Long battery life action cam with narrow design

Paul White

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Country
Australia
I'm looking for a replacement camera for the TCL SV200 action cam which I mount on a 2m camera pole on the back of my Weta Trimaran.
Requirements:
  • Waterproof to 10m or more for 10 minutes - The Weta is a very wet boat with a lot of spray, plus the boat inverts if it capsizes and it take a while to flood a float to right it. Also I might want to mount it on top of the 7M mast.
  • 170deg+ field of view
  • 3hr battery life (or more) @1080p
  • Swappable battery
  • 1080p X 60fps (will accept 30fps if I have to)
  • Front facing status/recording indicator light (really hard to see if it's on otherwise)
  • Waterproof remote control for on/off, start/stop video record, standby
  • Support of 64GB SD cards
  • Lightweight (~100gms approx)
  • Image stabiliser
  • Low wind drag (with the lens mounted on the side (like the Sony) on the end of a tube (like the Contour) - not the front (like the GoPro and copies)
I could use a phone over WiFi for the remote (as I have an iPhone 6 in a Dog&Bone waterproof case) but I use that for tactical (iRegatta) and tracking (RaceQs) apps and it's mounted on a RAM mount attached to the mast, so I'd prefer a dedicated remote rather than have to keep switching apps. Plus WiFi sucks battery life.

I think the Sony (but which model) or Drift are closest but there may be alternatives I haven't considered.

Background
The SJ3000 was OK but easy to accidentally turn on via the unprotected record button on the back of the waterproof case. On the upside the remote could be used to start it and start/stop recording but there was no external indicator light to show what mode it was in (except on the tiny screen which is impossible to see in sunlight). Battery life was 80 mins at best.

The TCL SVC200 was better in that the on/off switch was on top of the waterproof case, and required a positive click to get it to start, but the remote could only start/stop recording (no on/off ) and no external mode indicator light. This meant I had to perch on the stern to turn it on/off which always had potential for disaster. 2 hour battery life using Nokia phone batteries was a plus.

Budget
Well I've tried the budget cams and proved their worth (and what my requirements are) but I am now willing to spend up to US$250
 
Last edited:

Nigel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
8,541
Reaction score
4,292
Location
Devon
Country
United Kingdom
Dash Cam
Gitup F1, A129, B1W, B2W
Can you run a power cable to it?

Some cameras (eg www.gitup.com) have auto start/stop on power on/off so you sort your control issues as well as battery life issues. Obviously that gives a waterproofing issue but I guess you have the ability to sort that.
 
OP
Paul White

Paul White

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Country
Australia
Can you run a power cable to it?

Some cameras (eg www.gitup.com) have auto start/stop on power on/off so you sort your control issues as well as battery life issues. Obviously that gives a waterproofing issue but I guess you have the ability to sort that.
I could run a power cable up the pole but the boat is only 5.5M, has no engine and therefore no battery - so any auxillery battery would have to carried in a waterproof container in the compartment below deck and then a wire fed through the hull (although I have though of using a solar charger).

The GitUp fails the slipstream test - I want one with the lens mounted on the side (like the Sony) or even on the end of a tube (like the Contour) - not the front (like the GoPro)
 
OP
Paul White

Paul White

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Country
Australia
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
Paul White

Paul White

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Country
Australia
why must it record to AVI format? it's inferior to the MOV format in a lot of ways.
My editing software had problems with .Mov files but in retrospect I can handle either.
 

jokiin

Well-Known Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
46,091
Reaction score
24,840
Location
Sydney, Australia ~ Shenzhen, China
Country
Australia
Dash Cam
Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
have a look at the Shimano camera, not sure how may of your requirements it meets but may do the job
 
OP
Paul White

Paul White

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Country
Australia
have a look at the Shimano camera, not sure how may of your requirements it meets but may do the job
Neat camera but it fails the battery life test and you can't swap the batteries either.
 

jokiin

Well-Known Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
46,091
Reaction score
24,840
Location
Sydney, Australia ~ Shenzhen, China
Country
Australia
Dash Cam
Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I believe there's an additional battery pack option for these, your requirements are a bit left field so not a lot of options unfortunately
 
OP
Paul White

Paul White

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Country
Australia
After much research, I've decided to go with a Drift Stealth 2 + Waterproof Case + Remote Control

It fulfils all of the criteria above apart from the lens which is only rated for 135 deg (but I may be able to swap the lens over):
  • Weight: 97 g
  • Small in Size: 42.6mm (L), 42.6mm (W), 27.4mm (D)
  • 3hr Long Battery Life: Even when recording at full HD 1080p 30FPS
  • Rotatable Lens: Can rotate 300 degrees (not a big deal but could be interesting for mast mounting)
  • Easy to Use: (Front facing) LED system with Two-Way remote control compatibility and colour coded screen
  • WiFi for phone monitoring/setup/start/stop (although app functions are pretty poor and it disables WiFi if it
  • Weather Resistant: Strong enough to withstand wind, rain, snow, dust and mud
  • Crystal Clear HD: Incredible Full HD (1080p at up to 30 fps) or magnificent slow-motion shots at 720p and up to 60 fps
  • Wi-Fi connectivity & free app (iOS & Android)
  • Fully compatible with the Drift 2-Way Remote (Not included)
  • Waterproof case rated for 40m depth (Not included)
 

jokiin

Well-Known Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
46,091
Reaction score
24,840
Location
Sydney, Australia ~ Shenzhen, China
Country
Australia
Dash Cam
Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
meant to be a decent product, would be good if you could give some feedback on it when you get it for others that might be looking
 
OP
Paul White

Paul White

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Country
Australia
OK so I've been using the Drift Stealth 2 for a couple of years now and I note it's now been dropped by Drift. I'm still using it as a secondary (rear facing) camera but my primary camera is now a $100 Warrior XM G1 which has a 6hr battery life(!) and uses H.265 compression.

Drift Stealth 2 summary review

Plus: Size & weight
Tube format
3hr battery life
Video quality
Positive press on button needed to start it (no accidental turn on in the bag)

Negative
135 Deg wide angle is pretty feeble in today's market
Remote control not waterproof (I bricked it after 5 uses)
Rust on hinge of waterproof case and door catch (why do so many action cam manufacturers use cheap stainless steel?)
Slow to start - press on button for 5 secs, wait for ready display, press again to start recording (while balanced on the back of the boat!)
 
D

Deleted member 37895

Guest
Interesting, have never heard of the XM G1. It has a much bigger battery than other cameras and sounds like a good low light sensor
 

SawMaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
5,359
Reaction score
4,801
Location
SC
Country
United States
Dash Cam
G1W-S, G1W-HC, G1W clone, B1W, N2 Pro, K2S, B2W, (ex Mobius)
Thanks @Paul White for the update- that XM G1 Is quite an interesting cam :cool:
Liking the 18650 battery format and their use of a top-quality cell when cheaper ones are so common. And the way the card could be replaced if needed, as they do eventually wear out. Those two points show a level of thought and care not often found in cams at this price. 0.6 seconds start-up time is excellent; why can't dashcams parking mode respond this quickly? :) Not sure about the cards being "non-extendable"; it seems this means larger size cards aren't supported. It would be nice if someone could try a larger card formatted to fat32 as many cams will work with larger cards that way. And ditto on cheap stainless; even in non-marine environments a lot of today's 'stainless' is little better than brass plated for rust :(

If it's a true spec, 135 deg FOV isn't so bad as long as there is no edge distortion; many cams over-state this spec and actually deliver close to this instead. But a wider option would be nice ;) Too late now, but a 'ziploc' case with some silica-gel packs might have saved the remote. I save the thicker ones I come across for purposes like this. The thick edge of the bag past the seal makes a good string or zip-tie retaining point while still allowing the bag to function normally.

Happy Sailing!
Phil
 

kamkar1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
21,422
Reaction score
11,795
Country
Denmark
Dash Cam
10 years, many dashcams
Interesting, have never heard of the XM G1. It has a much bigger battery than other cameras and sounds like a good low light sensor
I have been mentiong it for a long while once in a while,,,, at least a year, as it is the one waterproof camera with large battery out there to my knowledge, but you have to be carefull CUZ the warrior are out there in 2 versions, no fakes or anything like that but the main difference being the sensor used.

So one have the IMX 291 starvis sensor ( G1S ), and the other one ( G1 ) use the OV4689 sensor.

The cameras appear to have a 3400 MAH 18650 battery, so you can not take it apart to put in another one as batteries with a higher rating in this size are BS cheater batteries.
 
OP
Paul White

Paul White

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Country
Australia
I've posted a review of the Warrior G1 & G1S. @SawMaster asked if someone has tried installing a larger SD card formatted as FAT 32 and I did find one video posted on YouTube which claimed to have done it with a 128GB card. However, I'm not sure if this has been done by disassembling the camera or using the (rare) Warrior G1SA which has an SD Card slot instead of embedding the SD card in the hardware.
 

Top