Looking for an affordable action camera? The Polaroid Action Camera is a great option, especially if you’re on a budget. This camera is easy to use and captures high-quality footage. It’s also lightweight and can be easily attached to your gear. If you’re looking for a reliable camera to capture your adventures, the Polaroid Action Camera is a great choice.
Polaroid Action Camera Review
- Good video quality.
- It is simple to use
- Action cams have a relatively narrow field of vision.
- Low-res still images.
- There are limited video resolution options.
I was thrilled to pre-order the Cube, a budget-priced miniature action camera from Polaroid, in mid-2014. I was sure I would lose a hundred dollars. It has been a great purchase. The Cube (Amazon: $1115.00) is small and easy to use. It produces remarkable video, even in low light. It doesn’t offer the same range of video and image settings or accessories as my discontinued GoPro HD Hero2 Outdoor Edition, but it does shoot better video, especially in low light, and its video quality is comparable with current action cameras that cost twice as much.
Design and Features
The Cube doesn’t do much beyond what you see. The wide-angle lens is 124 degrees in angle, so you can see a lot of what you are shooting. There’s some barrel distortion which is quite standard for this category. It is weather-proof and shock-proof, so it will not be damaged by rain or snow, but it won’t be able to withstand submersion.
You can remove the circular cover covering the microSDHC slot (up to 32GB cards supported; none are included) and the Micro-USB port. This allows you to charge, transfer photos, and set the date and time. A switch will allow you to select your recording resolution. It can be set at 720p at 30 frames/second or 1080p @ 30fps.
A magnet is located at the bottom. This is a great idea because it allows you to quickly mount the camera onto metal surfaces. The problem was that the magnetism of the metal on my skateboard or bike wasn’t strong enough to hold the camera. The parts that did work were not horizontal, and the video did not rotate. However, the Cube did stick to my car’s hood and drove at 40mph (64 km).
It’s a great idea. However, the magnet could have been used as a cover to mount the Cube from the box. A simple clip or lanyard would have been great for this “lifestyle” action camera.
Polaroid will have several mounts available. However, this means that you will need to spend more on something as simple as a helmet mount. You’ll also be searching for ways to attach a piece to your item.
The camera’s sole control is located on the top. It will turn the camera on or off by pressing it for a few seconds. Once it is on, you can press it one time to take a 6-megapixel photo. Two quick clicks will start recording, and one more to stop. You’re now proficient in using the Polaroid Cube.
The button has a small LED status indicator that emits beeps. It will beep when you begin a recording and then blink red. The LED will turn orange when the battery is at 10%.
When you insert it, a small program for Windows or Mac is dropped onto your microSD. You can adjust the volume, date, time, timestamp, and cycle recording. This last option will loop the recording, so the Polaroid Cube can be used as a dashboard camera. The Polaroid Cube can also record while being powered via a Micro-USB cable.
The battery life is only about 90 minutes. As you might expect, the battery cannot be removed, so you can’t just swap out a new one. However, the camera was designed to create short clips. The Polaroid Cube cuts your recordings into five-minute clips, so you can continue recording until your battery runs out or your memory card is full.
Video and Photo Quality
It all comes down to how you intend to view and use the video clips from the Cube.
It’s fine to share online or view on mobile devices. However, the quality is less appealing when viewed at large screen sizes and closely.
It is very low for a 1080p video at 8. Mbps, and it shows. Anything that is even slightly complex, such as trees or moving pavements, will turn into a mess with mushy detail and blocky artifacts. Low-light video can be noisy due to all the artifacts. This is something you should keep in mind if your goal is to capture indoor video.
These are subtle things that you may not see when looking at smaller sizes. The colors are vibrant, and there is no Jell-O effect due to the camera shake. Exposure changes are relatively smooth. However, if you have to move the camera around in different lighting conditions, the camera can get a little out of control.
Mounts and cases are available from Polaroid for the Cube. The waterproof case and suction mounting extend the camera’s waterproof depth up to 33 feet ($39.99) and mounts for tripods, helmets, straps, and monkey-shaped stands ($17.99 each). A few accessories are also available from third-party vendors. Although the options are limited compared to the GoPro line’s, the essentials can still be found.
It’s Hip To Be Cube
The Editors’ Choice GoPro Hero4 Silver is a versatile and high-performance action camera that can be used for extreme sports or for any other purpose. For those on a budget, the older GoPro Hero3 White and the Kodak PixPro SP1 are good choices. The Polaroid Cube is half the price of these models but offers more fun and performance than the other models.
The Polaroid Cube’s small size makes it easy to use and produces surprisingly high-quality video. It can take still images, but they are of a low resolution. The camera does not support time-lapse or burst modes. It’s an excellent choice if you don’t require these modes and are happy with 1080p or 720p video at 30 frames per second.
Performance and Use
Polaroid describes the Polaroid Cube as a “sports lifestyle video camera”, but it doesn’t claim it is competing with GoPro, the undisputed champion in action cameras. There will be parallels between any company selling an action camcorder and GoPro’s Hero cameras. Polaroid seems to be targeting kids and budget-minded people who want a simple and fun camcorder. However, they may not intend to do much with the footage beyond sharing it with friends or uploading it to YouTube.
The camera’s operation is simple. For approximately three seconds, hold down the top button to turn on or off the camera. The LED indicator will blink red, and the camera will emit beeps to indicate that it is working. Simply press the button one time to snap a picture. The LED will flash red only once. To capture video, which is what the Polaroid Cube was designed for, press the button twice. The LED will flash continuously red. You can stop recording by pressing the button one time. The LED will flash green continuously, and it will return to standby.
You can’t see what you are shooting, unlike most POV cameras that don’t have an LCD or remote-viewing capabilities. It’s possible to guess what you’re doing, and the Cube’s wide-angle lens should capture most of the fish-eye field. We used our fingers to hold the Polaroid Cube, as we didn’t have mounts. Our videos were blurry because there was no image stabilization.
The footage we captured was quite good for a $99 camera. It’s not a GoPro or Sony Full HD at 60 frames/second, but the videos looked good and were smooth, despite the bounce that we added. We weren’t able to see the colors clearly, and the details were not as sharp as we wanted, but considering the small size of the camera, the videos look great. The Polaroid Cube should be placed on something steady and even. Low or no-light conditions are where the Cube fails. It produces noisy photos and images that are difficult to read. Although photos look okay in smaller sizes, they aren’t great, and we wouldn’t recommend it as our main camera.
You might be wondering, “Why would you use this when I can probably take better photos or videos with my smartphone?”. However, the Cube’s unique size, price, mounting system, and durability make it stand out.
The Polaroid Action Camera is a great camera for those looking for an affordable and durable option. The camera is easy to use and produces good-quality images. The only downside is that the battery life could be better. Overall, the Polaroid Action Camera is a great option for those looking for an affordable and durable camera.