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GadgeTell Review: Optrix XD4 iPhone Camera Case – Don’t GoPro, Go Optrix.

Sections: Camcorders, Digital Cameras, Imaging, Reviews

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The Optrix XD4 turns your iPhone into an extreme sports camera, capable of capturing high quality, crisp video. Since I never leave home without my phone, I’m ready to film whenever, wherever, without hassle of bringing an extra camera.

The Optrix XD4 model comes with a super sturdy helmet mount and a rugged, waterproof iPhone case with built-in wide-angle lens.  Optrix also threw in two pieces of mount adhesive, and a zip-tie to function as a helmet-to-mount leash (that snapped almost immediately).

Built for extreme sporting, the Optrix phone case is ultra-rugged and built to hold up against water, the elements and falls.  I give the wide-angle lens most of the credit for the sleek footage the Optrix captures. Unlike other detachable iPhone lenses I’ve used, this one captures a clean 16:9 wide-angle without getting too fish-eyed. Some detachable lenses make it difficult to avoid adding fuzzy edges or round corners to the footage. The Optrix XD4 lens captures 175% wide-screen goodness.

Unlike shooting with a GoPro, the Optrix XD4 makes it easy to check your footage on the spot. Plus, the built-in touchscreen membrane is designed so that the iPhone is still fully operational. With the camera app open, it was easy enough for a friend to ride up behind me, look at the screen, and check my shot. No need for a dock, upload, or even to remove my helmet. Eliminating this guesswork is enough to make me vote Optrix over GoPro.

My biggest downside? It cramped up my neck. It was a mistake to attach the Optrix XD4 to the center of my helmet. I didn’t take into account the position I’d be in on a bike. As I rode, the weight of the device pushed my helmet down onto my brow, and strained my neck. I’d say, only attach the device to the center of your helmet if you eat your Wheaties, or you’re primarily doing upright sporting. Next time, I’m going to attach the mount on the back half of the helmet, to improve comfort, and also to help disguise the camera. On the center of my helmet, it looked like propeller. Not cool.

My bottom line: The Optrix XD4 shoots smooth, high quality footage you can screen on the spot. If you’ve already invested in an iPhone, and you want to shoot extreme sports movies, don’t GoPro, go Optrix.

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