CAPTURE THE ACTION
Hero cams (or mini video cameras) represent a busy retail space at the moment, with Interphone, Contour, Sony and GoPro among the players. All of them have been busy developing new models, launched at a dizzying pace.
The model we tested over the last few months was the Interphone HD Motion, priced around the $290 mark, though there is now a new version called the Mini Motion (with similar specs) priced closer to $170. Both are available now through various retailers.
In any case, the technology is sound. Our example produced full high-definition video that was sharper than the first-generation GoPros (arguably the benchmark) and would give the current generation a serious run for its money.
Software was basic. You preset it by plugging it into a TV screen and rolling through the menus.
The still photos were nothing to write home about and you would be smart to use a dedicated camera for decent static shots.
What we liked was it was waterproof out of the wrapping and the controls were on the top of the camera. No fiddling with external casings and it was user-friendly with gloves on.
We also like the cylindrical shape, which is much better suited for motorcycle applications than the GoPro ‘box’, particularly since it fits easily into your hand or can be taped to a piece of bodywork with minimal fuss.
The mounting system that came with the cam wasn’t great but the shape meant you could use a roll of gaffer tape to good effect.
These cams generally rely on using a very wide field of view so you don’t have to be precise about where they’re pointing. That also means they have their limitations for slick video production. Test-run yours before you depend on it.
They are great at catching action, or close-up detail if used with a steady hand, but anyone wanting precision and flexibility in their video narrative will want a second camera with a proper viewfinder and a zoom lens. I’m a fan of Canon’s PowerShot SX50 (which also does decent statics) – put that together with a hero cam and you can produce a very good result.
Back to the hero cam: while Interphone hasn’t the same cultural traction as GoPro, it offers a good result.
We’ve used Contour, GoPro and Interphone – they all have their virtues and flaws.
I’d certainly look at the newgen Mini Motion, with its ultracompetitive price (best value we’ve seen so far) and a spec sheet that says it will be more than adequate for producing decent footage.
For more information contact Strike, tel 1300 792 044, or visit strike.com.au
Interphone HD Motion price as tested: Approx. $290
New model: Approx. $170
• Motorcycle friendly
• New model looks very competitive
• Get something else for stills