In a country that is dominated by the classic American Football game, the gentleman’s game of Golf still features in the top ten most watched sports in America.
Where eye coordination, proper stance, and ball positioning are all crucial towards achieving that hole-in-one, understanding yourself is the true way to become one of the professionals we all see on TV. As mentioned by the famous golfer, Arnold Palmer: “Success in golf depends less on strength of the body than upon strength of mind and character.”
Similar to how a gamer may watch his previous matches, professional sport players tend to take time and watch film of their last match or play. While computer gamers can easily press “save replay” and professional sport players have cameras watching their every move, when it comes to the average player who seeks to adjust his gameplay style, what options are there available?
The Korean based video recording company, BlackVue, has taken the initiative of helping the average player become one of the professionals. With a design similar to the GoPro Hero, BlackVue offers a powerful little camera capable of high resolution recording, taking pictures, and even slow motion. Additionally, it does all of this while being protected from water, dust, and physical drops
Previously I took a look at BlackVue’s DR600GW-HD in-car dash cam that I concluded to have outstanding video quality matched with an unbeatable build quality. When the package of the Golf Digital Shot arrived, I asked myself if it could live up to the BlackVue quality.
Welcome to my review of the BlackVue Sport Golf Digital Shot. Throughout this in-depth review, I will be discussing the following: the unboxing, design, functionality, and my final thoughts. I would like to thank BlackVue for providing me with this unit.
Before my package arrived, I expected to receive a small box containing one single recording camera. The reason behind my thoughts was due to the similarity of the GoPro Hero camera that many use today, as that unit is sold with a single camera and case.
To my surprise, the mail arrived one afternoon with a package spanning a little over three feet. With large “BlackVue Golf” labels wrapped around the sides, I realised that BlackVue had stepped up their strategy and included every possible accessory a golfer may need.
The product box itself contained a large soft foam block that snuggly protected each accessory during the long travel from Korea. In a professional manner, BlackVue’s presentation of the Golf Digital Shot provides a stylish and premium look.
Included accessories begin with a #15 BlackVue Golf branded head cover that can be used on nearly any golf club. Its soft touch material and stitched lettering is a great addition to any collector of golf head covers, or for users who lack one in the first place.
Next, users will find a three foot shaft or rod that can be used to mount the camera. The shaft’s three foot length allows the camera to be positioned at an appropriate height for most players. Moreover, to anchor the shaft into the ground, included in the box is a four inch metal spike that can be screwed to the shaft. Additionally, users can opt for a three legged metal tripod for better stability. The tripod’s metal construction is outstanding by having three rubberized feet together with a massive height adjustment to the shaft. The tripod has the ability to adjust height, have the legs spead outwards, and gives the camera a stable shot even during wind or on rough terrain.
When mounting the camera to the shaft, inside your accessories box are two mounting brackets, one that uses a tripod mount, the other that is a circular base. The mounts attach to the camera’s casing, as mentioned further below, and uses the included thumb screw for tightening.
Although the camera itself lacks a built-in LCD display, an attachable LCD display is included with your Golf Digital Shot. By connecting to the proprietary connector on the rear of the camera and using a clip to connect, the LCD camera is a must have for normal operation.
Continuing on, the Golf Digital Shot comes with two rugged camera covers that offer easy functionality as well as durability. The first case is constructed of a hard plastic that offers a waterproof housing, dust protection and drop resistance. Most users, including myself, will find themselves using this case for nearly every situation. The second case uses a hard plastic material that should protect against accidental drops. Those who are careful with their camera may prefer this case over the other. One note to keep in mind is that both cases require the use of the LCD screen.
Powering the camera is a compact 1050mAh Li-ion battery that is also included. Furthermore, if you wish to charge the device, you can either use the onboard USB connection or the included battery charger powered by USB.
Finally, at the end of your accessories list you will find a 16GB microSD memory card for storage, a camera lens cap, one 3M adhesive pad, a USB charging and data cable, and an HDMI cable to show your outstanding videos and pictures on the big screen.
The “Made in Korea” text located on the bottom of the camera ensures greater quality over the Chinese manufactured cameras that make their way to the United States.
The camera housing is made out of plastic and has a matte black finish. The plastic construction allows for the camera to have a light weight and it can be operated with little effort. Moreover, the camera’s compact size of 1.44in for the width, 2.1in length, and 1.74in height allows the camera to be held in the palm of your hand.
An examination of the camera shows a top mounted recording button, a speaker, and a status LED bar. For those who have the LCD display attached, there will also be an LCD display power button located on the top. The left side of the camera has a Wi-Fi button, device power, and a microphone. The right side has a cover protecting the microSD slot, micro HDMI, and micro USB ports. Finally, the front has the 12 megapixel camera and five status LEDs indicating video, photo, high speed, Wi-Fi, and recording.
Compared with the GoPro, I much prefer BlackVue’s design over the GoPro as it simplifies the process of operating the camera, and provides a higher level of quality when in use. For those who seek a powerful, durable camera the design of the Golf Digital Shot is unmatched.
The reasoning behind the golf branding confuses me as the Golf Digital Shot offers much more than just golf operation. With its golf branding, I feel that the consumer may be put off if using the camera for golfing was not their intention. In fact, I found myself using the camera for many different tasks, such as car repair, slow motion on a moving object, or even fun photo shoots.
Similar to the DR600GW-HD in-car camera I reviewed previously, the Golf Digital Shot uses built-in Wi-Fi to connect to your phone via the BlackVue Sport application. All conducted over Wi-Fi, users can view videos, manage storage, crop and edit photos/videos, and of course adjust all of the camera’s settings. Those who don’t own a smartphone can opt to use the BlackVue computer software or use the LCD display. Note: the LCD display does not support video editing.
Having its unique user interface allows the user to quickly and effectively navigate through the three main windows: photo, video, and high speed, with settings and playback having their own menus as well. When the camera is powered, a single click of the power button moves the menus right, while a single click on the recording button indicates select or record.
Inside the settings menu, users have the ability to change the megapixels of the camera, adjust the slow motion speeds, or change the image size. Furthermore, the playback menu contains every video, photo, and slow motion shot, in a grid pattern. I’d recommend using the playback function through the app rather than on the camera.
Using a Sony Exmor CMOS camera sensor gives the Golf Digital Shot an edge over the competition and I found that its 1080p @ 60 FPS provides a clear image when used both indoors and outdoors. Likewise, recording at a 120 FPS speed is useful to see even the finest details when in slow motion. Moreover, the massive image size of 4000 x 3000 is crisp enough for you to zoom in and see the grass blowing in the wind.
Finally, I found that the functionality of the Golf Digital Shot was perfect for any operation, even if that operation differs from golfing. In the cold winters of Wisconsin, golfing outdoors isn’t pleasant, but with the 1080p @ 60FPS video recording and 720p @ 120 FPS slow motion I can easily say that the Golf Digital Shot completes its task of allowing users to study their play and who wish to get better at the game.
I recommend taking a few moments to study the unit’s full specifications. BlackVue lists run time, charging time, camera specifications and more.
Number of Pixels: 12 Mega Pixel
Angle of View: Wide Angle 157 degrees
Weight: 77g (LCD: 22g)
Size: Width 55mm x Length 36.7mm x Height 44.2mm (1.44 x 2.1 x 1.74 inches)
Sensor: SONY Exmor 12M CMOS Sensor
H/W Interface: Storage microSD™ microSD™ card (MLC Method / Supports up to 32GB / 10 class or higher recommended)
Input/Output: USB 2.0 / USB 2.0, HDMI
Button: Power/Mode, Wi-Fi, Shutter/Choice
LCD: 2.0 inch, 240p
Battery Format: Rechargeable 1050mAh, Li-polymer battery
Running Time: 1080p 60fps: 2hrs 20mins @ 15Mbps (Running time may change according to environment)
Battery Charging: Micro USB
Audio: Microphone Built-in
Format: 128 KHZ, AAC
Video Format: MP4
Resolution: [email protected]/30fps; [email protected]/30fps; [email protected]/30fps
Time-Lapse: 1, 5, 30, 60, 300, 600 second intervals
Image Format: JPEG
Image Size: 12M (4000×3000 4:3); 8.5M (3648×2432 3:2); 7.2M (3648×2052 16:9); 0.3M (640×480 4:3)
High-speed Shooting Resolution: [email protected]; [email protected]
Waterproof Case – Waterproof Class: IP68
Housing: Underwater 40m
Software Application: BLACKVUE SPORT APP (Supports Android 2.3 and higher, iOS 6.0 and higher)
My Final Thoughts
What I discovered in the end is that the BlackVue Sport Golf Digital Shot is an excellent camera for any application, not just golfing. With so many accessories and the outstanding camera lens, you can’t go wrong with this unit. Because the usage and longevity of the unit is practically unlimited, I have no hesitation in recommending this camera.
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Tagged BlackVue, digital, Golf, Golfing, GoPro, high, Pro, Recording, review, Shot, speed, Sport, video.