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Polaroid Cube (polaroid.com)
575 points by dskhatri on Aug 11, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 181 comments

Finally someone else is stepping into the GoPro market. Good to see competition here. I know the feature sets aren't identical but sometimes worse is better.

I think the fact that it's tiny, cute, and inexpensive will help them carve a niche out from under GoPro. I can imagine something like this being used in places where you wouldn't really want a "hard core" action cam.

agree with that. this just seems more user friendly to get started with. much more of a fun impulse buy than a GoPro IMO.

I thought the video quality was extremely high, compared with a lot of the other stuff I see on YouTube.

also worth noting that there are a ton of retail outlets in the USA which is an added benefit to their distribution strategy.

"I thought the video quality was extremely high"

Actually the video quality looks terrible. Compare the bits actually shot with the Cube (most of the promo video isn't... you can clearly see when they switch to the shots the Cube itself took at ~0:22-0:26 and ~0:42-0:44, notice how they switch away from the Cube video pretty damn quickly, probably because it is so terrible... doesn't even look actually 1080p as a source, looks like they are interpolating it up from something lower, frame rate looks bad, massive chromatic aberration).

Compare Cube (switch YouTube player to 1080p if it doesn't auto select that, note that most of the promo video is not Cube footage, pay specific attention to ~0:22-0:26 and ~0:42-0:44):


To, say, the Mobius (switch YouTube player to 1080p if it doesn't auto select that):


Mobius costs less than the Cube ($80 vs $99), video quality is miles better even when capturing a much faster-moving scene.

I can see reasons why people might buy the Cube... it is cute, the monkey stand is pretty cool; but in terms of price vs image quality it is a clear loser, IMO.

This is identical to the sentiment against iPod when it first came out. If the design is good, user friendly, and people still like the product, it won't matter if it's got worse specs since they can always improve them in later releases.

If I remember correctly the iPod lacked some features that could have been expected from the product when the first version came out (the famous "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." quoted else where in this thread. Also, firewire). But the features that were in the iPod worked fine. In this case however I agree with the parent who says the video, the only thing this cube is supposed to do well, is pretty terrible looking by 2014 standards.

Here's a still of the video for reference: https://i.imgur.com/wIF1SFt.jpg

There's so much wrong in this picture I'm not sure where to start. And that's a promotional video!

And yet, this is more than enough quality for most people.

The UX for these cameras is basically "hit record button, see red light go on"; I don't think there is room for any player to win on iPod-style usability.

They either need to sell on lifestyle branding (where GoPro is already owning the market) or quality, IMO.

What about the complicated menu structure of a GoPro Hero3+? Surely there's massive scope for improvement there?

Would a non-technical person understand pro's and con's of the trade-off between 1080p24 and 720p120? I doubt it.

A lot of opinion, but as a normal consumer, I think this looks fine, or at least "good enough".

I agree, the Mobius video does look better. But, I think that most of the decision doesn't come down to video quality for a normal person. Its like graphics on video games. There's a very vocal crowd that espouses 1080p / 60 Hz refresh rates, but most normal people are as likely to play Candy Crush as a cinematic Final Fantasy or God of War. Its just not that much of a discriminator for the non-hardcore.

Anecdotally, I bought a Go Pro a while back. What really mattered was: "Can I easily use this for the activity I'm planning (I wanted to be able to set a camera on my shoulder)?", "Can I easily work with / upload the video after I'm done?", and "Is this a product that people online say works?"

Hey - you're absolutely right about the video quality. Thanks for pointing it out.

The cube looks like a great product, but I was wondering if it will be pro quality. Your post helps.

GoPro actually does produce usable pro-quality HD video. Amazing for such a compact and simple device. Great colour balance, great lens, very little CA, etc., etc.

Cube is clearly not competing with that. It looks like a great fun product, and I reckon I'll buy one... but I won't be able to justify that purchase professionally!

Agreed, sub-$40 Chinese Go-Pro knock-offs offer superior performance on top of their silly cheap price tags.

Can you recommend one?

It might be sub-par to some people right now, but they are establishing a beachhead in the market. They can certainly improve feature/performance/product line and expand out from there.

Where is the price listed? I don't see it anywhere.




P.S. Have a link to that somewhere?

While it's in the same consumer market as GoPro, remember that GoPro is more than a camera company in the same way that Red Bull is more than just an energy drink.

GoPro is headed in the direction of lifestyle branding. Original content, sponsored professional sports, brand collaboration, etc.

So while Polaroid and Sony are welcoming competition in the space, GoPro's market IMO seems more focused elsewhere.

>GoPro is headed in the direction of lifestyle branding. Original content, sponsored professional sports, brand collaboration, etc.

That's still just a camera company. All those are marketing/promotionals moves, no money makers or markets.

Same for Red Bull I'd say. How much Red Bull makes for selling the drink vs any other endeavour (if it not actually loses money on them).

they make a nice sum on their formula one team, that alone is a difficult feat so i reckon they are pretty business savvy.

Red Bull F1 may be "profitable" but only if you separate it from the 100's of millions invested by the Red Bull parent company. It is simply a marketing venture whose real profit is measured in brand awareness and sales of little cans of caffeinated soda.

I do a fir bit of "extreme sports". Mountain Biking and Kayaking mainly. Ironically no one I know (who participates in these sports) drinks Red Bull on a regular basis.

The irony goes so much deeper.

While "extreme sports" types may not themselves drink Red Bull, the "non-extreme" people who do drink Red Bull are very sensitive to the notion that Red Bull is authentically associated with such sports/attitudes.

That is, they demand their products properly represent feelings, experiences and capabilities that they themselves do not pursue. And you see this in all sorts of markets.

People who will never serious hike demand "authentic" (or authentic-appearing) hiking boots. People who will never push their computers' limits demand high-end parts. People who will only listen to over-compressed audio will demand high-quality stereo components. Etc.

"All the gear, no idea" as we used to say.

I used to work as a rafting guide, got paid next to nothing, but got to kayak whenever I wanted. My gear was shit, but I was way better than most people who could afford the nice kit.

I also notice this a lot with vehicles, especially in the Bay Area (I blame the abundance of disposable income).

Just because you bought a $12k carbon fiber Colnago with deep section carbon aero wheels (which are heavier and meant for time trials, not commuting) doesn't mean you'll be Lance Armstrong, nor does it mean you'll beat the guy riding a steel fixie who regularly goes on group rides.

Owning an AMG Mercedes doesn't mean you can keep it in a lane in turns (I usually fined quite the opposite) or keep up with a Miata on mountain roads.

The newest Ducati >liter bike won't make you faster through twisties than the guy on the gsxr 750 who goes to track days and can drag a knee.

In the end though, people are free to spend their money however they want, even if that means looking ridiculous to people who are more passionate about their thing than they are. In middle school, we'd call these people "posers", but now we just call them "rich".

My home town is home of the urban 4x4, where the most challenging terrain they will encounter are the speed bumps in the supermarket car park.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1955397-formula-1-prize-m... is worth reading.

Of course, it clearly costs tens of millions to run a team - but those figures won't include sponsorship/advertising deals either. If you're not in that top ten though...

Some f1 teams are profitable?

Are you joking?

It was not a joke, lots of teams have come and gone. I had to assume it was not profitable to run a team, much like any other form of auto racing.

Most teams that have endured are backed by large companies that can absorb losses, but I have never seen any books from any teams.

Sincerely curious, what kinds of profits do F1 teams make?

So a large team like Ferrari or McLaren will spend about $400 million on running the whole team for the year - that includes all salaries, R&D, simulation, transport, part costs, marketing etc.

They'll get about $80 million back on that from prize money (it's more like $100 million if you win).

Then there's the sponsorship - for a large team about $300 million a year is reasonable.

The rest can often be found from elsewhere. McLaren had large funding from Daimler until recently (when they received a $40 million fine Daimler paid) - Ferrari have a lot of their own money. F1 drives car sales, and the technology from F1 can be pulled back into the road cars - just look at McLaren's new models..

It's also worth pointing out that Red Bull is a privately held company... Essentially they can do whatever they want in a way that public companies can not, should they choose to.

They are moving in that direction because they are going to be swamped by cheaper Chinese clones. Some will inevitably have competitive or better image quality, features, battery life, etc. and GoPro must pivot to leverage of their first mover advantage in action cams.

I don't see this being the same market at all. Gopro is marketed at adventure and sports. Polaroid is pushing this toward the average Joe. With a $99 price point it's well positioned to displace gopro.

Sony has been competing with their Actioncams. It's a superior product in terms of image quality (according to reviews), and that wrist screen they offer with it is very cool.

There are several solid action cams out there now. A quick search of YouTube shows countless reviews and comparisons. In my hobby of RC aircraft, the ~$80 Mobius cam is a very popular alternative to the GoPro. Most reviewers compare its video quality to that of the previous generation GoPro Hero 2, but it's smaller and much cheaper. Its firmware also supports it being used as a dashcam.



Panasonic is currently marketing their 4k wearable cam in Japan [1]. Pretty impressive for that size I'd say.

[1] http://cdn.camyx.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/panasonic-hx...

Their waterproof case is junk and the colors are skewed heavy on the blue side.

Still, they're great cameras and I think they look beautiful, but you can see lots of shots of skies and pools that are very unnaturally blue on the Sony models.

If you need something submersible, it's not a good option though.

The first-gen action camera waterproof case was rated for greater depth. I used it in water a couple of times and didn't have any issues. It does feel like you might need to replace it every year if you use it in water a lot (and you have to use a sheet of desiccant to deal with fogging) but it works.

Garmin has been competing with GoPro with the Virb action camera for a while, which in my experience has been really fun to use and produced really nice quality videos.

(I work for Garmin, but not on anything related to this.)

GoPro is a distant second, feature-wise, to Drift Ghost as a helmet cam, IMO. There is already competition.

I wouldn't get this new cube device because it lacks a rotatable camera body (essential for flexibility in helmet mounting) and the battery lifetime is too short.

Some of you seems to know the market quite well - here is my question: I would like to have a GoPro alike Cam for mostly indoor usage (low light) with exchangeable lenses (for interviews). I have used a GoPro3+B in the past and like its size and app based control. But for low light indoor settings it delivers sub par quality. What would be a better camera for such a setting?

That doesn't sound like the GoPro's domain to me. I see them as rough-and-tumble sports or action cameras.

But low light performance and interchangeable lenses are almost diametrically opposed to what what they're doing. You need a large sensor and lens to get good low light performance (which makes it bigger) and so would the mechanism on an interchangeable lens. Further the interchangeable lenses are just additional parts to fail when you're bouncing around on your kayak trip.

If you just want portability, you probably want something more like a micro 4/3s camera. I assume they can capture video but would almost certainly be more fit for the job.

I saw GoPro offering a "music" edition of their cameras making me assume they would deliver some decent quality in low light, indoor, close-up situations. The concept is absolutely genius but it seems the market is all going for the same action/sports segment.

This isn't the right application for an action based camera. Opt for a consumer level SLR with HD video or really any handheld camcorder from the last 5 yrs to get the feature set you need.

You're seriously wearing a head-mounted camera during interviews? That would creep me out. I'd probably cut the interview short.

Not sure if he meant "job interviews" -- that would be awesomely weird.

But if it's just documentary-style interviews, seems like a cheap approximation of this, the gold standard: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663105/errol-morriss-secret-wea...

You want something that isn't like a GoPro at all. A NEX-3 or whatever the cheapest non-crap micro 4/3rds camera is would be the least expensive interchangeable lens camera that does what you are describing. Sometimes you can buy outdated models at blowout prices.

Doing interviews on a Go Pro is not the intended use case.


Contour was the original competitor to GoPro. In a lot of ways it was a superior product. The company went defunct for a while but recently has been brought back.

I have a Contour; I bought it mainly because specs-wise it was much cheaper than gopro equivalents. There was also some driver issues with the latest gopro model at the time. In hindsight though I think I should have got a gopro. There are certain features that the Contour doesn't have that I would imagine should be easy to implement: mainly the ability to take a mixture of video and still images on the fly. I also think that the video quality is now lagging behind gopro's for equivalent models. Having said all that, I do think they are still a good, cheap, alternative.

Yeah, I had a Contour Roam 2 which I absolutely loved; the rotatable lens with laser alignment, super easy flick-start recording, slimline helmet mount were all awesome features. The Roam featured inset grooves on either side through which the mount could be attached, and combined with the rotatable lens attaching it on the side of the helmet was quite a workable solution.

Unfortunately I lost it on the trails as I was too lazy to set up the tether strap and I used a fork mount and must have hit some particularly hard bumps. I now have a Virb, which has arguably superior quality video, and also features a flick switch. However due to the way the Gopro style mount insists on popping it out and away from the helmet, I've moved it to the handlebars as it just got too much for everyday wearing.

I personally find that for helmet mounting the Gopro as well sticks out like an eyesore, and am looking forward to hopefully seeing a Roam 3 from the resurrected company.

FWIW, I'm using the Australian Fly6 on the back of my bike and am loving that there.

GoPro's biggest missing feature is not having gps and momentum logging.

uh? gopro really only has the brand nowadays.

When gopro started it was jus the cheapest digital camera that nobody would cry if it was smashed by the skateboard... it wasn't really ground breaking in any other aspect. yeah it had interchangeable lens. but everyone i know that used them had one camera for each lens (since they cost ~1 to 2x the price of a good lens anyway)

nowadays there are tons of cheap digital cameras that fit the bill. most in a more convenient cylindrical body. and sometimes 1/5 the price of a gopro! win-win right? except everyone still goes for the gopro because of brand.

so no, this is not "finally stepping into gopro market". the market already have plenty of alternative and they are mostly doing fine. specially in the dashboard cam niche that gopro doesn't market so heavily.

this is just a product some, what... 20yrs later or something. sd card up to 32gb! wth... what is this? 2010? now they are going to say this is not readily available nationwide and that when it is, there will be a wait list?

I love how "only has the brand" is used negatively here. Having the "brand" is having everything. You can have a worse or more expensive product with "the brand". People will love/obsess over you from "the brand". It's hands down the most important thing to a business at GoPros size and way harder to develop on a global level than just manufacturing a small camera. But you have to understand consumers (people) to get that.

Additionally, I'd say that Polaroid as a brand is far more known by the general population than GoPro. To someone not in the know, "GoPro" sounds intimidating whereas Polaroid is famous for being fun, easy and instant!

In all fairness, the GoPro is optimized around being rugged and waterproof and it can probably get along in some environments its cheaper competitors can't. That said, the GoPro interface is awful and I have no doubt that a lot of people for whom the GoPro is overkill spend the money anyway because of the brand.

Polaroid is pretty much a hollow shell used to market white label products these days. Anyone know if they actually developed this camera, of if they're just the front for another company?

I think that's correct, but calling them a "front" makes it sound a little sinister.

I'd say "Polaroid" is mainly just a trademark licensed out by a shell company for random products because its still widely recognized and loved (at least by old people).

on second thought... maybe playing with our emotions like that is a little sinister?

The camera was designed by Robert Brunner's Amunition, the same firm that did the industrial design for Beats headphones. Robert Brunner was the former chief designer at Apple, and was responsible for hiring Ives.

Wikipedia describes it as a shell company still. I would be really surprised if they developed this themselves.

Way to bring the mood down.

I think this is good. Looks like a genuine competitor to GoPro Hero!

Did you ever lay your hands on a Polaroid android tablet? The first thing I learned is that Polaroid has nothing to do with them, they are marketed by a shell company called Southern Telecom which as far as I can tell is about as Southern as Hunan or Guangdong. (South China maybe.)

I would say GP's analysis is spot-on, wrt other offerings that were branded as Polaroid lately. You're also right that this looks like a much more well thought out initiative. Here's to hoping it's not just more time spent thinking through the promotional materials.

I mean, if you want to buy a sports action camera of uncertain pedigree, ebay has you covered [1]. I like polaroid, I also don't mind white-boxing under a known brand name. It can be a great way for lesser known companies to break into markets.

However, it still behooves you to know who really manufacturers and supports the product. Both so you can avoid the bad and support the good.

[1] http://www.ebay.com/sch/Camcorders-/11724/i.html?_from=R40&_...

I remember when polaroid cubes were indexable disposable flash bulbs.

That was actually why I clicked on the link. I wondered what they could possibly be talking about and was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, I still have some but they don't work any more alas.

I wonder how many young people will think "Polaroid ripped off Instagram's logo!"?

> It’s wide angle lens...

You'd think they'd have someone proofread a product announcement.

Maybe that's supposed to be read in the same way as "it is 5 megapixels"...

It would have taken you 5 second to verify that no, it's not supposed to be read that way.

> It’s wide angle lens provides 124° of coverage so you can get the big shot.

The site wasn't loading so I could only go by the original comment. :-/

That doesn't mean no one proofread it. These days I think it's more common to have the apostrophe in the possessive pronoun can to omit it. I've even seen people defend their usage as deliberate. I suspect we're near the end of it even being considered a "rule."

It's = Shortended "it is"

"It is wide angle lens" doesn't work.

Parent poster understood that, and suggests the incorrect usage is becoming standard, as people apply a simplified form of the rule. In the same way, one might expect "whose" to be phased out in favour of an incorrect "who's".

I'm not convinced they are correct (note deliberate use of the ungrammatical but popular singular 'they'), because hyper-correctism seems to be increasing as well. The population seems to be splitting into those who can't use correct grammar, and sticklers, with a reduced middle ground of the relaxed.

Indeed, I understand that fully. My point is that the English language is not prescriptive in practice. In fact, even if you're a prescriptivist, you could easily argue that "its" is a special case, since most English possessives are formed with apostrophe s.

Please stop making excuses for illiteracy. It's nonsense like this that contributes to the decline of educational standards.

If its versus it's implied someone is illiterate, we'd all be completely uneducated because we didn't write in Middle English.

It's not an excuse for illiteracy. Language trends change over time, including among highly educated people.

In this case, I don't think the highly-educated are intentionally using "it's" instead of "its". It's merely a common typo.

Not yet, no. I only said the trend appears to be changing.

Its rediculous but I think we're going to loose this battle

There, they're, their.

It'll be OK.


It isn't a special case. (its : his) :: (it's : he's)

So you don't say "it's" for the same reason you don't say "hi's".

I could almost parse "wide angle" as an adjective, but it hurts.

I am acutely aware of that, and I prefer the distinction. My point is that language trends change over time, and it seems like this trend is changing.

Is that true? A statement like, "Drive Tom's car" is grammatically correct, but I don't think it is expanded to "Drive Tom is car".

That's because "Tom's" is possessive in this case. The possessive form of "it" is "its" (no apostrophe). The way I remember it: if you can substitute "his" or "hers" for "its", then don't use an apostrophe.

I like that, I'll use it. I still forget it's vs. its.

This is precisely why I think usage is changing and will continue to change. The current "rule" (which isn't really a rule, since there is no official governing body of the English language) is an unnecessary and arbitrary special case. The meaning can nearly always be easily understood from context.

You are completely mistaken. "Its" isn't violating the apostrophe rule at all. "Its" is a possessive pronoun just like hers, theirs, his, ours, mine.

All the other pronouns have different pronunciations for their possessive and contraction forms, and also vary in spelling more than a single apostrophe, so the written mistake is unlikely to occur for those.

Arguing that there are no rules in English on the basis that there isn't a governing body seems to misunderstand what rules are. Being largely dead, the Romans no longer defend classical latin, but that doesn't mean it has no rules.

Rules can change over time and you do not need a governing body for rules to exist as rules are just as easily defined by consensus as by imposition.

It is generally known that its and it's have different meanings. People may regularly confuse them and the confusion may eventually eliminate the rule, but that does not mean there is currently no rule.

Or to put it another way, if English has no rules, have understand problem no will sentence you this to.

Hah yea, this is a particularly nasty part of the language IMO. I was wrestling with it recently. For pronouns, the apostrophe is only to indicate a contraction. Possessive pronouns like "hers" do not use an apostrophe. So "it's" always means "it is." Where "its" always is expressing that "it" possesses something.

I usually refer to this handy illustrated guide http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe :D

> So "it's" always means "it is."

Sadly, no. "It's been like this for days."

Usually, -'s can mean either singular possessive or a contraction for "- is." "It," however, is a special case. "Its" is possessive, and "It's" is reserved only for the contraction of the phrase "It is."

Apologies if I did not post my question in the proper format. It was my first post. I am not sure why I was down-voted. My question was sincere. I couldn't find a clear answer with a quick search.

It's possessive in that instance.

In that case I'm looking forward to the days of he's and her's!

The difference there is that the pronunciation of those special possessive forms is clearly different than the corresponding contraction (e.g. "he" vs. "his"), so you're much less likely to make the mistake in written English.

I'd argue that depends on your accent. I'll grant you that "he's" is probably a bit tricky, but I can totally see people writing "hers", stopping, looking at it, "Hm, ownership... apostrophe!".

EDIT: To be clear, I'm not greatly bothered either way; I got over my prescriptivism a while ago. I'm just curious whether the trend will continue.

hahahha. they's?

I don't think that's true - I've not seen a single style guide that suggests that!

I made no claim about what style guides suggest. I merely claimed that deliberately using "it's" for both forms is increasingly common in written English.

My bias is to doubt that, but I could be convinced by data. Do you have any evidence that such usage is deliberate?

No, I do not have any evidence on the portion of uses that are deliberate. But it doesn't have to be deliberate in the sense that the writer is consciously trying to change the trend. Trends change slowly and "naturally," sometimes even due to misunderstandings of the earlier usages. For example, the word "apron" is widely considered correct and standard, but it arose from a misunderstanding of the phrase "a napron" (from Old French "napperon") as "an apron."

Just a side note for those comparing these to GoPros's - this isn't a direct competitor to the GoPro; Polaroid already sell the XS100 which is actually a pretty decent action camera - probably best bang for your buck currently (I have one and use it regularly; it's still very much first gen, rough around the edges but excellent where it counts).

I think the cube is awesome for a fun, inexpensive little camera to stick in places quickly and just start filming without worrying too much - and at that price point you can buy a few and stick them in your car for a road trip, or hand a few out to friends when going down a slope; it's size, shape, colours and accessibility would be targeting even the non-action-sports crowd and there's a huge market of young skate boarders, soccer players etc etc.

I only wish they would market themselves a little better, and also fix up the poor software that tends to be on / accompanies their products.

Available accessories include:

Waterproof case and suction cup mount Handlebar mount Helmet mount

This is absolutely a GoPro competitor whether Polaroid are competing with their own lineup or not.

I do agree that they're going for a more casual angle than GoPro with the marketing and presentation, though.

I think GoPro are in an interesting place - they have an extremely strong brand, but "plugged-in" budget-seeking enthusiasts will seek out wallet friendly clones like the SJ4000 while the casual market is inundated with name-brand options at a lower price point.

Based on the video at the bottom of the page, I'm not really impressed with the video quality. Sure, it might be "1080p" but it still looks pretty fuzzy

Yeah; I like the idea of it, and certainly concessions have to be made for the size, but it really does look jarringly bad when they switch from the high quality shots (using something else to record), to the footage presumably taken by the Cube itself.

Not only does it look kinda fuzzy and janky (like the actual recording frames per second is quite low), but the shot where they show a loop under the bottom of a bike (at ~0:25) has probably the worst chromatic aberrations I've ever seen and I've handled some old lenses with bad chromatic aberration. It is like they made an instagram filter for adding CA to videos and someone went crazy with it and applied it 10 times.

If this quality is the best they've got to put in a promo video, it is no wonder they barely show footage from the cam at all and intermix it with high quality footage (especially as seen in the skateboard section) in a borderline deceptive manner.

I might as well drop this link here: http://www.chucklohr.com/808/index.shtml

I have the #16 and its a neat little toy for my cheap syma quad copter.

The Mobius action cam has mostly supplanted the cheap 808 keychain cameras for that kind of use at this point. Roughly the same size, generally around $75, and they record passable HD video.

Could it be stuck on top of a car roof (via magnet) and become a dashcam equivalent, with the advantage of a wider angle?

No WiFi. No remote control. Not bad for $99 though!

You forgot "Less space than a Nomad. Lame."

For anyone that didn't get the joke - this is what a popular and now famous Slashdot comment said about the iPod when it was released.

It wasn't a comment, it was CmdrTaco's reaction in the blurb: http://slashdot.org/story/21026

$99? That's well in to "shut up and take my money!" territory. I've long wanted to buy a GoPro for the occasional kayaking / climbing / skiing footage but there was no way I could justify the price tag. $99 (+$40 waterproof kit) really changes the equation for casual shooters like myself.

Walmart has a GoPro kit right now for $50.

Vivitar DVR 787HD 12.1MP Action Full HD Camcorder with Universal Car Kit, Surf Kit and Waterproof Kit.

The Polaroid Cube is more compact which might make it much more useful -- but just so you know there are options under $99, even.

That's not a GoPro. Or are you saying the Vivitar mounts fit GoPro?

Where did you get the $99 figure from? I looked all over the page and couldn't find it. Not bad at all for $99.

I want to see a utility camera manufacturer produce a product that is more readily integrated into DIY hardware/Internet of Things projects. These rugged little cameras are awesome but I've yet to see one that provides an open interface for enthusiasts to manipulate the bulb/mode/settings externally to the camera. I'd like to see a Bluetooth (perhaps BLE) -enabled camera that can be triggered from an Arduino, watch, smartphone, or whatever the user can dream up.

It doesn't print cute little pictures. That seems like a missed opportunity.

Somewhere in Eastman a Kodak executive is weeping.

Polaroid may not be the same company they used to be, but at least they're attempting to stay relevant.

Shots from Cube from Youtube clip looks awful. :/ Check clip starting from 21st second.

I think it's going to be amazingly difficult for Polaroid, or anyone for that matter, to take on GoPro. For whatever reason, GoPro has captured the imagination of the video/photo creating public in a way that few brands have. For several years after the iPhone came out, competing phones could match or exceed its specs, but were largely viewed as toys by comparison. In the same way, GoPro will enjoy a near monopoly on this market segment until their competitors have outmatched them technologically for enough years that the media catches up and makes it socially acceptable to buy an alternative to GoPro.

Nice try, blatant GoPro investor. GoPro isn't nearly as stable a mark as people give it credit for. It's not synonymous with a unique product or service so much as an invented product. This new Polaroid entrant will be dubbed the "cheap GoPro" so much, it'll become a "GoPro". Millions of moms all across the world will buy their sons and daughters the cheap GoPro. The more successful GoPro's competitors become - the more "GoPro" they become. Until everything is Kleenex and Xerox and nothing matters. Side note, I wish my beloved Zombie Kodak was as playful as Polaroid.

> Nice try, blatant GoPro investor

Lol..umm...no. I actually don't get the whole GoPro craze, but I do know that Polaroid doesn't stand a chance, even if they have a better product. I'm not investing in either.

I didn't see it mentioned, so I have to bring up that a magnet mount will not cut it for action sports where you might 'crash'. I know multiple skiers who have lost their GoPro in the snow because mount plastic snapped on a decent fall. I can't imagine a magnet will do better.

Yeah...I was like "magnet to a skateboard"... huh? How many metal skateboards are there? I guess you could stick it on one of the trucks maybe, but it would fall off immediately if you did a trick.

Helmets are not from metal either. Bicycle at least, but I'd imagine motorbike are from aluminum at best.

..one of the Ali-alloy trucks? Um, no.

This seems exactly what I need. I wanted to buy a camera for my snowboarding ventures as long as my track days. The GoPro was kinda expensive, so much that I came close to buy the cheap model three times but never did. But 100€ is a price that I can accept without thinking twice. :-)

I can't work out if this is waterproof as standard or with the waterproof casing accessory. Any ideas? Is it perhaps just splash proof without the casing?

Also I wonder if it floats in water... would be great for chucking around the pool.

Water Resistant to 2 meters w/o the case, water proof (depth unclear) with case.

According to the FAQ the waterproof case can go up to 10 meters below the surface.

Just a note that a watch for that depth would probably be sold as 100m - 10 metres is pretty good.

This is cool. Ive been using my v1 contour roam every day for about a year and the battery life is starting to suck.

I went on amazon to buy a new contour roam but it has actually gone UP in price from $120 to 200+ :P

Contour went out of business late last year and closed shop. An investment group that was involved with the company before bought up what was left and is supposedly going to be releasing new products in the near future here, but most of what you're going to find is old stock, which is why the prices have gone up.

(I have a V1 Roam that I love as well. The form factor is just so much better than a GoPro for a lot of things).

What I love about the Contour+2 is that the battery is compatible with old Nokia phone batteries, which makes it very cheap to have a bunch of charged batteries in reserve.

Would be very cool if it could be programmed to do timelapses with a specified interval. Also, if the recording time was like a ring buffer, it would make for a great security/dashcam.

paired with Microsofts hyperlapse (I think its called) yes that would be great!

Not a bad offering from an undead company. The lack of remote shutter and connectivity severely limit the applications.

With a remote shutter I'd be in for one just for retro-ness of using a Polaroid.

Are there technical/practical limitations that prevent it from reading microSD cards above 32 GB?

I'm mostly asking out of curiosity, as 64 GB seems fairly inexpensive on Amazon...

Often they advertise 32GB but they're compatible with larger, just not officially supported. For example http://www.motorola.com/us/moto-g-pdp-1/Moto-G/moto-g-pdp.ht... only advertises 32GB but I put a 64GB in it out of the box and it works.

i can't lookup the debian bugs now... but beware. it will work only until you write a not so rare byte combination there using the SDHC interface. after that happens, the sdxc controller will just crap on every data read and you will have a tiny brick.

Ohhh... THAT explains a lot... Might explain why cards dying in phones is so common.

If you could find that bug for me it'd be much appreciated.

SDHC vs SDXC I believe. SDHC only goes up to 32GB.

Interesting. Thanks. From some brief reading on wikipedia, I wonder if they chose SDHC to avoid any (patent) issues with the exFAT file system.

Kinda seems like a shame. 32 GB is quite a lot, but for HD video, it seems like it could fill up quickly.

Wonder how strong the magnet is. For example, would it fling off if you swung a driver it was connected to? Wondering since they show it on a putter.

I would be absolutely shocked if the magnet was that strong.

NdFeB magnets can resist very strong pulls perpendicular to the surface they are attached to, but shearing forces along the surface tend to pull them away (and off). I would expect the camera to go flying off a driver if you gave it a hard swing. If they (or you) applied a high-friction coating it might do better.

I'd love to use a bunch of these to build a "bullet time" camera array. Can anybody think of a cheaper/easier method?

You could go with a good-sized pile of Raspberry Pi's with camera boards. $35+$25 for the Pi and camera board, plus the cost of sd cards and networking gear, probably still keeps you a bit under $100 per camera. Plus it's fully programmable, and easily sync'ed over the network.

Give me the Polaroids any day. The RPi stuff wouldn't survive a day in the field unless you put every one of them in an expensive enclosure, and it's just a ton of extra work that has been done for you in this case. You don't need sync, a regular slate will do that job and the rest can be done in software.

Great that they were able to accomplish it, but the "wow" factor with bullet-time is capturing a 3D view of some object that's typically in-motion, where freezing that motion allows you to view the object from all angles. The demos in that video somehow missed that concept completely, and show people sitting in poses that could either be in-motion, or intentionally stationary.

I hadn't! Thanks for sharing! This was my inspiration:


You can get semi decent USB webcams for $3 US shipped. Get a box load and some USB hubs. Done.

The Problem with webcams would be actually recording ~20 streams?


I like how its water resistant out of the box to a couple meters, and you only have to pay more to go deeper than that.

GoPro is pretty small but I wonder what new opportunities this may open up being even smaller

I want to put a bunch on a weather balloon and send it to space.

What's different / better about this than a GoPro?

This appears to be physically smaller. And cute. Polaroid may just have my business if it has standard mounting and the waterproof case works.

Agreed. While the battery life isn't quite as good as a GoPro, this is also half the price.

I'd be willing to buy one to play with, and the built in magnet to make it easy to stick on things is a great idea.

It looks like it's smaller form factor and less entanglement hazard for parachuting sports. The Gopro has killed at least 3 people due to entanglement.

I know that's a super fringe use, but I like the idea of something smaller with smooth surfaces even though I own several Gopros.

My guess would be that the GoPro has vastly superior video quality.


Does it really warrant a post here if it is just a cheaper alternative?

I don't see anything special here, pure marketing play

The circle is almost complete...

awesome I like it.

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