Main Specs & Features
- Dimensions (LxW): 110mm / 4.3in x 35mm / 1.4in
- Weight: 124 g / 4.4 oz
- Video Resolution: 1080p (Full HD) or 720p
- Frame Rate: 30fps
- Image Sensor: HD CMOS Sensor with 1080p resolution
- Lens: Fixed focus 2.9 mm wide angle
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Video format: H.264 compression in MOV format
- Storage: SDHC card up to 32GB (4GB Card Included)
- Battery: Internal, 1000 mAh rechargeable Li-Ion
Please note: I am currently still testing the MINOX ACX 101 HD Action Camera (61608) – once completed, this page will contain the full review. Until then you can view some of my test footage and my initial thoughts on the product below:
The videos below will give you a good idea of the quality of recordings that you can expect to get – please make sure you change the YouTube settings and watch them in Full HD.
First Ride – Helmet Mounted
The video below contains some of the footage that I captured on my first outing with the MINOX ACX 101 Action Camera. It was mounted to my helmet. Taken in December on a short ride up to a town not far from my home in southern France, it was pretty cold and the light was poor, which is typical for this time of year, but is also a good test for the sports camera. As you can see, the video contains some examples of the quality and steadiness that you can expect to get in low light, on both good and bad road surfaces as well as at slower and higher speeds on the descents.
Second Test – Helmet Mounted
In this test, I mainly focus on how the camera handles rapidly changing light conditions, so for example going in and out of shadows or out of the dark and then into direct sunlight.
This footage was taken on a fairly normal training ride in December near my home in southern France. As you would expect, it was pretty cold at this time of year, but it was also a mostly sunny day.
The Minox camera was once again mounted on my helmet an the roads that I used vary from pretty good to below average (there is a reasonably rapid decent on a bumpy road) and thus this video also thus also demonstrates the image steadiness that you can expect with this on these surfaces at different speeds.
Third Test – Handlebar/Stem Mounted
In this test, I mainly focused on how the camera handles being mounted on the handlebars/stem of the bike.
As with the other test videos above, it was taken on a winters evening training ride not far from my house in Southern France, but this time I would describe the light as very poor. Not only was it late in the day at just before and at sunset, but at times there was also light rain on the ride and it was completely overcast. So a real difficult test for the camera in this regard.
As you can see I also tested it out on smooth as well as rough and bumpy road surfaces, at slow as well as higher speeds:
- Well made, high quality camera that looks fairly robust, as you would expect from a German company like Minox.
- Mounting on the helmet is very quick and easy, took me less than 5 minutes
- The Velcro strap is very secure, however have a small reservation as to the strength of the way the camera attaches to the quick release mount
- Perhaps a tethering system would be good?
- The large slide button on top of the Minox ACX 101 makes turning on and off the camera to record is very simple whilst cycling, even with my full winter gloves on.
- Love the simplicity of it
- Perhaps a little too conspicuous/large to be used for racing, but perfect simple to use camera for training & local club rides
Depending on the type of person you are or how you plan on using your sports action camera, you will find the simplicity of the Minox ACX as a major positive or indeed a negative.
I love the fact that once I had set up the mount, any time I decided that I was going out on a ride, all I had to do was clip the camera in place and jump on the bike. Then once out on the road, if I wanted to record all I had to do was push the large sliding switch on the top of the camera. Done.
Some cameras (see comparisons below) come with LCD screens to make setting adjustments, view live footage & playback, or Ant+ connectivity that enables you to pair it with your mobile or bike computer or have a separate remote etc.
These are all great features and in some cases and for some people may almost be essential, but then for some who don’t want to spend time fussing about, they are just added and unnecessary clutter.
Mounting the camera onto it’s bracket is really straight forward, you simply push the camera down onto the bracket until you hear a small click. Releasing the camera is just as simple as you simply press the quick release buttons on both sides of the camera at the same time with your thumb and finger and pull the camera up.
Whilst this process is very simple, the clips that hold the camera in place are very small and it is possible, without a huge amount of force to pull the camera out and away from the mount without pressing the release buttons.
Thus I do have a slight concern that the camera could possibly come loose should you go over a pothole or something similar when riding. I must add that this never happened whilst testing, but would sleep a little better had they been a little more robust, or indeed if there was some sort of way to easily tether the camera to your helmet, stem, saddle post or bars.
The Minox ACX comes with a
Velcro fixing strap and mounting bracket that is designed for cycling and skiing helmets.
Made from a tough Nylon you can pull the fixing strap very tight and with the excellent quality Velcro stitched to it, it makes for a very secure and stable base from which to work with.
The Velcro strap threads through two slots on the bracket, which you then work through the vents in your helmet and back again. This worked perfectly with my Lazer helmet and I had it set up, fixed securely and ready to roll within five minutes.
The advantages of mounting this or indeed any sports action camera to your helmet is that your body acts as a shock absorber, which in turn helps make the recorded video less juddery. This for cheaper cameras like this that I don’t think have in built image stabilisation is quite important.
It also makes it easier to point your camera in different directions to capture anything interesting. However sometimes this also means that the footage that you capture rocks or is all over the place, especially if like me, you tend to move your head about when making a big effort.
Another disadvantage of a head mounted cam is the extra weight and whilst at 124g / 4.4oz, I would not describe the Minox ACX 101 as heavy, I could definitely feel it up there.
Other Mounting Options – Stem & Handlebars
Minox do produce a number of other brackets which includes a specifically designed handlebar mount for your bike (see image on the right), but this has to be purchased separately.
I did not have this mount with me for the test and so before choosing to buy it, I decided instead to see if I could make a plan and use the included Velcro mount to fix the camera to my stem:
Initially I thought that the Velcro strap may be a little long, but even if it is (as was the case when I tested it on my vintage 1993 Pinerello Stelvio that has a much thinner stem), all you have to do is wrap the strap around the stem twice which works fine.
Another potential problem I could see on some stems that have a very curved surface is that they may not offer enough of a contact area to keep the bracket steady. However my FSA stem is fairly wide and flat on the top and besides for the test, I simply kept my Garmin Computer mount in place (see image below). This provided the perfect surface for the bracket and for me this mounting actually worked really well and was extremely secure and I really would not need to spend the extra money on a handlebar specific mount.
Depending on your particular set-up you may also be able to make a similar plan, or you could instead opt to buy the handlebar mount.
Cost & Where to Buy
The ACX 101 is still very new and I have as yet not seen it in the shops, however the older MINOX ACX 100, which I think is exactly the same except for a slightly slower processor, which means it takes a little longer to start-up retails for about $200 – $230 in the US, or between £75 and £150 in the UK:
Competition & Comparisons
As the Minox ACX HD Action Cam is essentially a low cost sports camera, it would be unfair to compare it to the GoPro HERO4 camera for example, which costs significantly more (2-3x as much).
Sport Cameras under $150 / £150
However this is not to say that if your budget does not reach the high end cameras, you have to settle for poor image quality. At this lower end of the market there is a lot of competition and many great looking cameras to choose from, thus I have decided to compare the main features and specs to the most popular low costing sports cameras that I believe are ideal for cycling and mounting to your bike in particular.
Even though it costs more, I have also decided to include the Shimano Sport Camera CM-1000 partly because I feel that whilst not cheap, it currently sets the standard in regards to lower costing spots cameras for cycling in particular. Remember most of the on bike footage within the pro peloton being captured using these Shimano cameras.
|Minox ACX 101||Garmin VIRB||GoPro Hero||Sony HDR-AS20||Shimano CM-1000|
|Price (approx):||$200 / £150||$120 £130||$130 / £100||$150 / £140||$270 / £210|
|Weight:||124g / 4.4oz||136g/ 4.8oz||111g / 3.9oz||83g||86g|
|Length:||110mm / 4.3in||111mm / 4.37||2.4in||47mm||71mm|
|Width:||35mm / 1.4in||53mm / 2in||1.2in||24.5mm||44mm|
|Height:||53mm/ 2.1in||32mm /1.3in||1.7in||82mm||30mm|
|Video Resolution||1080p (Full HD) or 720p||1080p (Full HD) or 720p||1080p (Full HD) or 720p||1080p (Full HD) or 720p||1080p (Full HD) or 720p|
|Video Format||H.264 codec, MOV format||H.264 codec, mp4 format||MPEG4-AVC/H.264|
|Frame frequency||30fps in HD||30fps in HD, 60fps in 720p||30fps in HD, 60fps in 720p||60fps in HD||30fps in HD, 120fps in 720p|
|Max Resolution||Na||16 MP (4664×3496)||5MP (2592×1944)||2MP (1920×1080)||6MP (2848×2136)|
|Waterproof||Yes (watertight)||Yes (IPX7)||Yes||Included Waterproof case||Yes (IPX-8)|
|Battery||1000mAH Li-Ion||2000mAH Li-Ion||1180mAH Li-Ion||NP-BX1|
|Connectivity||USB 2.0||USB 2.0, ANT+||Mini USB||Multi/micro USB||micro USB, ANT+|
|Stabilisation||Not sure||Yes, Digital||Not Sure||Yes, Digital||Not Sure|
|Included Mount||Strap & mounting pad for helmets||Curved & Flat Surface Mount||Curved & Flat Adhesive Mount||Adhesive Mount||Strap & mounting pad for helmets|
Other Options to consider: JVC GC-XA1 Adixxion ($150 / £150)
Where to Buy & Latest Compare Prices