We all love video, and we love video of shooting! There are lots of ways to get video from a gun and I’ve been doing it for a long time. Just take a look at the picture of my old camcorder mounted to an FNH PS90. One look at that rig and you’ll know why I’ve been on a mission to find a better gun mountable camera since! Today there are lots of better options than what I had back then and I’ve tried several of them. I have to say, I’m most excited about the Replay XD system. I’ve spent most of a month using the Prime X camera where I needed an action camera. I’ve mounted it to guns, my jeep and even run it at a triathlon. Hands down, I’m convinced this is best thing going now for gun owners. Let me tell you why.
The JVC camcorder backpacking on my PS90 rifle was nuts. It was awkward and heavy. I was always concerned about what the recoil and micro vibrations would do to it. But it sure got great video! I transitioned to Countour POV cameras. The form factor was by far better, but not the video quality. I’ve been shooting pro cameras since I was eight years old, so the quality compromise didn’t thrill me. But the form factor made up for it.
In the quest for quality and something I could fly with a drone I adopted the GoPro platform. The feature set and video out of the GoPro smoked my Countour cameras. I was thrilled with that, but not so much with the form factor. I have the best mount in the world, but hanging a cantilevered box off my rifles and pistols just wasn’t ideal. Not even close. It can catch on things, changes the rotational balance of the gun and looks ridiculous.
So the quest continued and I found the Replay XD brand of action camera. Suffice it to say, I’m hooked! The tubular form factor keeps a low profile. Replay likes this because it’s aerodynamic and they have a deep background in car racing. I like the Prime X form factor on a gun because it can be mounted tightly against the gun adding almost nothing to the weapon’s profile. With the same picatinny rail mount, you can move the camera off the gun a short distance and rotate the camera angle to get a different shot. It’s still lower profile than the GoPro.
The Prime X body housing is an aluminum tube, a hair over an inch in diameter. At less than four inches long and weighing only 3.5 ounces, we have a real winner for shooters and hunters.
The lens on the Prime X is amazing. It’s a Hyperion CinePrime X lens. Never heard of that? You’ve probably seen big budget movies filmed through their glass. For nerds like me who care, here’s the scoop from Replay XD: The Hyperion CinePrime X lens is exclusively designed to be the worlds first 1/2 inch format lens to incorporate a patent pending, multi element all-glass design, with SLD elements, CineAR Anti-reflection coatings, and superior chromatic correction, all optimized for a cinematic look and feel.
In other words, expect great looking images and video. The camera will shoot 16 mega pixel images for 4k time lapse. I enjoy time lapse so that’s pretty cool by me. Video maxes out at 1080p and 60 frames per second. In a world where 4k video advertising reigns supreme, that’s a bummer on paper, but I own a high end 4k camera and rarely use that feature. So practically speaking, most shooters, hunters and athletes of all kinds will never miss that.
With endless mounting options, many of which are aluminum instead of plastic, you can’t go wrong. I have external batteries that will recharge or power the Prime X forever. Okay, maybe not forever but for hours on end. You can get an external monitor that plugs into the camera for framing or remote viewing without having to tie up your phone. And yes, there’s app for that, too!
I think you’ll be seeing a lot more video content from us here at SHWAT™ now that shooting video is so much easier when running a gun. As a matter of fact, I think our next post will feature video shot with my Replay XD kit during a silencer shoot! Want to know more? Stay tuned here or go check them out on the web: ReplayXD.com.