The HP LC200W 1080p Mini WiFi Wireless Camcorder was kindly provided to me by Hitec Dis free of charge in exchange for a fair and unbiased review on Amazon.co.uk. No additional compensation was given in exchange for posting this article on my blog.
The HP LC200W is available in the UK from Hitec Dis Fulfulled by Amazon.co.uk at a cost of £109.99 with free P&P. (Prices correct at time of posting).
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PACKAGING & CONTENTS.
The HP LC200W 1080p Mini WiFi Wireless Camcorder comes supplied in retail styled cardboard packaging bearing product information and specifications in English and French. At the front is an opening in the packaging allowing you to see the contents within.
Inside the box you will find the HP LC200W protected within the two clear plastic retainers and underneath you will find…
– Two mini CDs, one containing product manuals and the other containing MAGIX Video Easy SE and Adobe reader software. (A copy of the manual can be found [HERE]).
– A quick start guide in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German & Polish.
– A separate quick start guide for using the LC200W with your smartphone.
– A product support information leaflet.
– A HP warranty sheet that includes T&C of the warranty.
– A wrist / neck strap with toggle lock and two quick release mounts.
– A USB A to Micro B charging cable.
– A Fuji branded 1130mAh SLB-10A Lithium battery.
– A HP “Magic Sticker”.
The following measurements are taken using a digital calliper and are accurate to within 0.1%.
– 39.12mm high including the buttons that protrude from the top (greatest point).
– 61.64mm wide, including the buttons protruding from the left and right sides (greatest point).
– 27.12mm deep (greatest point).
The camera with battery and a Sandisk Ultra 16GB MicroSD card installed weighs exactly 62g accurate to within 1%.
Sensor Type: Sony IMX179 CMOS Digital Image Sensor. (I am glad to report that this is a true 8MP camera and it does not use interpolation to obtain such a claim, further details on the sensor can be found [HERE]).
Effective Pixels: 3280 x 2464.
Video Resolutions Full HD: 1920 x 1080@30 fps / HD:1280 x 720@30 fps.
Lens Specifications: Ultra-wide Angle 120̊ , 1/3.2″ wide angle fixed focus lens, aperture F2.6.
Wi-Fi Function: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n.
Video Format: AVI, MOV (H.264+PCMcodec).
Still Image Resolution: 8M (3264×2448); 4K (3840×2160); 5M (2560×1920); 2M (1920×1080).
Still Image Format: JPG.
Time Laps Function: Yes.
Resolution: 8M (3264×2448); 4K (3840×2160); 5M (2560×1920); 2M
ISO Sensitivity: Auto.
Focus Range: 1m to infinity.
White Balance: Auto.
Storage Media Supports Micro SD (HC,XC) class 10 or above, up to 32GB.
There is some ambiguity regarding the warranty period surrounding this product and I would like to quickly clear that matter up.
Firstly the Amazon product listing states the HP LC200W has a one year warranty, however the warranty card in the box and EU law clearly state this product has a 2 year warranty.
There is also one other matter to address regarding the warranty. The terms and conditions on the warranty card clearly state that the warranty starts from the date of the dealer stamp on the warranty card. With my particular sample there are no markings at all on the warranty card and the terms state that in the event of no dealer stamp the warranty period starts from the manufacture date marked on the base of the camera.
My sample was ordered Feb 2016 and the manufacture date on the camera simply states 2015 with no month given. The terms would potentially imply the my camera only has a warranty until Jan 2017. This however is not to the case, regardless of any “terms and conditions” applied by companies on warranties and guarantees your statutory rights and law override any imposed T&Cs. The fact of the matter is if you have a valid receipt with the purchase date on it EU law and your statutory rights override any claimed terms and conditions.
Two mini CDs are included with the camera. The first includes a copy of MAGIX Video Easy SE. SE stands for special edition, what it actually means is “lite” and it is merely a stripped down version of MAGIX Video Easy. This is a very simple to use video editor that includes features not found in Windows Movie Maker yet is as simple if not more so to use. Also on the first CD is a rather antiquated version of Adobe Reader (9.3).
The second mini CD contains a full user manual in the following languages, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.
When charging the battery in the LC200W from dead initial charging results using a Drok USB multimeter on a USB 2.0 laptop port are indicated as follows…
4.87v, 2.970w, 0.61A
During a 60 minute timed charge test the Drok multimeter indicated that the capacity of the battery had been charged 390mAh. This would indicate a charge time from dead to full of about 2h54m which is roughly the same length of time the battery lasts when fully charged.
Sadly, while the camera is being charged it is not possible to use it. This is a shame as coupled with a power bank or car charger, it could have been far more versatile in its use, especially when using as a CCTV / monitoring camera or dash cam.
The battery used in the camera is a Fuji branded SLB-10A lithium battery, additional / replacement batteries are available such the following Duracel for £20 or Samsung for £25 and independent chargers are also available allowing you to charge one battery while using another.
I suppose here is as good a place as any to note that disappointingly when the camera is hooked up to a PC it is not recognised as a USB device. To transfer data off the camera you will either have to use the App to transfer to your phone or remove the memory card and use a reader to transfer to your PC.
On the rear of the camera is a removable plastic battery compartment cover. Attached to the inside of this cover is a magnet which allows the camera to be directly mounted on any magnetic surface (metals with a sufficient carbon content).
This magnet is suitably strong enough to hold the camera upside down even on the underside of my cooker extractor (steel coated with enamel with lots of small holes in it). Attaching the camera to a small pair of scissors the magnet is capable of holding the camera held upside down, however tilt the scissors facing downwards and the camera slips off.
As long as the surface of the metal is as large or larger than the back of the camera the magnet works. (Those hoping to attach the camera directly to their bike handlebars will find the camera slips facing downwards when attached facing forwards)
There is one thing that you should be aware of when directly mounting the camera using the magnet. The plastic battery compartment cover that comes into contact with any surface mounted on is piano black high gloss plastic. This was a poor choice of materials as it is notoriously marks and scratches very easy and true to form by the end of my first day testing the camera it was showing signs of surface marks.
For mounting the camera on anything other than magnetic metals use of the supplied “Magic Sticker” is required. This sticker is made from two sections of rectangular white (why white?) plastic attached with a metal pin hinge. On one section is a recessed steel plate that the magnet within the camera attaches to. On the other section is a clear silicone jelly sticky patch that very nearly sticks to any clean dry flat surface.
Earlier I mentioned that the magnet in the LC200W attaches well to any metal surface as large or larger than the back of the camera. Well the metal plate located on the “Magic Sticker” is sadly smaller the camera holds reasonably well onto the steel plate and there is no movement up or down even when shaken. The horizontal grip, however isn’t so good, if you attach the camera and hold the “magic Sticker” in the hand and shake it side to side even slowly and the grip is perhaps described as precarious.
The following is a list of surfaces that I have tested the “Magic Sticker” with, unless noted the mount held the camera at any angle set including upside down for a minimum of 5 minutes.
– Melamine (essentially plastic), white plastic light switch, flat, finely textured ABS plastic, Ford focus 2011 dashboard (top and front).
– Wood painted with gloss paint and a smooth finish, rough reclaimed wood painted with gloss paint (fell off after about 2 minutes when mounted vertically, no further testing done), smooth stained wood, smooth varnished wood.
– Smooth flat glass, privacy glass with a smooth raised wavy pattern, microwave door. (I would not recommend attaching to a TV or Monitor screen).
– Aluminium, stainless steel, steel, chrome, brass (including some enamel coated metals was well).
Other surfaces tested include
– Cloth bound spine of a book (this one was a surprise).
– Gloss and matte finish, smooth wall tiles and matte finished tiles with a slight raised ripple pattern.
– PU leather chair back (if you push down firmly enough it lasts about 60 seconds at most when mounted vertically).
On any and all surfaces tested with the sticker pad left no residue, no marks and even with a dirt clogged pad it left none of the mess behind. When the time comes to remove the pad simply twist and then pull away. It should be noted however that once you have stuck the mount to a surface adjustment is impossible, if it hasn’t been mounted level to rectify you will have to remove and reapply.
Each and every time the sticky pad is used and removed it becomes less sticky and quickly clogs up with all manner of fluff, dirt and debris. Unless you want to risk your camera dropping and breaking I would strongly advise that you get in the habit of cleaning it after each and every time you use it.
Obviously there are other mounting solutions that are only limited by your imagination and the cameras rather small dimensions. Possible ideas might include universal bike or car phone holders, but you will likely need to mount the camera on its side rather than width ways to fit.
There is also the possibility of finding a flat backed GoPro compatible mount and gluing a negative polarity magnet on to it which would allow you to attach the mount on the rear battery cover of the LC200W. My personal favourite however is mounting it to my LED headlamp, a demonstration of which you will find with my review.
During the course of writing this review all manner of possible accessories come to mind that could improve the LC200W such as a spring clip mount, lens cap, waterproof case, canvas carry case, etc. But perhaps the one that I would like to have seen included in the package would have been some form of ball joint mount as the reality is the “Magic Sticker” is can be rather limiting when trying to use the camera for anything beyond selfies.
While perhaps not a means of mounting this seems as good as any place to mention the supplied strap. This strap measures 46cm long, is fitted with a split ring and two quick release clips (only one required to attach camera). The strap is very good quality for a bundled item and it is very secure in its strength and also comfortable to wear or hold. The length serves well to hold in the hand or wear around the neck even for a large male with a 17.5″ neck.
USE WITHOUT APP.
To use the LC200W standalone without the App or a smartphone simply tap the power button and as soon as the power light remains constantly lit you are ready to go. Tap the mode button on the right side to switch between photo, movie and time lapse modes (the LCM will display currently selected mode).
For pictures just tap the shutter button (the button on the opposite corner to the power button with a red dot on it) and a picture is taken as the button is pressed.
For video just tap the shutter button to start recording and once again when you want to stop recording.
For time lapse press the shutter button to start and once again to stop.
While the camera can be used standalone the settings that are used for each function have to be set using the Pixi Cam App and the LC200W remembers the settings for each mode when the App is closed. Settings such as resolution, time delay, file , format, etc cannot be changed directly on the camera.
USE WITH APP.
Firstly, I have to apologise that I am unable to comment regarding use with an iPhone, for my testing a Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen was using running Android 5.0.2.
To operate the LC200W the App required is called Pixi Cam and it is available to download for free from the Play store. The App requires 16MB of space to install and Android version 2.2+ to function. It should however be noted that there are numerous people reporting compatibility errors when using version 6. (It was last updated August 2015).
Once the App is installed switch the camera on and press the WiFi button on the side. As soon as the WiFi indicator light stops flashing enable WiFi on your phone and the camera will show up on your WiFi list as “hplc200wXXXXXXX” (X equals a random denominator as the code for each camera is different). In the event of multiple cameras in use within a confined area the last 4 digits of the code for each camera will display on the LCM on the top of the camera.
Once connected to the camera via WiFi you can now open the App and get started. (Once the App icon is tapped you can be ready to take pictures / movies within about 3 seconds). Before I go into details of the App I first want to advise regarding operating range…
When the camera and phone are sat next to each other with the back of the camera facing the phone the signal is 4 bars, when the front of the camera is facing the phone it is 3 bars. At a distance of 4m when the back of the camera is facing the phone the signal is 3 bars and when the front of the camera is facing the phone it is 2 bars. At a distance of 5m to 8m when the back of the camera is facing the phone the signal is 2 bars and when the front of the camera is facing the phone the signal is 1 bar.
Considering the back of the camera is designed to be mounted to a surface with the most likely place of your phone being in front of it, I would say that was a bit of design flaw regarding aerial placement / design.
Back to the App, from within the settings menu options the following options are available…
Set photo resolution: 8M (3264×2448), 4k (3840×2160), 5M (2560×1920), 2M (1920×1080).
Set video resolution: FHD (1080P@30FPS), HD (720P @30FPS).
Timestamp: On / Off.
Beep: On / Off (simulated shutter sound).
File format: MOV / AVI (this is for movie files as picture files are always JPG).
Frequency: 50Hz / 60Hz.
As well as the App settings each mode also has its own independent settings.
Time Lapse Mode settings…
Intervals: 5s, 10s, 30s, 1m, 5m, 10m .
Store type: Picture, video or picture & video.
Frame rate: 3FPS, 5FPS, 10FPS.
Photo Mode settings…
Shooting mode: Normal, 5s, 10s, 3 photos, 5 photos.
Beauty: 0, 1, 2
Film mode settings…
This has but one option and that is to enable or disable the microphone which regardless of the range between the phone and camera is very laggy.
It should be noted that when taking pictures there is about a 2 to 3 second delay before you are able to change any settings after having taken a picture or another picture can be taken. (When using the camera standalone pictures can be taken in much quicker succession).
The final function of the App is the file manager, this allows you to view pictures and play video files on your phone that are located on the memory card in the camera. It also allows you to delete files from the camera using your phone and it also allows you to transfer files from the camera to your phone.
Further App details.
The App drained the 2070mAh battery within my Moto G 2nd Gen by 2% during an 18m11s recording session. Unfortunately, I cannot state how much system RAM the App uses as whenever you back out or switch to another window the App closes.
HP’s sales pitch for the LC200W pretty much focuses on marketing the camera as a must have device for the selfie Kings and Queens of the internets.
“The lc200w is a portable, lightweight, versatile and fun camera/camcorder designed for the selfie generation. Why risk your smartphone to damage when you can easily mount it almost anywhere using the strong magnetic back and Magic Sticker. Capture and share daily lifestyles and events. Specially designed for low intensity activity and general conditions, such as jogging, cycling…etc.”
While I can clearly see the benefits the camera has to offer…
It can be operated independently from your phone, saving your phone battery and providing up to 3 hours of independent use. No arms / arm shadows or selfie stick / selfie stick shadows in pictures and videos. A wide angle lens, allowing you to capture more in frame (a big plus for outings with large groups of friends and family gatherings), less bulk and weight to carry around, hands free. Not to mention the biggest plus for those less outgoing and more conscious a far more discreet way of taking selfies without making an exhibition of yourself.
But I also have a problem with it. Yes, you can take the camera with you to places where you would not want to run the risk damaging or loosing your phone, after all loosing or braking a camera is better than loosing or breaking a phone that might contain irreplaceable and even sensitive financial data. Not to mention being left without a phone until a replacement is procured.
Now if the LC200W could be coupled with a rugged and waterproof case it would indeed then allow you to take the camera where you truly would not want to take your phone not to mention provide a budget alternative to the GoPro. Sadly, despite an HP promo site showing the LC200W underwater in a waterproof case such an accessory seems unavailable as are any such 3rd party accessories.
I have searched multiple UK, EU and USA stores and sadly, despite the fact the LC200W has been available for over 5 months now there are no specific accessories at all for this camera either official or 3rd party. This does seem to have created a bit of a catch 22 situation.
Due to the lack of any accessories for the camera it does somewhat limit its potential and makes it harder to recommend than it should. On the other hand, one could only assume the lack of available accessories may be due to the fact that the camera isn’t selling as well as HP had hoped. If this is true, then unless someone starts to produce some accessories for it, it probably isn’t going to sell as well as it potentially should.
As it happens the LC200W has turned out to be a bit of a jack of most trades camera, that can cope with many tasks that would usually require a dedicated camera.
Firstly the camera serves well as a basic dash cam sticking to the dash of my Ford Focus 2011 and remaining in place over speed bumps and even on rough pothole infested roads. It’s a shame additional “Magic Stickers” can’t be purchased separately as it would be nice to just leave one mounted to the dash if you would like to use it for such a purpose.
I say basic dashcam as it lacks any means of night vision and the battery life is only in the region of 3 hours and it cannot be used while charging. If using as a dashcam however, thanks to its portability it can prove useful in potential road rage incidents as well as to record evidence with any police altercations.
The LC200W would also prove useful for vlogging, video messaging, those wanting to make a video diary, video postcards while on holiday, festive video holiday messages featuring your entire family or even hands free recording of the family opening up Christmas / birthday presents. Perhaps you want to film a children’s party but don’t want to be stuck behind the camera or want to risk leaving a tripod setup where it might get in the way or even knocked over. It will even serve well as a car boot or market stall CCTV camera and thanks to the mic it can ever serve well as a Dictaphone.
Perhaps you are an amateur filmmaker or media student, you’ve got a cast and a camera but perhaps you want to film from multiple angles… well, why not stick a LC200W on a wall so you can switch between shots as different people speak. How about a fly on the wall docu/mocumentry, just stick a few of these on walls in different rooms and sit back and let all the cameras do the work for you. (The wide angle lens would lend itself very well to such a task).
Are you concerned your pet isn’t coping well at home on their own? well set the LC200W up and you can see what they get up when left alone and whether help or training is needed. While its size coupled with the lanyard mount might indicate the camera is suitable as a pet cam given the lack of weatherproofing and the uncertain UK climate I would perhaps advise well against using it for such a task.
Want to make some YouTube commentary, videos to overlay your product review or gameplay footage, the LC200W can even do that job if you don’t have a HD webcam or mic. Coupled with a torch it even makes a reasonable inspection camera to see into voids or under floorboards.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review, I hope it has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or comments regarding this review, please post a comment below and I will do my best to answer them.
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