DogCam Bullet HD video camera
A video camera the size of your thumb...
The DogCam Bullet HD 720p video camera is that small, has no wires, and will shoot up to 2 hours of video on a charge of the built-in battery. That's about as much as I know about video. I just mounted the camera on the handlebars, went out for a couple of rides, and pressed the 'on' button to begin recording.
About halfway through the movie is the new chicane I've complained to the local Council about. A white Volvo Estate squeezes past where the road is narrowed at a bus stop (I now have my proof that this feature is not a good idea).
The top of the bars is a better place for the bullet cam than below the hood. It comes with fittings to attach it to a cycling helmet but this looks a bit fiddly. On the bars you know exactly which way it's pointing.
The video image size straight off the cam is 1280 x 720 pixels with a view angle of 63 degrees. Viewed on my PC the HD quality is good but the file sizes are far too big for the web. I processed the movies in Windows Live Movie Maker and saved them at a size of 426 x 240 pixels for uploading to YouTube where they are shown at 640 x 360 pixels. On this page they are sized down to 500 x 280. Inevitably the picture quality is now much lower. For best results, press 'play' then 'pause' while the pink bar gets well ahead, then 'play' again and choose full-screen mode.
The difference in image quality between the original .MOV file downloaded from the bullet cam and the YouTube full-screen version is evident in these stills:
The vehicle's numberplate – and even the driver's face – can be clearly read in the first image but not in the second (click images to enlarge). The date and time at the bottom corner are also unreadable. I assume this loss of detail is because the video has been shrunk in size, then the shrunk size enlarged again.
I'll write a user review of the DogCam Bullet HD in due course. Initial impression: a good cycling toy for under £100. Windows Live Movie Maker, incidentally, comes as part of Windows 7 but is only a very basic video editor.
See also bullet cam helmet test »