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Camera stepped up to the mark in tough conditions

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 23, 2013

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iOn Air Pro Wi-Fi

Priced £299, www.iontheaction.com

WHEN you’re faced with the job of covering a mass game of football with goals some three miles apart, you need equipment to match.

I put the iOn Air Pro camera to the test during Ashbourne’s Royal Shrovetide Football match last week. A game whereby you need a camera which is robust and waterproof while taking incredible footage.

The iOn Air Pro is a full 1080p high-definition action camera and 5MP still camera delivering variable fields of view of 127°, 150° and 170°.

Designed as a ‘bullet’ camera, the metal housing of the camera makes it suitable for a rough and tumble lifestyle.

Sealing caps covering the electronic components also make the camera waterproof to an impressive 10 metres — the waterproof stats are so impressive for the iOn that an optional extra is a surfboard mount.

My use of the iOn didn’t require a surfboard. Instead the camera was utilised using its many mounting options — the most useful of which was the standard tripod mounting screw as this allowed the camera to be held aloft using a monopod for overhead crowd shots.

Also included in the kit was a bike mounting kit which we used for road shots on a mountain bike and a helmet strap.

Using the iOn is easy and setup only takes a few minutes.

Once you remove the lockable rear cover, you unearth the iOn’s minimal switches and sockets — the only switch accessible to the user is a toggle between high-definition 720p and full high-definition 1080p.

As I was armed with a 16GB micro SD card I opted for the full HD setting to maximise the quality of our recordings.

You’re probably wondering how then you alter many of the other features hidden within the iOn if there are minimal switches? How do you adjust the field of view from 127° to 170°? Or how do you adjust the frame rate of the video so that it shoots at 60 frames-per-second for slow motion or in 4:3 screen ratio compared to widescreen 16:9?

The answer lies in the Wi-Fi adapter which comes with the camera.

This Wi-Fi plug replaces the rear lockable cap and allows you access to the camera’s settings by connecting your laptop to the wireless signal.

If you have the time and you’re smart enough, you could even relay live footage over Wi-Fi for a website video feed.

The only downside to this innovative wireless settings menu is that you need to be near a computer or Wi-Fi enabled device to be able to change settings.

Once you have the camera configured how you like it, using it in the field is easy.

A single push button turns the unit on and off — and as an added bonus, the unit also vibrates so that if you cannot see the status light glowing on the top of the unit, the vibration will alert you to its status.

Once in standby mode, the unit can be set to record by the sliding of a single switch, or you can press and hold the power button to fire a still image.

Our test of the iOn was in pretty extreme conditions — it was cold, snowing, wet and risked being destroyed by thousands of people — yet the camera performed remarkably well.

I didn’t have any concerns about using the camera in such wet and crowded conditions and once secured to a monopod, the lightweight nature of the iON (just 136 grams) made it comfortable to hold steady for long periods.

Would I buy one? Yes.

Every family could make use of this camera throughout the year — whether on a cycle ride with the unit connected to the frame or swimming in the sea with the camera strapped to your wrist.

The initial outlay of £299 is a lot for people to pay for such a specialist device, but once you have used the iOn you instantly recognise its benefits and wish you had one in your arsenal of photographic equipment.

I know I wish I had one.

See footage partly filmed using the iOn Air Pro in this video.

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