Swann Freestyle HD Update

June 13, 2012
Action Cam

Freestyle HD Box

After the initial testing of the video capabilities of the Freestyle pro I had an idea to timelapse capture my neighborhood and created a test video (see below).

I had a problem, though; the unit made a loud noise mimicking a camera taking a picture. But it is a camera taking a picture, why should I have a problem with that? Well, to me the sound the camera produced was not proportional to the size of the camera: small camera should make little noise, big camera can make big noise. How that affects me is when I want the camera to take time lapse pictures in a quiet setting a loud ‘CLICK‘ every 10 seconds would become annoying and draw attention to the camera.  I looked through the menu options and couldn’t find a way to turn the noise off.

The next issue I had was the fact that the included LCD screen (a bonus above other models) was needed to configure the camera because each time you turn it off the camera mode would reset back to single pictures only, however you couldn’t use the LCD screen in the included waterproof case which would make it impossible to do time lapse underwater.

I read through the manual and couldn’t find a solution, so I went on the website to contact Swann tech support. Because they are in Australia and they start their live chat or phone support at 6am PDT (9am for me) I sent an email even though they mentioned it may take a few days to get back to me as they improve their staffing. I was prepared to have to wait a few days. Imagine my surprise when less than 24 hours later I got a reply back that answered all my questions.

The screen produces the camera click sound and the screen is needed to set the menu options, however, the screen does not have to remain on the unit during video or picture taking. What that means is I can setup the timing of the pictures, remove the screen,  place the unit in the waterproof case the start taking pictures without turning the device off and loosing my settings. That also means no loud clicking noises to annoy people.

I will point out that nothing in the manual indicates you can remove the screen while the unit is on and most technicians would not think to unplug or insert any electrical device with anything is running; it just not something we do as we are most often left with a smoldering mass of rubble if we attempt it.

That being said all of this means a great deal to me. What I thought was a good purchase has now moved up a few notches to being a great purchase AND more importantly I can vouch for the speed of communication from the support technicians. In an industry where support is so important and out of country support can be spotty at best I can give Swann a KUDOS for their active support personnel.


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