Last updated: August 10, 2021

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In the last few years, helmet cameras have become increasingly popular. Helmet cameras, also sometimes called action cameras, can be easily attached to helmets and other things.

This was/is quite revolutionary when you consider that just a few years ago, no private person could film their own zipline ride through the jungle. Wanting to capture experiences like this is quite normal. Therefore, it is not surprising why more and more people are interested in a helmet camera.

In our big helmet camera test 2021 we want to help you find the perfect helmet camera for you. We have compared different types of helmet cameras and listed their advantages and disadvantages. In our guide you will also find everything you need to know before buying a helmet camera.




Summary

  • Helmet cameras are extremely small and robust cameras that are mounted on the head. They make it possible to record unique experiences from a first-person perspective without having to use your hands.
  • Due to the ever-increasing popularity of small action cameras, questions about safety and the legality of filming with helmet cameras are very present in the media.
  • The possibilities of filming created by helmet cameras are endless and inspire not only extreme athletes but also ordinary consumers.

The Best Helmet Camera: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for helmet cameras

If you are looking for the perfect helmet camera to capture your experiences, you will find that the range of helmet cameras is huge. To help you decide what to buy, we've listed the most important evaluation criteria and explained what you should look out for in each case.

The criteria that help you compare helmet cameras with each other include:

Resolution

Resolution is responsible for how good the image and video quality is. Resolution is a technical term used in photography. It describes the ability of a camera to display the smallest compositions.

The resolution of a camera is given in pixels per line. 1920 x 1080 pixels, for example, means that the camera can display 2,073,600 pixels.

The better the resolution of a helmet camera, the more expensive it will be. Therefore, think carefully about which resolution is sufficient for you and what you want to use the camera for. If sharp images are particularly important to you, you should have a larger budget.

Here is a brief overview of the most common resolutions:

Resolution Pixel
Ultra HD (4k) 4096 x 2160
Quand Full HD (4k) 3840 x 2160
2.7k 2704 x 1520
Full HD 1920 x 1080
HD 1280 x 720

Stabilisation

Since helmet cameras are mostly used for sports activities, image stabilisation is particularly important. After all, who enjoys a shot of a skiing trip that is completely blurred.

In order to avoid blurring, there are different stabiliser techniques. For videos, electronic stabilisation is often used.

Waterproof

No matter what you plan to use your helmet camera for, a waterproof action camera is always a good idea. If you plan to use your helmet camera underwater, you will no longer ask yourself if you need a waterproof camera.

You'll ask yourself how far underwater you'll go, and then look for the right action camera for your needs.

Many helmet cameras have an additional housing that makes it possible to film a few metres underwater. Again, think carefully about what you want to use your helmet camera for to find the perfect action camera for you.

Battery life

Nothing is more annoying than a battery that runs out at the wrong moment. Especially when it comes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you would like to have filmed, this can sometimes spoil the mood. If you are one of these people, then you should pay attention to a particularly long battery life.

A small tip to extend battery life: Turn off the camera screen while filming.

During a downhill ride on a mountain bike, you won't be able to look at the screen anyway.

Apart from that, the helmet camera is located on the helmet, as the name suggests. A screen that is on during recording would therefore only waste battery power unnecessarily.

Another way to extend battery life is to carry a spare battery with you. Many helmet camera manufacturers sell their small helmet cameras, often called action cameras, with a spare battery.

Sound quality

With a helmet camera, you want to capture special experiences. These special experiences include not only pictures and video, but also sound. Since every movement can produce a sound, you should pay particular attention to ensuring that the helmet camera has the necessary protection factors.

So if sound is important to you and you don't plan to record it over music, make sure that the action camera has good protection factors for sound quality when you buy your helmet camera.

Mounting

Basically, helmet cameras can be attached to helmets in three different ways. Read more about this in the next section, where we will introduce you to the different types of helmet cameras.

When buying a helmet camera, it is important that it is easy to mount and that it fits securely.

After all, who wants a helmet camera that you have to fear could fall off your helmet at any second?

Before you buy a helmet camera, it is important that you know your helmet or helmets on which you want to mount the camera. This is because the helmet determines how the camera should be mounted.

Decision: What types of helmet cameras are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to get a helmet camera, there are three different types. To learn more about the different types, you can read the following paragraphs.

Glue-on helmet camera

Glue-on helmet camera

The glue-on helmet camera is the simplest method of attaching a helmet camera. All you have to do is choose a spot on the helmet where the action camera is to be attached and off you go. It’s best to clean the chosen spot beforehand to ensure that the adhesive pads last as long as possible. After 24 hours, you can start filming.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the exact procedure. This is the best way to avoid small mistakes.

Advantages
  • One-time attachment
  • Easy installation
Disadvantages
  • Not flexible in terms of film angle
  • Only possible on one helmet unless you buy additional mounting options
Helmet camera with strap mount

Helmet camera with strap mount

This type of helmet camera is particularly suitable for helmets with ventilation slots. The strap is simply pulled through the slots and thus provides a good hold for the helmet camera.

Due to the ventilation slots, attachment with adhesive tape is usually not possible.

Advantages
  • Perfectly suitable for helmets with slots
  • Easy to fit
  • Transferable to other helmets
Disadvantages
  • Not flexible with regard to film angle
  • Attachment required each time
Helmet camera with headband mount

Helmet camera with headband mount

The headband mount makes it possible to attach an action camera to almost any helmet. It is very similar to the attachment of a headlamp. And a small extra plus of this mounting method is that the camera can even be attached to the head without a helmet. The straps can be easily adjusted, making it possible to use them for different helmets and heads.

Advantages
  • Can be transferred to other helmets
  • Flexible in terms of filming angle
  • Can also be worn without a helmet
Disadvantages
  • Requires re-attachment each time

Guide: Frequently asked questions about helmet cameras answered in detail

In the next sections, we would like to answer the most frequently asked questions about helmet cameras. After reading the guide, you should have all the necessary information about helmet cameras.

What is a helmet camera?

A helmet cam is a camera that is attached to a helmet to record experiences from a first-person perspective. In recent years, this type of camera has become increasingly popular as it makes it possible to capture things that could never be captured in the past.

Helmkamera-1

As the name suggests, helmet cameras are attached to the helmet. This makes it possible to film from a first-person perspective.
(Image source: Ines Álvarez Fdez / unsplash)

Why? Because otherwise you would have endangered your own safety, as you needed your hands for the activity you were doing. The helmet camera has solved this problem and now lets people enjoy it who have never been paragliding, for example, but would like to see it from a first-person perspective.

Who is a helmet camera suitable for?

Actually, the helmet camera is suitable for anyone who wants to capture something from a first-person perspective. Whether this is for your own use or to show your family and friends is not important. The only important thing is that there is now a way to do this as a private person without having to spend huge amounts of money.

Whether it's underwater, skiing, mountain biking, paragliding, bungee jumping or simply filming your holiday accommodation, the list of possibilities for capturing everything with a helmet camera is endless. In addition, it awakens the desire for new experiences or for faraway places in many people.

When are helmet cameras allowed?

Since helmet cameras haven't been around that long, a few cases have come up in recent years for which there was no law in the past. Before you start thinking about buying a helmet camera, let us tell you that it is very easy to follow the regulations on helmet cameras.

Generally speaking, if you film the footage for your private use only, you will never get into trouble. However, if you want to publish your extraordinary experiences on social media, for example, you have to keep a few small things in mind.

Under data protection law, no videos of people may be published without their consent. It is also forbidden to publish personal data without the consent of the person concerned.

Our tip: It is therefore best to make any person who has not given you their consent unrecognisable. The same applies to number plates.

In the following table you can check whether you have understood what is allowed and what is not.

Permitted Prohibited
Filming for private use Filming for the public without the consent of the person being filmed
Filming for the public with the consent of the person being filmed Filming personal data for the public without the consent of the person

Are helmet cameras dangerous?

Rumours about the safety of helmet cameras became particularly loud after the skiing accident of the well-known Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher. Michael Schumacher was wearing a helmet camera when he fell. According to the prosecutor hearing the case, the presence of the helmet camera may have led to Michael Schumacher's serious injuries.

The BFU (Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation) has commented on this accident and has a very clear opinion. They believe that the presence of the camera encourages filmmakers to do more dangerous things because they look more spectacular on video.

They also fear that filmmakers sometimes hold their heads unnaturally in order to present certain things better on video. They also acknowledge the leverage effect that the camera on the helmet can create.

Helmkamera-2

A helmet camera on the head drives many to reckless attempts. Which is dangerous, of course, and doesn't always end well.
(Image source: Collins Lesulie / unsplash)

In addition, the BFU points out that the function of the helmet must never be impaired by the presence of the helmet camera. This means that the helmet should never be pierced to attach the camera. And adhesive pads must not soften the shell material of the helmet or impair its function in any other way.

What accessories are available for helmet cameras?

As with other types of cameras, there are a number of extra accessories for helmet cameras. These include:

  • Extra batteries: Nomophobia is not uncommon these days. Nomophobia is the fear of no longer being reachable via one's mobile phone. This fear is caused by a dead zone or an empty battery. Nomophobia is not directly transferable to helmet cameras, but you can imagine how unpleasant it would be not to be able to film your ride on a zipline through the jungle only because your helmet camera battery is empty.
  • Head strap / chest strap: Useful for attaching the helmet camera where you want it.
  • Handgrip / Selfistick: Perfect for those who don't do sports or when you're out and about as a tourist with your action camera. So you can take photos and videos of you and your friends.
  • Extra memory cards: Just in case, it's not a bad idea to have an extra memory card with you. Since memory cards are not heavy and don't take up much space, this should be easy to do.
  • Bike mount: If you ever want to mount your camera somewhere other than your helmet, the bike mount is very practical. Provided, of course, that you ride your bike.
  • Remote shutter release: A remote shutter release can be useful for a variety of things. For example, to take group photos when no one is around to do so.
  • Waterproof housing: This allows you to turn your helmet camera into an underwater camera, even if it is not waterproof. Or you can simply protect it from heavy rain.

How much does a helmet camera cost?

As with many other electronic products, the price range of helmet cameras is very wide. If you think of established brands such as GoPro, a helmet camera can cost 200 - 400 €.

Helmkamera-3

You don't always want to attach the helmet camera to your head. A stick as an accessory makes it possible to use the action camera even more flexibly.
(Image source: Saketh Garuda / unsplash)

However, there are also cheaper models that serve their purpose for as little as €50. Usually, most hobby filmmakers find a helmet camera between 50 - 120 €.

What are the alternatives to a helmet camera?

The helmet mount is very practical but not always safe. For activities where a fall cannot be ruled out, you should therefore consider attaching the camera to an alternative location.

One place could be the body. For example, the camera could be strapped around the chest. It may be worthwhile to wear a protective cover over your chest so that you are not injured by your own camera in the event of a fall.

Another place to attach the action camera would be a bicycle handlebar, a ski pole, a backpack and many more. The only challenge here is to attach the action camera in a stable way.

Image source: Corr/ 123rf.com

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