Sport cameras are all the rage these days and the latest and greatest are equipped with such things as Wi-Fi for instant viewing on your Smart Phone, 1080P resolution and a wide assortment of features to fit the needs of just about any digital enthusiast. At least up until today, one of those features wasn’t price and finding the add-ons that you need in a sport cam could typically run you in the area of $4-500. Paying $400-500 for a Hero GoPro, and then some for such things as a bike mount, might just be a bit a tad expensive so PQI has just released a comparable in their PQI Air Cam that we thought we might check out.
The PQI Air Cam is a 1080P sport camera that is capable of 1080P, 960P, 720P and WVGA resolution, with 30FPS at all resolutions except for 720P which reaches 60FPS. The PQI Ait Cam is a 5 megapixel camera that stores in MP4 format and uses H.264 video compression, which means your stores HD videos are considerably smaller in size for more storage space. It has a 170 degree lens angle and still shooting can be accomplished in 3, 5, 10, 30 or 60 second intervals. It has a 1130mAh rechargeable lithium battery that we tested and is capable of 1.5 hours of continuous play before the necessity to recharge.
The PQI Air Cam comes with the camera itself, battery, included SD card, data cable and waterproof sport case. Also included are the vehicle mount and bike mount, the bike mount being an unexpected inclusion that negates a separate add on purchase. At 3.81″ x 2.08″ and 2.93″ with the sport case, it is comparable in size, shape and even layout to the Hero GoPro. What doesn’t come standard with the PQI Air Cam is Wi-Fi and this is a necessary $62 add on, in the PQI Air Card, that allows you to instantly stream piks and video while on the go. Considering the Air Cam can be picked up at about $149, with the Air Card an additional $62, the $212 investment (with the bike mount included) is still half of what you would pay for the Hero Go Pro with the same mounts. Check out our recent video review of the PQI Air Card.
PQI AIR CAM COMPONENTS
The PQI Air Cam is fairly unremarkable with an LCD, Power/Mode button on the front and a Shutter/Select button on top for pictures and video. Surprisingly their are featured camera modes to include video, single picture, timed picture, triple picture, and timer mode. The timed picture mode is rather unique as you can set the camera to automatically take pictures at specific intervals.
On the right side, there is a rubber door that opens, allowing access to the data port, mini-HDMI port and SD card. This is where Wi-Fi is accomplished with the AirCam and the Air Card is an SD card that has Wi-Fi and will support a microSD card for storage. Specifications list the PQI Air Cam as only being capable of accepting up to a 32GB micro SD card, however, we are using the Patriot LX Series 64GB class 10 card without issue. Twice the space comes in very handy on our 12 hour days on the motorcycle. Access to the removal battery is found by sliding the cover up on the back of the unit.
The sport case is waterproof and securely fastens by the latch on its side. It contains buttons that line up with the Power/Mode and Shutter/Select buttons for easy access. Worthy of note is that the Air Cam ships with a protective lens for use when not in the waterproof case.
For our specific needs, we travel a great deal on our motorcycles and wanted something that would be made to fit in the most convenient way possible. Although the bike mount would work, it doesn’t level the camera off for pictures the type of ‘close to the ground’ video that we enjoy. Can you find the PQI Air Cam?