GoPro alternative from Sena

Date Posted:23 May 2014 

With the Sports Action Camera market so hot in these video-hungry times, it takes guts to enter the game and go against the best. Of course, it can only help if you have a secret punch. That is what Sena is betting on with the Prism Sports Action Camera, the latest addition to its Bluetooth networked family of mobile gadgets.

Ultimately, you’re only as mobile as your power supply and Bluetooth with its range, speed and precision is key to Prism’s appeal. Remote control is pretty much a given with top quality action cams. But while other makers have concentrated on using power-sapping WiFi, SENA has played its ace card – its great strength in Bluetooth network appliances – to full advantage. Not only is Bluetooth a power miser, it boots quicker and integrates flawlessly with SENA’s highly regarded motorcycle intercom set. This equips Prism with high definition audio input on-the-fly and, more importantly, also allows complete control of the camera via some pretty cool voice-command software. While best results are assured with the SENA microphone and headset, the camera may also be operated using Bluetooth equipment by other compatible brands.

At first glance the Prism’s 140 degree field of view might seem at disadvantage compared with its big name cousin – sporting 170 degrees (compared with the regular 190 degree human field of view). But we reckon that strapped into a fullface helmet peripheral vision is already limited – so 140 degrees gives a perfect account of what the rider sees.

A slight niggle is the phone-cam quality 5mp resolution on still images, while other cameras in this genre are sporting 10 and 12mp – but we think your time will be spent in motion shots anyway. Video mode is accomplished at 1080p, 720p and 480p with 30 frames per second, 30-60fps, and 120fps respectively – perfect for all you slow-mo action fans. Prism also shoots in burst settings of 10, 5 or 3 pics per second and we really like the sweet time-lapse mode, set for either video or still, of 1/3/5/10/30/ or 60 second activations.

The Prism recharges in 1.5 hours and gives a recording time of 2 hours. Capture is via SD card and it shouldn’t surprise at this price-point that the device lacks a preview LCD. In fact, in its regular operating mode – pointing down the highway or taking action video “selfies” – a viewfinder is superfluous. There is, however, an optional case that gives the device a tiny palmcorder look and this has an LCD viewfinder.

The Prism comes out of the box with a range of quick release mounts. These allow capture of everything from a bugs-eye view of the fleeting tarmac, or mirror, handlebar, or helmet-mounted self images, reflecting either the zen of cycle travel or the drama of highspeed on two wheels, depending on your proclivity.

Prism’s feature-set is firmware upgradable and on our assessment – good value for money.