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The ultimate helmet camera: Nikon D7000 with wireless HD video streaming

I have few more Nikon related news/links that were too much to include in one post. The first one is about a music video shot with a Nikon D7000 helmet camera:

The setup is a helmet with a front mounted Nikon D7000 camera and a Teradek Cube camera-top wireless HD video encoder that streamed over WiFi to a Cube decoder mounted on a handheld, battery-powered 7” Marshall monitor.


"As I Lay Dying" Behind the Scenes from Teradek on Vimeo.

McFarland & Pecci Choose Teradek Wireless HD Monitoring for As I Lay Dying Shoot

Music video directors Ian McFarland & Mike Pecci have built a reputation for using the cinematic arts and sciences to translate the darkest moments of humanity into a visual experience. Their style is gritty, raw, sometimes controversial, and always compelling. Their most recent project is the video for Anodyne Sea, the latest single from metal band As I Lay Dying’s new album The Powerless Rise.

The Anodyne Sea video tackles the issue of free speech and the entire video is shot from the POV perspective of drummer Jordan Mancino as the band is kidnapped from a radio station by an oppressive local militia. Technology played a crucial role in McFarland & Pecci achieving their vision. The video is shot using a custom designed helmet-cam rig with a Nikon D7000 HD-SLR camera and Teradek Cube for wireless video monitoring.

Both the Nikon D7000 and the Teradek Cube are cutting-edge video products. McFarland & Pecci chose the Nikon D7000 because its small size, large sensor with 1080p recording, wide range of lenses, user adjustable video output over HDMI, excellent image quality in low light (with an ISO range of up to 6400), autofocus while recording video, and reliability. Director Mike Pecci comments “The camera took quite a beating. We had it mounted to the face of our camera operator (and co-director Ian McFarland) as he was pulled down hallways, thrown into vans, and dragged through the San Diego desert! The Nikon stayed with us with no crashes from impact!”

The cornerstone of the on-set workflow was the use of the Teradek Cube Encoder and Decoder for wireless video monitoring. The Teradek Cube is small (about the size of a deck of cards) and weighs only 6 ounces, meaning the encoder could be mounted directly to the helmet-cam rig. The Cube Encoder streamed HD video over WiFi to a Cube Decoder mounted on a handheld, battery-powered 7” Marshall monitor. This allowed complete freedom of movement for both the cameraman and the director. “When we came up with the concept for this video I knew that we were going to have trouble finding some sort of wireless monitor set-up that would work with a DSLR. I called rental companies all over the country, and spent time on the phone talking about UHF transmitters, HDMI to standard def converters, and awkward battery belts. Working with Teradek was a relief because we didn't need all of that heavy gear. A tiny transmitter, a wi-fi hub, and we had a HD signal being broadcast to either our laptop or handheld monitor. We used it both on set and out in the middle of a San Diego desert and it allowed me to see what was happening while it was happening.” says Pecci.

The use of the Teradek Cube Encoder and Decoders combined with the Nikon D7000 allowed McFarland & Pecci to create a highly stylized and compelling rock video in a time-frame and on a budget that would have been impossible just two years ago. Director Ian McFarland has the last word, “We are always looking for new and exciting technology that will help us translate our crazy ideas to film. It's extremely reassuring as independent filmmakers to have the opportunity to work with companies like Teradek and Nikon, who not only believe in us, and supporting new filmmakers, but also are working on technology that is making our workflow easier.”

The finished video:

For more information, please visit:

Directors: www.mcfarlandandpecci.com
Wireless Monitoring: www.teradek.com/cube.html
Band: www.asilaydying.com
Label: www.metalblade.com
Production company: www.killswitch.tv
Cameras: www.nikonusa.com
Monitors: www.marshallmonitors.com

B&H sells the Teradek Cube product line.

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  • texasjoe

    Some people have to much time and money…

    • jk

      Like half of us on here?… wasting time on the internet and upgrading our cameras and 15 minutes and then whining about a replacement…lol

  • Kevin

    nice. they’re using a sigma lens.

  • http://adaircreativegroup.com Ron Adair

    I wouldn’t want to be the dude that endos while wearing THAT helmet cam.

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      The WRONG type of leverage to sever. The type that shears vertebral discs. No bueno.

      Anybody else notice Sigma lenses? Looked like a 10-20, but the video didn’t look so wide, so it may have been at the 20mm end.

  • Peter

    I tested my Panasonic LX5 similarly, although zero cost with a wooden bit to position and duct tape to hold it. (no counter weight, behind the helmet)

    Even that config was far too heavy for any serious action. (I made it to film motorcycling, results were so dismal I didnt even make any example clip)

    Still love the fact someone has done more properly what I had in mind. Doubtless that works beautifully for actual video shooting where you need only the short takes.

    • http://adaircreativegroup.com Ron Adair

      I was impressed with the look and feel that resulted. It looked like a shoulder rig/handheld look, but a bit smoother. I guess the head is a pretty stable, well-controlled part of the body. I would have expected more shake and jitter before seeing this.

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

        do you remember the chicken head camera stabilizer:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dPlkFPowCc&feature=player_embedded

        • http://adaircreativegroup.com Ron Adair

          Yes, I do! It’s an interesting phenomenon. Based on the results of this guy’s helmentcam, there seems to be some merit to the idea. I love the look of handheld/shoulder rig shots, and they’re just the right amount of “shake” for my personal taste. The best shooters seem more like artists to me than technicians.

          This helmet cam almost looks more smooth than that, and it really does surprise me. I’m tempted to make one myself!

  • Bryan

    ….Doctors said the crash victim had to undergo extensive surgery to remove the DSLR embedded in his face. They further explained that after removing the camera, they used it to take pictures of the wound as it was still in very functional shape. The victim however, was not so lucky……..

    • http://adaircreativegroup.com Ron Adair

      Love it.

    • http://www.ericenglishphotography.com Eric

      Right!?!?!? ‘GoPro’ or something like a steady-cam would be much easier, cheaper, and yield better results…but people are still trying, so that’s nice.

      • http://adaircreativegroup.com Ron Adair

        I’m not so sure that’s true. GoPro would certainly not have been better (quality-wise). Likewise, a Steadicam wouldn’t have been easier, or better for THIS application. I thought the helmet cam’s style fit the intent of the video perfectly, even though I didn’t enjoy the content as much. The invention actually looks pretty slick, if only unsettling in appearance.

  • Funduro

    Drums and screamfest song. First person look rather interesting. My left speaker cracked while watching the video. Good editing.

  • oleg

    Looks great!

    was that helmet rig custom made?

  • Nawknai

    Porn cam?

  • eyrieowl

    nothing says “chic” like a big camera + flash strapped to your face.

    seriously the dorkiest looking thing i’ve seen in a good while…i’m sure it has some good uses, but wowzers….

  • Philippe

    Question, how do they disable the info buttons menu during liveview?

    When I plug in my composite cable, it stays the same.

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