Top critical review
30 people found this helpful
LIC Ego camera has problems
on October 14, 2012
This tiny camera is a real electronic wonder. There are plenty of (video) reviews online but none here on Amazon so I thought I'd toss in my views while we get to know each other. Mine arrived last month.
I got the black case since it would be easier to use it for clandestine shooting. I also purchased the water-proof case online from the manufacturer of the camera (Liquid Image).
This model has very limited range wifi and a free app online you can get from the apple store from Foneric called 'Action Connect'. It is a 3rd party app that allows for remote control of the menu system in the camera and seeing the photos from the Ego camera on your iphone (ipad). I have read of some significant performance problems for this app and some limitations to wifi performance. Keep your remote control expectations low!
Operating the camera as a stand-alone can be tricky at times. When the camera is in stand-by mode (powered-on but not recording anything) you change modes by pressing (mode button) one of the two stiff tiny buttons on either side of the tiny LCD display on the top of the body. The huge LED on the front of the camera changes color or blinking to confirm what mode the camera is in. It's as big as the camera lens itself!
Beware, there is an enormous multicolor LED on the front of the camera which is on during use and blinking when the camera is shooting something. I cut a piece of black electrical tape to cover this lamp because I don't want everyone within 2000 feet see that I am filming something. This is another reason for purchasing the black case (covering the LED with black electrical tape).
The camera has two buttons; Mode/Power and Start/Stop. These tiny rubber covered buttons are on opposite sides of the tiny LCD display which shows mode and resolution. Your choices by button are: still mode (single shot or sequence of shots, operating as a still camera), motion (operating as a camcorder), resolution (720 or 1080). All the other settings are done with the app only. The display also shows the status of the wifi (operating or not).
There is a standard thread 1/4 inch (1/4x20) threaded hole for a normal tripod mount. There are four tiny lumps around the hole to act as feet to stand the camera without any other mechanical help.
There is a slot for a standard tiny wrist strap (not included).
There is a port with a stiff flexible rubber cover where the Micro SD card is inserted, and access to the mini HDMI and mini USB ports reside. The camera includes a USB to mini USB cable (very short) for transferring images from the camera to the computer. I've used it with a PC using windows 7 and another with Mac OS and the camera shows up as a storage device without any added software or drivers. Move from camera images with a simple drag and drop. I play the videos easily with Quicktime on either platform and the stills with whatever comes with that OS.
The battery is built-in and cannot be replaced by the user. The camera does get a bit hot during normal use.
To see files shot with this camera search youtube for 'LIC Ego'. The camera also comes with a basic adhesive mount and a clear plastic windshield. Laying on it's back the body is aprox 1.25 inches tall, 1.5 inches by 2.5 inches. It requires class-6 or higher Micro SD cards.
The video/still performance is comparable to a 3mp camera, not too different from the camera in my iphone. Low light performance is somewhat grainy and pixely. The default settings put the camera in 135 degree mode which is a very wide angle shot with significant fish-eye distortion around the perimeter of the images. It looks sort of cool and also minimizes camera shake.
Summary: This is not a high resolution camera but it will create nice looking videos and stills. It is similar in picture/video quality to the GoPro camera which also does not have a display for looking at images (slightly better low light performance than the GoPro). This camera is sort of shoot-and-pray that it is running and including the images you want (hence the 135 degree setting). The stills would not survive much zooming-in on your computer. This camera appears to be designed for active use on vacations and sports activity (ski, snow, underwater, beach, bike, road, etc). This is not a suitable camera for hi-res shots/video of your once in a life vacation. With some practice and reading the instructions it is easy to operate for those that can read the LCD display which is also about the size of a micro SD card. Audio recording can be shut off and other settings are accessed only with the free App.
Update: I took my camera to Chicago where it failed repeatedly. I have a friend with the exact same camera and had his fail too. I am speculating that this camera is extremely sensitive to temperature/humidity changes. I believe the problem is related to writing data to the SD card. The cam locks up but appears to be awake. It will not shut off but will change mode but will not write files. Do not rely on this camera if used outdoors to save the file and not lock-up during shooting. Always bring a paperclip to press the reset button. While locked-up the camera would still talk to the iphone app but would not shut off or save recordings. Everything I shot with it in Chicago was lost, luckily I brought other cameras. I contacted the company a week ago, with no help so far. This camera appears to be very sensitive to big changes in temperature, which may be at the heart of it's failures. When I used it within a single 10-15 degree range of temps it always works fine.