Ever wanted to film your epic nerf battles? Then the Nerf Cam ECS-12 is the perfect Nerf gun for you! This blaster has a built in camera, and a 1.77″ live view targeting screen. The included 4GB SD card can record 3 hours of video, or 2000 photos (no idea why you’d wanna use photo mode instead of video mode tho!)
Design and Ergonomics
On the surface this blaster looks very similar to the excellent Nerf N-Strike Elite CS-18 Blaster, but that is where the similarities end. The CS-18 has an extendable stock, where as this blaster has a fixed length stock, Also the CS-18 fires in fully automatic mode vs semi-auto for the Cam ECS-12.
The colour scheme is the classic Elite: Orange, Blue and White! The blue is a slightly darker, matte navy blue than most of the other blasters in the Elite lineup, but there’s no mistaking the fact that this is a sharp looking Nerf gun!
The magazine release button is perfectly placed for quick swaps of the supplied 12 round magazine, which has proven to be 100% reliable so far with no jams. The right side of the magazine is translucent so that you can see at a glance how many darts you have remaining.
Video is the name of the game with this Nerf N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster, and the ergonomics pertaining to the camera features are pretty solid.
- The camera is positioned above the barrel in a location where there won’t be any obstructions to its view from attachments, accessories, or your hand while handling the blaster.
- Using the live view screen is a breeze since it sits directly above the trigger, exactly where the scope would sit on most other nerf guns. It even projects a reticle over the top of the live feed to use for targeting your opponents! (this superimposed targeting reticle does not show up on the recorded video) The included sunshade is effective, tho I found its intrusion into my field of view overshadowed its usefulness in reducing glare on the targeting screen
- There is one issue tho, the Record/Stop button is on the foregrip, right where the thumb of your support hand sits. This is great for hitting the Record button without having to adjust your grip…The downside is that in the heat of battle I find that I am often hitting the Stop Record button on accident :-/
The overall size and weight is ideal for teenagers, although the shoulder stock is a little short for an adult. I’m always finding myself wishing for an extendable stock
Nerf N-Strike Cam ECS-12 Performance
There are two major systems to evaluate with this Nerf Blaster: The Camera, and The Gun System, both of which are powered by 4 “AA” batteries, which means you’ll need 8 “AA” batteries to run this blaster
- First up is the Camera.
- Straight up, it’s not great :-/ especially indoors, under poorly lit circumstances it has a lot of grain. Outside in bright sunlight it’s actually not too bad
- …but the Nerf Cam ECS-12 only offers 0.3MP resolution at 20FPS. Nobody is gonna mistake footage from this sucker for a GoPro. It does give a neat First Person View tho, with the barrel just peaking into the bottom of the frame.
- The motor for the electronic firing system is REALLY loud in the video, it is not nearly as loud in real life as it seems in the video footage.
- The included 4 gigabyte SD card can hold up to 3 hours of video, or 2000 photos from the camera. The video files are output as .avi files at 640×480 resolution for playback on a computer or uploading to YouTube
- The camera has 3 control buttons and a power switch located directly behind the targeting screen, as well as the Record/Stop button on the foregrip. The 3 main buttons are used to quickly scroll thru recorded videos, delete, or play directly on the targeting screen
- Next up is the actual Blaster system
- Nerf advertises a range of 85 feet. So does it perform as advertized? It does, with the help of a little arc on shot. However, it is my opinion that nerf battles are way more fun up close and personal! Fast and furious mayhem is something this blaster excels at with no need to lob shots at a range from across the room or down the hall. With its high rate of fire, its great for close quarters rapid fire “spray and pray” action
- Rate of Fire
- The ECS-12 uses a Semi-Auto motorized flywheel type of firing system. It requires 4 “AA” batteries to power the motor, allowing a firing rate up to 3 nerf darts per second. Since this is a Semi-Auto style weapon the rate of fire is determined by how quickly you can pull the trigger.
- General Use and Handling
- This is a motorized blaster which uses an “Acceleration Trigger” located under the firing trigger to spin up internal flywheels used to fire the dart. It takes approximately 1 second to get the flywheels up to speed prior to firing the first dart.
- Since you can’t fire a dart without the flywheels spinning, you’ll need to run around with the Acceleration Trigger depressed all the time in order to be able to fire a dart immediately once an opponent presents themselves.
- Unfortunately this means that sneak attacks will be impossible to pull off unless there is already a lot of ambient noise in the area
As a pure blaster, this is a fine Nerf gun. It has a high rate of fire, able to quickly hose down a room with a barrage of foam Nerf darts. It does have a few drawbacks tho, its loud motor makes it difficult to pull off sneak attacks. Plus it is expensive! At the moment it is the only Nerf Blaster with a built in video camera, which explains why it’s approximately twice as expensive as a comparable non camera Nerf Blaster.
However, if you want to create epic videos of those intense neighborhood Nerf battles, this blaster has to be part of your repertoire. Now, there is no denying that the video coming out of this blaster is pretty poor, nowhere near GoPro quality, but you are getting a built in video camera for about $40 more than you’d pay for a non camera enabled Nerf Blaster. Where as the cheapest GoPro currently sold is $199 and you’d have to fiddle with bulky brackets, not to mention figure out a way to mount it to the blaster….
All in all, it’s a well rounded Nerf blaster, and the only one on the market with a built in camera. If you aren’t interested in filming your Nerf firefights then there is no reason to buy this Nerf Gun. However if becoming a YouTube Nerf sensation is in your future, then you have to add the Nerf N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster to your Nerf Gun Arsenal!
Nerf N-Strike Elite Cam ECS-1279.99
- Camera - currently the only Nerf gun on the market with built in video
- Rate of Fire - 3 darts per second, great for clearing rooms
- Range - one of the farthest firing blasters in the Nerf family
- Camera performance is weak
- Loud motorized operation means no stealth attacks
- EXPENSIVE!!! Approx $40 premium over non camera Nerf Guns