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Friday, 26 September 2014

Polaroid Launches the Poorman's GoPro Action Cam

The Polaroid Cube

You gotta love all the new extreme sports videos that pop up like mushrooms after rain for the last couple of years.

The technology and reliability of action cameras really revolutionized the way people create videos and content. For once, it actually made it plausible to earn a pay check by doing what you love and not compromising with your passion about sports, outdoor activities or even urban exploration.

With the rise of content creation as job and the access to heavily populated content platforms like YouTube, GoPro-like devices were the next step to autonomous video shooting and self-reliance.

As good as it is however, the camera has a few prominent drawbacks that make space  for a competitor to grab a niche.

Sure it offers an amazing set of features and guarantees of quality and longevity, but the GoPro is not exactly a cheap and easy deal. The basic model of the Hero3 camera goes for 200 pounds and that's only for the camera itself.

The vast variety of accessories and mounts comes with a variety of prices as well, but the standard helmet mount is 15 pounds a piece.  All things considered, a GoPro set can easily go up to 300 pounds in order to start shooting.

If you're a guy that just enjoys skateboarding (for instance) and want to start making videos on the Internet chances are you don't have the ability or the confidence for such an investment. Sure, if you have dem skillz, eventually you're going to return that investment, start earning some money and get all the glory in the world, but making that first step is not always like snapping your fingers.

Polaroid Cube Cams on monkey stands

And this is exactly where Polaroid decided to make their move into the dominated market. The brand already has associated itself with "instant photography" or taking the shop any time anywhere.

Their newest product - the Polaroid Cube fits perfectly with both their identity and the niche they are trying to slip into.

The Cube is a HD video / still image camera compacted into a 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 cubical shell.

The official specifications as listed on their website go as follows:
  • Records HD 1080p/720p video 
  • Professional 6MP Still Photos 
  • 124º viewing angle 
  • Weatherproof/splash proof 
  • LED Indicator 
  • Microphone 
  • Built in high capacity battery, records up to 90 minutes 
  • Available in a variety of colors: black, red, and blue

Additionally, Polaroid has a handy choice of accessories and mounts, as to set you up with everything you need to start shooting. 

First thing that impressed me about the cube was the size. Basically, you can wear this camera as a key chain and whip it out any time you want to capture the world around you. There is even a stock key chain shell you can get from Polaroid. 

The GoPro is small and light, but not this small and not that light... This camera, although subpar to the market Goliath, is the most perfect image capturing device to have with you 24/7. The only thing better I can think of is spy gear.. but let's not go there... 
Furthermore, you just press the button and you're already recording, which makes it so much easier to capture those split seconds that actually matter the most. 

Integration comes with a plug and play USB port at the back of the device.

And, the best thing yet about this camera is it's ~79 pound price tag (official price is 99USD). Not bad for four times less expensive. 

This makes the camera perfect for beginner video creators, journalists and most importantly kids and teens that are passionate about trying it out, but unable or scared to invest a bunch of money into their hobby. 

The design of the stylish rounded cube is the work of Ammunition and has a few key points worth spelling out. 

First of all, it's beautiful - simple as that. Sure, the rainbow kind of reminds me of the Gaystation, but only because I wrote an article about it a few months. The flat colours are well picked and the rounded corners make the shape not only easy to handle, but adds a structural value to the camera. 

Being an action-camera above all, the Polaroid Cube is made to withstand rough play. The external shell is rubberised, so dropping it on the ground or having some debris flying into it nothing to even consider. The case is also waterproof, so rain, puddles and mud won't stop you from taking your shot. For submerged photography, you need to use the external waterproof case, but you're good to go for everything else. 

“You’re not going to be afraid to hand it to a toddler,” says Ammunition’s senior industrial designer, Gregoire Vandenbussche.

All things considered, I'm really looking forward to owning one of these. Seems perfect for what it's supposed to be. We'll see if the reviews prove me wrong.