The original Olfi was an impressive camera at an impressive price, now the one.five looks to improve on features and performance yet still retains the sub £150 pricing. For the money you get a well made solid camera that features an unconventional design and unique button layout, a small LCD screen, 4K video (interpolated from 2880×2160), waterproof case and a host of accessories.
The camera arrives almost ready to go, just insert a MicroSD card and charge up the battery.
To get to both the battery and card slot you need to release the camera from the waterproof housing. This is held closed by the usual lever style of lock which is of exceptionally high quality and there’s absolutely no chance of it being knocked loose by accident.
The rubber seal around the door is also of good quality and creates a tight waterproof seal that fits snuggly, so that there are no issues with the case slightly misaligning when being closed.
Opening the door and giving the housing a quick tap into the hand easily releases the camera.
Both the MicroSD card slot and USB port are on the side and are both easily accessible.
To power up just hold the power button on top of the camera for a couple of seconds, then you’re ready to start.
Start shooting with the Olfi one.five
Once the camera is on, starting to film is easy enough, just tap the shutter button and the camera will start to record. As standard there are two features that I instantly want to switch on and off, Power On Record to be switched on and Time Stamp off, and to do this I needed to delve into the cameras settings.
Settings are accessed by pushing the lower of the two side buttons and once done the quick menu appears and the two side buttons can then be used to navigate, while the shutter button is used to confirm a selection. The navigation is simple but it works well.
The Quick Menu gives you access to all the most common settings and there’s a more in-depth settings menu that can be accessed by toggling through the modes.
Once the options that I wanted to update are selected, tap the shutter button for the options, side buttons to navigate and shutter button to confirm and power button to return.
Looking through the settings there are some features that instantly jump out such as the dual recording. This feature once enabled will take a still at a set time interval during recording, another feature is the stabilisation that I’ll test out fully in the next part.
Power on and record is a feature I really like and once switched on the camera powers up and starts recording automatically so giving the camera one button push functionality.
Using the Power On Record option gets the camera from a cold powered down state to recording in just over 4 seconds which is impressive.
Once you’ve finished shooting video you can quickly switch between the different modes; Photo, burst, time-lapse etc by tapping the power button. The first tap takes you to Photo, then to an options screen that you can navigate with the side buttons. This features; Time Lapse, Slow Mo, Burst Mode, underwater, FPV and other modes as well as the main setup menu.
Through the settings menu you have access to the one.fives huge amount of settings that enable you to adjust the resolution, Switch on features such as the HDR and Gyro Sensor adjust Volume, change bit rates etc. It even has manual options to set colour profile, ISO, EV to +/- 2 and Metering.
The Olfi one.five is a 4K resolution action camera, but although the finished file you see will be of the correct resolution it is enfact interpolated from 2880 x 2160 to 3840 x 2160. This does mean that there will be some quality loss but at least you have the option. As well as the Interpolate 4K at 25fps you have a good selection of other resolutions including 2.5K at 25/30 fps, 1080p at 25 / 30 / 50 / 60 fps and 720 at 25 / 30 / 50 / 60 / 120fps and VGA at 240fps.
The 720 at 120fps is good enough quality to capture some quite spectacular slow motion shots, or you can just select the slow motion mode from the menu.
The menu system has been not only been well thought out but nicely designed making it visually appealing and easy to use.
Option’s for playback are also in this menu and the small screen shows that it’s capable of decent playback of video as well as displaying the menus. Sound is also a surprise with a large speaker panel under the LCD that actually enables you to hear the audio that you’ve recorded.
Olfi one.five has Wifi
Wifi is now a pretty standard feature and the Olfi one.five has of course got Wifi built in. This is activated by pushing the up navigation button on the camera and less than a second later your ready to connect.
On your mobile device you first need to download the Olfi app, do a search for this on the Apple app store and you’ll see it’s the only result which makes it nice and easy. Once downloaded and installed you’re ready to connect.
As usual connection requires a quick switch of Wifi network on you mobile device and the relevant passwords entered and you’re ready to start using the app.
At present the app is light on features with updates coming in the next few weeks.
The app as it stands at the moment is very elegantly designed and fast with a slight noticeable delay for the liveview but the quality of the stream is excellent and the ability to start and stop recording and playback footage and stills, but at present no ability to adjust settings.
Verdict on the usability of the Olfi one.five action camera
I liked the original Olfi action camera as it showed as it showed devotion to the format and a company that knew exactly what they were doing and who the camera was aimed at.
The semi hard case that the camera arrives in isn’t just for packaging, it is a handy accessory in itself and just as good as any aftermarket case you would buy. The selection of mounts supplied also gives you plenty to get started with and it all fits in one neat easy to carry package.
A new style and camera design not only makes the Olfi one.five look different from the original but it also stands out from the crowd especially in this price range.
The wateproof housing has lost it’s flat lens design but in initial tests the new slight bevelled lip of the housing was easy enough to clean. The new case is also really well made and solid and gives you confidence that it will stand up to more than a knock or two.
Navigation and settings have all been really well thought through and new additions such as the Power On record, LCD screen and great control over video quality make this a significant upgrade over the original.
The app is still really in development but having talked to Olfi about the expected feature set it sounds like it will be a good companion to the new camera.