I've been really wanting for a forward-looking visual augmentation system for my vehicle, essentially something giving me a better view of the road ahead.

At first, I looked at wrecked Cadilac FLIR(Forward looking Infra-Red) Camera modules, they were perfect, as they had been built for this purpose... Only they ranged in cost from $3000 to $15000 dollars. >.<

Then, I looked at Security cameras. Wide range here, but again. Nice high-quality stuff~$1500, Ones from walmart were ~$100 but were crap VGA quality and were really more RCA-connected webcams than anything. They didn't have any controls, other than software-side manipulation, usually had fixed focus, and nothing in the way of zoom or stability control.

So, I looked around, "what has stability control and zoom?" Handicams! They're priced just above crap ($200-400 range) but aren't horrible. They're meant for shakiness since they're man-handled often, and some even have the "night-shot" function, which I might be able to use at night.

So now, I'm looking for suggestions. I want it center-mounted high, so that I can see over haze and whatnot, center, so it's lined up with the monitor I'll be viewing it on. In-cabin seems to be the easiest, but I'm worried about the night-vision capabilities if it's viewing through the glass. Also, the area where it's to be mounted (behind the Rear View) Isn't covered by the windshield wipers, meaning that using it in the rain would be difficult unless I added a miniwiper for that area...

Probably, I'll take the optics out of the original mount and do something custom for it. I'm planning on putting some servos and giving it about a 60/15 degree horiz/vert pan/tilt capability as well as zoom. Recording will probably be done by something else, but I'm hoping to keep the night-shot and the steady-shot ability of the camcorder...