Published on March 27th, 2014 | by Greg

Monoprice MHD Sport Wifi Action Camera: Hard To Beat!

There are quite a few companies that have made their name and reputation by offering competitive value. These firms thrive by taking an established product and making a slightly cheaper version, producing an alternative that might lack the fancy marketing, packaging, or a few features from the higher-priced original. Costco does this, but so do brands like Target, even Trader Joe’s, along with the “white label” brands at Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and everywhere in between. Today’s gadget looks a lot like a competitor that you’re probably familiar with, but knocks a lot off of the price, and actually improves on the original in a couple of ways even if it’s not quite as polished.

The Monoprice MHD Sport Wifi Action Camera enters a crowded market with plenty of imitators. But unlike many of the action cameras that we’ve seen recently, this one manages both a budget price while offering an included waterproof housing, and a wristwatch remote control. Along with built-in wireless capability and full 60 frames per second recording at 720p or 30 fps with true 1080p, you can see that Monoprice has released a serious contender. You might think of them as being the cable guys- the manufacturer to turn to when you want an HDMI cable at an extremely good price. But they’ve expanded into many areas, as we saw in an audio feature where we compared several of their headphone models.

As you can see from the embedded video, the footage is solid. It’s not as good at taking stills as some others we’ve recently seen- 5 megapixels won’t excite anyone, especially compared with your average smartphone these days, or the 14 megapixels offered by the recently reviewed iON AirPro 2. The MHD Sport Wifi Action Camera is priced a bit higher than the entry-level Polaroid XS80, but offers wifi and better frame rate, plus a really nice OLED screen for basic controls, and the crucial remote control- and it can go twice as deep as well. You’ll save a lot of footage and hassle being able to start and stop the recording at the right times without needing to fumble with the camera every few minutes. As with most, you’ll need to supply your own microSD card- and oddly, they only support up to 32GB rather than the larger limits that are now common. Fully IPX8 certified, you can do far more than simply dunk this camera, but instead take it for some serious dives, up to 60 meters! Even the remote is waterproof, though not really functional underwater.

The lens is fisheye, with a 170-degree viewing angle. We liked that it comes with anti-fog inserts (though some more expensive housings don’t require it), and the box also includes a bunch of accessories (though no mounts, you’ll have to purchase those separately, but plenty are available). Fairly unique is the mini HDMI port for direct output to your television- a nice feature that is rare on action cameras. As with any action camera, your audio will be muted and mediocre. And it takes surprisingly great footage- sharp, with a little bit of noticeable motion blur, underexposure and artifacting but with good color balance, great daylight performance, so-so in low light conditions. At under three ounces, you’ll barely notice it’s there. We tried the free app (iOS or Android) and it offers most every function you could want, including controls and a live view. Under normal conditions, you’ll get a couple of hours of battery life, less with wifi- which was a little bit short for us. The Monoprice MHD Sport Wifi Action Camera rings in, though, at under $180 or so, making it a great value proposition for anyone in need of decent action footage on a budget, whatever the environment. Available now, online primarily.

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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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