What about those settings? Well, as briefly mentioned before, you can choose 1080p, 720p, 960p, and WVGA at 30fps, with 720p and WVGA also having a 60fps option, all at 160 degrees FOV (non-changeable). The bitrate has been jacked up to 16mbps when shooting in 1080p (up from the previous model's 12mbps), but if you want to save some disk space, this can be dropped to 8mbps. Camera mode will take snaps at eight megapixels with a variety of timer and multi-shot modes. If you want, as mentioned before, there's even an audio-only mode should you find yourself up a mountain without your Dictaphone, but luckily we didn't.
This moves us swiftly onto actually using the thing. The inclusion of standard tripod connections (in both the device itself, and the waterproof housing) meant that we could use it with a monopod, which makes self-filming that much easier. The included remote control is also a godsend. Being able to set your shot up (at arm's length) and then just set it recording is just a gift. Okay, it may only take a second to edit out some fluff at the beginning of a video, but not having to do that, and more importantly, being able to get into position first, then set recording later takes the "go go go, we're filming" pressure off.
We also attached the camera to a skateboard by using one of the elastic straps pulled tight around it and clipping the camera in with one of its mounts. It worked out okay and it's a decent enough option for those times when you don't want to, or can't, use one of the 3M sticky pads, but still want to get that sort of perspective. When talking about video, words are great and all, but some sample footage goes a lot further. In the video below, we shot two runs and edited them together to show the difference a closer point of view (from the board) gives compared to the wider, full-body shot.
The verdict? We think the results are very respectable, with decent color contrast (filming was on a cloudy day) and no rolling shutter effect (which can often be a problem). Around the edges, some pixelation can be noted, but not to the level of distraction. At some of the faster points, there are noticeable wobbles, but that's also likely as attributable to the monopod / self-shot nature than the camera itself. Certainly, given the nature of the filming, it wasn't beyond anything we expected, and in fact came out steadier, if anything. Besides the straight action stuff, we also thought it might be fun to put it through another extreme -- though this time an elemental one. The video below shows us testing out the waterproof case. Sadly, there's not all that much to see in the cloudy drink, but with the lens part of the outer casing being flat, it should be able to get some interesting underwater clips in clearer waters, should the occasion arise.
Now that you've seen what it can do, what it looks like and how it can decorate your attire and equipment, the big question is whether you will be replacing (or reconsidering) your current HD action camera of choice. A lot of that will come down to cost, of course. The Muvi HD NPNG comes in at £199 (about $230 in the US), which puts it some way under the GoPro Outdoor Edition (based on the like-for-like UK price) and that's without factoring in the remote and viewfinder accessories. Sure, you might get a few other options (FOVs and so on), but in terms of the value-to-results ratio, the Veho is holding its ground. The other consideration will be the form. We noted earlier there was more surface area on the front side, and this caused us no problems in use at all. But for some helmet uses, it might be just a little too tall. The GoPro is not much better, but compared to the iON's and Contours, the more cuboid models are a bit of a heave at times.
With size and price down, the main thing left is the quality of the footage. We didn't get time (nor did the miserable London weather permit us) to try the Muvi HD out in the full gamut of situations that we'd like, but from what we did manage, we were generally pleased. The still photos came out a bit on the washed-out side at times, but this can often be a hit-and-miss feature of sports cams. The main thing, and this is our inner adventurers speaking again, was that it made us want to go out more and try it. We wanted to see what other cool shots we could take, or what sports we might try, and in many regards, that makes it priceless. Of course, it's not priceless, it's $230 / £199 and available in the UK now, and the US starting next week.