Price (RRP): $179.95
Let us, before we do anything, pause for a moment and look at two numbers. The 3SIXT Ultra HD WiFi Sports Action Camera features, as the name indicates, offers Ultra High Definition video recording, which is to say up to 3840 by 1920 pixels of resolution at 24 frames per second. The second number? $179.95. It’s almost unbelievable that you can pay such a small amount for a gadget that, a decade ago, would not have been available to a billionaire.
This is a tiny, tiny action camera. More or less cubical, it measures only 48mm on the longest dimension, and 43mm on the other two and just has a mass of just 71 grams. At least, they’re the figures for the camera alone. In practice, you’ll be using it with some of its accessories attached.
Of course, it isn’t all UltraHD all the time. The camera can also capture so-called 2K – 2560 by 1440 pixels – at 30 frames per second, full HD (1920 by 1080) at 60fps and 720p at 120fps. And capture stills, of course, at eight resolutions from 16 megapixels down to VGA (640 x 480).
And it features WiFi communications for viewing through the device with an Android or iOS smart phone or tablet, or for downloading the video and photos.
Now, of course an action camera is only useful if you can take it with you or attach it to you or your equipment so that it can record what’s happening. A sub-two inch cube is easy enough to take with you, but attaching it to things? Not so easy.
Except that the Sports Action Camera comes with a full range of attachments. The most obvious is the one in which it is installed in the box: the waterproof housing. This comes with a spare door in case the sealing starts to leak, and has three push-through buttons to allow control of the camera. If you’re not going underwater – or venturing out in the rain – there’s a more skeletal housing that leaves all the various controls and connections clear for use. Either of these can attach to a number of supplied mounts, including for attaching to a helmet, to bicycle handlebars, or even to flat surfaces. There are sticky pads and cable ties. The non-waterproof housing has quarter inch tripod-ready mounting holes at both top and bottom. There’s even a suction cap mount for windscreens.
The main connections are the slot for holding a microSD card (which you supply – Class 10 required for UltraHD recording) of up to 32GB, a mini HDMI output and a Micro-B USB socket for charging. The whole thing gets by handily with just five control buttons. A 38mm screen on the back gives you some chance to frame things correctly and shows the main menu, as well as allowing you to display photos and video.
The camera has a very wide 170 degree field of view. The Lithium Ion battery holds a touch over a 1000 milliamp-hours of charge. It takes three hours to charge and is rated for 90 minutes of operation.
A small quick start manual is included, but you can download a more comprehensive one from the 3SIXT website.
In general a lot of gadgets are kind of hobbled. The basic chipset might provide all manner of settings and functions, but many of them are switched off or just not implemented. On one view, that’s in order to keep things easy to use for the consumer, to avoid too many choices leaving a consumer frustrated with complexity. On another view, it might allow several different models based on the same control electronics to be provided, with features unlocked in the more expensive models.
Well, there is none of that here. It looks to me like 3SIXT has decided that if an adjustment or setting is supported in the chipset, it’s going to be made available to the user. So the main menu has seven pages with six items on each for a total of forty. It’s like the same thinking as the collection of accessories: is there a chance the consumer might need it? It’s possible, so let’s put it in!