- Oct 6, 2015
- Reaction score
Hello few day ago i did a review of ELE action camera from Elephone.
Here is a youtube link
Here is a youtube link
Hi Nigel. I don't know why I didn't come across this review earlier. I think it's an excellent review. I'm still learning so much action cam technology and I find your review chock full of delicious tidbits! I'd like to ask you a few questions.Audio Quality
It records 8KHz audio at 15kbps in mono using an internal microphone only. This is really rather poor, although the microphone does a decent job. I don't understand why they would only use 15kbps when the video has an exceptionally high bitrate. For comparison, the Gitup Git2 records 44KHz audio at 112kbps in mono or 162kbps stereo with an external microphone. At a sample rate of 8KHz the maximum frequency it can record will only be 4KHz so it will be missing a lot of higher frequencies that you should be able to hear, there is no point trying to record birds or grasshoppers and metallic sounds will sound like plastic, this does match what I hear in the recordings. I would like it a bit louder too, there is no volume adjustment.
Of course if you normally replace the audio on your videos by music then this will this will not be an issue and what it does record isn't bad, it's just missing all the higher frequencies and is a little quiet.
Photo quality is much the same as video quality, there are no extra controls like ISO or shutter speed.
See the video section above for comments on saturation, white balance etc, they are the same for both video and photos.
Although there is a choice of 16MP resolution, the sensor is only 4MP so the 16MP images are very blurry if you zoom right in and the sharpening is very obvious since it has been enlarged from the 4MP image. Actually, since the sensor is 16:9 aspect ratio and all the photos are 4:3, they must be enlarged from 3MP images. They look OK on a 1080 TV/monitor though.
It would have been good to have a 16:9 aspect ratio photo mode using the full 4MP of the sensor but the only choice is 4:3 like an old fashioned vacuum tube TV from last century. Since our TVs and monitors and monitors are 16:9 ratio, that is the mode I normally use if available, otherwise you get dark bands down the sides of the photos when you view them.
Like the video compression, the jpeg photo compression is very low so the file sizes can be quite large compared to most action cameras, they are often bigger than true 16MP cameras which seems a bit excessive when the real resolution is less than 1/5th of a 16MP sensor!
Photo mode uses the same settings as video mode so the only options you have are the 4 white balance pre-sets and EV exposure compensation, nothing photo specific other than resolution, although there are some options for eg self timer/time-lapse.
The following photos are all 16MP resolution, uploaded straight from the camera:
Village, high contrast scene
Sunset taken with GitUp Git2 for comparison.
After sunset, low light
(Looking towards the sun.)
Harbour in bright sunshine.
Harbour taken with Gitup Git2 for comparison.
This is a sequence of photos taken using the timelapse and converted to 4K video:
and the same from the GitUp Git2 for comparison:
As long as you are not looking for a lot of detail and accurate colours in your video/photos, and are not
interested in manual photographic controls like shutter speed then the Ele Explorer produces some nice recordings and nice photos and is definitely worthy of its price, in fact it's video is nicer than a lot of more expensive action cameras, even though its colours are not all that accurate.
It has a very good LCD screen, comes with a good battery, an OK waterproof case, a decent quality tripod/dashcam frame and a few of the basic action camera mounting accessories.
Don't let the 4K advertising fool you into believing that it produces true 4K resolution video though, the Gitup Git2 which doesn't claim to be 4K and doesn't record at 4K resolution can produce better quality "4K" video.
The only thing really missing when compared to the more expensive cameras of around $100 is gyro stabilisation, good gyro stabilisation is worth the extra but if you want a cheap camera and can use a tripod or don't mind shaky videos then it is not a big issue.
The audio quality is not very good, but that is true of most of the cheaper cameras even though they normally record with higher sample rates, so again, given the price it is not a big issue.
For the price, as long as you are not an enthusiastic photographer, this must be one of the best value cheap action cameras currently available. It doesn’t get close to professional quality videos but it will produce video and photos that most people will like watching and it is easy to use, the audio recording does let it down a bit though, and you will probably miss a few things while waiting for it to start up!
Yes, if the screws of the waterproof case attract a magnet then it is a very cheap waterproof case and you can expect the screws to go rusty after 1 or 2 times in the sea!". . . the buttons are magnetic so may rust after a while if used a lot in salt water . . ." I presume by this you mean you tested to see if a magnet was attracted to the buttons, it was, and therefore there must be iron in the metal and thus subject to corrosion. Is that correct?
That is a very general question! Maybe you need to be more specific...I don't know anything about audio and found your discussion fascinating. I was wondering if you might have a link to something that explains in layman's words some of the terms you used.
Normally the reason that there is not much detail is the use of a low bitrate, but since the camera actually uses a high bitrate there has to be another explanation. Noise reduction seems the most likely explanation. One way to find out how much detail there really is, is to compress the file to lower bitrates. If you can compress it down to just 3 Mbps and not see any loss of detail from the original then you know that the original did not have much detail. If compressing it down to 25 Mbps looses detail then you have a very detailed camera."The images have the appearance of having been cleaned, there is a lot of detail missing, maybe through too much noise reduction or maybe the encoder is not so good." How did you conclude that there might be too much noise reduction? Was that based mostly on the lack of detail? When I look at a video or photo as a layman I think I can discern lack of detail, but how really do you measure it, i.e., how do you determine objectively what detail really is? Same question for noise. When I look at night photos from an action cam they almost always have lots of noise, the dimmer the scene the greater the noise (Is that noise or is it called something else?). But in well-lit daytime scenes, viewed without magnification, I find it impossible to detect noise if the image is at least decent. How does one see noise without zooming in?
That's all for now. I really appreciate all the help you've given me since I first joined DCT. Thanks and cheers!
How does one "compress it down"?One way to find out how much detail there really is, is to compress the file to lower bitrates. If you can compress it down to just 3 Mbps and not see any loss of detail from the original then you know that the original did not have much detail. If compressing it down to 25 Mbps looses detail then you have a very detailed camera.
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