Top critical review
248 people found this helpful
Quirky, But Amazing!
on December 22, 2012
I bought this camera based upon the reviews and example footage I've found on YouTube. The reason I purchased this to begin with was to have a wearable camera to wear while on patrol (Law Enforcement). I needed something that would be of quality, use as little space as possible, and be solid in construction. When it arrived, I immediately started testing it out using the 1080p and 720p settings:
Video Quality: Amazing quality on HD settings. Eats up memory space like a mad man, but looks pretty solid. I was able to transition from light to dark with little problems, and see clearly in all recordings. I could read license plates, street signs, etc. when mounted in my vehicle, and see small text when worn.
Audio Quality: Decent "to the rear" recording when worn, but amazing "to the front" as the mic is mounted on the from face beside the camera. I even ran some music in my vehicle and turned up the radio and it came across as clear as if I added the music onto the clip afterwards.
When speaking to different people I'm able to fully understand every word spoken within about 20 feet or less. Comes in handy in almost every regard.
Construction: It's made of hard and soft plastic. Has what feels like a rubbery feel to the front (which seems like a layer added on top). The screen on the back seems sturdy enough to take a few bumps, though I did leave the screen protector on it when wearing the alligator clip (the screen is put up against the clip with a small gap).
Downsides: Eats up memory. A single 40 minute clip on full 1080 HD fills an entire 4GB MicroSD card. I'm not entirely sure why, but the footage breaks itself down into multiple files. One file was 3.42GB (31 minutes) and a second one less in length and size to fill the card. I see no option for ONE continous file which would be ideal.
One the of the most major flaws which caused me to give this a 4 star review is that if you leave the unit on and then try to record a few things happen. I usually keep it on and plugged in while wearing it (with an extended USB cord plugged into a laptop). When I go to record I pull the cord and began hitting record. The camera goes into a standby when not in use, so it takes roughly 15-20 seconds to get out of that and start up. This requires you to hit the record button over and over until it starts. You run the risk of stopping the recording this way as well.
I then noticed after doing a VERY crucial recording... that while it recorded the video in full HD perfectly fine (albiet two files), it had NO audio. ?! That's what I said. There were some very specific statements and observations on the video that were completely lost. I tried three different players (VLC, KMPLayer, Quicktime) and the audio was simply gone. I attribute this to the fact that I had been keeping the camera on for too long regardless of whether it went into standby or not.
Bottom Line: It's an amazing camera. It's discrete. When mounted to chest I've had people look at it and not even notice it's a camera (I did apply black electrical tape to the MUVI logo which is bright white on the front, and to the two lights on it). It's sturdy... not a single problem even after some drops. It comes with an amazing variety of mounts for the dash, body, etc. The price is decent, and the quality is worth every penny. I'm tempted to buy a second one to dash mount it and run it in conjunction with the chest camera.
I have run into a snag with the camera. Apparently plugging it in and unplugging has now made the USB port non-functional and it physically moves around in the body of the camera. Plugging it in no longer charges it or accesses the footage. This is not something I would have expected to randomly happen from this camera based on its performance thus far. I have dropped the rating down to 3 stars while I contact support and see if they are able to send me a replacement (refurbished or not) or repair it. If the replacement goes through ok, I'll bump this back up to 4 stars and potentially 5 stars.
Just be aware that aside from the audio problem this is a possible issue that you can run into.
I contacted support through their website and received an email a couple days later. They will not replace the camera even if it's defective. They told me to contact Amazon which they can't help either with it being outside of the return policy. I emailed them back again the same day and no response over a week.
I now own a $150 paper weight. Be warned that Muvi will not warranty this product.