Q3H-2 Action Cam from Banggood

old4570

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Q3H-2 Action cam from Banggood.com

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I have the Q3H-2 Action Cam from Banggood for review and for just under $50USD the Q3 is another action cam in the budget price category . I am not quite sure just how many cams are out there that would be considered budget priced , but for me it's any cam that comes under $50USD . So far this cam has not failed me , previous Action cams ( SJ4000 clone and V3 from GB ) have been disappointing to various levels . Both the SJ and V3 locked up on me requiring the removal of the battery to reset the cams . The Q3H-2 ( I will just refer to it as the Q3 from now on ) has had no such issue . It is hard to buy a budget cam without something being not quite right ( NQR ) and for the Q3 it was the factory focus . Again with any budget cam ( Be it action or dash cam ) , focus can be a little hit or miss . Fortunately with action cams the cure is very simple and easy . ( More detail later )

I am really starting to like the Action cam concept as there are so many options and possibilities on offer with these products . As well the huge amount of accessories for mounting the cam . If there ever was a do everything product the Q3 gets as close as any cam possibly can at a budget price . Wifi , time lapse , loop recording ( dash cam mode ) , stills camera mode , slow motion , and lots of video resolution and frame rates to play with . For me the most important thing is image quality ( IQ ) , if the video is overly soft or out of focus then ( ? ) , well I like a nice sharp detailed video . And we are back to focus , so lets bite the big one and get it out of the way . The factory focus on the Q3 was not well done . A common problem with the cheaper cams is that the focus may be adjusted in a cool environment and when the cam heats up ( say hanging off a windshield ) the lens tends to expand ( heat expansion ) and the cam goes out of focus . The Q3 was not the exception to this phenomenon .





Video uploaded @ 2560 x 1440 ( supported by Youtube )




Refocusing :

Ok , so what is happening is that the lens body is heating up and expanding , enough to affect the focus of the cam . This occurs because the cam was focused a little bit the wrong way . ( not everyone is a lens expert ) Thankfully the cure is relatively simple .

1. First we need to get to the lens . With the Q3 the camera face plate is snapped into position . One simply needs to gently pry the face plate off from the edges and remove it . ( There are no screws )

2. Then we need to pry the lens shield off ( clipped in place ) Just be gentle .

3. Now the lens is exposed , and we first mark the lens position ( for accurate adjustment )

4. I twist anti clockwise first to break the glue ( yeah the lens is glued ) , so best to break the glue bond first ( really want to be careful )

5. Once the lens is moving , we want to go back to the factory focus setting and take some test footage , then twist the lens clockwise a few mm and take more test footage . We do this until we have nice sharp video . I found that generally , I have twisted the lens maybe 5mm clockwise from where the factory had it set .

6. Once you are happy with the focus , re assemble the front of the action cam .



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Refocused video footage :




Video uploaded @ 2560 x 1440 ( supported by Youtube )



With the Q3 refocused , I have to say I am impressed with the video , for a budget action cam it is rather good especially considering the price entry point . There are a lot of people that want $500 action cam video quality for $50 . To be realistic its just not going to happen , a cam that costs you one tenth of a upper middle of the range cam from the big boys . ( Your dreaming )



Here is the Q3 run against the Viofo A119 and the Viofo is almost double the money .




Video uploaded @ 2560 x 1440 ( supported by Youtube )










Video uploaded @ 2560 x 1440 ( supported by Youtube )





I went for a walk with the cam attached to my head . ( Well , head band cam mount )

I have to say I got some interesting gawks from some car drivers ( ? Pedestrians camming up = Oh dear ! ) . Anyhow as I walked I changed the video resolution and frame rates to see what the cam could do in the real world . ( This is after refocusing the lens ) And I am some what impressed with the results I have to tell you .







Q3H-2 : The good and the bad !


The Good :

Video quality is good for a $50 cam @ 30FPS ( 4k , 2.7k , 1080 , 720 @ 30FPS )

So far no issues with lock ups ( my other action cams lock up some times )

Lots of options to play with ..

Works well as a dash cam , also shuts down relatively quickly when compared to my other action cams .

Recharges quickly ( 30 to 45 minutes depending on the state of the battery )

Over all , good value for the money .


The Bad :

The lens was poorly focused from the factory ( relatively easy fix )

The cam does not like higher frame rates ( IQ loss )



Conclusion :

The first thing we have to bear in mind is the price point . At $50USD this is a relatively cheap action cam and depending on what price point you are comparing it too ( $100 - $1000 ? ) it performs relatively well . In fact after re focusing the cam I was a little surprised that the Q3 produced such decent video footage . The cam is very capable at 30FPS , unfortunately it simply can not maintain IQ at higher frame rates . ( This so far seems to be the trend with the cheaper cams I have tested ) As for the focus , this is very much hit or miss unfortunately and is something any cam can suffer from . Almost half my dash cameras have had to be focus corrected , and so far all my action cameras have had to be focus corrected . So focus being a little NQR ( not quite right ) is a very common issue with cams over a very broad price range . Fortunately correcting focus on a action cam is relatively simple and just requires a little care . If you are really after a high frame rate camera with good IQ then I dare say you may need to spend more money , and how genuine some youtube video is ( well that's the $50 dollar question ) .

Would I recommend the Q3H-2 ? , yes I would . Bottom line , your getting a lot of cam for your $50 .

Do I need to give the Q3H-2 a score out of 10 ? If so then -1 for loosing IQ at higher frame rates and -1 for needing to be re focused . That's 8 out of 10 . Bearing in mind the price point this action cam is being sold at .
 
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old4570

old4570

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Menu :

Negotiating the menu is intuitive , I never even looked at the instructions . The button at the front of the cam turns the Q3 on and off , about a 3 second press should do the trick either way . With a micro SD card fitted and formatted , the OK button on top of the cam will start and stop the video recording . To get into the menu settings stop video recording , press the front button ( mode ) 4 times , the screen will now display a cog . Press the OK button on top the cam and you are in the menu . The two buttons on the side of the cam are your up and down scrolling buttons . And to move through the menu screens just push the button on the front of the cam . To enter a chosen function just press the OK button on top the cam , then scroll through the options and press OK for the one chosen . To exit , move through the main menu screens till you get to the X . Press OK and you are back to the video recording screen .

When you turn on the cam , it always starts in video mode . To scroll through the modes press the mode button on the front of the cam .. First is Video , next is Picture mode ( stills ) , then comes slow motion mode , followed by file preview mode and lastly entry into the menu .



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Stills images @ 16M setting ( Highest ) = 4608 x 3456 pixels and 4 to 5 mb in size



Do I need a Action cam ?

First of all I believe every car on planet Earth should be fitted with a cam , there simply are to many terrible drivers ( by choice or by skill ) out on the roads to end up in a situation that comes down to he said she said and some one said . Why not just cut out the BS and go to the video judge . So not only is a cam good insurance for on the road , but with time lapse it can double as a security cam ( possibly ) . Also should you be involved in an accident , simply take the camera and shoot some stills of the damage or situation ( or video ) . In this regard the action cam makes a lot of sense .

Lets not forget that action cams can simply be fun . The Q3 comes with a water proof housing so you can take video under water ( Pool - Beach ) and a lot of people attach action cams to the strangest places for some out there video . Like the bumper of a car , or attached to radio controlled toys . I have even seen people attach cams to their pets , the only limit is your imagination . ( Never under estimate the need for fun )

One of the things I would personally like to do is re focus the Q3 for some really close up video work ( Macro ) for insects . ( That's just me )



I would like to thank banggood for making this review possible ..
 
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SawMaster

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Great review- you're getting quite good at these ;) And it's nice that you seem to have finally discovered a winner at these low prices.

How long do you plan on testing this one- Would like to see something about longer term reliability. And what SD card are you using? For me anyway, my uses require at least a 64GB size as I do longer recordings. I guess it will be the usual short battery life in extreme heat but they're all like that and usually replacements can be had- I wonder if it's soldered in?

Like you I see a market segment here which this cam could fill. It's a real minefield out there with most of the cheap cams having some problem which renders them useless for any serious usage such as a dashcam or security cam.

Phil
 
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old4570

old4570

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Great review- you're getting quite good at these ;) And it's nice that you seem to have finally discovered a winner at these low prices.

How long do you plan on testing this one- Would like to see something about longer term reliability. And what SD card are you using? For me anyway, my uses require at least a 64GB size as I do longer recordings. I guess it will be the usual short battery life in extreme heat but they're all like that and usually replacements can be had- I wonder if it's soldered in?

Like you I see a market segment here which this cam could fill. It's a real minefield out there with most of the cheap cams having some problem which renders them useless for any serious usage such as a dashcam or security cam.

Phil
1) For quite some time ( Length of time )
2) Samsung 32GB ( All my Micro SD cards are Samsung )
3) Battery is the same as SJ4000 ( interchangeable ? = Haven't checked yet ) but replaceable ( Just checked , battery is interchangeable with the V3 Cam )
4) I plan on further testing , like Time lapse for security
5) And when I have time , have to check the wifi

For now I wanted to explore the video quality ..
 
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old4570

old4570

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Banggood sent me a discount code for 10% Off the Q3H-2 Action Cam ...

Code = 4f7e6c
 
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old4570

old4570

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Ok , a small update ..
I tried the Q3H-2 Action Cam as a security cam ..
It works rather well , I had it set to record at 2fps which is for me pretty much spot on for a security cam .
Now the only negative I have in this regard is the night time recording , or some what lack off .
The budget level cams don't really perform well in near pitch black ( which is what you are recording ) .
Anyhow , during the day , you are recording @ about 3GB an hour , so a 32GB card should be good for 10 hours of recording at 2fps .
I can't remember what my powerbank delivers , Was it less than 4000mA , anyhow , power bank was almost depleted after about a 8 hour run ( Cam battery was fully charged )
So for daylight security , YES .
For night time security , No .

2nd November 2016
 
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