Ah, the fun of the holidays. My son G-, 12, has been enamored of the GoPro Hero3 action video camera system, dreaming about being able to attach it to his helmet when bike jumping, skiing on the slopes or even just skateboarding around the neighborhood. Great fun, but darn expensive: the GoPro runs almost $199 without mounting kit, and if you want the top end unit it’s $399 plus whatever mounting accessories you’d want. That’s a lot of money!
That’s why when I learned about the Action Shot Camera, which offers VGA recording capabilities for under $50, I was most interested! It was a perfect price for a children’s experimental action camera, right? After all, I’m not a believer in teens and pre-teens being given lots of über-expensive gear. That can wait until they can pay for it themselves!
The company sent along the basic Action Shot Camera along with a mounting kit. The camera itself is about the size of a hockey puck, and is easily attached to helmets, foreheads, even the handlebars of a bike.
It records in VGA mode, 640×480 at 30fps. Cinematic movies are projected at 24fps, so 30fps isn’t as crude as it sounds, but compared to a higher-end HD camera, the Action Shot is definitely going to be a smaller resultant image and lower resolution too. It’s $50, not $200. There’s a difference, and there should be a commensurate difference in your expectations. It’s not a cheap GoPro. 🙂
The camera arrived, we played with it for a few days, my son figured out the rather confusing controls — since he never reads manuals — and he was off and ready to have some video adventures.
And promptly lost the camera.
Yup, he transported it from my home to his mother’s house and it just… poof! … disappeared in the chaos of the other house. And he hasn’t been able to find it again.
On the one hand, it’s very frustrating to not be able to post my own sample images and video footage, it’s also a great reminder of why lower cost electronics for children is often such a smart idea: Kids lose things. They loan them to friends. They break them. We adults do this too, but far less frequently. Kids? This goes with the territory.
Fortunately, there are other sites online that feature example footage from the Action Shot Camera, including this cool motocross video from a site called VitalMX:
Action Shot Camera – More Motocross Videos. Video by Bayo Olukotun.
With the base unit costing under $50 and the waterproof case available for an additional $19.95 on Amazon, the Action Shot Camera is a great low-budget introduction to strap-on live footage video cameras. It will certainly keep young athletes and adventurers busy for many months making movies out of their daily adventures.
Now if we could just find ours…
Action Shot Camera, $49.99 with 128MB of on-board memory. Add MicroSD cards for more storage capacity. www.actionshotcam.com