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Topic Title: Soloshot 3 Review
Topic Summary: my personal experience with it.
Created On: 01/19/2018 10:49 AM
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 01/19/2018 10:49 AM
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Sector9surf

Posts: 1927
Joined Forum: 01/14/2010

I'm sure everyone knows of the the Soloshot robot camera man and I am not too ashamed to claim that I own one.

 

For those of you who think it might be cool to get one, I'll leave a little bit of feedback of the product on here. First of all, they've made big improvements from the Soloshot 2, so the difference is definitely noticeable when it comes to user friendliness. The pros of it are touchscreen and auto calibration, which makes it now fairly easy enough to use. It also has a two button tracking tag which allows you to start/stop recording. (nothing new from the S2, but it's slightler smaller and more comfortable)

The cons,

given the amount of time it's taken for the new product to be manufactured you'd think they would've made much bigger improvements. (Now given, that there are no substitutes for it except for the Pixio maybe that should be expected). It tracks, is easy to setup, and is moveable. They are also saying that you'll soon be able to manually film with it also so it could double as your everyday sports camera as well.

However, it seems as if they've put alot of efforts into R&D for the wrong features. They've created a Soloshot App which appears to be like a knockoff of an Instagram feed. The app is useable, but I really don't see the point of it unless your goal is to share your videos only with Soloshot App users. The file size of recording with the camera comes out to be in GB's so quickly downloading and posting to social media or other outlets is not possible. Another con, the tag itself is only mountable through an armband, so you can't tell if you're recording on not. Not to mention the start/stop button is the size of pencil eraser and doesn't provide any recording cues such as a light change or beep so you don't know if you've pressed or not. (It shows a small icon, but even if it does, you can't see it easily as it's up on your arm with a super tiny icon as a visual cue. Also, the icon sometimes show's off, yet the base keeps recording so it's not the most reliable cue to go by... a software update might fix this issue soon). Finally, the tracking doesn't always keep you centered like it should, but I believe they are quickly improving on that through continual updates.

 

It really only needs a few minor changes to be super user friendly and functional for surfers so I hope they have enough feedback to want to make those changes. They are more than halfway so why not go the extra step.

 

Overall, I'd say its nice to have if you just want to film for training or wave review, but not so much at a professional level. I ordered it discounted assuming it would arrive at the projected shipping date so the price seemed good, but at retail it might still be a little bit on the expensive side for the current functionality of it. Hopefully, my review of it isn't too harsh to turn people away from the product as it is a great concept and I hope we continue to see improvements of this. I don't think it's anywhere near professional quality so won't be taking away from the pros, but is a great idea for the average Joe who can't get their gf to sit on the beach and film them. (In my case, mine surfs so never get that chance.

 

Edit: Video quality is 4k so films good video, the tracking is still so-so, but improved with the software updates. The future software features are supposed to allow easier uploading for media sharing or web.

As an edit to my intial review regarding the recording which I think was a bit harsh... You can tell that your recording through the icon on the armband which is small but visible. The armband is convenient enough to see and reach, but might not be easy to see the icon in gloomy conditions. (I've found that if you press and count to 3 it'll start/ stop every time so not being able to easily see it isn't that big of a deal. Just check it between sets that you have recording off.).

 



Edited: 02/02/2018 at 06:59 PM by Sector9surf
 01/19/2018 02:12 PM
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Greensleeves

Posts: 10704
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Thanks solid review. Cruddy about it not letting you know it's working I like the hopro and it's beeping thing. How's the distance with which it can track? Looks great for OBX (Brett Barley clips) where the waves aren't too far of shore but here they are a little further out

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 01/19/2018 04:15 PM
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Sector9surf

Posts: 1927
Joined Forum: 01/14/2010

I got the optic 65x which is the more expensive built in camera that comes with it. They have two options the Optic25x and the 65x. I'm not sure what the equivalent zoom range would be in in DSLR terms, but it tracks better as you get further away (200ft or further).  I've never gotten so far that I was out of range for the tracking, but as far as the zoom goes possibly. It zooms automatically with either one.

At some point, I think they will have an adapter which allows you to use most 3rd party cameras as they had before with the S2. If you use your own camera you might have a few compatibility concerns. For example, if you try to use a DSLR which shoots video on the S2, there is no autofocus and you will get blurry video. I've always gotten the bundle to avoid this.



Edited: 01/19/2018 at 04:31 PM by Sector9surf
 01/25/2018 09:01 AM
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Greensleeves

Posts: 10704
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Thanks sector 9! 



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 02/02/2018 06:41 PM
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Sector9surf

Posts: 1927
Joined Forum: 01/14/2010

Now that I've used it a few more times I'm updating my review, since I think the initial review was a bit harsh. They have also had a few software updates which seem to have improved the tracking and setup glitches.

 

A few setup tips which I've found to make the difference in it working how its supposed to and which isn't very clear on the website before you buy it are:

1. It auto calibrates, but you can't just put on the armband and hop in the water. It takes about 1-2 minutes to turn on and calibrate and (after) this is done you will need to walk around with the armband and tag on for a few passes until you can see that it appears to be following you closely. So expect to spend 5 minutes setting up your gear and hanging out on the beach so you can do the walkabout before paddling out.

*If you walk/jog back and forth along the beach about 20ft in each direction, a few times as recommended, it will work. (If you jump right in the water as it calibrates don't expect it to work properly as I've tried this also and it doesnt work like that.

 

2. The tracker isn't that difficult to use once you get used to it. The trick is to start/stop between sets instead of between waves. Using it to film longboarding In small, glassy groundswell this is fairly easy to do. Trying to get clips while shortboarding, in disorganized drifty conditions this was tough. Probably no worse than trying to record with a Gopro, but for someone like me who hasn't tried that before it's a challenge.

 

3. It tracks good filming longboarding , in slower waves, where there is no rapid speed change or change in direction.  Shortboarding was going off screen, but this was before the update so I'll have to try it out more shortboarding to see if they've fixed that with the updates yet. (It still allows you to go towards the edge of the screen sometimes which I don't like, but I haven't gone offscreen longboarding)

 

I'm fairly happy with it now...  once they come out with the other features they've promised I think it'll be worth it.



Edited: 02/03/2018 at 05:41 AM by Sector9surf
FORUMS : NPNR : Soloshot 3 Review

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