Hunters and long-distance shooters often will spend hours behind their glass, scoping endlessly for the perfect game or most precise shot. The downside is that a majority of the market for spotting scopes are monocular, meaning one is squinting the entire time. Enter the Spot Shot by Shooting Made Easy, a Wi-Fi-enabled camera mounted to the end piece of the shooting scope. It alleviates eye fatigue and muscle tension, meaning you can spend more time doing what you want—putting those rounds downrange.
With an enclosed Wi-Fi camera system, the Spot Shot (SS) comprises of an adjustable chuck-mounting system (adjustable between 1.0” to 2.5” in diameter) that attaches to most common spotting scope eye pieces.
When paired with the free SS app on Google Play or Apple Store, the Wi-Fi camera is capable of streaming high definition video to most common smart devices, up to 150’ from the camera.
The SS app itself allows the user to observe, record, and take still images while storing them on the smart device.
The SS is powered by a rechargeable lithium polymer battery that gives the camera a runtime of approximately eight to ten continuous hours. A micro USB port enables for charging, while the SS itself has a single power button with low-power indicator.
The Spot Shot – Wi-Fi Spotting Scope Camera is only available in in a blended Crème/Black color combination, and comes with a custom soft carrying bag and Micro USB power cable.
Editor’s Note: For the purpose of this review, a Vortex RAZOR HD 48×65 spotting scope was paired with the SS, however it did not influence nor was part of the review process for the camera system itself.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Excellent (5/5): With an MSRP of $119.99, the Spot Shot has an enclosed micro HD camera and Wi-Fi transmitter that is capable of projecting the spotting scope field of view 150’ to your app-enabled smart device. The adjustable chucks ensure the widest adaptability to most common spotting scope eye pieces on the current market. In contrast, other similar spotting scope cameras include the Hawk ($329) by TargetVision, the Spotter LR ($299) by Tactacam, and the Hawk ($329) by Longshot. Thus, in comparison the SS is excellently priced for the consumer given similar designs.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, the SS was easy to install to the eyepiece of the spotting scope even at a max diameter, and the chuck-adjustment ring moved easily to provide a snug fit. Navigation within the app was likewise easy with the few options using common icons for easy recognition and to make sure it was not complex nor overwhelming.
- Durability – Average (3/5): The SS was enclosed within an ABS/polymer shell that gave it some modest level of protection from the occasional bump during transport, or hard contact with other items. However, the shell felt much like most commercial-grade electronic housings, and it is unlikely this camera system would survive a fall on concrete (an experiment not tried given lack of any rubberization). One recommendation to SME would be to consider rubberizing the outer edges to provide some level of drop protection. SME does offer a 2-year “Bulletproof” warrantee (sold separately) that users would need to consider based on their expected level of usage and protection for the camera.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the SS was very simplistic in use, with merely mounting to the eyepiece and opening the app being the extent of complexity. All focal adjustments had to be made from the scope and eyepiece, as the camera was strictly a passive system when ON. This left a lot of bouncing around in the field of view until all adjustments were completed. It would be strongly recommended to users to ensure that a strong tripod be used (not provided) to further stabilize the overall scope and camera. When used with the app, camera resolution showed clear and crisp video and images at the 50 yard line, but at 300 yards the color and resolution started to show some pixilation and color bleed. In addition; as the scope zoom was used for further distances and the focal plane of the eye piece narrowed, rounded shadows started to appear in the corners of the field of view reflecting the dimensions of the round eye piece projected on to a square screen. This was not inhibiting in any way, but something users should be aware of. Otherwise, the image and video capture functions worked as expected, and the library function easily brought up all files taken with the SS. It should be noted that unlike the “Sight In” target camera system by SME, there is no function in the app for the SS to do target development or shot tracking.
- Weight – Good (4/5): Weighing in at 10.4 ounces, the SS is lightweight enough not to be heavy in a range bag or backpack, but given that the weight is then added to the extreme end of a spotting scope made it difficult for smaller tripods to manage. The solution was to move the spotting scope to the larger tripod with a much wider base and sturdier material, and a larger locking mechanism. This gave the overall spotting scope improved stability with the SS camera added in moderate wind and amid other shooters. Shooters will need to consider their tripod accessories before venturing out with this camera. In contrast, the Hawk (16 ounces) by TargetVision, the Spotter LR (9 ounces) by Tactacam, and the Hawk (16 ounces) by Longshot all illustrate that the SS is at the lower end of the weight spectrum and thus earns itself a good score for its relative lightweight to functional use.
Overall Rating – Good (20/25)
Product Link: https://www.shootingmadeeasy.com/spot_shot/
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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