Cyclist Bruno Gregory nearly died on camera when he and a friend were recording their trip through Berkeley Hills. The duo were the victims of a hit and run, but lucky for them the camera caught the driver’s license plate number. As a token of appreciation for his camera the Brazilian entrepreneur left it mounted on his bike but said he didn’t bother to turn it on because editing the videos would be a chore. It would even be a chore for him to watch his own videos unedited, and this is where the inspiration for Graava Camera kicked in.
Most of us who are serious about documenting and sharing important moments in our lives have a decent GoPro rig. But editing hours of footage just to make things interesting enough for others to watch can be a chore. Graava promises not just to record images, but also to take the hefty burden of editing off your shoulders.
The action camera uses an array of sensors like an accelerometer, microphone and GPS to detect various highlights in the footage. So, in theory, all you need to do is to choose how long you want the highlights to be and the editing app simply puts together all the best parts and matches it to a song of your choice,which can then be shared across almost every medium. But does it really work as advertised?
We weren’t too impressed with the 8-megapixel photo camera, which also doubled as a 1080p 30 fps video camera with three hours of continuous shooting capabilities. Though the launch is scheduled for February 2016, the specifications and the demos we saw online didn’t impress. So, the USP of the setup, and perhaps its saving grace, is the automated software editor.
If it can reliably pull out and piece together the best moments, it would be something totally unexpected from a $750,000 start-up. With the ability to easily share the highlights across social networks like Twitter and YouTube, the Graava could possibly generate acquisition interest.
Does this mean no more editing in 2016?
Graava is a camera that becomes part of the solution and not the problem after you’ve recorded your video. The sensors built into the camera will detect major visual changes like acceleration, audio cues and even moving objects to determine which moment is important. The demo we were treated to showed the software automatically editing what may have been eight hours of footage recorded from a camera mounted on a running motorcycle.
The software sorted everything into clips of the riders coming from over the hills and those of beautiful views, footage of riders giving each other a satisfied nod were also pasted into the highlight reel. The camera cleverly snipped off parts where the riders were stuck in traffic, wrestling with a busted tire or just endlessly following each other in formation.
However, there’s a difference between editing the footage of a couple of riders and that of your kids or perhaps wildlife. When you have fast-movingfootage how will the camera distinguish from perhaps thousands of scene shifts every 30 minutes? It’s reasonable to assume, based on the demo, that the editing software will only work with the type of footage that runs continuously and seldom varies enough to be noticed by the software. Perhaps there may be certain tweaks that may make editing easier, but it’s certainly not something that can be handled on the fly for every type of footage. How much time the camera and its software will save is anyone’s guess at this point.
Ease of Use
The camera seems to be pretty easy to use, plus the bundled wireless charger will make charging it very easy. There is also a non-sports mode,that allows for the camera to simply be used as aa home security camera or a baby monitor.
The Bottom Line
Though we are still sceptical about it, the proof of the pudding is in the eating; if the software really works it will attract a whole new generation of people who never wanted to buy a GoPro for obvious reasons. And the $249 price tag is pretty attractive, even if you don’t record a lot of video on a regular basis.
One of the biggest drawbacks is that there is no 4k mode, and you need to buy an SD card of your own. The setup can eventually end up costing you a good $400, butyou’ll get twice the battery life of the GoPro. At the end of the day the Graava will only sell if the editing software is as smart as advertised.