Rollei Actioncam S-30 WiFi

Score

Pros

  • WiFi control via Android or iOS app
  • Rugged and waterproof housings included
  • Helmet and bike mounts included
  • Amazing price

Cons

  • Mediocre image quality
  • No scene modes or manual shutter and iris
  • No live Internet streaming over WiFi

Key Features

  • Review Price: £119.99
  • CMOS with 2Mpixels
  • MOV or AVI video format at up to 1,920 x 1,080
  • Waterproof to 10m depth with underwater housing
  • Shockproof when dropped from up to 3m with rugged housing
  • Bike and helmet mounts included
  • WiFi control via Android or iOS app
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What is the Rollei Actioncam S-30 WiFi?

The Rollei Actioncam S-30 WiFi is a low-cost sports and activities camcorder, which despite its sub-£120 price includes WiFi remote control capability. Considering the price of WiFi-capable cameras from bigger names, such as the GoPro HERO3 Black Edition or Garmin VIRB Elite, the S-30 seems like a deal too good to be true. So what has Rollei left out to get the cost so low?

Rollei Actioncam S-30

The S-30 is based around a CMOS sensor of unspecified size but with a resolution 2Mpixels, which is just enough for the  Full HD video it records. This is performed at 30 frames per second, but it’s also possible to capture 720p at 60 as well as 30 frames per second. The S-30 can take still images at up to 2,560 x 1,920, although this will require a little interpolation with just 2Mpixels of sensor resolution available. Aside from grabbing single images, three, five and ten-shot continuous shot settings are also available.

There are three quality modes, allowing footage to be recorded in MOV or AVI format at data rates of up to 13Mbits per second, which will allow reasonable if not outstanding quality. A microSD card slot is used for storage, with support for modules up to 32GB. With the latter, there will be enough space for five and a half hours of footage at the top quality setting. However, a memory card is one thing Rollei doesn’t include in the box, which is not a huge surprise given the price. You do get a copy of Corel VideoStudio X6 bundled, though.

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Rollei Actioncam S-30
Rollei rates the S-30 as waterproof to a depth of 10m, and shockproof against a drop from a height of 3m, although neither of these are backed by any particular international standard. You also can’t have both at the same time, as the waterproofing requires an underwater housing, which is included in the box, whilst an alternative housing protects the camcorder from impact.

Not only does the S-30 come with these two different housings, but the box is also full of mounting options as well. A couple of robust double-sided adhesive pads are included, for sticking one of the mounts to a helmet. There are two bases – one for screwing to a bike handlebar, plus the helmet option, which can also be strapped on rather than stuck.

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There are then three different arms you can attach to either base, and finally the screw plate, which can be attached to either the robust or waterproof housing. So the S-30 already comes with plenty of attachment options, and there are still more available from Rollei’s website, including chest and shoulder mounts, suction mounts for cars, and a number of others. The S-30 itself is available in orange, black and yellow, to suit your outfit. It’s also amazingly small, weighing just 75g.

Yet another amazing inclusion for the price is the 1.5-inch LCD panel. This is located on the side, so won’t allow you to use the S-30 like a regular camcorder, but will be great for selecting menu options and ensuring you are pointing the camcorder in the right direction when positioning it on a mount. It’s certainly great to see the LCD’s inclusion when even the GoPro only offers a panel as an add-on accessory.

The availability of a menu means the S-30 can offer a few more settings

than most action cameras, which usually only provide the ability to

toggle record. The S-30 provides options to set the ISO from 50 to 800,

as well as leaving it on auto, but only in photo mode. Metering can be

changed from centre-weighted, to multi-point, to spot. There are

daylight, cloudy, tungsten and fluorescent white balance presets as well

as automatic, but no manual option. Both of these settings are

available with video as well as still image capture.

There

is even the facility to vary exposure between -2EV and 2EV, but no

direct control over shutter or iris, unsurprisingly, and again this is

only available in photo mode. No scene modes are available either, and

with the waterproof housing we would have liked to have seen an

underwater colour compensation filter, although the S-30 appears to be

more targeted at surfers than divers. In video mode there are

some digital filters, which include red, green and blue alongside sepia,

negative and black & white options. The menu buttons also let you

turn on WiFi mode and turn off the screen, which is handy for preserving

battery life.

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Rollei Actioncam S-30
The

most surprising feature of all of the S-30 is of course WiFi control,

which is normally something only found in premium models. The usual

system applies, whereby you set the camcorder up as a WiFi hotspot, then

connect your smartphone to it. You can then fire up the Rollei app,

which is available for Android and iOS. This allows you to preview what

the camcorder is seeing, toggle record, and even configure some of the

settings, including continuous shooting mode, white balance, and

frequency (to compensate for mains light flickering). Best of all, the

preview continues even when you’re recording, unlike some WiFi

implementations, notably the Garmin VIRB’s.

The

S-30 has a 120-degree field of view, so picks up a fair chunk of the

action around it. Image quality in good lighting is decent, but not

outstanding. Colours are reproduced faithfully, but there is evidence of

noise and grain, which slightly mars the level of detail. This is more

evident as the light drops. Colour fidelity remains reasonable in poor

illumination, without a high level of compression patching. But the

image is not as bright as top-end models like GoPro’s HERO3 Black

Edition can produce.

Rollei Actioncam S-30 WiFi 

Should I buy the Rollei Actioncam S-30 WiFi?

The

Rollei Actioncam S-30 WiFi provides a lot of features for the money,

and the bundled housings and mounts don’t show any signs of cost

cutting. Image quality is a step behind more premium units like the GoPro HERO3 Black Edition or

Garmin VIRB Elite. But considering the price and WiFi

functionality, if you want to capture your extreme sporting moments like

the professionals but on a more modest budget, the Rollei Actioncam

S-30 WiFi is incredible value.

Verdict

The Rollei Actioncam S-30 WiFi gives you a lot of extreme sporting camcorder for your money, including WiFi control.

Next, read our JVC HD Everio GZ-R10SE review, a regular camcorder with action cam ruggedness.

Score

Score in detail

  • Design 8
  • Image Quality 7
  • Features 9
  • Value 10
  • Perfomance 7

Image Processor

Image Sensor 2Mpixel
Image Sensor Quantity 1

Lens Features

Optical Zoom (Times) 0x
Digital Zoom (Times) 0x

Video Recording

Recording Media SD card
Video Capture Format MOV or AVI
Max Video Res 1,920 x 1,080
Image Stabilisation No

General Features

LCD Screen Size (Inch) 1.5in
On-board Storage (Gigabyte) 0GB
On-board Microphone Mono

A/V ports

HDMI Mini
USB 2.0 Yes
Audio / Video Out No
Audio / Video In No
External Microphone No

Physical Specifications

Weight (Gram) 75g

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