Delvcam SPORTSCAM-1 Review

Delvcam sent me one of their Sportscam-1 Action Cameras to use on the North Cascades Expedition I did with a team in early August.  It arrived in a box filled with adapters and accessories, and I eagerly packed it up along with the rest of my 55 lbs of gear to take into the rugged North Cascades. It survived falls down rock fields, slopes full of scree and shale, a 5-day bushwhack up and down steep and extremely dense terrain, numerous water crossings, two downclimbs of steep waterfall beds, and a wildfire.

 

Features:

The Sportscam-1’s primary feature is its 1080p HD videos that it takes. As seen from the video above, the quality is pretty average. The Sportscam-1 also shoots in single photo, photo bursts, and time lapse modes, although the quality of the photos I took up in the North Cascades weren’t nearly as good as the videos I took with it. It features a 1.5″ LCD screen on the back that easily allows you to review your footage and pictures. See below for a comparison with the Xiaomi Yi Action Camera:

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  • Full HD 1080P H.264
  • Wi-Fi: Built-in 802.11(b/g/n)
  • Wide angle lens: 170 degree
  • Waterproof up to 30m
  • Screen: 1.5 inch LCD
  • Storage: supports Micro SDHC card (Class 10 speed rating) up to 32GB (not included)
  • Battery: 900mAh (1.5 hours)
  • Charging Time: 3.5 hours
  • Input/Output: Micro USB/HDMI
  • Video Recording Resolution: 1080@30fps (H.264), 720@60fps
  • Photo Resolution: 12M, 8M, 5M, 2M
  • Burst Photo: 3 photos
  • Time Lapse: 2S, 3S, 5S, 10S, 20S, 30S, 60S
  • Built in microphone & speaker
  • Dimensions: (LWH): 2.3 x 1.15 x 1.62 inches
  • Weight: 1.55 oz

Appearance:  The camera looks very similar to a GoPro, with a small DELV-SPORTSCAM-1LCD screen on the back to view your images and videos.  The weight and feel of it also is similar to GoPros and other action cameras. The LCD screen on the back is easy to navigate through – simply browse to the settings you want to change and adjust them with the side buttons.

The Micro USB, Mini HDMI, and Micro SD ports are all exposed (e.g. no covering), so if using this camera without a case, keep that in mind.

Value: Currently, the Delvcam is  priced at $139.95 on the Delvcam website. Compared to the Xiaomi Yi Action Camera that only costs $69.99, the Delvcam doesn’t quite deliver. The Xiaomi Yi takes much clearer photos and videos and is half the price. Granted, the Delvcam is relatively new and definitely can be improved upon (whether by upgrading its firmware or by fixing its lens sensors). A plus for the Delvcam Sportscam-1 is that it comes bundled with a waterproof case, numerous mounts, and accessories, whereas the Xiaomi Yi requires you to purchase everything separately (including a waterproof case that is about $30).

Overall, the Delvcam Sportscam-1 is very durable, takes decent 1080p HD videos, gets decent quality videos in low-light settings (better than the Xiaomi Yi), is compatible with GoPro accessories, and  is much cheaper than a GoPro –

I’ll give it a ★★★☆☆.

9/1/2016 Update: I decided to dabble with manually focusing the lens and after taking it apart, and doing a bit of trial-and-error adjustments, I got the camera to have better focus. It still doesn’t get anywhere near the smoothness of the Xiaomi Yi due to only shooting 1080p at 30fps, but the picture quality has improved slightly:

 

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