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KT&C camera from eBay
The cost of this system is around $175 (or less) on eBay with a couple mounts, battery holder and microphone. This type of cam has been taken from the security and spy camera system industry and put to use in the sport cam industry.
** UPDATE on 1/6/07 - see below
Here are the published specs of this Sony chipped KT&C “eBay cam”:
Addition note: these cams have 3x digital zoom and variable brightness via optional plug in remote control.
At first glance you might say these specs look just like the Viosport… maybe so but not all cam’s (or CCD firmware) are created equal – read on.
**UPDATE: January 6, 2007: I was sent a couple "gel" (plastic) balancing filters by the nice folks at QVC video, essentially these were neutral density balancing filters - they tone down the image in bright conditions. They did just that but did not help the color saturation or contrast issues, so my below opinion stands.
VIDEO: Really if they could adjust the image color balance for OUTDOORS instead of indoors this would be a sweet deal for the cost. Well, being primarily a security camera I guess you would expect this. That is probably why the outside video is blue/gray and the indoor balance is excellent. Clarity is good, so I give this cam a 6+ or 7 for outdoor video and 9+ for indoor.
AUDIO: The mic on this system is on a separate line allowing you to place it just about anywhere you like. The quality is EXCELLENT but with two complaints. First is that the mic is just plugged into the end via a small electronic terminal connector, you need to shrink wrap it or tape it on… or you will lose it! Second the wire harness, made for the security industry, has many bulky adapters and wires to get you to your recording device. (RCA to composite 3.5mm plug for example).
IN THE SHORTS:
If you are on a budget this system is OK. It will certainly get you some OK video, the color balance is the biggest issue. You can do some color correction in the post video editing, but that will only get you so far. This system: A fair value.
WHAT I WOULD CHANGE: