Thursday, 20 December 2012

JVC Addixxion and GoPro test on a windsurfer

Here's a short video showing the differing angles of view between the new JVC Adixxion camera and the GoPro2.
Both cameras were mounted on Flymounts at the same height looking at the same view and this clearly shows that, for windsurfing shots, a wider angle is desirable unless you put the camera right on the tip of the mast. Most experienced sailors don't like anything at the very top, it's flexing a lot and affects the feel of the rig.
Having said that, the Adixxion's lighter weight is a help and for many other applications a lesser view is often more attractive. So many shots are fisheye wide that a little closer angle can look different.
For some bizarre technical reason you seem to have to first watch our short video on how to attach a GoPro to a mast - I'll figure the problem one day, but life's too short to worry today! It's not long and a useful intro.

Friday, 30 November 2012

How to make a great video with a Flymount and good camera angles + good editing + a Contender!

Here's a wonderful new video by Ron van den Berg on a Contender in the surf - watch and enjoy! Look at how he's worked the angles and edited to keep the interest, nothing boring about this video, and yet it's the work of one man and some ingenuity.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Great forward loop with a Flymount in Holland

Nice little video by WindsurfArt with a GoPro and Flymount combination at Maarsvlakte - enjoy!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Puzzling results from a comparison of the JVC Adixxion and the GoPro Her0 2

I've not published the results from my review of the new Adixxion for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the battery life seemed very short so I asked JVC for a new one. This arrived after our France and Spain testing trip so I've not had time to evaluate the battery life - but the old battery did seem to improve after a few cycles. It should have a life of 70 minutes on video but I didn't find that to be the case, and felt that it should be at least 2 hours to compete in the market.

Secondly, the video and stills quality were not what I expected. The video seemed very 'muddy' and the stills were just about OK but not particularly brilliant, especially when compared with either the old or new GoPro - the camera we tend to see as the main competitor in this market segment.

Thirdly, and bizarrely, we shot some footage in the sea and the underwater footage was better then the GoPro - not at all what we expected.

What I can say about the JVC Adixxion is that it is a very nice camera to handle, the basic design premises are excellent and it just fits in your pocket beautifully. The screen is a great and useful addition, the menu system works fine and the fact that it has 2 tripod sockets is very useful for adaptable mounting. The WiFi controls in my experience have been disappointing and need sorting out with a firmware upgrade - it can take up to 3 seconds for a shot to be taken after pressing the shutter release icon on the iPhone 4S we used. This is apparently the average time according to JVC. Get that organised and it becomes a very useful tool, especially as the WiFi apparently doesn't use much battery power. Used for initiating video and it's less of a problem because most users will start the video well before it's needed so they don't miss anything.

We have the camera on test again in the South of France and I'll get a video review up.
In the meantime, here are a couple of shots taken in a canyon using both the GoPro 2 and the Adixxion at the same time:

Adixxion full frame showing the reduced angle of view compared with the GoPro - this is not a criticism:
GoPro 2 full frame:

GoPro enlarged:
Adixxion enlarged:
There's more detail in the GoPro 2 because it's 11 MP instead of the Adixxion's 5. Because the Adixxion has a reduced angle of view I would have thought that the comparisons would be closer if both cameras had similar lens qualities and processing abilities. 
The colour is warmer in the GoPro, the JVC has a more neutral cast. My guess is that GoPro go for drama and JVC think professionally and leave the choice of further colour changes to the user in post production.
Colour is always in the eye of the beholder so I quite like the JVC approach, but I've rarely had any problems with GoPro footage looking good.
More posts when we get the test work from France in another week or so.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A short film about surfing and living in a VW LT35 van

Very nice sense of what Nico's life is like, I think many of us want to be nomadic because living in a house isn't always brilliant - especially now that mortgages are hard to come by and houses are too expensive.
If anyone else has any van based videos we'd love to host them on this blog. At the moment we are in the South of France in our VW T4 van, just back from Catalonia and that great coast by Cadaqués. If you aren't wild camping the campsite at Cadaqués is a bit expensive but much better than the on-line reviews make it out to be. Clean and friendly.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Getting high viewpoints with a carp rod and a Flymount with a Gopro Hero 2 and an Adixxion

We've got some interesting shoots coming up and I need to have a camera high above the action, maybe even out over a chasm, and been wondering how to do it simply, reliably and cheaply. It's got to be light as well, don't want to be lugging great masses of equipment miles from the roadhead.
So I bought a carp rod, 7 metres of light plastic rod that packs down small but is strong enough to hold a GoPro or an Adixxion.
I glued a 6mm thread into the end, after discarding the last thin section, and then made an adaptor so I could use the Flymount balljoint for flexibility and versatility of mounting. The Flymount balljoint is simply epoxied to an L shaped piece of steel which fits on to the 6mm thread stuck in the end of the rod.
A GoPro just slots on or an Adixxion screws on using the camera mount adaptor
The rod bends but you can get some nice distance out from where you are

I changed the settings so the cameras recorded upside down - both the GoPro Hero 2 and the Adixxion allow you to do this easily
and then adjusted the angle to suit
and shot a very boring sample shot
To give you an idea of scale, the cage at bottom left is 8 feet tall, I can get up about 6 metres if the rod is straight up - plus my height of just under 2 metres - and that's about 25 feet in real measurements.
The big thing I want to be able to do is to run the camera just over someone's head as they fly by, or jump off a cliff, so it seems as if the camera is flying behind them. 
I'll start practising now!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Difference between JVC Adixxion and GoPro 2 exposures

Here are a couple of screen grabs of a test shoot on the van - simple images and the Adixxion is pulled down by the lens protector and the GoPro is on 920 instead of 1080. You'll see the big variation in the exposure - I much prefer the Adixxion. Maybe I should have put the GoPro into spot metering mode but I wanted to see what the two cameras came up with in standard mode. Here's the GoPro:
and here's the Adixxion
You can see that the GoPro is preserving highlights at the expense of the foreground while the Adixxion favours the foreground and loses the highlights. It may be a result of the GoPro's wider field of view but it's worth thinking about if you are shooting from a vehicle and in dull weather.

JVC Adixxion lens protector - not a lens! Take care - not like the cover on the GoPro Hero 2

Here's the new JVC Adixxion with the new GoPro Hero 2 on top of my van. The Adixxion has a lens protector on it which I thought must be to protect the lens when shooting in harsh conditions - but it ruins the images. I can't find any info in the instructions or online - except that B&H suggest it's OK for sandy conditions but you'd have to desperate. The protector distorts and softens the image and adds flare like you've put a very greasy fingerprint on the lens. I'm getting used to the new Adixxion, though, and liking it. The GoPro Hero 2 has a much easier menu now, almost as easy as the Adixxion but not quite so obvious. We'll be shooting in France sometime in mid-August and using all the cameras - Adixxion, GoPro Hero, GoPro Hero 2 and the Drift. From my early shots with the GoPro 2 I can say it's a pretty good image maker and well worth updating to. If I was given the choice of a cheaper Hero or a more expensive Hero 2 I'd not hesitate to go for the 2.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

JVC Adixxion compared to GoPro Hero & Drift

Interesting cameras, these three, each with their own characteristics. I'm only a small part of the way into my in-depth test of the new JVC Adixxion but I can say from the early results that it's a winner. The handling is lovely, everyone I show it to wants one, they just hold it and it works in the hand and feels really good. Excellent design work here. I've WiFi linked it to my iPhone and shot using the iPhone as a remote viewer and shutter release and go about 50 yards away - although the shutter response is pretty slow so I've contacted JVC to see if there's a new firmware patch to update this. I like the angle of view - so here are a few screengrabs from a short video I did with all 3 cameras on top of my van as I drove round town. This is the setup - some custom made magnetic Flymounts for vehicle use - email us on if you want to buy the Flymount balljoint parts to add to your own magnetic slab and they'll cost £11 plus £3 postage. I used Araldite to glue them on to Taxi sign magnetic mounts, sawing off the screw threads on the metal side of the magnetic mounts so the Flymount balljoint would fit and work. Makes a good little mount. This is the Drift view: This is the Adixxion view: And this is the GoPro view: Again, here's the Drift view: Here's the Adixxion: and lastly, the GoPro: You can see that the Drift and GoPro are a wider view - fisheye at about 180º but the Adixxion is a bit longer, which is refreshing and I think it's a more useful angle of view. Look at the colour - the Adixxion is very neutral, followed by the GoPro which is a bit warmer and the Drift is very warm - much more yellow and magenta. These are screengrabs so they only give a general idea of what the cameras are capable of but it's a pretty good indication. Over the next few days I'll be shooting much more and I'll put up the first video report.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Flymount tests the JVC ADIXXION and compares it with GoPro and Drift

We just got the first JVC Adixxion camera, small, waterproof to 5 metres, shockproof, 1080p, up to 60 frames per sec, 5mp stills, intervalometer - pretty impressive spec. Even better, it's got WiFi so it can connect to your smartphone and you can shoot and control the camera from your phone at some distance. I've got up to 50 metres so far. In the hand it's lovely, a really great design with all features falling easily to hand and with a nice little screen like the Drift. There will be a number of updates over the next few weeks - we are shooting in France in Mid August so should be taking the new Adixxion in canyons and sea, on bikes and BMX (with luck), maybe even base jumping. I'll be doing video and stills comparison tests so we'll see what this little beauty can do in the field. Here are some shots from the office which show its size and compared with a GoPro. Pretty neat. And compared to the Drift, similar screens, similar view but without the Drift's rotating lens. Much smaller though.

Monday, 23 July 2012

How to make a movie - utterly lovely. A stunning edit by French photographer JC Pieri

Alain Massabova - 40 years in Paris from ART BMX MAGAZINE on Vimeo.

Big water drops on GoPro, Drift, Contour type cameras spoil your videos - there are solutions!

While it's not the most exciting video in the world you do see the water drop problem. Some people use Rain-X and that may be fine, but if you are out there without it a good lick can help.  No harmful chemicals either (not that I know what's in Rain-X, it's probably absolutely safe). An old trick I used when my windscreen wipers failed once in Scotland is to use a potato  cut in half and smeared on the lens (or your windscreen) - although you may not have a ready supply of potatoes in your pocket. Still, now you're warned I'm sure you'll take a few just in case. Someone also suggested using wax and polishing carefully to create a low friction coating on the lens. Take care in sand!
Licking seems the safest bet and if you can't lick the lens, just drop it in the water a few times and enjoy the visual effects as water runs off at speed.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Flymount in South Korea with Guerilla House

Our newest distributor, Guerilla House Underwater Videography in South Korea, is taking the Flymount to action people in the Far East. If you're there and looking for the best action camera mount in the world, get in touch with the guys at Guerilla House.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Flymount sponsors The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect brings women from all over the world to enjoy the ocean with like minded people - and have a lot of fun. Look at their Facebook page:

Tatiana Howard shoots with GoPro and a Flymount in Maui

Windsurf Maui with Tatiana from Tatiana Howard on Vimeo.

Crazy icemen using Flymount at Burning Ice meet

Krisjanis Tutans sent a great shot using a Flymount at Medano

Kristjanis Tutans made this great shot with his Flymount while sailing at Medano in Tenerife - we're getting some wonderful images from our sailing customers - how about some of you land action people being really creative and sending us some new images?

Flymount one of 3 winners in UKTI export competition

Flymount won a useful pot of money to promote the new Flymount product in markets around the world. We were voted for after a presentation given by Chris Knapton, company director, to 60 leading business people in the Roundhouse in Derby, United Kingdom. The audience actually gave live votes on various questions and the answers we gave, quite intimidating until Chris realised that they loved the product and the export potential. We got great feedback and the audience and the judges came up to Chris at the end and told him how much they thought of the company and its products. Flymount and the other 2 winners all sat on the same table by a bizarre coincidence, so we had a great evening discussing business and the joys of exporting.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Toby Munson wins the first Flymount this year!

Toby Munson just won a brand new Flymount with GoPro adaptor on our Facebook referral competition. Well done Toby!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Monday, 9 July 2012

Flymount T-shirts - new designs

Here's another Flymount T-shirt - we're evolving the designs around the themes of photography and film because Flymounts are the ultimate mount for your action cameras. Only the technology changes - people have been creating photo albums for more than 150 years and films since 1895 - and before that they were making paintings and tapestries about action events. The Bayeux Tapestry was a video of the Norman Conquest, just using the technology of the time. I wonder how many of our videos will be around after 1000 years?
More T-shirts to come over the next few days.

Share to win - Flymount giveaway on Facebook

Drop in to our Facebook page and share our post to enter our FREE competition to win a new Flymount!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Monday, 2 July 2012

New T-Shirt designs

Peter Grubb of Petrol Design has designed a new series of Flymount T-Shirts for sale and as prizes in Flymount competitions. Nice quality, good cotton, what do you think of the designs so far? Vote on our Facebook page.

Great video of Adam Sims edited by Seb Godsmark

Check this out, Seb's edit is something else!

Freestyle Windsurfing in Egypt with Adam Sims and Micho Alvarez - 2012 from Adam Sims on Vimeo.

Great pics by Yann Rifflet using a GoPro and Flymount

Look at these images - where would you rather be right now?