Thursday, December 20, 2012

Video with the Swann FreestyleHD

UPDATE - April 2013 - 
I've shot a number of hours of video with the Swann Freestyle HD camera.  These videos have been from an RC glider platform, a paraglider inflight, and hand-held.  It's my opinion that the color quality and general video sharpness are not up to the quality levels of the new Go-Pro HD 3 line.  I still find the quality to be as good or better than the GoProHD (the last generation) and certainly, for the money, a good camera for the price (as low as $150).  If you want the best, you will have to pay for it (as much as $650 for the GoPro Black).

As I wrote previously, the Swann FreestyleHD is a small format action sports video cam that rivals many of its competitors with regard to pricing.  If the durability and video quality are comparable this is quite a find.

The durability is yet to be demonstrated since I've flown with this camera for less than 3 hours.  The video quality does have some noticeable variance from the GoPro standard however.  As you can see in my video below, there is a noticeable darkening in the corners of the frame - it's not overly distracting, but it is there.  I've also noticed an occasional vertical line through the frame caused by something unknown.  Please note that I'm no video expert in either the editing nor filming areas, so your mileage may vary.

Does this variance in quality change my decision to purchase this camera?  No.  It fits my needs and was within my price justification zone.  Is it as "good" as the new GoPro White?  Probably not.  But for half the price it is a product to consider when shopping for an action sports camera.


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