Swann generally manufacturers security products such as alarms and CCTV equipment, so it caught our attention having just released a portable HD video recorder like the Swann OutbackCam. This rugged camera is advertised as being tougher than the Australian Outback, hence the name. Let’s see if what they’re saying is true.

First off the Swann OutbackCam has an IP67 rating which pretty much means it’s indestructible. It’s completely sealed from dust and can withstand total submersion under water. A great start and something that could really be beneficial to you action pros out there. The unit itself is pretty heavy, although promises to strap to your body or even external devices thanks to the external battery cage it’s provided with.

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The product itself is sold as a camera that you can leave static in a particular position. The Swann OutbackCam can record motion, can take images and also detect movement in front of the lens to start automatic filming. This is great if used as some kind of CCTV or even a camera to place in your camp and forget about while you enjoy your time away. There is even a pretty sharp night vision mode too.

All motion filming is shot at full HD 1080p quality. Because of such a high-resolution, the Swann OutbackCam has its own dedicated memory card slot for SD cards. It will accept a size of up to 32GB inside the camera. This will give you thousands of photos or even a few hours of video.

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You are able to use up to eight AA batteries to keep the life of the camera going for several months in its motion triggered recording mode. This will ensure that the camera, if used as a traditional CCTV type camera will last for a long time without having to replace the batteries.

Let’s go into the specifics of this camera. Video shoots at 15fps which I think is a little low, especially if you want to capture wildlife. If used as a CCTV camera for a shop or home, it’s fine. But for those sharp beautiful shots, there are better cameras on the market to do that such as the GoPro Hero 4 or even some larger SLRs if you do not mind the extra weight carrying them around. The video recording duration can be anything from a second up to one minute which again is a little short, especially for wildlife as this camera is aiming towards.

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Still images do look great however. There is a raw crisp to the photos thanks to its 12 megapixel sensor. Nightvision shots are also pretty good thanks to the infrared sensor and also heavy-duty flash on the front.

The Swann OutbackCam impressed us with the quality it can produce at such a low price as well. However, this does come with some compromise to the lack of continuous motion recording as well as the 15 frames per second. Don’t expect too many smooth panning shots with this. If the camera is kept is one place at all times, then video does improve. You can find out more information on the Swann OutbackCam on their official website.

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Stef Murphy

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