03 Янв. 2015 г.|
Action camera 50
Most manufacturers supply a selection of adhesive mounts to get you started, but for more demanding use, a helmet mount, chest harness or handlebar mount may be needed. The Rollei S-50 looks like an imitation of the GoPro on first glance, but the key difference is its 2in LCD display at the rear, which helps to frame up stills and videos without having to rely on the manufacturers actioncam app.
While sales of budget compacts have fallen dramatically in recent years, manufacturers are fighting back with ever more powerful yet pocket-sized high-end premium compacts.
The Garmin VIRB Elite boasts a range of useful in-built features including GPS, an accelerometer and a barometric altimeter. In use, the AS30V connects to Sony’s Play Memories mobile app instantly and offers an excellent Live View with an extremely fast refresh rate. The S-50’s key feature is its LCD display, but this too leaves you feeling underwhelmed. Added to this, slow motion footage can be recorded and the 16MP sensor outputs still images with a high 4608×3456 pixel resolution.
Panasonic's latest CSC joins the popular GX range, updating one of the most popular Lumix CSCs to date.
An excellent build quality and an intuitive operation is key, but look closely at the field of view of the lens and the quoted battery life. The rubber door that’s designed to prevent water entering the internals also peeled off, leaving the charging ports and Micro SD card exposed to damage. Whether you plan to kayak down a waterfall, drive around a racetrack or attempt a skydive from 10,000ft, an action camera is designed to withstand the demands of all, recording the events as they happen, for you to watch back later in glorious Full HD quality. The maximum 170-degree field of view is restricted to the 960p resolution however and set to Full HD the camera has a maximum 127-degree field of view. The camera is robustly made, feels superb in the hand and is waterproof out of the box to a depth of 1m. Weighing just 90g, the Sony AS30V features a sleek, aerodynamic design with a square LCD panel at the side and a basic arrangement of just three buttons to setup the camera.
To put the cameras through their paces we headed out on a yacht to get a clearer understanding of what they’re like to use and how well they perform above and below water.
Compared to the other cameras in this test it feels less refined and more likely to sustain damage without the housing attached. The Rollei S-50 benefits from a rear screen and protective housing, but its build quality and overall finish lets it down.
Navigating the menu using so many buttons makes it feel more complicated to setup than those with less. The large record button at the rear lets you commence recordings and capture stills on the spur of the moment and with Wi-Fi switched on we found the battery life lasted for 2hrs 6mins when continuously recording 1080p footage.
It might come as no surprise to read that at the time of writing it’s the best selling camera in the world. Three viewing angles (wide, medium and narrow) are offered and the camera applies lens distortion correction (LDC) automatically. The AS30V is a very enjoyable camera to use, it delivers consistent results and we liked the slim line design. Back in the lab we photographed our resolution chart to uncover which resolved the best detail, and we also took build, handling and performance into consideration before awarding our WDC Gold Award to the best action camera in the sextet.
To suppress shake and vibrations, Sony implements SteadyShot technology, which works well, and much like the other six action cams in this test it accepts micro SD media and supports USB charging to allow you to re-charge the battery conveniently via a 12v USB socket. A majority of the cameras settings can be set via the app including the field of view for which there are three settings – Ultra Wide (170 degrees), Medium (127 degrees) and Narrow (90 degrees).
The app regrettably lacks adjustment of all the cameras advanced settings, however the menu interface on the camera itself is quick to navigate after spending time getting familiar with it. Holding the shutter button for 2secs activates the cameras Wi-fi and although the app is fairly advanced in that it allows you to control all of the settings, there was a serious lag between camera and smartphone.
Connection to the Garmin VIRB app via Wi-fi was fast and provided great control of camera settings. As action cam screens go it’s very impressive, providing rich vibrant colour palette with a fine level of detail.
Operationally, the camera isn’t the fastest or most straightforward to setup and we experienced delays connecting our phone to the camera via Wi-fi at times where others would connect instantly. The Liquid Image Ego is the smallest, lightest and most affordable action cam in this test. Although we managed 2hours 43mins of continuous recording at 1080p before the battery required a recharge, it’s not entirely without fault. Operating and controlling the camera via the app is easier, though it wasn’t the fastest to connect via Wi-fi. Out on the water though the operational experience didn’t leave a lasting impression and connection speed via Wi-fi was frustratingly slow. Before buying an action camera, check that the field of view of the lens is wide enough to fit what you need in the frame.
It fits snugly inside and has rubber seals that compress as it’s locked shut by the large clamp on the top. Submergible in water at depths of up to 3m without an additional housing, the design also allows it to tout a large 2.4in LCD colour display on the top. Weighing 136g with its supplied housing attached, it’s waterproof to a depth of 40m, features a simple design with just three buttons to control its functions and a small LCD panel at the front to guide you through its settings. Capable of shooting Full HD 1080p footage at 30fps, 960p (30,48,60fps) and 720p (30,60fps) is also available.
When considering an action cam with a housing, ensure all the buttons are accessible and easy to use. The GoPro Hero3+ and Sony AS30V pulled out the stops with the most reliable video and stills quality of the six. As with buying any camera, there are several things you’ll want to look out for before parting with your cash. With a 135-degree maximum field of view, the Ego’s video resolution at Full HD 1080p is limited to 30fps, but it does also support 60fps recording at lower 720p resolution.
Whereas some action cams are designed to be fully waterproof straight out of the box, others require a housing to ensure water ingress doesn’t damage the internals. The still image output produces a 4000×3000 pixel resolution, with control of white balance and contrast available via the app.
Due to their small size, many action cameras batteries don’t last long, especially if their Wi-fi functionality is being used to control the camera remotely from a smartphone or tablet. The time lapse function is great for capturing still images over a prolonged period and even after switching the camera off, Wi-fi can be left active, making it possible to preserve battery power and switch it back on again at anytime from your phone. A USB power bank charging unit is a useful accessory to own if you get caught out without access to charge via the mains.
We've rounded up a selection of the best camera deals on the market right now, covering everything from advanced DSLRs to low cost compact cameras. Regrettably, on the day of testing the camera refused to switch on or operate despite being fully charged.
With seven buttons in total on the body, it’s neither the fastest to setup or most intuitive to use. Being the largest of the six it’s able to accommodate a 2000mAh lithium-ion battery that allows you to shoot for long periods. The last thing you want is to trawl through complicated menus and have difficulty starting a video on the spur of the moment. We decided to pick out five of the most popular models currently on the market to see if they could topple GoPro at the top of the action camera tree. This allows users to frame scenes more easily or review what’s recorded without relying on the iON camera app.