Less than half the price of an equivalent GoPro
The Olfi One Five action camera packs a big performance punch despite its relatively cheap price. Reliable and easy to use for capturing quality footage.
The action camera market has been been dominated by the GoPro Hero for the last few years. Steadily a few other companies are raising their game, producing cameras that are going some way to compete with the originator.
Olfi is one such company and the latest Olfi One.Five packs in some serious features for the budding filmmaker at a super competitive price point.
The One.Five has been around for a while but has had a proper makeover this year. Rather than being a pseudo GoPro look-alike, it stacks its high quality, wide-angle lens at the top of its diminutive body. It’s also smaller than a Hero, measuring just 53 x 40 x 24mm and weighing 53g (with battery). The body has a rubberised, textured coating to aid grip and, along with the recessed lens it feels like it can withstand a knock or two. The good news from a compatibility point of view is Olfi use the standard GoPro style mounting system for all its accessories. We were worried about the additional height of the camera when mounted to a helmet but in reality there were no more issues than any other cam.
Unboxing the One.Five and inside the quality carry case Olfi provide the usual range of mounts, a USB data transfer/charging cable plus two different camera housings; one being waterproof to thirty metres, the other a ‘naked’ style casing to provide the best quality image and audio.
Olfi One Five hardware
Moving on to the hardware and it ticks off the main wishlist for essential features. Most important for image quality is the sensor. Olfi use a large backlit Sony Exmoor-R sensor. Similar to that found on cameras retailing way more than the One.Five. Olfi then gyro stabilise the sensor, just like using a steady-cam gimbal, to smooth out footage on rough tracks.
The One.Five’s software is pretty sophisticated and allows for many of the manual settings found on a ‘normal’ camera. It’s simple to adjust ISO, exposure and white balance if you so want. Further options give access to colour settings (for colour grading when editing), distortion correction and a HDR mode. The good news for serial fiddlers is the Olfi’s user interface is simple to use. Plus, navigation is intuitive using the camera’s four buttons.
Turn the camera on and recording is a simple, single button push away. It is capable of filming in a bewildering array of different resolutions. Mostly though the two resolutions we opted for were 1080p at 60FPS* (for smooth recording and playback, including slo-mo). And of course 4K. The issue with recording in 4K however (the Olfi actually records 4K in 2080×2160 resolution and interpolates it up to represent a resolution close to 4K), is that whilst the image quality is superb, at just 24FPS fast moving footage can look a little jerky. The other issue with 4K is that a lot of playback quality can be lost if the viewing medium isn’t powerful enough to deal with such resolutions.
*Frames Per Second
The One.Five also has a variety of different filming modes that can be used to create some neat footage. You can film in slo-mo, video-lapse or even in motion detection mode (for hiding a camera in the woods). If you so wish the One.Five can also take pretty decent still images of up to 16 megapixels and with a setting to reduce the distortion that a 120°wide-angle lens can create.
Like the Duracell bunny
Battery life has also been quite impressive. If you keep it constantly recording it’ll run for over an hour (1 hour 5 minutes on average). Fiddling with settings, using WI-FI and constant turning on and off will drop that down to about 45 minutes. Charging takes on average about 1 hour 45 minutes. But if you can’t wait that long Olfi sell a charging bundle with two batteries and double charger for less than thirty quid.
As mentioned earlier the One.Five has WI-FI capability and can link to your phone via the Olfi app. The app allows you to view a low-res POV image to get the shot angles right. It also allows control of the camera and to adjust the main settings without needing to mess with the camera itself. You can then playback recordings and edit together on the included editing software. The editing capabilities are very basic though, only allowing the cropping of shots, stitching together and adding music to create simple edits. As it stands there are no other compatible editing apps unless you download all the footage to your phone first.
At less than half the price of an equivalent GoPro the Olfi One.Five offers way more than half the features. It’s a perfect option for riders wanting to start out on the filmmaking route, with high image quality and enough tools to keep even the professional ride filmer happy for a long while.