Customer Review

44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive POV Video, June 13, 2012
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This review is from: Swann Freestyle 1080p HD Waterproof Sports Video Camera (Electronics)
Length:: 0:51 Mins

Point-of-view (POV) or hands-free action cameras are a new category of digital cameras. They combine the features of a camcorder with a surveillance camera. They are small, lightweight and equipped with a fixed focus wide angle lens. This unique category was pioneered by GoPro HD HERO2: Motorsports Edition (2011 Model) for photographing various sports from sky diving to surf boarding. The Swann Freestyle has several features which caused me to choose it over the GoPro but I will not do a side-by-side comparison. I have used my Swann for about 4 months and I will share with you some observations which may assist your choice. The video was taken with the Swann Freestyle attached the handlebars of a bicycle. The video was edited using CyberLink PowerDirector 10 Ultra.
Positives:
1. Tripod Screw Mount: The tripod screw allows for mounting on any conventional tripod. The camera is so small that I routinely attach it to and hold it with 4 inch table tripod.
2. Underwater Housing: An underwater housing is included. With the Go-Pro this is an extra. Also included are an assortment of mounting hardware and a nice pouch to hold the camera
3. Laser Pointer: This is an advantage when the viewing screen is removed you want to point the camera.
4. Remote Control: The remote control allows you to start and stop the camera from several feet away.
5. LCD Viewing Screen: The screen makes for better composition, particularly useful with the wide angle field of view. Also, the screen permits playback viewing. The screen can be removed which should theoretically should extend the recording duration.
6. 8meg Photos: The 8meg still photos give enough pixels to process and crop the images. The images are soft and require sharpening.
7. Camera Controls: There are two switches and two buttons on the top surface of the camera. One switch turns the camera on and off. The other switch turns on sound activated video (which I have not tried). The red button turns on and off the video recording. The neutral button takes still photos.
8. Durability: The camera is small and boxy but very durable. It fell off a 4 foot ledge while I was recording. The LCD display panel fell off but the camera continued to record.
Negatives:
1. Customer Service: I contacted customer service asking them whether the camera would take time-lapse photos while it was plugged in and charging, thereby extending the video duration beyond 2 hours. They finally replied after one month. The answer was no.
2. Changing Settings: Most settings for the camcorder and camera reverts to the default settings when the camera is turned off. Changing settings requires stepping thru several menus on the tiny LCD screen.
3. Spartan Manual: The 7 x 10cm manual is 39 pages of small print. The complexity of the camera requires several good instructional videos, an on-line manual or a CD.
4. Vignette: The wide angle images have distortion and darkening at the corners.
5. Low light conditions: The camera clearly works best in brightly lit scenes.

This is an inexpensive way to get into POV video. It is a lot of fun and you will find many ways to use it. Do not buy it if you need a lot of hand holding from customer service and give yourself plenty of time to learn how to use the camera.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 28, 2012 3:11:00 PM PDT
dieseltojo says:
I reckon the bit of video on display of Miami is absolutely awful; it looks like the people have been drawn into a bad cartoon.It sure doesn't look like the video could easily pick out a number plate.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2012 4:32:12 PM PDT
ImageMD says:
Amazon restricts the size/resolution of posted videos. Which license plate number would you like me to read on the original?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012 4:39:00 AM PDT
dieseltojo says:
Hi,
What I mean is if I was going to buy this camera, put it on my bike , and had an accident , I want to get details of the person involved. The video is so bad that it doesn't seem able to give this type of detail. If Amazon is not going to give enough band room to give a true depiction of the quality , its not much use wasting your time posting it. sorry , not trying to be insulting here , but that is not a god promotion of that camera at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2013 6:08:35 AM PST
rhodeymark says:
It is also because he sped the action up as an effect, not just the image size restrictions. I'm sure in real time it was much nicer, but ImageMD couldn't resist the urge to get cheesy with his marginal software. The rendering engine likely plays a part. If one is going to upload a demo, it should be for the camera, not supposed editing skills.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2013 10:59:12 AM PST
Patti Cake says:
Unfortunately I have to agree with rhodeymark. I notice a lot of folks who upload camera/camcorder video demos add effects, speed things up or down, use HDR and do a variety of other things so that the viewers end up with no idea of the quality of video that the device actually shoots.

Posted on Feb 4, 2013 9:45:38 PM PST
Chris Bessex says:
Does this camera record sound or just video?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 5:53:28 AM PST
ImageMD says:
The camera records sound and video.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2013 5:37:07 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 10, 2013 5:43:25 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2013 5:45:00 PM PST
Linda says:
I believe the original comment was regarding the poor sound quality related to ambient sounds occurring in real time with the video.

The example video posted here is instead enhanced with a speed effect, as well as an added stock music soundtrack. The included video in no way compares with or explains the original poster's problem.

Posted on Jan 10, 2014 6:14:11 PM PST
WayneR says:
In response to Customer Service 1: above. I have been able to take time lapse for a couple days continuous. I just plug the USB charger into it. I also pull the LCD viewer screen off once it has taken a few pictures. This I hope will preserve the LCD but also silences the annoying shutter sound. You can see a video on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwjUqUC910I
I have achieved very good video quality from the camera under good lighting situations.
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Review Details

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3.6 out of 5 stars (58 customer reviews)
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ImageMD
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Location: Miami, FL USA

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