The Camcorder is an electronic device used by Miles Upshur, Waylon Park and Blake Langermann to record info and events, as well as help navigate dark areas with its night vision feature (NVF). The camera is labeled as a Spatlin HDD Night View.
The camcorder is the most prominent tool the protagonists use throughout the game. It is also needed for journal entries by simply filming written messages or events.
The camera comes with a night vision feature, which is required to illuminate dark areas seen in the camera's screen. Using night vision requires battery power when used, making it necessary to manage the use of it so the battery power is not wasted when night vision is not needed. Using night vision on any person will make their eyes seemingly glow.
When the battery has become fully drained, the night vision's range will be reduced substantially. Even in this condition, the camcorder will still work along with the night vision capability, albeit to a much weaker degree. To regain the night vision's full power, another battery must be reloaded in the camera. Even if the player runs out of batteries, the night-vision on the camera still works for short amount of time, with poor quality that worsens in night-vision and lack of audio capture. When a battery's power is about to be depleted, the night vision will flicker. Batteries can be found scattered around the environment.
The camera also has the feature of zooming in and out, giving the chance to scout moderately far ahead. Zooming can also be used in conjunction with night vision, as the night vision will illuminate any surface the camera is zoomed in on, making it very useful for spotting enemies from a distance in low light.
There are some instances where Miles will use his camera regardless of the player's control, such as filming the death of Billy Hope and when The Walrider kills Chris Walker. When The Walrider is invisible, the night vision feature can reveal it.
In Outlast 2 the camera took major changes from the original game. Now it has sound detectors for left and right dynamics. Also camera's HUD has been changed, while it's producing company remaining the same - Spatlin. Additionally, Blake's camera is waterproof, as it is shown when Blake hid underwater, the camera took no damage and functioned as before.
In the Female Ward, during a botched long jump by Miles, the camera falls off Miles' person and into a hole in the ground, forcing Miles to travel back down to get it as it's still needed to navigate through dark areas. When the camera is found and retrieved again, it is badly damaged, as the eye lens is cracked and the camera's view will malfunction and flicker at random times.
When retrieving the camcorder after escaping Eddie Gluskin's torture, the player loses all of their batteries and the camcorder's power is depleted.
During the epilogue, a fully-recovered Waylon sits behind a desk while a mysterious man, who's associated with the leaking website, informs him that it will be more than enough evidence to ruin the Murkoff Corporation, but warns Park that doing so will result in Murkoff doing everything it can to punish him in return, including threatening his family. Despite some initial hesitation, Park ultimately decides to take the risk and uploads the video.
The camcorder returns in Outlast 2 and is used by Blake Langermann. As mentioned above, the camera took major changes and now has two sound detecting dynamics, which can be used by the player to avoid enemies. The night vision function returns as a mean to navigate through darkness. A new addition to the camcorder is a recording playback feature, that allows the player to look at past recordings and hear Blake's thoughts on the situation.
At one point, Blake is captured and crucified by the Scalled and has his camera taken from him by Laird Byron, for they believe him to be the Messiah that will cure them of their illness and that his camera is his Gospel. After ripping himself free from the cross's nails, Blake bandages himself and later finds the camera in a shack owned by Laird.
- Outlast's camcorder display design appears slightly different in the first demo version, such as displaying STBY in the top left corner instead of REC: 0:00:00.
- In the first demo version, Miles can carry twenty batteries and reloads four batteries at once as that was the original number required to give the camera a full charge.
- The crack and flickering on the camcorder once its damaged can be removed by turning effects in the graphics settings to low.
- Outlast's camcorder is modeled after Sony HDR-CX550V Handycam.
- In the first game, the night vision feature is made obsolete if the player chooses to play the game with full gamma and brightness.
- The camcorder icon is available as an emoticon on Steam. The same icon is used as a visual cue for when the player acquires new notes.
- There are two scripted events that play side by side after Miles' long jump. The first one depicts Miles unintentionally dropping the camera which falls through the hole in the floor. Following this, the second event is suppose to despawn the fallen object and load up the lower level's structure, as well as the camera with a cracked lens on top of a kitchen counter. However, the game might fail to despawn the first camcorder, which can then be found lying next to the kitchen counter, resulting in there being two camcorders. The second one is not an interactive object and is simply there as a result of a texture glitch.
- In Whistleblower, even if the player only captures a few seconds on the camera, the Agent will still tell Waylon that there is enough hard evidence to bring down Murkoff.
- During scripted events, the game might fail to register the camera being holstered. As a result, the camcorder's HUD will be overlaid across the screen. This can be seen during the crematorium scene with Frank Manera and when Waylon trips in a foggy courtyard.
- The light bar on the PlayStation 4's controller emits green light when night vision mode is active, dark green when it's out of batteries and white when it's turned off.
- In the original version of Outlast 2, the built-in microphone, whilst active, would drain the camcorder's battery over time. This was later patched out by the developers to make it less tedious.