Review: Nerf N-Strike HD Action Camcorder

- So, you have a little extreme sport around the house. He, or she loves to do stunts on their bike or skateboard. Maybe they love had big Nerf gun fights around the house, or in the yard. And if your children are like most, they probably love watching and sharing videos on social networks. Well, if all of the above marks get ticked in your home, Nerf may have just what you’re looking for in the N-Strike HD Action Camcorder.

 

You can watch our full video review below: 

 

 

THE HARDWARE

 

Just what it sounds like, the N-Strike HD Action Camcorder allows your or your little ones to record their adventures in all their high definition glory. The device comes with a waterproof case and features a fixed lens with a 4x Digital Zoom. The camera sports a 5.1 megapixel sensor that records video in 720P HD (and 640x480 standard definition). On the backside of the device you get a screen to view what you’re recording that is just under 2 inches and the whole affair is powered by a rechargeable li-ion battery. You can record the fun to Micro SD cards, though you’ll need to pick a couple up because it doesn’t come with one. Also note that the charger is the older mini-USB, not micro-USB that is commonplace now.

My initial impression of the build quality of the camera is that it is pretty darn solid. It definitely feels like it can take a fair amount of abuse and keep going - which is obviously a plus if you’re buying this for the kiddos. The real value in the camera is the amount of accessory mounts that it comes with and how exceptionally sturdy they feel. The N-Strike comes with a Blaster mount to attach it to one of the Nerf N-Strike dart guns, a quality bicycle mount, helmet mount and a stand. These attachments are sturdy enough that you could use them for a higher end camera and probably wouldn’t think twice about it. Therein lies the upside. Kids can use the N-Strike camera and create video content to their heart’s content and at the price point you’re going to pay for the N-Strike, you’re going to get your money’s worth. Just the mounting accessories alone, if you were buying them for a GoPro or a DSLR would cost as much as the N-Strike camera itself which you can currently find for around $50 online.

 

VIDEO QUALITY

 

Now I know I’ve had a lot to say about the quality of the components of the N-Strike but what about the most important part, the video? Well, it’s what you’d expect from a $50 video camera. That is to say that you’re going to get video and images that will be just fine for children. The device does capture video at 1280x720 pixels, which is high definition but it comes with some caveats. First, you’ll need good light to get the most out of the N-Strike and once you do, you’re only going to be watching that 720p video at what appears to be less than 30 frames per second- one of the industry standards. If you’re not a video professional, what does that really mean? Think about surveillance video you see on TV sometimes. You know the videos where the image doesn’t seem to flow but moves forward more like a series of still images stitched together. Now, the N-Strike isn’t that bad but that’s a somewhat similar experience to what you're going to get. The good news is that there is another video setting for the N-Strike camera that will get you some pretty decent results but it isn’t HD. 640x480 at somewhere around 30 frames per second is a fairly standard video size found on the web. For instance, when you’re watching YouTube videos at the 480p setting, that gives you an idea of what you’re getting out of the Nerf N-Strike HD Action Camcorder. The other thing to consider is audio. The only way to use the camera with the mounts is with it in its case, which means the microphone will be muffled so don’t expect audio that is very clear. The N-Strike HD Action Camcorder really is for catching action, not for creating videos with dialogue. You won’t be shooting a fan film version of The King’s Speech with this.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Bottomline, this isn’t a bad choice of product for a child. Ultimately, it has great mount options and supplies decent video to capture play time at a price point that won’t upset you if your little ones manage to somehow destroy the camera. Heck, if you have more than one child and they love having Nerf fights, at this price you can buy more than one and skip the buyer’s remorse. I’d love to have had one of these when I was a kid, have massive dart gun fights with my neighborhood pals, then put the videos together and have fun watching our best shootouts and talking trash!

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