The Epic Wide Action Video Cam
Price: $210 (comes with mounts, batteries and 2GB SD card)
Weight: 2.5 oz.
Point of view (POV) video is everywhere these days, and for good reason. The first-person perspective puts viewers in the middle of the action, and while second-hand face shots may not be quite as good as the real thing, it makes for entertaining footage. Tiny, self-contained battery-powered POV cameras are growing in popularity and Epic is one of several brands offering quality cameras at a reasonable price.
The Wide Action Video Cam comes with two secure helmet attachments (removable straps and a permanent adhesive), both of which feature large release tabs that are operable with gloves. The function buttons are also glove-friendly, with one for power and the other to start and stop recording. Ear piercing beeps accompany all button pushing, so you (and all those within a 1/2 mile) can decipher what's going on atop your head. Notably, Epic addressed the battery consumption problems for which these types of small, stand-alone cams are notorious, and even in single-digit temperatures the lithium batteries that came in the kit lasted an impressive day and a half.
Despite the Epic's relative ease of use, however, (and likely due to the extremely cold temperatures), the camera repeatedly "froze." Simply popping out the batteries "rebooted" the system and got rid of the bug, but the problem was responsible for missing some great footage. The waterproof camera shell attachment also broke during testing, but the camera can be used sans shell — just keep your head above the snow.
As for video quality, check out the video for yourself below. The Epic captures a massive 168-degree perspective, so mounting is easy (just point it in the general direction you want to film), and distortion is surprisingly low. Audio quality is poor, like most other cams in this genre, but it's good enough for basic dialogue.
Despite the occasional "freeze up" and the broken case (again, likely contributed to by the extremely cold temperatures during testing), the Epic Wide Action Cam packs a lot of solid features and decent video quality into a compact and reasonably priced package.
CLICK HERE to watch the larger version of the video.