Socam UltiMate changes up action cam design

Not quite the little box or bullet-shaped body styles of other manufacturers, the UltiMate looks like a nice blend of interesting features and design.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
2 min read

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Unlike most other camera categories, mountable action cams don't have a typical design. There are several that follow the little boxy form of the GoPro models, but just as many of them are more bullet-shaped like the iOn Air Pro 3, Contour+2, and Drift Ghost-S.

And then there's the Socam UltiMate, which looks a little more like a traditional camcorder with a lens in front and controls at the back, but with a tall, slim body. It's designed to be side mounted using either the include quick-connect clip and curved and flat adhesive mounts or anything with a 1/4-20 tripod bolt. But really the mounting position doesn't matter that much since the f2.4 lens can be rotated 330 degrees.

Socam UltiMate a new look for action cams (pictures)

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Recording options include 1080p at 30 frames per second, 1080i and 720p at 60fps, and WVGA at 120fps, all in your choice of MP4 or MOV format. It'll shoot JPEGs at 5-, 8-, or 16-megapixel resolutions either one at a time or in a burst of 10 per second as well as time-lapse photos at intervals of 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds. It records to microSDHC cards up to 32GB (not included). The slot is in a compartment under the lens along with a removable battery.

On back you'll find a mic input and Micro-USB port and all the controls. Each button is lit by color-changing LEDs to give you some visual feedback for what mode you're in or when you're capturing photos or video.

Screenshot by Joshua Goldman/CNET

The camera also has built-in Wi-Fi so you can connect to your iOS or Android device and use it to change settings, get a live preview from the camera, or view your recordings. The app is more polished than most I've tested and the camera was quick to connect to a Samsung Galaxy S4.

Included with the camera is a splashproof housing that can keep out water down to about 3.3 feet (1 meter). Beyond protection, the housing's bottom has a connector that taps into a port on the bottom of the camera and two expansion slots that can be used for extra batteries, a GPS module, or a module that measures velocity, orientation. and gravitational forces. (You can take a closer look at the housing and camera in the slideshow above.)

The Socam UltiMate will be available in April for $269 directly from the online store for European electronics retailer Conrad. Conrad will also have accessories for the UltiMate including a detachable LCD screen, wrist remote, waterproof and multi-coloured cases, and a variety of camera mounts.