There are a variety of small, high resolution cameras on the market these days. Here is a first-hand review of some of the pros and cons of one of the latest such cameras on the market from Tactacam. (Image courtesy Tactacam)
FISH-i Tactacam Review
Capture your catch on video
by Richard Simms
Every now and then various companies share products for “review” purposes. The folks at Tactacam wanted me to try out their Fish-i camera recently.
Fish-i was initially released in 2019 but has just started to gain traction this year, officially teaming up with the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.
The first thing I learned upon unboxing as that you will need to buy your own microSD storage card (32-128 GB). Otherwise it is ready to use.
Only 3.5 ounces and 4-inches long, it feels great in your hand – rugged, sturdy and compact. It comes with a head band and mounts similar to GoPro mounts. Unfortunately, the ring mount on mine cracked early on, however it was still tight enough for use. But as a former TV videographer, I much prefer shooting hand-held video versus head-mounted video that frequently requires Dramamine to view.
Sold separately Fish-i has the ability to add lenses – Ultra Wide and a 2x Zoom lens coming soon.
One very handy feature of the Fish-i is that it will interface with your smartphone via an app providing image preview, record on/off and playback. Initially I had a little trouble understanding their Operations Manual instructions on interfacing the two and called Support. Their customer service agent was even a little confused as well since it is somewhat of a new product. But in just a minute or two we figured it out and I was good to go.
Of course, it provides for a simple push button on/off control if you don’t want to fool with the smartphone interface, although that the phone feature is VERY handy for previewing images if you mount it permanently or if you want to review video after-the-fact.
They also sell a separate remote which allows you to control five different cameras remotely.
The Fish-i will also record in a Loop Mode or in a Time-Lapse Mode and it claims to be waterproof up to 30 feet, but I chose not to test that feature my first time out.
GoPro led the way with high-quality video for outdoorsmen, but now it has competition, including the Tactacam Fish-i.
Again, as a former professional videographer I wanted to see the HD video quality. Simply put, it is outstanding. I haven’t done it yet but there is no doubt I could display the video on a 60-inch TV and it would compare to any HD, even 4K, signal. That was most clear looking at all the creases, marks and age spots on my face. If you are like me you might wish for a little poorer resolution video.
Here is my very first Fish-I video from a catfishing trip with the family.
One disappointment was the audio quality. The audio sensitivity was very low. My own audio (holding the camera) was very low, but barely acceptable… especially if you have the ability to boost audio using an external editing program. However, it is doubtful you’ll be able to get usable quality audio from anyone standing any distance away, such as the other end of the boat. No doubt that is due in part to the need to make it waterproof. GoPro’s inside their waterproof case have the exact same issue, perhaps worse.
The Tactacam, however, automatically embeds a “FISH-i” logo on screen (lower left), definitely frustrating if you prefer “clean video” without doing a commercial for Tactacam.
GoPro may have led the way with high quality, portable video, especially for anglers. Nowadays there are many others. In my opinion, with my use so far, the Fish-i cam is absolutely worth a look if you are shopping.
(Capt. Richard Simms, CrappieNOW Editor, has a degree in Wildlife/Fisheries Management and began his career in conservation as a game warden for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency before becoming a wildlife photographer, public relations officer and then a professional journalist. He has a book in print called, “An Outdoor State of Mind.” Capt. Simms created Scenic City Fishing Charters in 2006, which now features six guides specializing in bass, catfish and crappie.)