Monday, January 9, 2012

GoBandit GPS HD Action Cam Review

At the end of 2011 the team at Active Stride were kind enough to lend me a piece of new technology to try out: the gobandit GPS HD Action cam. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that I can be a big kid at times and this was not going to be any different - a new 'toy' to play with! I walked out of the store, box in hand, with a grin on my face from ear to ear. This was going to be fun!

Billed as 'the coolest new tool for recording your adventures and sharing them with others', the new action cam from GoBandit not only records HD quality video but by all reports is the world's first helmet cam to include GPS technology. The idea is that the adrenaline junkies out there can have their top speeds, altitudes and other performance data recorded and displayed in the action video footage.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the size (or lack of size) of the camera - it's sleek design brings it in at a mere 145 grams and it measures only 105 x 62 x 34mm. I found it's compact design fit easily in my hand, with two mounting brackets included to make it easy to attach the action cam to your helmet, goggles, bike, surfboard or other sporting equipment. While the camera is compact, it also feels very durable and gives you the confidence that it can handle the rough-and-tumble world it is likely to encounter if you use it the way it is intended.

While I didn't have time to play around with the software, the GoBandit action cam comes with video editing that enables you to enhance your video with a variety of skins. The skins display information that was recorded such as location, altitude and speed, directly overlaid on your video. You can then upload your videos to any social networking site such as YouTube, Facebook, even the GoBandit website. No longer will your friends doubt your 100km/hr descent down the hill on the Noosa triathlon course!

In the time I had to play with the camera, I definitely did not use it to it's full potential. No motorcross riding, downhill skiing, skydiving, or surfing happened. From my experience using the action cam, I think that it has the potential to really excel in these areas. I did use it to record parts of a track session with my triathlon squad, and found it fun, easy to operate and unobtrusive. The record button requires a firm press on top of the action cam, so you know when it is on or not. I also like the wider angle lens (135 degrees) and the picture this produces - quite fitting for action shots and capturing the big picture. 

Overall, I enjoyed using the camera and would definitely recommend it to those who do chase the adrenalin in their sports - what a great way to capture the day and relive it later on. For those who are chasing a camera that doesn't need to record speed and all the extras of a GPS camera, I would say consider this camera. For me, I think I'd prefer a camera without a GPS but with an LCD screen so I can see what I've recorded and delete / retake on the spot if I need to. I'm yet to embark on my skydiving career so I feel like I'm letting the camera down by not maximizing its features!

What you get in the box:
  • GoBandit GPS HD Action Cam
  • Quick start guide
  • Product information guide
  • 2GB SD card
  • Lithium-ion Battery
  • USB cable
  • Flat-surface / helmet mount
  • Goggle mount
  • Cleaning cloth

    Some of the pros:
    • Good quality HD recording
    • Durable, rough-and-tumble body
    • Built in GPS offering time, speed, distance and altitude
    • Good software which enables you to add data to the recording, plus an interactive map
    • Water resistant: can be immersed in water to 1m for up to 30 minutes
    • Slim, sleek and lightweight
    • Rechargeable battery
    • Rotatable lens so you can always align the optics to get the perfect picture
    Some of the cons:
    • No LCD screen
    • I found the 2GB SD card filled up quickly
    • The sound quality was sometimes of a poor quality
     My attempt at using the camera... 

    The 'pros' using the camera...

    Click on the 'Active Stride' logo on the top right of this page for more information.

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