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GitUp Git1 WiFi Action Camera

posted Sep 19, 2016, 4:08 PM by Jason Gibson
Originally posted December 9, 2015

The GitUp Git1 is a solid action camera with WiFi, a high quality Sony image sensor that delivers sharp daytime videos and pretty good night video.  It has an available wristwatch remote control, and FPV and external microphone support via the mini-USB port.  It can use all GoPro mounting accessories, even cases (gopro 3 and up), so your options for mounting are just about unlimited. The included mounts and cases work with official and generic GoPro mounts as well.


GitUp provided me with a review unit of the Git1 Pro pack along with a couple extra accessories.





The video review covers some of the highlights and has video samples, but for the full details, read the full article below.





GitUp Git1 SPECS

  • Novatek 96655 CPU
  • Sony IMX322 image sensor
  • 950 mAh battery - about 90 minutes of recording time (wifi off) from a full charge
  • Able to format and use 64gb microSD cards directly in the camera, even if they aren't formatted as FAT32 beforehand

Weights (approx)

  • Camera, no battery: 46g/1.6oz
  • Camera with battery: 64g/2.25oz
  • Camera in waterproof case w/ flat mount & screw: 150g/5.25oz
  • Waterproof case, flat mount & screw: 87g/3oz
  • Waterproof case, no mount: 67g/2.35oz
  • Battery: 16g/0.6oz

Video menu options

(with October 2015 firmware)

  • 1080p@30fps (16.6Mbps)
  • 960p@30fps
  • 720p@60fps
  • 720p@30fps
  • WVGA@60fps
  • Loop recording for use as dashcam
  • time/date stamp on/off
  • time lapse: 1, 5, or 10 fps
  • self timer: 5, 10, 20, 30 or 60 seconds
  • FOV adjustable in menu settings - wide or narrow angle view (useful for FPV or just if you don't need/want wide angle)
  • Wide Dynamic Range for better colors and contrast
  • Exposure and white balance both manually adjustable, or auto white balance
  • Configurable Multifunction button: off, exposure lock, white balance lock, EV+WB lock, Mute Audio
  • Motion detection
  • G-sensor (mostly for dashcam, not very useful for most action camera uses)


Photo Mode menu options


  • 12, 8, 5, 3 megapixels  (note that the sensor is only capable of 2 megapixels so all of these resolutions are interpolated)
  • time/date stamp on/off
  • Time lapse: off, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds
  • Exposure and white balance both manually adjustable, or auto white balance
  • Color: Normal, Black & white, Sepia


System Menu options


  • Set time/date
  • Language: English, French, Spanish, Portugese, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese (simple, traditional), Polish, Czech
  • Image rotation on/off (180 degree rotation)
  • Beep on/off
  • On Screen Display Info on/off
  • Screen Auto Sleep: 1, 3, 5 minutes, off
  • Auto power off: 10 sec, 1, 3, 5, 10, 30, 60 minutes, off
  • Car Mode Auto-Start (for dashcam or FPV use) on/off
  • Frequency 50/60hz
  • TV Mode: PAL/NTSC
  • RF Pairing (for wristwatch remote control)
  • Format SD card
  • Default settings
  • Version (GIT1_V1.20_20151013)


My Evaluation unit came with the following accessories

Outside the main Git1 box


  • FPV (First-Person Video) Cable for racing/flying RC vehicles (plugs directly into Boscam VTX)
  • Additional battery in anti-static bag
  • Short monopod/selfie-stick with gopro-type tripod adapter and wrist strap
  • Open non-waterproof mount bracket (GitUp has since released a newer and better open mount)


Inside the Git1 Pro box (which is REALLY hard to get out of the sleeve!  super-tight fit!)


  • Camera & battery in waterproof case, on flat mount clip
  • Note card about GitUp Android and iOS apps coming soon
  • Lens cap
  • Wristband controller
  • External lapel type clip-on mic with braided cable and foam wind cap
  • USB data/charge cable (cable only - you must supply charger)
  • Quick start guide
  • Handlebar mount
  • 2 Adhesive mount plates (one flat, one curved)
  • 2 Thumbscrews (one short one long)
  • 1/4" Female threaded tripod adapter (in addition to the one included w/ the selfie stick)
  • 2 90-degree mount brackets - one short, one long

Media Info (1080p30 video)

General

Complete name                            : 2015_1004_150311_002.MOV

Format                                   : MPEG-4

Format profile                           : QuickTime

Codec ID                                 : qt  

File size                                : 605 MiB

Duration                                 : 4mn 35s

Overall bit rate                         : 18.4 Mbps

Encoded date                             : UTC 2015-10-04 15:07:46

Tagged date                              : UTC 2015-10-04 15:07:46


Video

ID                                       : 1

Format                                   : AVC

Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec

Format profile                           : High@L4.1

Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes

Format settings, ReFrames                : 1 frame

Format settings, GOP                     : M=1, N=15

Codec ID                                 : avc1

Codec ID/Info                            : Advanced Video Coding

Duration                                 : 4mn 35s

Bit rate                                 : 16.6 Mbps

Width                                    : 1 920 pixels

Height                                   : 1 080 pixels

Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9

Frame rate mode                          : Constant

Frame rate                               : 30.000 fps

Color space                              : YUV

Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0

Bit depth                                : 8 bits

Scan type                                : Progressive

Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.267

Stream size                              : 544 MiB (90%)

Language                                 : English

Encoded date                             : UTC 2015-10-04 15:07:46

Tagged date                              : UTC 2015-10-04 15:07:46


Audio                                                                           

ID                                       : 2                                    

Format                                   : PCM                                  

Format settings, Endianness              : Little                               

Format settings, Sign                    : Signed                               

Codec ID                                 : sowt                                 

Duration                                 : 4mn 35s                              

Bit rate mode                            : Constant                             

Bit rate                                 : 512 Kbps                             

Channel(s)                               : 1 channel                            

Sampling rate                            : 32.0 KHz                             

Bit depth                                : 16 bits                              

Stream size                              : 16.8 MiB (3%)                        

Language                                 : English                              

Encoded date                             : UTC 2015-10-04 15:07:46              

Tagged date                              : UTC 2015-10-04 15:07:46              

mdhd_Duration                            : 275233       



Since YouTube compresses video, you need the raw files from the camera to see the true quality. Download those files here:

http://gibson99.com/download/RawVideo/Git1/


The Review!

Now that all that stuff is out of the way, on to the actual review!  A new company calling itself GitUp has released a line of budget action cameras to compete with GoPro, SJcam, Xiaomi and other action cameras.  Their first offering, the Git1, seems to be a pretty solid entrance into what's quickly becoming a crowded market.  While some of the budget cameras are using cheap image sensors, GitUp thankfully did NOT join the race to the bottom.  They installed a good quality Sony Exmor sensor with glass lenses to give you good image quality, which is obviously the most important function of a camera.  They also included wifi in this camera, which is handy for aiming and framing the picture, as well as remotely controlling start/stop with a smartphone or tablet for when the camera is mounted out of your reach.  A wireless wristband remote is also available, so you can still remotely start and stop the camera even if you don't have a smartphone, or in cases where using WiFi would cause problems, such as when the camera's mounted on a RC vehicle using a 2.4GHz controller (hint: WiFi also uses 2.4GHz).  The wristband remote is only waterproof to 2 meters (about 6 feet), so you can't take it scuba diving, but it should be fine for snorkeling or a swimming pool.  GitUp says it's ideal for surfing, such as when the camera's mounted to your board.


The camera is pretty easy to take apart if you ever need to.  I noticed that it has an RTC battery inside (part of the main circuit board, non-removable).  This is basically a small watch battery.  Having an RTC battery means it won't lose the time/date and other settings when you swap out the main battery, or when the main battery simply runs out of juice.  The last action camera I reviewed (Discovery DS200) didn't have an RTC battery, so every time the battery ran out or I removed the battery, it lost all settings, which was REALLY annoying.  This camera won't have that problem.  I've verified it by removing the battery for several days, and the time/date were still correct when I powered it back up.  The lens is only secured with one dab of glue, so if you ever wanted to change lenses or refocus, it shouldn't be too hard.  In terms of build quality, it's good that all 3 buttons are mounted flat on their boards rather than on the edge.  This will make them more durable and less likely to break off from people pressing too hard.  They also paid attention to small details such as angling the front LEDs to match the openings on the front case, and including foam around the LEDs to prevent light leaks.  They didn't have to do that, but they did.  It shows that they aren't cutting every last corner they can find, and instead, they're focusing on making a polished, refined product.










The wifi chipset used is the Realtek 8189ES, which is a B/G/N single stream chip capable of 54MB/sec in G and 150MB/sec in N mode. So the wifi chip should not be the bottleneck if there are any data transfer speed issues. 


OK, now for the wireless wristband remote. It's a one-way communication device, similar to a garage door opener. However, the camera has to already be turned on before the remote will work. Then once you press a button, you see the red light flicker for a second or two as it sends the command, and then you just hope you can hear the camera beep to start whatever command you sent, or that you can see the camera's LEDs. 


The remote is also easy to take apart.  Its face is all rubber, and the body is hard plastic with rubberized coating. strap looks and feels similar to the straps used to adjust my backpack - not as tightly woven as a seatbelt, and slightly thicker. It's not itchy when when it's hot outside and I'm sweating, and does not catch/pull the hairs on my wrist. The looser weaving allows air to circulate, which is good for an action camera accessory!






I really like the waterproof case's latch system.  It's much easier to use than the top-mounted flip-latch style that gopro and most others use.  I've bent my fingernail (OUCH) trying to open the flip style latches because some of them are so tight.  The Git1 has the lock on the side.  It's a simple knob with an easy-to-squeeze lock at the top.  Turn it 90 degrees to open or close the case.  The camera fits snug inside and does not rattle during use, but it's loose enough that when you open the case and tip it over, the camera falls easily into your hand.  The buttons are easy to press through the case, and because there are only 3 buttons on the camera, you can access all functions while it's in the waterproof case. The screen is easy to read through the case as well.  Having the lock on the side also makes it so the waterproof case isn't as tall as others, so it could give you more flexibility when mounting it.


When you start recording you have 3 LEDs flashing to let you know - one on top next to the shutter button, one on the back, and one on the front.  The front one is visible in direct sunlight, but the top and rear ones tend to wash out in the sun, so you have to shade them with your hand to see if they're flashing.  I wish they would flash faster so I could simply glance at them real quick to check if it's still recording, but this is pretty minor - lots of cameras, GoPro included, have slow flashing indicators.  The LEDs also blink red while charging, just like when it's recording. When it's done charging, the front LED turns solid green and the rest turn off.


So far my only real complaint is that the built-in microphone is overly sensitive to bass and low sounds, especially when it's NOT in the waterproof case.  I went autocrossing and had the camera in the open frame on my helmet and on the inside of the windshield of the car I drove (Mazdazpeed Miata with a fairly quiet aftermarket exhaust - I didn't have to yell to be heard by my passenger).  Even at idle, the bass of the exhaust overdrove the microphone and made everything sound horrible.  I didn't have the waterproof case with me that day since there was no chance of rain, plus I didn't know the audio had been overdriven till I watched the videos at home.  My goal was to have good sound by using the open frame mount, since waterproof cases always cover up the mic and block most sound.  GitUp apparently tuned the mic to be really sensitive so it can actually hear something while inside the waterproof case.  I also read that GitUp is using a higher quality mic on their new model, the Git2, and that if things go well, they may start using that mic in the Git1 as well.


When testing the internal and external mics, it seems that the external is not as sensitive to bass, and the internal mic has a surprisingly good amount of wind resistance.  We went on a neighborhood bike ride to the duck pond on a windy day (20mph/32km/h), and the internal mic did OK as long as it wasn't in direct wind.  The external mic rejected a little more wind, but not much, even though it has a big foam wind cap.  Still, if you want better audio quality, it's best to use the external mic.  Having the option for the external mic is pretty neat as it gives you a lot more flexibility.  You could put the mic inside your helmet with the camera outside, so if you like to do moto-vlogging or like to talk through your motions on the track (perhaps as an instructional aid), this will let you.  The cable on the external mic is about 6ft/2m long so you could potentially have the camera mounted on the outside of a car and still have the mic on your body/helmet or somewhere inside the car.  The alligator clip itself would allow the mic to break away if you had to make an emergency escape from your car, so that's handy.


GitUp also offers an FPV cable for use with multi-copters, planes or other RC vehicles.  I haven't been able to test it yet since my quadcopter is still on its way here from China, but hopefully it will be a true live feed without any lag, so it could be used for actual FPV racing or piloting a craft beyond your line of sight. From what I've seen others do with their Git1, it seems the Git1 automatically powers on when you turn on your VTX when connected via FPV cable.  If you also have the auto-record option enabled in the Git1, it'll also start recording right away, just like a dashcam.  I haven't tested it with a VTX to see what kind of quality you get, or whether it lags while recording.  But since you can change the FOV (wide or narrow angle) in the menu rather than having to change out a lens and worry about getting it focused right, that right there might be worth the extra weight compared to a tiny board camera.  It all depends on how you use the camera.


Obviously you can't use the external mic or FPV cable while the camera is in the waterproof case.  I ordered a generic GoPro 3 case for about $10 on Amazon, and I plan to drill holes in the side for cables.  Notice I said that it was a case for a GoPro 3. That's not a typo.  This camera fits in GoPro3+ cases just fine and you can still operate the buttons. It should be useful when mounted to my helmet when I go riding on trails through the woods on my mountain bike, or when I gokart racing or autocrossing again.


The Sony image sensor in this camera provides very sharp video both day and night.  I mounted the camera on my dog's back and let him out in the back yard at night.  Even before the motion sensor light turns on, you can make out the trees along my back fence and a few other details.  Once the light does come on, video quality is great, even when facing directly into the light - it does not overdrive the sensor or wash out everything else.


The camera is light, even in the waterproof case.  I mounted it on my 6-year-old daughter's head and let her do her "American Ninja Warrior training" by climbing across the swingset.  She accidentally banged the camera against the swingset a few times because she forgot it was there, but no damage to the camera.


I also tried hanging the camera from my dog's collar, but that didn't work out so well - it bounced around too much as he ran around the yard.  They make actual dog mounts for action cameras, but I probably won't use it enough to justify even a cheap $12 mount.


Playing back the videos directly on the camera is a little odd but that's just because you only have 3 buttons to work with.  You tap the power button to change modes till you get to playback mode.  Tap the top shutter button to move to the next video, and press the gear/wifi/menu button to get to the play/delete/lock/slideshow menu.  Tap power to move between options, then press shutter to perform that action.  One other thing about video playback - there's no sound on the camera when playing videos.  Looks like the only noise the camera can make is beeps.  This is pretty minor though - I expect most folks will play them back on a smartphone via the wifi app, or on a computer.


Since the official GitUp mobile app isn't available yet, they send a helpful little card that says to use FinalCam (Google Play or Apple App Store).  FinalCam strangely asks for your GPS location, which I did not appreciate. Hopefully the GitUp app won't do that.  I found another app from the DCT forums called FN Cam by FusionNext. So you have options till GitUp releases their official app.  I won't review the other software here since they aren't provided or supported by GitUp.  I will say that I much prefer the FusionNext app over FinalCam.  FN Cam has more options, and feels more like a finished product (except for the yellow FN logo in the middle of the screen in viewfinder mode), whereas FinalCam has plenty of bugs. For example, when you look at files on the camera in FinalCam, in order to get back to live preview, you have to completely quit the app and re-open it.


In terms of support, GitUp is very active on the DashCamTalk forum.  During the time I've had my eval unit, they've released TWO firmware updates to address user requests.  Things like turning off the screen while charging a battery, for example.


So let's go over the pros and cons of the camera.

PROS


  • Same form factor as GoPro3 so accessories abound
  • Side lock mechanism on waterproof case is superior to top latches
  • Sony Exmor image sensor provides excellent video quality day and night
  • Built-in WiFi 
  • Optional wristband remote
  • Optional FPV cable
  • Optional External Microphone
  • RTC Battery to keep settings when main battery is removed or dead
  • 90 minutes recording time on a single charge (WiFi off)
  • Has dashcam (auto-record when power connected) mode
  • Excellent support via website and forums

CONS


  • Internal microphone is oversensitive to bass such as some car exhaust, or rumbling from bicycle tires
  • Official WiFi app not ready yet, suggested app is buggy and wants your GPS location
  • Doesn't come with a charger; only a USB cable
  • Slow flashing recording status LEDs
  • Top and rear LEDs wash out in the sun
  • Wifi isn't fast enough to watch recordings over wifi - must download files first then play locally. This is a limitation of the Novatek chipset, not just this camera.  Other Novatek cameras have the same issue.


Conclusion

In a market becoming crowded with budget action cameras, we're quickly learning that you really do get what you pay for, except maybe GoPro, where you're paying for a brand name.  There are some cameras claiming to have 4K resolution for only $50.  Surprise - it's not true 4k and even on an overcast day the video quality isn't very good.  The Git1 camera costs around $100US depending on which package you get, so it's not the cheapest one on the market.  It won't give you 4k or even 2k, but it will give you excellent quality 1080p in almost any lighting conditions at a cost MUCH lower than a GoPro.  The waterproof case claims to be good to 30 meters (I can only test it at 2 meters, and then only when the neighborhood pool opens again next summer), and the wristband remote is waterproof to 2 meters also.  You can hook up an external mic, and even use this camera as your main FPV camera on a multicopter or other RC vehicle.


Would I buy one?  YES!  The microphone is a little too sensitive to low frequency sounds when it's out of the case, but that's the tradeoff for being able to record some sound when it IS in the waterproof case.  That's not going to stop me from continuing to use this camera, and who knows - it may be fixed in a future firmware update!


Thanks again to GitUp for providing me with this review unit.  Be sure to visit their website at www.GitUp.com


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