Remote Controlled Helmet Camera

Shooting pictures while driving motorcycle gives nice results, but is a dangerous task when done by hand. Hands-off driving on a curvy road and looking through the view-finder of a camera at the same time is a tricky thing to do. Therefore I was looking for a better way to do it - and I found one.

How To

Fixing my camera (Minolta Riva Zoom 140 Ex) to my helmet is not a really new idea. I think lots of people already have done similar things, even with camcorders (see MCF page). It has the advantage that the view angle of the picture you take is well aligned with the direction you look at. I just fix my camera with a thick (5mm) bent piece of wire and two rubber bands to my helmet. It's still possible to open and close the visor. I think, the pictures explain it all.

The more tricky part is how to actually take a picture. I solved this by modifying the little remote control, which is available for my camera. I opened the remote control device and cut out the infrared LED. Before closing it again, I soldered cables to the old connections of the infrared LED and to the contacts of the the remote control's button. On the other ends of the cables I again fixed the infrared LED and a little pushbutton. The LED can then be placed somewhere at the handlebar of the motorcycle in front of the camera. The pushbutton can be placed somewhere you can reach it with any of your fingers while keeping your hands at their normal riding position. The remote control can be stored somewhere, for example in a tank bag.

With this configuration you can easily take pictures while riding. Just sit on your bike, switch on your camera and off you go. But be aware, that most camers nowadays automatically switch off after a while.

Examples at Night

At night, you can shoot nice pictures which give a great impression of speed. But please switch off the flash light of the camera before doing so. Otherwise you might be considered a motorcycle cop. I don't know whether you like that idea.

Daylight Examples

The normal use for the helmet camera is probably during daylight. As you see on the third picture, it's even possible to take a picture of somebody in your rear mirror. By the way: Those pictures were taken during my trip through Norway.

Rolf Schlagenhaft, accesses since 28th Jul 2002