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Old 07-29-2017, 02:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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SooCoo C30, a wonderful $60 GoPro alternative

Quick review on the SooCoo c30 action camera:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aOhoaz7eO8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1YlHK7H0qY


I'm certainly no expert on AV stuff, but I can say that I love this little thing! I'd been wanting an action camera to film my paintball misadventures for a while and nearly bit the bullet and plunked down hundreds for a GoPro when at the last minute I found some online reviews endorsing some cheaper, Chinese-made alternatives. I bought one, and wasn't all that impressed (Akaso EK7000), but rather than buy the genuine article I doubled-down on being a tightwad and picked up something better for even less money.

The SooCoo c30 is an action camera in the general form factor of the original GoPro, and is compatible with most 1st-generation GoPro housing and mounting accessories. It's supposedly capable of filming in 4K, but framerate is limited and it seems to be laggy, so I've limited myself to filming at 1080p/60fps. It does a great job at that. It seems to handle different lighting conditions quite well and renders very vivid color in bright sunlight. Sound recording is good too, though to get the best of it with a waterproof casing you'll need to drill some holes in the case near the microphone and speaker.

I feel like this camera is especially well-suited to paintball use for a couple reasons. First, it has audible start, stop, and low battery prompts, which, although audible in your recordings, make it very easy to know if you've started the camera when it's mounted on your mask and there's no easy way of checking to see if you hit the right button. Second, since it uses original GoPro housings, it's not that expensive to buy a spare case to cut sound vents into and spraypaint, if you chose- just be sure to remove or mask of the lens before you do so. Third, it's relatively cheap, so even if the thing gets damaged you're not out more than the cost of a case of paint to replace it again.

One of the better features of the camera is its active image stabilizer gyro, which removes a lot of the jittering you might get with a mask-mounted camera. The downside there is that it tends to drain the battery quite quickly- I'm only getting about 20 minutes of usable time with the display set to turn itself off after 10 seconds and the gyro on.

Recommended accessories would be a spare housing or two to play with, a big micro SD card, and several spare batteries. Amazon sells these too, and I'd recommend getting the more expensive 1350 mAh batteries. These seem to last considerably longer than the 1050 mAh batteries that come with the camera. You'll want at least 5 of these for a normal day of play. Make sure you pick up one of the battery sets that comes with a 2-at-a-time battery charger, so that you can charge the things apart from the camera.

Pros:
Great 1080/60 performance
Audible recording prompts
Active gyro stabilization
Classic GoPro compatibility

Cons:
Short battery life with gyro turned on
Date/Time is lost whenever you switch batteries
File naming convention seems to jumble video order











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Old 07-29-2017, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is it just me or am I seeing much less fisheye effect then a gopro?

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Old 07-29-2017, 10:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was just tossing around the idea of finally getting an action cam, thanks for the review!
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEFishy View Post
Is it just me or am I seeing much less fisheye effect then a gopro?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
Certainly better than the first generations.
I haven't tried messing with it yet, but this camera has multiple Field of View settings, from 70 to 170, though I've always kept it at the widest angle.
I do not know whether this is adjusted by software or by actually adjusting the lens somehow.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What kind of post editing software do you use?

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Old 07-30-2017, 01:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bosgarage57 View Post
What kind of post editing software do you use?

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Just Microsoft movie maker. It doesn't like to export videos at 60fps, so you have to trick it by setting the output frame rate to 59.94.
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