22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2014
I bought this kit for use on my motorbike / helmet and i am happy to say (looking at some of the other reviews) that i have so far not suffered all the issues other people seem to be having. (Had mine for about 1 year now) I used it many times throughout the year and on a number of occasions had chance to compare directly with my brothers GoPro whilst we were out on our bikes together.
Here is what i found.
1. Side by side picture quality wise there is very little difference and certainly nothing to write home about. The GoPro seemed a little brighter in dull days, but the night time quality I believe the Polaroid to be better.
2. I have a USB charger cable installed on my bike and only had to recharge the battery on the Polaroid once during the day, and normally towards the end of the day. i would say that the battery lasts around 4 -5 hours of running time. My brother carried a number of batteries around with him for his GoPro which i thought seemed to run out quickly
3. As the Polaroid gives a vibration signal you know when it is on your helmet, if it has stopped recording when the battery is running out whereas there is no similar signal on the GoPro.
4. The Polaroid does not have an external microphone connection, primarily due to the waterproof capability whereas the GoPro does and as my brother has run a microphone into his helmet, i found the wind noise by comparison a fairly substantial difference. This is definitely a major negative for the Polaroid, if you are using it for high speed. Due to a dark patch on the bottom of my motorbike screen i cannot mount it on my handlebars to try and get it out the wind.
Being honest the high wind noise is the only part that has really disappointed me about the Polaroid, and probably for motorbiking would not make me buy one again. However this is the only negative for me with this unit.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I bought this as wanted a decent camera to mount in my car - couldn't really justify the cost of a go-pro and after comparing videos on YouTube, the picture quality seemed comparable. I purchased a 32gb micro SD, which simply slots into the camera. The instructions I received were actually quite comprehensive - you will need to read them to understand both the software and TV menu, but I'll give you a summary of how to set-up.
Firstly, you need to format the SD card by connecting the camera via the supplied HDMI cable to your TV. Insert the cable, the SD card and then turn the camera on. This will load the menu, which isn't the most user friendly menu you'll ever see, but if you read the instructions you'll be fine. Using the power button (by clicking once or twice to move and select), move to the format section and the SD card will be formatted. Unplug the HDMI, turn the camera off and then plug the supplied USB cable into your computer and then turn the camera back on. This will access the software menu and files on the SD card. In the software menu, you can choose image quality (Full HD or FHD), as well as the camera settings. It's important to note that to access either the TV or software menu, you need to plug the cable in and then turn the camera on - mine would not detect either if the camera was already on.
The XS100 in video mode records two separate files - one in the higher quality setting and another in low quality setting. Some reviews stated that the audio was only available on the lower quality setting, but this isn't the case. The higher quality video setting has no audio when played through Windows Media Player, but when I changed to Quicktime I had both Full HD image and audio together. The picture quality is very impressive, but the audio is not the best. I mounted this on the rear window in my car and whilst there was audio, there was an annoying crackling noise under acceleration. This could be the suction cup wasn't fully attached, a sponge was needed between the camera and mount or that it's just poor audio. I need to play about a bit more to really figure this out, but if you're after sharp audio quality I don't think you'll be impressed with this.
A number of reviews have also highlighted that the camera just doesn't work (switching itself on/off or just not operating at all). So far, I've encountered no such issues and seems fine. You can either turn the camera on using the power switch, which puts the camera into standby - you can then take pictures (by pressing the power button, which will vibrate slightly upon capturing), or move the recording switch from off to on to capture video. Another option to capture video when the camera is off is to simply move the recording switch from off to on, which will then power the camera on and begin recording video.
I've now moved a number of video files into a folder I use for my XBMC media player and the image quality really is good for a camera at this price point. In summary, if you are going to use an action camera frequently and really are after excellent audio/image quality then you need to fork out for a go pro black. I see little to no difference between this and the lower go pro models bar the audio, which whilst not great is still acceptable. For the camera, 32gb micro SD and a suction mount at under £150 (even the lower go pro would be nearly £300 with these included), this is a bargain.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2013
Great wee camera - remember it's waterproof so the sound is pretty poor (thats the trade off for waterproof, all waterproof cameras have poor sound). Low light performance is very good. Had a few problems with recording (shortened recordings, failures etc) until I formatted the SD card via the TV interface which seems to be the most reliable (just plug it into your HD TV with the supplied HDMI cable). Futzing around with the SD card via PC is not going to give good results - format once via TV then you're fine.(you can copy & delete the recordings via your PC but don't wipe the whole card or you'll need to reformat again). The automatic orientation can be a pain if you don't expect it - be sure to disable it if you don't want it. Pretty decent quality pictures, in good light it's on a par with Contour or GoPro and I think it's got excetional lowlight performance. For the money I think this is unbeatable.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2013
the important for me is to taking photos and video with just one button, no need to go to the settings to change mode, 1080p is perfect, easy to use, very good photos.
That i don't like is the battery. It is very good battery (2-2,5 hours), better than others cameras but the problem is that, it's inside the camera and you cant change it, so if you run out of battery your trip ends. You can't have extra battery to change it and there is not other way (battery pack) but to put the camera for charging
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2013
I bought this being a little bit cautious not knowing what to expect considering everybody else is buying GoPro, Contour or Drift cameras. However after I received the product and played with it for a few days I am convinced I made a great choice.
Make sure you buy a good class 10 Micro SD card and 32GB. 20min of 720p video is about 1GB. Double if you want 60fps or 1080p.
This is less then half the price of the established brands and does the job better in some respects. Video quality brilliant and you have the slide record button you can use with your gloves on and also it vibrates for confirmation when switching on/off, start recording, etc.
Search 'yamaha polaroid xs100' on youtube to see 720p video quality (the video is about 6min long).
Hope this will help someone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2014
After reading the positive reviews on here I was expecting a great camera, and in many ways the package and what you get for your money is indeed great. It promises pro-sumer grade images. However, the great first impression quickly faded when I tried some test video in daylight and noticed the quality of the output. It really is bad. Shockingly bad. And yes, I was looking at the full size files it writes, not the small preview files that it creates in parallel!
I started with 1080p30, and noticed immediately a rather noisy picture with daylight shooting, compression artefacts all over the place and a real lack of detail. The compression seems to be so aggressive that it's simply replacing detail with blocks of colour making for a very flat, yet sloppy image. The result can best be described as an impressionist approximation of the original scene. The contrast is rather overemphasized so the overall image isn't well balanced and doesn't tend to reflect reality too well. It all looks a bit overprocessed.
I tried 720p60 to see if an increase in frame rate would help mask the problems. Nope! The image looked suspiciously blocky (even more so!), so I took a still frame as a PNG and examined it in Photoshop. What I found was that lines just off the vertical or horizontal exhibited a strange blockiness where every other row/column had detail, and the pixels in between were blurry. It effectively looked like a 640x360 image upscaled to 1280x720. Quite how Polaroid/Monoprice/Ion have managed to take a 16MP sensor and produce such an effect I'm not sure.
Yes the output video resolution is 720p or 1080p as selected, but the actual image is nothing like that quality. I thought I was buying a great product at a good price. What I was left with is a sense that I should have gone for a Contour instead.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2013
I bought this to use on my bicycle. I have recently had a number of near misses with lunatic motorists and wanted to keep a record, in case I ever need it for legal reasons.
The recording quality is excellent. At maximum resolution, you get a good wide view of the road. Sound quality is good with wind noise nicely dampened.
Operation is simple. Two buttons on top allow you to turn the unit on and off, and record. Removing the rear cap gives access to a mini-hdmi socket, mini-USB socket, a HD (hi-def) and FHD (full hi-def) switch, and the reset button. The only downside with this is that certain settings are only accessible via the small software package that comes installed on the machine.
It is waterproof, but you need to make sure the rear cap is on securely. I used it in rain and the droplets run off the concave lens cover quite nicely.
You need to buy a memory card. At maximum definition you get about 4 hours of recording.
- Easy to operate.
- Loads of attachments included. I can't imagine anyone would need to buy anything else.
- Good video and audio quality.
- Unlimited recording. Does not stop after a few minutes, like some cameras.
- Video, camera, and time-lapse functionality.
- Can be controlled from a television if connected via HDMI.
- Advanced options only accessible via software.
- Sometimes crashes if left on for a long time (needs a reset).
- Appears to be limited to recording 3.8 Gig at a time. That's 35 minutes on max definition. I need to test this more, but it appears to start a new recording once the 3.8 Gig "limit" is reached.
A terrific piece of equipment, and one I would highly recommend. Would get a 5 star except for the tendency to freeze from time to time.
I've been using this almost daily for over a year-and-a-half now and it is still going strong. I've used it in all weather for about 80 minutes every day. It has been dropped a few times (once onto concrete from about 3 feet) so it's sturdy. I have also ironed out a couple of the niggly usage issues.
- The main problem is if I delete some of the files on the camera. Very often this causes the camera to stop recording, or to record for a few seconds and then stop, or to create corrupted video files.
The solution is to remove all video files on the camera before attempting a new recording. Don't leave any behind before starting a new batch of videos.
- The auto-rotate function tends to be a bit sensitive, meaning I have quite a few videos tilted sideways because by bike was tilted over a little when I started the camera.
The solution is to make sure the camera is still and level when turning it on. Personally, I have turned auto-rotate off because I don't need it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2013
I wanted a HD action camera and a GoPro Hero was the first choice but the price is a bit steep for what I was wanting to pay so I googled around for alternatives and this is what came tops. I checked the results on You Tube and was impressed with the quality. The only downside for some people may be the attachment devices which are not as numerous and flexible as the GoPro, I only wanted to make onboard footage from my motorbike so the suction mount kit was perfect for my requirements. There are other indepth reviews on the camera here which I will not repeat the details of here but suffice to say that the actual quality of the output is most satisfactory.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2015
I have to admit, I absolutely love the product, the design is awesome and the fittings which come with it are perfect, I have used this on my motorcycle helmet, motorcycle handlebars and other places on the bike, my bars on my pushbike, I fitted it to my car and the results have all been amazing. The only downside is the still photo's, as you can't preview them at the time, they tend to be quite blurry unfortunately, although the video quality is great.
The sound quality is very good but you do get quite a bit of wind noise, not particularly great if you was to try and vlog on a bike, great for vlogging in the car though.
The ONLY reason which I gave this 4 rather than 5 stars, is due to the playback/editing features. Playback on the TV is good, the quality is spot on however there is no ability to fast forward or rewind, therefore to see something which happened near the end of your clip, you must watch the whole way through. With regards to playback on a computer, I found that Windows Media/Movie players only give the visuals and do not play back the sound. I would really like to find a free video editing software which I can use to edit this video type. *Any tips are welcomed*
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2013
Please note that the camera is quite heavy and trying a gopro, I no longer recommend this camera.
I had been looking for a good value 1080p action camera for a long time, and then I cam across this one.
First off, the camera was very nicely and neatly packaged, had everything that was advertised and no issues with packaging.
The manual for the camera was easy to read and had all the required information in multiple languages, There were no issues with the documentation, so I am not sure what the other 1 star review was on about.
I had purchased a 32GB Micro SD card for this and it was definitely necessary, the camera records very clear and crisp footage, but takes up a lot of disk space, around 100Mb/1min, so you will need large storage, however, this is normal.
The camera is very light and ergonomic, it has many fittings and mounts so that you can either have the camera on the top/side of your head or on handle bars/ski poles. This proves to be a very handy thing, as with other action cameras, I noticed you had to buy them as extra, some being £30+. So very good extra!.
Overall, the action camera has proven to survive falls on ski ramps and has not been effected at all. Definitely recommend this camera to anyone wanting to record an action sport!