21/07/2015

Quick review of the Isaw A2

I thought it was time I did a quick review of the Isaw A2 as I have often talked about it again & again & again, time to put it all in a blog & then can just send the link to it. It is being phased out for newer models but some are still around & thought this would be useful for those looking at the brand & model if looking to buy one.

Over a year ago I decided to replace my Contour Roam 2, although a nice action cam it had limitations of a sealed battery lasting 3hrs & very poor night filming. So a follower on Twitter suggested Isaw after I complained about the poor experience I had with GoPro (and very grateful he did too) & sent me footage from the older A1 model & I was impressed. So I went for the current model the A2 which was going for around £100.

This is what came in the box when it arrived, it also can be used with current GoPro mounts too.


I have tried it out on the bike & most often on my helmet. Here's the comparison video of the Isaw A2 to the Contour Roam 2.


As good as the filming, the sound was slightly muffled, even with the open slotted back door. But it was good enough to start with so I tried it for a while & after I was happy with it I modified the case to improve the sound using a microphone foam, old part of a pump & some Sugru. Photo will show the stages of the modification.

 First was to Sugru in a slice of Microphone foam to the slotted back door. This made the door more water resistant.


Next was to work out the location of the mic & how to fit something over it to improve sound when holes are drilled in. This was the mock up to see how to do it...


But I decided I wanted a professional look & found a piece of old bicycle pump & a brainwave occurred.


You can see the holes drilled in line with mic & part of the pump with microphone foam inside Sugru'ed to casing (ensuring Sugru doesn't cover the holes). And the sound quality has vastly improved & the Sugru has held on well as still on there a year later.

So now for the running of the Isaw A2, I run the cam at 720p & not 1080p as the quality is just great & maximises the amount recorded on Memory Card. I can get around 5.5 hours of recording at 720p on a 32Gb Class 10 Micro SD Card. Battery life is around 1.5 hrs each & easily swappable, replacement batteries you can get for around £5 each & separate battery charger for around £10. I managed to record my whole ride whilst doing the Nightrider London 100km ride that took about 9hrs & I used 2x 32Gb cards & less than the 6 batteries I took with me. Footage below if you like to have a look.

    

The Isaw A2 is very reliable, only issue I had was a faulty memory card but once replaced all was running smoothly. They're so good I have bought a 2nd one to mount on the bike for when doing long rides.


So do I recommend Isaw A2, you bet I do & will stick with them until they finally give up the ghost. They are a great action cam to use & as they are slowly disappearing from the shops, I would seriously consider the Isaw for replacements as they are quite reasonably priced for what you get, unlike the GoPro with my experience of them.


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