CamLite vs. MII-Flashcam: Mobile Tactical Video System Showdown

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by David Crane

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There’s a new tactical technology on the scene that DefenseReview got to see at IACP 2005 Miami, and it’s manifested by two different products. It’s the flashlight-format mobile video camera system with audio, or flashlight-format audio/video recording system.

The first example we’ll discuss is the CamLite Model 1000 Video System, manufactured and marketed by The CamLite Corporation. CamLite™ is roughly the same size as a standard police-issue/duty flashlight (13 5/8" long x 2 3/4" in diameter) and weighs 1.2 lbs. It can…

transmit video and audio up to 1000 feet at 30 frames per second a minimum resolution of 380 lines. Image pixel quality is 537x 505. All video and audio can be recorded on a laptop computer, VCR, or DVR, depending on agency preference. CamLite’s™ wide-angle lense reportedly adjusts and focuses automatically to obtain the highest-quality images possible at all times.

This audio/video capability is combined with a fully-operational 13,500 candlepower flashlight/tactical white light that features a high and low adjustable beam for versatility. This adjustable aspects is designed to diminish video "wash-out". CamLite is also ruggedized. It’s been drop-tested 25 times from a height of 6 feet onto concrete floor.

For tactical operations (including High-Risk Entries/Direct Action ops) and vehicle-born explosives detection (bomb detection), CamLite™ can be outfitted with a telescoping pole. In polecam form, CamLite™ will allow the operator to transmit audio and video images while peeking over walls, around corners, up stairwells, through windows, under vehicles, etc., just like any other polecam system.

The second flashlight-format audio/video recording system we saw at IACP is the MII-Flashcam Day/Night Vision Camera, which is manufactured and marketed by Northland Security Products (NSP). While the CamLite™ Model 1000 Video System transmits video remotely, the MII-Flashcam takes a different approach, and simply records the audio and video to a 1-Gigabyte flash card inside the MII Flashcam® itself. The recorded audio/video footage is downloaded once the unit is returned to it’s docking/charging station–inside a vehicle or at a desk, The 1-Gig flashcard stores up to an hour and 20 minutes of high-resolution video with audio, 2-hours of low-res video, or 2800 3.2 megapixel JPEG-format pictures.

The MII-Flashcam® currently weighs 2.2 lbs and is 17-inches long. The bezel/head is 3 inches in diameter, and the handle is (roughly) 1.25" inches. And weighs 2.2 pounds. It has a 1.5" inch monitor built into the head, so you can view what you’re looking at, and that view is exactly what the camera is capturing. The viewing screen is 1.5" (diagonal).

Perhaps the most obvious difference between CamLite and MII-Flashcam, other than the transmit vs. store and download difference, is the MII-Flashcam’s® “covert” night vision aspect. According to Mike Howard, Northland Security Products’ president, with the night vision feature, an operator can go “completely infrared”, giving him full night vision capability. Mr. Howard also told DefenseReview that NSP is in the process of developing a 13" version that weighs 1.5 lbs for weapon mounting (6-months away from that). Suggested retail is $2,495. That price includes the docking/charging station, all software, and all interfaces for 12-volt and 110-volt charging, operator’s manual, and CD-ROM instructional.

There’s one more difference between the two technologies—the flashlight aspect. Where the CamLite™ Model 1000 System luminates via traditional bulb mechanism, the MII-Flashcam® utilizes LED technology to give the unit a rather impressive 85,000 candlepower. This white light lamination aspect has an instant on/off feature and can be operated continuously for 3.5 hours.

Like the CamLite™, the MII-Flashcam® has been ruggedized, as well. It’s made out of anodized aircraft aluminum and G-tested to 50 G’s. Temperature tested to -40 degrees and +150 degrees faregnhieght. An A/V adapter on the MII-Flashcam will allow the unit to be tethered to a belt-mounted or back-mounted audio/video transmitter, giving the operator A/V broadcast capability over a wireless network, just like CamLite™. "There’s now a product that gives you full video camera, audio, and night vision capabilities in one device. It’s completely covert, and allows you document incidents that in the past were hard to capture before”, Mr. Howard said. The U.S. Marine Corps (Quantico, VA) Warfighting Laboratory is currently testing the MII-Flashcam® for multiple uses. Bureau of Prisons is also evaluating the MII-Flashcam, NTOA, California Department of Corrections.

Click here
to download and view the MII-Flashcam demonstration video.

The MII-Flashcam was recently featured on KVLY News. Click on this link to watch the video clip (QuickTime format).

Click here
to download and read an Office of Law Enforcement Technology Commercialization (OLETC) Advisory Council "Closed Session" Evaluation of the MII-Flashcam audio/video recording device. According to the evaluation document, the OLETC advisory council "agrees that this is an impressive product. It’s primary strengths are that it works well in low light; it’s durable/shock resistant; images are secure/password protected; downloading appears uncomplicated; the user/unit are identified; date and time stamp are offered; and the unit is portable and user friendly." The advisory council goes on to say that "all members agreed that this product is ideal for tactical units and corrections applications as opposed to day-to-day police work."

Ideally, Defense Review would like to see the MII-Flashcam® outfitted with an A/V transmitter so it has the same transmitting capability as CamLite™, without the need to tether it to a belt-mounted or backpack-mounted wireless transmitter via A/V cable or relay the signal wirelessly–and hopefully securely–from the MII-Flashcam through the same belt-mounted or backpack-mounted wireless transmitter. And, we’d like to see The CamLite Corporation add data storage, infrared (IR) night vision, and LED illumination capabilities to CamLite™. We’d also like to see both companies get their products down to a size that at least approaches the size of the Night-Ops Gladius flashlight/tactical illumination tool. Hopefully, they can get both products down to approx. 10” long (or less) and 1.0 lbs (or less) for high-speed tactical use (Direct Action operations, for instance)–if this is even possible. A large percentage of unit weight for both systems is comprised of battery weight, so the both companies would have to figure out how to configure their products so they require less power, sacrifice operating time, or investigate new battery/power technologies that provide for the same level of power at less size and weight.

CamLite™ Model 1000 Video System Specifications:

Frequency: 2.4 GHz, FCC Part 90 Approved
Power: NiMH rechargeable battery pack
Operating Time: Approximately 6-8 hours (Camera Only)
Operating Time: Approximately 2 hours (Using Flashlight)
Transmission Dist.: Approximately 1,000 feet (line of sight)
Flashlight: Functional 13,500 candlepower 200 mW

Flashlight: 13.25" L x 2.75" diameter
Weight: 1.2 lbs.

Standard Components for CamLite™ Model 1000:

2 Channel Receiver
Charger that mounts in a car or on a wall
CamLiteTM charger clip for CamLiteTM Model 1000
Power supply for charging
Extra NiMH battery pack for Model 1000
Two extra bulbs
5 dbi gain antenna (for mounting on roof top or other metal surfaces)
Applicable cabling
MII Flashcam Day/Night Vision Camera Specifications:

Model: The MII FlashCam®
Color: Black Matte (Non-glare)
Dimensions: 17" Long
Weight: 2.2 lbs
Battery: Nickel Metal Hydride 12-Volt, 2.4 amp hour. Rechargeable up to 1,000 times. Extra Battery Packs Sold Separately.
Battery Run Time: 4.5 Hours Flashlight Only. – 3.5 Hours (Camera and Flashlight)
Charger: 12-Volt Vehicle Charger, 110 Volt Charger Docking Station Included.
Structural Design: Aircraft Aluminum 6061 T-6. Anti-corrosion interior and exterior. Polycarbonate lens. Waterproof and Shockproof.
Normal Illumination: 3-5 Watt, Hi-Flux LED’s. 75 Lumens (Cool white light) 85,000 Total Maximum Candlepower. Brightness Control Button. LED Lamp Life (white) Unbreakable LED’s provide more than 100,000 Hours of Trouble Free Life.
Infrared Illumination: 880 Nanometer, Covert Infrared Illumination (Non-visible to the Human Eye)
Camera Specifications: Image Sensor: Sony 1/3" C-Moss – Dual Color/Black and White Cameras.
Minimum Illumination: 0.008 Lux
Sync System: Internal/External
Resolution: 480 TV Lines Day and Night (hi-rez 640×480 – low-rez 320×240) Snapshots – 3 Megapixel
Number of Pixels: 768(H) x 494 (V)
Lens: 5.0mm
Power Supply: 12V
Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty
For more information on the CamLite mobile video system, The CamLite Corporation can be contacted by phone at 602-494-6311, and by fax at 602-494-6314. Ask for Mike Nielsen. Mr. Nielsen can by contacted by email directly at

If you’d like more information on the MII-Flashcam Day/Night Vision Camera System, Northland Security Products (NSP) can be contacted by phone at 218-284-9514, or toll free at 888-333-1615. Their fax number is 218-284-9553. Ask for Mike Howard. You can contact Mr. Howard directly via email at Northland Security Products is a division of Lynk3 Technologies.

CamLite vs. MII-Flashcam: Mobile Tactical Video System Showdown by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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