Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: TCL® SVC-200 SVC200 Mini Sport Waterproof DV Digital Camera Camcorder Car DVR for Outdoor Action Surveillance FHD1920X1080 Optical Glass + FREE All Accessories
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I have some mixed feelings about this camcorder and feel that a future version of it may be able to address some of my issues.

Let me get started by first discussing what is included with the camcorder

The TCL SVC-200 comes with several mounts and accessories:
- bike handlebar mount
- helmet mount with 2 extra sticky pads
- suction cup mount
- an adapter that allows you to use the camcorder in your car as a DVR in conjunction with the suction cup mount
- remote control
- AC Adapter: 100-240V, 50/60Hz
- 4400mAh powerbank with USB to MiniUSB charging cable
- 1050mAh, BL-5C, Lithium Ion camcorder battery that provides a solid 2.5 hours of continuous recording time
- Waterproof camcorder housing

The mounts are generally OK albeit a bit clunky in operation. In particular, for use in a vehicle as a DVR I think most people would find the combination of suction cup mount and DVR adapter mount to be rather large and in the way as opposed to what a DVR should be... tucked away and mostly unnoticeable. I could not get the camcorder lens close enough to the windshield to avoid getting nasty reflections in certain lighting situations.

The bicycle mount is functional and holds the camcorder relatively steady with no excessive shaking or vibration but again, it is rather large and chunky is size and once you get the camcorder perched on it, it's a lot of stuff hanging on your handlebar. By contrast the Polaroid SX100 Polaroid XS100 Extreme Edition HD 1080p 16MP Waterproof Sports Action Video Camera With Full Mounting Kit Included or the GoPro series of sports cams are much more compact when used with an appropriate mount.

I did not attempt to use the helmet mount at all as I did not feel comfortable with having the camera perched on my helmet using that particular mount.

The camcorder has two "modes" of operation when shooting video: car mode and sport mode. The only difference between those two modes is that when in Car mode, the camcorder auto-splits the video into 1-minute segments. Sports mode simply shoots video until the file size limit is reached and a new file is begun. When played back the transition between files is seamless.

The SVC-200 has a fisheye lens on it providing an impressive 170 degree field of view. That does cause some fairly severe distortion around the perimeter of the image area but this is not uncommon in sports cams with a wide field of view. Unlike some other sports cams you cannot change the field of view from wide to medium to narrow, for instance, as you can with the GoPro. The SVC-200 has only 3 video resolution settings: 1080p 30fps, 720p 60 fps, 720p 30 fps. The idea behind having 60fps is that you can slow the video down to 30 fps or less and get a slow-motion effect. But 60fps is the absolute minimum to achieve this sort of effect and frame rates of 120fps or higher are more desireable. Taking into account the price point of this camcorder, this is not a significant issue but is worth mentioning.

Other video settings include Bitrate settings of High, Middle and Low. Higher bitrate gives you better clarity when filming moving objects or if you are moving while recording. There is also a setting for PAL or NTSC. My camera was set to PAL when I received it so changing it to NTSC was necessary.

When shooting video in Car mode at 1080p-30fps, each 1 minute clip was about 110Mb in size.
When shooting video in Sports mode at 1080p-30fps, a 10 minute clip was about 1.2GB in size.

After formatting my 32GB card, the display indicated that it had room for 276 minutes of video at either 1080p-30fps or 720p-60fps. At 720p-30fps the time increased to 346 minutes.

Photo settings include:
- photo size: 5M, 8M or 16M
- Capture mode: Normal, Fast, 30s, 2min. Normal simply takes a single photo when the shutter is pressed. Fast will take 30 consecutive shots with 1.2M resolution (1280x920) when the shutter is pressed. 30s will take one shot every 30 seconds until you stop it, memory fills up or you run out of battery power. 2min will auto shoot a single shot every 2 minutes until you stop it, memory fills up or you run out of battery power.

The video quality when compared to my GoPro or my Polaroid SX100 is a bit washed out with less color saturation and the sky is frequently blown out (overexposed.)

The fact that this camcorder has a built-in color screen is amazing. What a great feature that is. You can view recently shot video to see if it's what you were expecting. Sure it's a tiny display, but a tiny display sure beats no display ( do you hear me GoPro?)

The camcorder remarkably allows you to use an external microphone although actually doing so may be a bit of a challenge. The mic-in port is not accessible if you are using the waterproof housing. It's also not practical in many situations. But in some situations it's going to be extremely helpful to be able to attach an external microphone.

I'm not sure what the upper limit is for memory size but I'm currently using a Sandisk Class 10, 32GB MicroSDHC card and it works great in the camcorder.

Another couple of pluses for the camcorder are that you can use it while it's hooked up to the AC adapter... great for long time-lapse recording. You can also hook the camcorder up to a HDTV with an HDMI to MiniHDMI cable. What the camera sees is what the HDTV will see. The display on the camcorder remains on while hooked up to an HDTV and you can also view videos and images already on the memory card via the HDMI connection. Basically think of the HDMI connection as mirroring whatever is on the camcorder display... including menus and whatever else.

It is even possible to use a digital zoom while shooting video if you absolutely need to. The more you zoom, the grainier the image becomes, but if you don't overdo it, it can actually be helpful to have that zoom capability. Since there is the built-in display, you have a good way to gauge when enough is enough.

So the many features make this a very appealing little camcorder. HOWEVER, video quality is not excellent, only good. Audio quality is pretty good. You don't have too many options for video and photo settings, particularly when compared to the GoPro3 Black (which costs nearly 2.5 times as much though.)

While not achieving the absolute best video quality, this little camcorder has the built-in display going for it and video quality that is certainly decent. And it can also be powered by the AC adapter which is huge. The waterproof housing makes it useable underwater up to 30 meters (but you'll need additional lighting at anything deeper than about 10 meters. Images can be quite grainy in low light situations and that is probably typical for low-end cameras. In good light you may be pleased with the image quality but it is not as good as GoPro or even the Polaroid SX100.

This is decent, low-end action camera. It's weak as a DVR in a vehicle but outdoor enthusiasts will find many ways to use this little camcorder to captuer some awesome video.

I was provided with a sample for testing and review.
11 comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 16, 2014
I like this little camera a lot. It's shoots good quality video and it's easy to work with. Check out my video for video quality as a dash camera in my car.

A few things minor things that were disappointing:

1) As a car dash camera, you have to turn it on and off manually. It won't turn on and record when you start the car if it's plugged in.

2) A power bank comes with the camera. However, the one I got appears to be used. It's scratched and the input port for the Mini-B plug is dented. I'm sure it's just a mistake, but still disappointing.

3) The USB/mini-B cable that comes with the camera is pretty short, so you have to buy another cable to plug it into your car and use it as a dash cam at the same time.

Despite these minor issues, I really like the camera and what it does. The video it takes is MP4 and is easy to work with.
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on May 11, 2015
Works well for the most part. I took it with me to New Zealand and had a good opportunity to put it through its paces. It survived mount doom, treacherous mountain bike trails and the waters of Lake Taupo. Video works well indoors, in low light situations as well as outdoors. The video is clear and doesn't look grainy.

One thing they could have done better was the accessories it came with. I would like to have had a glass lens for the waterproof case. I can see this getting scratched and giving you poor underwater footage. The windshield mount would not for the life of god reliably stick to the windshield and the bicycle handlebar mount padding came off rather quickly but nothing some glue couldn't fix.

An issue I have with the camera is that the viewing screen doesn't give you the whole picture. It tends to cut off the sides of the image. I realize that this is an action camera and not really meant for accurate filming but if you find yourself in a situation where you would like to take a still image and this is all you have to work with your end result might lose the intended feel.

Another issue I have had is that sometimes you need to be absolutely still to be able to take a picture without any blur. In New Zealand most of the pictures I took with it looked great and had no blur but taking indoor pictures at an anime convention had me wondering "What the hell was wrong with this thing?".

Despite the few flaws it does take really good video and it seems durable enough. The buttons work well and the magnetic switch on the waterproof case allows you to film without taking the camera out of the case to turn it off. Overall its a good buy just not a great one. This action cam is perfect if you just want something decent to film with and aren't too concerned with all the bells and whistles that more expensive cameras might provide.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon August 18, 2013
Up front I will let you know that I received this camera in order to provide an unbiased review. So my opinion is totally my own and I will attempt to point out the good and the bad with the TCL SVC200. The good news is that there is a lot to like. In fact, I was very surprised at the number of attachments and mounts that came in the box. The only thing that was missing (which was also surprising) was the Micro SD memory card (and you can pick up a 16gig micro SD for a very reasonable price).

I have used a few other action cameras and found a pretty big variety in their functionality. At their best they are overly rugged, but the video quality is only so-so. The TLC SVC200 is incredibly flexible and it does offer relatively crisp video. The only negatives regarding the video is that like all of the action cameras it does have a bit of fish eye look (with rounded edges) and the lighter colors have a tendency to washout bit (both you can see in the video).

Notes-

- Has multiple recording modes - 720 @ 30 and 60 fps - and 1080 @ 30fps

- Has several mounting options included - a helmet strap, a dashboard mount with suction cup, and a handle bar mount.

- A waterproof case is included

- A 4400mAH external battery pack was included (which totally shocked me) so that you can charge the camera remotely

- Comes with a small remote control so that you can start recording and pictures without actually touching the camera

- Has a small LCD screen so that you can immediately view your videos

- The basic controls of on/off and record are easy to use

- The playback and control features are a bit confusing, but after about 15 minutes you will have them mastered.

Final Verdict - The TCL SVC200 is a very well rounded action camera that provides a lot of features into a relatively inexpensive package. There are a couple of areas for improvement... like a way to eliminate the rounded images and the light color washout but I still give it a strong recommendation

4 1/2 Stars

Please Note - As mentioned I received this product for reviewing purpose
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on June 10, 2014
Pros:
64gb max capacity, most cams are 32gb.
Quality of video is great in bright conditions.
The mic input is one reason I got this and combined with the Sony ECM-CS3 it makes a decent vlog camera.
Wide angle lens is very useful for car dash type uses.
Sturdy case. I haven't personally used it underwater but it has survived a motorbike accident with only the front yellow plastic ring coming off but still useable.
Great exposure even when sun is in front of camera.

Cons:
The helmet mount adhesive isn't the best and had to apply some super glue since I didn't trust it completely.
At night time recording, the video looks fuzzy and has blueish lines running across the screen. If there are plenty of street lights it performs a bit better but don't expect to be able to make out license plates at night.
The charging time is 4 hours for about 2 hours of use. Even if you use the camera for 10 minutes and charge it, the charging light seems to always go out at the 4 hour mark which concerns me about over charging the battery and having it leak/explode.

Overall this is a great camera for motorcycle helmets, it can perform well in cars too. If you want to do some riding vlogs, this is definitely a camera to consider. If you ride a motorcycle, I HIGHLY recommend that you get a helmet cam ASAP whatever model it may be. There is a greater risk riding a motorcycle and the cagers are most likely to be at fault if something happens. Have evidence!
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on December 22, 2015
OK for my personal use, but I can't recommend it overall as a general use action-cam... read through my commentary carefully.
I will update this review if my opinions change, or if firmware updates and bug-fixes become available from the manufacturer.

Just like others have found my camera locks up, with the status pinwheel stuck in an infinite spin. It only *seems* to do this when I stop recording longer video segments, over ~4-5 minutes in length. I have not seen this condition after recording shorter clips. For my personal use as a hand-held camera this is annoying, but tolerable. The work around is to power down and remove the battery, and so far it has worked on every lockup, and I have not lost any videos by doing this. Every video clip has been recovered upon battery re-insert.

I get it to work for me since I do not mount the camera in a hands-free application. So I continually manage it with camera in-hand with a wrist lanyard. Which is annoying to say the least. Its a major distraction from whatever I am doing, having to check up on it all the time. An action camera is supposed to be about ACTION... or recording the moment. You shouldn't HAVE to focus your thought on your recording electronics when you are out and about on an adventure. In many cases this could be a DANGEROUS situation, depending on the activity and the distraction it presents to the operator. Think liability and injury as a result from distraction.

I did not try recording at 720P/60fps. All my lockup bugs were observed with 1080P/30fps

A less minor complaint I have is the pronounced fish-eye / distortion effect with the 720P/60fps setting. A lot of wide angle cams have this though, so its not that big of a deal for me.

There is also a ~5000 Hz "squeal" in the audio when you use the camera in low-moderate lighting conditions. I get around this in iMovie, with the background noise reduction set to ~35-40% and its treble reduction EQ setting.

Here's my latest video (copy-paste the URL)
https://youtu.be/F7vamjvXrSk

For my intended use (hand held, SHORT video-clip only) its a very good camera. Think of it as a water/rain resistant, mini-cam-corder.
-Good optics and image quality
-Stout + submersible dive case (The case limits operation to single function, REC-start/stop)
-Very good hand held ergonomics.
-Nice accessories
-Camera is fully operational, and settings can be changed from its small display screen. No need to tether to a wifi device. (when used outside of its case)
-1080P/30fps or scale back to 720P/60fps
-I manage to record ~16.5G of data before the OEM battery drops to ~%30, and I plug the USB cable into my battery bank for a partial re-charge.
-Cheap, readily available Nokia battery
-The small remote is a nice touch, but I really don't need it.
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on August 19, 2015
Anyone looking for a thorough review of this cam should check out techmoan's review on u tube...
I just want to add that if you are looking at this camera with the intention of using an external mic you need
to know that the input is in stereo. The mic port is 2.5 millimeters so you will need a 2.5 to 3.5 millimeter adapter.
3.5 is the standard. I am using a Sony ECMCS3 style Omnidirectional Stereo Mic matched with an Artpot 2.5 to 3.5 millimeter adapter cord.
They work perfectly with the camera. The cord is about 4 inches long so it doesn't add much length to the 4 or so feet of the Sony Microphones length. Keep in mind that if you choose a different adapter the head needs to be slender enough to fit in the room allowed at the back of the SVC-200 camera. Also, the Sony microphones cord is quite slender so folding it up to fit in a Motorcycle Helmet should be no problem.
UPDATE: The camera is working great. Good and clear for daytime use. Not so bueno at night as expected. The helmet mount is a good design and works well. I like that it's a traditional 1/4 inch tripod mount with or without the case. Audio with my Mic comes through crystal
clear. The sound with the Mic sounds like it's missing the top and bottom end though. Probably just the Mic Im guessing. Clear otherwise works great.
update 9-16-2015
Comparing my raw video to the raw video provided by techmoan of utube I can see that there is more graininess to my video in certain scenes. Like a clear blue sky, etc. Also the low light capability is worse than techmoans as well. Substantial graininess and weird light artifacts. Someone somewhere said the more recent version has a lower bit rate. I would guess that that is correct. When I can figure out a way to test the bit rate I will update again. I still think the camera is worth it considering its overall clarity during the day and its low profile for helmet mounting and the microphone input.
review image
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on March 5, 2014
Bought this camera for skiing and used it for the first time two weeks ago on a 3-day ski trip. I mounted the camera in its waterproof case to the side of my helmet using Gorilla tape instead of the kit mount for a lower profile look. Recording was easy with the slider on top of the case. Battery life was said to be around 2 hours.

I recorded 5-6 short videos during the first day of my trip, or so I thought. Upon returning to the hotel that night I realized that only two videos were saved to the card and the battery was fully discharged. The next day I did a little investigation on the slope and realized that the camera had trouble saving the videos after I stopped recording. The screen would stay on and the progress indicator would keep turning as if it's in the progress of saving the file and this would go on until I take the battery out. At this point I was pretty sure that this was the reason why the battery was fully drained after recording only two videos during the first day. During my 2nd day, I had to reset the camera by taking the battery out at least 3-4 times. And each time after I finished recording a video I would have to take the helmet off to make sure that it saved the file correctly without freezing up.

The other issue that I had was with the remote control. I tried to use the remote numerous times on the slope but it never worked. First I thought the waterproof case was somehow blocking the signals but then when I tried the same setup at the hotel later that night it was working fine. This led me to believe that the cold temperature probably had something to do with my issue with the remote. Eventually, I returned the camera to Amazon and started searching for a replacement.

Since I got back from that trip I had borrowed a JVC Adixxion gc-xa2 & a Garmin Virb Elite from my friends to use on a different trip last week. I took one camera out each day for testing. Due to the size, shape and weight of these cameras I couldn't mount them on the side without them weighing down unevenly on my head. So I decided to mount them on the top in the middle of the helmet. The problem with a top-mounted camera was that it sits high and thus creates a moment (physics), it moves my helmet around ever so slightly and more when I hit bumps. It felt very unnatural and I had to re-adjust or reposition my helmet often. In addition, I was constantly hitting twigs when skiing in the glades which I normally could have avoided if the camera wasn't on top.

Back to the SVC200. In comparison to these two cameras, the videos from the SVC has significantly less fisheye effect, especially when I was constantly turning in the glades. The videos from both the JVC and Garmin in the glades looked as if I was watching normal videos thru a curved glass or crystal ball. The trees in the videos go from straight to curved and back the straight as my head moved while recording. I didn't notice much of this effect on the SVC at all so the videos came out much nicer, at least in my opinion. As for the quality of the videos, I think all three cameras were similar and the Garmin seems to have a slight edge over the other two.

I have re-ordered another SVC from Amazon hoping that the issues that I had previously were one-off and not product-wide. Support from TCL seems to be nonexistent so I highly recommend Amazon if you're interested in picking up one of these just in case.

Update: The new camera works without the glitches from the first one but it produces some very high pitch noise while recording inside the waterproof case. Unfortunately, this product seems to suffer from various different quality related problems and it's going back to Amazon. I really love the camera but can't recommend it because of the issues I've experienced. I am lowering the rating from 4-star to 3-star.
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on May 28, 2015
I received this for a fair and honest review. This camera is fantastic! I have already tested the underwater capabilities(grandson took it at bath time). I found it when I drained the tub. It was fine no leakage or problems so I know it's toddler safe. I like the picture it does not have any real distortion or problems with the color. It also comes with mounts to put it on anything you want,helmet,handlebars etc.. The construction of the camera is great and with the remote I can set it up to record or play without having to stand there and push the buttons. As far as I'm concerned this is a winner!
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on December 16, 2015
I REALLY wanted this camera to work. I Like the slimness of it...the display, the ease of use, and even the image quality is decent for a camera LESS than a $100. HOWEVER....as others have issue with camera freezing up...so did I. It would record about 3-4minutes....in which time the display would go off. When you stop recording, it goes into "processing" mode and there it simply spins continually to no end. At which time you must remove the battery and re-insert. The camera would then "recover" the file surprisingly. If you did not mind having to do this every single time I suppose it would be ok. I also checked with 2 different SD cards as well to make sure it was not a SD card issue. Also...the item arrived in what appeared to be "repackaging". I am assuming this camera may have been returned once before already. If they could guarantee me I could get one that would WORK...I would re-order..however...Not going to take another chance at this time.
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