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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    VIO POV.HD (Anyone Using It?) vs Others (GoPro HD2 & Contour+)

    I am looking to purchase a POV camera and I was wondering if anyone here is using a VIO POV.HD? It seems like the best choice for mountain biking if you are mounting to your helmet. Just strap it to the top of your helmet, throw the DVR in your Camelbak, and mount the remote switch to your handlebar. Any opinions? Cost is not a factor because I would probably spend the same amount on a GoPro after buying all the accessories.

    Points I have taken from information online:

    1) I would think having a light weight camera body on your head would be preferable to having a heavier all-in-one on your head all day long or a heavier unit mounted off to the side of your helmet. POV.HD camera head is 2oz, GoPro HD2 is 5.9oz, and Contour+ is 5.3oz
    2) The POV.HD seems to have better glass f/2.0 versus f/2.8 with the GoPro & Contour so it should record much better in low light than the GoPro. Each f-stop is double the amount of light so f/2.0 vs f/2.8 is a big change. The POV.HD also has a larger image sensor 2.7" vs 2.3" with the GoPro, which also means better low light performance and less noise.
    3) The POV.HD has full frame (matrix metering) which means it will adjust to changes in light much better and have a more balanced exposure over the whole frame. The GoPro has center-weighted & spot metering which only takes a reading from a limited central area of the frame, which can lead to a washed out sky and/or very dark shady areas when riding through the woods.
    4) The POV.HD can run off of any AA battery. GoPro & Contour use proprietary batteries.
    5) The downside is that the POV.HD is only rated to 1 meter for water proofing and I am not sure If I would want to test that. I read somewhere that they have a waterproof housing but their website does not list it. Also I am not sure how easy it is to get replacement lenses for the camera if you wreck and crack the glass.
    4) Also, the POV.HD mounts use screws so once you set it you better want to keep it there unless you want to haul around a screwdriver.
    5) The POV.HD is out of stock so I am not sure if they are about to release something new or is the company in trouble or are they just that popular?

    Aperture: f/2.0, Relative Illumination @ Full Field 90%
    Focus Distance: .7m - Infinity
    Field Of View: 142 (1080p), 95 (720p)
    Imaging Hardware:
    Sensor: 1/2.7 HD CMOS sensor, 3.0 meter pixel size
    Dynamic Range: 69 dB
    Sensitivity: 3300 mV/(lux-sec)
    Operating Temp: -20C to +60C (-4F to +140F)
    Processor: 32 Bit ARM Microprocessor, 10 Bit Image
    Video - 1080p HD Video:
    Resolution/Frame Rates: 1080p/30fps, 1080p/25fps, 1080p/24fps, 720p/60fps, 720p/50fps, 720p/30fps, 720p/25fps, 480p/30fps, 480p/25fps
    Video Codec: H.264
    Video Container: MPEG-4
    Exposure control: Automatic Exposure Control and White Balance
    Audio Built-in Mic:
    Audio Codec: AAC
    Mic Type: Monaural Omni-directional Cable-mounted, -40dB sensitivity at 1kHz
    Resolution: 16 Bit Half Duplex
    Sampling Rate:16kHz
    SNR: 80dB
    Speaker: Monaural 8 ohm Mylar, 0.7W Max
    Data Handling (32GB SDHC):
    Max Storage Media: 32GB SDHC
    File Functions: Record, Playback, Delete
    I/O Ports: SD Card Slot, USB 2.0 High Speed (Mini-B), Mic-In, NTSC/PAL Analog TV /Audio Out (Live Stream Capable)
    Record Time: 4.33hrs (1080p 30fps/720p 60fps) 15Mbit/S
    SIZE & MASS - Lightweight + Compact
    Recording Unit: 40mm x 60mm x 167mm, 328 grams (With 4 AA Batteries)
    Camera Head: 58 grams
    Remote Control: 24 grams (With A27 Battery)
    Digital A-V Cable: Approximately 1.5 meter Length, 128 grams
    Battery/Runtime: 4 AA Alkaline/2.5hrs (1080p 30fps/720p 60fps), 4 AA Lithium Ion/5hrs (1080p 30fps/720p 60fps)

    GoPro HD Hero 2
    Camera Optics:
    f/2.8 Fixed Focus
    170 Wide FOV (Including 1080p)
    127 Medium FOV (In 1080p)
    90 Narrow FOV
    1080p: 19201080, 30FPS
    960p: 1280960, 48FPS + 30FPS
    720p: 1280720, 60FPS + 30FPS
    WVGA: 848480, 120FPS + 60FPS
    High Performance,1 /2.3 CMOS Image Sensor
    Light Sensitivity: .84 V/lux-sec
    Video Format: H.264 codec, .mp4 File Format
    Exposure Control: Spot, Center Weighted
    White Balance: Auto
    Mono, 48 kHz, AAC Compression, Auto Gain Control
    Stereo External Microphone Input (3.5mm)
    SDHC: Up to 32GB (Class 4 or Higher)
    Average Recording Time with 32GB SD Card:
    1080p30: 4 hours
    960p30: 6 hours
    720p60: 4 hours
    720p30: 6 hours
    WVGA 120: 4.5 hours
    FOV: Wide 170 FOV, Medium 127 FOV
    CAPTURE MODES: Single, 10 Photo Burst, Time-Lapse*, Self-Timer
    * Now supports time-lapse photo every 0.5 seconds. Requires Class 10 speed SD Card.
    Size & Weight
    Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.6 x 2.4 x 1.2 (42mm x 60mm x 30mm)
    Weight: 3.3oz (94g) incl. battery, 5.9oz (167g) incl. housing
    Waterproof Camera Housing
    Depth Rating: Up to 197 feet / 60 meters
    Construction: Polycarbonate and stainless steel
    Hardware: Stainless steel

    f/2.8 Aperture
    Full HD - 1920 x 1080 @ 30/25fps
    Tall HD - 1280 x 960 @ 30/25fps
    Action HD - 1280 x 720 @ 60/50 or 30/25fps
    Photo Mode: Every 3, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds
    5MP Sensor
    Codec - H.264/AAC / File Type - MOV
    AAC Audio Compression
    32GB microSD Compatible
    Battery Life: 2-2.5 hrs
    Other Stats:
    Flush Front Lens
    Still Photo Mode
    Low Profile Design
    USB Output
    Internal Mic
    2GB microSD Memory Card Included*
    Removable Lithium-ion Battery
    Easy On Record Switch
    GPS Video Mapping
    iOS/Android Support via Bluetooth v 2.1
    Connect View Compatible
    Connect View Card Included
    Live Streaming via HDMI
    External Mic Jack
    Wide Angle Lens 170
    Lens Type Custom Six Element Glass
    Lens Rotation 270
    Weight 5.3oz
    Dimensions 98 x 58 x 34
    Included Mounts Profile Mount, Rotating Surface Mount (2)
    Included Cables USB, Mini HDMI, Mic Cable

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Neo-ST's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Why don't you simply look up comparison on YouTube?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Yep, I have already done that. I am looking for Mountain Bikers that own and or use the VIO for opinions on their likes, dislikes, and issues.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I noticed that a lot of the POV.HD videos show the image becoming lighter and darker every few seconds due to the dynamic exposure control on the POV.HD. I think this issue is due to people not understanding the difference between spot and full frame metering? If there are two extremes in the picture then spot metering will work better at blocking out the bright sky and exposing the shadows properly. If the default of full frame is left on while filming a location that has extremes (a bright sky and a lot of shadows) then the overall picture will become darker when the dynamic exposure control tries to find a middle ground between the two. I think this is why the GoPro videos usually look brighter because they only have spot metering and the POV.HD is setup standard on full frame metering with the option to switch to spot metering. Apparently there is no exposure lock only offset values for the dynamic exposure control (-3 through +3) on the POV.HD. I would be interested to hear peoples opinion on this assumption.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Neo-ST's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I don't know how POV.HD works, but my Gopro Hero2 often produces too dark images, for example in this video, take a look at 2:15 time mark - doesn't make any sense. Note that this route was towards the sunset, and sun could be barely seen. Maybe its metering spot was in the sunset, not on the track. Sometimes you could remedy that by pointing more downwards, but sometimes you just can't and then you end up with dark images like this :/

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    btween s my brother and i have used quite a few pov cams, we started out with the crappy ones, oragon scientific, used a few times then gave it away as it was turd, then col got a wireless thing from dogcam, that wasnt very good, so gave that away, i got a go pro, that lasted about 6 weeks then broke, so it got binned, then col got a vio pov 1.5
    this was quite impressive, the quality is quite good and it's pretty light, the only downside is the set up. you need a scewdriver to set up the mounts, and a big pocket or bag to carry the recorder pack, though to be honest, we have never found it to be a problem,
    after binning the go pro i got a contour hd 720,,, then a few months later also got the hd 1080, both are still going strong today, they are easy to use simple to mount and have good quality. my only complaint would be the mounts are quite crappy, though they seem to be offering revised mounts now,

    in september last year i got a pov hd for my brother, though unfortunatly due to his accident and the weather being crappy, he only got to use it a coupple of times,

    the set up is almost identical to the pov 1,5, screwdriver required to set up the mounts, and a bag or pockett for the recorder, the overall quality was amazing, clear and smooth, and it seems to adapt to light changes reasonbly quick to, no dark patches like the contours do,
    one thing i have to say tough, and we have noticed this on both models, 1.5 and hd, (you mention putting recoderpack in your bag and using the remote to start/stop recording)
    from our experiance the remote isnt that good it doesnt seem to work very well, not sure why, we just thought it could be the signal being blocked as it was inside cols dakine backpack,
    when we use the vio, i usually turn it on, start recording, lock the keys, then put it in his back pack, then when we stop i take it out unlock keys, stop record, and turn off,

    overall both contour and vio are great for mountianbike filming, both offer thier own advantage and disadvantages,,, it depends what you want from your camera,

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Hi! Having a VIO POV HD, With Lithium batteries + 32GB memory card, you can shoot about 5h25' !!! It's a very useful feature if you are participating to long competitions and don't want to stop for changing the batteries.
    Most of my videos as posted on my internet site

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: FrankRizzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    I've got the POV.1 and the POV.HD. The HD is great apart from the flicker when riding through trees that continually hide and reveal the sun. I have to say that I haven't yet tried the spot metering solution mentioned by Blk02, above. Quality-wise it's great. The raw output looks far better than it does after upping to YT or Vimeo etc., regardless of encoding options chosen.

    There are a couple of practical issues that bug me. One is that the battery meter is not that accurate. E.g. if you turn it on with only 3/4 full batteries, the meter will initially show that you have full power but then it will show low power once you start recording. This can catch you out if you don't make a note of how long you've been using each set. I lost my Megavalanche race video last year because the batteries died on me and the unit failed to save the file correctly. From now on I put a new set of lithiums in before recording something I really really want to keep.

    Another issue is that there's no way of telling whether the unit is recording without looking at it. The beeps it makes when recording and stopping are the same. Two different tones or a single and double beep for record and stop respectively would allow you to tell for sure what state the unit is in without having to pull it our your back pack and look at the screen.

    The beep volume could also be a lot louder. It's easily drowned out by high wind, traffic or any other ambient noise, especially when the unit is in your back pack and you're wearing a full face helmet. I sent them this feedback after I'd owned my POV.1 for a while but I guess it wasn't a priority for them...

    I'm now eagerly anticipating the Sony HDR AS15.

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