11-30-07 // Previewed: Twenty20’s New VholdR

Watch the video that Anthony Godoy and the Bike mag crew made HERE.

About a year ago, Jason Green and Marc Barros, owners of Twenty20 helmet cameras, paid a visit to the Bike magazine SoCal Romparoom. They were checking up on their video camera unit that we were testing for last year's March issue, but they also came to tease a new product in development—the $350 "VholdR".

At the time, it existed only on a piece of paper. Actually, it was a shoddy photocopy, but it had a lot of promise: an integrated, single-piece helmet camera and digital data recorder in one.

A year later we finally got to see one in the flesh. The very first working sample. By all accounts, the wait seems to have been worth it.

Anthony Godoy, a video production guru who Twenty20 hired to help with the new unit, came by with company's first two working units for a little show and tell.

The heart and soul of the new camera is its compact, comprehensive design. There are no entangling cables, no external recorders, no remote controls. Just stick the thing onto your bike or helmet, toggle one big ol' switch, and you're recording.

The whole shebang weighs just 4.8 ounces. That includes a cell-phone style battery and a MicroSD card. Most people are familiar with standard SD cards, and MiniSD cards have been out for a while too. MicroSD cards, however, are stupid small, about a quarter the size of a standard SD card. The MicrosSD cards the VholdR we used held two gigabytes on a card the size of a pinky nail.

One thing the unit does lack is a screen. The biggest competition for Twenty20's new VholdR, as it's called, is VioSport's POV.1, which has an LCD screen for trailside review and editing.

To make up for that, the unit has two lasers positioned on the lens. Hit a button on the back of the unit and you can use the two laser pointers to make sure the camera is positioned correctly and, almost as importantly, to make sure your horizon is going to be level.

Because the lens and capture card are connected on a swivel, the unit can be mounted up and then you can rotate the lens up to 192 degrees and sight it in with the lasers to make sure you have a level field of view.

Additional lenses are reportedly on the drawing board for Twenty20. A fish eye adapter would be nice. As is, the standard lens serves up a 90-degree field of view.