09 February 2011

Pivot Video

Out of everything I saw at Outdoor Retailer, this product is the one that I was the most excited about.

POV (point of view) cameras are gaining in popularity, People are using them to capture their adventures to give that unique perspective of "being there", and they are using them for safety reasons - videos from POV cameras mounted on helmets are being used by cyclists to document unsafe conditions and unfortunate altercations with others on the roads.

The existing POV cameras on the market currently have a minor problem: Mounting. The camera has to be mounted somewhere; helmet, handlebars, chest mount. At the best, the camera is about 5" away from being a "true" POV camera. If you have it mounted on your person - either chest or helmet - you need to be mindful of the parallax effect, or you may miss capturing what you really wanted to film. Then you have the problem of having an additional appendage on your person that you might not be used to: Say you're mountain biking along some narrow single-track, You have your POV camera mounted to your helmet to capture the experience. You come around the corner, and there are some low-hanging branches across the trail. You duck your head to go under the branches, but you don't duck quite low enough... yeah.

I had a chance to review a POV camera from another company last year. Fortunately I didn't have any problems with low-hanging branches, but I did have a lot of footage that was slightly on an angle, because the weight of the camera on the side of my helmet tipped it on my head.

Enter Pivot Video. Pivot is a new company to the POV market. What sets them apart from the other players is they provide a true POV experience by incorporating the camera into the bridge of their sunglasses giving you a hands-free, mount-free POV camera

Pivot's true point-of-view means what you see is what you get, no parallax problems, or issues with mounting.

They also have some impressive specs:
  • HD 1280 x 720 video @ 30 fps
  • 12 Mega Pixel camera
  • 44 kHz audio recording in MPEG-1 format
  • 32 GB micro SD Storage, giving you up to 10 hours of video storage.
  • Rechargeable Li-polymer battery offers up to 2 hours of HD recording time per charge
  • Upload video footage to a computer using a Micro USB 2.0 cable.
Operation is very simple. On the top of the left earpiece, there is a switch. Toggle it forward for video, backward to take a picture. The right earpiece houses the micro SD card and the micro USB 2.0 interface.

4 different styles are available, all of the glasses have 100% UV protection and Swiss- made hydrophobic, anti-scratch lens coatings. One model, the Recon, comes with 3 interchangeable lenses - clear, yellow, and grey.

 From top to bottom:

I tried on a pre-production pair at their booth, they were comfortable, and did not feel much heavier or bulkier than a normal pair of sunglasses.

Their product is about 90 days away from release. I am really hoping that I can get a pair for review, and give you a hands-on review of this product, what I saw of it at Outdoor Retailer has me truly excited.

MSRP will be around $300. More information, and some video footage (Unfortunately, I wasn't able to copy the video over to my blog) can be found at http://www.pivotvideo.com/

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