DeWalt DCT410S1 12V Inspection Camera Wireless Screen
Inspection cameras are a life-saver when you need to have a look at something. Particularly, something that is hidden from view, and which doesn’t want to be marred or destroyed in order to have a peek. The DeWalt DCT410S1 12V MAX 17mm Inspection Camera with Wireless Screen Kit easily fits into most tight spaces and wall cavities. With its LED-lit camera head and 12V MAX Lithium Ion battery, you can spend a good part of a day scoping things out. When the three foot cable is not long enough, the cordless LCD receiver can be removed to allow for a longer reach and easier viewing. plus, if you need more time to think about what you saw, you can snap a few photos or take a video of what is going on for future reference. The DeWalt Inspection camera takes Micro SD cards up to 16GB.
The camera grip frame on the DeWalt DCT410S1 is very similar to the rest of the 12V MAX tool line, with rugged plastic and rubber overmold on the grip and impact areas. The handle also has a camera on/off switch, except that it’s mounted ahead of and above where a trigger would normally be located on a power tool. This switch also serves as the dimmer for the LED-based illuminating light. The screen is 3.5 inches and offers 320 x 240 (QVGA) native resolution. Now what sets this camera apart from others is that its screen is removable and contains all the camera control buttons. Built inside the screen is a self-maintaining battery that charges off the 12V MAX battery when connected to the base. We will get to why the detachable screen is so handy later. The detachable three-foot cable has two dimmable LEDs, one on ether side of the camera lens, which makes for shadow-free viewing. Hook and magnet attachments come with the camera and attach to the actual camera head via a screw collar. This allows you to use the inspection camera as a handy device for retrieving dropped objects the basic fishing of wires. The DeWalt DCT410S1 Inspection Camera Kit comes with the camera, the wireless screen, a three foot 17mm camera cable, one battery pack, a fast charger, and the hook and magnet attachments. Everything is packaged securely in a rugged blow-molded case.
DeWalt DCT410S1 Testing and Use
The DeWalt DCT410S1 12V MAX 17mm Inspection Camera with Wireless Screen is simple enough to use. As with any remote inspection camera, it takes a little practice and finesse to be able to aim the camera so you can see once it is inside a wall or confined space. Once we found what we were looking for, we hit the button on the screen to save the image. Navigating the file system was easy as we were able to scroll between the picture and video folders and even delete unwanted pictures within the file. Pictures are saved in the .JPG format (JPEG File) and video clips are in the .AVI format and the maximum saved image resolution is 712×486 (for stills) and 640×480 (for video), the native camera resolution as stated by DeWalt’s support site. The screen, however, has to do interpolation for both video and still images, which conforms the images to the 320×480 (HVGA) display. There is no audio recording, which oddly limits the ability to use this tool for annotating inspection video. This would be a feature we’d expect to see made standard on a future model. Since there is no built-in USB connector, the only way to transfer files to a computer or another device is by physically removing the MicroSD card and using an adapter to make it fit into a standard size SD card slot. The problem is, DeWalt doesn’t include an adapter with the DeWalt DCT410S1 Kit. We were able to accomplish this with no trouble at all through the use of a third party MicroSD/SD card adapter, but noted that there is no way to get your images onto a PC without buying an accessory, which seems like an oversight.
The resolution on the screen seems to be adequate for each of the three levels of zoom, which are 1.5x, 2.0x and 3.0x. The zoom function is not an optical zoom, but a digital zoom which means that the picture on the screen gets slightly pixelated, particularly on the highest zoom setting. To experiment with the usefulness of this feature, we found that we were able to see serial number plates with ease on all levels of zoom. The cordless screen functions well out to about 15 feet before it starts to get a little fuzzy. A great feature of this system is the ability to set the screen just about anywhere for more convenient viewing while using the camera.
The LEDs are plenty bright and can be dimmed or turned off in well-lit areas. The cable seems kind of stiff at first, but as we used it, it did seem to become more flexible yet stayed rigid enough to hold whatever shape we bent it into. We found that a 9 inch circle was about the smallest we could bend it. For some applications the cable will seem relatively short, which makes the detachable screen that much more useful. If you do need a further reach, extensions are available as well as a smaller diameter 9mm x 3′ long cable which is perfect for automotive use where head diameter is an issue. The cable is waterproof but the camera screen and grip frame are not. This tool is well suited for mechanics, HVAC and electrical trades, plumbers will need to take care how far they submerge the business end of the product.
With many different options available for inspection cameras, we think that DeWalt did a pretty good job of making their DCT410S1 12V MAX 17mm Inspection Camera kit unique. The detachable screen is what sets this camera apart from the others. No more will you have to contort your body to view the screen when you are reaching somewhere. Just set the screen in a easy to view place and go to town manipulating the camera head. For our Performance rating we gave this inspection camera a score of 7/10 thanks to its unique features that boost productivity. For our Value rating, we gave the inspection camera an above average score of 6/10 due to the fact that it might cost slightly more then other manufacturer’s offerings and lacks some basic features like audio recording and standard SD card usage. Overall, however, the DeWalt DCT410S1 comes with some nifty features that help make up the difference.