Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mobius ActionCam

For quite some time I've been interested in trying out a hat-mounted camera. One of the problems with many popular cameras is their size and weight. Although the popular cameras are relatively small in size, there's still added weight and bulk attached to your cap or hearing protection. A couple of months ago, a friend told me about the Mobius ActionCam. This is an amazingly small video camera that is popular with the RC model aircraft crowd.

The Mobius ActionCam measures just 1 3/8 x 2 1/2 x 3/4 inches and weighs 1.4 ounces. Videos are stored on a 16GB micro SD card. There are also a number of mounting options available which add slightly to the bulk. I selected the visor mount which makes use of the camera's standard magnetic base. The magnetic base is part of the "Pro Mobius mounting package" which includes a variety of mounts and a wet weather cover. The visor clip and magnet mount combo provide a stable attachment to a ball cap, although I did discover that a fairly tight fitting cap works best.

The camera controls are very simple. There are just three buttons; Power, Mode, and Shutter. Two tiny LCDs are used to indicate status. All configuration is done by editing a text file on your computer. There are also GUI applications for Mac and PC to simplify the configuration process. The Mode button is used to rotate between two video modes and still photography. The video options are 1920 x 1080 HD at 30fps, and 1280 x 720 at 30 or 60fps. There are also narrow and wide field of view settings. Additional options such as motion detection, record on power on, and color editing are available, but untried by me. I have found that 1920x1080 at 30fps, with the narrow FOV setting, works well for the 1st person action shooting videos. 

The biggest issue I have encountered so far in using the Mobius camera is human error — remembering to turn it on before I shoot, and then off when I finish the stage. On numerous occasions I've forgotten to turn the recording off for several minutes, which has led to capturing some interesting, and often humorous post-stage banter. 

I've been very pleased with the Mobius ActionCam so far. When trying to analyze where we can improve our performance in shooting, or just about any sport, being able to watch a video of ourselves in action is an excellent training tool. Unfortunately, getting a squad mate to hold hold a video camera for us is not always convenient. I am typically hesitant to ask, for fear of disrupting another shooter's own preparations. First person video is a good compromise. It's easy to notice things like hesitations, flinching, not having the gun on target when coming into position, or seeing times when I had to look around for the next target. It's also good for showing when you don't do those things! Reviewing the video after a match is just plain fun too and I've enjoyed watching and re-watching the videos following a day of shooting (and forcing my family to do the same.) The camera also makes it very convenient to record your friends' shooting; all you have to do is stand and look in their direction, which is much easier, and more enjoyable, than watching through a view finder.

I've used this camera during my last three matches, and I always get questions about it from other shooters. Folks seem to be intrigued by the device, especially its small size. I do literally forget I'm wearing it at times. For a small lightweight camera to help capture the fun of my shooting activities, Mobius ActionCam is a relatively inexpensive tool that serves the purpose well.

Standing and Shooting

Shooting on the Move

Note: I purchased this Mobius ActionCam myself. No compensation was received for this review. I'm just a satisfied customer sharing my experience. Head shot photo by Paul Begovich.

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