RunCam 2 – Another Dash Of Action

Sadly, my Mobius 2 camera came to a sudden demise just as I was getting things working so well. I started a warranty claim with the supplier, but then began to have some reservations about how effective this would be, given that I’d purchased the camera from an overseas supplier. So in the interim, I decided to get a RunCam 2 and see how that would perform. Given my comments in my Mobius story, I was hoping that this wasn’t going to be a mistake. The main thing was that from all the video reviews that I’d looked at, the video quality between the Mobius 2 and RunCam 2 was on a par and much especially depended on the user and how they set up the camera and processed the video. After seeing further video comparing the two, I was fairly convinced that there wasn’t going to be any loss in quality, maybe even a gain. And video quality after all is the aim.

RunCam 2 Action Cam

RunCam 2 Action Cam

The other thing that changed my mind over another Mobius 2 was that I couldn’t really use the external power bank anymore because of the weight added by the gimbal, where the MJX was simply becoming too heavy for the battery capacity and adding even more weight would make things utterly impractical. I had to be pragmatic here and with this turnaround, the replaceable battery in the RunCam 2 provided greater flexibility. The mounting system used by the RunCam 2 meant there’d be some additional weight, but I couldn’t get around that in any way. On the other hand, the RunCam 2 actually provided slightly higher video resolution, 1920×1440 @ 30 fps, but I have no idea if that’s via interpolation. I also mustn’t have looked hard enough for reviews of the RunCam 2 as the second time that I did, I found many more that provided me with a increased level of confidence in video qualities of the camera.

RunCam 2 kit - (source: Tested)

RunCam 2 kit – (source: Tested)

The mounting system has actually proven to be quite useful, as I can now firmly lock the mount into place on the gimbal, and attach and release the RunCam without losing the balance point on the gimbal. This is far better than it was with the Mobius, which required constant repositioning and balancing if you removed the camera, something I hadn’t considered until I’d bought the gimbal. And there was another thing the RunCam 2 had over the Mobius 2; it comes with a lens hood to protect the lens from flare. As I pointed out in my Olympus Tough TG-5 review a lens hood, no matter how diminutive, can make an qualitative difference to image quality. One thing that shows that the RunCam is designed for drones etc is the SD card residing behind a locking hatch. The Mobius card slot is like any dashcam and even though I didn’t have issues with it falling out, it just shows the different heritage of both cameras. A minor annoyance is that if you have WiFi enabled and you turn on the camera, you always have to go through a five step process to connect to the camera (the first is the WiFi connection not shown).

RunCam 2 Android App Connection Menu

RunCam 2 Android App Connection Menu

RunCam 2 Android App Connection Menu

RunCam 2 Android App Connection Menu

RunCam 2 Android App Connection Menu

RunCam 2 Android App Connection Menu

RunCam 2 Android App Connection Menu

RunCam 2 Android App Connection Menu

Also, the app to control the camera settings isn’t as bad as I thought, it actually works, though it can’t really be used as an external controller as it loses connection within about 30m. It’s also very laggy, even when right next to the camera, and certainly doesn’t provide the best of images on my phone. The app itself is quite easy to use, but provides a limited level of control compared to the Mobius. It’s the inability to adjust settings such metering options (limited options compared to the Mobius), sharpness, contrast and others that is severely lacking and means that you can’t really get the optimum performance out of the camera. This is really notable when the scene is split into bright and dark, usually always in aerial video. This is especially annoying as the mobile phone app allows you to make adjustments fairly quickly in the field compared to the need to connect the Mobius via USB to a Windows tablet.

RunCam 2 Android App Setting Menu

RunCam 2 Android App Setting Menu

RunCam 2 Android App Screen View

RunCam 2 Android App Screen View

The RunCam 2 takes regular still photographs, burst mode photographs and time-lapse photographs. It also take regular video, slow motion video (720p @ 120fps) and time-lapse video. You can make a number of adjustments from a selection of presets for white balance, metering mode as mentioned and angle of view ( a sort of zoom). So while not quite as extensive as for the Mobius 2, it’s not completely devoid of adjustments. Comprehensive adjustments are really only needed if the camera needs changes because the default settings aren’t ideal for the conditions. What I have found is that the RunCam 2’s exposure isn’t quite as good as that of the Mobius 2 because of the limited number of exposure settings, but it’s not too bad if you’re careful with settings for specific situations. It works quite well whether on a quadcopter or a tripod.

So all in all, the RunCam 2 I think is a better option as an action cam than is the Mobius 2, especially when it comes to durability, as I’ve subsequently found more than one example on the internet where it’s been reported that the Mobius 2 has failed inexplicably, like mine did. That’s not to say that the Mobius 2 isn’t a good camera, but I think it’s better placed to be used as a dash cam and not an action cam. It’s just a pity that there isn’t a weatherproof housing available for the RunCam, as that would really make it a great action cam for use just about anywhere. And it’s a wonder than the manufacturer hasn’t considered this, as I’m sure that it would make this camera a lot more popular with the ‘action’ crowd.

Footnote. The supplier eventually came round with a replacement for the Mobius 2 (after posting videos of what was happening), but I’m not going to use the Mobius 2 as a drone camera, as I don’t quite trust its durability. Additionally, the motorised gimbal has also given me grief and even worse video (huge amount of vibration) than the earlier fixed mount, so I’ve reverted back to a different fixed mount and I’m a lot happier. The video is now much more stable and as long as I keep improving my flying skills the quality of the video should improve. Of course it won’t be as good as the expensive drones with dedicated gimbals but certainly for what I plan to use it for, the quality should suffice.