Written on: 12/05/2009 by chasethebarber (1 review written)
Easy to mount
Not good for low light
Delay when going from bright to shady and vice versa
I'm writing this review for one simple reason: There is very little independent information on the Tachyon XC Extreme Helmet Camera. Most of what you find is released by the company and the few user reviews are very vague. Hopefully, this will help others in choosing the appropriate camera to suit their needs.
I needed a waterproof helmet camera to record a white water rafting trip this summer. In my research, I narrowed it down to the Tachyon and the OS ATC3k. The list of features I needed were as follows:
1- must be waterproof
2-must be under $200
3-must be able to record a minimum of 6 hours
4-must have decent video quality
5-must be easy to mount to a helmet
The ATC3k excelled in all but recording time. For this reason, I was forced to resort to the Tachyon. As there was little information, I didn't know what to expect.
When I recieved my camera(fast shipping by the way), I was rather impressed. It's a little smaller than a red bull can, and weighs about half a pound with batteries. The casing is somewhat blocky in shape, and has a nice matte black finish. It came with three mounts, my favorite of which being the "general mount". It also included USB and AV cables, though I prefer to just pop out the SD card.
Once I popped in my 2gb card, I took it outside for a little testing. I walked around the yard, moving in and out shade. I even dunked it into a bucket of water for a few minutes. Once I finished playing around, I removed the card and played the video. I was amazed by the quality of the video. It is by no means flawless, but it is amazing for the price paid. The picture is rather sharp, and the color is amazing. The framerate is smooth, with no visible lag. Moving from shady to sunny areas causes a brief white-out, but it only lasts a couple seconds. Upon dunking it in the water, the picture became somewhat clearer. You could see very well, and it even showed things through the surface extremely well. The camera does very badly in low-light. The audio is very quiet, but this is caused by the waterproofing. In order to get clearer audio, you can open the door on the camera. However, doing so means it is no longer waterproof.
It also takes still pictures, and they are rather decent in sunlight.
The camera not only looks sturdy, but I've dropped it several times onto concrete and it has yet to recieve any damage.
Using the general mount, I mounted it to my kayaking helmet in under 5 minutes using a pair of 8" cable ties. It is very stable, but I may add a couple more for peace of mind. I recently added a 32gb SDHC, and though the company claims that only allows 8 hours at the highest setting, mine will record 8h49m. With lithium batteries, it is stated to have up to 10 hours of battery life. I can state that it will easily do 7 hours of recording without even showing the half battery indicator.
Overall, you can't go wrong with this camera. At $150+s&h, it's a steal. If you want something for low-light, this camera will not work. However, it is good enough for most sports such as skiing, biking, paintball, kayaking, or even motorcross. If you own one, please share your experience here!
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