the resulting snugger fit) - but nice and calm for Freefly and tandems so far

there is a cutaway on it as well - it's so simple, I see no reason why I shouldn't have - I like the spring/cotter pin anyway better than threaded fasteners

but I'm a newbie (I used to do VHS cams a LONG time ago - this is much nicer and easier on the neck) at camera - it's a lot of fun

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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@ Original poster - I'm also a "topmount all, no boxes" kind of guy, with a Wes Pro Vapor, for the reasons that Phil mentioned and more - keeping everything top mounted reduces the impact that the wind has on video (unless you're jumping head down, naturally).

I had (as in, I don't use any more) a Tonfly CC1 with a DSLR top, video side mount (in a box), and found the video tended to be a little wibbly-wobbly in the wind.

@ Phil - I found the cutaway that is commercially available for the Wes Pro Vapor less than ideal, so I took the cutaway system off the Tonfly and put it on the Wes Pro. Much nicer arrangement. Check it out next time we're both at Pepperell.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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Quote

No boxes. I think they are silly in many ways, particularly for top-mounted cameras.



I agree, however the biggest reason I now jump a box is weather. This will depend a lot on where you jump weatherwise and rule-wise, but I find myself occasionally going through, eh, wet haze so to speak. Not good for my camera...

ciel bleu,
Saskia

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My only objection to the "one on top, one in the front" thing is that, for heavier cameras and big assed lenses, it puts the center of gravity further forward. If you end up with a bad opening, there's a greater possibility for whiplashy goodness.

Then again, that's what I've been told, not personal experience.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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See avatar, rear entry, BH Mantle. Probably be upgrading to something with more room on top soon though as I'd like to start adding flash and or LED lighting in the future. Both cameras on top, can do vertical or horizontal on the stills, 99% of what I shoot is horizontal, no cages of any kind. I've never lost a lens or damaged a camera yet. That said, I do have a back up for both cameras on the DZ with me most all the time should I need one.

I use it for shooting Tandems, 4 Way and larger and even WS formations. For free flying, tracking dives, etc. I use a FF friendly simple helmet with a GoPro. Anything that I'm making $$ on gets the Mantle though. I went with top mount so as to keep the weight centered and to try and keep the wear and tear on my neck to a minimum. 500+ jumps with this setup and I'm still very happy with my choices so far.

BK

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I shoot a lot of inside video as well, so for me I like the versatility of having a side mount vid, with stills on top. If I were just outside video, I think large top mounted setups would be the best.

I have my stills on a quick release on top, and that allows me to very easily remove the SLR, crank my ring sight out of the way, and go shoot inside/POV without much thought.

I guess it just depends on exactly what type of footage you are looking for.

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I have a top mount the Video and Stills are mounted side by side and I usually jump with the still camera horizontally however I have an RRS L-bracket for my still camera and can mount the still camera vertically as well (If desired...)

the Video Camera (a CX100) is held inside a Cookie Cage

edited to add: FWIW when I started jumping I initially used a side mount but switched to a top mount after about 100 jumps... and personally I prefer the top mount.
Livin' on the Edge... sleeping with my rigger's wife...

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Both still (Nikon D90) & video (CX100) mounted on top (Vapor Wes Pro) using RRS quick release mounts. Very clean and very well balanced. The only gripe has nothing to do with camera positioning but the chin cup positioning. It makes the tongue switch somewhat of a pain to get setup and use. Other than that pretty nice.
Sky Canyon Wingsuiters

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I think the top central mount for video and front central mount for the stills gives a good balance as far as the back and neck are concerned....does it for me anyway,,,,,,that said I look up everytime during deployment (I know you're not supposed to) and that position produces that balance I believe.

Sony HDR HC3 on top...nice and light...
Canon 350d with a condom (absolute must for front mounted stills camera....in 'Limey Land' anyway!!!)
Bite switch
Cameye

B|B|B|

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