I sauntered into Circuit City the other day as they are on their death spiral to extinction. I've been looking at movie cameras lately. I had trouble deciding whether to get something cheap or get something that I'd use for a while. Well, Circuit City had the low-end Aiptek high-definition unit for only $95. I bought it on impulse with absolutely zero research into this brand. That is very unlike me. It was the last one they had.
$4 of elastic and velcro plus piece of aluminum I had laying around.
Initial assessment is the thing has poor sensitivity and dynamic range. Indoor shooting was weak. No surprise for $95. It basically uses a pinhole lens. The next day I took it outside in bright daylight. It actually came through with some pretty clear images in 1280x720 mode. Fills memory fast. I bought a 8GB SDHC memory card at Best Buy (using a gift card I still had) for $24.95. This is good for several hours of HD recording. Of course, I could never upload a gigabytes snippet to Vimeo. At least the unit uses H.264 compression to help with file size yet maintains decent balance with picture quality.
I built a couple mounts for the camera. One is an elastic strap with velcro closure for skiing. The 2" wide strap should keep the camera stable for skate technique. Don't look for any Weston race videos. Not nearly enough light for this inexpensive gadget. Bombing down Jennings or Cascade at Waterville Valley, good bet.
Scrap piece of aluminum, hole drilled into it, silicon adhesive for helmet attach. Permanent camera tripod mount dedicated to this old helmet.
The other mount is helmet. I hope to be the first to capture video descending Skyline Trail on the back side of Haleakala, Mauna Kea, and the rugged 4WD descent from summit of Mauna Loa on the Hawaiian islands. I may have to shim the shooting angle a little when I have some time to try it with various riding positions.
This camera is not as compact as the Pure Flip Cam, but it is very light, has a much larger, rotatable in any direction viewing screen, and uses LiIon rechargeable battery. It also has standard camera tripod screw hole on the bottom so I can easily bolt it to whatever mount I want with 1/4-20 screw. Haven't installed the software that came with it yet, but I'm sure it's cheesy. I have no intentions of sinking much time into this. Blogging a few times per week already is a big enough time sink.