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GoPrawned: Excelvan Q8 Action Camera Review

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  • GoPrawned: Excelvan Q8 Action Camera Review

    Excelvan Q8 Action Camera Review
    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Technical Specifications
    • SoC: Allwinner V3
    • Sensor: 1/3.2” 8Mp Sony IMX179s (1.4 micrometer pixel size)
    • Lens: 170-degree FOV, 6G elements
    • Display: 2" LCD Preview Screen, 320x240
    • Video resolutions and format: [email protected] fps, [email protected] fps, [email protected]/30 fps, [email protected] fps. MP4 file format.
    • Photo resolutions: 16М/12M/8M/5M/2M
    • Connectors: microUSB, microHDMI
    • Wireless features: Wi-Fi
    • Additional features: UVC webcam
    • Storage: microSD up to 64GB
    • Battery: removable, 900mAh
    • Dimensions: 59.1 mm * 41.1 mm * 24.8 mm (30.8 mm with lens)
    • Weight: 60 g (43 g without battery)


    • #3
      Package and Accessories

      The external dimensions of the package are 254 mm * 133 mm * 64 mm (~2.2L of volume). The outer package cover contains some basic information about the camera and its main features. Click image for larger version  Name:	01-box.jpg Views:	1 Size:	34.3 KB ID:	2175

      The rigid box is made of high-quality cardboard. It has no transparent parts showing the contents of the box. Click image for larger version  Name:	02-box-opened.jpg Views:	1 Size:	45.3 KB ID:	2176
      Click image for larger version  Name:	03-cam-in-waterproof-case.jpg Views:	1 Size:	35.9 KB ID:	2177

      There are three stickers on the side: quality control, European version, and a warning which is pretty hard to understand. Click image for larger version  Name:	04-stickers-warning.jpg Views:	1 Size:	44.4 KB ID:	2178

      The camera bundle has a good and practical selection of standard mounting elements. It also includes a 1A europlug wall charger and a plastic frame with two 1/4" tripod screws which allows to mount the camera upside down. Click image for larger version  Name:	05-bundle.jpg Views:	1 Size:	50.8 KB ID:	2179
      Last edited by fatcat; 02-05-2017, 11:24 AM.


      • #4
        Camera Design

        The camera body is made of black plastic, there are also versions with blue and silver front panels available. The protective lens rim outer diameter is 21.09 mm, the lens protrudes forward making it necessary to keep in mind protection against scratches. The camera design is very common for a modern action camera, its front panel is distinctive by the two horizontal edges. Camera feels solid and the materials applied do not raise any questions. Click image for larger version  Name:	06-q8-cam-front.jpg Views:	1 Size:	69.3 KB ID:	2181

        Two-inch LCD display has mediocre viewing angles, the colors become inverted when you turn the camera to the right or down. Brightness is enough for shooting under different lighting conditions. The screen is not touch sensitive and is covered with glossy transparent protective film. Click image for larger version  Name:	07-cam-back.jpg Views:	1 Size:	24.3 KB ID:	2182

        The front panel has the power / mode button, it is also used for navigation through the menu. The shutter / ok button is located on the top. The left side has two two buttons on it: up (short press - digital zoom in, long press - wifi) and down (short press - digital zoom out, long press - mute). Click image for larger version  Name:	09-cam-right.jpg Views:	1 Size:	63.2 KB ID:	2183

        There are two LED indicators located on the back side of the camera. The red one lights up when the battery is charging, the blue one is permanently on when the camera is powered up. Another LED is on the top, it starts blinking after switching on the WiFi connection.

        All connectors are located on the left side. Of these, there are microUSB and microHDMI sockets and a microSD card slot. Click image for larger version  Name:	10-cam-left.jpg Views:	1 Size:	73.7 KB ID:	2184

        Removable battery compartment is located on the bottom of the case. Its door is not very easy to open, but it seats safely when closed. Battery dimensions are 33 x 30 x 11 mm, the weight is 17 g. Battery is compatible with the most common “SJ” form-factor. The battery capacity is marked as '900mAh', this will be checked below in the Teardown section of this review. Another thing to mention here is that Excelvan Q8 keeps its full functionality being connected to external power source. You can record videos and shoot stills with this cam while charging. The Q8 has a dashcam mode, which powers up and starts recording when a power source is connected and stops recording and shuts the camera down when it’s off.

        Fully charged battery lets 60 minutes of continious shooting (4K30 mode, LCD on). Click image for larger version  Name:	12-battery-door-open.jpg Views:	1 Size:	40.0 KB ID:	2185
        Last edited by fatcat; 02-03-2017, 01:51 PM.


        • #5
          Functions and Settings

          Video modes
          Mode Resolution, pix. Frame rate, fps Horizontal Field

          of View, °
          Bitrate, Mbps Compression type I-frame

          interval, frames
          4K30FPS 3840x2160 30 ~96 23 H.264, CBR 40
          2.7K 30FPS 2688x1520 30 ~94 32 H.264, CBR 30
          1080P 60FPS 1920x1080 60 ~103 32 H.264, CBR 60
          1080P 30FPS 1920x1080 30 ~103 32 H.264, CBR 30
          720P 120FPS 1280x720 120 ~78 26 H.264, CBR 120
          Encoding profile: [email protected]
          Audio: mono, AAC 8kHz 15kbps

          User interface and Settings menu

          The user interface is similar to other Allwinner V3 based action cams. The OSD indicates current mode, resolution, remaining card space (in gigabytes) and its status, battery level, current date and time, audio recording and looped video icons. Short press of the front button sequentially switches between following working modes: Video (set by default), Photo, Slow Motion, Playback and Settings. Click image for larger version  Name:	13-ui-video-photo.jpg Views:	1 Size:	45.6 KB ID:	2187
          Click image for larger version  Name:	14-ui-slow-playback.jpg Views:	1 Size:	38.0 KB ID:	2188

          You need to press OK button when in Settings mode to get access to settings. Camera settings are grouped into four sections: Video, Photo, General and System settings. The fifth option is The front button is used to switch between them. Click image for larger version  Name:	15-ui-menu-version.jpg Views:	1 Size:	38.6 KB ID:	2189

          Almost all menu items available are pretty obvious to use from their names and options, so I put some ♦ notes only for a few of them.

          Video settings
          Video Resolution: see table above. Note: there are no 720p60 and 720p30 modes available here, but they can be selected using XDV mobile app.
          Recording Sound: Off, On
          Time-lapse: Off, 0.5s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, 30s, 60s
          Loop recording: Off, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes
          ♦ If set to 'Off' the video length will be limited by 15 minutes for all video modes.
          Slow Motion: 1080P 60FPS, 720P 120FPS

          Photo settings
          Photo Resolution: 2M, 5M, 8M, 12M, 16M
          ♦ The sensor is 8 Megapixels so only 8M setting lets shooting stills without any interpolation.
          Timer: Off, 3S, 5S, 10S, 20S
          ♦ This option sets shutter delay
          Auto: Off, 3S, 10S, 15S, 20S, 30S
          ♦ This option sets photo timelapse interval
          Photo Burst: Off, 3P/S, 5P/S, 10P/S

          General settings
          Exposure: -3 - +3 EV in increments of 1
          White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent Light, Fluorescent Light
          WiFi: Off, On
          Image Rotation: Off, On
          Driving Mode: Off, On
          ♦ If enabled the camera will turn on automatically when the power source is connected and will switch off when it is removed. This option also sets ‘Loop Recording’ to ‘2 minutes’ and enables ‘Auto Shutdown’ feature.
          Light Source Frequency: Auto, 50Hz, 60Hz
          LED Indicator Light: Off, On
          Auto Screensaver: Off, 10s, 30s, 60s
          Auto Shutdown: Off, 1minute, 3minutes, 5minutes
          Time Watermark: Off, On
          ♦ This option sets date stamp for both photo and video modes

          System settings
          Language: English, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch, Thai, Turkish, Czech, Chinese
          Date-Time: date and time settings (Use Up/Down buttons to change value, Shutter to switch between input fields)
          Format: prompts to format memory card
          Reset To Factory Setting: prompts to reset camera settings to defaults
          Firmware Version: shows camera model, current firmware version and date (Q8, 20161016V2.3, 20161016)

          WiFi connection

          The camera switches into wireless access point with 'Action Cam' SSID and '1234567890' password after long pressing the Up button. The strenght of Wi-Fi signal is very good, it allows remote controlling the camera with a smartphone from reasonably long distances. Click image for larger version  Name:	16-ui-wifi.jpg Views:	1 Size:	32.4 KB ID:	2190

          USB PC connection

          After connecting the cam to a PC with a microUSB cable a mode selection prompt appears. Where you can choose between USB Mode, PC Camera and Charging Mode. The first mode is used for file transfer. The camera in this mode is recognized by PC as a standard USB storage device.

          Selecting the 'PC Camera' mode (use the wifi button to change selection and the shutter to confirm) enables web camera mode. Webcam is a standard UVC device with 720p30 (MJPEG) video mode.

          The last ‘Charging Mode’ turns the camera on with or without battery in place.
          Last edited by fatcat; 02-04-2017, 09:03 AM.


          • #6
            Camera Teardown

            In order to disassemble the cam you'll need to remove its front and back panels. The front panel is kept in place with plastic clicks on its perimeter. The back cover is glued with double-sided duct tape. Click image for larger version  Name:	001.jpg Views:	1 Size:	90.5 KB ID:	2192

            The front button PCB is connected to the main PCB with two long wires. Another interesting feature here is the alluminium heat dissipation plate which covers the V3 SoC. Sony IMX179s sensor is soldered directly to the main PCB without using auxiliary parts. Click image for larger version  Name:	002.jpg Views:	1 Size:	93.6 KB ID:	2194

            The lens M12 thread is locked with huge amount of black substance. There is also a piece of double-sided tape on the lens mount (18mm between the holes) to hold the wi-fi antenna. The mic diameter is 4mm, the speaker diameter is 10mm. Click image for larger version  Name:	003.jpg Views:	1 Size:	91.8 KB ID:	2196

            Battery Li-ION element has no markings on both sides, but its dimensions and weight seem to match 900mAh declared capacity. Click image for larger version  Name:	004.jpg Views:	1 Size:	56.8 KB ID:	2195
            Click image for larger version  Name:	005.jpg Views:	1 Size:	98.7 KB ID:	2193
            Last edited by fatcat; 02-02-2017, 04:23 PM.


            • #7
              Hackability and Hardware Mods

              As the most of Allwinner V3 based cams, Excelvan Q8 also has all hacking opportunities available for this platform.

              At the moment you can use ADB connection for saving firmware backup and recovery mode for flashing files with PhoenixSuit tool.

              More about Allwinner V3 hacks can be found here and here

              Excelvan Q8 20161016V2.3 firmware backup (fits Q8 cams with IMX179s sensor and st7789v LCD controller):

              fwinfo.txt generated by GETFWINFO script from UNFEX/REFEX scripts pack:
              Short id:  
              OEM id:  
              Camera type:  
              FW orig. date:  
              FW mod. date:  
              LCD model:  
              LCD count:  
              Sensor model:  
              Last edited by fatcat; 03-02-2017, 10:40 AM.


              • #8
                Mobile Apps, Firmware Updates and Other downloads

                XDV Android App Google Play link
                XDV Apple App iTunes link

                Firmware updates can be found here.
                Last edited by fatcat; 03-23-2017, 11:52 AM.


                • #9
                  Video and Photo Quality and Samples

                  FullHD 30fps video mode has 32Mbit/s constant bitrate value which is enough for any shooting conditions without having compression artifacts. Both FullHD recording modes also have the widest horizontal field of view (~103 degrees). The lens is typical for a camera of this price range, it provides adequately sharp image in the center with moderate softness in the corners. Footages recorded in 60 and 120 fps modes do not show frame skipping for bright lighting conditions (sunny day). Excelvan Q8 photo quality is not a strong point for this camera the same is true for other Allwinner V3 based cams, however produced stills are good enough for social media use.

                  Raw (not processed) video samples:

                  Dashcam usage examples of Excelvan Q8 camera:
                  Last edited by fatcat; 02-10-2017, 02:22 PM.


                  • #10

                    Compared side by side with F60B Allwinner V3 based action camera which uses IMX179 sensor.

                    Last edited by fatcat; 02-10-2017, 02:20 PM.


                    • #11

                      • Affordable price
                      • Solid build quality and good materials
                      • 4K video resolution is 3840x2160
                      • 32Mbit/s bitrate for 1080p30 mode
                      • Strong wi-fi signal strength
                      • LCD is covered with protective film
                      • Adequate bundle

                      • Lens softness in the corners
                      • 4K30 video bitrate could be higher
                      Last edited by fatcat; 02-05-2017, 11:21 AM.


                      • #12
                        Where to Buy
                        • Gearbest, US plug, Black: link
                        • Gearbest, US plug, Silver: link
                        • Gearbest, US plug, Blue: link
                        • Gearbest, EU plug, Black: link
                        • Gearbest, EU plug, Silver: link
                        • Gearbest, EU plug, Blue: link


                        • #13
                          is it possible to add a microphone to it?