Tested: Action Shot Camera 3
Helmet cameras are nothing new. They have existed in one capacity or another for decades, but up until a few years ago there was no chance that the average person could afford one. But as technology has progressed and personal handheld devices become more common, cameras have gotten smaller and smaller and far more attainable. In fact, they are even now stocked in the toy aisle at K-Mart and Toys-R-Us. That is where you can find the latest helmet cam to hit the market, the Action Shot Camera.
- Helmet Mount
- Adhesive Mounts
- Click & Grip™ Protective/Mounting Case
- 128MB of Onboard Memory
- MicroSD Card Slot to Expand Memory
- Mini USB to USB Connector & Charger
- Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery
- MSRP: $49.99
- Standard Def (640×480) at 30 frames per second
- QVGA Resolution (320×240) at 60 frames per seconds
- Photos: 640×380 Resolution
Now, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind with the Action Shot Camera. This is camera marketed towards young action sports athletes, and as such is made to be much affordable that just about any other sports camera currently available. But with that affordability comes a quality standard that is a little lower than competitors such as the current GoPro options. But when your goal is simply to get out and record what either you or your buddy are doing without worrying about the cost of the camera or the consequences of breaking it if something goes wrong, then the Action Shot is a great option.
First and foremost, the Action Shot on its own weighs next to nothing (our scale said 1.5 oz) and the various mounts clock in far under that. While the included mount allows for the camera to mount on your helmet, it also does not provide any lens protection. For that, you’ll need the High Impact case which retails for $9.99.
Just attach the sticker-backed mounting bracket on top of your helmet (or wherever you want it) and the case mount will click into place. Adjust the angle of the camera (the Action Shot has less of a wide-angled lens then some other POV cameras), hit record, and you’re ready to role.
The current model available is essentially in Standard Definition so keep that in mind when you’re riding. While it picks up enough detail within 20 feet of you, do not expect to see the big crash your buddy had on the other side of the track that you caught out of the corner of your eye when you are going back through the footage.
With any non-motorized sport, the Action Shot will do just fine in the sound department. However, as you may have already heard in the video, the sound of a motorcycle almost completely blows out mic levels on the camera itself. While you can still hear the revs of the engine, when you are putting your riding video together, your best bet would be to lower the engine noise to a minimum and add your favorite tunes.
I was surprised to find that the mount stays in place quite well, no matter what angle its is adjusted to. While the handle bar mount that is included with the Deluxe Mounting Kit is made very well, it would be best served on a mountain bike or bike.
The Portable Video viewer ($29.99) is one of my favorite add-ons, simply because you can review your footage right after you get off the track by simply attaching it to the back of the Action Shot. It also allows you to delete as desired in case you are running out of memory on the built 128MB or your Micro SD Card (not included).
While we are still playing around with the Action Shot and the settings, it’s safe to say that this a camera meant for the young kid who wants to capture some footy and have fun doing it without much hassle. Since the Action Shot is light, you can mount it just about anywhere, and with a whole assortment of different cases (such as the waterproof case) you can use the camera just about anywhere.
It may not shoot in HD, but at less than $50 to get started, can you really complain? Add in a few mounting brackets and the High Impact case and the whole packet still comes in way under $100. If you are looking to get started with a POV camera, but are not ready to invest several hundred dollars into something you’re not even sure you are going to use very often, the Action Shot is an excellent entry-level option.
For more information, visit www.actionshotcam.com.