98 of 107 people found the following review helpful
Good enough for the price.....but only just!,
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This review is from: Actioncam Action Video Camera (Sports)
In general this camera is good enough, considering the great price. However, I'm not sure if that justifies the frustration involved in using it!
It comes with a pathetically small instruction sheet that tells you next to nothing. You are left to figure out the cryptic display icons yourself. I still don't know what the boxes round the outside mean (apparently not battery life). Really, the only thing you need from the display is whether the camera icon is flashing or not (which means recording or not). There is a small pointless white LED under the camera, that seems to flash whenever it gets bored.
The headband is fine. It works on just a bare head with no helmet. The camera is on a "click-mount" that means you can rotate it 360 degrees perpendicular to the orientation of the head band, in 15 degree increments. It can sometimes be hard to know if the camera is looking at the same thing you are. Also, you can't see the display when it is on your head, so you can't be exactly sure if it is recording. It does make a beeping noise when you start recording. Unfortunately, the sounds for "start recording", "stop recording" and "off" are virtually indistinguishable - especially with other noises going on. It is a rather chunky device, and you look like a Borg (especially with the light).
There are two buttons; one for "on", "start recording" and "stop recording", the other button for "delete last recording". The delete function is utterly useless. In fact, it is a hazard, because you only have to press it for a second and it deletes the entire last file (which may have been hours long), without any second chance or ability to undo. I have lost several good videos that way (especially touching the camera when it is on the side of my head).
More annoyingly, the camera seems to turn off randomly - with no input given - even when it has plenty of battery left. I wore it in the kitchen while making dinner just to check, and it turned off after two or three minutes, several times (and then kept going for an hour on the fourth recording...). Also, if you take the batteries out, or they fail before you press the button to stop the recording, you lose it. It saves any recording that was completed. If you remove power before the recording is completed you still have the file, but it claims to be zero size and unreadable (I tried everything). Simple enough to avoid, you might think? However, the first time it happened was after an hour session, and the record icon was flashing, but the rest of the display had died, and pressing any of the buttons did nothing (nor did plugging it in to the computer). The only way I could turn it off was to remove the batteries (and thus lose the recording).
Now, for the plus side. Batteries last a long time (hours), if you get good ones. The microphone works better than expected (farther than 12ft...more like 40ft). When it does record, the quality is acceptable at 640x480 at 88kbps (apparently 1.3MP CMOS). 15 minutes recording is about 250MB. The quality is better than expected, and quite adequate for most uses. It does struggle with low light conditions, which look much darker on the recording than in real life (eg. early mornings or very cloudy days look more like night time in a James Bond movie). It seems pretty resilient to drops and bangs, cold, wet and wind (I wear it to row). It works automatically when you plug it in to Windows XP with a normal USB cable (provided).
All in all, pretty good for the price - and useful to have. When it works it is great - but you will probably lose more than one gem of a recording to bad user interface and temperamental setup. I am getting sick of thinking I had a great piece of footage, only to find it has not recorded/turned off by itself/was too dark/pointing slightly the wrong way/ran out of batteries/got accidentally deleted in the field/became a corrupted file. But still better than nothing if you don't want to spend a fortune.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Feb 2010 18:49:52 GMT
hey joseph, i've recently purchased one of these and i can't figure out how to record. Its brand new, the instructions (however brief) seem to be straight forward.. but when i press the "Power On button" it doesn't seem to record and the "Logo of the camera" doesn't flash either... am i doing something wrong?
Posted on 20 Feb 2010 16:48:26 GMT
G. Williams says:
The 'pointless flashing LED' is actually fairly useful as it projects a small light where the camera is aimed. Which makes lining up the camera a little easier considering the lack of a viewfinder.
Posted on 10 Jun 2012 19:29:07 BDT
S. Russell says:
Actioncam Action Video Camera, Joseph I need help. I bought one of these to wear while riding my horses. Having so many friends with close shaves with careless drivers, I need both hands on the reins rather than try to clock a reg number in my head. I did have the instructions but they were so tiny I couldn't read them. So I am now stuck with it not knowing how to get it to record, even to knowing which button switches the damn thing on or off. Can you please help me. or anyone writing reviews on the is product. I would like to write a review if I actually get to know how to use it.
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