For those who shoot stills or video in challenging environments, an adventure-proof action cam is a great option. Weighing only 112g, measuring under 6cm in length, and waterproof to 100m, the new Braun Master action cam can be mounted virtually anywhere, giving it a distinct advantage over most mainstream cameras.
Braun has dabbled in the action cam market before, but the Braun Master action cam is the first model with a spec to rival pro-level cameras such as the GoPro Hero range. The Braun’s 1/2.3in sensor shoots 16MP stills and Full HD (1080p) video at 60fps. The camera comes with a fixed f/2.8 lens with a huge 155° angle-of-view, and although it has no optical zoom the camera does have a 10x digital zoom.
On the rear is a fairly low-res 2in screen that can be detached to reduce camera size. With or without the screen, the camera will fit inside the waterproof housing owing to an expandable rear door. For those shooting fast-action sports, the cam has a frame burst of 10fps and it can record movies up to 4x slower than real time. There are two built-in microphones on the camera body, or an external special-purpose mic can be attached. As with the GoPro Hero 3 range, the Braun has built-in Wi-Fi, allowing remote camera control and Live View via a smartphone or tablet, or using a Wi-Fi remote (available separately).
In terms of design, the Braun is very similar indeed to the GoPro. One noticeable difference is more external controls, including metering and Wi-Fi on the front and several buttons on the screen unit. This, along with a small LCD screen on top of the camera, gives the Braun intuitive handling, albeit with slightly sluggish operation.
Image quality for both stills and video is reasonable, and it’s great to have a generous 16MP resolution, something even the GoPro Hero 3+ Black can’t offer. Included with the camera are four adhesive mounts, perfect for attaching the camera securely to flat or curved surfaces.
Overall, the Braun Master Action Cam is a great option for skiers, bikers, boarders and skaters who specifically want to take stills and video in challenging environments. The Braun is most like the GoPro Hero 3 Silver. Considering this retails at £280, is only waterproof to 40m, only shoots 10MP stills and doesn’t come with a screen, the £198 Braun is good value.
- Street price: £208 (Secondhand price as of July 2016)
- Effective stills resolution: 16MP
- Sensor type: 1/2.3in
- Lens: 155° wide-angle
- Aperture range: f/2.8
- Shooting speed: 10fps
- LCD: 2in detachable screen
- Video: Full HD (1080p) at 60fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi and app
- Card type: SD, SDHC, SDHX
- Other features: 2x built-in mic, 10x digital zoom, G-Sensor, shockproof
- Size w/LCD (WxHxD): 59x43x45mm
- Size w/case (WxHxD): 88x79x53mm
- Weight w/LCD: 112g
- Visit: www.braun.com/uk
This review was first published in the August 2014 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.