Action cameras are all the rage nowadays, because…well everyone of us leads such exciting lives. Just take a look at the YouTube videos and you’ll see us diving off mountains, skiing down impossible slopes and aqua-sailing to impressive heights. We did all that just last weekend in fact. That’s why we need super high resolution cameras to capture it all.
This Eyeshot HD Action Camera With Watch Remote Control delivers all the cool high quality of a market leading GoPro 3+ camera along with some extra features. This is not a cheap clone though, the manufacturers have crammed this puppy with a bunch of high quality components, so you’re going to be paying a decent price for the privilege.
There’s no doubt this is a serious camera, as one quick look at the contents of the box confirms. Inside you’ll find just about every accessory you’ll ever need for running, attaching and managing your action cam. This includes a fully waterproof case (up to 60 meters for 1 hour), plus power cables for watch and camera, an 1130 mAh battery good for 90 minutes of video shooting and straps, cables and mounting brackets galore. There’s even some video editing software in case you’re running a little short.
The Eyeshot on its own has a great specification, including a 16 megapixel Panasonic CMOS image processor (higher resolution than the GoPro Hero 3+) and the same Ambarella A7L chipset that’s inside the GoPro 3+ cam. The result is video that’s every bit as good as the market leader in terms of quality and resolution. The only negative is the lack of a 720p 120fps mode, but for most people 60fps at 1080p is more than adequate.
The camera weighs in at slightly more than the GoPro at 93 grams vs 73 grams for the Hero, and it’s slightly fatter, but there’s not a lot in it apart from that. The Eyeshot feels and looks well built, and the inclusion of a removable battery pack, means you can store additional batteries for use on the move, and not worry about having to recharge all the time. It also means your camera can keep running even when your first generation battery has run through its lifecycle.
As you can see from the video, set up of any of the major functions is not a chore, and in fact in most cases is only a button press or two away from action. We found the pairing of the watch to be surprisingly easy, as was the WiFi set up once you learned to give it time to sync properly. The free ActionCam! app for smartphones (iOS and Android) is also very functional, and while it only gives rudimentary control, that’s really all you need in this kind of action oriented photography.
The other neat touch is the top mounted LED screen, which gives you a crystal clear reading of the state of your camera, including battery life, space remaining on the microSD card and more. You also use this to cycle through your settings for things like time-lapse photos, the timer, pairing with the watch and WiFi etc. The lens is also top notch, offering F2.8 aperture as standard, which is great for lower light shooting.
We also were impressed by the addition of a microphone in socket, which means you can really push the boat out in terms of improved audio quality. Anyone who’s ever tried to grab serious outdoor video with a standard action cam will know that wind noise can really wreck the result, but with this mic output you’re not going to worry at all, just slot in a decent mic with a wind-proof cover on it.
The real cool feature of the camera however is the addition of the wristwatch live preview and remote controller, which really is a very cool innovation. The fact that you can keep tabs on what your camera is filming at all times is a superb feature, and one we predict more cameras will copy as time passes. Sure the video can be leggy, but really that doesn’t matter in practice, unless you’re doing precision video capture. Most of the time we just need to know that the video framing is right, and that we’re not missing the action by pointing in the wrong direction.
It’s also trivially easy to operate the camera from the wrist, with both still and video buttons within easy reach at all times. A great extra and definitely something that could get addictive. The fact that you can also get a live video preview on your phone via WiFi is just a bonus, as it gives you more options if you need them. In more set situations, it’s got to be handy to have the video displaying on your tablet or phone in a larger size as you capture the action.
As you see from the video above, the video quality is really good, and the overall build quality looks to be impressively solid, as we’ve said before this is no cheapo clone, and it oozes style and value. The watch remote looks and feels suitably robust (it’s also waterproof) with solid click buttons and the rest. They’ve put together a real ‘grown up’ action camera here, to match the best on the market.
For most people the fact that this product doesn’t carry a recognizable brand name will possibly put them off buying, in much the same way that the no-name Android smartphones originally had problems convincing a cynical public. But brand name or no, this is a well thought out product, and you can tell the manufacturers have put a lot of thought into it from the get-go. We predict that this is the start of a new brand range in the action cam arena.
Purists will note the fact that there’s a huge after market in GoPro accessories and add-on, which of course the Eyeshot doesn’t yet have, but once again this is only a matter of time we feel. For now the comprehensive nature of the accessories included in the box as standard will probably suit most people immediately, lacking only things like specialist mounts (for example there’s no tripod mount or socket) and such like.
The only final issue is long term robustness, and this is something that the GoPro line has proved to its fans over the years. It’s going to be an unknown until we’ve seen how well the Eyeshot does when faced with sea, snow, sand and air, but from our early impressions it certainly looks strong enough to weather as well as any other action camera we’ve seen. Overall, a superbly featured product, which we think could win a lot of friends over the coming months.
Solution: Ambarella DSP A7LX75m+
Color Sensor: Panasonic 16 Mega Pixels CMOS Sensor
Lens: 7G+1IRF Ultra-Sharp Lens, F/no=2.8, f=3,4mm
Focus Range: 0.8m ~ infinity
Field of View: Ultra Wide/Wide/Narrow (145 Degrees Maximum)
Video Resolution / Field of View: 1080P 1920×1080 (60FPS) 126 Degrees, 1080p (U) 1920×1080 (30FPS) 126 Degrees, 1080p (W) 1920×1080 (30FPS) 102 Degrees, 1080p (N) 1920×1080 (30FPS) 75 Degrees, 960p 1280×960 (60FPS) 140 Degrees, 960p 1280×960 (30FPS) 140 Degrees, 720p 1280×720 (120FPS) 102 Degrees, 720p 1280×720 (60FPS) 126 Degrees, WVGA 848×480 (60FPS) 140 Degrees
Time lapse: 1,3,5,10,30,60 seconds
Video Format: MP4
Video Encoding: H.264
Picture Resolution / Field of View: 16M 4608×3456 142 Degrees, 12M 4000×3000 118 8M 3264×2446 93 Degrees, 5M 2592×1944 73 Degrees
Self-Timer: 2, 10 Seconds
Interval Shooting: 1, 3, 5, 10, 30, 60 Seconds
Picture Format: JPEG(exif2.2), DCF
White Balance: Auto
Shutter Speed: Still: 1/2 ~ 1/4000 (Electronic Shutter) Video: 1/30 ~ 1/2000
Shutter Speed: 1min/3min/5min/10min/30min/60min/Off
Wi-Fi Built-in: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
2.4GHz RF Remote Built-in
Loop Recording: 1080p 30FPS Ultra Wide
High Video Bitrates Capture: H.264 (Up to 15 Mbps)
Average Record Time: Video (1080p, 60FPS): About 90 Minutes / Photo (16MP): About 250 Photos
Auto Power Off: 1, 3, 5, 10, 30, 60 Minutes
TV Output: HDMI
Waterproof: Up to 60 Meters (With Waterproof Case)
Power Source: Li-ion Battery 1130mAh
Storage: Support micro SD card up to 32GB SDHC Class 6(not included)
PC Interface: USB2.0 (High Speed)
Free Android/IOS App: ActionCam!