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Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


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Old July 27th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #1
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Replay XD footage test

This is from the pair of Replay XD cameras shooting 1080 30p. Kind of the ultimate vibration test on my Ducati! The forward facing camera is clamp mounted to the frame and I'm pretty happy with the results. The rear facing is mounted to the bodywork with a 4" suction cup. The bodywork flexes a bit so vibration caused some of the footage to jello. The cameras are super easy to use and having the hdmi out to a monitor to frame the shot is great. I'll be running some tests with the mic input to see how that sounds. I think these are good enough cameras to add to the mix of GoPro and Contour. They are much smaller and the mounts are all aluminum. The lens cover is replaceable and there's a bunch of video and audio tweaking parameters accessed through a simple text editor that make this camera a little nicer IMHO. The hdmi out can also send to external recorders which is cool. I have run them into my Matrox and it's a big improvement over the internal compression.
More as I dig deeper with them!

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Old July 28th, 2011, 08:18 AM   #2
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Looks very good. I was hoping for a wheelie or donut but traffic is good to. (you may have I didn't finish the clip.) LOL. Overall do you like the cameras, do you have gopros to compare to? I have a little kodak play sport I use in 1080i60 and I think your clips are much nicer.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 08:39 AM   #3
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Re: Replay XD footage test

LOL...if I'm doin a wheelie....get out of my way cause something's gone terribly wrong!

I will be borrowing a friends Gopro to get a comparo. I have used Gopros before and to my recollection they look very similar.

The things I like better at this point are the size and shape (much smaller than the Gopro) and the hdmi out which can go to an external recorder for much better quality.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #4
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Looks very good. How is the battery life?
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #5
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Haven't measured exactly but I think it's around 90-100 min. It may be longer.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 07:16 PM   #6
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Robert, do you have a small uncompressed file from the HDMI capture of 720p 60fps or 1080p you could upload to a file host like mediafire, just a 5sec clip will do. Thanks.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #7
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Will do once I get back to the studio!
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Old September 8th, 2011, 05:05 PM   #8
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Here's off the card...

be just a bit longer for the HDMI
Attached Files
File Type: mov RPXD0004short.mov (11.34 MB, 172 views)
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Old September 8th, 2011, 07:12 PM   #9
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Thanks, just want to compare the compressed with the uncompressed HDMI.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #10
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Here ya go!
Camera settings were the same. Had to compress to h264 to post but I double checked the original files vs what you are seeing and I can't tell any difference so what you see is what the cameras did.
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File Type: mov Test Cliph264.mov (15.16 MB, 144 views)
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 04:33 PM   #11
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Robert...

Would you be able to shoot a couple of identical scenes with the Contour, GoPro and the Replay?

I'd like to see a comparison of field of view and image characteristics: dynamic range, contrast, saturation.

Thanks!
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 06:20 PM   #12
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Want to send me a gopro and contour? I only own the replay and an older 720p contour. My friend has been doing a bunch of work with his gopro. Promise I will do a side by side with those two once available.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 06:36 PM   #13
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Re: Replay XD footage test

I thought you had a GoPro to compare. I'd send my GoPro except there might be some need for it this weekend.

I got a ContourROAM, only to discover that it's a "crippled" version of the other two cameras. The ROAM does not allow camera characteristics (white balance, sharpness, exposure, etc) to be set by the user. It's just slightly less contrasty than the GoPro but not any better in terms of customization.

The audio is also weaker than expected.

When it comes to audio, the GoPro is the equivalent of being profoundly deaf when used in its waterproof housing. The ContourROAM, even at its highest audio setting, is about the same as having a severe hearing loss. You can hear something at least, but it's not going to record usable conversation-level audio at normal working distances of 3 to 6 feet.

I'm hoping either B&H or Contour will take the ROAM back and let me pay the difference to upgrade to the Contour+.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 06:48 PM   #14
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Re: Replay XD footage test

Ahhh forgot that I need to test the audio as well...it has a mic in which I'm assuming would work with a lav. Hopefully it will be really good!
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Old September 24th, 2011, 06:17 AM   #15
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Re: Replay XD footage test

I sent the ContourROAM back to B&H Photo.

And after reading the comments on Contour's user support site, I decided that the Contour+ has some significant disadvantages when it comes to reliability and weather resistance.

To top it off, seeing how Contour handled (or failed to handle) the misleading information about user-configurable cameras on their website, I decided that any other claims they make about their products to be suspect.

So I decided to get a Replay XD 1080 instead.

The reasons:

-- It's $200 less than the Contour+.

-- Smaller and lighter. I'm planning to put this on a small radio-controlled helicopter and need to keep everything as light as possible.

-- Better low-light capabilities. Hot Rod magazine's comparison of four POV cameras clearly showed the Replay to be far beyond the others in the dark.

-- Weather resistant. O-ring seals on a cylinder is about as good as it gets. The Contour+ doesn't seem like it's sealed all that well, especially if there are several complaints about moisture intrusion.

-- HDMI Out. I can use a portable LCD monitor to align the camera with complete confidence. The Contour uses Bluetooth to send a video out to an iPhone or similar. Very handy, but the HDMI out from the Replay should be almost as good for that purpose. You also have to pay extra for the app that allows the link to the camera.

-- No GPS. I don't need that info, and less gadgetry means less power expended on functions not related to capturing picture and sound.

-- Speaking of sound, there are two capsules that allow the built-in mic to be used in quiet or noisy environments. The ContourROAM's audio was a weak point. The other cameras in that line had similar negative reports. Don't know how the Replay XD 1080 would fare, although the claim is that it can capture conversational sounds.

-- There are some very rugged mounting options made out of milled aluminum that grip the cylindrical camera body. Compare that to plastic mounts that slide onto the slender plastic rails of the Contour series.

-- 37mm threaded lens. Opens up the possibility of adding supplementary lenses for a wider field-of-view.

Drawbacks:

-- Built-in battery. Can't swap it out to continue recording. May require sending it back to the factory for replacement in a few years?

-- Field of view isn't as wide as the Contour series. But being able to fit a standard 37mm-threaded wide-angle adapter might solve that problem.
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