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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Product Review: FOMO Camera

I've used the FOMO a couple of times, both in a quiet setting and at a concert, and this is what I've found.

Appearance
The devices is pretty sturdy, though I haven't dropped it yet. The microUSB port is in an inconvenient spot, under to the lip of the button, and as such, you must use the cable that came with it, simply because it has an extra long microUSB connector that many generic cables don't have.

The device is not at all subtle, even if you have it hidden in a mess of other "normal" buttons, it's quite apparent that this one is different.

Recording
The device does separate recordings into five minute chunks, which makes transferring, storing, and mixing them easier than if it were one solid video. It also handles loud environments well; where my smartphone's mic is regularly blown out, the FOMO handles it... except at the beginning of every clip, where there is a burst of static (mic being blown out) before it adjusts back to handling it again.

The camera is also not perfectly straight in its mounting, which given the (unsurprising) lack of a viewfinder, makes it very difficult to aim. I highly recommend testing the device extensively to learn where and what it's actually recording before trying to use it at an important event.


Quality
Audio quality is pretty good (except as noted above - at the beginning of every clip in loud environments). Audio also seems to lag behind when watching the playback, but that's mostly easily fixable in post.

Video quality is pretty good (if you can get it pointed correctly at what you're actually trying to record.

Storage quality is pretty good. Given the size of the device, 1 hour is the rated time, though I'm regularly getting about 10 minutes past that.

File data quality is iffy. If you're in the habit of storing large numbers of video files, you probably have a folder for every given date. That's good, because my device seems to think it's June of 2016 in addition to being about four hours fast. (I'm writing this in March of 2018.)

Summary
As a toy, it's a great camera. As a camera, it's a barely passable toy.

Retail is expected to be in the $100 range, and I don't think that's worth it without better quality assurance (getting the eye straight in the housing), and better turnaround for shipping and customer support. That is, if they ever finish fulfilling the Kickstarter rewards (I was one of the lucky few to get mine only 3 months later than projected).

Verdict: Don't Buy Yet

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