GoPro has just announced their new action camera, the GoPro Hero5 Black. Although not totally revolutionary, there are a lot of very nice improvements, such as a waterproof construction, a touch display, voice control and GPS. The GoPro HERO5 Black Being the original action cam brand, GoPro has managed to improve this new model in terms of usability and ruggedness. It features a new waterproof construction (up to 33′ or 10m) which makes the optional housing of previous models obsolete. You will need some sort of cage in order to mount the camera, though. GoPro Hero5 Black without the need of a waterproof housing! The sensor seems to be the same as in the previous model, the Hero4 Black. So all in all, it’s more of an evolution than a revolution we’re witnessing here. It has not one but three microphones built-in in order to be more efficient at reducing wind noise, as it automatically selects the best audio stream by switching between the three microphones. A big step up in terms of usability is the new voice control capability of the GoPro Hero5 Black camera. It enables the user to remotely control the camera through a wide range of voice commands such as ‘GoPro, record!’ or ‘GoPro, switch on!’. You’ll need a special remote control for that, though, which is then connected to the camera wirelessly. If you’re not into voice control, maybe you’ll like the new one-button control system, which seems to makes controlling the camera super easy, without getting confused about which button does what. Even though the older models just had two buttons, I was getting confused all the time… Another nice feature is the newly-introduced image stabilization, although it’s not optical but software driven. Alongside the launch of the GoPro Hero5 Black, there is a whole new software ecosystem of GoPro services and cloud-enabled storage. The goal is to make it very easy for users to capture, edit and upload their footage right off their phone while being in the field. The GoPro Hero5 Black will be available on October 2nd and it will be $399.99 and the also new GoPro Hero5 Session is set to $299.99.Read more
There is no such thing as an action camera in the Japanese company’s lineup of cameras. Until now. Today, Olympus introduced their latest piece of gear, the Stylus TG-Tracker action cam. Yet another action cam! It seems that we are witnessing another competitor emerging in the territory of the original inventor of the action cam, GoPro. The freshly announced Stylus TG-Tracker comes with a set of unique features and a form factor of its own, so it’s far from being another copycat GoPro clone. That said, we will have to wait to find out whether it can compete with the current “go-to” action cameras. Specs of the Stylus TG-Tracker One of the most exciting features is the outdoor ruggedness of this camera, not for nothing a member of the TOUGH line of cameras built by Olympus. Reading the specs you want to get dirty with this camera: Waterproof up to 30m (98.4′) Dustproof Shockproof up to 2.1m (7′) Freezeproof up to -10°C (14°F) Crushproof up to 100 kg (200 lb) Yes, this is tough, indeed! More rugged than the recently announced LG action camera, even. The TG-Tracker comes with a 1.58mm f/2.0 wide-angle lens with a 204° field of view. Converted to a 35mm sensor that would be a focal length of 13.9mm. The used TruePic TM VII processor wasn’t newly developed but borrowed from the OM-D line of cameras and upgraded with UHD 4K video capabilities. Available recording formats are 3840 x 2160p @ 30 fps, 1920 x 1080p @ 60/30 fps and 1280 x 720p @ 240/120/60/30 fps. The camera records to microSD cards in h.264 while an electronic 5-axis stabilisation helps improving shaky footage. Additionally, the camera can caputre 8MP stills, that’s 3840 x 2160 (16:9) pixels. A very nice feature is the tilt-out 1.5″ LCD screen. Every time I have to use a GoPro (or similar) camera, I’m constantly cursing the fiddling with wi-fi networks, mobile phone screens, and laggy connections. Especially when there are multiple cameras involved. An onboard screen sure makes the device somewhat bigger, but framing gets a whole lot easier. You have to decide if it’s worth it. You can control the Stylus TG-Tracker camera, either way, using the onboard LCD screen and buttons or via a wi-fi connection with the Olympus Image Share (OI.Share) app. Above the lens itself, there is a build in LED headlight. It can be used to illuminate dim surroundings such as underwater scenes. There’s even a dedicated underwater white balance mode for that. A camera and an outdoor activity tracker This camera isn’t just a camera as one of its main features is the built-in field sensor system. This means the Stylus TG-Tracker is capable of acting as an outdoor activity tracker with various data such as altitude/depth, GPS position, e-compass, air pressure, temperature and so on. Either the LCD Screen or the OI.Track app can be used to monitor the data generated by the field sensors of the camera. This way, you can track your next hike, for example. Olympus TG-Tracker with the included steady grip attached Pricing and availability The Olympus TG-Tracker camera comes in two finishes, black and some sort of venomous green. It will retail for $349 and will be available in late June to mid-July. For more information, check out the UK microsite. Press release: olympus-global.comRead more
Exciting times. Just a week ago, I discussed GoPro’s state of play and the available alternatives to their line-up of action cameras. So, here comes another competitor: LG just announced a new kind of action cam which will be capable of streaming your footage directly to YouTube. The action cam, revamped Imagine you are the super extreme outdoor sports type of guy or gal, and your YouTube channel is the hottest one around. Wouldn’t it be nice to stream and upload your video while you’re racing downhill on your motocross? If your answer is ‘yes’, this new action cam could be something for you. It’s capable of streaming HD footage (720p 30fps) over LTE straight to YouTube or other streaming sites. The full list of specifications available as of today reads like this: Camera: 1/2.3-inch 12.3MP / 1.55 x 1.55㎛pixels Connectivity: LTE / 3G / Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n / USB Type-C 2.0 / Bluetooth 4.1 Video Recording: UHD 30fps / FHD 60fps / HD 120fps Video Live Streaming: HD 30fps Memory: 2GB RAM / 4GB ROM (OS only) / microSD (up to 2TB) Size: 35 x 35 x 77.9mm Weight: 95g Battery: 1,400mAh Others: IP67 / GPS / Accelerometer / Gyroscope Color: Light Gray Maybe the streaming capabilities is something you’ll never need. For me it’s kind of pointless, but there might be some applications where this feature makes perfect sense. The camera can be remotely controlled via a paired smartphone. But remember: You won’t need that smartphone to stream video from the action cam to video sites, as LTE is built-in. No info on supported carriers as of yet, though, but we assume it can accept any nano SIM card. Outdoor proof concept Ingress Protection rating chart with highlighted IP67 rating Another fascinating feature is the camera’s IP67 rating without the need for a special housing. That means this camera offers some level of sturdiness which is always a nice thing to have, particularly for an action cam. An entirely waterproof case will be introduced later this year and will enable you to do stuff like surfing or scuba diving with your new action camera, just like with your good ol’ GoPro. Pricing and availability The LG action cam will hit South Korea next month and will continue its journey to key markets worldwide from there. No word on pricing yet. Prices, specifications and carrier details will be announced locally at the time of launch. So we will have to wait a little longer in order to get all the information, but for the time being this little camera certainly looks promising. For the full press release, visit LG’s site.Read more
I’m quite sad. I spend my time trawling the internet for new and interesting technology and recently, I happened upon Mokacam via IndieGoGo. Apparently, it is the world’s smallest 4K action camera—and it certainly looks like it has some interesting design features. However, is it any good, or is the world’s smallest 4K action camera really just designed and named as such to appeal to a modern market that is obsessed with minimalistic design? Let’s find out! Comparing Mokacam to GoPro Obviously, whenever anybody looks at an action camera, comparisons are made with GoPro. After all, GoPro are a pseudo industry standard after taking the market by storm. Despite the fact that their sales and share price have been tumbling enough for them to have had to cut jobs, probably due to an influx of competitors and cheaper “knock-offs”, the manufacturer is still winning the action camera race. Fortunately for me, Mokacam have made it very easy to compare the GoPro Hero range and their alternative by including a lovely little chart on their Indiegogo campaign page. I’ve added the chart below so that you can draw your own conclusions. As you can see, Mokacam falls behind when recording 4K video, but they do have some interesting trade-offs to combat that. These include several innovative design features, motion detection functionality, and a lower price tag than even the Hero4 Session—which doesn’t record 4K. Mokacam Specs 7-layer, 35mm glass lens 16 MP Sony IMX206 Sensor An integrated HD microphone Records in 4K @ 15fps, 1080p @ 60fps/30fps, 720p @ 120fps/60fps and VGA @ 240fps 8 Aperture and 100-6400 ISO 246 encoding 1000mHa lithium-ion battery with 1100mHa spare Two mounting points, one magnetic and one ¼-inch screw. Also included is an adaptor to make Mokacam compatible with GoPro mounts Micro USB charging port SD card slot, supports up to 64GB (card not included) A choice of black, gold, blue, silver, and pink bodies made up of an impact and water resistant polycarbonate shell Small form factor (45mmx45mmx30mm) and weighs 79g An integrated app for iOS and Android Mokacam’s Interesting Design Innovations I’m beginning to feel like a parrot. I keep harping on about the interesting design features that the Mokacam engineers have come up with. So, without further ado, let’s take a quick look over the design features that have turned me into a Macaw! Snap-on batteries I suppose that when you’re halfway up a vertical rock face, or slaloming down the slopes of the Swiss Alps, stopping to change the battery in your action camera isn’t the most convenient thing in the world. Mokacam seems to have combated this issue using a magnetic, Snap-on battery. What remains to be seen, though, is quite how strong the magnet is. The last thing you want when you’re trying to film your descent from the top of a mountain, using only a wingsuit—with your dog strapped to your back—is for a strong gust of wind to send yo ur battery to Timbuktu! Modular 270-degree screen Mokacam have opted to offer an optional screen for monitoring. It rotates 270-degrees and is powered by its own built-in battery, meaning that the camera’s battery life doesn’t take a hit when you decide to attach and use the screen. Unless I am mistaken, the screen appears to be controlled by buttons located on the screen’s body, rather than via touch screen. Magnetic mount It seems the folks behind Mokacam are big magnet fans—the camera can be mounted to any magnetic metal surface without using screws or brackets thanks to magnetic mounting functionality. As with the battery’s magnet, we’ve yet to see how powerful the mount really is; though Mokacam have described it as “super strong.” Motion detection This is something I’ve not personally encountered in any of the action cameras currently on the market, and I am quite interested to see how good the motion sensor that Mokacam uses is. I can certainly see some interesting uses for the motion detection technology included when combined with the magnetic mounting system. Handheld and Wearable Stabilizers Mokacam have partnered with Feiyu Tech to produce a few handy gimbals for the action camera. One is handheld, the other wearable, and both seem to fit well with Mokacam’s affinity for minimalistic design. In terms of functionality, they’re both very much what you’d expect. Handheld Stabilizer Specs 3 axis stabilization Brushless motors 3-hour battery life 238mm, 256 grams Pans -160° (left) to +160 (right) when held vertically Pans -50° (left) to +50 (right) when held horizontally Tilt -160 +160 Roll -5 – +50 Wearable Stabilizer Specs Compatible with universal tripod screw mounting points 3 axis stabilization Brushless motors 3-hour battery life 188 grams GoPro T-clamp adapter included Pitch: 320 Roll: 100 Heading: -320 Mokacam Conclusion When all is said and done, Mokacam is an interesting piece of kit with some even more interesting design features. If you’re looking to record your adventures in 4K, you should look elsewhere. However, if you’re looking for a small form factor with innovative design features and a low price tag then the Mokacam is certainly an option for you to consider. For their first offering, Mokacam’s team seems to have been relatively successful in designing an affordable action camera that I’d imagine will be rather successful. While serious action filmmakers won’t be too keen on Mokacam, I can see the camera being quite successful in the casual market—and over 4,000 backers, that have pledged almost $1,000,000 on Indiegogo, seem to agree with me. The Mokacam Adventure bundle costs $189 and is available for pre-order on Indiegogo, with the modular accessories available separately.Read more
The REMOVU S1 gimbal for the GoPro claims to be the first waterproof 3-axis stabilizer of its kind. But in an increasingly competitive market, will this still hold true when it is finally released later this year? Shaky footage is definitely a thing of the past. Like the use of aerial movies and shallow depth of field, handheld footage that is smooth as silk has become part of the visual language of the YouTube age, and seems now almost a requirement for anyone trying to increase their production value. And although DSLR and mirrorless shooters need to shell out close to $1000 for one-handed brushless stabilising solutions, the more consumer-oriented action cam user base have it a lot cheaper. 2016 brings with it a couple of interesting products catering for the more demanding uses of the popular action camera. The Removu S1 claims to be the first weatherproof 3-axis gimbal for GoPro, capable of withstanding harsh rain thanks to its water resistant motors and body . With a joystick to control camera movement incorporated into its handle, the design of the S1 is reminiscent of something like the CAME-TV CAME-Single or the Pilotfly H1+, albeit a lot cheaper, smaller and lighter. The S1’s joystick also uses Bluetooth to control camera motion, keeping cables to a minimum. This also means the user can detach the handle, allowing for remote motion control. Very nice! The gimbal itself has been designed to be as versatile as the GoPro itself, and can be mounted wherever you would normally mount an action cam, such as helmets, bike handlebars and vests. And with a weight of 300g, it is unlikely that it will get in the way of even the most extreme situations. Stablisation can run on any of 4 modes: Pan, Follow, Lock and Inversion for low angle shots. The selected mode, along with remaining battery life, is shown on the OLED displays on both the gimbal and the handle. Power is provided through a removable battery in the gimbal, and an integrated battery in the handle, providing 2 hours and 3-5 hours respectively. The S1 comes with a charging dock that accepts 2 batteries and the handle simultanously, and takes power from either the mains, a power bank, or USB from a laptop or computer. The REMOVU S1 is compatible with GoPro Hero3 and above, and promises future compatibility with the Xiomi Xi action cam. While they are still at the development stage and have encountered some delays, REMOVU have passed the 2nd prototype milestone and are offering the S1 at a preorder price of $249 on their Indiegogo page, with a shipping date of early August 2016. Interestingly, their claim of being the first waterproof GoPro gimbal may no longer be valid by then. Indiegogo contender Slick claims water resistance up to 3ft (1m) depth, at a very similar price point and with a release date within this month. Going strictly down the wearable/mountable route, the Slick gimbal doesn’t offer a handle or remote operation, and is clearly aimed exclusively at the action and sports crowd, while the S1’s handle could open it up for other uses. Despite their differences, both these campaigns have reached their original crowdfunding goals several times over, demonstrating that there is definitely a lot of demand for better and more durable products in this particular market.Read more
Nikon has been running a low profile in the video market for the past few years, but it looks like 2016 is the time of their comeback. Today they introduced several new 4K cameras, including the innovative Nikon KeyMission 360 Action Camera. An action camera that lets you choose and change the angle of view in a 360-degree space. Alongside introducing the new Nikon D5 and Nikon D500, the company that once brought us the very first video capable DSLR t0day also enters the action camera market for the first time. The good news is that the Nikon KeyMission 360 Action Camera is not just another GoPro clone, offering some intriguing features with its 360-degree field of view. From the press release: The Nikon KeyMission 360 features an image sensor and lens on opposite sides of the device, with images from each combining to create a single immersive, ultra-high-definition 360-degree video and still image. A terrific companion for a wide range of travel, sports or when an adventure takes a turn off the beaten path, the camera is designed to be easy to use and to withstand the elements. The Nikon KeyMission 360 has a waterproof (up to 30m) and shock-absorbent housing. It also comes with built-in WIFI and Bluetooth for smartphone connectivity. Camera angles can be changed with the smartphone app. The official video, below, shows you how the Nikon KeyMission 360 works. The only question for filmmakers might be if it is possible to get rid of the “fisheye look” that this 360-degree camera brings. GoPro has been able to provide an action camera with a decent “film look” and Nikon yet has to prove that their camera will be able to live up to these standards. Nikon’s 360 Action Camera in Action Please note that Apple Safari cannot display these 360 degree videos properly (with the ability to move around), please use Google Chrome if possible.Read more
We only send updates about our most relevant articles. No spam, guaranteed! And if you don't like our newsletter, you can unsubscribe with a single click. Read our full opt-out policy here.