Now this is how small portable camera’s should be bundled. I was pleasantly surprised the attention to detail on Vivitar’s part to provide all you needed to make the most of your LifeCam. Kuddos to Vivitar.
Upon opening the packaging, you are presented with not only a small camera with the ability to shoot at 1080p but also with all the accessories you’ll need to utilize the camera to its maximum potential.
As a tip, the app for iOS and Android app is called Life Cam by Astrotek Technology Ltd.
AFTER FIRST USE:
The first mount I wanted to try out was the magnet mount which allowed me to mount the Vivitar on my metal wall squares.
Turning on the Vivitar LifeCam was easy due to it’s simple button layout and design. Press the power button once and then the mode button and select the appropriate mode and click record and you are good to go. When i first used the Vivitar LifeCam without connecting to a mobile device, the camera was set to record to break up the video in 3 minutes increments with a time/date stamp. This feature is great for home movies to notate the date and time but as a photographer and upcoming cinema maker not a feature to use. Therefore, you will need to access the camera settings via the iOS or Android App. I immediately changed the duration to 30 minutes and disabled the timestamp feature.
You also have the ability to change photo resolution for timelapse or photo mode option, video resolution, file format (MOV or AVI), Anti-flicker and Loop recording.
The output quality under nice even sunlight was very impressive and in line with other 1080p action type video cameras. A huge plus was the quality of the live preview from your mobile device iOS or Android was also good quality. It’s an almost what you see is what you get live view.
Loop recording is a cool feature that allows the camera to continue to record over previous recorded video which is perfect if you plan to use the LifeCam as a dash cam. Which I did attempt with adequate results taking into consideration of the small form factor. The small form factor doesn’t allow for a long battery life. My initial test resulted in about an hour plus which isn’t that bad taking into consideration the size of the LifeCam. Thanks to the included suction mount accessory, I was able to immediately use the LifeCam as a dash cam. The only negative was that the way the suction mount was constructed and connected to the LifeCam didn’t allow for stable video output. So my opinion was to try to locate a stronger and heavier built suction mount that uses a tripod size screw and mount that way.
PHOTO SHOOT CAM
As I already have a few other HD camera’s recording video, I use the LifeCam’s Timelapse feature because it is so easy to change modes. Unline other HD small form camera’s the changing of modes requires a connection to another device. The LifeCam has a mode button that you can toggle to the desired mode. For photo shoots, I like to use the magnet mount to affix on metal wall panels and metal lights stands for a different perspective.
The clip mount is used when I move to different location and need a constant video feed of what I am doing. The tripod mount works perfectly when i have an extra light stand and extend to the highest position.
It seems, I can use most if not all of the included mounts for photo shoots. Again great job Vivitar. For the image below a Joby clamp was used with the included tripod mount.
JUST PLAIN OLD LIFE CAM
The ability to easily change modes with a push of a button and LCM makes the LifeCam a great everyday camera. There are times when I need a timelapse or a quick video the LifeCam just makes it easy. I mainly use the clip mount for this purpose. With the LifeCam smaller than other action cams in the market make it easy to have at all times. I did notice that the unit does get warm during use so keep that in mind when using close to sensitive areas/ skin etc.
BIKE RIDING CAM
As I don’t heavily ride my bike, the mount is on the bike but the LifeCam is barely on the bike. Although, due to how easy it is to attach the LifeCam to the mounts, I find it very convenient to use the LifeCam which is a good thing.
A FEW OF THE FEATURES I FOUND MOST USEFUL FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: (view a full listing at the manufacturer website
- WIFI iOS and Android device connection
- Easy to access hardware buttons
- Timelapse, Photo and Video options
- Hotshoe connector to allow for quick connection to mounts
As stated earlier, I was pleasantly surprised with the abundance of features and extras the Vivitar LifeCam had to offer. I was able to easily use and switch to all the available modes (Photo, Video, Timelapse) with a push of a button. The ability to use a mobile device for live view and control adjustments is a huge plus. The quality is great and form factor allows for easy transport making this camera a true LifeCam. I’d surely recommend this a a gift for a non-tech savvy user like your mother.
UPDATE 20160111: I haven’t been able to turn use the camera now for a couple of days. When I turn on the Lifecam, I try to navigate to use the Wifi but the device freezes. When I turn off the Lifecam, the power light continues to blink and won’t stop until the battery runs out. I am very disappointed as the Vivitar Lifecam worked great when it was able to turn on. Now it’s a total waste.
Disclosure: We’ve received this product at no cost for this review. The views and opinion expressed in this review are mine.