on October 13, 2013
I bought this lenses from Amazon being them open box and slightly used. They where fine, only that replacement glasses where unusable because they where like ground glass. The design is very nice, very well finished, and very comfortable.
Design and finish is very good.
Wide angle helps to catch everything you can see.
One button start - stop with a LED on when recording is very simple and nice.
Better than other cheap options available in quality of glasses and camera.
720 quality video.
Very expensive compared to other cheaper options.
Low light condition renders a lot of noise on image, even cloudy days can produce noise. The best results are on bright sunny days. Iphone 4 camera for example is much better at this.
Movies format is AVI. If you want to edit it with iMovie for example you'll have to convert it to MP4 or other format before editing and then back to avi if you want to post it on You Tube.
Only has internal memory. Can't use memory SD cards.
Overall I'll say is a nice gadget, but I think it should improve, and also be cheaper ($80-90 max). You can't compare with a GoPro for example, not even with an iPhone 4. I use it for recording RC helicopters flying and they can't fly more than 5-6 minutes at a time so I can record 3 flights only. If you're travelling by car, bike, etc you will have to make short clips an download them to a laptop before going on
I've been using the iVUE Camera Glasses for nearly two weeks now and, with some caveats and limitations, I've been having fun. Out of the box, the manufacturer includes:
- The glasses
- A separate pair of interchangeable lenses
- A combo USB and TV cable (the connector on the glasses end is proprietary; on the other end, it's standard USB).
- A hard case
- A soft pouch
- A glasses strap
- A lens cleaner cloth
These glasses record in 720P, with a wide-screen aspect ratio of 16:10. Recording is trivially easy and copying the files to a Mac or PC is almost as simple: plug the glasses in to the computer, click on the resulting popup, and copy the files. I did have occasional connectivity issues when connected to my PC but I suspect I have a problem USB port, as this isn't the only device that I've had to reconnect periodically on that port. When I did have a problem, all I had to do was disconnect the glasses from the computer, turn off the glasses, reconnect, and turn on again.
The camera worked well outdoors, although it occasionally flooded out a bit in bright sunlight. You need to be careful to not jerk your head around much, instead using a steady motion, but that's not too hard to remember, or do. In low-light conditions indoors, the camera struggled, missing details and generating a lot of noise. The color fidelity was just average, with some greens, for example, not always true-to-life.
I have a larger-than-average head and the glasses pinched a bit when I first put them on but within 10 minutes or so I didn't notice. And I've worn them for more than an hour at a time with no discomfort. The glasses stayed put for walking and easy jogging but I think I'd want that glasses strap to hold them for things like serious mountain biking or snowboarding.
There were some minor issues with wind noise outdoors and, because the mic is right next to my head, I found that my own voice was louder than my friends or anything else I was listening to, but that was expected. The product information states that the video camera has noise reduction and image stabilization but I found the benefits to be pretty minimal in both cases.
Update: The manufacturer reached out to me and had this to say about the noise reduction and image stabilization: "Noise Reduction is beneficial because In electronic recording devices, a major form of noise is hiss caused by random electrons that, heavily influenced by heat, stray from their designated path. These stray electrons influence the voltage of the output signal and then create detectable noise. So having this option helps to prevent that and give a clearer recording. Video Stabilization is a way to cancel (as best as possible) your moves (vibrations) while you're recording a video, you are correct in this case that it is electronically handled, but is also beneficial, as it helps to compensate for any shaking movement while the glasses are being worn and recording."
I should add that getting any form of noise reduction or image stabilization in a product of this type is a pretty significant advantage, particularly at this price range, so kudos to the manufacturer for providing this.
You have to be prepared to accept some limitations with a video camera like this:
- Setting the date and time, and telling the camera whether or not to display that, is a bit clumsy, as you have to create a text file with a very specific format and copy that text file to the root drive of the camera storage. The next time you restart the camera, it will read the file and set the clock.
- Because of the limited storage space, the camera will automatically limit the file size to 15-minute increments. When it reaches 15 minutes, it will save the current file and start a new one automatically. If you're recording a longer event, you'll have to use video editing software to stitch the files together and you'll likely have a second or two dropout between each file.
- Because of the limited storage space, the most you'll be able to record in a given session is a little over an hour.
- There's no way to add an additional memory card or replace the current card, so the 8GB you start with is all you have. You can open the glasses and install a larger microSD card but you would void the warranty in doing so.
- Outdoors in full sunlight I couldn't tell whether the green "recording" LED was on or not. Since it's the same button to turn it on and off, you might be out of sync and realize later than you turned the camera off when you thought you were turning it on and vice versa.
- The battery life is 1.5-2.0 hours. Since I always filled up the card before I hit that time limit, I didn't test that. Suffice to say that you'll likely run out of space before you run out of battery.
- The wide-angle lens is great for getting a panoramic view of your immediate vicinity; it's poor for looking at scenery in the distance. Looking at distant mountains or a cityscape in playback, you could really see the limitations of the lens.
- The audio is from a single microphone, so you're not going to get Dolby Digital Stereo Sound or anything like that (not that you'd expect anything more than that at this price range).
- Playback on the television from the glasses is clumsy and frustrating, as you have only limited ability to control what is playing and how it is played. You can't fast-forward, for example, or rewind. And your playback is in SD mode, even though the video itself is in HD mode, which looks pretty bad on a standard digital HD TV. For best results, I'd only go directly to the TV when you must. For all other scenarios, I'd go to my computer or laptop and view it there, or use my video editing software to burn a DVD from my footage and then play that back in my DVD player.
I wouldn't use this to record a birthday party or a Christmas celebration, since the indoor lighting conditions would likely strain the capabilities of the camera. I also wouldn't use it to record a sporting event like a football game. Not only is there insufficient space to record the whole game, but the wide-angle lens would make the action on the field appear even smaller. So where would I use a pair of glasses like this? Some random ideas:
- Hiking in the woods, although the limited capacity and battery life means that you'll need to be turning it on and off regularly on a longer hike, capturing only the highlights. Still, for that scenario the camera glasses are great, as it's trivially easy to push a button to capture what you're viewing and then again to turn it off.
- Mountain biking
- ATV riding
- Skiing or snowboarding but only for a couple of runs and only on slopes that I knew wouldn't challenge me. These won't replace good ski goggles and I don't think I'd feel comfortable using them all day.
- Target shooting (e.g., see the videos that some other reviews have uploaded as part of their reviews).
- Recording an instructional video or a review video, where you want your hands free.
The limitations I've listed above are almost all due to limitations in the form factor and the portability, not indications of deeper problems, which is why they didn't affect my rating. I'm rating these glasses against the competition and knowing in advance that there are tradeoffs that have to be made. You're just not going to get superb quality and flexibility from a camera embedded in a pair of glasses. There is a limit to how much the manufacturer can do with that limited space and weight. In this case, I think the manufacturer did a pretty good job. The glasses are a bit wider than normal but otherwise look and feel like a stock pair of sunglasses. They're reasonably light and comfortable and they stay in place well. And recording video is ridiculously easy. And, let's face it, this is just a really, really cool toy.
The price is competitive, given the video and build quality, and I liked them. The one caveat I would add is that you should think about where you would use these. For me, all I'll really use them for is hiking in the woods. For just about any other scenario, I think I'll use either my smart phone or my dedicated video camera.
Disclaimer: the manufacturer provided a sample for review purposes with no restrictions on the review outcome. I have no personal or financial interest in the company or in anyone employed there.