Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review - Wildgame Innovations AC5XC Hi-Definition Infrared Action Cam

If you look at the Wildgame Innovations AC5XC Hi-Definition Infrared Action Cam on Amazon you will find a review very similar to this one. That is because I reviewed it on Amazon a while back.

I try to be positive on this blog. It is much more fun that way. Get ready for a change of pace, here comes some negative!

I wanted to like this camera. It appeared to have great mounts, HD, and night vision. It looked simple to use and rugged. It delivered on some of the promises, but its buggy nature negated its good qualities.

First the good:

The included mounts are versatile. I was able to strap it to the scope of my rifle with only a little problem and it is one of the few cameras that I can mount to my double barreled 12ga. The hat clip holds securely, but makes the camera ride higher than I like.

It is the only action camera that I know of that has night vision. The night vision works well (when it works at all) out to about ten yards.

It comes with a "waterproof" case. Night vision does not work well when the camera is in the case.

Video quality is OK. Not great, but it does capture the details well. Of course, it works best on bright, sunny days.

Here is a very boring video showing the quality. Its not bad.

Now the bad:

It is terribly buggy. It will randomly  shut down and reset to factory defaults.

Once it goes into power save mode, it takes a while to come back on. Sometimes when it goes into power save mode it resets your setting back to factory defaults. I cannot figure out how to turn off power save mode.

The menu system takes forever to scroll through and lags. Once it resets to the factory defaults (this happens often) it takes 30 seconds to set everything back the way you want. A long time when you are trying to get footage of a hunt!

The back light does not stay on long at all. It does not give me enough time to change the settings before turning off. There is no way to set how long the back light stays on.

It has a "power save" mode and an "Off". When in "power save" you are supposed to be able to just press the record button and it will start recording. When "off" you have to press the record button twice, once to turn the unit on and once to start recording. There is no way to tell without looking at the LCD if the unit is in "power save" or is "off"! If you press the record button twice while in "power save" mode it does not record. If you press the button once while "off" it does not record. So I often think I am recording, when I am actually doing nothing.

Night vision drains the already poor battery life very quickly. I get about 30 min of recording in night vision. Normal recording gives me about an hour of recording time.

Oh yea, the night vision turn on automatically, but never turns off. Accidentally put your hand over the camera lens and the night vision switches on. This ruins any video shot in the daylight. You cannot manually tun off night vision.

The sound is very poor, but that is normal with this type of camera.

The mounting brackets use a lever that is very easy to undo. If you hit it the wrong way the camera falls out of its mount. I've had a branch hit the lever and disconnect the camera.

The "waterproof" case is not waterproof. I tested it by placing it in a bowel of water for five minutes. It came out about a quarter full of water. Maybe by waterproof they mean splash resistant. OK, that is better than nothing. The second problem is that the camera over heats when it is in the "waterproof' case. I get between 6 and 10 minutes of recording before is overheats, shuts down, and will not restart until it cools off. The "waterproof" case is a joke.

Waterproof? Maybe they meant waterful, because it fills with water.

Speaking of over heating, it over heats! In the winter there is no problem. In the summer, under direct sun, it consistently overheats within minutes. I'm talking two or three minutes.

I should have held out and bought a GoPro or Contour. This is THE WORST CAMERA I HAVE EVER USED! My blood pressure is up by writing this review. This camera makes me so mad! I need to go hug a kitten to feel better. Don't buy this camera. I personally don't trust anything made by this company.

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