Being proficient with long-distance shooting often takes countless hours dialing in the fundamentals, and employing them at long distances. That translates to endless time spent working within the 300yd line and below for zero, and greater distance with application. The LR-3 target camera from Longshot is a wireless device that helps eliminate the tedious effort of walking distances to check paper, mark hits, or record adjustment.
Released circa 2019, the LR-3 is one of several target cameras by Longshot that allows the shooter to wirelessly monitor the target and track rounds downrange in near real-time thanks to a free smart device app. Included with the camera and receiver units are, the associated tripods that allows the camera to have a solid base on which to stand, and an ABS/polymer hard case for storage.
The Main Housing
The LR-3 camera system itself is enclosed within an ABS/polymer housing that is waterproof, with a 2688 x 1512 Ultra HD camera that rotates on a ball-joint for up to 15-degrees along the X and Y-axis for complete adjustment to the target.
Enclosed within the body of the camera unit is the Wi-Fi transmitter, a directional antenna below the camera lens that projects the signal along a Line of Sight to the shooter up to two miles away. This signal is received by the second unit, enclosing the receiver antenna, and placed next to the shooter. The receiver is then synced to the smart device for app use.
On the side of the housing to both the camera unit and receiver antenna is a display for POWER, the Wi-Fi Signal, and LAN connection. The rechargeable internal power supply of the LR-3 can maintain operation for up to 9 hours of continual run-time.
The included tripods attach to the LR-3 via pivot-head to the bottom of the main housing. This enables the camera to be tilted further for maximum adjustment and resolution to the target up to 15ft. from the target. On the bottom of both the camera and receiver antenna units are a POWER toggle switch as well as light display denoting battery charge.
Where the Longshot series of target cameras establishes itself is in its associated smart device application, free for download to any Kindle, iOS, or Android device. When synched (via Wi-Fi), the LR-3 target camera displays in near real-time individual shooter data in the form of six functions:
- Shot Blinking: A function that allows the user to toggle the current frame of imagery to the last for better shot placement.
- Snapshot: An image capturing feature that saves the displayed target image to the smart device’s photos.
- Record Video: A video capturing feature that saves the displayed target image to the smart device’s photos.
- Show/Hide Markers: A feature that allows the user to turn shot markers on or off, useful when dealing with large numbers of shots taken and layering of icons.
- Gallery/Settings/Marker Color: Menu options that allow the user to customize various controls for the current session. Changes made will remain even after the app is closed.
- Shot Markings/Reset Overlays/Mark Group/New Session/Marker Size: Option settings that allow the user to define the behaviors of the current session, start a new one, or control the overall appearance of shot marker dots.
The Longshot LR-3 is only available in a safety orange/grey combination.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Fair (2/5): The LR-3 is the higher-tier target camera from Longshot, and has a MSRP price of $838 with one Wi-Fi enabled remote camera and one receiver antenna (with charger), two tripods, and hard-shell transportation case. The LR-3 camera itself is a Wi-Fi enabled system that has the ability to project its signal, via Line of Sight, and then connect to any smart device with the associated Longshot TargetVision application. In contrast, the closest direct comparator would be the “Sniper Edition” Target Camera ($649) by Shooting Made Easy, or the Ballistic Precision LR Target Camera ($432.99) by Caldwell. Both alternatives offer their own take on smart device application, functionality, and hardware that are directly similar to the LR-3. But what separates the LR-3 from these alternatives is its hard-shell transportation case, which can provide dividends in protecting the devices. As such the LR-3 still comes in slightly higher than its competitors giving it an overall fair scoring in terms of cost to the consumer.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): Overall setup for the LR-3 was very simplistic, and it was pleasing that the overall kit came with tripods for both camera and receiver antenna. The tripod did extend in terms of base and overall height to some extent, but not to the degree that it became obstructive to the target. The camera “eyeball” inside the main camera unit did move smoothly and maintained its given position throughout the duration, with no slippage noted. The outer edge of the camera and receiver antenna were in a high-visibility orange that aided in visual recognition, however on the camera (placed downrange) this was on the side facing away from the shooters. A recommendation for improvement to Longshot would be to place a similar high-visibility band on the sides of the camera and receiver antenna that face to shooter. Navigating the smartphone application was slightly confusing and not overly intuitive, with some icons failing to readily convey their function visually to the user so some repetitive learning was necessary.
- Durability – Good (4/5): From a durability aspect, the LR-3 was enclosed in a rubberized and ABS/polymer shell much like other electronics of the day. Thus, any errant shots into the camera from shooters will damage the device. There is no target camera on the market that offers deflecting housing to protect the device, but Longshot (much like other vendors) does offer a separate “Bulletproof Warranty” that can be purchased to help defray the cost should the camera unit be inadvertently shot from the shooter or another on the range. Overall, the LR-3 does come with a standard 2-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers defects in the production process should it be needed. Otherwise all external points were either sealed with a rubberized ring or had concealed seams to prevent moisture penetration. This made the overall target camera water resistant although not water proof (it did not have a submersion rating). Perhaps the most frangible aspect of the LR-3 target camera was the actual ball-joint the camera lens is mounted on, with excessive range-of-motion movements or pressure risking potential damage to the overall joint itself. Lastly, there was no sun shade or visor above the camera “eye” (although no glare was noted from the sun at noon shooting hours) to protect the lens itself, and this would be the only recommended improvement for durability to Longshot to consider.
- Functionality – Average (3/5): Functionally the review of the LR-3 was divided into two elements; the performance of the camera system itself, and the app. Overall these elements gave the LR-3 an average level of performance, with room for improvement in both areas.
- The LR-3 camera and receiver antenna setup went very straightforward, with easy and secure attachment to the included tripods. The tripods themselves also provided easy adjustment to ensure proper angle to the target, or back to the receiver on the shooting line. The ball-joint of the camera lens moved easily and securely, thus ensured the lens remained in position when adjusted regardless of the height or angle to target. On several instances while in use, the camera/receiver antenna did loose connection within the 300 yard line despite full signal strength and proper alignment, but this was momentary and quickly restored. Perhaps the greatest drawback was a lack of focal adjustment for the camera unit itself. By manipulating the location of the camera between 6 and 15 feet, this gave the user differing fields-of-view. Yet while the image provided on the app had appropriate coverage of the target itself, it consistently lacked clarity almost to the point of being unusable if shots were close to one another (thankfully the shot blinking feature assisted in mitigating this). Otherwise the image was without pixilation or distortion. While Longshot maintains that the LR-3 uses CrispEdge 2688 x 1512 HD Imagery, the company may want to consider reviewing the camera’s internals and if it’s sharpness or resolution can be improved.
- In comparison, the TargetVision app synched easily through the smart device’s Wi-Fi features (an iPhone 6S) and was appropriately formatted to give the shooter a consistent view of the target (best when used in a landscape position). There was no feature in the app to designate a specific target area for the camera or app to focus on or monitor, so the only way in which to zoom in on the target to place a marker was to use the touch-screen’s swipe/zoom function. This only succeeded in taking a blurred point where the bullet impact was, and making it a big blurred point. The image and video capture functions worked as expected, as well as general setting adjustments. It was noted that each time the user exited the app (for instance to answer a call or use another app) and returned to the TargetVision app, it would re-scan for the LR-3 and start the session over. It is recommended to Longshot to consider addressing these in future app improvements.
- Weight – Average (3/5): The overall weight of the LR-3 was 8.12 pounds (to include the transportation case, camera and receiver antennas, tripods, and charger) which is manageable given its ease of stowage inside the case. Looking closer, the camera unit measured in at 2 pounds and the receiver antenna unit was 1.14 pounds, with each tripod measuring just 10.5 ounces. This gave the LR-3 a very good lightweight camera system that could be easily set up and wasn’t bulky. In contrast, the “Sniper Edition” Target Camera (4.10 pounds total) by Shooting Made Easy, or the Ballistic Precision LR Target Camera (8 pounds the overall kit) by Caldwell showed that the LR-3 target camera system was appropriately placed within the market in terms of weight for its materials and accessories.
Overall Rating – Average (16/25)
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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