Replay XD 1080 Review

Cameras

The POV sports camera has gotten to be very competitive and highly innovative, with all of the companies, including GoPro, Replay, Drift Innovation and Contour, trying to outdo each other.  A few large camera companies, including JVC and Sony are also entering the market, so things are about to get very interesting.

The XD1080 is a small, light and compact video camera, which is easy to use and has a simple interface for video resolution changes. It has an excellent usage and form factor, combining two sharp tactile buttons (power and record) with distinctive vibrating mode changes, and a tiny cylindrical camera body. The rugged and water resistant camera records in a wide array of high-definition video resolutions up to 1080p, and have proven itself to take excellent footage with great clarity and realistic colors.

Replay XD 1080
The XD 1080 is a POV (point of view) high-definition sports camera, and uses a 5MP CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) sensor. Its uses a wide angle 135º fixed-focus, 6-element, and f3.1 lens, with an anti-glare coating. It can record video footage in 1080p, 960p, and 720p formats, and photos in a time lapse and manual shutter mode. It records data onto a micro SDHC (4GB included) up to 32GB in size, and is powered with an internal rechargeable Li-Ion battery that gives around two hours of recording time. It has ports for a mini USB for computer connection and recharging, and a dual-purpose type A HDMI, which can do live streaming to a TV or other source, or can be an external microphone for higher-quality audio recording. The small and light camera uses a protective anodized aluminum barrel body surrounding the lens and electronics, and its impact, shock, and water resistant. The camera attaches to an assortment of mounts, and the ones that are applicable to biking, include a low profile and adjustable swivel/tilt, which both connect into their SnapTray system, and then an optional handlebar/seatpost clamp. The cylindrical camera measures 1″ x 3.5″, weighs 3 ounces, and the kit retails for $299.

The kit comes with the XD 1080 camera, the HeimLock adjustable and LowBoy fixed mounts, two stick-on Flat Base and Curved Base SnapTrays, an instruction guide, a USB and HDMI cable, car and wall USB chargers, nylon case, soft camera bag, leash, 4GB microSD card, micro USB card reader and micro SD to SD card reader.

Measured Specs:

  • Camera  – 88 grams ( 3.1 oz)
  • Size – 94.5mm x 28mm (3.7″ x 1.1″)
  • HeimLock mount w/ SnapTray – 42 grams (1.5 oz)
  • LowBoy mount w/ SnapTray – 26 grams (1 oz)

Flying Dog Trail – Replay XD 1080 at 720p Full Light Test (no edits & default bit rate/sharpness):

Video Resolutions
The XD 1080 can shoot in High Definition, in three video resolutions. It can shoot in 1080p (widescreen) at 30fps (frames per second), 960p (full frame) at 30fps and 720p (widescreen) at either 30 fps or 60 fps. The 720p 60 fps allow for slow motion playback, which is pretty cool to watch, and in addition, it gives the normal footage a smoother and more fluid look. Each of the video resolutions is captured at different bit rates, which entails varying recording times and storage requirements, meaning greater resources are needed for the higher usage formats. The resolution settings are altered using two buttons that reside inside the rear screw cap of the camera. The camera records in two viewing angles, unique to its video resolution, so 1080p is 110°, while 920p and 720p are at 135°. It uses the H.264 video codec, AAC audio compression, and a .mov file type. Everything defaults to the NTSC standard, but it can optionally record PAL video in 25fps and 50fps increments.

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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!!

    • Roadplough says:

      There is mention somewhere on the Replay web site that an SD card needs to be formatted either in-cam or by using the proper SD card formatting software (free).
      Had all sorts of problems before learning that, no faults since.

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