Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
With the sudden boom of action cameras these days, documenting the things people with active lifestyle do is easy. The thing is, not everyone can afford a Php19K-worth sports camera that big companies offer today. For those who want an alternative camera without breaking the bank, there’s the Playground Cam100 action camera that’s way more affordable than mainstream sports cameras.
Note: We have the video version of this Quick Review above. It contains more video samples of the Playground Cam100 in action!
The Playground Cam100 definitely looks like a GoPro on first glance. It’s got that rectangular box for a body with a protruding wide-angle lens on the upper right portion of its face. Without its waterproof shell on, we can clearly see the buttons with the capture/OK button on top, Mode button up front, and selection buttons on the side. At the back, there’s the built-in display that lets users preview their shots before or after recording. It basically has the same purpose with GoPro’s Wi-Fi feature. In addition to preview, users can also adjust the settings of the camera using the navigation buttons. All ports and slots are also placed on the left side. Here we have the microSD, microUSB, and miniHDMI connectivity. Finally, we have the removable battery hidden underneath. One thing we liked with this action cam is its generosity in accessories that come with the package. To mention a few you have a bar mount for bikes, tripod mount, and extra back cover that don’t come as standard in other sports cameras. So we housed it inside its waterproof shell, used its bar mount, and fixed the Cam100 on a mountain bike. We also used its mount with a double adhesive tape and made it stick to our longboard to ride under the rain. We recorded on Full HD resolution and overall, video quality was decent. Though its natural colors are not as vivid as we want them to be, its compensation for exposure is effective. During video editing, users can easily tweak its levels and saturation to further enhance the video and make it more visually appealing. We also tried it on low-light instances and it was still able to capture video with good quality. This is worth mentioning since even the latest GoPro Hero 3+ experiences a hard time while shooting in dark places. Its 900mAh battery lasted us three recording sessions of about 45mins – 1 hour each. It managed to outrun (by a little) a fully charged 1190mAh battery of a GoPro Hero 3+ with Wi-Fi turned on. Because of this, we saw the advantage of having a screen attached to the unit instead of connecting to a phone via Wi-Fi.
The Cam100, along with its array of included accessories, retail at Php5,990 and is available locally.
Playground Cam100 specs:
1080p video @ 60fps
1.5-inch LCD display
170-degree wide angle lens
What we liked about it:
*Good video quality
*Good exposure compensation
*Comes with a handful of accessories
*Battery lasts a bit longer than the GoPro’s
What we didn’t like:
*Colors are naturally desaturated
*Mounting system gets loose sometimes