Earlier this year I checked out the Olfi action camera and was impressed by what it had to offer, 4k video, solid build and performance at an incredible price.
Now Olfi have returned with the one.five, ultimately a great name for a completely new look camera. The styling breaks from the traditional GoPro style adopted by the previous Olfi, and instead the camera is orientated in a portrait rather than landscape stance. The orientation might have changed but the camera is still encased within a secure 30m waterproof housing.
The specifications initially look very similar to the old Olfi with 4K Ultra high definition (3840×2160 pixels – interpolated from 2880×2160 pixels), 1080p at 60fps, Sony Exmor R CMOS Sensor, built in Gyro, a variety of different shooting modes, stills capture and WiFi, but look closer and you see that capabilities of the new Olfi have been refined.
The camera arrives in it’s own ready to use semi-hard case wrapped in a cardboard sleeve meaning that there really is minimal waste (The sleeve is of course recyclable). Once the sleeve is removed and the case unzipped the camera and supplied accessories are all neatly laid out inside with a proper foam insert to protect the camera and plenty of room for a good amount of accessories. This isn’t just packaging but is actually a decent case that you would have probably gone out and bought if it hadn’t already arrived with the camera.
When I looked at the previous Olfi I was impressed by it’s overall performance but there were a few features that meant that the image quality in some situations was held back. There was no way to adjust the exposure or white balance, now in the one.five both of these features have been added.
Another issue I had was that it was difficult to see when the camera was recording in daylight, with the one.five the new layout and LEDs instantly overcome this issue.
The new one.five is also smaller and lighter than the previous version, with the original Olfi measuring in at 72 x 72 x 38mm and weighing 130g compared to 78 x 61 x 37mm and 110g for the new model. Yet despite the reduction in size it has the addition of a decent 1.5 inch full colour LCD on the back which will be great for previewing footage and navigating settings.
They’ve also changed the button layout and waterproof housing that gives the new Olfi a very different and individual look. On the bottom of the housing is the usual GoPro style mount. This means that it is easy to attach to a huge range of existing mounts as well as those supplied with the Olfi one.five.
Normally when it comes to action cameras I’m a firm believer of less is more, but here the new Olfi features an additional button compared to the original Olfi.
The camera features a series of modes alongside video and sills and these include video lapse, Slow Mo and Time Lapse as well as a few less common modes such as FPV and Underwater (that compensates for the loss of red light when diving).
The housing itself is solid and well built and while it doesn’t have a completely flat lens, dunking it in mud and water proved that it was still easy enough to clean without too much effort, although not quite as easy to clean as the completely flat design of the previous Olfi.
The camera is protected by the waterproof housing and this secures in place with a simple lever lock. This is well designed and locks firm and solid yet is easy enough to open when you try to intentionally. Once open a quick tap releases the camera.
There’s not a great deal to add once the camera is released from the protective housing. On the opposite side to the buttons are the MicroSD card slot, Micro USB and Micro HDMI. The bottom of the camera features a simple hinged door that reveals the new 900mAh Li-ion battery.
Initial impressions of the Olfi one.five are good, the new design stands out and the build is once again solid. In the next part I’ll take a look at how easy the camera is to setup and navigate.