Having not particularly been in the market for an Action Camera, I seemed to have stumbled upon a bit of a bargain and now find myself the proud owner of a new Veho MUVI HD NPNG Edition cam. So in this blog I hope to give those interested a quick run-down of the product.
I hadn’t particularly researched action cameras much, primarily because it seemed there was only one product dominating the market and this product was I felt a little bit expensive (when you added the accessories) for what it actually did. I’m obviously talking about the GoPro Hero 3+ which admittedly produces stunning video for such a small device and lens but you are looking at spending the best part of £300 for a kit with a limited number of accessories although this does include the waterproof housing, £360 if you want a remote control for this. The other problem or perception I had was that the competition up against the GoPro firstly didn’t match the video quality offered by th
the GoPro and secondly were priced quite highly also.
I then fortuitously stumbled upon what looked like a great offer for the Veho MUVI HD NPNG. A full HD 1080p action camera and a tonne of accessories in their No Proof No Glory bundle edition. Total cost, £109 from Amazon.co.uk (it is still on offer!!) saving £110 on the £219 retail price and probably well over £200 cheaper than the equivalent kit via GoPro
As you can see from the picture, the NPNG Edition Bundle comes supplied with enough accessories to get you out there taking video footage of all your adventures. You have pretty much everything you would need straight out of the box although my first observation would be that it takes a little time actually working out what all the various bits are for. The only accessory missing for me was the Suction Cup mount which allows you to mount the camera on a window or other smooth surface e.g. windscreen, car bonnet but this as an accessory is again priced very competitively when compared to a GoPro equivalent.
So what about the camera itself. An extensive list of specifications can be found on Veho’s website, however the stand-out specs are as follows:
- Video Modes: 1080p 30fps, 720p 60fps & 30fps
- Bit Rate: 16mbits @ 1080p 8mbits @ 720p
- Fixed Aperture f2.5 with 170 degree field of view
- x3 Digital zoom when recording in 720p mode
- Built-in LCD for playback on the device
- 4 hours battery life – Veho claim 3 hours but if turn off the LCD you can squeeze extra out
- 8mp, 5mp, 3mp Photo Modes
- x4 exposure modes
- Continuous Photo shooting mode (a great way to setup multiple shots for time-lapse)
The things I would have liked to see included in the camera are a removable battery and the ability to accept lager microSD cards, the limit on the MUVI HD is 32Gb.
First thing you will notice about the MUVI HD is it is designed to be held upright like a Smartphone, the difference being that it is capturing the video in the correct landscape orientation. This has some benefits as your grip actually feels sturdier in the hand, however it still feels a little unnatural. The supplied remote is something I really like and of course is an optional extra on most GoPro kits. Remote operation is simple, press the record button to record video, stop button to stop recording and the capture button to take a photo, the range of the remote is about 5m. Note the remote is not waterproof.
The supplied Waterproof casing feels very well made and is rated to survive depths of up to 60m for 60 minutes, another great feature of the waterproof case is that it is compatible with the various mounting options either via use of a standard tripod-screw mount (another fantastic provision) or by a back plate adapter that allows you to attach belt mounts, clothing clips etc. When the camera is the case it is very solidly housed and video record operation is via a single external button. I would have liked to have seen the ability to capture a still photo when the camera was housed but sadly this is not possible manually, although you could set-up a delay timer but this would have significant limitations.
Watch in HD for best results
In terms of video quality the MUVI HD produces some great results. In good lighting conditions the output is crisp and the colours look natural, video can show some noise when used in lower light conditions and I think this is one area where the GoPro really beats the competition, however output in low light situations generally is of a better quality than a high-end smartphone.
Still picture quality capture is also better than I expected there are elements of fringing in certain situations however being a DSLR user I wasn’t expecting DSLR levels of still quality.
Audio capture as expected isn’t the greatest but is passable. To be honest nobody has managed to get sound capture right with this type of camera and why should they!! They are designed to be used is pretty “different” scenarios where audio is pretty extreme so for me at least audio capture wasn’t a high priority.
The built-in LCD screen makes operation and set-up of the camera very easy. You can use the LCD to frame your shot or video and navigating set-up menus is much more intuitive. Again this functionality is not possible using a GoPro without buying an optional extra or using another device such as your smartphone which means you need two hands to operate. Once you have set your framing you can turn off the LCD screen to save on battery.
Watch in HD for best results
I mentioned the continuous still shoot mode above as being good for time-lapse, and it is a great feature. Essentially the MUVI HD allows you to set-up the camera to take a still photo continuously at intervals of 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 60 seconds. It will happy sit there taking snaps of a scene until either you run out of capacity on the card (unlikely) or when the battery runs out. My linked You tube video above shows the results of a 4 hours continuous shoot test which equated to one full battery charge.
Overall and considering the current offer price you can not beat this little camera especially as it comes supplied with almost all of the accessories you’d ever need. Whilst in terms of video quality it is not as good as the GoPro Hero 3, which can now support 4k video capture, it offers a very good level of video quality. However the main selling point for me is it also offers some great additional features above the GoPro such as the built-in LCD screen, longer battery life and that continuous shooting mode which make the device more usable, accessible and fun.
So if you are in the market for an action cam and can’t justify the expense of investing in the GoPro camera plus the additional expensive GoPro accessories the MUVI HD is a great proposition.
Other Video Footage Examples: