V.I.O. POV.HD Advanced 1080p Camera Initial Review



helmet cam

Because it’s been so busy around the office, I wasn’t able to get a chance to research the V.I.O. POV.HD before it came in. This made a bit of a challenge on demo day due to the fact this is not your average camera. It is wise to take a little time to understand this high tech piece of equipment before you take off for the day at 5:30 in the morning to hit 2 meters of fresh powder.

helmet cam


I learned the hard way. Instead of snoozing with my girlfriend in the back of the car I was figuring how to mount the POV.HD (screw driver required) and also get to know the basic features. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not rocket science. As far as I’m concerned, one should have to take some time with a camera this professional.

So what took some time was the fact I was trying to mount the camera to a monopod... not the best idea unless you can mount the recording unit to the monopod also. If you bail and the camera goes one way and you & the recording unit go the other… you may end up damaging the cord or the camera.

My day on Hemlock ended up a bit frustrated due to the fact I was unable to make the proper mount on the top of my helmet.  Instead of capturing all my buddy’s nice turns in powder, I captured over a hour of knees and ankles shredding the pow… sweet… I did try to line the shot up by looking at the LCD screen, but every time i did this, I had to look down at the screen and the camera was mounted atop my head. Anyway, this is rookie stuff, and my own fault to say the least, but I must advise…

Take the time to figure out your mounts!!

I came home after the long day and uploaded the footage.  The footage that I was able to capture is amazing!! Very crisp and clear, with such depth. The colors are leaping out at me. I showed it around to some guys in the office and they were all stoked at how wicked the footage looked. Now we were all hooked.

That night I took the time to get to know my V.I.O.. The POV.HD has uploaded instructions on the SD card that comes with the camera.  I watched the on camera tutorial and within a few minutes was feeling quite confident that I knew the camera much better then at 6am in the morning.

I threw the helmet on and took the camera into the bathroom. I looked in the mirror and tried a few different ways to mount the camera. The goggle mount is very easy to use and clips in and out in a moment. The star mount takes a little more time to figure out where you are going to place it. Once you have, you simply remove the adhesive and stick it on the the clean surface. The tricky part is the screws and screwdriver. I would recommend you have the the mount ready to go and when you get to you destination, screw your camera onto your mount and hopefully have and epic day!

helmet cam


After I figured out my mounts I got ready for another demo day in the morning. I replaced the old batteries with four fresh AA Lithium Batteries that gave me over four hours of recording time in 1080p.

The next day I felt dialed in with this camera. We arrived at the mountain and I had the camera screwed and mounted within two minutes tops. I powered it on and left it on standby. With the touch of the remote and and the sound of the “beep” I was recording. This time I had the camera mounted on the side of my head. It will still easily capture all that is in front of you due to the fact the lens is 142° wide!

The day was partly sunny and I had no problems getting the footage I wanted. Once in a while, I took the recording unit out and quickly viewed what I had captured while on the lift.

Once again when I got home I am very impressed with the image that leaps out and smackes me in the face! This what HD should look like!! Damn!!

So here is a little breakdown on what this camera is about…

V.I.O. was one of the pioneers of the POV movement. They had a standard definition version of the POV.1, then the upgraded POV.1.5,  and now have released this HD unit.

The POV.HD comes in a case with all the basic things you may need to mount the camera along with zap straps and powerful magnets.

The camera head is good under water for about 1 meter or 3 feet for up to 30 minutes

It has advanced software that features:

  • Lens distortion correction
  • Vignetting correction
  • Lens softness correction
  •      
  • Real time video enhancement

The camera itself has:

  • High quality optics 6 element glass lens
  • Native 1080p CMOS Sensor

I did not take advantage of the loop and forward mode. This means capturing footage from the past and continue recording… no they don’t have a built in worm hole (feature request?). How this happens is while the camera is in standby it will record a moment (30 seconds) then delete it and do all over again until you decide to start filming. It then takes the last thirty seconds and tacks it on to the footage you are capturing… awesome!

After getting to know the POV.HD it’s clear to me that a certain group of people out there are going to be very pleased with this new piece of equipment. For the person who has specific activities he or she wished to capture and wants to capture it in the best image possible this is a no brainer. It all depend on your budget, and needs. The POV.HD simply has amazing video quality.  It really is beautiful stuff.

Here are the detailed technical specifications if your interested…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
OpticsFocal Distance:Fixed Focus (2.3ft/0.7m - ∞)
Aperture:f/2.0, Relative Illumniation @ Full Field 90%
Field of View:142° in 1080p
95° in 720p
VideoResolution Settings:1080p: 1920x1080 pixels, 30, 25 or 24 fps
720p: 1280x720 pixels, 30 or 60 fps
Video Codec:H.264
Format:User Configurable MPEG4 or MOV
Exposure Control:User Configurable     Metering: Full Frame or Spot
    Exposure Compensation:     -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3
White Balance:Automatic
Imaging HardwareSensor:1/2.7" Advanced Native 1080p CMOS sensor, 3.0 µ meter pixel size
Dynamic Range:69 dB
Sensitivity:3300 mV(lux-sec)
Operating Temperature:-4°F to 140°F / -20°C to 60°C
Processor:32 Bit ARM Microprocessor, 10 Bit Image
AudioAudio Codec:AAC
Mic Type:Monaural Omni-directional Cable-mounted, -40dB sensitivity at 1kHZ
Resolution:16 Bit Half Duplex
Sampling Rate:16kHz
SNR:80dB
Speaker:Monaural 8Ω Mylar, 0.7W Max
PhotoResolution:2 megapixel (1920x1080 pixels @ 96 DPI)
Capture Mode:Single Shot
StorageMemory: SD card, up to 32GB capacity (SDHC)
Average Recording Time: 8min/GB (1080p @ 30fps, 720p @ 60fps)
Data HandlingFile Functions:Record, Playback, Delete
I/O Ports:SD Cart Slot, USB 2.0 High Speed (Mini-B), Mic-in,
  NTSC/PAL Analog TV/Audio Out (Live Stream Capable)
User InterfaceLCD Display:2" LCD Screen, Resolution 640x320
Navigation Controls:All On Recording Unit, including Quick Mode Select Keys for Recording, Playback, and Set-up Modes
Auxiliary Controls:Unidirectional RF Remote Control with Record, Tag, and Stop Controls
Functionality:Record, Tagging, File Navigation including Select, Playback, and Delte. Recording Configurable for either Standard Clip Capture or Loop Mode. User Configurable Camera Settings via Settings Menu Screens
Power and Battery Battery Type: 4 x AA Batteries
Battery Life: Lithium Batteries: Up to 5 hours
Alkaline Batteries: Up to 2.5 hours
Size & MassRecording Unit:1.6" x 2.4" x 6.6" / 40mm x 60mm x 167mm, 11.6oz / 328grams
  (with 4 x AA Batteries)   
Imaging Head:2.0oz / 58 grams
Remote Control:.85oz/ 24 grams (with 4x AA Batteries)
Digital AV Cable:Approximately 60" / 1.5 meter length, 4.5oz / 128 grams

Cheers,
Mark Zealand

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