Top critical review
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Annoying background noises
on January 19, 2012
I received this camera as a gift over the holidays and was really excited to use it. When I first tested it, the video was shifty and paused a bit every few seconds. I fixed this issue by formatting the memory card using the camera as the instruction manual suggested. One problem I was not able to fix, however, was the audio problems. I had intended to use this camera as a dash camera for when I go for drives with other car enthusiasts on the weekends. Unfortunately, each test recording I made had this horrible high-pitched squeaking noise that is impossible to ignore. Notably, this noise was present in all the recordings I made while testing each camera setting.
I assumed that I may have a defective unit so I contacted Swann (who are based in Australia) via email. I sent them a carefully written email message that clearly describes the issue and further included a brief video clip that contained the background noise so they could hear the noise for themselves. Unfortunately, they never responded to my email message despite my having sent it multiple times to their customer service email address. I also attempted calling them, but the customer service line repeatedly led me to a dead end -- no human being and no way to leave a message.
After this, I did a search online to see if I could find other people's videos that were captured with the Freestyle camera. I found one such video in which, like me, they had mounted the camera to the dash of a car. In that video you can hear the exact same noises that my unit captured. In view of this, it appears likely that the problem is not with my unit but with the design of Swann's camera/microphone. Perhaps this explains why Swann never responded to my emails and calls.
In view of the above, I think the Freestyle camera is poorly designed. In addition, I think Swann's customer service is poor. I have now ordered the Go Pro Hero 2 Motorsports edition camera and I hope that my experiences with this camera and Go Pro will be better.