A brief history of Bullet Cameras.
When we first started the popular thing was to take a bullet camera and connect it to some sort of video recorder. This would usually be a digital camcorder with AV inputs. You would connect the analogue Bullet camera to the video input of the camcorder by way of a composite video cable and then put the camcorder in to VCR mode to record direct from the bullet camera. Video quality was quite good considering the limitations of a small, standard definition of the bullet cameras. One of the draw backs was the need to provide power to the bullet camera, usually done by connecting a 12v supply.
This would mean carrying around 8 x AA batteries in a holder. The mic would also be separate also required a 12v supply resulting in a small snake pit of cables, batteries and cumbersome camcorders.
The bullet camera was so called due to the physical shape of the camera. The earlier bullet cameras with pinhole lenses actually looked like bullets.
The pinhole lenses in the bullet cameras would only let a small amount of light through and so the video quality was not great. Companies started building bullet cameras with larger lenses which gave them the classic cylindrical shape we still see today. Interestingly; back then we had a hard time selling “Bullet Cameras” on eBay. Their automatic filters would often cause the auctions to be prohibited due to their name and description: eBay does not allow the sales of weapons or ammunition!
Skip forward to present day and we still have customers who buy the analogue bullet cameras but mostly for industrial use. The CCD sensors they use are excellent in low light and we still see them widely used on bomb disposal robots amongst other military uses. However, these CCD sensors are limited to 4:3 aspect ratio and a maximum resolution of 720 x 576 which by today’s standards does not really cut the mustard when it comes to making high quality professional looking videos.
In 2010 DogCam launched the Bullet HD camera. This is a small, self contained high definition bullet camera with a resolution of 1280 x 720p. The camera is very small, about 20mm in diameter and 60mm long weighing in at just 30grms.
Despite this, the camera contains a small digital video recorder, a battery and a microhone. For the first time customers could wear a bullet camera about the size of your finger and capture high quality video. Shortly after this, we released the Bullet HD WIDE camera which has a 135 degree wide angled lens and to date this has been our best selling camera.
Just recently the Bullet HD WIDE camera had a lens upgrade and at the time of writing it is the smallest, highest quality 720p bullet camera on the market…also waterproof to 10m!
The term “Bullet Camera” is now used to describe popular helmet cameras using this small, cylindrical form factor. Customers like having the sleek camera sitting almost un-noticed on the side of their head gear. Because of their shape and mass, the cameras are very easy to mount without getting in the way. They have simple controls and are very rugged in their design.
RePlay XD Bullet Cameras
Recently we have seen a range of Bullet Cameras starting to use the higher quality 1080p processors and sensors as the technology gets smaller and we’re able to fit this in the bullet camera form factor. The RePlay XD 1080 camera is a fine example of the latest technology being squeezed in to the Bullet Camera Form Factor.
We could not believe the video quality and the colour reproduction from this little camera. It also has a 135 degree angled lens which means you still get a wide angled view but without the harsh fish eye distortion you get with the cameras that have the 160 degree lenses fitted to them.
We find Bullet Cameras are most popular with cyclists, skiers/snowboarders and now horse riders. They are great for road safety purposes and offer a real alternative to the bulky helmet cameras of the past.
Here at DogCam we make sure we keep up with the latest in Bullet Camera technology. If it’s any good….you’ll find it in our web shop. And as always, if you would like any info about any of our cameras then please don’t hesitate to call, send an email or use our web-chat in the bottom right hand corner for some friendly advice.