The POV camera market is a busy but congested one. The companies who got in first like GoPro are those that have dominated the arena but there are many companies now who have similar products that are just as good and like many tech companies before GoPro that have held the majority of market share, they are going to have to keep on their toes – remember Netscape, Nokia or Kodak?
Rollei are one of those companies leading the chase with a strong line of products to challenge anyone in the POV market. The one we were given to test is the middle of the range Actioncam 410 and you certainly get a lot for your money. It’s perhaps the only camera that I am aware of that can be used for any activity straight out of the box without having to purchase additional add-ons.
So along with the camera you will find various helmet/bike mounts, waterproof case and a wrist mounted remote-control, which comes in very handy and is a bonus at this price range. The camera itself is unremarkable and looking very GoPro like with its boxy appearance and has three buttons to control on/off, recording modes, which are mounted on the top plus a Wifi button located on the front.
On the reverse is the LCD screen that contains the menus etc and on the sides are located the power and USB input and outputs plus the microSD card slot (up to 32GB) and a battery compartment. The screen is a little disappointing as it’s grainy and not touch screen and therefore you have to rely on repeated pushing of buttons to gain access to certain areas etc but perhaps I’m expecting more than I should do when the camera can be bought for just under £100.
I preferred to connect to my iPhone over the WiFi and set the menu from there through the Rollei App – very easy to setup. You can also control the camera from the phone up to a distance of 15 metres. If the phone is inconvenient, then the included wrist remote control is a real bonus. No screen included but the three buttons means you can take video and photos and switch the camera off to save battery life – a very nice addition on a camera in this price range.
Along with the camera we also received the safety mount, which means that in the event of a collision with the helmet for instance, the camera detaches in a manner that doesn’t cause injuries due to increased forces to the head or the camera – when enough force is applied it detaches itself from the helmet.
Enough of looks and own to the nitty gritty of what the camera is for: to record pictures. The video output is either 1080p at 30fps or 720hd at 60fps, which are perhaps the two most popular recording modes and for photos there is a 4MB stills processor.
There’s nothing extraordinary about the image quality of both video and photos but they stand up to the competition at this price level. The video is sharper outside of the waterproof housing and of course you can hear the sound that much better. Stills are good enough size for postcard printing and does have a burst mode to compensate for the lack of slow motion on video.
That’s what you have to remember though. You can spend a lot more money and arm yourself with many more recording modes (see the 4k Rollei 420), more megapixels, etc but if you want a straight out of the box camera for under a hundred notes, that can record anywhere including up to 40m below the waterline with reasonable results, then you cannot go wrong with the Rollei 410. We’ll be reviewing the 4k Rollei 420 in the early Spring issue of the Paddler.
2 helmet straps
1x flat adhesive pad
1x curved adhesive pad
1 quick release mount