HedCam HD Wide – The Waterproof Wearable Action Cam Reviewed

Compact, Lightweight, Waterproof, Fair price

The optional ‘open’ back cap claims to be waterproof – it isn’t.

Claiming to be one of the smallest and lightest HD action cameras is the HedCam Wide. Okay, it’s 720p HD, the little brother to full 1080p high definition, but it’s still an impressive claim for a device this small. On top of that it is also waterproof up to 10M (32′)! Can it deliver good quality footage though and what’s it like to use?
HedCam HD Wide review. Image show the HedCam attached a motorcycle helmet

What do you get for your £150?

In the box there’s the slim HedCam Wide camera (obviously), a mains charger, a USB cable to hook it up to your PC of choice, and a load of bits and pieces carefully designed to be able to lash or stick it pretty much anywhere on yourself or your vehicle. It’s nice to see that there is a reasonably sized 4Gb Micro SD card included with an adaptor so that you can shove it into a normal SD card reader.

Initial impressions

At just 78 x 22 mm (3″ x 0.86″) and weighing in at a barely noticeable 32.5 grams (1.1oz) including the built-in battery this thing is tiny. Small it might be but delicate it certainly isn’t. The HedCam Wide looks designed to withstand the knocks it might get with its rubberised tough plastic body and thick lens housing protecting it.  It seems well made with good tight joints, and its plastics and metals feel durable and of good quality.

To secure it in place there’s no less than four different mounts to cope with different surfaces and a whole load of straps and adhesive 3M patches.
HedCam HD Wide test. Photo shows 4 different angles of the HedCam HD Wide.

Preparing it.

The HedCam Wide comes with everything you need to get going so it’s simply a case of unscrewing the domed rear and slotting in the included Micro SD card and you’re good to go (after a cproper charge). The 4GB Micro SD card that’s supplied will give you about 1 hour 20 minutes of record time which pretty much fits in with the battery life of one and a half to two hours, although it will take up to a 32gb card.

One last choice left is to decide which back you’re going to use. One has holes in it so you can capture audio but if you’re going to get it wet then you’ll need the closed back. We have a gripe about that actually – with the ‘open’ (holes) back, it claims it can be used up to 1 metre in water. It was submerged way less than that with it attached to a 4×4, but it still corrupted that section of footage because of water getting into it!

One thing we did find a bit odd was that in order to get the right time and date added to the data about the movies (something that most applications will show you) you need to edit a text file. The instructions are clear on how to do this but it’s a clunky way to do it.
HedCam HD Wide test and review. Image shows the HedCam Wide mounted to a 4x4's front light.

Dimensions  78 x 22 mm; 32.5g | 3.0 x 0.86″ 1.15 oz
Resolution High Definition 720P (1280 x 720)
Waterproof  Yes; 10M, 33′ with the waterproof back fitted
Bundle Mains charger + USB cable, 4gb microSD + adapter, loads of attachments
Battery Life  Up to 2 hours
Operating Temperature -5 to 40 C | 23 to 104 F
Website Hedcamz.co.uk
Price HedCam HD Wide £149.99

When we first unboxed the HedCam Wide we found what seemed to be a random collection of rubber straps, velcro pads and adhesive patches, and thought full marks to Hedcam for such a useful array of bondage gear. However, they were merely attachment parts, and are very capable of securing the action camera pretty much anywhere.

Ok, so it’s strapped on and you’re good to go. You start recording your awesome action by giving the metal button on top just one press. Even with thick gloves on this should be no problem. To stop recording just hold the same button down for a couple of seconds. The Hedcam tells you whats going on by flashing different coloured LEDs at you through the front lens.

Being so easily switched on though means you’ve got to take care when not using it. It accidentally got turned it in our bag which filled the memory card and flattened the battery. Overall though, we think HedCam made the right choice as the point of it is to capture fast action and nothing should get in the way of that.
HedCam HD Wide review. Image shows the unit on its own.

Downloading

Downloading your footage is a cinch on this little actioncam. On our Mac’s, iPhoto imported it and then made it available to iMovie. Software on Windows should behave the same. The format the Hedcam records in is H.264 which is a pretty much universal standard so no problems there.

Video & Audio quality

Audio recording on the hedcam is purely for background noise only; engine noises, rushing wind and crazed screams are all recorded, but it doesn’t pick up voices very well, even with the open back on. With the closed back on there is no real audio to speak of.
When we first started looking at the footage we’d recorded with the Hedcam Wide we was a little disappointed but then I realised that I was comparing it to expensive camcorders and footage from the iPhone 4. In actual fact the Hedcam wide does a good job considering how tiny this thing is. Yes, the colours are a little muted and the image does lose some detail from being compressed so much, plus on really bright days it sometimes exposes properly for the sky and leaves other areas a bit dark, but if you want an action cam this small we don’t think this will bother you.

Our Verdict & Final Score

Design & Build 8.0
Features & Use 8.0
Price 7.0
Overall 7.5 / 10

Kudos goes to the HedCam Wide. It’s well made, properly thought-out and reasonably priced. The HedCam Wide is designed to capture your action in HD while being as tiny and light as possible and it does this admirably. Recommended.

Words: Chris Davies | Photography: Chris Davies, Jason Fanthorpe, Matthew Davies

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