Sunday, 29 October 2017

First test of Firefly Hawkeye 8 camera

Before my visit to Spain to swim I'd look for a waterproof camera having decided that my Panasonic LMC25 probably wouldn't survive a few hours immersion in salt water. After scanning many reviews there didn't seem to be a perfect device despite the vast variety of consumer electronics available!

Since then I look into things a bit more and found the Firefly Hawkeye 8s which was available direct from China at around £100 with a medium/high specification (for example it really does offer 4k 30fps). The online reviews place it well below the latest GoPro (model 6 at the time of writing) in terms of both ability and price but sufficiently capable to be useful.

Naturally it didn't come with a SD card and it needs a U3 grade to ensure that the higher video frame rates and resolutions have a chance of being recorded. So far I've been out at dusk and on a rather overcast damp morning, which aren't good for any camera. The  footage so far isn't very good. Currently I'm prepared to blame the weather! Incidentally, the edited mp4 hasn't been tweaked at all, and is definately better than the YouTube processed output below.

My key observations, most of which are criticisms, so far are:
  • The stabiliser doesn't work when running and hand-holding the camera, this is likely too much to ask!
  • The colour is poorly saturated, but maybe that is realistic
  • Low light level ability is almost non-existent 
  • The battery is reluctant below 10 degrees celsius and I can't see it offering the advertised 90 minutes of recording
  • Buttons are hard to press whilst using the waterproof case
I'll have to give the camera a few more opportunities to demonstrate its abilities in more favourable circumstances.

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