We tried the Bullet HD Wide in a variety of situations. The device itself is robustly made, and the mounts are of decent quality as well. The elasticated strap is a little hard to wrap round a helmet, but the self-adhesive velcro strips keep the camcorder securely attached. The goggle mount is also effective, although it can loosen swimming goggles as you move, letting water into the eye compartment. Nevertheless, it’s top marks for mounting options, as there are few situations where you won’t be able to use one of the bundled attachments.
Image quality isn’t quite so unbeatable, however. In decent lighting, it is still good for this class of camcorder, and better than any other helmet camera we’ve tested so far. With its 720p recording, there’s a reasonable level of detail, and the 7Mbits/sec data rate isn’t so aggressive that unpleasant compression artifacts are introduced. The camcorder doesn’t handle extreme contrast in brightness as well as conventional camcorders, but colour fidelity is reasonable. Although it’s often difficult to be sure where a helmet-attached bullet camera is actually pointing, the wide angle of the Dogcam’s lens means it captures a greater expanse of the action, even when shooting close up.
This also reduces the ill effects of the lack of image stabilisation. But it can’t help with the Bullet HD Wide’s biggest downside – its low light performance. As illumination drops, the brightness of the picture falls more quickly. In our standard test shooting in a living room illuminated by the equivalent of a 100W ceiling light, the image is extremely dark with very little detail visible.
The Dogcam Bullet HD Wide may not offer the video quality of a conventional camcorder. But it includes a comprehensive range of mounting options. So whatever your favourite activity, be it biking, go karting or even aquatic, there’s an attachment method included in the box. At £130, it seems a little pricey, when you can pick up Chilli Technology’s Action Cam Max for around £40. However, the latter doesn’t shoot HD, nor does it come with anything like the range of mounting options. So if you are serious about capturing your activities in a variety of different situations, this is a great little package.
Score in detail
Image Quality 6