Nik’s Camera Helmet 2021

Nik’s camera set up shown with a Sony 7r III and GoPro Hero 9.

Just over 5 years ago Nik posted an article called “The Greatest and Best Camera Helmet in the World“, in which he shared the ins and outs of his camera flying helmet. Nik’s opinion still stands today as he continues using his Cookie Fuel. However, camera technology has advanced significantly over the years and it is time for an update to the old post.

If you are in the market for new cameras and are looking for great side-by-side comparisons and tear downs, check out Trunk’s latest blog posts. These explain why I upgraded to the Hero9 and will be skipping the newly released Hero10.

Making the switch from Canon to Sony with a new arsenal of cameras and lenses. All safely tucked away in a travel friendly Pelican 1510 Case.

Firstly, Nik has made a complete switch from Canon to Sony. This was mainly due to the smaller and lighter Sony a6000, which was able to take better pictures than the Canon 7d. This was an upgrade in both picture quality and shedding some weight from the helmet. However, not soon after playing around with the a6000, Nik upgraded to the Sony 7r III. This again increased the overall weight of the helmet, but is totally worth it given the quality it produces.

Sony a7r III size comparison with a6000

Nik uses both cameras depending on what the job calls for. Below you can see a weight comparison between the two different set ups using a luggage measuring scale.

The weight of Nik’s camera helmet with the Sony a6000 and GoPro 9 is just over 4lbs.
The weight is significantly higher with the 7r III and bigger lens, just around 6lbs. FE 4 / 12-24 G for freefall, and FE 2.8 / 24-70 GM for air-to-air under canopy.

When video is the priority, such as during a competition, the set up featured below works quite nicely. The GoPro functions strictly as a back up, but it can also be used to take stills. Setting the GoPro to a wider shooting angle than the camcorder ensures that no grips go out of frame during a formation competition – especially during exit.

Helmet outfitted with a Sony FDR-AX700 4K HDR and a GoPro Hero 9.

The picture quality and image stabilization are quite good. In addition, the camcorder has some really cool slow motion features that can record up to 960fps.

Brianne Thompson doing a little head down carving over Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Shot with Sony FDR-AX700 4K HDR

Nik played around with various angles when mounting his articulating ring sight. The image below shows how the ring sight is configured and attached behind the GoPro.

The ring sight’s orientation is unobtrusive to shooting with either camera.

Because the action camera is located in his field of view, Nik does not use a plug in indicator light. However if you wish to use one, check out the latest and greatest from Hypoxic – BLU2PRO

Visually verifying the camera’s status with its built-in indicator light and rear screen.

Other great additions to the kit over the past few years.

Custom sunglass case by Levity

Gatorz Magnum Sunglasses

PIG High Altitude Glove (HAG) – also available in white for competitors and instructors.

Black Rapid camera strap for shooting on the ground.

Cookie Multitool

Below are examples of some recent work that was shot using the above cameras and gear:

Echoes in Time Parachutist Center Fold

To check out more of Nik’s work, please visit his photography website: https://niklasdaniel.photography

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