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Micro / POV Camera Systems
Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


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Old October 26th, 2011, 08:08 AM   #2
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Re: Crocolis HD

I bought one of these and it is excellent value for money.
A few things that the Techmoan review gets wrong or doesn't cover.
The charge indicator does work as expected, it takes a bit more than 2 houra if the battery is fully discharged, you just have to be patient.
Althought the audio is only useful as a sync reference the internal mic records to the left channel and the external to the right channel.
The clip on attachments are a bear to get on and off at first. They have a small amount of slop in them which can make vibration issues worse. This is easily fixed with a rubber band, or a bit of packing.
The auto exposure work as well as any of these cameras but I've found setting an Ev offset of -0.3 can help avoid blown out highlights, maybe even a higher value negative offset would help more.
The camera as far as I can see only records 1920x1080 at 29.970 fps. If you select 1080p25 then it records 1440x1080. Hardly a show stopper but the way it flags the pixel aspect ratio might mean your NLE needs some help to get it right.

Things that impress me about this camera:

It has an LCD screen and a functional menu system.
The battery can be easily exchanged, more batteries and a charger are cheaply had from eBay.
It has a standard 1/4" tapped mounting hole.
It comes with a decent range of mounting kit in the box, nothing to buy for most people.
A HDMI output.
It is very easy to use.
So cheap no one would cry if it got run over or lost and yet it neither looks or feels cheap.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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Re: Crocolis HD

I have one of these as well and I'm impressed. As a still camera it will work in very low light indeed - it simply ups the gain and slows the shutter speed. The wide-angle view is impressively sharp corner to corner and you can use the camera either way up and tilt the v'finder screen through a wide 90 degrees.

The little waterproofing front 'window' (uncoated as far as I can see) causes a bit of flare into bright lights but for a camera so cheap I forgive it. The audio is not good, but it's there if you just want screams or wind noise. Seems odd that the camera is supplied with all sorts of brackets, clamps, straps, cables, instructions - but no lens cap. No matter; the top of a small can of WD40 fits perfectly.

tom.
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Crocolis HD-1marzena-dec-11.jpg   Crocolis HD-4frits-dec-11.jpg  

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Old December 20th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #4
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Re: Crocolis HD

I too bought one, and am entirely satisfied with the value for money equation ...

One very odd thing about the audio -- the microphone is not where indicated in the manual, the mic is behind the o-ring sealed back door ... so audio is actually ok if you leave the back door wide open during shooting. Shut the door and the sound is muffled into unusability. Near as I can figure, the microphone is actually at the bottom of the mic jack ..?

Ordered it on a Tuesday direct from China, it was in my hand in Canada two days later. Watching the delivery through the supplied tracking link was an amusing lesson in how the world has changed ...

Cheers,
GB
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Old December 20th, 2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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Re: Crocolis HD

I downloaded and viewed the clips from the review. They looked quite good.
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Old December 21st, 2011, 03:29 AM   #6
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Re: Crocolis HD

RGB, you're the man with the initials as well as The Man! How amazing, and you're perfectly correct - with the rear door open the audio is immeasurably better than when it's shut (though the s:n ratio is still pretty dire), and I shall use it with the back door slightly ajar whenever that's possible. Thanks for the find - a good one.

So what's that tiny hole for forward of the tripod socket and (useless) little screw? The hole appears to be exactly where the chip (focal plane) is situated, so I wonder if it's for an end-of-line tweak? Odd - I don't like the thought of a waterproof camera having little holes in it.

Which brings the ask - have any of you dunked your Extreme cam yet to test the waterproof claims?

tom.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 08:33 AM   #7
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Re: Crocolis HD

Off to Mexico in a couple of days, I'll post some underwater shots when I get back ... assuming it's as watertight as promised!

GB
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 09:08 AM   #8
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Re: Crocolis HD

I've just this minute dunked mine in the bathroom sink, chatted away to it while it was filming the plug. No ill effects at all. Will take it to the pool on Friday.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 09:39 AM   #9
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Re: Crocolis HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by R Geoff Baker View Post
Off to Mexico in a couple of days, I'll post some underwater shots when I get back ... assuming it's as watertight as promised!

GB
Have fun and remember, Mexican water is for swimming, not drinking!
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Old December 27th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #10
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Re: Crocolis HD

Picked mine up a week ago. Took it to the beach in Guatemala but the waves were a bit rough for swimming. However, the crocolis fared well in the pool, and at the Xocomil water park (where you must go if you ever visit Guatemala).

Max depth maybe 5 feet.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 04:05 AM   #11
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Re: Crocolis HD

More findings about the Extreme cam. Firstly it's completely watertight down to at least 2m and the little mic works surprisingly well. Here's a few seconds in the local pool, shot in the 'full HD' mode of 1080/30p:

Sarah & Faith in the water - YouTube

This mode loses you a lot of wide-angle coverage, but looks slightly better than the 720/60p mode to my eyes. The GoPro has a faster lens (f/2.8 vs f/3.6) so handles this sort of lighting rather better, with less gain and noise. The GoPro is generally sharper too, though not when submerged.

Next - don't forget to format the SDHC card in the cam before you go out shooting. In my excitement I simply popped in a card I'd been using in the 60D Canon and went out shooting on the Extreme cam. I could replay all the movies and stills on the its tiny screen, but I couldn't find any computer that could access the files, either using a card reader or connecting the ExCam via USB.

tom.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 02:24 PM   #12
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Re: Crocolis HD

Hey Tom. Just editing a bit of footage shot with the crocolis. While I'm pretty impressed by the quality of the cam I'm wondering how much sharper images are from the Gopro (original or 2). How noticeable is the difference? The crocolis looks a little blocky/pixellated (but maybe I'm spoiled by footage from my hacked Panasonic GH2).

Ideally I'd like to mix the footage with video from my GH2 (underwater or POV/action stuff).
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Old December 28th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #13
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Re: Crocolis HD

It's gunna be blocky if there are high contrast areas, lot's of motion or insufficient light, it only records at average 7mbps in all modes even in ideal conditions so not much bit rate to record good motion detail. I would limit this cameras use to light motion or static shots.

Last edited by Ian Newland; December 29th, 2011 at 06:27 PM.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 03:19 AM   #14
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Re: Crocolis HD

You're right Ian. The top whack it's 7.83mbps (1920x1080/25p and 720/60p), dropping to a lowly 5.62mbps when in the 720/25p mode. What does the GoPro record at, Mk 1 and Mk 2?

The biggest difference is in the 'smoothness', the GoPro having a definite edge here, and it's due to the Extreme cam's blockiness when the action gets going. Under water though the Extreme cam wins, simply because it's sharp. Or have GoPro fixed this with the Mk 2?

tom.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #15
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Re: Crocolis HD

Gopro2 has double the data rate (15 Mbits/sec) for 1080 or 720p60. It drops to 8 Mbits/sec for 720p30. Where did you guys see stats for Crocolis?

So for motion does the Gopro2 look that much better (not talking bitrate comparison but actual viewable quality) than Crocolis?

From reviews I read it sounded like image quality (sharpness/saturation/dynamic range/etc) were pretty comprable for the two cameras. And I found it impossible to judge from youtube/vimeo videos that have already been compressed ....

Thanks guys.
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