We managed to get hold of the ActiveOn CX action camera before it hits the shelves in the UK. Being fully HD at 1080p and an impressive 30fps, can the CX take on the GoPro at their own game? With a US price tag of only $99, can it all be too good to be true?
The spec is certainly impressive with the CX boasting a full HD 1080p with 30fps. The more expensive range are 4k, but unless you are a filmmaker for Hollywood, 1080p is by far good enough. Also, the 30 frames per second is a great speed for an introduction level action camera.
As with more expensive action cameras, the CX has built in wifi that you can access via an app from a smart phone. I have an iPhone 5s and found the app very easy to use in turning the recording of the CX on and off, as well as playing back footage. It was also easy to take photos with the camera via the app as well as using as a monitor so I could see what the camera (on top of my helmet) was looking at.
The battery life was quite good, but to make it last longer it is best to turn the CX completely off between takes. If it is left in standby while connected to the app via the wifi, the battery drains very quickly.
The waterproof housing that comes with the CX is sturdy while still being easy to operate the camera. It also has fixings to simply secure to a sucker plate for mounting on a helmet, or in my case, the front or back of a snowboard. These are standard fixings and brackets that are used by most action camera accessories.
The CX has a super wide angle (maybe a little too wide for certain situations) and has a F2.4 lens which is great for close-up action shots. The lens gives a ‘fisheye’ effect.
After testing it out while snowboarding in the Dolomites, Italy, I was very impressed with the quality of the footage. It seemed sharp and the focus was good even at speed. The conditions were good and I didn’t get the chance to try it out in flat or low light, but in bright sunshine the results were impressive.
I also tested out the CX at Hemel Hempstead snow centre. The results were not quite so sharp but you have to consider that the lighting in snow centres are not good and overall, the CX dealt with the fluctuating and flat fluorescent lighting well.
The camera also comes with different coloured covers that clip onto the front of the camera to give customisation if desired. This feature reminds me of an old Nokia mobile I had many years ago!
Overall I think the CX performs well as an base level action camera and is great value for money.
Good for: All action sports
Rating: 8 out of 10
The latest action camera to take on the dominance of GoPro in this lucrative market.
Mark is also the manager of Jamie Barrow (Britain’s fastest snowboarder)