Product Review: Midland XTC 300 Wearable Action Camera HD for Fishing Video Fun!


While names like GoPro and Contour have dominated the action camera market, many companies have started offering much more affordable alternatives. Amongst these is the interesting Midland XTC series. Now, while Midland is often well-known for its line of radios, they also have released a solid line of action cameras aimed at fans of the great outdoors. I took the XTC300VP4 HD Wearable Action Camera out on a several fishing trips and really enjoyed it. Interested in a affordable action camera with a wide range of accessories and high quality video? Read on!

The Midland XTC300 will film in three modes: 480 (low), 720 (med, 60FPS), 1080 (high, 30FPS), with wide angle lenses (127 in 1080p, 147 in 720p), and fits up to a 32gb micro SD card. Other features include:

  • Single Slide Switch for easy operation - On/Off
  • Includes Submersible Case (up to 100 ft)
    (More after the jump)
  • Also Includes 4 mounts - Helmet, Helmet Strap, Handlebar and Goggle
  • Can Switch between 1080p, 720p and 480p recording options
  • Camera View - 127˚ wide angle lens
  • Uses 1100mAH Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (Included)
  • Battery Life Indicator
  • Low Memory Indicator
  • USB 2.0 File Transfer
  • Lens is a multi coated tempered glass
  • Focus is 5" to infinity
  • Aspect radio is 16:9
  • Format is MPEG-4 with Compression of H:264
  • Light Sensitivity is 1.4V/Lux. second
  • AAC Audio
  • Compatible systems: Win XP SP2+, Vista & 7, Mac OS X 10.4+
One of the neatest features is the inclusion of the underwater flat lenses. Now, if you have ever used a GoPro Hero2 underwater with the 'stock' case, you'll notice how blurry and unfocused the underwater video is. This is due to the annoying 'double bubble' lenses effect that occurs with wide-angle bubble lenses underwater. Midland solved that with the XTC by offering a super nice, interchangeable lenses. Just make sure you leave the rubber circle in place around the lenses opening when switching lenses, this is vital for preventing water leaks!

The XTC 300 sports a super minimalist design. Unlike the GoPro, it has a more 'tube' or 'Contour' style design, so it will sit best alongside your forehead, not in the middle. The camera fits into the included waterproof case with ease. Recording is incredibly and refreshingly simple: just push the slider ontop of the case forward and recording starts; move it back and it stops. Also, there is a simple Low, Medium, High resolution switch inside the camera (near the battery) for you to adjust resolution. That's it! No annoying menus to scroll through or buttons for it to freeze up on. Granted, some people may wish for more features (photos, timer, etc), but the simplicity of the Midland XTC design allows you to concentrate on the key point of action cameras: filming! There isn't any zoom to speak of, or closeup macro focus, but this is fairly standard for most action cameras. The waterproof case is fairly tough, it took several tumbles during my fishing trips without scratches. Finally, the included accessories are fantastic-plenty of mounts to go around. However, it would be nice if they would include a baseball cap mount or headstrap mount as well, as these will definitely be needed by anglers. Midland does sell these and you can put one together for quite cheap, as I did, if needed.

The Midland XTC 300 action camera performed excellently, in a variety of fishing situations. I used it for moving shots, head-mounted shots, underwater footage, scenery, and more. The 60fps 720p resolution is nice, but I really prefer the impressive crispness of the 1080p (High res option). I didn't encounter any problems when using this on my hikes and fishing trips. No video encoding errors, distorted colors, or other annoyances. Sound quality is very limited when filming in an underwater case, as expected, so it really didn't bother me. Overall, the XTC 300 performed very well and you can see several of the videos I shot with it in this review. I tried both the stock lenses and the included flat lenses underwater, with a noticeable difference (definitely more clear with flat lenses, as you can see in portions of the Huge Trout video). The battery life seemed to be more than enough for my fishing trips (usually several hours of on/off use) and it recharged with ease through the USB port charger.

The Midland XTC300 action is a great option for those interested in a straight-forward, reliable and impressive action camera for the outdoors. It retails for $199, comes with a variety of accessories including a wonderful flat lenses, and performs admirably outside. I do wish they would include a hat mount or headmount by default with the camera, but these are easily obtainable through Midland and other sellers as well. Overall, if you are looking for an affordable alternative to expensive action cameras like the GoPro, please consider the Midland XTC300 Action Camera!

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Be nice.