Snap to it.
Action cams capture the action right at the very forefront, while helmet cams protect motorcyclists and cyclists whilst on the road. What if you combined the two into a small and neat product that everyone could wear, all of the time; regardless of it they are skiing down Mount Everest or cycling along a dodgy road. That is the idea behind the iON SnapCam LE, so we popped one on and took a wander.
By far smallest and lightest HD camera we've ever tested, the SnapCam LE is iON's latest and most feature-packed action/non-action cam. Designed to be worn on your person by way of the included clip (a tripod clip is also included, letting you set it up on a clamp or grip) you can discreetly record your day as you go about your business – all in HD.
The SnapCam LE features no screen and just two top-side buttons. Apart from that the only only physical features are the Micro USB charging port on the side, along with the rubber seal to insert a MicroSD card of up to 32GB in capacity. The highest recording resolution is 1080p at 30 framers per second, so we went for a walk.
In this test footage we clipped on the SnapCam LE and strolled along the street for a bit, and then – as we like to do – we strapped it to a drone and took for a fly. Which you can do. Because it's so damn light. Hit play and be sure to crank it up to full HD:
We were very impressed with it, and although we cut them out of the footage for privacy reasons, all the people we passed had no idea that we were wearing a video camera; so small and discreet that it is. The drone section of the clip shows that even when the SnapCam is spun around and tossed through the air on a (badly piloted) quadcopter, it still recorded very well, handling the low late-winter sun very well.
Video mode can also be lowered to 720p but with a higher rate of 60 frames per second, making it useful for slowing down action shots, should you wish to capture something cool. There is also a time-lapse mode in which the number of shots per minute can be adjusted, either via the PC and Mac suit, or via WiFi to your mobile device. And finally there is also photo mode, which uses the 8MP sensor to capture some very lovely images, such as this:
Live-streaming is available via WiFi and Bluetooth to your phone or tablet, making the Snap Cam LE even more versatile. From lining up the shot (which we did to make sure the rotors of the chopper weren't in the way of the lens) to using it like a short-range spy cam, there's lots you can do with a HD camera that is this small.
We really love this thing and think it is a big step forward in both the action cam fields, and also in the realm of personal protection. Sure, everyone constantly wearing their own video camera is a bit Big Brother-y, but if it helps to keep vulnerable people safe, we're right behind it.