iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi: flagship “underwater” camera - nuances and features

Not so long ago, my colleague published ( read here ) a test of extreme cameras iON Air Pro Wi-Fi and GoPro Hero3 White Edition. Immediately, I note that I completely agree with his conclusions: both decisions have the right to life, but overpay for the latter with comparable quality of shooting, when there is a much better equipped first on the market, there is no special sense. The camera from a newcomer to our market - the American iON - interested me, but it would be foolish to carefully test what was already thoroughly driven before me.

Well, I walked around the iON official website and studied the range of cameras on offer. The eye immediately caught on to the iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi: it looks almost the same as iON Air Pro Wi-Fi, but its characteristics slightly outperform the “little sister”. It will be all the more interesting to get acquainted with the "deuce".

iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi

So, what has changed, except for the number in the name? The camera’s CMOS-matrix has become 14-megapixel (versus 5 megapixels) and, according to the developers, significantly increased in quality of shooting. Meanwhile, the viewing angle of the lens has increased in all three modes - in the plate below the cameras are compared precisely for this parameter:

iON Air Pro Wi-Fi iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi
1080p127 degrees169 degrees
720p150 degrees169 degrees
960p170 degrees180 degrees

The design of the camera has not changed at all. More precisely, the exterior has not changed, but the color has changed a little: if the main body of the iON Air Pro Wi-Fi is black, then the iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi is black and gray. It is hard to say which option is more advantageous - I personally find the difference between them with great difficulty.

With a complete set, the situation is interesting. The iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi model is slightly more expensive than the iON Air Pro Wi-Fi: 11,190 rubles (~ $ 350) versus 9,990 rubles (~ $ 312) (the GoPro Hero3 White Edition costs the same, by the way). At the same time, in the box with the “older” camera, much less accessories are found. Namely: a USB cable, a universal four-plug adapter, a small tripod, a short safety belt, a helmet mount, 3M double-sided tape (1 pc.), Instructions for use, a carrying bag, a regular sealed plug for the connectors on the rear panel and made in the form of the same plug Wi-Fi-module PODZ.

ION Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi Package Contents

Of course, this is still cooler than the GoPro Hero3 White Edition with its USB cable and a couple of platforms (I don’t consider boxing an advantage, since iON can swim at a depth of 10 meters without any additional “suits”), but with iON Air Pro Wi-Fi "deuce" is still not comparable. After all, the cheaper model has fastenings to the handlebars of the bicycle and flat surfaces, two belts at once (a trifle, but nice), two ball bearings, as many as 5 platforms with 3M tape ... It’s good that there is an accessories section on the official Russian site iON, in which you can buy mounts, 3M replacement stickers and various other useful little things.

Comparison of GoPro Hero3 White Edition and iON Air Pro Wi-Fi bundles

However, personally this nuance didn’t upset me at all: I have repeatedly written in posts on Habré that I am a fan of underwater shooting, and I need an extreme camera primarily for her. No, it’s not about diving into the sea depths of tens of meters, but swimming at the surface with photographing and shooting videos about the inhabitants of the “depths” of one and a half height of an adult. In this case, neither fastenings to the handlebars of the bicycle, nor safety belts, nor other "excesses" are needed. Although, it’s probably worth correcting yourself: any complete accessories for extreme cameras are not an excess, because if you buy them separately from the camera, you can “get” a good amount. So, to understaff the GoPro Hero3 White Edition to the level of iON Air Pro Wi-Fi, it will take about 7 thousand rubles (~ $ 218); up to iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi level - 2.5 thousand (~ $ 80), so GoPro is even more expensive. (2.5 thousand will have to be paid for charging with 4 forks, a tripod, a carrying bag, etc.)

So, returning to our sheep or, more precisely, fish. I evaluate any extreme camera or “underwater” camera from the following angle: can it replace my Kodak EasyShare C123 Sport, which is even an old horse (well, we have some kind of zoo today), but it doesn’t spoil the furrows yet?

After thinking for a week, looking at iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi in different modes and, so to speak, counting cash, I came to the conclusion that this camera may well take place in my suitcase next summer.

I will explain why. Earlier, I came across several “extreme girls” of a cylindrical shape - and it was precisely this very shape that they did not suit me with. Because such devices are difficult to fix in the hand so that the image in the photo and video is horizontal. Tilt your hand a little in the wrong direction - and that’s it, the video turns out to be, so to speak, inclined. In the case of iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi, everything is much simpler: a latch for fastenings is attached to the camera from below, for which you can hold the device in your hand like a gun. In this case, it’s quite convenient for me personally to control the position of the device. Here is what I mean by a gun:

Moreover, a metal eyelet for the cord is provided on the latch - with it, the camera can be tied to the hand, and in which case it will not slip out and will not fall to the bottom of the sea.

Such situations sometimes happen - and they do not always end well. The Kodak that I mentioned above is already my second. In the winter of 2011, having forgotten about the lace, I jumped into the Red Sea from a yacht (not mine, of course, this is such an excursion) at a depth of 5 meters, and the camera, having previously slipped out of my hand, sank smoothly onto the sand. Egyptian sightseeing yachts for these occasions contain specially trained Arabs who jump overboard to save travel equipment. So, after 10 minutes my Kodak got it - in a terrible state. It turned out that in that place at the bottom there was a certain flow, which carried the apparatus several meters to the side and thoroughly scraped it on sand and stones. I also got the lens cover, so upon arrival home I had to buy a new camera - I took it exactly the same,

And here it’s worth mentioning the second advantage of iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi. Firstly, the glass that covers the lens is very, very strong here - in this video they shoot him from pneumatics:

Secondly, the case of the iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi is metallic. And also very reliable: during testing on a radio-controlled machine (video will be lower) this mega-car turned over and the camera rubbed about five meters on asphalt - at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour and further below. Traces on the case, of course, remained, but not that very serious. Moreover, this situation did not affect the performance of the camera. I don’t know what the plastic box from GoPro would turn into in that case - I think I would have to buy a new one for 50-60 bucks.

Of course, I also discovered controversial issues in iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi. In particular, it lacks a screen - as in almost all extreme cameras (except, by the way, iON The Game). So to watch videos and photos you have to carry a smartphone or tablet with you to the coast - using the Wi-Fi PODZ module in the camera and a special program for an “external” device, you can get access to the content in two accounts. As for viewing directly under water (and for me personally it is important, because sometimes I just want to understand if the photo was successful), then the situation is twofold. In general, of course, the screen was definitely better than without it. But I have little idea how the display could be installed in a cylindrical chamber - well, except that if Motorola’s comrades went to work on iON, which in due time equipped with a small round screen "elitophone" AURA. It’s better to ask yourself why there is no display in GoPro, where the form of the case for its installation just has. Yes, you can buy a screen for GoPro, but it’sIt costs like half a camera .

Motorola AURA

Well, there’s a second point too. Here in the Kodak EasyShare C123 Sport there is a display, but under water, and even being in a mask, it is extremely difficult to consider anything on it. And I suspect that in the case of other "underwater" cameras, everything will be the same - the screens in the "digital dust boxes" are all terrible. So yes, there is no display in the iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi, on the one hand, it’s bad, on the other - and it couldn’t be otherwise.

And there is such a nuance. My friend, a big ski fan, says that the GoPro attached to the helmet feels very good on the head. Well, that is, you roll down the mountain, leaning to the left or the right, and on the head something as if shaking from side to side. (That is, in fact, she does not hang out, but there is still a sensation of a foreign object.) The reason is the camera body in the shape of a parallelepiped. I think there will be no such problems with the cylindrical iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi - if everything goes well, I’ll check for NG in the Carpathians.

iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi Cycling Helmet

Both buttons on the upper edge of the iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi casing - a switch for starting video recording and a snapshot button - seemed very convenient: they are made of rubber and are pressed very easily. For comparison: the buttons on the GoPro box that press the buttons on the camera body are very tight. Working with them is much more difficult.

Finally, I’ll give a couple of examples of the video. The first is shot in the pool - and with very mediocre lighting. In my opinion, a very good result. There is no special “soap”, the distortion is minimal, and the image clarity is quite enough for the subsequent examination of the underwater flora and fauna on a computer or TV. To connect to the latter, iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi has a miniHDMI port and an AV interface. They are located under the rear cover. In the same place, by the way, among other things you can find a hardware switch of video modes - HD / Full HD.

The second video was recorded from a radio-controlled car with a gasoline engine (more about it here: ), driving at speeds up to 60 km / h and shaking like crazy:

A bunch of other videos from this and other iON models can be found on the brand’s official channel here. I

’ll summarize. For me, iON Air Pro 2 Wi-Fi is one of the main contenders for the purchase and replacement of the Kodak EasyShare C123 Sport. The device left a good impression - this applies to the configuration, and the quality of manufacture, and the quality of shooting, and packaging. In general, such a box - with a stand and a metal box for accessories - leads to thoughts on the premium product, without any discounts.

The price, of course, is a bit high, I would like to keep within 9 thousand, not 11. So, maybe, in the end, I’ll take a closer look at iON Air Pro Wi-Fi. The quality of the video and photo there is even lower, but not by much, the autonomy is the same (up to 2+ hours), and the delivery set is even wider. And now I can say with confidence that for all their promotion and popularity, I won’t take it for sure: I live in a small provincial town, where it’s not easy to get GoPro itself. And branded accessories for her - and even more so. (Imagine I know about the existence of online stores, but if it comes to new purchases, then I love to make them in real life.)

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