The IceFox 12MP 1080p Sports Action Camera was kindly provided to me by vivocom free of charge in exchange for a fair and unbiased review on Amazon.co.uk. No additional compensation was given in exchange for posting this article on my blog.
The IceFox 12MP 1080p Sports Action Camera is available in the UK from vivocom Fulfilled by Amazon.co.uk at a cost of £49.99 with free P&P. (Prices correct at time of posting).
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PACKAGING & CONTENTS.
The IceFox 12MP 1080p Sports Action Camera is supplied in retail style cardboard packaging bearing product images and specifications. Inside you will find a clear plastic tray insert containing the camera and a large assortment of accessories as well as a manual.
Each of the following are found inside the package and are, unless otherwise stated provided individually within resealable plastic bags. (The descriptions are as noted within the instruction manual).
Waterproof case: This comes supplied with the camera installed and I will cover this more in depth later on.
Bicycle stand (bike handlebar mount): This is a black plastic mount that has a gap in the centre, two quick release bolts on the edges and a universal female GoPro style mount located on the top edge orientated left to right.
The gap in the centre of the mount where you attach the mount to handlebars, to attach the mount simply loosen one of the bolts and remove the other. Then place the mount on the handlebars attaching the removed bolt and tightening both evenly until the mount is secured on your handlebars.
The gap for the handlebars can be set between 16mm and 22mm, and the jaws that clamp onto your handlebars are padded with a very loose fitting piece of silicone padding (this silicone padding isn’t actually attached to the mount so take not to lose it when removing the mount from your bike). For those that find the 22mm maximum adjustment is insufficient longer bolts are easily sourced on the web.
When the adaptor is mounted to your handlebars you will note that the GoPro mount on the top of the adaptor faces sideways and not forwards. Rather than directly mounting your camera to the bike adapter you will need to first attach switch support 2 or 3 which will then change the mount orientation to facing forwards.
It should be noted that this mount is also suitable for pretty much anything that is round measuring between 16mm and 22mm in diameter such as walking sticks, ski poles, wheelchairs, mobility scooters and of course other frame parts on your bike (to have the camera rear facing for example).
Base 1: This comes already attached to the waterproof case and it is a flush fitting clip attachment with a female universal GoPro mount located towards the front of the clip. Both Base 1 & 2 are for use in conjunction with the “helmet base” mounts as well as numerous other compatible accessories (that are not included).
Base 2: This is similar to base 1 but the female GoPro fitting is on the rear of the clip rather than at the front and the mount is also slightly raised, allowing for a greater degree of articulation of the camera (on the vertical plane).
Curiously, in the manual both Base 1 and Base 2 are both illustrated as having quick release bolts, in truth, however only Base 1 comes supplied with such a bolt and there is no second bolt included in the packet with Base 2.
Clip: This description is actually a little misleading, this accessory includes two parts. The first us a small black plastic retainer can hold the bare camera (without the waterproof case). On the top and bottom of this there are 1/4″ brass mounting threads and on the rear is a mount of the second part of the “clip” which is actually… a spring clip.
The clip without the …er clip attached on the rear can be used in conjunction with other accessories (that are not included) such as a tripod or car mount allowing the camera to be used as a dash cam. When the clip attached to the… clip it allows you to mount the camera on a belt, open edge pocket or indeed anything else up to 9mm thick.
Fixed base & Adapter: The Fixed base and Adapter are listed within the manual as separate components, but come attached together within the same bag. (Care should be taken when opening this bag as there is actually a 3rd very small metal component as well that is loose and thus far I have managed to lose no less than three times).
The underside of the Fixed base is round and flat with a 1/4″ brass thread on the underside and on the top there is a female universal GoPro mount (without a quick release bolt). This can be used as a basic tripod mount or with the aid of some of the 3M tape as a very basic dash mount.
The Adaptor also has a round, flat base, but this time with a protruding 1/4″ thread and at the top there is a male universal GoPro mount. Also attached to the thread on the underside is a plastic locking dial that is used to provide a secure, flush fit to whatever the adaptor is attached to (screw the adaptor on clockwise and then turn the locking dial anticlockwise to tighten both components together).
The manual shows that the 3rd part of this set (the loose small piece of metal) as a cap for the thread on the adaptor. This is somewhat misleading as it is in fact an end cap / nut for the quick release bolts.
The Fixed base and Adaptor can be used in conjunction with each other to provide an adaptor that orientates the camera in any direction you wish. Simply screw the Adaptor on to the Fixed base until the thread is fully secure, then loosen the Adaptor so that the camera is facing the desired direction, then hold the adaptor in place and turn the locking dial anticlockwise to secure the Fixed base and Adaptor together whilst retaining the desired angle.
Switch support 1: This is a short straight (does not change the orientation of the camera when used) male to female universal go pro adapter with a quick release bolt on the female mount. There’s no point in measuring this as its the shortest possible adaptor that can be made going from one adaptor to the other with no extension.
This can be used to make the camera stand slightly proud and offer an improved degree of articulation and it can be used with other components to make a right angle mount as well.
Switch support 2: This is the same as “Switch support 1” except that the male and female connection face opposite directions (a right angle adapter). Again, this has no additional length and is just an adaptor without extension, useful for altering the facing of the camera.
Switch support 3: This is the same as “Switch support 2” except that it is longer offering a slight extension as well measuring 50mm long in comparison to the 35mm overall length of support 2.
Helmet base: There are two helmet mounts provided that are very near identical with the sole exception that one has a 1/4″ brass tripod mount in the centre and the other does not. Both have strap mounting points on the edges, use clip attachments such as Base 1 or Base 2 to attach the camera and both have pre attached 3M double sided sticky pads on the underside.
To attach these mounts to your helmet ensure to use both the provided straps and the sticky pads as well and use of the steel wire is also highly advised. Along with the strap these mounts can also be used for any and all manor of other mounting solutions such as on the bicep, wrist or indeed anything else of a suitable size.
Bandage: The accessories listed within the manual as the “Bandage” are in fact 4 canvas straps. The first two straps are 21.4cm long, 1.15cm wide lengths of canvas with a 15.5cm long patch of “hook” Velcro and on the other side at the opposite end is a 5.2cm long patch of “loop” Velcro.
The other two straps measure 36cm long and 2.5cm wide and are made from plain nylon canvas. On one end of each of these straps is an overlock buckle and the other is plain and without feature. These straps can be used individually or secured together to for a greater length.
The straps can be used in conjunction with the helmet base mounts to secure the camera to pretty much anything that you can find that will fit. (Although such implied uses are found mounting the camera on your arm or wrist).
Ribbon: These are actually four 19.8cm long 3mm wide, non reusable nylon cable ties.
3M Adhesive tape: There are two spare double sided 3M sticky pads that are exact replacements for those found on the helmet base mounts.
Wire rope: This is a 16cm long, 1mm diameter high tensile steel wire with a 15mm x 4.5mm long loop on each end. This wire can link your camera to its mount providing an additional layer of security.
Data wire: This is a USB A to 5 pin micro B cable, this is used to change the camera battery (while installed in the camera) and can also be used to transfer data from an installed MicroSD card to a PC and it also enables the use of the camera as a webcam as well.
Charger: The manual shows the package to contain an EU 2 pin USB mains adaptor, which it does indeed contain. The box also includes a very basic UK 3 pin USB mains adaptor as well that has clearly been added to the package. Not only is the UK adapter not shown in the manual, but unlike the remaining package contents it is not sealed in a plastic bag and it was found under the internal plastic tray.
The UK charger is an AFESTY ASPN model A1299 5V 1A 5W adaptor (believed to b a clone of an Apple charger) with measurements of 47.5mm wide, 43.5mm high and protruding from the socket by 12mm and weighing 30g.
The EU charger is a model: 008-A<IC> charger 5v 1A and it is incredibly light (almost as though nothing were in it at all) weighing just 28g and measuring 59mm high, 24.5mm wide and protruding form the socket by 52.5mm.
I would like to state for the record that I have neither used nor kept either of these chargers.
Manual: The manual is a 44 page 10cm x 9cm colour illustrated manual in English, German, Russian and Chinese, but sadly in a font size of about 6. While this manual gives a few indications are to the uses for the included accessories it sadly only covers a few. Rather than show them all it has opted to illustrate the uses of optional extras instead which is disappointing.
As for the actual instructions, they are basic very little useful information is provided for those not familiar with camera settings such as ISO, Exposure and HDR. Those with even basic knowledge of digital cameras or dash cam menu settings, however should find they are well versed enough to get by.
Wiper: This is a fairly run of the mill 13.5cm x 13.5cm glasses cleaning cloth with a serrated edge. I’m not sure I would want to clean a camera lens with such a cloth but it should keep the waterproof case clear of smudges and streaks.
Also included in the package, but not noted within the manual (that appears to be part of the intended package unlike the UK charger) is a complete replacement rear cover for the waterproof case. I will confess I had hoped for at least one replacement seal for the case as from personal experience I am fully aware that such seals do not last forever. An entire replacement front cover however is a pleasant surprise.
Overall the quality of the bundled accessories is similar in quality to the 10, 20, 50 in 1 GoPro accessory kits sold by any number of sellers on the web. Some of the quick release bolts don’t quite tighten up as well as they should and some of the male / female universal GoPro mounting sections are a little oversized or incorrectly spaced. They all work, but some are stiffer or looser than others.
The manual notes two sets of dimensions 59x27x41 and 13x29x28, one would expect one is for the camera and the other for the waterproof case, the fact is neither set of measurements relate to anything. Personal measurements are as follows.
The camera measures 59mm wide, 41.5mm high and the body measures 25mm deep or 25.5mm if you include the power button and including the lens the total measurement is 30mm. The camera on its own weighs 58g including the battery, but not a MicroSD card (not that one would add much).
The camera inside the waterproof case measures at its greatest points 78mm wide, 77mm high and 44.5mm deep. The camera, case and battery (again, no MicroSD card) weighs 134g. (These measurements do not include any mounting accessories, just the bare case).
BATTERY / CHARGERS & CHARGING.
The battery within the camera is a 3.7v Li-ion 900mAh 3.3Wh battery bearing no make or model number. The dimensions of the battery are 28.89mm wide, 32.94mm long and 10.95mm deep. Doing a little research they appear to be the same batteries used in the SJ4000/SJ5000 sports cameras and are readily available for around £5 to £6 each.
To test how much footage the camera can record in one session the battery was fully charged, a MicroSD card was installed and then the camera was set to record and left untouched. Eventually the camera ran out of juice and switched itself off. During this time the camera hard recorded 1 hour, 48 minutes and 35 seconds of video using the following settings…
Resolution: 1080FHD 1920×1080, HDR: Off, Audio: On, Date stamp: On, Quality: Normal, Sharpness: Normal, White Balance: Auto, ISO: Auto, Exposure: 0/0, Face detection: Off, Anti shaking: Off, Car mode: On, OSD mode: On. (These are basically the factory default settings).
Curiously, even though the camera has stopped recording and had shut down indicating a flat battery, I was able to switch the camera back on again and start recording again for about 2 minutes before the camera again shut down. It was then powered back up again and it even managed to record yet another 2 minutes of footage.
Even now as I try to kill the battery to run some timed charge and capacity tests I am struggling to kill the battery. I have so far managed to switch the camera back on at least another 30 times with the camera booting past the splash screen and then shutting down after about 2 seconds.
I find this a little strange as when the camera initially starts to record the 1.5″ display is active and by default it remains active for 60 seconds (this can be changed) before powering the display down. So during this first recording session when the battery at first appeared to die it was using far less power than when it was switched back on and powered the LCD back up…. so why did it switch off when it still had that much juice left?
The fact I was able to switch the camera back on twice and record a further 4 minutes of footage and power the LCD back up again (not to mention the countless subsequent boot ups as well) would imply that the camera during the first recording session could have managed easily another 5 to 10 minutes of recording with the LCD display unpowered.
The following charge testing was conducted using a laptop USB 2.0 port with readings taken from a Drok USB multimeter.
Initial readings were 4.94v, 1.724w, 0.37A
9 minutes = 54mAh charged.
29 minutes = 178mAh charged.
46 minutes = 288mAh charged.
54 minutes = 336mAh charged.
1 hour and 3 minutes = 393mAh charged.
1 hour and 10 minutes = 435mAh charged.
1 hour and 26 minutes = 533mAh charged.
1 hour and 51 minutes = 690mAh charged.
2 hour and 9 minutes = 757mAh charged.
2 hour and 38 minutes = 793mAh charged.
Now there are some points to be made. Firstly the battery wasn’t truly dead before the charge test was started. Before doing a charge test the camera was fully charged and set to record and then left alone until the battery died (or at least I thought it had).
As previously noted I had tried to drain the battery before starting the test, however after the 50th odd time switching the camera on I simply gave up trying to fully drain the battery, it just didn’t want to seem to give up. As you will see from the test I only managed to charge the battery by 793mAh, 103mAh less than the claimed size of the battery. Despite this it still managed to record more footage than claimed and it also took 22 minutes less than stated to fully charge.
One final note to make in this section is that whenever the camera is attached to a power source (put on charge) regardless of the source (PC USB, power bank, main charger etc) the camera always switches itself on as soon as it starts to receive a charge. Which is very annoying.
LCD Display: 1.5″ LTPS (Low Temperature PolySilicone LCD)
Lens: 170 degree A+ HD wide-angle lens. (Additional information unavailable)
Language Options: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Japanese & Russian.
Video Resolution: 1080p (1920×1080) @ 30FPS, 720p (1280×720) @ 60FPS, VGA (848×480) @ 60FPS & QVGA (640×480) @60FPS.
Video Format: Mov.
Compression Format: H.264.
Photo Resolution: 12M, 8M or 5M. (The manual actually claims 12M, 80M and 5M I am assuming the 80 is an error).
Storage: MicroSD up to 32GB. (I have thus far only had the opportunity to test the camera using SanDisk Ultra 16GB cards and such cards are fine for 1080p recording).
Shooting Mode: Single shot, Self-timer (2 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds) or continuous shooting.
Frequency: 50Hz / 60Hz.
Power Source: USB 2.0, 5v 1A.
Battery Capacity: 900mAh 3.3Wh 3.7v user replaceable Li-ion battery.
Power Dissipation: 400mA @4. 2V.
Recording time @ 1080p: About 70 minutes. (This is as per the manual, personal testing indicated that it is actually about 90 to 100 minutes, this testing, however was conducted in a low noise area which may have an effect on the results).
Charging Time: About 3 hours. (Personal testing indicates it takes about 2 hours 40 minutes on a USB 2.0 laptop port).
Water Resistance: Water-resistant case up to 30M. (The manual notes no actual IP rating and there are factors that will have an effect on the cases, capabilities most importantly the temperature but also salt or chlorine content in the water. As a matter of routine, I would always test the case first before intentionally using the camera under water and I will cover this shortly).
CASE & WATERPROOF TESTING.
The first thing I did (and the first thing you should do before using the camera underwater and each subsequent time before you intend to use it under water) was to test the seal. To do this I removed the camera from the case stuffed it with tissues and weighed into down in a bucket for about 15 minutes.
The seal on the case won’t last forever and it will eventually need to be replaced, especially if used regularly in strong direct sunlight. So by testing it before each time you plan to use it underwater you will improve the chances of finding fault before it has a chance to damage your camera. (This sort of stuff should be in the manual, but sadly it isn’t).
I am glad to say with this somewhat limited test (the only thing I can do short of a 60 mile round trip to the sea as I suspect trying to sneak the camera along to my local pool would result in porridge for breakfast) all was good and the paper towels were dry upon being removed.
The locking mechanism on the case for those that are unfamiliar will prove frustrating at first and I will confess to taking a moment myself before realising how it functions. Look at the top of the case and there is a small switch that has to be pulled with your fingernail to the right. While holding this to the right, you then have to lift the front edge of the flap up. This can be quite tricky to do standing up and is much easier sat down where you can push the case into your lap.
The buttons on the case are metal sprung loaded plungers that activate the buttons on the camera inside when then are pushed. Initially while I found the buttons that operated the navigation and ok buttons worked fine, but the power button occasionally did not detect being pressed. This has since been narrowed down to the actual button rather than the case.
Sadly, I am unable to confirm whether the case that is supplied with this camera would fit a GoPro or visa versa, I have however included, dimensions that I hope will allow you to figure this one out for yourself. Overall the quality of the case is good, although you will want to keep that glasses cleaning cloth handy.
The front of the camera is plastic, sadly, despite sporting a satin aluminium look it is in fact made from white plastic with a vinyl transfer stuck to it (including the power button). While this “sticker” appears well applied around the outside edges of the camera the edges of the power button, however even after just a few days of use is starting to lift on the edge. I daresay that the fancy metallic finish on the front of the camera isn’t going to last forever.
The edges of the camera, however are made from (or covered with) a very firm rubberized silicone sporting a check / diamond pattern that should prove very durable and even offer some protection to the camera as well. As for the rear the camera well that is entirely covered by a thin piece of clear plastic.
On the front to the right, you will find a 15mm diameter wide angle lens and to the right a 10mm diameter power / mode button (information on the controls follows shortly). On the top to the right is the 10mm diameter OK button with a small amber recording indicator light just to the left.
On the left side of the camera you will find an exposed MicroSD card slot, USB Micro B sync & charge port a mini HDMI out port and the microphone (which is pretty impressive). On the right side you will find a small narrow up and down arrow button and an equally small speaker (which is very quiet).
On the underside there is a small switch (that you might easily miss) that releases the battery compartment cover. When this switch is held to the left, the left edge of the battery compartment can be pried away from the camera, but you will need finger nails of some length to do so.
On the back of the camera you will find the 1.5″ colour LCD screen located centrally towards the top edge. This has a black glossy surround that covers the remainder of the rear of the camera and as previously noted, this has a clear plastic cover finishing it off along with another two indicator LEDs in the bottom left corner.
Power button: Hold this for about 2 seconds to turn the camera on or off. When the camera is on tapping this button (careful not to hold it down) cycles through the four available modes.
When first switched on the camera is by default in video recording mode. Tapping the power button once takes you to the picture (photograph) taking mode, a second tap takes you to the image / video browser one more tap takes you to the settings menu and a final tap returns you to video camera mode.
It should be noted that when tapping the power button to change modes, there is an instant audio beep to confirm the mode change, but the actual mode change takes a second or two. Unfortunately, this button is not always responsive and it clearly needs pressing a certain way (firmly in the centre) for a press to be recognised. My only advice is, if there no beep rather than waiting to see what happens just press the button again.
OK button: In video recorder mode, tapping the OK button starts recording video and tapping it once more stops recording. In picture taking mode, pressing the OK button takes a picture. In the image, video browser mode, pressing the OK button will play any selected pre recorded file, when viewing pictures however it does nothing. In the setting menu the OK button is used to select and confirm.
Up and Down buttons: When in video or picture taking modes these buttons zoom in and out (the camera has 4x digital zoom and no optical zoom). It should be noted that these buttons are rather clicky and when the buttons are used while recording video the camera acts like a drum amplifying the noise made quite significantly. When in the settings menu they are used for navigation.
Resolution: 1080FHD 1920×1080 30fps (default), 720P 12080×720 60fps, 720P 12080×720 30fps, WVGA 848×480 60fps, VGA 640×480 60fps.
If you just want the highest quality video and are not using the camera for fast paced action then use 1080p 30fps. If you are however using the camera for something sporty I would opt for using the 720p 60fps setting as this will reduce any motion blur produced from filming such activities.
Cyclic Record: Off, 3 minutes (default), 5 minutes, 10 minutes.
This is similar to the recycle file option on dash cams. What it does is record constantly, but in 3 minute segments (with no gap between each file) and once the memory card is filled up it starts to overwrite the first file, then the next and then the next etc. This reduces the need for memory card maintenance, especially useful for those using the camera as a dash or bike cam for the their daily commute. Just be aware that a 16GB card will only hold about 2 hours of footage.
HDR (High Dynamic Range): On / Off (default).
This is designed to produce clearer images / video in circumstances where lighting can vary excessively. In other circumstances, it might be worth experimenting with this setting, although if you are ever unsure it is just best to leave it enabled.
Motion Detection: On / Off (default).
Again, another dash cam like option that sets the camera to only to record in the event of motion being detected. Unfortunately the manual makes no light of this option and I have little means of doing any form of accurate testing as to its sensitivity.
Audio: On (default) / Off.
Some might think this disables the audio notifications made by the camera in truth, it enables or disables the on board microphone. If it’s switched off your videos will have no sound.
Date Stamp: On (default) / Off.
This puts a small date and time stamp at the bottom of your video output files.
Capture Mode: Single (default) / 5 seconds / 10 Seconds / 20 Seconds.
This controls what happens when you push the OK button in picture taking mode. When set to single it will take a picture when the button is pressed. If you select any of the other options this will set a delay between pressing the button and the picture being taken.
Image Size: 12MP 4032×3024 (default) / 10MP 3648×2736 / 8MP 3264×2448 / 5MP 2592×1944 / 3MP 2048×1536 / 2MHD 1920×1080 / VGA 640×480 / 1.3MP 1280×960.
This sets the quality of pictures taken.
Sequence: Off (default) / 3 Sequences / 5 Sequences / 10 Sequences
This sets how many pictures are taken when the OK button is pressed in picture taking mode. (By sequences they mean the number of images taken).
Quality: Fine / Normal (default) / Economy.
Setting the quality to fine should improve the smoothness of the image, but will also make the image file larger. Sometimes when using normal there may be some minor evidence of artefacts in the image. (From testing I can confirm that fine most defiantly looks better than normal, if you use the digital zoom feature both will look as bad as each other).
Sharpness: Strong / Normal (Default) / Soft.
Unless you are trying to achieve a look with your video that requires a sharper or softer image this is best left to normal.
White Balance: Auto (default) / Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten / Fluorescent.
Auto does an admirable job (as long as you don’t go pointing the camera at any bright lights such as the sun) for those using the camera as a workhorse in a car or on a bike. If however you are trying to produce a high quality video it is worth making the effort to use the correct setting for your given situation.
Colour: Colour (default) / B&W / Sepia.
This allows you to make video either in colour, black & white or with a vintage red & brown look.
ISO: Auto (default) / 100 / 200 / 400.
For the majority this is best left well alone unless you know what you are doing. This controls the amount of light that is let into the camera lens. The higher the number the more light that is let into the lens, making dark scenes appear brighter or visa versa.
Exposure: +2.0, +5/3, +4/3, +1.0, +2/3, +1/3, +0/0 (default), -1/3, -2/3, -1.0 / -4/3, -5/3, -2.0.
This is exposure compensation. If the images you are taking are too dark gradually increase the exposure till you find the perfect balance and if they are overexposed (too bright) gradually reduce it.
Face Detection: Off (default) / Face Detection / Smile detection.
This is an aid to keeping things (well people) in focus. When this is disabled the camera simply focuses in on the centre of the image. With face detection enabled it will maintain focus on the faces within the image (if there are multiple at various distances it will likely focus on the largest (closest) or largest group of.
The smile detection is most useful for taking pictures when you are in a crowded area and trying to focus on the one saying “cheese”. If you are not actively filming or photographing people ensure this is turned off.
Anti Shaking: On / Off (default).
Simple, if the camera is mounted onto something that isn’t moving such as a tripod then turn this off. When the camera is in use and it isn’t mounted on a tripod, then turn it on (no a hand, arm, head, helmet or bike is not a tripod).
Quick Review: Off (default) / 2 Seconds / 5 Seconds.
Um have to confess at this time this one has me at a loss.
Date Stamp (yes, there is a second option also called Date Stamp and it isn’t the last one either): Off / Date / Date & Time (default).
This selects what is displayed when the date stamp is enabled on the previous date stamp setting.
Language: English (default) / French / Spanish / Portuguese / German / Italian / Chinese Traditional / Chinese Simplified / Russian / Polish … and a couple of others that might be Japanese and Korean but I am unsure.
Date & Time (the 3rd one): This one is for setting the time and date.
Licence No Set: ?
Auto Power Off: Off (default) / 3 Minutes / 5 Minutes / 10 Minutes.
This is a standby by shutdown timer. If set to 3 minutes, the camera will turn itself off after 3 minutes if there has been no button presses or pictures taken. It will not, however shutdown if the camera is currently recording, it will only turn off if nothing happens for 3 consecutive minutes.
Beep Sound: Off / On (default).
This enables or disables audio feedback from the camera when buttons are pressed. (Given that the power button doesn’t; always respond when trying to change modes unless you have reason to I would leave this enabled).
Screensavers: 1 Minute (default)/ 3 Minutes / 5 Minutes / Off.
This sets how long the LCD display remains active for, this is similar to the auto power of setting but it only affects the display. When the display powers down to bring it back to life simply tap the OK button.
Frequency: 50Hz / 60Hz (default).
Rotate: Off (default) / On.
This setting flips the screen (and lens) upside-down. Sometime the only way to suitably mount the camera (due to the universal mount being at the bottom of the waterproof case) is to do so upside-down. When you have to do this you can flip the camera orientation in the settings so that it records the correct way and it also flips the screen display for you as well. A bit of a shame this setting isn’t higher up on the list as it is buried rather deep.
Car Mode: Off / On (default).
I have no idea what changes enabling or disabling this setting does. But I hope to find out soon and I will report back when I do.
OSD mode: On (default / Off.
This enables or disables the on screen display on both the video and picture taking modes. (It removes all icons from the LCD display so all you see is what the lens sees).
TV Mode: Off (default) / On.
Sadly, I do not own a mini HDMI cable to be able to test this, however I suspect when you connect the camera directly to a TV this will need to be enabled.
Delete: Delete current file / Delete all.
Format: Wipes the installed MicroSD card, requiring double confirmation.
Default Setting: (Restores all settings to factory default).
Version: Displays software version. My camera was received 31st May 2016 and came with version N20150723V01, so the software version is nearly a year old and I guess from the V01 its the first incarnation so possibly subject to change with newer units.
Some comments I would like to add however are
1. The camera can be used to take stills or video while it is in charge. You can even couple it to a power bank and the camera will happily keep recording until a 32GB MicroSD card is filled. (The battery does get quite warm after 3 hours of constant use, however if you do this).
2. When using the camera to take stills be aware it doesn’t have a flash so you will either need some steady hands, a tripod or a table / wall to place the camera on to take pictures unless you are outdoors and it is a bright clear day.
3. Relating to point 2, again, it has no flash pictures indoors aren’t one of the cameras strong points.
4. FHD (1080P) recordings are only 30fps, so for best results when using the camera for action footage select 720P 60fps.
5. Images taken at 12MP setting take up between 1MB and 1.4MB. The size of video files @ 1080P while recording audio can rather vary, but a rough guide is about 73.5MB per minute.
6. Data transfer from the camera to a PC is painfully slow using a SanDisk Ultra card (about 9MB/s). Use an SD or USB adaptor its 2.5x to 3x faster.
7. When the camera isn’t in its waterproof case it is very easy to accidentally start / stop recording or accidentally take a picture as the OK button is a little sensitive and in a ripe position for accidentally pressing when handling the camera.
8. Again the camera only has digital zoom and its use is best avoided at any and all costs.
9. The microphone on the camera is pretty impressive with a notable lack of hiss during playback.
10. Perhaps the most important point of them all video quality. In low light the camera doesn’t perform that well (at sun down) and on a bright clear bright day bringing the lens anywhere near the sun will ruin your footage (the lens clearly doesn’t have a UV coating) but…
When the sun is up and the camera is pointing away from the sun for £50 considering all that comes with the camera I will happily confess to being impressed with the video quality. You will need to ask yourself as to your main intended purpose before committing to purchase however… Especially if you want something to use in an indoor environment that has poor lighting and despite being waterproof its not going to be much cop in winter with short dim days.
Light testing videos…
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