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Initial impressions

The first thing you notice about the Rollei is the colour. Lively colours are not common in the action camera market. Ours was bright yellow and I like it. The S-30 is also available in orange or black.

The shape is similar to Sony's Actioncam, so nothing unordinary here. The size is reasonable, not as small as a GoPro but definitely not going to get in the way.

The screen and buttons on the side of the device immediately draw your attention as the control centre for the device.

The Rollei S-30 comes with 2 forms of protection. A plastic jacket which serves to reinforce the Rollei S-30 and provide a shell on which the mounting can be fixed. Rollei also provide a waterproof clear plastic cover for further protection. Both seem well-built and are made of reasonable quality plastics.

The Rollei S-30, without any casing, is made from hard plastic. Unsurprisingly it has a cheapish feel but that being said the device doesn't feel like it will break without putting up a decent fight.

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Mounting

The Rollei S-30 comes packed with a handlebar mount and helmet mount as well as 3 mounting arms and some sticky pads.

Both protective cases attach to the bar mount via what looks like a standard tripod mount. Making it compatible with a number of other accessories.

Helmet mounts are often an additional purchase to the camera and I was pleased to find it included with the S-30. The provided helmet mount isn't high tech and makes use of two fabric straps which means the position is dependent on the layout of your helmet's vents. On my Fox Flux this meant that the camera was slightly more forward on the helmet than I'd like. That being said, it functioned flawlessly.

When mounted on the handlebars it was a bit of a struggle to get steady footage. The included handlebar mount and plastic links seemed to add too much flex and vibration on bumpy trails. After a few attempts with the standard mounts, I opted for an aftermarket metal mount which provided a far more steady and usable picture.

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General Operation

Screens are becoming a standard feature on many action cameras and the Rollei S-30 isn't left out here. Adjusting settings as well as live feeds and replays all happen through the screen. The buttons located next to the screen make operation of the device intuitive.

The start/stop button is located on the rear of the camera. This is good for easy operation when the camera is mounted on your head or handlebars.

The only downside with the sideways operation of the Rollei S-30 is that I often found finger prints on the camera lens.

The jacket case leaves space for full access to the screen and all buttons. This means that it does not impede on the functionality of the camera. For this reason, I preferred this protection to the full case which only lets you operate the power and record button.

The Rollei S-30 also comes with a dedicated smartphone app. IOS and Android users can download the app which allows you to interface with the device via WiFi. For my purposes the camera's built in screen means much of the app has little appeal beyond a remote control function to start/stop shooting and change modes from a short distance (up to 10m).

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Video quality

While it's not going to produce award-winning footage, the video quality overall is sufficient for most amateur applications. In direct sunlight the camera did seem to struggle at times with distorted lines running vertically on the picture on some clips (as shown in the video). This seemed to be an isolated issue though, as in previous runs using the standard mount although the video was too shaky to use, the picture was clean even in direct sunlight.

Performance across lighting conditions was quite varied. Moving into sections of low light the camera took a few seconds to adjust the picture and equally in bright sunlight the colour balance was distorted.

The camera does offer some options to adjust light balance and metering, which can improve the performance depending on the conditions and use. You also have the option of shooting at 1080p / 30fps, 720p / 60fps or 720p / 30fps.

Test Footage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BesxBaVawUEMounted on the handlebars with an aftermarket aluminium mount

Battery

With WiFi disabled Rollei claim a 100 minute battery life while recording at 1080p, which it lived up to in our tests. Turning WiFi on cuts the battery life in half to just 50 minutes at the same resolution. Though I found little need to have WiFi continuously enabled for bike or helmet mounted use, especially with the built in screen allowing you to adjust settings and shot angles on the go.

In the end

The onboard screen, WiFi capabilities and smartphone app are all features which you'd expect only on upper end action cameras. While the video quality doesn't quite live up with the rest of the features on offer, at an entry-level price point the Rollei Actioncam S-30 WiFi still delivers good value.

Technical features

  • Image sensor2 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • ResolutionStill Image: 2560x1920, 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480

    Video: 1080p (1920x1080/30 fps), 720p (1280x720/60 fps),

    720p (1280x720/30 fps)

    Objective Aperture: F = 1:2.5 (W) | Focal length: f: 3.4 mm

  • LCD1.5“ TFT (3.81 cm)
  • Photo functionsElectronic shutter control, white balance (Auto, cloudy, day, neon

    and artificial light), exposure: –2 EV up to +2 EV

  • Memory SlotmicroSD memory cards up to 32 GB
  • Data formatStill Image: JPG | Video: either MOV or AVI with sound
  • System requirementsMS Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8 | Mac OS X 10.8 or higher
  • ConnectorsHDMI, USB 2.0
  • Battery Lifeup to 100 minutes with fully charged battery without WiFi use

    up to 50 minutes with fully charged battery with WiFi use

  • Powerintegrated lithium-polymer battery (1150 mAh)
  • Dimensions82 x 47.2 x 27.1 mm
  • Weightapprox. 75 g
  • PriceR 2,400.00