For some upcoming projects, we have been supplied with 4 RePlayXD 1080 "Action Cams" to run through their paces. I remember seeing the announcements for these sexy little chunks of aluminum a few months ago I was very excited by what the specs had to offer. Now that I have the units in hand, I can say they don't disappoint.
We have been working with the GoPros for a little over a year now, and while they do exactly what they are meant to, namely go to the depths of electronics hell and return with the pictures to prove the trip, the pictures they bring back aren't all that impressive once you get past the element of"ooohhh I've never seen a camera mounted there before". Lets face it, the picture quality from a GoPro is marginal at best.
The design and build quality of the RePlay is pretty obvious from the moment you open the box. It's a solid aluminum shell that could easily be confused with a tactical flashlight. It feels like it can take a beating. The controls are extremely well thought out and simple. This masks a secret, the XH1080 is a very competent camera with much more sophistication than it's simple interface would suggest.
Aside from the now standard HD specs, 1080 30P (sorry, no 24P), 720 30P and 60P, there are a few other options: what RePlay calls "Tall HD" which is a 4:3 960 varient that I don't see being all that useful and a very surprising time lapse still mode that clocks in at 5mp.
The time lapse function is surprisingly well thought out with options to dial in an interval of 1 frame per 3, 5, 15, and 30 seconds. All of this functionality is accessed through the very clever use of 4 buttons and a few multicolor LEDs. It's very easy to set up in full daylight, something that the LCD toting action cams struggle with. The instructions for navigating the modes are thoughtfully printed on the inside of the rear cap.
Here is a short sample of footage from the first flight of the RePlayXD for American Trucker:
- In Part 2 I will be testing the RePlayXD against the GoPro, Drift, and ContourHD. Detailing the battery life and data consumption and testing the usefulness of external power sources.
- In Part 3 I will chronicle the RePlayXD's performance on a race pilot where we will put 40 of them through their paces.