MOTOCROSS ACTION PRODUCT TEST: VENOM SNAKE EYE MICRO SPORTS CAM

June 23, 2010
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WHAT IS IT?
A rechargeable, thumb-sized video camera designed with sports and action in mind.

WHAT’S IT COST? $129.99.

CONTACT? www.venom-group.com or (800) 705-0620.

WHAT STANDS OUT?
Here is a list of things that stand out with the Venom Snake Eye Micro Sports Cam.

(1) Size. The Snake Eye measures 2.2 by 0.6 by 0.8 inches. It can be tucked out of the way in small nooks and is light enough for weight-sensitive applications.

(2) Specs. The Snake Eye shoots 25 frames per second of 640×480 video, comes with a two gigabyte micro SD card (will accept an eight gigabyte), uses AVI video format, has sound-activated recording, and a built-in, rechargeable, 260 milli-amp-hour, lithium-ion, polymer battery.

(3) Downloading.
Downloading videos takes a long time. On the plus side, the camera recharges while it’s connected. Also, we had to find and download additional software in order to download the videos to our Vista-equipped PC (not with our Macs).

(4) Accessories.
The Micro Sports Cam comes with a two gigabyte micro SD card, a silicone case with safety strap, a tilting helmet/handle bar mount, a tilting magnetized mount, a snap-on clip, a Velcro arm band, an elastic head band, three mini velcro straps, a carrying pouch and a USB cable.

(5) Racetrack footage. Theoretically, the Snake Eye’s size would allow us to mount the Venom in a bunch of creative places on the bike; however, inadequate mounting was a deal-breaker. Jarring hits and engine vibration ejected our camera, ruined our footage, and prevented good angles at every one of our mounting locations. Eventually, we strapped it to the bar mounts and got some decent footage.

(6) Other applications.
We found some really cool ways to use the pint-sized camera away from the bike/rider. Our favorite mounting places included on our Duratrax DX450 remote control dirt bike, on the head stock of a Les Paul guitar and the collar of Skippy, the dog who lives at the racetrack. There are more ideas and sample videos on Venom’s website.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? There are two big problems for motocross use. (1) It’s difficult to achieve a mounting position on the helmet or bike that is sturdy enough to hold. Getting it pointed correctly once mounted is another can of worms. (2) The protective rubber sleeve doesn’t do much to protect the camera from the elements. Ours got scraped up and covered in roost (but still works).

RATING 2 OUT OF 5
The Venom Snake Eye Micro Sports Cam’s small size and creative mounting options enable some really exciting shots for a bicyclist, R/C vehicle driver, dog walker or chess player. Unfortunately, the  high-vibration environment of a motocross bike is too hostile.

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