By Peter Tranter
Last issue we reviewed the very affordable Splash camera and this month we have the Edge HD30W, the all-singing, all-dancing top of the line model but still priced lower than their biggest competition without sacrificing any capabilities such as 1080P@30FPS and 1080I@60FPS and the ability to snap eight megapixel photos with the 175 degree lens.
In the world of action cams, it’s the norm that the units have a minimum of buttons, so when presented with something like the Edge HD30W, it can be a little bewildering as it displays a huge array of buttons all over the place, left, right and centre.
However, I prefer buttons. Yes, they may interrupt the lines and make something look a little disorganized, etc but I like them because they give me instant information on what is what with the controls of the camera compared to other units, which require you to be pressing the same button three times, through an on-screen menu.
So on the front you have the on/off switch and above this switches for the G-sensor, the light meter and Wi-Fi status indicator. When the G-sensor is switched to green it enables the camera to sense changes in gravity. If left still for three minutes or more, the camera will exit recording, which will save battery life.
the light meter is useful for when the central subject is bright against a dark background and helps with the quality of the final video/photo. The Wi-Fi button is obvious and has a blue indicator light so you can see when it is transferring information.
To set the camera up for recording or taking photos there is an ‘M’ button on the right hand side which accesses the menu and allows you to set the modes etc. below the ‘M’ button is a playback button to access those features.
One of the big features of the camera is the detachable TFT screen, which is really useful. there are many times when you will not need the screen so being able to detach it is neat way to save weight and size. When the camera is mounted on a helmet, the weight change is negligible. However, should you wish to use the Edge with a drone, then the weight saving gains in importance. Whichever way, it is just nice to be able to remove the screen when you know you won’t need it.
With or without the rear screen, there is a is a handy LCD screen on the top of the unit, that allows users to know what mode the camera is in, how much time left for recording and battery indicator. To the right of the screen are two buttons, one which will allow users to stop video recording and the other will allow them to take photos. Press both of these buttons at the same time will switch the unit off. There are also a further five buttons on top of the removable screen, which control playback items. There is also a very small hole, which is in fact the microphone.
When the waterproof casing is used as seen on the left you can see how the three primary Buttons are to be used. The green one on the front to record video, the red on the top to stop recording and the silver button for photos.
Finally there is a very neat app that can be used to control the camera from your phone, tablet, computer etc using the in-built W-Fi.
So how does it do? Very well in fact. Get to know the camera well with its optimum set-up and you will be rewarded with good, clean looking footage, especially in the 1080P mode. the 1080I mode and 60 FPS is more applicable to fast moving subjects, which will appear more fluid and personally I preferred that setting.
The camera function does a decent job, although like all action cams it does prefer a well-lit setting. There really is nothing to grumble about here and just look at all the accessories that come with the Edge.
You can pick this camera up for around £140, which considering all that you get in return is something of a bargain especially when compared with more expensive rivals. Overall, I was very impressed with it.
- Full HD 1080p @ 30fps, 1080i @ 60fps
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Waterproof up to 100m
- 8 Megapixel photo mode
- 175 degree ultra wide angle lens
- Micro SD/ micro SDHC cards above Class 6 – up to 64 GB (not included)
- 10 x digital zoom
- G-sensor (Accelerator sensor for auto on / stop)
- Image 180 turnover recording
- 10 FPS fast shot mode
- Built-in high quality microphone
- High capacity rechargeable battery: up to three hours continuous recording
- Weight: 54 g (114 g with TFT screen and battery)