author_name|Steve Dent Cameras & Photography language|en-US provider_name|Engadget region|US site|engadget Small Businesses Technology & Electronics

DuoVox Mate Pro: A fun but flawed night vision camera

SSmartphones and cameras are better than ever for night shooting, but there are still plenty of caveats. Since multiple exposures are added together and there is no video, you need to hold your phone still to get decent photos. However, there is an emerging category of cameras dedicated to shooting in the dark using sensitive CMOS sensors and even infrared capability.

Some of these models are designed for commercial or military purposes, such as the SPi Infrared’s. unbelievable X27 color night vision camera but few new models are for consumers. somebody DuoVox Mate Prohaving a Sony STARVIS 2 The CMOS security camera sensor, which is supposed to be a thousand times more sensitive than the latest smartphone sensors.

It promises clear color images in extremely low light where a smartphone or your eyes won’t see anything. It also offers features like face detection, 2K video, and more. just started Kickstarter for $599, decent amount of cash, so how does it work? I was able to grab one to try.

Body and features

Gallery: DuoVox Mate Pro: A fun but flawed night vision camera | 13 Photos

The camera is small and light but somehow bulky, weighing just 216 grams and measuring 4 inches wide by 2.1 inches high. However, the lens protrudes three inches, so it cannot be pocketed even from afar. Since there is no lens cap, you don’t want it in your pocket anyway.

Controls are pretty straightforward, with the power button, shutter button, and four directional buttons activating different menu settings. You also get a microSD slot that supports cards up to 512GB, as well as a USB-C port that powers charging, camera and file transfers. Most controls are done using a fixed three-inch touchscreen that’s bright enough to be used in sunlight, which is nice but ironic for a night vision camera.

The settings are specific to night photography, so they are not settings you would find on a typical camera. For example, when you see a deer and want to take a quick shot, the camera has an instant recording video mode that starts as soon as it is turned on. It also uses a continuously recording fallback mode, but only stores images when you hit the record button. Other video settings include a loop mode, time-lapse mode, and motion detection (for wildlife traps, for example).

For photos, you get a quick snap mode that takes a photo when the camera is turned on, and face detection that automatically takes a photo when certain people are detected. You can also adjust things like screen brightness, quality, and more.

The Mate Pro also has some good wireless features. By setting it as a hotspot, you can connect your smartphone and transfer images and control the camera remotely using the accompanying Roadcam app. I used it when I mounted the camera on the hood of my car so I could trigger the video recording remotely.

Image and video quality

Gallery: DuoVox Mate Pro: Sample Gallery | 16 Photos

The main attraction of this camera is the 1/1.8 inch Sony Starvis 2 CMOS sensor, which is much more sensitive than conventional sensors. It lets you capture 3,200 x 1,800 images and 2,560 x 1,440 video at 30fps. It is not an infrared camera, but it can detect near-infrared light and is sensitive to .0001 lux, equivalent to a cloudy night sky without a moon.

Note that the sensor is designed for security cameras, so image quality probably wasn’t Sony’s first priority. DuoVox uses AI stacking to get the best exposure and reduce noise, but it’s essentially turning an industrial part into a consumer product.

The 7-element lens has a fast f/0.9 aperture and an equivalent full-frame focal length of approximately 70mm. That’s too long, and the minimum focus distance is also very long, somewhere between 10-20 feet – so it’s not at all useful for shooting close-up subjects. It has a powerful built-in light with three different brightness levels if you are in a very low light situation.

To test the DuoVox Mate Pro, I took it out at night in various situations. I had a clear sky but no moon, so any town was pitch black outside.

As I quickly discovered, this camera’s a little light to work. When I pointed it at some trees, a field, and a sky, everything was pitch black except the sky. He could see stars and clouds, but the image was extremely grainy.

Source link