Oregon Scientific ATC5K
Manufacturer: Oregon Scientific Part number: ATC5K
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as of 03/06/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $89.99
- Reviewed by: Antuan Goodwin
- Reviewed on: 08/07/2009
The good: The ATC5K has a color LCD that makes it easy to use in the field. Its Webcam and live monitor function enhance the usefulness of the camera. Waterproof, shockproof design takes bumps and splashes in stride.
The bad: Front-heavy design makes the unit difficult to mount stably. Low light performance is abysmal.
The bottom line: The ATC5K Action Camera has a few new features that make it easy to pick up and start using; however, it falls flat when it comes to video and photo quality.
by downdown on August 15, 2009
Pros: Waterproof. Really it is.
Solid, well constructed case.
Cons: This device has a lot of problems. A lot. But by far the biggest is the centre-loaded automatic exposure, which makes the thing unusable in the real world.
Then there's the flimsy mountings, the unreadable LCD, the file errors...
Summary: Auto exposure control: Oh boy. It's bad. Real bad. Only a tiny area in the centre of the image is used to set the exposure level. So if this ...
Summary: Auto exposure control: Oh boy. It's bad. Real bad. Only a tiny area in the centre of the image is used to set the exposure level. So if this happens to be pointing above the horizon then the whole image goes dark and looks like it was shot in moonlight. Yes, really that dark. And if the centre of the image is just below the horizon then the whole image goes intensely bright again. Mount this camera on (say) the front of a kayak and the video playback is like being bombed with multiple H-bombs at night... too dark to see anything when the kayak pitches upwards, then flashing too bright to bear when it pitches downwards. Even panning across a scene which contains dark and light patches causes rapid and random changes to the exposure level so the video is constantly flickering as if some idiot is playing with the brightness control on your display. And when you paddle through a cave, even a relatively well-lit one, the results are just awful.
Display: Invisible in bright daylight. And the camera doesn't work in the dark anyway. So this is an utterly useless 'feature'.
Menus: Too small to see. I have an eye loupe here on my desk which I use to read them. No exaggeration.
File Errors: If the battery goes flat while you're filming, 50/50 chance you'll get a "file error" and will be unable to access your video.
Video quality: Rubbish. Massive color bleed. Highly pixelated, even allowing for 640 resolution. See also "Auto exposure control". It's just unwatchable.
Low light performance: None whatsoever.
Mountings: Flimsy. Extremely flimsy when you consider the weight of this camera.
Would I recommend this? You are kidding. But if you really, really must buy one of these Oregon beasties because you don't believe a word I say, then do yourself a favour and get the 3K version without the LCD screen. That'll save you 40% of the price. You're still wasting the other 60% though.
Two stars. Because it is waterproof and solid. But what's the point of producing a well-made casing... and then filling it with terrible technology?
- Manufacturer: Oregon Scientific
- Part number: ATC5K
- Description: Self-contained, hands-free digital video cam with built-in 1.5" LCD screen and photo capture function, makes ATC5K an unparalleled action camera which every sports lover / family must have. The ATC5K is waterproof to 10 feet!
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Camcorder
- Camcorder Media Type Flash card
- Optical Sensor Type CMOS
- Digital Video Format AVI
- Camera Flash Built-in
- Image Recording Format JPEG
- Webcam capability Yes
- AV Interfaces Composite video/audio
- Type Lens
- Max View Angle 53 degrees
- Lens system type Lens
- Focus Adjustment Focus free
- Min Focus Range 10 ft
- Additional Features Auto power save
- Remote control Remote control - Infrared
- Software Drivers & Utilities
- Included Accessories Handle bar mount,
IR remote control,
Audio / video cable,
Helmet mounting kit
- Viewfinder Type None
- Type 1.5 in LCD display
- Connector Type 1 x USB,
1 x Composite video/audio output
Memory / Storage
- Media type Flash card
- RAM Installed 32 MB
- Memory Card Slot SD card
- Supported Memory Cards SD Memory Card
- Image Storage JPEG 640 x 480
- Video Capture AVI - 640 x 480,
AVI - 320 x 240
System Requirements for PC Connection
- Operating System Support MS Windows Vista,
Apple Mac OS X 10.3,
MS Windows XP,
MS Windows 2000,
Apple Mac OS X 10.4
- Peripheral Devices USB port,
- System Requirements Details Windows 2000/XP/Vista - Pentium III - 800 MHz - 128 MB - 800 MB
- Protection Shockproof,
- Underwater Depth Up to 9.8 ft
- Supported Battery AA
- Supported Battery 2 x AA ( Optional )
- Audio input type Microphone
- Microphone type Built-in
- Microphone Operation Mode Mono
- Microphone technology Electret condenser
- Battery type - Alkaline
Viewfinder / Display
- Display Features Built-in
- Width 2 in
- Depth 4.4 in
- Height 2.1 in
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