The Olfi action cam offers 4K video at just £120 for those who pre-ordered it before the official launch date of April 29, and now has a price tag of £150. An aggressive pricing strategy, but what about the features? Well, 4K video is the big sell, but the camera has a few other tricks up its sleeve.
For high-speed action shooters who prefer a smoother frame rate,the Olfi can shoot Full HD video at 60fps and fans of slow-motion video will be pleased to hear that the device can also shoot 720p video at 120fps. This can be played back at 24fps to give footage running at one-fifth of full speed. There’s even an option for shooting 1080p video at 30fps for those looking to save hard disk space.
Action cameras are designed to be used on the move, so the Olfi is equipped with Gyro Stabilisation to keep your videos as smooth as possible. Other interesting features include a High Dynamic Range (HDR) video mode, water resistance to depths of up to 30m with the bundled case and a simple LCD screen that shows the current camera settings, date, time and battery life. The controls are easy to use, consisting of one shutter button, one mode button that doubles up as the power button and two selection buttons to navigate the options. The removable 1600mAh battery can power the Olfi for two hours when shooting 1080p at 60fps, or for an hour and 20 minutes when shooting 4K.
In our tests the Olfi shot sharp, clear images in its photo mode, and the dynamic range was good enough to capture a subject in front of a sunny sky while retaining an impressive amount of detail in both. In video mode, footage was clear and colour reproduction was accurate. The camera proved portable, durable and, crucially, able to capture the moment. There’s more than enough resolution to make out what’s happening at most distances and the lens is wide enough to have no problem capturing the action, even without a screen for composition.
Digital Noise wasn’t an issue in the footage we shot in daylight, although in dim conditions, the Sony Exmor-R back-illuminated sensor showed increasing grain as light levels dropped. The gyro stabiliser did a good job of smoothing out shaky motions and made fast-moving video a lot less nauseating to watch.
In an increasingly crowded market, the Olfi has carved out a new niche for itself. It’s a portable, robust action cam that captures high-quality 4K video without breaking the bank.
- Price: £149.99 (As of August 2016)
- Video: 4K
- Gyro stabilizer: Yes
- Frame rate: 60fps mode, 120fps mode
- Visit www.olfi.co.uk
This review was first published in the June 2016 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.