|Retail Value:||USD $249.99 (Summer 2012)|
|Weight:||Camera: less than 6oz; Gift Box: ~32 oz.|
|Manufacturing Country:||Made in China|
Midland Radio is one of the oldest and most respected manufacturers of communication products. In the more recent years they also included action cameras in their product range. Although relatively new, compared to brands like GoPro, Midland Radio is preparing to make the same impression as they did in the communication products industry.
What comes with the package:
- Midland XTC300VP4 Camera
- Underwater Case
- Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
- USB Adaptor (Both DC & AC)
- USB Cable
- Bicycle Handlebar Mount
- Helmet Adhesive Mount
- Helmet Strap Mount
- Goggle Mount
The XTC300VP4 only comes in a black color. Midland Radio also makes a camouflage version in the XTC350. The XT300 is compact, sleek, and stylish. My first observation was related to its simplistic design. However, the impressive part of the package was the number of useful accessories that came with the camera.
The thing that really made the XTC300 stand out for me was the subtle simplicity. No extra buttons, settings, or options to leave you confused.
- Hands Free (comes with multiple mounts for different activities)
- True 1080p High Definition Picture
- Fumble free: simple on/off switch for easy recording
|1920 x 1080p (30fps)||1280 x 720p (60fps)||848 x 480 (60fps)|
|16:9 aspect ratio||16:9 aspect ratio||16:9 aspect ratio|
|Records as mp4||Records as mp4||Records as mp4|
These are the only settings that are offered by the XTC300. Unlike some other brands, there are no options to tweak features here and there. Now this may seem like a limitation to some of the techies and perfectionists out there, but this is a major plus for those who find the hundreds of features an enigma of menus and options.
- Focus: 5 inches to infinity.
- Format: MPEG-4 (mp4); Compression: H.264
- Light Sensitivity: 1.4V/Lux.second
- Storage: Micro SD card (up to 32GB) slot. Does not come included
- Transfer cable: USB 2.0
- Power: 1100 mAH Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (up to 5 hrs of record time)
- Battery Life Indicator & Low Memory Indicator
- Audio: AAC
- Operating System Compatibility: Windows XP SP2+, Vista, 7, and Mac OS X 10.4+
- Lens: Multi-coated tempered glass
- Submersible Case (Waterproof)
Here's a raw video (test), shot by hanging the cam on my climbing helmet (a perfect substitute for a stabilizer).
All SD card LED status colors were visible underwater as well. Each different LED color indicates the amount of juice left in the battery. However, one small thing I noticed was that you're limited to using the record switch during underwater filming. The HD/SD mode switch is within the camera so you're unable to access this when the camera is within the submersible case.
Also, clarity and focus were actually much better than expected. The image stabilizer and auto focus do a pretty decent job.
Comes with two helmet mounts, goggle mount, and a bicycle handlebar mount.
- The helmet mounts worked nicely and fit nice and snug on the side of the helmet. The on/off switch was easy to access even with gloves on. This is a major plus especially when handling such a small device.
- No extra software necessary for download. Once the USB plug is inserted and the camera set to record, the computer detects the camera and the folder icon pops up with all videos recorded.
- Easy mounting using the dual track system on both sides of the camera. To remove from track system you simply press the mount release switch.
- Easy one button micro SD reformatting.
Although simplicity is a plus, this came at the cost of the overall function of the camera. Other action cameras also give the option for still pictures (GoPro HD Hero 2: Ten 11MP photos per second burst etc).
- No playback feature or image finder. The XTC300 does not have the ability to playback and play previously recorded videos. (Owner's manual lists that video playback requires H.264 codec, but the link does not send you anywhere with relevant information)
- No online support center for the action camera. Service and Technical support questions can only be sent through e-mail or phone.
- Adhesive pad attachment for aiming the camera seems somewhat provisional. A better alternative can be used here.
- No manual focus (However, this is the case for most action cameras out there)
- No chest mounts with adjustable movement.
Overall I was fairly impressed with the XTC300. Although new to playing field where one certain company has a fairly strong foothold, the XTC300 pulls its weight.
Costs are comparable, but Midland definitely has some adjustments it needs to make. There are few things that need to be tweaked, but are somewhat minor problems.
As with anything, success and quality lie in the details. In the areas of innovation the XTC300 does not really bring much to the table in the action camera arena. It is lacking something that sets itself apart from the competition.
Overall the camera is a decent investment and can stand with most of the current action cameras on the market. XTC series cameras are also present in the top selling action cams on Amazon (2012).
Check out Midland on Facebook and Twitter.
|About the author: JSO is a climber and hiker from Northern California. He's part of the group of athletes who regularly write gear reviews for Highball Blog.|
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