Gadgets XS80 right

Published on March 18th, 2014 | by Greg


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.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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