Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review : JVC Adixxion XA1 WiFi Capabilities

The Adixxion XA1 has been a gem of an action camera for me. Provided by JVC Kenwood Malaysia and I am to provide unbiased review of the camera from an user point of view. Bearing in mind that I do not have any other experience of using an action camera, I would appreciate sharing from other users to further improve and educate any potential users.
If you are new here, the Adixxion XA1 review and usage review are here:
I have uploaded Full HD videos representative of the quality and performance of this camera onto my Youtube channel as well. You can subscribe to my Youtube channel for more updates in the future. on Youtube
One of the feature on Adixxion XA1 that I've not explicitly tried is the WiFi capabilities. As I usually run minimal and without my phone, there is no immediate need to have another recording device that runs up to the same price as the camera - when this Adixxion XA1 itself is rated to be outdoor and more robust than a mobile phone.
The many options and possibilities, including streaming

Pairing It Up

The apps to be used with the Adixxion XA1 is the WiVideo which can be downloaded for Android and iDevice. The app is free of charge and installation is trouble free.

There are three ways to pair the Adixxion XA1 to your mobile device. There is an option for direct mode, through the (iPhone) Hotspot and through an access point (AP).
iDevice connection option

 On the Android, there is only two ways to link the XA1 to the device. This meant the advantage is for the iDevice users. The direct mode is not possible on Android devices.

My review/write up will concentrate on using this with DIRECT MODE. This is because the camera, will be used outside home with no WiFi or AP, and connecting via Hotspot will drain up the battery of the smartphone as well. So, it make more sense to load just ONE device (battery wise). 

Connection is simple and the method is available in the WiVideo "Help" on the smartphone. 

Follow the steps and it links up within 1-minute. This is the screen capture of the methods to link it up through various connection. I have tested on all three methods with the direct mode and hotspot to be working the best. Somehow, the AP takes longer to detect or I could be living in a WiFi polluted area (stray signals???)

3-steps to link via Direct Mode
Via Access Point of AP aka WiFi network
Via "hotspot" 

Pairing Up On Direct Mode
Identifying the "Camera" ID
The Adixxion functions as it is a "WiFi" network and you will see it in the Network list. Choosing the ID will activate and complete the link between the phone and the camera. Once in, the WiVideo will show a window with a simple control layout like this.
T(ele), W(ide), Record(red) and Snap (blue)
In order to maximise the battery life, mobile link will downscale the camera to 720p capability. This can be changed in the SETUP option under Video Resolution. For the purpose of this blog entry, I set it to Full HD aka 1080p 30fps.
Going Big
And I then set the camera up on my table to test it out. Pardon the cheeky look and my attempt to grow some facial hair. 

The less than HD look could be due to low lighting inside the office and with strong backlight coming through. I recorded a scene but deleted it as I prepared the camera for the Men's Health run a few days after. Else, I would be able to share the quality appropriately.

I then tested the zoom function of the camera remotely and happy to report that it does it's job pretty well. Compare the top photo with the one on the left (5x zoom), the details is still there. 

Next is to start the recording and instantly I noticed the drop in battery (expected) life when linking the device up wirelessly. It went from 1:08 to 30:10. That is half the battery life when used as a remote camera. I wonder how it is for GoPro users when used with WiFi. Anyone care to share?

Pressing the (red) Record button started the process
As the linking allowed for full wireless access, the files that was recorded or already in the memory card (SD Card) of the Adixxion can be viewed under the "Album" tab. 
Testing the remote capability
Here is a sample of the above clip I recorded (but deleted later). Full playback function is available in-apps and so far the WiVideo that comes with the Adixxion XA1 has been stable on iOS5.1.1.

I am planning to use the phone as a remote in my outdoor run soon. Stay put as I place the device to further real-life use.

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