CNET: Revl Arc wants to be the smartest action cam around

18 March 2016 

One of the things I love about the wearable/mountable camera market is that, while GoPro might dominate, there are several other companies -- big and small -- developing cameras to offer features and designs GoPro just doesn't. The Revl Arc smart action camera is a perfect example.

Launched on Indiegogo today, the Arc tackles several pain points for action-cam users, including two of the biggest: stabilization and editing. Though electronic image stabilization isn't new to the category, this is the first 4K-resolution cam that I can think of that uses a combination of mechanical and electronic image stabilization.

A motor fed with data from a built-in gyroscope keeps the camera level regardless of how it's mounted, so if it's strapped to you and you flip, your video will stay right-side up and level. Electronic stabilization helps with vibration and shake not smoothed out by the motorized stabilization.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Joining the gyroscope are three other sensors: a barometer, accelerometer and magnetometer. The camera also has Bluetooth that can be used to connect to a heart-rate monitor or onboard diagnostic modules for cars. Data from the sensors can be overlaid on your video so everyone can see your performance. The camera will also use this info for highlight tagging, automatically cutting together the most exciting moments and quickly creating edited videos for sharing. (This sounds very similar to what TomTom's Bandit camera already does, and it works really well.)

Other key features include:

  • Records 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120, 60, 30fps and 720p at 240, 120, 60fps
  • Live-stream at 1080p
  • Shockproof and waterproof to 10 feet (3 meters) without a housing
  • Stores to microSD cards (up to 128GB supported)
  • User replaceable battery
  • Up to 90 minutes recording time at 4K (without Wi-Fi)
  • Standard tripod mount as well as specialized mounts created for the camera
  • One-button recording
  • Revl mobile app for live preview and controlling the camera and its settings
  • Apple Watch support
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0

Revl says the components are similar to what you'd find in GoPro's Hero4 Black including a Sony image sensor and Ambarella A9SE processor and it's using a high-quality low-distortion lens. I haven't used the Arc and this isn't a review and I'm not endorsing it, but it does look promising.

Should you decide to back it -- early bird perks start at $349, which converts to AU$460 and £240 -- keep in mind you'll be contributing to a campaign to see this product developed and it isn't expected to start shipping until December. Before you contribute to this or any other Indiegogo campaign, read through the crowdfunding site's FAQ on contributing.

Original Article on CNET