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.