Replay XD 1080 Review

Cameras

Since they don’t have a specific vented helmet mount, you’ll need to find a spot on your helmet that is large enough and has the proper shape to place one of the stick-on SnapTrays. I didn’t like that idea, since it was semi-permanent, so I created my own customized vented mount by using another company’s strap, and dremeled down the old connection system flat, so that I could attach a SnapTray. It worked extremely well, and I am surprised that Replay hasn’t released something like this?

The HeimLock and LowBoy mounts slip and click into the stick-on SnapTrays, and then the cylindrical body of the camera pops into those mounts. I always used the HeimLock rotatable (swivel/tilt) and lockable mount, which pivots 360° around the base, and tilts approximately 8° off axis, which gave enough adjustability if the proper helmet location was found. Once the camera was inserted into the mounts, the camera was stable and secure, and didn’t rotate out of position, since the interface offered a very snug connection.

Interface to Computer and TV
To download or view the videos or pictures you recorded, unscrew the rear cap of the camera, and connect the mini USB to the camera and the other end of the connector to a computer USB port. Press and hold the FPS and Power button for around 4 seconds until the computer acknowledges the device. The unit will appear as a Removable Disk, and just navigate down to the appropriate directory (example: F:\Removable Disk\DCIM\100MEDIA) and either download or view the video straight from the camera. For faster downloads, remove the card, and use either the micro USB card reader or microSD to SD card reader, and bypass the camera as the downloading interface.

The recorded footage can also be viewed on a TV by using the HDMI port of the camera, using the buttons to tab through, and start each of the videos stored on the microSD card. The controls are very rudimentary, but the results are quite impressive on a larger screen. For advanced users and commercial proposes, you can live stream video to an external HD recorder or transmitter.

Broken Hip Trail – Replay XD 1080 at 720p: Low Light Test (no edits and default bit rate/sharpness):

Impressions
Time and time again, what stands out to me when using this camera is its excellent usage and form factor? The unit is very small, light and obstructive, and it can fit almost anywhere, like the inside of an RC car if required. Changing the resolution and mode is easily accomplished with the FPS and Mode buttons under the rear cap, and it only takes a few tires to learn the fairly simple color pattern of the LEDs to get everything set up properly. The power and record buttons are sharp and decently large, so they offer excellent tactile response when locating and pressing them, even with gloved hands. The vibration feedback is a simple and intuitive feature that informs you of modal changes, such as power and recording, and I easily felt them through the helmet, no matter how noisy the environment or rough the trail conditions were. I do admit that I occasionally hit the record button too quickly, and although it clipped the video that I wanted, it continued recording a new one, and it took my concerted effort to make sure I held the button for a few seconds to stop the recording process.

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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