I had a big helmet cam itch since Dave got his Contour Roam a while back, so after some deliberation I ended up purchasing a GoPro HD Hero 2 a month or so ago for the sake of filming airsoft games and what not. I almost bought another Contour Roam, but I really wanted a camera that had a removable battery, an external mic jack, as well as the ability to use standard sized SD cards (I have a lot of those laying around). Contour has a more expensive model with a removable battery and the external mic jack (proprietary…) but it is about $500 whereas the GoPro 2 is about $300. Overall, I felt that the GoPro was a better deal, particularly since it comes with quite a few mounting options. I also liked the GoPro’s video quality more, but to be honest there doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference.
The big problem that I have with the GoPro and really, the only reason why I almost bought another contour was the size. There are few things less tactical looking than having a camera brick sitting on top of your head while you are running around on the field. It’s not really feasible to mount it on the side of your head and it looks kind of dumb as a gun mount (gun cams don’t work out too well anyways IMO unless you enjoy hours of footage pointed at the ground). The head strap that came with the GoPro is reasonable secure, but nearly as convenient as the Contour, which is roughly the size and shape as a scope or flashlight attachment.
Which of leads me into my newest airsoft project: The only way to ensure that the camera strap doesn’t slip or fall off of my head was to of course, purchase a replica Ops-Core helmet and the GoPro NVG mount. Unfortunately, the NVG mount on the knockoff helmet is a little off; Consequently, the GoPro mount falls off without modification. This is what I ended up doing. Black was the only color that was available in the helmet style that I wanted, which is fine color wise but gets uncomfortably hot in the sun. The only suitable can of paint that they had was in a satin finish, which has a bit of a sheen. I would have preferred a flat or ultra-flat finish but /shrug. I considered lightly dusting it with a darker color an then scuffing the paint up for aesthetics, but I figure that will happen on its own over time.
The foam inserts located at the front of the helmet are a bit too low and block the ESS turbofan outtake. I new to either cut a slot into it or move the foam block up a half inch (had fogging problems last game). I tried finding a way of strapping my existing face mask onto the Ops-Core helmet clips, but the ear protection got in the way of the chin strap. Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult to strap the mask around the back of the helmet but it’s a mess solution to say the least. One of the reasons why I wanted a helmet in the first place was to cleanup all of the straps. I ended up buying a mesh face mask without ear protection. Clipping the elastic straps and adding a few pieces of adhesive Velcro works quite nicely. Also FYI: As with the NGV mount, the knockoff arc rails are slightly off. I had to fix the secure the goggle clips on with electrical tape, otherwise they come off with a firm tug.