Livestream Mevo review:

A clever camera that helps you be a better storyteller

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Livestream Mevo camera uses a 4K-resolution sensor to digitally reproduce the look of a multicamera shoot. The iOS app is well designed, making it a breeze for anyone to pick up and use. The app lets you create camera cuts on the fly, so your end result is a fully edited video. You can live-stream video to Livestream's site or Facebook Live and/or record to a microSD card.

The Bad Battery life taps out at about an hour. Video quality is best suited for mobile-device viewing. Can't control multiple cameras at once to capture different angles. No Android support.

The Bottom Line The Livestream Mevo and an iPhone put the power of multicamera storytelling in your pocket.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Image quality 7.0

Single, static camera shots can make for some pretty boring storytelling. But you probably don't have access to a bunch of cameras, people to operate them, or a team of editors when it comes time to capture your kid's school play, little league game or your garage band.

With the Livestream Mevo camera and its intuitive iOS app, though, you can create videos with a variety of shots using just one camera and your iPhone. The camera has a 4K-resolution image sensor and some very smart software, so you can digitally pan and zoom in and out -- creating everything from wide shots to close-ups while still capturing at 720p HD resolution -- with nothing but your fingers on your iPhone screen.

On top of that, the $400 2.5-inch tall camera (about £300 or AU$520) can record to its microSD card slot (a 16GB card is included) and live-stream to Livestream's service or Facebook Live. That's done by connecting your phone and the camera to the same Wi-Fi network, or you can do a direct Wi-Fi connection to your phone and use its mobile broadband to stream. Basically, with nothing more than your iPhone and a Mevo, you can set up a live shoot with the look of multiple cameras.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Multiple shots at your fingertips

Let's say you want to capture a live band performance. You set up the Mevo to take advantage of its wide 150-degree field of view. Then, you wirelessly connect to the Mevo with an iPhone (it'll work with an iPad too, but is optimized for the iPhone) and using the app you can create different shots to cut between. Start with a shot of the whole band and then pinch to zoom in for a tight shot on the singer or get a two-shot of the bass and drums.

Once the performance starts you cut between the shots you've created just by tapping on them, giving your video the look of a multiple-camera shoot. The camera's intelligent face detection and movement tracking capabilities allow it to stay on subjects and can even be used to let the camera automatically create shots.

You can also zoom in and out on the fly at different speeds determined by how long you hold your fingers on the screen. The same goes for panning: drag your finger from one subject to another and hold your finger down for however long you want the pan to take. This is all done live while you're recording or live-streaming the event, so you have a finished, fully edited movie as soon as it's over.

The app gives you a few filter options, exposure compensation and you can change white balance for your lighting. For audio, you can use the built-in stereo mic, which are good if your subjects are close to the camera or are loud, or use your iPhone's mic jack to mix in audio if you want better results.

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