You know what the worst part of reviewing guns is? Always having to find someone willing to be drafted as a willing cameraman. I know, first world problems, but as of late I have had so much trouble finding someone to help me out that I started looking for alternatives. That’s when I stumbled upon the IKam Xtreme Video Eyewear from Hunter’s Specialties. Sunglasses that I could wear at the range and get videos of my shooting with? Seriously? It honestly sounded too good to be true, so for the sake of science (and my reviews) I picked up a pair.
The Ikam showed up nicely packaged with a hard case containing the glasses, USB wall charger, extra clear lenses and a lens cloth. Directions were pretty straight forward; charge up the glasses, hold down the button on the left side until the green and blue LEDs light up and voila, you’re recording in all your first person gloriousness. In theory, anyway. Once you’re done, you can hook the glasses to your computer using the included mini USB cable and view your footage. If you chose to utilize a micro-SD card instead of the Ikam’s internal memory, simply remove it and place it in a card reader to view your videos.
These glasses aren’t going to win any beauty contests. The frames are quite large and thick in order to accommodate the needed electronics. Along with that, the lenses are quite small in comparison to standard shooting specs. All that adds up to some pretty damn fugly glasses in my humble opinion. Much like a Glock though, these were made to be a tool, not a fashion statement.
As for comfort, the IKams felt a little tight on my slightly large melon at first. But after wearing them for a while, they loosened up and I hardly noticed they were there.
After getting over the bad looks and tank-like construction, I decided to take them out for the proverbial spin. I had the opportunity to test them both on my own as well as during a timed competition at our monthly firearms training for the Sheriff’s Office.
During my own test I noticed that the glasses proved much more effective when recording my pistol shooting. When firing my AR I mostly got a shot of the optic and ejecting brass. While not exactly shot I wanted, it did help alert me to the fact that I was incorrectly lowering my eye to my rifle and not squaring up on my target completely. I’m always looking to improve and from this video I saw that another overlooked aspect of these Ikams is their role as a valuable training aid.
Next I tried them out during our IDPA-esque firearms training and ran into my first problem; I forgot to turn the damn things on. They were sitting on my head so comfortably that I honestly forgot my eyewear was doubling as a camera. The plan was to turn them on at the beginning of each stage to avoid a several hours long clip that I would have to wade through and edit. Alas, hindsight is 20/20 as I neglected to hit record until someone asked me about them during the final stage.
I had the second best time on that drill and while I got some cool video of the event and was able to see what I did right and wrong. Once again, a good example of the value of these glasses as a training aid.
I, for one, am now a huge fan of this product. They may be ugly and they may not shoot in HD like a GoPro or Contour Roam, but they get some points for being much less obtrusive than the aforementioned competitors. You can get first person views of your shooting which gives you some cool footage to pimp on YouTube as well as the added byproduct of being able to see exactly what you did right or wrong. All in all, I found them to be well worth the approximately $100 they go for online and will definitely be utilizing them for the foreseeable future.
Product Size: 170 x 160 x 40mm (folded)
Physical Weight: 1.4 oz
Power Supply: Embedded 550mAh Li-polymer Rechargeable Battery
Power Duration: 2.5-3 hours
Memory: Built in 4 GB, Max 8 GB, Supports Max 8 GB Micro SD card
Resolution: 736 x 480 PlayBack Resolution
Video Format: AVI
Camera: 3 megapixel pinhole CMOS camera
Recording Speed: 25 fps
Working Temp: 23F – 104F Storage Temp: -4F – 176F
LED Indicators: Recording and Battery Status