With the rising popularity of the G0-Pro and similar cameras, videos cameras are now everywhere – on Surfboards, Ski slopes, Skydiving and more. People are even filming the action with multiple cameras to get that all around view. Oregon Scientific has a different solution – the world’s first dual-lens video action camera! The ATC Chameleon Dual Lens Action Video Camera lets you film simultaneously from 2 different lenses within one camera body, so the 2 videos are automatically synched during recording and playback without needing to do any editing.
I love to ski with my family so I was excited to try out the ATC Chameleon on the ski slopes. It comes with a hard shell helmet mount, as well as a tripod mount, so it was very easy to mount to my ski helmet to take it on the slopes. Others skiers immediately noticed the 2 lenses and were intrigued by it, asking lots of questions on the ski lift.
The ATC Chameleon has a rechargeable battery that lasts for about 2 hours on a full charge, it can be recharged via your computer or wall charger using the included charging cable. It requires a Micro-SD card to record (not included), a 16 or 32GB card is recommended (I bought a 32GB Sony card on Amazon for approx. $20). It is designed to be very simple to set up – it’s only setting choice is whether to record the videos with the 2 channels displayed side by side or top and bottom. The camera angles can also be adjusted – one can be rotated up or down, the other can be rotated side to side. The helmet mount can be left permanently attached to your helmet and the camera easily clicks in place when you are ready to hit the slopes. The helmet mount allows the camera to be rotated to whatever angle you wish from side to side, and also allows you to adjust the tilt. The side to side adjustment was very solid, I found the tilt adjustment kept the camera in place well if it wasn’t touched, but I did occasionally knock it out of alignment by banging it on the bar of the lift chair or by accidentally pressing too hard when switching it on or off.
When you are ready to record you just slide the large on/off slider on top of the camera, it will beep to tell you when recording starts or stops. It is very simple to use, but the trickiest thing for me was working out the best angle to set the cameras at, to record the action in front and behind me without videoing the sky or a lot of snow! It takes some practice to work out the best angles, so I did wish there was some way to view the video on a smartphone so that I could see what I was recording, or what I had just recorded, during the day instead of waiting until I got home and had access to my computer.
Oregon Scientific offers a free download from their website of software for viewing your videos recorded with the ATC Chameleon on your PC or Mac. You can view the videos without it, but using the software gives you some fun additional viewing options so I’d definitely recommend downloading it. When using the software you can view the recording with horizontal or vertical split screen (whichever you chose when recording) or you can view it picture in picture and change which is the large and which the small screen, or view a single channel at a time. I loved having these options for viewing the action, but I wish there was a way to save the video in these formats (you can only save it in split screen).
This camera is designed for action video shooting and the locations it will be most used in e.g. around snow or water, tend to have very good light a lot of the time. I found in good lighting the video came out well, and the picture was sharp. The camera also has a microphone so you can record a running commentary, or ambient sounds and conversations. When skiing fast there is quite a lot of wind noise- but this is I think fairly unavoidable and does add to the atmosphere and excitement. Here is a short clip that I recorded when skiing in February, this is with the horizontal split screen, uploaded to YouTube with no editing.
As well as using the ATC Chameleon on the ski slopes, I also took it on a whale watching trip to see how it worked in another environment. I did forget to pack my tripod mount, so I got a little creative using a Breffo Spiderpodium to hold it during the whale watching videos. I was also shooting still pictures using my DSLR at the same time so I wasn’t looking where I was aiming the ATC Chameleon during this video. This is with the vertical split screen, uploaded to YouTube with no editing. The humpback whale was over 1,000 ft away in the video so is small – you’ll see it in the right video stream from approximately 30 sec to 5min of the video run time.
The ATC Chameleon is water resistant as it is, so is fine for skiing or boat trips like the one I took it on, if you want to use it where it will be really getting wet such as surfing there is an optional waterproof housing available.
Overall, the ATC Chameleon Dual Lens Action Video Camera is a fun way to record the action when on the ski slopes or during other activities. It is simple to use, and its unique feature is the ability to record the action in two different directions at once. I love the software that allows you to view the videos in different ways, and wish there was an option to save it in these formats. At its current selling price of $99.99 it is a good deal and I recommend it, it is much more economical than many other action cameras and gives you dual channel recording instead of single channel.
The ATC Chameleon Dual Lens Action Video Camera with vented helmet mount is available online from Oregon Scientific.com RRP $199.99 , currently on selling for $99.99.