Video Games & Tech

WearCam from UCam247

by on 05/11/2016
Details
 
Platform
Positives

Inexpensive and functional in an incredibly portable design.

Negatives

Limited functionality and connectivity

Editor Rating
Total Score


Bottom Line
 

If you are looking for an inexpensive action-cam to take into challenging environments, then this may be for you.

 

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One of the greatest strengths of the WearCam is its portability. The WearCam’s compact 45mm diameter size and 26 grams’ weight, make it incredibly light ideal for taking quick snaps on the go. The WearCam is protected by a white, grey and black camouflage patterned casing that is splash-resistant and resilient to minor impacts, but not as rugged as some.

The WearCam is so compact and light-weight, that it is very easy to leave in your pocket when putting your trousers in the wash. Unfortunately, this happened to me. Whilst the WearCam may be splash-proof, I can confirm it is sadly not washing machine-proof.

Although it has no flash, making it unsuitable for low-light conditions, the WearCam takes, with a simple click of the button, wide-angle 2592 x 1936 pixel photos in 1/30th of a second. Due to the limited low-light compensation, I found the best photos I took were those outside.

The WearCam also has video functionality. Holding the aforementioned button for three seconds allows you to record a stream of 1280 video at thirty frames a second for a 256 kbps bitrate. The WearCam video includes some stabilisation but videos can still become blurry when you are moving at speed (as seen in the video below). Audio is recorded using the built-in mono microphone at 16kHz and is surprisingly clear despite the small size

As well as single shot photos and videos, the WearCam also has a continuous time delay function, taking a photo every 30 seconds, making it ideal for lifelogging and providing photographic diary of your day.

To aid in lifelogging, the WearCam comes with a plastic cover (providing additional resistance to impact) with an attached cord to hang the camera around your neck. Alternatively, there is also a clip on the back of the WearCam for attaching it to your clothing, however I found the weight of the camera often caused it to drop forwards such that it was facing it the floor.

All photos and video are stored on a microSD card, and can accommodate cards of up to 32GB in size. However, I found an 8GB card was more than enough. Unfortunately, the Wear Cam does not come with its own microSD card, and nor does it have any internal memory, so before using a WearCam you will need to supply your own microSD card. That being said, this is not much of a problem, as most tech-savvy people will have an old microSD card lying around.

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Photos and videos are retrieved by removing the microSD card from the WearCam and plugging it into a card reader attached to your computer, or – which I found was the much easier method – by connecting the WearCam directly to your computer using a USB cable.

The advantage of connecting the WearCam to your computer for retrieving the files is that you can also charge the WearCam at the same time. The battery is surprisingly resilient for its size, but there is no option for replacing the battery in the future.

Since the privacy concerns that arose several years ago, as well as the backlash against Google Glass, it feels like the WearCam arrived a few years too late. In fact, the WearCam comes with a privacy warning about the danger of filming in inappropriate locations.

Privacy concerns aside, the WearCam does have its uses. The WearCam is ideal for taking photos in environments or situations where you would be disinclined to take your mobile phone or SLR camera, such as running or paintballing. With judicious use of an elastic band, it can also be easily converted into a helmet-cam or bike-cam.

I would have liked to have been able to store photos and video other than just on the microSD card, such as through using Bluetooth or NFC. As this would have made it an excellent for using with Raspberry Pi projects. However, if you are looking for an inexpensive action-cam for taking into rugged environments, then you cannot go far wrong with the WearCam.

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