Have you seen an outdoors video on television where it's like you're right in the action? Maybe it was a four-wheeler or dirt bike running down a trail, or a bowhunter shooting at a deer, or a hunter stalking game. These videos are typically done by a cameraman or expensive POV (point of view) equipment. Midland, a company known for all types of electronics, markets an affordable version called XTC Wearable Video Camera.
Midland offers four different models in their XTC line...XTC100VP2, XTC150VP2, XTC200VP3 and XTC300VP4. The primary differences between the different models are the resolution, external finish, types of mounts and price. The XTC150VP2 was chosen for this review since it comes with a camo finish and four mounts that are suitable for the outdoors person.
The XTC150VP2 camera is surprisingly small. It's only 3 1/3" long, 1 2/3" tall and 1 1/6" wide. With two AAA alkaline batteries (included) and the microSD card (not included) installed, it only weighs 3.1 ounces. Batteries are easily installed in the side by pressing a release and sliding the side panel off. The microSD card is installed under a rubber flap in the back of the camera; the rubber flap also protects a USB 2.0 port. Accessories mounts thread into the bottom of the camera into a metal nut. (this camera comes with four different mountsbow, handlebar, tree and cap visor). On the top of the camera is a side switch for off/record and three LED lights that show when recording, memory card status and battery status. The camera is weather resistant.
Midland XTC Wearable Video Camera
On the technical side, the XTC150VP2 records in AVI format at 640x480 standard definition (480p SD), 30 frames per second, with a 4:3 aspect ratio. This camera is equipped with a 140 wide angle lens. Recording time is dependent on the size of the microSD card; there is approximately 15 minutes of recording time per GB of storage; for example, an 8 GB card will hold about 120 minutes (2 hours) of recording. Transferring the video recordings to a computer can easily be accomplished two ways...plugging the included USB 2.0 cable into a computer (Mac or PC) or removing the microSD card and using a card reader. When recording for extended periods of time, the camera will automatically split the video in 2 GB (30 minute) segments to make file transfers easier. The operating temperature for this camera is 0 to 60 degrees C (32 to 140 degrees F).
There are three other models of this camera, one with the same resolution (not camo) and two with greater resolution (not camo); there are also some technical variations with the higher resolution cameras. The included mounting accessories differ with each camera. A mount for shotguns would make this camera a great teaching aid for shooting clays.
-- Pros ---
Small size and light weight.
The four mounts included are outdoors oriented.
Does not require any special software and includes a USB 2.0 cable.
Built-in microphone for audio.
The handlebar mount is adjustable from 5/8" to 1 1/2" diameter tubing.
The on/off slide switch is contoured and large enough to slide even while wearing gloves.
The camera seems to be well constructed; it was accidentally dropped on the ground (not on cement or hard surface) several times and continued to function properly.
-- Cons ---
The wide angle lens is a good idea, but the video recording shows perspective distortion which common when using this type of lens.
Nine other types of mounts are available individually, but seem pricey.
The camera does not record very well in low light situations such as just before sunrise or just after sunset.
An operating temperatures down to 0 degrees F would better for winter activities.
The microSD card is quite small and could pose a challenge for some people.
The MSRP for the Midland XTC150VP2 with four mounts, 2 AAA batteries, USB cable and owners manual is only $109.99 (online and store pricing may vary). The other models have an MSRP from $99.99 to $249.99. Midland will soon release an XTC350 having a camo finish and 1080p True HD resolution (like the XTC300VP4).
For more information and details about the XTC Wearable Video Cameras, check out their website at: www.midlandradio.com/Action-Cameras.CA8.