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Always On: Episode 28: GoPro Hero3 vs. the competition

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Always On: Episode 28: GoPro Hero3 vs. the competition

19:31 /

Attention camera fans, we're bringing you an action packed camera road test extravaganza. We unbox the Samsung Galaxy Camera and take it to Paris for a road test. Plus, the GoPro Hero3, Swann Bolt HD and iON Air Pro 2 go head to head in our snowy video camera shootout.

-This week on Always On: Attention camera fans, we are bringing you an action packed camera road test extravaganza. First, we unbox the Samsung galaxy camera and then take it to Paris for a road test, good enough screw my Paris took Samsung. -And then the GoPro Hero3, Swann Bolt HD, and iON Air Pro 2 go head to head in our snowy video camera shoot out. -Always on is on. -It's hot, no help at all. Welcome to always on. I am Molly Wood. -And I'm Jeff Cannata. -And this is the show where we take a look at the tech that's part of your life. -And your future. -And this week on that show, it is digital cameras galore kind of a global tour actually. We took one to Paris. Brought some back to Mt. Shasta California. -And unbox some of them. -We've got a very interesting camera right at the top. It's a camera that runs Jellybean. -Yeah, I nerded out on this camera big time, check it out. -I'm super excited about this, because this is one nerdy camera. In this box is the Samsung Galaxy Camera which is the first to come equipped with WiFi. It runs Jellybean and you can even get it with a data plan. Samsung Galaxy Camera, power adapter-- all right, look at this guy. I love it. It's a pretty big camera. It's pretty good size. I like the white though and you got a little handle. Okay. Let's see what else we have here. Quick Start guide, all the cables are white, I like that nice touch. Got our international power brick here and some adapters for those and nice white pleather wrist strap and our battery-- I'm still looking in the box though because I don't see an SD card and I hate that. It's like, why did you give me a camera without SD card? Come on, let's put the battery. There you go. Let's fire it up. It's like a phone or something like all the actions happening on the back screen. It's also just like a phone because when you take it out of the box you gotta go through the setup. All right, let's do some of that while I go through setup and get it on the network and all of that. Let's talk a little more about what this guy can do. The Samsung Galaxy Camera is 16 megapixels with a 21x optical zoom and a 23-mm wide angle lens. It records 1080p video. There's a 4.8-inch LCD touchscreen on the back and the touchscreen is actually pretty high res, 1280 x 720 pixels. There's a handy headphone jack here that you can also plug a microphone into. It charges over micro USB, charges and transfers. There's on-board WiFi and Bluetooth and also GPS. This thing is decked out. It runs Android 4.1 or Jellybean. It has a quad-core processor inside. There's 8gigs of storage with 1 gig of RAM to power its features. It does have MicroSD, not standard SD so you will have to buy new cards if you have a collection of SD card. It's expandable to 32 gigs. And it's 3G enabled. You just pop in a SIM card anywhere you go. The price on this guy is $499. Now that's a little bit steep but not as bad as $549 smartphone. Because this thing is running a full version of Android, you can download all Android apps to it. You can of course upload directly to Instagram from the camera and it has voice control. It allows you to zoom, zoom in and also take photos without touching the camera. Cheese. Plus you can pair it with the Galaxy S3 and unlock even more tools. Nerdiest camera ever. Now I got to admit I'm having a full on nerd-gasm over this phone except this as the part of the show where a buzz kill you a tiny bit because despite being a super awesome internet connected camera that act just like your awesome Android smartphone, apparently this camera doesn't take great photos. That's a bummer. You would expect that since it is $500, the camera quality would be pretty good and at 16 megapixels. But apparently, our reviewers have noticed some muddy photos, some problems with low light that kind of thing. Now, it does have a nice collection of controls. In fact, you can even enable a manual mode and try to get more granular. That way that could improve the picture quality. I don't know though I have to say, the pictures are probably good enough for me because this thing is awesome. Talk about innovating on a point-and-shoot. I'm definitely digging it. You should go over to cnet.com though and read our full review before you make up your mind. It's been a really long time since I got this excited about a camera. I want it. -Wow, Molly, you are in love with this thing. -Uh-huh. -What could possibly go wrong? -Yes, I loved it when opened it up. -Ow, ow, but when you took it Paris-- -Took to Paris instead of my DSLR -Ow, ow. -and it was slightly less awesome. -Let's look at that. -So, if I'm going to do a road test in Paris, it might as well be a camera and the Samsung Galaxy WiFi camera better perform because I left my DSLR at home. Now, this camera runs Jelly Bean and has built-in WiFi, but I'm also gonna go right in there and get it a SIM card so that I can have data everywhere. Instagram having, wish me luck. Now, I got my Orange SIM Card. I put it in and hit the road, then insert SIM. Restart to access the mobile network. This is definitely even more complicated than a regular camera for sure, but I guess we knew that going in. It's giving me a signal. I don't know I cannot get the SIM card to work. It says I'm registered on the network, but I don't have any access. I don't know. I'm just gonna need to take some photos and if I find an Orange store on the way, I'll be able to stop and ask them what's up. Meanwhile, look for WiFi. One big drawback that I noticed immediately is that this camera takes forever to start up and when it starts up, it doesn't default the camera mode. It's a little time consuming to operate, but let's get to the photos. I handed the camera off to my pro photographer friend to play with some of the expert modes. We found that in bright light, or if you adjust exposure settings, you can produce some pretty nice images, a little video of myself at Notre Dame. All the pictures that I take in Paris have been teeny like looking a bit stuff, but once again, the nice big view screen definitely run as is the 20x zoom, kind of digging that. Having 20x zoom. [unk]. Just don't plan to shoot all day long. Battery life is barely a day. Also, if you're not a pro, you will be disappointed in your snapshots. So, this is like the picture. You can really see this. Oh there we go. We just took Celso with his $5000 Canon. I mean it's one thing to go around taking pictures with my phone and expecting that it's kind of phone quality pictures, but this-- Now, just having this just make me mad. I'm angry. I want my DSLR. I can't believe I left it on--. You better not screw up my Paris trip, Samsung. And as for low light shots, forget about it. Okay, in the end, as much as I wanted to love this camera and I was delighted at being able to get my e-mail on it, it's just not a good enough camera to justify carrying this instead of a phone plus the battery life is not good and all of this Android goodness just kind of gets in the way. Sorry, I tried. If you want a second opinion, read the full CNET review over at CNET.com. -Time for us to take a quick break, when we come back, it our long promised action camera shoot out, on the slopes of Mt. Shasta. You wanna miss it. Once upon a time, Jeff Cannata was surfing while testing out a camera and discovered a little something about sticker mount. -They don't work. -They don't work on the ocean. -Here's the thing, I lost a go pro camera, some right now off the cost of California, there's a GoPro camera recording its little hard out underneath the sea. -It's gonna be discovered like a shipwreck. Any, I tried to learn from that experience, so when we did our action camera shootout in the snow, and mounted an action camera on to the front of a snowboard, we did use a sticker mount, but also duct taped, geez, out of that thing. -Cool, does that work? -It turns out no. So, I owe you an apology. Apparently, it's hard to keep an action camera on the board. -Very, very difficult. -Yes, we found that out and many other things when tested the GoPro Hero3 and 2 of its biggest competitors on the ski slopes at Mt. Shasta. -Check it out. -While we're out here, we're gonna take this chance to road test 3 action cameras. We have the iOn Air Pro 2, the Swann Bolt HD and of course the new GoPro Hero3. One of us will wear each of the cameras. We'll compare their ease of use, their image quality, their overall durability and their general action Jackson awesomeness. So our model and tester for the GoPro Hero3 is our producer Sarah Harbin. We finally-- it took us a lab where we figured out the mounting system for the helmet here. So we're just gonna snap this sucker on. You kid it out. You like a little GoPro model girl. Happy skiing. All right. I'm gonna test the Swann Bolt HD. It actually has a pole mount so Nick here is helping me outsmart the mounting system. We're gonna put in the pole. And our PA/stuntman Nick Henry is gonna try out the iOn Air Pro 2. He's the only one of us on a snowboard so we actually get to try out the board mount. All right. Let's get it protected. Don't screw up. We're probably gonna gaffer tape these on a little bit because I don't really want to lose them although I feel like if you were actually testing this losing it would be pretty likely. -Oh good. -Not bad. -No help at all. All right. It's day 2 of the Always On Reindeer Games. And I have a little update on our action camera shootout road test. First off, the Hero3 which was a pretty good performer as long as you can remember which button is which, like this one is power and this one is record and listen for the beep then you'll know what it's actually doing. iOn Air Pro 2 did not have a good day. You saw us mount and dock taped this thing to Nick's snowboard. The first running took and the first fall he had, it popped right off and the mount totally failed. The sticker didn't work. On top of that, this thing apparently froze. We couldn't stop it from recording but then all the video it had was corrupted and wouldn't play. We're gonna tape it back on and try it again on that snowboard but I don't have high hopes for iOn. Okay, and finally, the Swann Bolt HD. Now I mounted this to my pole yesterday. After we reviewed the footage, we realized that you probably only wanna do that if someone else is filming you with the pole. The footage is not that impressive. So today I'm gonna try it on a chest mount and we'll actually gonna be moving the GoPro from Sarah's helmet to chest mount also just for a little different video. But other than that, this performed pretty well. The video looks okay except that it has this awesome 980 style time and date stamp in the bottom. I'm sure there's a way to go into the magical settings on your TV and like change that but we couldn't figure out how and I think it's kinda funny, so we're gonna leave it. We'll see how these guys do today. All right. It's time to review some of the footage from our action cameras. Right now we have the GoPro plugged in. And we know that GoPro generally speaking usually has pretty good video quality. But let see. Let's open up one of these big guys. Sarah going snowboarding. Look at the sunshine. All right. That is good-looking video. So the upshot here, GoPro video was good. -All right. Let's see if today actually worked. It took him like runways. -Yeah. -Really shaky. -It's really shaky and that's on your board. Okay that actually, that video quality is pretty good. -Now it's good but at sideways. -But at sideways. Can we just leave this camera for a second? I couldn't help but notice that the camera is round. It's a round camera. Why would it ever be shooting sideways or up ways or whatever and not just like one-- it's round. All right. Let's check on mine the Swann Bolt HD. Looks okay. -Pretty okay. -It's pretty blown-out like there's no-- the GoPro and iOn, Bolt, you could see the detail on the snow. This is just sort of a blinding white. So this looks all right. For my mind, the one-- the camera that probably the easiest to use and the most reliable despite some battery issues and a pretty difficult firmware upgrade, had to be GoPro. -Yeah, I hate to say it, I usually vote for the underdogs but-- -Exactly. It's not like we don't love them but they're just, you know, they've been the winner for a long time. You know, these guys are coming up and I think they'll hopefully work out some of these kinks. For me it's GoPro then the iOn despite the problems that it had. The Swann to me is just like that's not for some reason is not complete. Actually, you know what, that's not true. Screw the iOn and its sideways video. A round camera should not take sideways video, iOn loses. It's all about the Swann. -You're the boss. I can't-- -And GoPro. -I can't disagree. -Sideways, no. GoPro wins. -It has been pointed out that I might have been a little bit hard on the iOn Air Pro. -Huh. -It doesn't always shoot video sideways when mounted properly. That should be-- -Just sometimes it's wrong. -That camera though, it had much better video quality than the Swann Bolt HD. It just had a few more bugs and to be perfectly fair, so did the GoPro. -Uh-huh, but it sounds like the GoPro still reign supreme. -It just does. I mean those guys, they've been doing it longer. Those cameras are did simple operate. You can see why they are still on the lead, but GoPro, you need to keep you game you love a lot. -Yeah. -Just same, watch out. All right, I know you guys are gonna have thoughts about that and I hope you will send them to us on in the mailbag so I can read them next week. Let's see what you sent this week? Just one fashion question in the mailbag today. Jordan writes sentences-- I've looking to buy a Nokia Windows Phone 8, and I just personally love the color red. So, if I bought one, a case would just cover up all the stylishness. I don't know if that's a word or now of it. My mom says that I need a case though. All that to say, I'd like to see a flagship Windows Phone 8 torture. I know you already dropped an 8X from a ladder and see-- Yes, but I'd like to see if a Windows Phone 8 can survive the normal test, preferably a Lumia Just as a side note. Thanks, love the show. Now, Jordan, I hope that you saw our Nokia Lumia 920 torture test from the Ski Slopes. That ought to let you know that it's pretty tough because I assume you're not gonna be driving a snowmobile over it. I got to say despite what your mom says, it's been my experience that these phones are tougher than you might imagine. Now, you have been sending lots of torture test while we were on break. Other suggestions include the Samsung Galaxy 5 Player, the HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 14-inch. All the Nexuses and Consoles like the Xbox 360 and the Wii U. We're gonna be busy. All right, keep the feedback and the suggestions coming. You can e-mail at alwayson@cnet.com or of course you find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. That's it for this week everyone, but next week, we are taking the show on the road all the way to Barcelona Spain. -Oh, I'm so excited. We're gonna be at the Mobile World Congress, which is the gigantic cellphone show. -Yup. -I've never been in Spain, so I'm excited about that. -Oh yeah. Our priorities are straight. Next week, we will also have part 3 of our Reindeer Games wherein we go up for a ski with some iPads and those iPads encounter some beer, not so much chocolate. -Just the iPods, nobody else had beer, just the iPads had beer, right? -Uh-huh. That's coming up next week everyone. You will find out about the beer then. Thanks for watching always on. -All right. [unk] is good. -It's good everyday. -I don't know. -I mean, I think, it looks good. -It should be the strapping, it should messy, but it shouldn't be-- -Right. -I can't believe you're touching my hair-- -It's really appraised. I actually can't believe that-- -Did you secure that thing? -No, it's good. -Okay, run. -It's always gonna-- -Okay [unk]. -Just not everyday, like every 3 days, okay, three, two--
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