Replay XD 1080 Review

Cameras

Photos
The XD 1080 can shoot still 5MP photos with a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels and 135° field of view, in an automatic mode, which allows photos to be taken every X number of seconds, where X is 3, 5, 15, or 30-second intervals. In the latest firmware release (v45), the 3 second time lapse option can be replaced with a manual shutter mode, using the advanced settings interface.

Camera Features
Inside the rear screw cap of the camera are the frame rate (FPS) and mode (Mode) buttons, a microSD slot, a mini USB and HDMI port, mode and charging LEDs, an audio and recessed reset button.

On the barrel of the camera by the lens is a Power or On/Off button, with two LED’s on either side of it. The rearward LED turns a solid blue when the camera is powered on, and the front LED turns solid red while recording video and photos. You can also monitor the battery level with the blue power LED. A solid blue LED means the battery output is between 26-100%, and a slow blinking means 11-25%, and a fast blinking means 10% or lower. Towards the back of the camera next to the rear screw cap is the Record button, which initiates recording of video or photos. The red recording LED will begin blinking when the microSD card is full, and then the camera will automatically power down. The inside of the rear screw cap has mini set of the menu options, explaining the colors of the mode and fps LEDs.

Memory/Storage
It uses microSDHC (Secure Digital High-Capacity) cards up to 32GB in size, and comes with a 4GB one in the kit, which is a really nice dividend. Using a computer, you can interface to the card from the camera itself, or use the included micro USB card reader and micro SD to SD card reader. You can reformat the card by powering on the camera, and then pressing and holding the FPS and Mode button for 10 seconds. The SD Cards are formatted with a FAT 32 partition, which has a 4GB file size limitation. While recording on this camera, a new video file will be created once the currently recording one reaches appropriately 3.08GB (30 min of footage) in size, due to the FAT (File Allocation Table) limitation, so you will need to piece the files together in an editor to have a full timeline if you continually record while riding. If the camera is powered up without a card in its port, it will do an automatic shutdown.

Battery
The camera uses an internal rechargeable Lithium Ion 3.7V 750Ah battery, which is charged using a computer USB port for its replenishment, or the accompanying USB car or wall charger. It takes around an hour to recharge the battery, and during the cycle, the green charging LED is illuminated, and it will turn off when the process has completed.   The battery is supposed to last 122 minutes per charge, but it varies depending on the temperature, video resolution, bit rate, and sharpness. At the default bit rate setting (medium), I got around 95 minutes at 1080p and 105 minutes at 720p.

Measured Specs for Battery and Storage:

  • Battery Limit – 1080p 75 min, 960p 98 min, 720p 105 min
  • Storage usage – 1080p 75MB per min, 960p 62MB per min, 720p 45 MB per min

They have optional 3 and 6-hour battery packs that plug into the USB and HDMI ports on the rear of the camera behind the screw cap, but I haven’t gotten a chance to test them out. I do wish it had a replaceable battery for longer video sessions, but due to the small form factor and design of the camera, it’s probably not feasible?

Camera Body
The camera is constructed with a hard anodized aluminum tube body, which is rugged, impact and water resistant. The inner lens is protected with a screw-on protective clear cover which is sealed with an O-ring. The front cap can be swapped out for a 37mm adapter ring, so that different lens filters can be used. The rear screw-on cap has an O-ring to keep the electronics contaminant free, so be careful you don’t lose it since it offers a lot of protection. The rear cap also has a hole for the included lanyard, but I never used it, or the looped lanyard which fits around the body itself.

Audio
The camera has an internal omnidirectional microphone located just opposite of the power button by the lens, and though it’s a tiny hole, it picks up things pretty well, including some extraneous wind noise at speed. They include some stickers called Windbreakers in the kit to place over the microphones hole to attenuate the noise, but they don’t seem to help, and I ended misplacing them somewhere anyway. You can alter the microphone gain within the advanced settings interface if desired. They have an optional external microphone which plugs into the back of the camera behind the screw cap, using the HDMI port as its interface.

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • BOOCMOS says:

    Great review re operations, but the most important thing to review when reviewing CMOS cameras is how bad the rolling shutter (jello-vision, etc.) problem is — all will unfortunately have this to some degree… I was hoping for info on this, esp. as previous reviews showed that this cam was particularly good at minimizing this horrible effect.

    If you can speak to this in your future comparo that would be great — and also whether the new entries from JVC etc. will be more pro-level and ditch the CMOS entirely (finally).

  • BOOCMOS says:

    Oh, sorry, one more thing: any idea if they will have a chest-mount available?

    While it is odd that there’s no included helmet mount (just cuz it’s so easy!), truth be told, for the most awesome MTB POV video, the helmet is just the worst place for a camera: there’s no frame of reference at all/no idea what’s really going on; less sense of speed; it’s too high, floaty, and cartoony — like a third-person video game type view (great for scenery I guess).

    A chest-mount (GoPro’s only best feature IMHO) really puts you in the action (best with 135 view). Seatpost looking fwd/bck pretty cool too.

    All three viewpoints are even better if you’re following/leading someone at ridiculous speeds ;-)

    • Brian Mullin says:

      BOOCMOS => They currently don’t have a chest mount, but they do have some new mounts coming out shortly, which we should have shortly for testing?

      In regards to JVC, it’s still a CMOS (cost effective and less energy usage): “Digital image stabilization minimizes camera shake, and the camera includes rolling shutter cancellation that corrects the image skewing that can occur with CMOS image sensors. The result is distortion-free images, even during fast-moving scenes.”

      Note, that CMOS technology has come a long way, and many high priced camcorders now use CMOS instead of CCD. Pixel count and image size is quite important, and due to the small size of the sports POV’s, it’s a tough compromise to get it perfect.

      I will try and stuff something together on the Replay (or my camera shootout) in regards to rolling shutter, etc., but like any of the cameras, stay away from 1080p, and the issues aren’t as bad. I didn’t add it to my review this time since

  • Jay says:

    The camera is alright. Their support sucks. Never a response for any help. It has very limited compatability for video editors.

  • Eldon Richardson says:

    Purchased a replad xd 720 and it lasted for about 5 hours and would NOT charge and would not run with power cable plugged in either. Sent back to be repaired, the service department told me there was nothing wrong with the unit and they sent back to me. When I got it back it would charge but would NOT record on battery power only but would record when the power cord was used. Service department told me this was caused by the SD card I was using.. Anyway when this unit was at service department I ordered a replay XD 1080 It records good using the battery or the power cord using the SD card the service department told me was the problem. There is a problem with the 1080 unit also, I can not switch the mike input from internal or external mode. So bottom line is I got two unit with problems and when I filled out the service ticket on the 1080 unit about a week ago I have not heard from them.. I do NOT recommend these unit to anyone, they do not know the meaning of service… DON’T BUY THESE UNITS!!!!!!!! Spend your money on a different camera!!

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