Small, high-definition cameras are really useful. The fact that you can mount them in hard-to-film nooks and crannies and get a shot that would be impossible with a full-size unit makes such devices virtually essential, whether you're on a shoot with just a couple of crew members or the set of a full-scale movie.
Whilst this type of camera is hugely convenient, their CMOS rolling shutters capture video that suffers from wobble, skew, partial exposure, or smear, and usually means you only get a couple of seconds of usable footage. It is common to see a beautifully produced piece featuring high-dynamic action - from a car, a helicopter, or a jetski, where the really good, visceral, onboard shots only feature for split seconds before being cut away to an external view. In some environments rolling shutter artefacts don't merely degrade the video quality, they make it virtually unwatchable or strange, to the point where it becomes entirely useless.
Conversely, a global shutter will get over these problems by imprinting every pixel in the image simultaneously. But cameras that use global shutters have traditionally employed expensive CCD (charged couple device) sensors. So the rolling shutter has remained king in the action-filming arena, even with all its inherent problems. Until now.
Racelogic, the GPS data logging experts from the UK, has been supplying data-enhanced video loggers since 2007 and has become the market leader in the motorsport and vehicle testing arena. Recognising that new and existing customers want high definition footage but are unwilling to go down the standard rolling shutter route, it has now launched a CMOS based Global Shutter video system.
The VBOX HD consists of a very small bullet camera, connected to a remote recorder via a cable up to 5m long. It records 720p30 video to SD card or USB, has an HD-SDI output, inbuilt GPS engine, and the output can be graphically enhanced (with HD graphics) in post-processing via the included software. The recording unit weighs only 240g, making it extremely portable, and the fact that the bullet camera is barely any bigger than a tube of lipstick means it can be put to use not only in high-dynamic situations, but also in other sporting arenas where a small static camera is required (goal-posts on a football field for instance) which will capture fast-paced action without the inherent problems of a rolling shutter. Lens options are 60 degree, 133 degree, or CS Mount.