First, some basics about this camera. It shoots in full 1080p high-def, plus 720p or WVGA HD, should you wish. It can also continuously shoot 5mp stills, comes with an assortment of mounting options and has a remote control, so you can start and stop recording even if the camera is mounted in a hard-to-reach place. Nice features, but ones that are shared with some of its competitors.
One of the things that puts the HD170 in an elite pack, however, is its LCD viewfinder/playback screen. The ability to line up shots precisely, then check on-site that everything worked, are essential to shooting the kind of wild-n-crazy videos for which actioncams are designed. Of the similar cameras we’ve looked at, the otherwise-impressive GoPro HD HERO Wide only has a “peephole”-type viewfinder, while the VholdR ContourHD and Gobandit GPSHD (as far as we can tell) have none. Similar cameras that do have an LCD screen include the Kodak Playsport and the Oregon Scientific ATC5K (big brother of the ATC2K), but they don’t measure up when it comes to…
Other nifty features include an external microphone input, manual iris capability, and a low-light mode.
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