Rollei Actioncam 400 review
You mention action cameras to anyone and, chances are, the name of GoPro will be uttered. The thing is, Rollei have also building action cams for a while now and I’ve had chance to play with their brand new Actioncam 400.
The Rollei Actioncam 400 looks very similar to that other camera, but the Rollei packs a screen round the back for lining up shots and for video playback, unlike the GoPro, and it certainly looks the business.
The rubberised body feels durable and the 5.4 x 5.1 x 3.7 cm dimensions will allow you to fix it to whatever, wherever you fancy shooting from. At only 78g it’s not going to throw you off balance, whether on your bike or used as a helmet cam when skating.
On top of the camera is a pair of buttons, one to activate the menu and the other is to capture or, if you’re delving in to the menu it will work as a select button. There is also another button around front which, when pressed, will hook the Actioncam to your WiFi.
The rear of the camera is pretty much taken up by the 2-inch TFT LCD display whose 960×240 resolution is enough for you to get your shots lined up or to play back what you have grabbed.
Actioncam 400 capture, store and send
The Actioncam is capable of taking 3 megapixel (2016×1512 pixels) snaps through its CMOS sensor as well as 1080p video at 30 frames per second. You can dial that down to 720p to achieve 60 frames per second.
You can store your results as JPG for stills, MOV H.264 video with AVC audio, on to an microSD card up to SDHC 32GB (class 10) – this is just about the only thing that does not come bundled in with the camera.
As mentioned, the Actioncam 400 is Wi-Fi capable with a 15 metre range via a free iOS or Android app. Not only can you stream a live view of the camera, you can also trigger pictures and videos or change the settings of your device. Furthermore you have access to the recordings which have been saved to the memory card. You can view these directly from your smartphone or tablet or you can share them with your friends and family via email or download. Unfortunately, I could not find a specific app for the Actioncam 400 in the Google Play store, although there were many other Rollei apps in there, so I am guessing that it would only be a matter of time before it lands in there.
Actioncam 400 extras
If this is your first action camcorder then you’ll have pretty much everything you need.
~Deep Breath~ You get, bundled in with the Rollei Actioncam 400 itself, an RF wrist-wireless remote control, underwater/protective case for diving, exchangeable rechargeable lithium-ion battery, frame holder, bike mount, helmet mounting plate, 2-pin adapter, 2 locking bolts, 2 helmet straps, a pair of 3m stickers, 1 quick release mount, a USB cable and the manual.
Just imagine all the extra bits n bobs you’d have to buy if you got one of the other cams out there.
Actioncam 400 test
As most people will be using this little cube camera for outward bound sporty stuff I decided to hand it over to my friendly, semi-tamed cyclist who does the mad thing of commuting in London on a, what we call up north, push-bike.
Yup, he is one of those crazy people who regularly dices with death in order to stay fit and save on tube fare.
He is also no stranger to action cams as he uses one of those other famous brands in the 3+ Black flavour.
Here is his morning ride from the Actioncam 400
And here is the same route on the GoPro 3+ Black
This is David’s ride back home on the Actioncam 400 (he was actually riding a bike with the cam attached, not riding the Rollei – that would be silly!)
And again from the viewpoint of the 3+ Black
Actioncam 400 review
As you can see, even compared with the GoPro, the image is decent given that the weather hasn’t quite realised that it’s Spring already. The GoPro footage was taken on much brighter days.
The Rollei’s image also seems to be less fish-eyed than the other which distorts the sides like a psychedelic music vid.
The Rollei does appear to be quite shaky in comparison to the other camera but, here’s the thing, the Rollei costs 129,99 € (or £97 and change from Amazon.co.uk) where as the 3+ Black still commands more than £300, and it doesn’t come with as many goodies as the Rollei.
Navigating through the Rollei’s menu wasn’t too bad for me and I managed to take some video at one of my studio sessions, although my little GorillaPod slipped so the video was of my band mate’s feet – the audio wasn’t too bad though.
David found the menu a little confusing as he is now used to the other camera, but said it wouldn’t take long to learn. He also found the display a little difficult to see and said that the LED was too dim. He found this a bit tricky in daylight and had to stop as he wasn’t sure if it was recording or not. I only tested it at night or indoors and I found it adequate.
We both agreed though that, even with its few faults, the display is a major plus over the competition and it’s great that it switches itself off automatically after a while in order to conserve battery power.
The GoPro also offers the preview feature now via your phone + WiFi, which is good but then you have attach another mount to hold your phone.
For me, this camera does great for under £100 especially when you add in all that it comes with. I just can’t help but recommend it to anyone looking to buy their first actioncam.
The little screen, whilst not exactly HD, does a really good job unless in direct sunlight and is yet another thoughtful addition to the package.
Granted, if you triple the price you can get better but Rollei also have the 410 which captures at a higher frame rate and, I have been told, an Actioncam 500. These will be a little bit more expensive but, now you’ve see what the 400 can do for the price, it would be very interesting to see what its more potent siblings have to offer.
All-in-all, the Rollei Actioncam 400 is ideal for recording those action-packed moments – such is the robustness and versatility of this affordable camcorder.
For more details head on over to the Rollei site.
Box Contains Camera Remote Control Underwater Housing Battery Camera Frame Bike Mount Helmet Mount 2-Pin-Adapter 2 Helmet Straps 1x Flat Adhesive Pad 1x Curved Adhesive Pad 2x 3M Sticker 1 Quick Release Mount USB Cable Manual
Rollei Actioncam 400 spec sheet at a glance Full HD video resolution 1080p / 30 fps Photo 3 megapixel resolution Time Lapse Photo Mode Off 5,10,15,20,30,60 sec. 3-megapixel sensor 180° turnover shooting Waterproof to 40 meters