During the EpicSki meetup in Aspen, I had a chance to try out the new ELE Action camera with wifi.
Original Elephone Explorer 2 inches 4K Ultra HD WiFi action camera
Adopting Aliwinner V3 chipset
OV4689 16.0MP CMOS image sensor
Wide Angle: 170 degree wide angle
Supporting Micro SDHC up to 64GB (not included in the package)
Screen: 2 inches TFT LCD, 960 x 240
Removeable and rechargeable 1050mAh Li-ion battery, working time about 2 hours at 1080P
Battery charging time about 2 hours
Video Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160) 15fps, 2.7K (2688 x 1520) 30fps, 1080P (1920 x 1080) 60fps / 30fps, 720P (1280 x 720) 120fps / 60fps / 30fps
Image Resolution: 16M (4608 x 3546), 12M (4000 x 3000), 10M (3672 x 2754), 8M (3264 x 2448), 5M (2560 x 1920)
Audio System: Built-in microphone / speaker (AAC)
30m waterproof with waterproof case
Support XDV APP for WiFi function
Perfect for outdoor sports, extreme sports, water sports, etc
See my video for example footage
My ratings, from 1 to 5
Video (1080p@60fps): 3 out of 5
As you can see in my video, the footage was very sharp in the right light, but when there was direct sunlight the camera did not fare well and the snow almost had a glow sort of appearance to it at time.
In the shade, you can make out the texture of the snow much easier, but the snow has a blue hue to it.
I do not have a 4k monitor so 1080p was the highest I could test.
Battery: 5 out of 5.
I was able to record over an hour of footage in 1080p with a single charge. The day actually ended before I killed the battery. The battery indicator only had one bar left so I doubt 2 hours is totally feasible, more likely it's between 1:15-1:30 battery life, which is more that enough for filming your ski day.
Watch the video I made where I compare to the gopro. You can barely hear anything. I think this has more to do with the waterproof case than the camera itself. Since I did not test the microphone without a case I'm not rating this.
Waterproof Case: 5 out of 5
What can I say, it's waterproof! This case is actually thicker than the gopro case. It's pretty tough. I wouldn't be surprised if you could drive a small car over it without collapsing it.
Wifi: 1 out of 5
I could not make this thing stay connected to my phone. Right after I paired with the wifi it would work, but as soon as my screen went black the wifi dropped. When I entered the passcode on my phone and went to the ELE action camera application,the camera did not reconnect. I had to go through the whole repairing process which took over a minute. A huge pain if you need to pair your phone every time you simply want to record.
Note: I have an iphone 6s plus.
Stuff I liked:
Slo-mo mode: The camera had a separate filming mode for slo-mo. So, I could go to settings and tell it that I want slo-mo in 720 @ 120fps. From there, I could just turn on slo-mo filming mode and it would always use that pre-defined setting. This seems like a useful feature and is a lot more simple than constantly having to go into the settings and change around the resolution and frames per second.
Playback: You could watch videos from the screen on the camera, or your phone.
Ease of use: UP/Down arrows on the side made navigating the menus and changing settings on the camera simple and straight forward, even when inside the waterproof case.
Stuff I did not like:
No recording feedback: Aaaaaarrrrrggg!!! Probably the most frustrating part of using the camera. There was no audible tone to alert you that the camera was recording. For those of you that have used action cams before, you know that you need to press the record button pretty hard (due to the waterproof case), and as a result, you may not always exert enough pressure to make the camera start recording.
As a result, I was constantly asking (and probably annoying) a bunch of people on here if I was recording. This, along with the wifi issue I was experiencing, slowed down my powder day and made me want to drop kick the camera a couple times. But seeing as the camera was not mine to dropkick and had to be given back, my better judgement decided against it :) The camera does have an option for an audible alert, and it was enabled. I tested the camera out of its case and I did not get a beep either, so this may have been a defect with this specific camera.
Performance in sunny weather: As you can see from my video, the camera can have trouble with direct sunlight. But then again, the gopro did a little bit as well.
White Balance: If you get footage of the snow in the shade, it's gonna come out blue-ish.
Overall review: 3 out of 5
Value: 5 ouf of 5
The skinny: The everyday, run of the mill skier may be asking themselves, after reading this, "Is it as good as a GoPro?" What they should be asking themself is "Do I really need a GoPro?" The answer is probably no. Just doing a simple search for this camera on google I see it selling for $60. Sixty dollars! For the price of a gopro session you could purchase three of these.
I do think future cameras need their settings refined so that the sunlight does not have such an effect on the overall picture, or at least add the equivalent of gopro's protune. I wish I was able to test this camera in overcast conditions as I feel it would have excelled. The bottom line though, is that this camera takes almost as good video as the gopro, for a fraction of the price, and should meet most customers needs that they expect from an action camera.
(Video manually must be changed to 1080p)