The full product name is: Veho VCC-005 Muvi HD10
I had posted some comments on another thread recently, which I'll expand upon. I thought it might be a good idea to bring this unusual and relatively unknown camcorder to the attention of fellow enthusiasts at AVS. I don't think the Muvi HD10 has generated much discussion here in the past. Also, with the growing proliferation of HD video enabled phones, the Muvi still performs in ways that are not addressed by any current multipurpose phone.
Veho is a small electronics company located in the UK. The Muvi is one of two camcorder lines, and I suspect the original, standard definition micro Muvi was originally conceived for the surveillance market. (Veho still markets the standard definition line as the VCC-003, and VCC-004).
The Muvi HD10 is, for all intents and purposes, marketed as a cross between a traditional pocket camcorder (albeit a short lived tradition) and the surprisingly popular GoPro. (I have not had any hands-on experience with the GoPro, so I can't make any comparative comments about quality). The shape and form factor, however, between the GoPro and Muvi completely part company. The Muvi has a small 1.5 inch viewfinder. The GoPro has none (I believe a clip-on viewfinder is available as an accessory). The GoPro is waterproof. The Muvi offers a waterproof shell as an accessory. The Muvi is housed in a rubberized metal black box that's a bit smaller than a pack of cigarettes. The viewfinder-menu side of the cam is pleasantly sleek looking.
Veho offers several package variations of the Muvi-HD10, with a mix n' match assortment of clips, mounts, straps, velcro, cables and chargers. It can be attached to a helmet, mounted on a bike, in a vehicle, or on your body. I purchased the promotional "Gumball 3000" edition. (Actually, I wound up buying two). I have no interest whatsoever in that road rally, but I thought (and still think) the accessory assortment in that box represents the best value. I'm not too enamored with the cartoonish Gumball logo that's plastered on the lens side of the cam, but the black faceplate is still pretty inconspicuous. The Gumball Edition and the unadorned HD10 are functionally identical.
There are few, if any, professional reviews of the Muvi. The majority of consumer and Youtube comments focus on this camcorders considerable action-cam capabilities. However, the Muvi's "hands-free" potential is what I found most intriguing, as the usual routine of pointing and shooting can get pretty tiresome. Standing still, and using the included body clip, I was able to record long, uninterrupted segments of a soccer game with nearly the same stability as a tripod.
I would suggest attaching the cam to a taut belt, or use the included strap, as it's important to keep the lens perpendicular, and not dangling toward the ground. It took some experimentation, and rigging, to find the right position. I alternate now between my upper arm (which invites some quizzical looks from passers-by) and my belt, where the cam is less obtrusive. While I can't quite pan as smoothly as a tripod by turning, it's a pleasure to watch events, without peering through a viewfinder, and still record very stable footage at the same time. (The Muvi can also be used like a standard point-and-shoot pocket camcorder using the 1.5" screen).
The wide angle lens captures everything in my field of vision, and then some. There are some trade-offs with this Cinemascope style lens, not unlike those ultra widescreen films of the 1950's: There is some fishbowl geometric distortion, but I found this effect much less distracting than I feared. Also, objects are a bit softer on the edges of the frame, but still quite sharp toward the center. Despite those caveats, I find the ultra widescreen image produced by this little cam to be absolutely thrilling at times. I picked up action in the image that I hadn't noticed in real time.
The angle is a bit wider in the 720p60fps mode. Personally, despite the huge file size, I prefer the sharpness of the 1080P/30fps mode for most athletic events, but very fast moving activity (motor sports, etc.) appears unquestionably smoother in the 720/60fps mode.
Although the record button is smartly placed on the side corner of the camera, the large button remote control worked reliably, and proved much less cumbersome than stopping and starting from the camera. In fact, I'd rate the remote control as a major feature enhancement for the Muvi.
The Muvi, like most pocket camcorders, employs a fixed focus lens.
The 1080p quality is great in daylight, and more satisfying in some respects, than my 6 year old standard definition prosumer Canon GL2. (It's amazing how quickly and inexpensively HD technology has flowed through the market pipeline). Low light performance is serviceable, but don't expect miracles. (The Muvi is probably not the best choice of cams for night time birthday parties). The audio is OK, but a little thin. The zoom feature is only available in 720P mode, but digital zoom capability (as opposed to optical zoom) is not a compelling feature in my book.
In fact, I wish the zoom could be disengaged altogether. The touchscreen buttons on the Muvi are extremely sensitive, and it's easy to engage the zoom function accidentally. (This happened once, when I carelessly inserted the cam back onto the body clip). I'm thankful it's not an option in 1080P.
Like most pocket camcorders, the Muvi's usefulness as a still camera is limited, at best. (I also find the lens distortions more bothersome when viewing still captures). From my perspective, the Muvi devotes too much menu and feature space to camera mode. Instead, I wish there was more attention paid to streamlining the camcorder ergonomics instead. Overall, the Muvi falls short in user-friendliness for the following reasons:
A)The deletion of files is way more complicated than it needs to be.
B)It's also easy to confuse the voice activated (VOX) switch for the power switch. I did this several times until I became comfortably familiar with the little camcorder, and even then I covered it with black tape so I couldn't confuse it with the on-off switch . (Since I was in a noisy location, the cam would not stop recording with the VOX turned on). The VOX control is a very useful surveillance feature, but it doesn't belong on the side of the camera as a hard switch.
C)The Muvi uses the micro SD format, which can be a little finicky to load and remove. I much prefer the standard sized card.
D)The playback functionality through the viewfinder is clumsy and confusing, (the sub-menu for playback is called "record"..go figure) as are the microscopic icons in respect to battery life and data card space. The terse manual is not much help.
Still, my biggest gripe also applies to a majority of pocket camcorders: If you're shooting footage of any event, you should never have to worry about battery power. While the Muvi's battery life is generous,(Veho claims three hours of continuous recording), nothing is more frustrating than a dead, integrated (not-removable) battery. (What's more, lithium ion batteries have a fairly long, but finite lifespan. When the battery is toast, you can toss the camcorder).
While the MuviHD10 is not the best thought-out pocket camcorder on the market (I also own a Kodak Playsport ZX5, which is far more intuitive) it is undeniably unique as a recorder with real hands-free capability, and the benefits of that feature should not be underestimated: Passive, hands-free shooting means subjects are less likely to duck, dodge, wave, or mug for the camera. You'll be able to record long, uninterrupted segments without the boredom or concentration of staring at a viewfinder while trying to keep your arm and hand as steady as possible.
Overall, despite some design flaws, the engineers at Veho came up with a particularly useful, and versatile camcorder. I really hope Veho continues to produce and perfect the Muvi HD line. Right now, it's truly one-of-a-kind.