Pivothead Durango (glacier blue) review: Pivothead Durango (glacier blue)

Screenshot by Joshua Goldman/CNET

You can also change the resolution to 720p60 or 720p30 by pressing and holding the front of the rocker switch. The camera is capable of much more, though to change the settings you'll need to install a piece of software on a computer and connect the glasses over USB. (Apps for doing this with iOS and Android devices are in development as is live streaming.)

The camera's photo options are more plentiful than I initially thought, giving you settings for time-lapse photos and burst capture, and macro photos for subjects that are closer than 3.5 feet. However, without a viewfinder of any kind, you'll have to do a lot of experimenting to learn the limits of everything in order to get the shot you're after. That goes for photos and video.

Everything gets recorded to 8GB of internal flash memory; it can hold up to an hour of 1080p30 movies. The battery is also good for about an hour of continuous recording and takes about two hours to fully charge again.

To get your shots off the camera, you'll need to connect the glasses to a computer or pick up an Air Pivothead, a $99 2-by-2-inch battery-powered box with a Wi-Fi radio and SD card slot. It can be used to wirelessly view and transfer stuff off the glasses or offload to an SD card as well as charge the glasses up.

This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Video quality
When showing the video to some friends and co-workers, the response I got was "not bad," which pretty well sums it up. The 1080p30 video (recorded at approximately 14Mbps) is very good, on par with a minicamcorder like the GoPro, higher-end smartphone, or entry-level full-size HD camcorder. You won't mistake it for video from a high-end consumer or professional camcorder, but for posting clips to share online, the results are fine. Well, for the most part.

Any video shot with the glasses while moving is subject to wobble and skew from rolling shutter, which is typical for this type of camera. Panning your head around results in judder and moving subjects generally have ghosting. Again, typical of this type of camera, but it doesn't make it any easier to watch. The Pivothead's 720p60 setting smooths out fast-moving subjects some, but it costs you some detail.

Shooting while stationary you can get some very nice video, and in general detail and color in good lighting are very good. Exposure adjusts smoothly, but somewhat slowly when lighting changes, which pretty much happens all the time when you're moving. Low-light video is loaded with noise and artifacts and loss of detail, however with these being sunglasses you probably won't be shooting too much at night or indoors.

The mono mic built into the frame is good enough to capture the wearer's voice, but everything else will need to be really close, loud, or both. Wind noise can also be a problem (as you can hear at the end of the video above).

Conclusion: Recommended with reservations
The biggest benefit to Pivothead's glasses is that you can just pop them on and start recording. There are no mounts or other equipment needed and they're lightweight so they won't get in the way of what you're doing. However, considering the $350 price, that convenience might be too easily overlooked for some users when viewing its video quality.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

Pivothead Durango (Glacier Blue)

Part Number: Durango-glacier-blue
MSRP: $349.00 Low Price: $299.00 See all prices