Miguel de Sá

Revl Arc – One Year later – Rivew

I did finance the action camera Revl Arc on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site, in April 2016, promised that it would arrive at the beginning of 2017… BUT, the camera did arrive, eventually, in January 2018. Also, I must report that all the people that ask a refund was refunded, but for me… I really wanted a new action camera… my old Sony as30 was… well… old. So I’m using the Revl Arc for 1 year now. I did use it in the water, on the road and skiing, I and started to appreciate the features of this bad boy.

So what is the Revl Arc, and what makes it special? For starters, it is an action cam, so it’s waterproof and no need for an external enclosure, not a big deal now, but a big deal from 2016 to 2018.
The Revl Arc is 4k in 30 images per second, not a big deal now, but a big deal from 2016 to 201 (8.4K at 30 FPS at H.264 60Mbps ||| 1080p at 120, 60, 30, FPS ||| 720p at 120, 60, 30, FPS). The Revl Arc has electronic image stabilization, not a big deal now, but a big deal from 2016 to 2018. The Revl Arc has a native internal motor that works with its internal gyroscope to make a one axis gimbal, not a big deal now… well, it’s a very big deal at the time, and still a very big deal today! And it’s mainly this that makes this action camera, a unique camera! Of course, it is just a correcting the horizontal axis, and that doesn’t make it as perfect as a gimbal but it’s very close with a selfie stick. And remember all this is waterproof up to 10m.
The lens is a 150 degrees horizontally field of view, in comparing with most GoPro or a Sony action cam is usually 170 degrees and 150 to 130 with image stabilization. It lens distortion it’s a bit weird, as it’s excellent on the center and so so in the edges, as action cams all suffer, but in this one is better than the competition. 70% of the time I don’t notice the distraction fisheye look, that most action cam suffers. In the box comes with what you expect from an action cam, some mounts from GoPro standard and a ¼, some small adhesive mounts, cool colored lens bumper, and in the box comes with 2 batteries.
One thing to notice as well is that I don’t have a microphone input, or HDMI out, or remote control…, remote, unless via an app.

The good:

Image quality, homy! The image quality is so good! It a very crisp and sharp 4K. I don’t know they manage an image fine like this… it’s very impressive because this lens is sharp, and it isn’t from Zeiss or Leica lens collaboration. the distraction on the horizon is not the best thing But is the best from all the actions cams that I know! The Sony Sensor it’s the stander for a 4k action cam like this, but for long recordings, as I normally put it in a helmet and let it roll, is a good idea to get a big micro SD card. Not just big, also fast! 4K at 60 Mbps MP4 isn’t any joke, so get a fast micro SD. Revl can go up to 128g micro SD card. I suggest some on the description. The build quality is very good, the frame is built like a tank, except for the front glass, but that is for the next chapter. It feels solid and rugged and rubbery on the hands, and that gives you the confidence to put it almost were.

The Rubber bumper is a very good idea, it protects the front lens, I have no idea why no other brands do this. The rubber felling is also on the 2 buttons. Yes! You get that right! I just have 2 buttons but are all you need to control your camera! In fact, they are 4 in. THE SQUARE BOTTOM Short press to power on, record, stop record, select, and long press, to power off, THE MENU short press to change mode, long press to change mode settings. Watch and learn GoPro! So now I’m in photo mode, let’s change to video mode, now I want to film in HD at 120fps, long press on the menu button, short press to select, and Bom! sees how simple is that?! Feedback is also very cool like all action cams it makes some sound for feedback BUT it also vibrates!!! very helpful especially on if it is on your helmet, or at the end of a self-stick and in action moments.

Revl team people are very active, the Facebook group are very helpful and I even had a private chat with the CEO of Revl advising me on some stuff!!! Wow! not bad at all for a very small team!

The Bad:

It’s heavy, for an action cam, is very heavy (225g just the camera and motor), of course, it has a motor, but… Yeah, still heavy… Ruben did report me just after using it for 10 min on the selfie-stick that his fist was getting tired… and his more robust than most guys… The dynamic range isn’t the best… But I don’t think is the problem is the sensor, Sony’s sensors on other cameras work surpassing this, I think this camera can’t manage highlights very well and it’s an auto exposure problem. I’m hoping that an update fixes that… For some reason, the gimble overcompensate sometimes… and if you use it on very shaky machines… nop… it won’t work properly… maybe an Arc Mark II will have a more powerful motor to overcome this? Talking about the gimbal, why it doesn’t work to take a picture? okay, maybe it will shoot a bit too late, but an option of on and off or horizontal correction on photos would be great.
About the front lens, I did scratch it… I guess I don’t treat very well action cams in general but this is the first time that I did scratch a front lens… It should be a more rigid glass in the front.

Promises, promises… and promises… I’m still waiting for some features updates, yes Revl team are small, but hoping to get the updates for the

  • 4K -24 ||| FPS ||| 2.7K ||| 1440p ||| 720p at 240fps
  • Android app is very slow…. and it bugs a lot. AI editing on the app
  • Life Streaming (I guess on iOS most of the thing is ready to go)

I’m an Android user… and the advertised (at the moment of recording) smart camera isn’t available. The basic isn’t available in Android like exposure compensation, please! The camera records the G force, that is very cool, and you can add a marker on the video, very cool feature, but nothing of this is visible on traditional video editing software…

Finally one of the big sins is the battery… they don’t last long (it comes 2 on the box). Even worst is on colder days. The camera just stopped working at 40% of the battery.

Audio has a problem too, I can clearly hear this tingling… is it from the motor or what?! And no wind cut filter? Volume is boosted 15 dB

And finally, it’s its price… it is 500 dollars, more expensive than a Sony FDR X3000 that has Optical Image stabilization in 4K, 100Mbps, and comparing to a GoPro, well GoPro is getting cheaper and cheaper…

CONCLUSION

I like this camera a lot, but it is so hard advising it for other people! I strongly believe that it has its place on the market, but I feel that this camera is like a competition car… it has a loud exhaust pipe, no climatization, no radio, no sound isolation, no electrical windows… But it is so good at racing.

For me, this camera offers what no other brand doesn’t offer, high-quality images for a specific audience, that needs the hardcore camera that keeps the horizon leveled with no flimsy risky gimbal. If you are looking for buying this camera, a good accessory is a heavy-duty selfie stick.

This camera is out for a long time now, and by the feedback, I imagine that the Revl team has a really good idea on what to improve on this camera. Stuff like 4K at 60fps, better sound quality that honestly I don’t care because we never use songs from action cameras. Etc. Here is an idea what about having instead of electronic image stabilization having an optical image stabilization like the Sony FDR 3000r that is epic (Check out Dave Dugdale YouTube channel), and put a round sensor. Ok, this will sound strange but I think it’s a really cool idea because Revl Arc only lasts 1 hour and 1/2 and the traditional camera action camera only lasts around 2 hours of recording. imagine if the horizontal correction was made by cropping in the sensor roundness. I imagine that it would be very much simple there to build a waterproof camera like that and a much longer lifetime of the battery.

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