It seems like just yesterday Oregon Scientific was offering up its ATC2K actioncam, and now it’s all the way up to the 9K? They grow up so fast! Like its immediate predecessor, the ATC5K, the ATC9K features a built-in color LCD screen. Unlike it, however, the 9K shoots full 1080p HD (16:9 ratio at 30 fps), is waterproof down to 20 meters/60 feet (the 5K only goes down to 3 meters/10 feet), has a 130-degree field of view, includes a remote, and it can embed G-force data on your footage. It also now comes with a yellow-and-black body, the standard color scheme for underwater devices - remember the Sports Walkman?
The G-force data record is certainly a unique feature. The camera has a built-in “G-Sensor” (accelerometer) that calculates the force of gravity during acceleration. This could come in handy for activities like downhill skiing or mountain biking, where you want to see just how many G’s you pulled going through that one corner.
The camera is also set up to record your location, speed and distance traveled via a separately-sold $US70 GPS plug-in. Oregon Scientific claims it is the first camera of its kind to offer such a feature, although you can also currently get GPS data embedding on the Gobandit GPSHD. What’s unique about Oregon Scientific’s version is that it not only displays the numbers, but will actually bring up a whole data screen that includes a window showing your location on Google Maps. Pretty neat, but Mac owners should take note that the GPS module is for PCs only.
Other nifty features include a laser pointer (so you can tell what it’s pointed at without checking the screen) and a “silent” function that keeps the lights and beeps off. Additionally, like some of its competitors, it can take single still photos or bursts of several. Standard mounting hardware includes a helmet mount, bicycle handlebar mount, and velcro and rubber head straps. Optional suction cup, goggle and motorbike handlebar mounts are on the way next month.
Finally, it is great to see an ATC-series camera at last getting a wide enough lens! This is partly necessary because of the HD format, but whatever the reason, we'll take it. By comparison, the 5K has a field of view of just 53 degrees, which is much too little for an actioncam – you need an ultra-wide lens both to capture all the action, and to minimize the blurring and shaking.
The Oregon Scientific ATC9K costs $US299.99.