Just got back from Snowboarding in Lake Louise, Sunshine Village etc.
Have to say im really impressed with the Archos 405 and Gen 5 Camera and latest firmware.
Im a complete novice and it worked well.
I powered it up each evening and it worked well the next day.
As with some of the Lithium Ion batteries i noticed it took a few days for the battery level to reach optimum.
The cold was an issue to start with as it took ages to boot up and also affected the battery life, therefore on the first day i got about 2 hours after a full charge.
I quickly resolved this with a bit more padding and some glove heaters in my pocket and record time lept to about 3 hours total.
I will post my footage when i load it onto a website etc, however wanted to give a quick view.
The conditions I used this in were -5 to -20, although inside my jacket it was a lot less. The camera was outside all of the time and I had no issues either and it seemed pretty durable and waterproof. I had a couple of stacks, boarded in powder etc and it worked well. Even more interestingly we did some park shots and it worked really well, with no juddering over the jumps and rails.
I was using a 16gb card in case but to be honest this much isnt really required if you have a laptop which my mate did, so it was an easy download. I have to say this was a good job as i've not worked out how to copy/move videos from the Archos 2gb solid state to the sdhc 16gb card.
I recorded about 20 movies per day, ranging from 5 minutes to 20 minutes with no issues at all. It takes some time to get used to the setup and the remote control, but i put down early issues to the cold which was later resolved as the Archos would shut down, or i had to keep powering on and off to look after battery life.
As I said before with the glove warmers, or a deeper inside pocket this wasnt a problem.
I used a Dogcam Velcro fastner which attaches to your goggles.
I have to say I was dissapointed with the velcro head thing they give you, its too small to fit round your head and we tried everyone in our group, so the dogcam goggle attachment it was. In fact its smaller than the Archos Gen 4 which does fit perfectly. It was also impracticle to wear it whilst wearing a helmet.
I tried the velcro to the helmet, but this was unpracticle as it would get knocked by my goggles. I also tried the suckers but these were not going to work out. Thought about super glue, however this may cause issues with the integrity of my helmet.
I would suggest you play around a bit until you get your setup correct, but the goggle setting worked really well for me.
One thing you do need to remember is to ensure your headcam is inline with your eyeballs, as the first few movies i was looking at my board or just in front, until i moved the line of sight into a better position.
My mate has a video camera and can board really well with it, however nothing beats a headcam doing chasecam footage of your mates, so crisp, smooth and clear. It's also quicker to activate the camera, than a video camera, which you need to take out of your bag etc.
The inbuilt microphone worked really well too, although only really picked up my voice, or someone really close to me.
The whole system was very durable, i had a few knocks, was doing jumps, rails etc and there were no issues with recording.
I will definately be using this next year and have learnt a lot of lessons this time. Hopefully the firmware will add further improvements, but so far bang for buck its worth it.
Here's a link to one of the video's. Remember this is not a Video Camera, it's at -10-20 degrees and it's not ┬ú700 worth of equipment, other than that, its pretty cool and it's added a new dimension to our Snowboarding holidays!
Click Here for Snowboard Video - Banff
If you are looking for something better, you can spend a lot more money, learn to board with an expensive video camera in freezing conditions (one of my mates can, pretty good tbh), or hire a BBC film crew, which isn't cheap.
It's good if your starting out.