Action Cameras

May 30, 2012

I have been completely intrigued by the GoPro Kiosks in Walmart and Target. My local Walmart is selling the Original HD Hero Action Camera while Target is selling the HD Hero 2 which boasts a better camera (8MP vs 5MP in the original), higher Frames per Second (120 vs 60 in 720p mode) and a higher price ($300 vs $200 – excuse me – $299 vs $199). I can stand at those kiosks and really get the sense of what the cameras are capable of because of the bungie jumping, sky diving, mountain skiing (actually skiing off a mountain), mountain biking (see mountain skiing) and race car driving. The video of the race car was really exciting for me because I love cars so I decided to get an action camera  and see how I can incorporate it into a video. Small problem being I don’t want to spend $300 on a niche camera right now. So I started to research…

I know I can get the Original Hero for $200 $199 but I hate to buy previous generation items even to save a few bucks. So I started looking around at different models of camera and came across the ContourRoam which seems like it has the specs I am looking for.

  1. 2.8f lens
  2. 1080p
  3. accepts up to 32gb card
  4. Under $200 $199 price tag

BUT it doesn’t seem to come with much. All the attachments are extra and that makes it less of a value so the search continued. It just so happened that Woot has a sale on an action cam called a Freestyle HD 1080 by Swann. The price seemed right ($155 iirc) but before I pulled the trigger I needed to find out more about Swann and their Freestyle. Swann, as a company, sells a lot of security cameras for indoor and outdoor use but I wanted to find out if they knew how to make a prosumer level camera. We aren’t talking about grainy warehouse security pictures here, we are talking about catching the moment and making the feel like part of the action even days later. It so happens I found it on Amazon even cheaper than the Woot price. I read the reviews and took a look at some footage shot with the Freestyle and was mildly impressed. I even found a video comparing the Freestyle with the GoPro Hero and Hero2. I can see the difference between the Freestyle and the Hero 2 but not a great difference between the Hero and Freestyle in either the still pics or video.

I did some more research, read reviews and decided to purchase the Freestyle from Amazon for two reasons: 1 – For the price you get the most accessories including clamps, the waterproof shell and an LCD screen. 2 – Amazon’s amazing return policy. If I don’t like it I can send it back for free. Amazon knows customer service.

Once I get the camera I’ll shot some video and make it accessible so that you can make a decision on your own. If it doesn’t past the test I’ll exchange it for a Hero2.


One comment

  1. […] Tech for the Masses A/V is more than just your home entertainment system… « Action Cameras Swann Freestyle HD Action Cam June 7, […]

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