Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quick Look at ATC Chameleon Dual Lens Video Camera

I just got this camera yesterday and I am recording video that I'll have up in another post. The Oregon Scientific ATC Action Video Camera (and yes, that is a mouthful) has the distinction of being a dual lens camera/camcorder. The camera record 1080p video at 30 frame per second. Split that two ways and you get 720p video from the front and back lens. That can lead to some really trippy videos.

This is not a new camera; it has been available since 2012.

Let me say up front that I got this on sale on for about $40. It retails for $149 and I have seen ads for it around the $80-$90 range. I think under $60 is about right for this camera if you understand and can live with the limitations.

But first,

The Specs:

Video Resolution: Both lenses record separately 720p at 30fps On the camera you can select side by side or top to bottom recording. You would need to use software from the web site to do things like picture in picture or viewing video from a specific lens.

Audio: I checked the video properties using QuickTime Pro; seems to be Monaural AAC at 22,000 kHz per second. Remember, you aren't buying this for the audio quality. If you are near the camcorder it will pick up your narration but it will also pick up every gust of air or wind that the camera encounters. 

Focus and Field of View: This is a fixed focus camcorder. Keep in mind that it is also a fish-eye type lens. You manual adjust the lenses to record at the angle that you want up to 170 degrees. One lens records north/south and the other records left and right.

Storage: There is no internal storage. It can record on a micro SD card up to 32GB. The camera would prefer a class 10 card, I was able to record adequately on a class 4 memory card. 

Battery and Battery Life: Internal non-removable 1000mAh Lithium-Polymer Battery that should hold up for about two hours.

Body: Plastic all the way and that might not be a bad thing. While recording, I hadn't secured it firmly in the mount and it fell out. No harm done with no visible damage. The actual aperture is tiny, maybe F/16 or F/22. I can find no information about the size of the sensor.

It is also important to know what the camera doesn't have:

  • There is no LCD and no ability to attach one. 
  • There is no internal image stabilization. You find a way to hold it steady or you mount the camera on something.
  • There is no way to take a still photo; it is just video.

So, Why Would You Want This Camera?  

I can see a use for this as a supplemental camera for recording music events. It is a way to get the musician and audience in the same recording without swiveling from one to the other.

Perhaps as secondary camera for demonstration or training videos where you are trying to show someone how to do a task and you want an alternative view as you are doing it.

For the right price this could be your GoPro type camera for infrequent action type videos you might want to record.

And yeah, for citizen journalism purposes as well.

Other Posts of Interest

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