Camera: Swann ActionCam

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swann_actioncamIf you are in to your sports, especially solo events (biking, running, rowing etc.), there probably has been a time when you have wanted to video your exploits.  For most of these events though taking along a camcorder just isn't practical, after all you don't want to drop a couple of hundred pounds worth of camcorder whilst mountain biking down a steep trail and that's even if you could get it attached in the first place.

Enter the new Swann ActionCam: a robust digital camera for just such an application.  Built into a strong silver metal case, tha camera comes with a number of mounts, including a bike mount, helmet mount and a suction mount (for windscreen mounting) each of which securely holds the camera in place whilst the action is taking place!

On closer inspection, the rear of the camera casing unscrews (like a bottle top) and reveals a miniUSB port, and microSD slot (including an included 2gb card) as well as the main power switch for the unit.  The controls for recording are located usefully on the top of the unit for easy access, alongside a series of LEDs that show the operating mode of the device.  The camera has a built-in Lithium ion battery that can be recharged through the miniUSB port (for which cable is included) and this can apparently support up to 90 minutes of video recording in one go.

In our tests, the video capability of the unit is actually quite surprising and although video is only 640x480 we saw reasonable results in most light settings (obviously don't expect amazing quality) and the unit is capable of a respectable 24fps.  The in-built microphone works well and has a good pickup of closer subjects.  In addition to video, the camera can also be used to take stills which again were reasonable quality (again don't expect the quality to match up to the latest compacts).  As would be expected, video and images can be transfered from the device to any computer, either using the miniUSB interface or by simply using a card reader.

We found mounting of the device very simple using any of the included mounts and the included magnifying view finder makes setting up the positioning very simple.  Carrying the camera is effortless as it only weighs 60g and the camera isn't too bulky, measuring only 90mm x 30mm x 30mm.

The Swann ActionCam is an incredibly robust camera (it's only weak point from what we could see was the lens, which is protected by the casing to some extent) and is capable of recording a reasonable quality video making it ideal for any action video and priced at ~£80 (at the time of writing) it makes a nice cheap and certainly more suitable alternative to other video camera for recording your own action videos.

Similar product available from:

Amazon: Actioncam Action Video Camera Max