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Blackvue Sport SC500 FirstLook

Head-mounted  camcorders let us experience stunts from the lunatic’s daredevil’s point of view. Footage captured by these cameras have put us in the middle of some of the most amazing actions imaginable. However, there was a time (2004) when we had to cobble together our own kit out of pieces from a lot of different sources (StickyPodAdventureCam). A decade later, companies such as GoPro, with their tiny, waterproof, and ruggedized digital video cameras, have made it easy for anyone to capture live action when risking life and limb(s). Other video camera companies have taken notice of this exploding niche market and have started to introduce their own version of the “action cam.”

Blackvue, the same company which produce the awesome line of vehicle recorders, has introduced the BlackVue Sport SC500 action camcorder. Blackvue recognizes that while these cameras have traditionally been the staples of action-junkies, there are many other less “limb-risking” situations where it would be great to have one of these camcorders along.

The BlackVue Sport SC500 kit came with the following:

What is NOT part of this kit :

  • MicroSD card: No internal storage, so a microSD card is needed for use.
  • AC charger: Any charger which can take a USB cable (supplied) will work.

While stated as included, the waterproof casing was missing from the package. According to the box, the item was suppose to be part of the kit. Blackvue said they were having an issue with the case and are working on a solution. We hope they resolve their issue soon as it is a key component of any action cam even if you don’t plan on taking it underwater. Rain, mud, and uh, nature, are common hazards which these cameras must endure and we would feel much better if they were protected against the environment during use.

The Sport SC500 is a very simple and elegantly designed camera. It is made of three basic pieces: camera, battery, display. The body has only a few buttons, a couple of LED indicators, and ports for various cables. The battery compartment is in the back of the main module. The LCD screen snaps onto the rear over the battery compartment. We expected that this would prove inconvenient, but then realized the battery can be charged even with the LCD screen attached. Nice.

The Sport SC500 has some serious tech specs:

  • 157º Angle of view
  • Sony Exmor 12MP sensor
  • Video: 1080p 60 fps, 720p 120 fps, 480p 240 fps
  • Still: 12M JPEG
  • Time-lapse recording, burst photo modes
  • Built-in WiFi, USB, HDMI
  • 2hr Li-Poly battery

The wide 157º lens sees everything. The sensitive Sony sensor makes it easy to grab clear video in low light. Unlike the GoPro, the BlackVue Sport comes with a high resolution color LCD module as part of the standard package. The screen makes it easy to take still shots and review recently shot footage. We think the Sport SC500 can be a serious challenger to the GoPro line. We are eager to see if we are right.

We will have a FirstUse report of the BlackVue Sport soon. For this first outing, it will just be a quality test of the camera and not some crazy camera-breaking stunt. We are saving that for when we get the waterproof casing in-house. Once we have that we’ll send our RainyDayInterns out to capture some of their more daring antics. We will also send the camera to our surfing and diving friends and have them take it out for a spin to see how this Sport SC500 compare to their GoPros. Look for that “real” FirstUse report later in the Summer of 2014.

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