MXA TEAM TESTED: V.I.O. POV.HD VIDEO CAMERA

February 14, 2012
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WHAT IS IT? With enough acronyms to make your head spin, the V.I.O. POV.HD (Point Of View, High Definition) is an on-board-mounted video camera designed to capture action from a first-person perspective.

WHAT’S IT COST? $599.95.

CONTACT?
www.vio-pov.com or (888) 579-2267.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the V.I.O. POV.HD video camera.

(1) Picture quality. Like its chief competition (GoPro and Contour), the V.I.O. POV.HD can shoot in high definition (1080 pixels at 30 frames per second). The camera’s sensor captures a good amount of detail while remaining sharp (and covering a wide 142-degree field of view). The POV.HD has automatic-exposure control and white balance built in. Those features are excellent when going from one extreme of light (such as daytime) to another (such as inside a house). Sound quality is also quite good. Additionally, the camera comes with a 4GB SDHC memory card. A benefit of the POV.HD is that the recording unit has a screen that shows real-time footage. This simplifies camera positioning and ensures that you’ll capture the proper view. The 2-inch LCD screen also allows you to playback and review recorded footage to make sure that you captured the shot.     

(2) Battery.
A huge negative to the POV.HD is the massive battery and accompanying cord that connects the battery to the video camera. By no means is the POV.HD petite. In fact, it is so cumbersome that it makes riding uncomfortable. A chest harness ($39.95, sold separately) is required to keep the battery firmly in place?and the thought of strapping a brick to our chests was downright scary. Additionally, power is supplied by four AA batteries, and they cannot be recharged by a USB cable. Furthermore, the unit is hardly waterproof (tested to 1 meter submerged for 30 minutes). Weak.


(3) Mounting.
It’s not easy to mount the POV.HD. Routing the cord around the chest harness and mounting the video camera to the helmet visor or goggle strap is a chore. Although the video camera is smaller than what the competition offers, the battery makes it a nuisance to use the camera. Between the V.I.O. camera and the lightweight, sleek GoPro, we’ll choose the GoPro every time.

(4) Price. At right around $600, the V.I.O. POV.HD is the most expensive on-board video camera that we’ve ever tested. GoPro, the leader in terms of sales and exposure, offers their HD Helmet Hero for $299.99. It’s half the cost and much easier to use than the V.I.O. Need we say more?

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Here’s the laundry list: (1) It’s bulky. (2) It’s expensive. (3) It’s very difficult to mount. (4) The cord is a nuisance. (5) The camera doesn’t come with a helmet mount, which is imperative for filming while ridinga dirt bike.

Although sound and picture quality are very good, we can’t in good conscience give the V.I.O. POV.HD anything more than one star. There are much better point-of-view video recorders currently on the market.  

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