Friday, November 27, 2015

HawkEye Firefly 6S sport/action/quadcopter camera,UHD capable. Review with Samples Part1

HawkEye Firefly 6S Action camera

Part 1

In this review,I am taking the opportunity to test and present a typical action camera.
The camera is Firefly 6S from the manufacturer Hawk Eye.
This is a specialized action camera for capturing sport action and any other beautiful moment of life.
In design the camera is a clear clone of the king in this class,the GoPro Hero.In closer look though,there are many differences. Read my review below,to learn more about the Firefly 6S's design,features and performance.

Check out the camera, at Banggood (link)

Here are my reasons to choose Firefly 6S instead of the other more popular sport cameras like Xiaomi Yi and SJcam.
First is the display.The display is usually the thing that consumes most energy from the battery.
The S6 has a small one color OLED display. It does not have a big 2" color display on the back. This on theory means,the energy should be saved for for the more important part of using a camera-longer taking videos and photos.
The lack of display on the back,means also that there is some more free space for the battery.
More space allows using a battery with a larger capacity. The Li-Ion battery used for powering Firefly 6S has 1600mAh capacity,which(if real) is impressive in such a compact device.
After taking a lot of videos,I can confirm that the camera holds up really well,maintaining quite long run time.
About 40 minutes total video time with various settings including timelapse,as the last video was 19 minutes long in 4K format.
I don't have any of the competitors,though and can not compare their results.

The camera has 4 buttons for operating the user interface.
One on the top,one on the front and two on one of the sides.
Both top and front buttons have blue led underneath for indicating the state of the camera-start/stop recording,taking photos,activating Gyro,charging status.

Pressing the top button activates recording process,or stops it.It is used also for confirming the selected setting.
The front switch is for turning the camera On/Off and exit of the menu. It is also used for switching between video and photo state.

The body seems entirely made of plastic with a very nice rubberized finish,which helps a lot for the grip when holding the camera,or when you leave it on a tilted surface.
The lens body feels like a metal material-it's most probably made of metal.

The battery can be charged directly in camera via MiniUSB cable from a USB computer port,or via wall charger.
Very fast data transfer through USB.Much faster than any USB flash drives and card readers I own.

These are the specifications from the box of the Firefly 6S.

Some more specifications from Banggood's website:
Brand Name: Hawkeye
Item Name: Firefly 6S camera
Photo Resolution: 16M/8M/5M,
Video Resolution: 4K@24fps(Quicktime player required);2.5K@30fps,1080P@60fps,720P@120fps;VGA@30fps
ISO: AUTO/100/1600
AV Output Format : PAL/ NTSC
USB Port: compatible with Gopro Gimbals
Support HDMI output:YES
Support max 64G TF card, Class 10
Support WiFi

Size: 59 x 41 x 12mm
Weight: 70g
Battery Capacity: 1600mAh (can be detached, compatible with Gopro3/3+ battery)
Working Voltage: 5V
Working + Charging Current: 800mA
Working Time:1.5h
Charging Time: 2-3h
Compressed Format :  H264
Video/ Photo Format: *.MP4 / *.JPG
Color:Black/Golden/Silver White

Optical Parameter:
Diaphragm: F/2.8,7 glasses
Angle: 120 degree level, 170 degree diagonal

Video;Photo;Time-lapse video;Time-lapse photo;11 Burst Photo

Power Button:  Press once for power on, long press 3 sec. to turn off, Photo/ Record Mode switch.
OK Button: Start/ Stop recording
Up Button:  Enter menu/ Add options of menu; long press to turn on WiFi
Down Button: Enter menu/ reduce options of menu.

Quality of the lens and sensor is decent,but as usual it could be better.
The lens is very clear,with great anti-reflective coating.
Definitely not a cheap one.There is a shiny spot on my sample..Probably not coated surface,but most important is that the picture is not affected in any way,so the problem is mostly aesthetic.
The sensor also has its flaws.There are few defective pixels,that reproduce the signal in a wrong way and their color is different from the surrounding pixels.They are not visible every time,but in some situations are quite noticeable. Most modern digital cameras have built in software option for correcting/deactivating the signal from bad pixels. Seeing the S6 sensor,I think a bad pixel removal option is needed here as well.

Battery compartment door looks a little tiny.I am not sure if it could resist frequently opening/closing the door.I did not find a need of using a second battery,so I don't open it at all,after the original battery is in it.
The 6S can also be powered from an external battery/power bank through the USB port. 

There is no any kind of anti- water/dust sealing caps for the USB,HDMI and MicroSD card slot.This is not so good,if you do not use the camera in the waterproof case,all the time.

Short video demo of the 6S design-

This is how the packaging looks like.Very sturdy,thick cardboard box.

The 6S comes with a full set of different mounting brackets,waterproof case,tripod holder.
The overall quality is good,as some of the accessories are a little better quality,other not so good.
For example,the holder with two tripod holes is somewhat bended and doesn't keep the camera securely attached. I had to use additional parts to prevent dropping the camera when it is inserted in the holder.

There are various accessories for mounting/attaching the camera,also TV cable,nice microfiber cloth.

I have also unpacking video and UI preview,which I will upload later.

Video Samples taken with the Firefly 6S camera.
Testing all the different resolutions.

Click to download the original file-

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Click to download the original file-

 All videos Copyright. Please don't post on other websites without my permission.

The waterproof case seems very good quality.I had no chance yet to test it underwater.
I used it for taking a video of driving a car.The camera was mounted very low,on the exhaust tube level.
Check out these videos in Part 2 of the review,to see how the camera performs in this situation.

The review continues in PART 2.
Be sure to check it out! Lots of video samples and different settings demonstration.

Here is a page with more samples(direct download),that will be updated occasionally-

If you found the review helpful,please use the affiliate link below.
I don't make any money from links or coupon codes!
This will only help me to get new samples for review!
Check out the camera here- Banggood link

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