It is easy to estimate the quality of a product by its selling price. When a product is expensive, consumers naturally expect it to be of good quality. Conversely, if a product is low, people may associate it to low quality. When my favourite China online retail store, GearBest, sent me an action camera inspired by GoPro for review, I was amazed at the selling price of below US$40. I was kind of setting my expectations on this product.
V3 4K WiFi Sport Camera 16MP
On paper, the product appears to be impressive. Check out the official specs:
- Model: V3
- Type: Sports Camera
- Type of Camera: 4K
- Chipset: Allwinner V3
- Sensor: CMOS
- Maximum External Memory: 64GB microSD
- Battery Type: Removable
- Battery Capacity: 900mAh
- Charger: AC adapter,USB cable
- Working Time: 70 – 90 minutes at 1080p
- Wide Angle: 170 degree wide angle
- Camera Pixel : 16MP / 12MP / 8MP / 5MP / 2MP
- Optical Zoom : No
- Video Resolution: 720P (120fps), 720P (30fps), 720P (60fps), 1080P(30fps), 1080P(60fps), 2.7K (30fps), 4K (30fps)
- Audio System: Built-in microphone/speaker (AAC)
- Exposure Compensation: +1,+2,+3,-1,-2,-3,0
- White Balance Mode: Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Sunny
- Wi-Fi: Yes
- Loop-cycle Recording : Yes
- Loop-cycle Recording Time: 2min, 3min, 5min
- Motion Detection: Yes
- HDMI Output: Yes
- Delay Shutdown : Yes
- Time Stamp: Yes
- Language: Deutsch, Dutch, English, French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polski, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai
- Package Contents: 1 x V3 Sport Camera, 1 x Battery, 1 x Power Adapter, 1 x Waterproof Housing, 1 x Holder, 1 x Bicycle Bracket, 1 x Quick Release Mount Screw, 3 x Connector + Screw, 1 x Back Cover, 1 x Tripod Mount Adapter + 1/4 inch Screw Adapter, 1 x J-shaped Mount, 2 x Base Mount, 2 x Bandage, 2 x Hook and Loop Fastener, 1 x USB Cable, 2 x Adhesive, 2 x Plastic Tie, 1 x Metal Tie, 1 x Cleaning Cloth, 1 x English User Manual
In a nutshell, this action camera can shoot in 4K video resolution, captures 16MP stills, built-in Wi-Fi and remote control via app, 170-degree shooting angle, works like a in-car dashboard camera with loop recording and motion detection, supports HDMI-output, removable battery with up to 90 minutes recording time.
Here are the good things about the XDV Sport Camera:
Image Tone Accuracy
The video and still images appear to capture rather vibrant colour tones, and appears somewhat over-sharpened. On small screens, they look usable.
Loads of Features
There are sufficient amount of features to be creative in shooting.
- 4K video
- 16MP still photo
- Slow-motion video
- Time-lapse video
- Loop Recording
- Motion detection
- Remote wireless control via smartphone app
Price and Bundle
It costs less than US$40, which is about the price you pay for a posh dinner. And it comes with dozens of accessories which on its own probably costs more than the camera itself.
Here comes the not-so-good list:
Poor Image Details
Still images look fine in small screens, the colour tones looked vibrant, but when zoomed in, images are blotchy and lack details.
Similarly for video, 4K resolution does not translate to 4K details. Footage appears sharpened to give the impression of details.
No Image Stabilizer
I now appreciate the value of image stabilizer, even if it is digital. The XDV V3 does not offer any, and the result is that any footages that you film handheld will be subject to hand-shake when viewing it in a large screen. The shake did not look that bad on smaller screens.
Poor Microphone Quality
The microphone picks up low frequencies strongly and weak at high frequencies. The result is that I hear a lot of low humming noises while human voices are muffled. When recording a dance practice session, the audio is distorted because of the boomy bass coming from the studio speakers, yet the actual volume is not even deafening. In fact, I was concerned if the mic could pick up the music when I was recording the session.
Poor Speaker Quality
The small speaker on the camera is inaudible, I had to place the speaker against my ears to hear any sound.
Verdict: So Bad, Yet So Good
The XDV V3 may not appear to be technically good, but think about the price you are paying and the amount of accessories you are getting. I would certainly buy it but not to record important archival moments, like weddings or once-in-a-lifetime skydiving. For many, the price would break any entry barrier to allow them to try out action photography and not break the bank.
I can think of situations where you want to record something but not wanting to spend an awful lot of money because of the risks of damage or loss. I think other than still photography and handheld videography, all other functions are usable. For those situations, you might be happy with the V3 4K WiFi Sport Camera 16MP.
Click here to purchase from GearBest at the lowest deal of US$36.99: http://www.gearbest.com/action-cameras/pp_425037.html