Published on March 18th, 2014 | by Greg0
Polaroid XS80: An Impressive Action Camera For About $100
If you want to know how cameras have changed over the years, there are few companies in a better position to answer the question than Polaroid. From major player, like Kodak, to a tough ride in the past decade with the transition to digital, the industry has vastly reconfigured, bringing photography and now videography very much to the masses. Today’s gadget certainly isn’t your father’s Polaroid!
The Polaroid XS80 Action Camera is one of their newest, entry-level cameras and offers impressive 16MP still images with 1080 video capture, all in a 3.9 ounce body that is waterproof to 30 feet. Best of all, it’s available for around $100! It looks- and feels- quite a bit like the iON AirPro 2 that we checked out recently, though it lacks the accessories and the lens isn’t quite as good (180 degree field of view is pretty handy for many things, the XS80 offers 120 degrees). A full helmet mount is included, though, and simple enough to attach without needing a bunch of tools and a master’s degree.
As with some other similar models, the large buttons are easy to operate, even with gloves on. There isn’t a remote control, nor a video screen to allow you to quickly check out your footage, but you save on battery life, size, weight, and certainly on the cost of the unit itself. The batteries are rated to last about two and a half hours, which felt about right, though in especially cold climates you can expect all rated battery times to be shortened a bit. You’ll need to purchase (or have) a microSD card, and the XS80 can accept up to 128 GB cards. There are time lapse modes and a burst mode, but unfortunately no 60 fps high-speed shooting. As with most action cameras, onboard audio is basically worthless in wind, but indoor environments sound fine.
The camera does vibrate to indicate when it’s recording and such, which is nice. And the build quality is solid- it’s held up well to some drops and a few dips in water. At this price level, it’s an easy choice to pick up for any trip or travel where you might want a fun, simple camera- kayaking, skiing, hang gliding, or anything where you don’t want to take your expensive DSLR or try to use your smartphone. The quality won’t astound, but it’s impressive enough for family and vacation pictures and videos, and the camera is perfectly sized to take anywhere. The Polaroid XS80 is available now, online and in stores, for around $100.