Review: ATN Shot Trak-X HD Dedicated Gun Cam
By John Crump
United States -(AmmoLand.com)- With the explosion of Gopros and the fact high quality cameras getting cheaper every day it was only a matter of time before companies jumped in with dedicated gun cameras.
Me being a gun guy and a mature film maker I decided to pick one up for my Youtube channel. There were a few gun cameras to choose from. Ion makes the “Camo Cam” and ATN makes the “Shot Trak”. The Camo Cam was $199 on Amazon and did not have a system to attach it to a rail and had to be clamped to the barrel.
So I picked up the ATN Shot Trak-X HD Gun Camera for $139 which mounts to the weaver rail.
The difference between the Shot Trak and the Shot Trak-X HD is that the Shot Trak-X HD comes with a laser sight. Both come with the same HD camera. The camera mounts to any standard weaver rail. It has a 5 Megapixel CMOS Sensor and a built in microphone. It records at 1920×1080/30 fps (1080p) to a micro sd card (not included).
The camera came in a “Gopro” like package. The camera was mounted on top of the package and covered in a clear plastic lid. The packaging was well designed, but a rip off of the Gopro packaging . Bill Gates once said that it doesn’t matter what is in the package as long as the package looks great and ATN took this to heart. I wish ATN would have put as much thought into the camera as they did the packaging.
The first thing I noticed is that the camera runs on a CR123A Battery. ATN claims that each battery will last 4 hours. In my test it died after an hour with the laser off and 45 minutes with the laser on. Almost every camera sold now runs on a rechargeable battery. The lack of a rechargeable battery means spending money on new batteries every time you are going shooting. This to me is the first thing that is unacceptable and just the first of many corners cut.
I mounted it to the bottom of my HK VP9. I took a quick video and reviewed it on my computer. To my shock the video was upside down.I assumed that the camera would have some type of motion detector since cameras ¼ the cost have motion sensors. Looking at the manual it appears in order to mount it to the bottom of a handgun you have to unmount the rail and remount it to the top of the camera. This was the second disappointment I had.
I remounted the camera according to the instructions and proceeded to do some quick moving drills. When I reviewed the footage it was extremely shaky and blurry. At first I thought it was the 4x zoom causing the shakiness, but after putting into some video editing software I noticed it was shooting at below 30 frames per second. I replaced the micro sd card to rule that out as a problem and tried again.
The problem was the same. The camera was only shooting at 18 frames per second. The camera was just as blurry and shaky as before. At this point I thought something was wrong with the camera. I could not get a hold to anyone at ATN so I did a quick google search and discovered others had the same issue with their cameras. At this point I had to chalk it up to a limitation with the camera. Not only did the camera lack any type of stabilization, it couldn’t do a decent framerate at 1080P. This rules out the gun being used in competition or action shooting.
I decided to give the Shot Trak one more try and set it up on a stable platform to test out how clear it is without moving. The answer was a disappointing not at all. I compared it to a $20 camera and the $20 camera had a better picture, framerate, and stabilization. I tired the laser even though I knew the camera wasn’t cutting it. The laser would not hold zero at all and had to be adjusted every 2 to 3 shots on my HK. I moved it to my AR15 with the same results at 25 yards. I can’t see a use for a laser that doesn’t hold zero.
At this point my mind was made up. This camera had to go back. The quality was less than that of a $20 camera, it required constant batteries, and had to be taken apart when moving from handguns to rifles. On top of that the laser refused to hold zero and I could not get ahold of customer support.
In the end for a budget gun camera it isn’t worth it. You could pick up an Action Cam (Gopro knock off) and the mounts for less than ½ the cost on Amazon and be a lot happier.
- Packaging 4 Star
- Design 1.5 Star
- Quality 1 Star
- Support 1 Star
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and The Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.