Swann Freestyle HD Review
Positive:good alternative to the Go Pro HD, Good price point, light and easy to carry about. Laser support so that you can record your footage straight. Easy to use
Negative:Can't use the LCD screen whilst recording. Not the best in low lighting condition. Wide screen capability only available in 720p.
The Swann Freestyle HD is definitely serving its purpose and is a really good alternative to the Go Pro HD. Swann Freestyle HD Review
Been an adrenaline junkie, I like racing, bike riding and other sports that usually have those moments I like to capture so that those moments can be replayed; that led me to looking around for an action camera that is capable of recording high quality video. Go Pro been the market leader in that area had Go Pro HD Hero2 with all sorts of accessories and was very interesting and close to purchase but the price was a little to steep.
Swann Freestyle HD is a very good alternative and seemed to have very similar specifications like HD recording so when I got hold of one, I was very excited to open up the box and get down to some action. The list of what you get in the box below will get you shaking your head in excitement about how much Swann included to get you up and running.
What you get in the box
- Freestyle HD Camera
- LCD Screen
- Remote Control
- Waterproof case
- Lithium-ion battery
- USB cable
- AV Cables
- Helmet Mounting Bracket
- Universal L Shaped Mounting Bracket
- Universal Low Profile Mounting Bracket
- Connector Tray Bracket Accessory
- Flat Adhesive Mounting Pad x2
- Curved Adhesive Mounting Pad
- Carry case
- Wrist Strap
- Instruction manual with CD
It seems Swann left no stone unturned.
Let us take a look of some of the features that makes this camera stand out:
- Freestyle HD camera for all your outdoors activities
- Waterproof up to 65ft/20 meters for great underwater footage
- Up to 10 hours of high quality recording time
- 1080P Video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
- Micro SD recording up to 32GB (not included)
- Remote control and VOX voice activation for hands free operation
- 30fps with 3x digital zoom & stereo audio
- 8 mega pixel JPEG images with continuous and triple shot burst modes for capturing every moment
- Detachable 1.5″ LCD screen
- Instant playback for making sure you got the shot
- Watch all footage on HD TV or your computer, great for showing friends and family
- Removable lithium-ion battery with up to 2.5 hours recording time per charge
- Easy to mount to your helmet, bike, snowboard, surfboard, and much more for hands free recording
Swann Freestyle HD Design and out of the box
The camera body has a little switch for power and for activating sound, a record and a btton for taking still images; under the side flaps you can the memory card and connection slots and underneath the back cover is the battery a bout same size of the camera itself. Once the battery compartment is closed, you have a port for connecting the 1.5inch mini LCD that comes with it for live view when not in action yourself or for playback.
Other buttons on the camera includes the menu button to adjust settings using the D-Pad with + and – symbols as well as directional buttons for navigating your way through the menu and settings.
The design is so simple, there is so little to talk about, it feels solid and ready to take on every kind of action you throw at it and the waterproof casing is well designed to be light and not add too much bulk to the camera inside of it.
The transparent plastic waterproof housing can not be used when using the detachable LCD screen which is not a big deal as you are most likely going to be in action meaning you will not be looking at a a live view version of your action or moment whilst in action anyway.
The remote included in the package is also a bonus because it means you can easily start and stop recording without having to dismantle your setup every time you need to start and stop recording; the only negative point here is that you will need to switch you HD Action Camera on first before endeavoring in your action adventure; the remote would have been more helpful to have an on and off button on it.
Performance and the Swann Freestyle HD in action
The Swann Freestyle HD records at 30fps which means it will not be able to record in slow motion, although you might able to create thesame effect on a video editing software like Final Cut or iMovie. The Swann Freestyle HD has a fish eye effect with the videos of between 10 to 135 degrees which makes action sports look even more action heavy that it actually is. In the box you have various brackets and mounting options available for use. Once all set, you can ensure your camera is recording at the right or straight angle using the laser pointer built in the camera.
The 8mp camera lens also captures some excellent clip in day and bright lighting capturing all the colours perfectly and vibrant; on the other hand recording in poor lighting, the camera quality seems to be lacking a little, but then again how many of those sports will need a low lighting recording?
The battery life is good for the purpose it is serving; it will last up to 2.5 hours recording time per charge and testing it for a long ride, I got at least 2 hours battery life for it. Recording at high quality also demands for higher size memory card inserted.
The Swann Freestyle HD is definitely serving its purpose and is a really good alternative to the Go Pro HD with prices deom £199.99 compared to Go Pro HD’s £299.99.