In my adventures in trying to dress up as Lala from the Teletubbies I’ve found the ATC Mini Helmet Camera to be an irreplaceable accessory.
Teletubby impersonations aside, what does the ATC Mini Helmet Camera by Oregon Scientific offer cyclists?
- High quality HD video (sample video included at the end of the post)
- A wide range of mounting options (again see video!)
- Competitive price point at £119 (read on for 20% exclusive discount for LC readers!)
- Easy to use (just 3 buttons and a great mounting design)
- Waterproof up to 20 metres!
High quality HD video
In tests with the ATC Mini helmet camera for cyclists, I’ve found the video quality to be excellent. The camera doesn’t suffer from curved recording edges, you can see licence plates and there haven’t been any issues where the recording has been too dark. Although, it’s not quite the level of the more expensive HD Hero helmet camera, it should be enough for most uses.
However, there is a downside to this high quality of video. For every one minute of video you are looking at around a 100mb file. On a 25 minute commute, you’d therefore have 2.5 gigs of data. You can buy 32GB Micro SD cards which costs around £30 and that should prevent you from running out of juice. The battery lasts for approximately 1.5 hours.
There is one further consideration. If you’ve got an older laptop then it may struggle to edit the HD video. You’ll find that converting the video to MP4 format will dramatically reduce the file size while maintaining the quality.
Wide Range of mounting options
The ATC Mini Helmet Camera has an excellent range of mounting options. Especially, when coupled with the ATC Mini Handlebar Mount. Thanks to the low weight of the unit it shouldn’t be a problem to place it on the helmet. I found the helmet mount provides the most clear angle for bike rides.
What really stood in my review of the ATC Mini is that you can make some excellent micro adjustments to get the recording angle just right. This is thanks to the design of the mount. Out of all the helmet cameras I’ve tested, I’ve found the mounting system in the ATC Mini the most useful.
Despite the lack of an LCD monitor it wasn’t too hard to guess where the camera was pointed. I found that from the first ride my guesses were pretty accurate.
(The video at the end of this post demonstrates the benefit of multiple mounting angles)
Easy to use
The ATC Mini helmet camera is designed to make life simple:
- To upload video you just plug it in to your computer without needing any additional software.
- There are just three buttons on the unit (On/Off, Camera, Video) all of them easy to press even with gloves
- Mounting is quick and painless (just don’t forget to tighten the screw that holds the camera in place!)
With water resistance of up to 20 metres you’ll have to seek out a pretty deep pothole to be in any difficulty. It’s great that this is something included straight out of the box with the ATC Mini, rather than having to invest in additional accessories.
Review of the ATC Mini Helmet Camera
Overall, there’s a lot to love about the Oregon Scientific ATC Mini. Waterproof, competitively priced, high quality video and excellent mounting. Any let downs? 1.5 hour battery life may not offer enough juice for all purposes and when mounted to your helmet you do look a little silly!
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.