MeCam HD: Rugged life-logging in high definition – UPDATED for 2017

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The logic behind wearable cameras is that it allows you to capture even the most fleeting moments.  Those photo-worthy moments happen in an instant, in a space of seconds.  That is the same time that it would take you to take out your camera or smartphone, power it up and get a shot.  In other words, by the time you are ready with your device, the moment has already passed you by.  However, with a wearable camera shooting photos unattended, you are able to capture the moment as they happen, spontaneously and without having to hold your breath. 

Wearable cameras are essentially life-logging tools.  They allow you to document your life in such a way that is not obtrusive.  At the end of each day, you have hundreds or thousands of photos that detail your life.  MeCam is one of these wearable cameras.

MeCam HD, however, has one slight difference.  It logs your life in high resolution.  It records videos with resolutions of 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels at 30 frames per second or 1,280 pixels by 720 pixels at 60 frames per second, as well as 3.1 megapixel photos, thereby allowing you to get pictures of 2,304 pixels wide by 1,536 pixels high.

The basics

Released in January, the new MeCam HD camera sells for $259.99 in the United States.  It measures 2 inches wide and 2 inches high, taking on a square form factor instead of the circular one it used for the first MeCam.  It is surprisingly light at only 2.5 ounces.  The only color available is black.

There are two physical buttons found at the top of the MeCam HD.  One is for the power while the other lets you go through the functions.  This is also where you would find the speaker.  It has the indicators near the back at the top.

MeCam can fit right into your pocket, but since it is a camera, you would not want to keep it there.  The new MeCam HD offers you several options on how to wear it.  You can use the clip bracket that allows you to clip it onto your shirt or bag, or you can use the safety pin bracket that allows you to pin it to your clothing.  You can also wear it around your neck via a strap that is provided in the package.

MeCam has said that there will be other mounting options available in the future, including tripods and perhaps a waterproof case.

Speaking of which, MeCam HD is not waterproof out of the box, so you cannot take it swimming with you.  Remind yourself to take it off before diving into the pool!

The inside

The MeCam HD features internal image stabilization, which lessens the times when you get nothing but a blur for your photos.  This is actually a common problem for wearable cameras, because you are not holding it and it is being rocked by your body movements.  But with image stabilization built into the device, this will be less of a problem.

MeCam HD uses a three-axis gyroscope to help you get stable photos.  You also get digital wide dynamic range so that you could get clear images even when you have bright backlights.

The camera also has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity.

It also has several interfaces: a micro USB 2.0 slot, a micro HDMI TV output slot and a micro SD slot.  This is good news because the first MeCam had its own proprietary USB slot, which means you cannot use the USB cables that you already own.

The camera

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The camera also gives you a choice between simple one-shot shooting and three-frame bursts that allow you to capture photos in rapid succession.  But for life logging purposes, you can just choose one of the three time lapse settings that the cam has.

Photo burst options allow you to get either five photos per second, 10 photos per second or 30 photos per second, while time lapse options allow you to take a photo every 5 seconds, a photo for every 30 seconds and lastly, a photo every minute.

And sharing videos on Instagram and Vine is a breeze.  Push one button and the camera allows you to capture a 15-second video that you can upload to Instagram and press another button and the camera records 5-second videos that you can then upload to Vine.

Aside from the fact that the camera can shoot HD videos and capture five-megapixel images, it puts in a high-grade lens to give you accurate color representation, high contrast and rich saturation.

Lastly, the camera uses wide angle lens, with a field vision of 130 degrees.  Aperture range is set at F stop 2.3, while white balance is set at auto.  It also has a microphone and speaker built in.

Memory and storage

First of all, MeCam HD makes use of advanced H.264 compression to make sure that the images and videos are compressed rather well, while preserving the quality of the file.  This helps in making the file sizes smaller.  For example, an hour-long video that you shot in 720 pixels HD will only take up around four gigabytes of space.  If you are using a 32-gigabyte Flash memory card, you can store an HD video that would run for more than 800 minutes.  That is more than half a day of continuous recording!

On top of that, the wearable camera comes with a 1 gigabit DDR3 SDRAM, and has a built-in 128-megabyte internal memory.  If that is not enough, you have the option to insert a micro SD card that could give you AT LEAST four gigabytes more storage.

The software

You can use a mobile app to view and manage your photos.  Using a Wi-Fi connection, MeCam HD can upload the images to a smartphone or tablet with the app.  You can also use your smartphone or tablet to see what your MeCam HD is recording or capturing, in real time.  Think of your mobile device as a viewfinder for your MeCam HD.  You can also playback the recorded videos and view the photos you have.  Furthermore, you can share your photos and videos to your friends.

But more than that, the makers of MeCam HD is working with HighlightCam to come up with an easier way to edit videos.  HighlightCam, as the name connotes, picks out a video’s highlights and edits the whole video so that it comes back polished and looks like it was professionally edited.  When this functionality is available on the mobile app, a MeCam user can submit his or her raw video and will get a beautifully edited video that will be made available on MeCam’s Web site without using anything other than their smartphones.

Aside from the mobile phone app, you can also display your pictures and videos on a large screen TV so that you could give great visuals to the people you want to show your photos to.

The downsides

The problem with MeCam HD is that it seems to have a short battery life.  The people behind the wearable camera claims that the battery life is expected to last over an hour if you record a 1080-pixel video continuously with the Wi-Fi connection on.  It can last longer with the Wi-Fi off, or in other modes such as taking photos in time-lapse mode.  For a device that is positioning itself as a life logging tool, this is simply not enough.  It is either you opt to have a very boring life wherein you do not find moments worth preserving in HD or you are going to miss out on some moments.

Also, there seems to be no software that will help you view, edit, and manage photos and videos on your desktop computer.  Unlike with other wearable cameras that give you a desktop software to work with, the people behind MeCam HD explain that they are a small company with no access to a team of software developers or engineers.  That is simply not an excuse, especially if you are taking a photo every 5 seconds, which would translate to more than 8,600 photos in a span of 12 hours.  You simply cannot expect people to view all those images on a smartphone or TV screen.

Also, MeCam HD is slightly bigger than other wearable cameras that are available out there.  Unlike its smaller counterparts, it may not be as low profile as its users would want it to be.  You can bump it on the table or it could get caught with your hands or your other accessories.  But it certainly makes up for it with its rugged look and compact design.  The bigger size also enables the manufacturers to put in better specs and allows you to use micro SD cards to augment your storage.

The bottom line

MeCam is unlike most other wearable cameras out there that are built for a single purpose: taking photos of what happens to the users’ everyday moments and making a log of their lives in the process.  MeCam helps you add video into the process.  There are much more features here that are not present in the first MeCam.

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The first MeCam.

If you only need a camera to log your life, then the first MeCam at around $50 would do you well.  But if you are looking for great looking photos and videos in the mix, and looking for a wearable camera that is not just for novelty’s sake, then consider getting the MeCam HD.

 

UPDATED FOR 2017

This review that was originally written in 2014 has been updated for 2017.

 

A wearable camera allows people to capture each and every moment of their lives. These have been designed for those who want to capture these fleeting moments before they are gone. In today digital day and age, when people share everything about their lives on social media, it is important to determine what is actually worth putting out there. Most people worry that noteworthy moments from their lives will pass by quickly and they will not be able to record them.

This is where these easy to use and carry around wearable cameras come into handy. With a regular smartphone or camera, you can easily miss an important moment, since it takes time to set the device up and get it ready for the shot. However, a wearable camera can allow you to easily record those moments by capturing them without any support and in seconds. A wearable camera is one of a kind device that can log your every moment without obstructing anything or intruding on privacy. At the end, you have several pictures that might be worthy memories someday.

MeCam is one such wearable camera that will log your photo worthy moments before they are gone. The MeCam HD on the other hand, is slightly more enhanced. It allows people to record and detail their lives in High Definition or resolution. With this wearable camera, you can capture still photos as well as record HD videos. Technically, the MeCam HD is designed to record videos that have a resolution of 1,280 pixels by 720 pixels at 60 frames per second (720p) or 1,920 by 1,080 pixels at 30 frames per second (1080p). You can capture photos that are up to 3.1 megapixels, or 2,304 pixels wide by 1,536 pixels high.

When it comes to still pictures, this camera has many features which make it stand out. There are special modes that people can switch to in order to capture photos accordingly. These include the burst mode and time lapse mode which each have multiple settings that allow the user flexibility. For instance, you can take a photo or many in a sequence that can be one minute apart or even two seconds, whichever is preferable. The MeCam HD also has an app and it is highly useful for people who want to take photos remotely. You can easily use your phone to snap pictures instantly. It is quite convenient for capturing long distance shots, group pictures and selfies as well.

Basics

The latest MeCam HD that you are going to find in the market can cost you $99.99. Its measurements are primarily 2 inches wide and 2 inches high and it is quite lightweight, weighing only 2.5 ounces. The two physical buttons found at the top of the camera make it easy to navigate. One is a power button while the other gives you access to the functions. It is also where you can activate the speaker, the indicators near the back, on the top, will guide you.

MeCam HD can fit right into your pocket, but that’s not where you want to keep it. There are many ways in which you can wear the camera; it comes with a safety pin bracket that allows users to pin to their clothes, or a clip bracket which can easily be attached to either your bag or a shirt collar. A neck strap is also provided with it, so you can also wear it around your neck.

In the future, there could be several other mounting or carrying options, including tripods and waterproof casing. The camera does not work under water; hence, you should take it off before going swimming or anywhere into the water.

The Inside

One of the most interesting features that the MeCam HD carries is internal image stabilization. This means that you will likely avoid less blurs in photos. Since these wearable cameras are attached to your body, the problem of distorted photos can arise with the movements of a person. However, with image stabilization, this is not a problem anymore.

The camera also features an internal three-axis gyroscope which stabilizes the camera and allows users to get clear pictures even with bright lights. A low light sensor is also built in and automatically adjusts according to various levels of light.

MeCam HD has Wi-Fi connectivity and many interfaces. There is a micro USB 2.0 slot, a micro HDMI TV output slot and a micro SD slot.

The Camera

As mentioned before, there are modes that you can choose from whilst taking a picture. You can opt for a one shot image capture or three second bursts in a rapid sequence. There are also time lapse settings that users can choose accordingly. The photo burst option allows people to take five, ten or even 30 pictures per second, where else, with time lapse, you can take one single photo every five or 30 seconds, and sometimes, one every minute as well.

You can easily share videos on social media, be it Instagram or Facebook. By pressing one button, you can record a 15 second video and post it on Instagram within no time.

The video and picture quality is already high resolution, but other than that, the camera also employs a lens that enables the best picture quality, color contrast and saturation. You also have the option to switch off the time stamp. Your phone can be synced with the camera through Wi-Fi; the app also allows users to easily access it via their Android or IOS supported smartphones.

As far as outside Wi-Fi range is concerned, it goes up to 50 metres.

Bottom Line

MeCam HD comes with a 128-megabyte internal memory, 1 gigabit DDR3 SDRAM, with the additional option of a micro SD card that can enable storage up to four gigabytes. The only downside is a short battery life. However, this camera is optimal for recording high quality videos and capturing day to day photos. You should consider it for the light design, lucrative features and versatile body.

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