Review of the Tachyon XC Helmet Cam
Last weekend I went on a camping trip with my brothers to Carolina Adventure World, a place that is nothing short of heaven on earth for those that enjoy dirt bikes and ATVS. Prior to the trip I decided I wanted to document it all on video, so I set out to purchase a helmet cam that could withstand the abuse of water, mud and violent movement of the ATV. After extensive research I found the Tachyon XC, a shock-proof video camera designed specifically for mounting on helmets, handle bars and anything else you can think of. I purchased two of the $149 helmet cams and brought them with me on my trip.
Mounting the Tachyon XC on my helmet was a piece of cake. You simply slide the camera on to any set of goggles and you are good to go. Mounting the second camera to my ATV proved to be a little more difficult. The Tachyon is designed to take a beating so they have minimized the moving pieces. None of the three supplied brackets allow for vertical adjustment, so I had to use a little Murphy ingenuity to make sure it was properly pointed at my face. It was nothing some zip ties and gaffing tape couldn’t handle.
Operation of the camera is very straight forward. There are only three buttons on the unit, but it is still easy to configure the camera to do what you want it to. Once you get it setup it is simply a matter of turning it off and on and starting or stopping recording. The buttons are really, really stiff and difficult to push, but with good reason. You don’t want the camera to start or stop because of the shock it is receiving.
One Tough Video Camera
I beat the crap out of both of these cameras. I completely covered them in thick, gritty mud. I submerged them. I bounced them around for 12 hours on an ATV and they took it all beautifully. I don’t think a standard video camera in a waterproof case would have made it out alive. I managed to capture all the video I needed with a single set of AA lithium batteries and a 16GB SDHC Card in each unit (the cameras require 4GB of storage per 1 HR of footage).
While I was extremely impressed with the quality construction and all the accessories provided for $149 I was a little disappointed with the picture quality. I have been using my Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS to shoot all my video and I love it. In contrast the video produced by the Tachyon XC seems to have less detail and is often over saturated. To be fair my Canon was more expensive, came with no mounting accessories and could never in a million years take the beating my Tachyon XC helmet cam did.
Still frame taken from the video of each camera
The good folks at Tachyon emailed me not once, but three times to make sure I was happy with my order. The customer service is outstanding and they are very eager to help.
Overall I would give this product 4 out of 5 tongues. It is an incredible value for $149 and the company stands by their product. I look forward to a future version of the Tachyon with higher quality video (or perhaps an HD option).
You may be thinking where is the video?!?! Well… you will just have to wait until I am done editing the whole camping trip together.