Saturday, March 15, 2014
Tech Review: Para Hunter Full Spectrum POV Glasses
By Scott Wolf
I don’t normally jump into the realm of reviewing new paranormal equipment. Since I have had a couple people ask me to do a review of one of my newest toys I thought I may as well just blog it so anyone that wanted to could read about it before making a purchase.
There is not much new under the paranormal sun when it comes to equipment these days. Sure there are some new variations of the equipment that has been around for a while, but nothing that I have seen that I thought I couldn’t live without on an investigation.
All that changed when I saw a post, on Facebook, from Jason Hawes of Ghost Hunters. I didn’t see the episode he referenced but he was letting everyone know where they could get a pair of the POV glasses he was wearing on a recent episode. I immediately went to the website to check it out. It was by far the coolest piece of equipment I had seen in a long time!
For the last year I have been searching for a small camera system that could be warn on investigations to record exactly what I was seeing. I found one that was very expensive and the quality looked questionable. I even thought about designing my own with little success.
DVR systems are great for recording what is happening in an area but they can’t capture everything an investigator witnesses. How many times have you had a personal experience that couldn’t be captured because you were carry a camcorder and it just happened to be pointing in a different direction when it happened? All you’re left with is a great story to tell others. Maybe you witnessed something and you’re not exactly sure what it is that you witnessed. It would sure be nice to have a way to record it and review what you saw.
Now there is a way to record everything you are seeing. All in a light weight pair of glasses.
I ordered mine from a group called Black Cross Paranormal Here is the link http://www.freewebstore.org/BlackCrossParanormal/Video/cat1395162_1261885.aspx
I am including the link because I was very impressed with everything to do with my purchase from them. I like to be able to share with others the places that I believe do a good job selling equipment. There are some shady places, on the Internet, to buy equipment.
The glasses look just like a standard pair of sunglasses. The camera shoots 720P HD video in .AVI format, they can also be used to take still pictures, and they have audio capability. It comes with a very nice case for the glasses, three different lenses in yellow, clear, and tinted that can be swapped out quite easily. It also comes with a 4GB micro SD card which will give you about 2 hours of video. They are capable of taking a card up to 32GB. I purchased a 16GB card separately. A cord for charging the battery is also included.
The glasses are capable of seeing in the Full Spectrum range which means that it can record in the IR and Ultraviolet spectrum. It has no built in light source so, when the lights go out all you are going to record is darkness. There is an IR light source that you can buy separately which Velcro to the side of the glasses. It has a small battery pack that you can just place in your pocket. The lights are good but I do wish they were a little brighter in order to see further. I highly recommend spending the extra money! I don’t know how many times I have had someone I know purchase an IR or full spectrum camera and they don’t realize that they have to buy a separate light kit in order to use the camera in the dark. Unfortunately there is no full spectrum light set designed for the glasses at this time. In order to record full spectrum you would have to carry around a regular full spectrum light.
The camera is very easy to use. Basically everything you need to do is done with one button. You press the button and a red light flashes to let you know they are on. Then the light turns to blue and begins to flash to let you know it is recording. When you want to stop recording, you hit the button again and the light turns to solid blue. When you are ready to record again you just press the button.
The other button allows you to switch modes. This changes the camera from video to still pictures. I haven’t messed with this feature because I don’t really have the need to take still pictures with it and I didn’t want to accidentally switch modes without knowing which mode it was on.
While using the glasses on an investigation I did find one annoying thing. The blue light that flashes to let you know its recording is on the inside of the glasses, right next to your eye. It’s very bright and can be very annoying.
Since I was unable to find any reference to the battery life in the instructions or online I wasn’t sure what to expect when I used them on an investigation. I was able to get about two hours out of them before it died. If you’re going to use them on a long investigation I would suggest either planning the times you want to use them or recharging them for a while to use later.
Downloading the video is easy. You just open the .AVI file to watch your video. Anyone that has used a Sony Nightshot video camera knows what a pain it is to finalize the video and then having to use a program to convert the video into a format that your computer can use to view the video. Not to mention having to use those mini DVDs that only can record 30 mins!
I would highly suggest that you take some time to play around with these before you take them on the road. Record some video and download it onto your computer to make sure everything looks good. I found that the positioning of one set of the IR lights was causing the camera to pick up some glare from the light. I had to keep repositioning it until I had it so the glare was gone.
Not much excites me when it comes to paranormal equipment these days, but I would have to say that these glasses are a must have in any investigators tool kit! When all was said and done I spent about $200 for the glasses and the extra IR light. A little expensive but well worth it!