Remember that new cycle cam I ordered four months ago? I was on the verge of giving up and getting a refund when FedEx finally turned up with it.
So, was it worth the wait, and the £279?
I’ve only had it out of the box for a day, but the answer thus far is yes.
Firstly, having a combined device for front light and camera is an excellent idea, because you don’t run out of space on the handlebars if you also want a GPS/cycle computer:
The supplied mount is excellent, and clicking on and off with a 1/8 turn is nice and quick. (Oxfordshire may be a nice area for the most part, but no way am I leaving this beauty attached to the bike unattended…)
It comes with a microSD card! Admittedly only 32GB, but that’s enough for a couple of hours’ footage (it wraps round when full, as usual), and the fact they bother to put one in the box is the first of many clues that this thing is in a different league from the cheap stuff.
It feels well made and solidly built; it has some weight to it, but having a single fat battery for camera and front light makes a lot of sense. Getting it fitted to the bike was a two minute job with an Allen key.
Prior to that, though, there were some settings to be faffed with. Again, it stands out, because instead of the nonsense of having to set the date/time/options by editing a text file on the card, it has a proper app. In fact, it has two! A mobile phone one which talks to it over Bluetooth, and a desktop one if you’re plugged in over USB.
I was particularly pleased to see settings for controlling the different light modes – having all 9 available to cycle through with the button on the device is way too many.
Setting the date and time is also one click instead of having to type it in. Being able to set the length of the videos it records is another nice touch, as the hard-coded default of five minutes on the cheaper devices makes it a pain to find things in my experience.
So I took it out for a test ride this morning. When you power it up (with a nice fat button which is easy to operate while wearing gloves), it makes a loud noise to confirm something is happening. It also beeps between 1 and 4 times to indicate how fully charged the battery is, which is handy.
I was a bit concerned that the mount wasn’t tight enough, but it stayed exactly where I pointed it while being possible to adjust on the go. As you’ll see in a moment, the viewing angle is wide enough that there’s no need to worry too much about the angle.
We should also be expecting some nice stable footage courtesy of the built-in electronic image stabilization (EIS).
It may look like I’m cycling quite slowly, but in my defence it was pretty windy out there today.
YouTube may have downgraded it as usual, but the raw footage is excellent and passes my key test of being able to identify number plates on surrounding vehicles. As you can hear in the clip, it does a half-decent job of picking up sound as well.
I’ll do another post on battery life and how it copes after dark when I’ve had a chance to test it some more, but so far, I’m confident this is the last cycle cam I’ll need to buy for a decade. Unless of course I win the lottery and get a matching rear light/camera as well.