To turn the camera on, just press and hold the Action button on the side of the camera, and the LCD screen comes on and the LED light turns either green, yellow, purple or cyan (mode dependent). The LCD screen will eventually go into the Live Preview Mode, displaying a live image of whatever the camera is pointing towards, and icons on the outer edge of the image, which indicate the recording mode (video, photo, timelapse, photoburst), current memory and battery levels, and various other information that is relevant to the chosen mode.
To level the camera, just point the camera at a stationary object that has a good horizontal or vertical orientation, like a tree, log or your finger held in front of the camera, and then watching the LCD screen, rotate the lens until the object matches up with the proper horizon. It can be tough to get things exactly right, due to the small screen and 170º lens causing skewing at its outer circumference. To turn the camera off, press and hold the Action button for 3 seconds, and then it will shut down. The camera also has a zoom capability, which can be engaged by pressing and holding the Right button, with an indicator bar on the screen, and it can be reversed with the Left.
If using the two-way remote control, just press and hold the Action button to sync it up with the camera, and it will blink in the appropriate mode color (green, yellow, purple, cyan) when ready. To begin the video recording, just push the Action button on the camera or the Action button on the remote, and it beeps once, and the indicator LED turns from green (or the proper mode color) to blinking red. To stop recording, push the Action button again or the Stop button on the remote, and the camera acknowledges that with another beep. When taking photos, pressing the Action button takes a picture, and the camera beeps and the indicator turns red, and once the LED returns to its mode color another picture can be taken.
The menu system for the camera is highly intuitive, and uses both icons and tabular menus for configuring the camera modes and settings. Press the Menu button to get to the Main Menu screen, and you’ll see four icons, Menu Selection, Playback, Mode Settings and Camera Settings. The icons are browsed using the Left and Right buttons, and once highlighted, using the Action button brings you to the chosen sub menu. Pressing the Menu button again, returns it up one level in the menu tree or back to the Live Preview screen.
The Mode Selection Menu displays four icons, video, photo, timelapse, or photoburst, and choosing one of those sets up the recording mode for the camera. The Mode Settings Menu also displays the four icons, video, photo, timelapse, or photoburst, and choosing one of those drops it down into a tabular based setting’s menu for the respective mode. From the Main Menu, you can also go to the camera settings, which gives the tabular system-wide settings menu.
In each of the mode setting’s menus (video, photo, timelapse, or photoburst), you can set resolution, frame rate (video only), field of view, exposure, and other mode specific parameters. The system-wide settings menu is very deep, with four pages of settings, and includes parameters such as Wi-Fi, remote control and pairing, and LCD setup.
From the Main Menu, you can go to the Playback Menu, which like the others, displays the four mode icons, video, photo, timelapse, and photoburst. If there is a number next to the icon, that is the number of recorded files that reside on the microSD card for those formats. Choosing any of the modes brings up a picture of the initial video, photo, timelapse, or photoburst, the current file being viewed vs. the total number of files, and the video length (in video view mode). You can browse through the recorded files using the Left and Right buttons, and then press the Action button, and you’ll get three choices, view, delete and delete all. In the video view mode, you can use the Right button for fast forward, the Left for rewind and the Action for play, while in timelapse and photoburst, the Action button begins the sequences.
It can be hooked up to a TV monitor via the HDMI cable for a big-screen experience, and is controlled using the same button sequences.
Interfacing and Charging with the Computer
To download or view the videos or photos you recorded, connect the mini USB to the rear port on the camera’s back, and then the other end of the connector to a computer USB port. The unit will appear as a Removable Disk, and just navigate down to the appropriate directory (example: F:\Removable Disk\DCIM\100DRIFT) and either download or view the video straight from the camera. For faster downloads, use a standalone card reader, and bypass the camera as the downloading interface.
To charge the camera, plug in the USB cable into the computer, an appropriate wall or vehicle charger and then the cameras USB port, and the LED will blink red for several hours depending on how much video was recorded, and will turn green when completed.