LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Laird Telemedia LTM

CreativeCOW presents Laird Telemedia LTM  -- HD High-End Review


Biscardi Creative Media
Buford Georgia USA
CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.






First off, this unit is much more than a helmet cam, although that was the original intent. Designed to be used on boats, cars and motorcycles, Laird introduces a new set of cameras that are incredibly versatile far beyond motor-sports. With a reasonable price tag starting under $300, this camera can be used for a myriad of projects, including cases where a “disposable” camera is necessary. I had the opportunity to try out the LTM-LCAM 480 on a recent field production.

The Project
Our need was a camera that could be mounted on a Lamborghini Diablo Race Car while it went for hot laps on a road course. The camera had to be easy to mount yet offer broadcast quality at a very reasonable price and be able to hold on at speeds up to 180 mph and more. After researching various options for a few weeks I came across an ad for a “helmet cam” from Laird Telemedia. After some conversations with Paku Misra at Laird, we were able to arrange delivery of our unit just 4 days before we headed to the race track.



Lamborghini Diablo SE-30 race car from SuperCars runs at Road Atlanta. The 841hp
monster machine has the camera mounted center just above the windshield.



The LTM-LCAM



The Laird LTM-LCAM 480 and LTM-LCAM 380 come in a sturdy travel case
which holds all the components. (Helmet not included)



The LTM-LCAM arrives in a sturdy travel case which holds all the components securely within foam padding. The camera package contains the following:
  • A 380 or 480 line lipstick style camera with 4’ of Composite video cable.
  • Camera Housing (Laird Shock Tube) made of aircraft aluminum
  • 12 volt Battery pack
  • Battery Charger
  • Miniature Microphone with clip mount
  • RCA – BNC adapter
  • Heavy duty Velcro mounting strips
  • Camera Base plate

The camera itself is a steel tube lipstick style camera with a Sony precision CCD image pickup device. You can order either a 380 or 480 line resolution version of the camera and 4 feet of composite cable is included. The camera housing (aka: Laird Shock Tube) is made of rugged aircraft aluminum with an indestructible optical grade protective front plate. The optical plate is angled upward to prevent sun glare and to help unwanted pests to bounce upwards. The 4’ video cable also has the power cable bundled within so there’s only one cable coming out of the back of the camera.

The kit includes a very heavy duty Velcro set to actually mount the camera to the car or whatever you’re mounting it to. There’s also a small camera plate which can be mounted to an object and the camera simply screws right onto the plate. This would be great for time-lapse or mounting situations where vibration isn’t a concern.



Camera mounted just above the windshield on the roof.



Rear view of the camera mounted in the camera housing on
the car.




Front view of the camera housing mounted on the car.

Our Lamborghini Technician, Robert Ball, owner of SuperCars International added one thing to the entire assembly; a set of two “O-rings” to the outside of the camera itself. This held the camera completely snug in place prior to tightening the set screws. They also offered even more shock protection giving us a completely rock solid image with no rattle.

The microphone features a watch-type battery with on/off switch and about 10 feet of cable which was plenty for us to clip the mic to the driver’s side visor. The battery pack charges in just 4 hours and connects right alongside the video BNC connector. Robert mounted the battery pack in the front of the engine compartment which is in the rear of the car. This provided a perfect location within the 4 foot run of video/power cable.



12 volt battery mounted in the engine compartment. Note the blue
BNC cable to the left which was connected to the record device.



Robert also came up with an ingenious camera mount for the record device. The LTM-LCAM units do not have a record device so you must run the video and audio feeds to a recorder or camera. As you can imagine, there is VERY little room inside of a Diablo to mount a record device. So we opted to use the client’s own Sony VX-2000 which was mounted behind the driver’s seat. Robert bolted a steel tube to the floor of the car and welded the top of a camera tripod to the top. So the camera was snapped securely in place for the ride.

Now it was off to the race track. The camera performed beautifully. After three laps we brought the car in for a tape check and were very pleased with the image quality. The wide angle lens allowed us to easily see at least 1/4 mile or more down the track as it went around the 2+ mile Road Atlanta race course. It also afforded us a great look down at the reflections off the windshield of the car as it went around the track.



View from the LTM-LCAM 480 on the track. Note the windshield wiper
at the lower third of the screen. The road is reflecting back up on the
windshield
.



View from the LTM-LCAM 480, you're looking approx. 1/4 – 1/2 mile
down the “esses” on the track.


The Verdict

While developed primarily for motor-sports, this camera could be used for hundreds of projects. Hidden camera, time-lapse, sports, extreme sports, concerts, POV perspective, science, etc. The cameras list at $299 for the LTM-LCAM 380 and $399 for the LTM-LCAM 480. At those prices, they make the lipstick, high performance camera available to anyone. You can also use them as a “disposable camera” in a situation where you know the camera may not survive.

The picture quality was outstanding and held very solid, even over the rub rails and the turns. Overall, I found the camera well worth the investment and will definitely find a lot of uses for this in our future productions. If you’re looking for a lipstick camera for motor-sports or just about anything else you can think of, this camera will suit you well.





For more information, please see specs below or contact:

Paku Misra <paku@towerpower.com >,
Laird Telemedia (800) 898-0759


Here are the complete specs on the camera, courtesy of Laird Telemedia’s website .

Standard LTM-LCAM 380 High Resolution LTM-LCAM 480
IMAGE SENSOR: High Resolution 1/3" DSP Color CCD (Sony)
EFFECTIVE PIXELS 290,000
HORIZONTAL RESOLUTION 380 Lines
MIN. ILLUMINATION 0.2Lux at 2.0
SYNCHRONIZING SYSTEM Internal Crystal
SCANNING SYSTEM 2:1 Interlaced
VIDEO OUTPUT 1.0V p-p Composite. 75 Ohms
S/N RATIO More Than 50 dB (AGC Off)
BLC Automatic
SHUTTER SPEED NTSC 1/601/100.000 SEC
GAMMA CORRECTION R=0.45 - 1.0
WHITE BALANCE 2800o K 8200o K Auto
GAIN CONTROL 4 dB 30 dB Auto
SMEAR EFFECT 0.005%
MTBF 80,000 Hrs.
POWER SOURCE 12V DC (Tolerance 8V 15V)
OPERATING CURRENT 130 mA with Regulated Power Input
LENS STANDARD 3.6mm
OPERATING TEMPERATURE 14oF 122oF ( -10oC +50oC )
HUMIDITY Within 90% RH
OUTPUT TERMINAL 4’ Cable with BNC Female Video
DIMENSIONS 21mm Diameter x 77mm L (Camera Element Only)
WEIGHT Approx. 210g
IMAGE SENSOR High Resolution 1/3" DSP Color CCD (Sony)
EFFECTIVE PIXELS 380,000
HORIZONTAL RESOLUTION 480 Lines
MIN. ILLUMINATION 0.1Lux at 2.0
SYNCHRONIZING SYSTEM Internal Crystal
SCANNING SYSTEM 2:1 Interlaced
VIDEO OUTPUT 1.0V p-p Composite. 75 Ohms
S/N RATIO More Than 50 dB (AGC Off)
BLC Automatic
SHUTTER SPEED NTSC 1/601/100.000 SEC
GAMMA CORRECTION R=0.45
WHITE BALANCE 2100o K 8200o K Auto
GAIN CONTROL 4 dB 30 dB Auto
SMEAR EFFECT 0.005%
MTBF 80,000 Hrs.
POWER SOURCE 12V DC (Tolerance 8V 15V)
OPERATING CURRENT 130 mA with Regulated Power Input
LENS STANDARD 3.6mm
OPERATING TEMPERATURE 14oF 122oF ( -10oC +50oC )
HUMIDITY Within 90% RH
OUTPUT TERMINAL 4’ Cable with BNC Female Video
DIMENSIONS 21mm Diameter x 77mm L (Camera Element Only)
WEIGHT Approx. 220g


Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Creative Director
d’Arte media creations
Creative Cow Final Cut Pro, CinéWave and Atlanta FCPUG Forum Host

###


Please visit our forums and/or read other articles at Creativecow.net
if you found this page from a direct link.




Related Articles / Tutorials:
HD High-End
NAB 2012: Vinten

NAB 2012: Vinten

Vinten introduced its lightweight Vision blue5 pan and tilt head and tripod system, the latest member of its Vinten Vision blue family. Vision blue5 has a carrying capacity range of 12.1-lb to 26.5 lb (5.5kg to 12 kg) and offers a range of other professional features.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
HD High-End
NAB 2012: OConnor

NAB 2012: OConnor

Fluid head pioneer OConnor, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, unveiled a 30L carbon fiber tripod, O-Focus Dual Mini follow focus unit, and Universal Camera Baseplate at NAB 2012. Attendees also had the chance to experience hands-on the Ultimate 1030D and Ultimate 1030Ds fluid heads.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
HD High-End
The SciTech Award Goes to... The Phantom Family of High-Speed Cameras

The SciTech Award Goes to... The Phantom Family of High-Speed Cameras

On February 11, the Academy will honor the Vision Research team behind the design and engineering of the Phantom family of high-speed cameras for motion picture production.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
HD High-End
Driving Toward Success

Driving Toward Success

No matter how unexpected and varied the routes, the roads to success are often marked by customer service, attention to detail, and the imagination to see that success is even possible.

Feature, People / Interview
Philip Garvin
HD High-End
HD Unleashed

HD Unleashed

In this review from The Creative COW Magazine, Charles Papert, SOC, sets his Steadicam free with wireless, uncompressed HD using the IDX CAM~WAVE.

Review
Charles Papert
HD High-End
HDCAM, XDCAM & DVCPRO HD: Some Questions Answered

HDCAM, XDCAM & DVCPRO HD: Some Questions Answered

Responding to questions in the Creative Cow "HD High End" forum, Cow leader and contributing editor Tim Kolb lays out key differences between Sony's XDCAM and HDCAM, as well as cameras using Panasonic’s DVCPRO HD. This look at some of the industry's hottest forums will help anyone looking to explore the world of HD production.

Feature
Tim Kolb
HD High-End
Shane Ross Reports: IBC 2007

Shane Ross Reports: IBC 2007

Creative COW leader Shane Ross saved you a trip to Amsterdam -- further for some Cows than others, but pretty far for most. As always, you can count on Shane to tell you exactly what he thinks about what he saw: AJA, Sony XDCAM EX, Edit Share, and That Other Camera.

Feature
Shane Ross
HD High-End
LaCie d2 Big Disk Extreme

LaCie d2 Big Disk Extreme

A few months back Walter Biscardi had the eye opening experience of testing one of the first Firewire 800 drives to come along. At that time, he did not believe all the hype about FW800 being able to run Uncompressed video with any reliability. But that test sure made a believer out of him. Now Firewire 800 is making the evolution from a single drive unit, to multiple drive units striped together in RAID format with LaCie introducing the d2 Big Disk Extreme series. In this article, Walter takes this new offering from LaCie for a test drive. Walter Biscardi is a leader in both our Final Cut Pro and Pinnacle CinéWave forum communities where Cow members have long appreciated his friendly and insightful input.

Review
Walter Biscardi
Recent Articles / Tutorials:
Field Production
“Before I forget: don’t wear any underwear.”

“Before I forget: don’t wear any underwear.”

Before coming to Creative COW, before his lives in product marketing and product management at Avid and Boris FX, Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson ran a video production company. As we also observe the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the US Parks Service, Tim recalls one one especially memorable adventure to Everglades National Park, wherein he found himself quite literally up to his armpits in alligators. He had no idea that this was going to happen when the day began. At the time, he was focused on a brand new fear: getting sliced in half by burning underwear.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Art of the Edit
The Science of Editing

The Science of Editing

Sven Pape, aka @ThisGuyEdits, joins Dr. Karen Pearlman -- former President of the Australian Screen Editors Guild and a three-time nominee for Best Editing at the Australian Screen Editors Guild Annual Awards -- for a provocative look at "Editor's Thinking," a cognitive skill set that you can use to improve your screenplay before you start principal photography of your film.


Sven Pape
MORE
© 2016 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]