Unlike many action cameras with their boxy silhouettes, the Ion Air Pro comes in a bullet-shaped aluminium-clad package.
When you hold this action camera, you will feel as though you are picking up a high-calibre bullet ready to shoot.
The Air Pro lacks a built-in display, but has the most convenient interface. On top, a slider switch toggles between Record and Stop. In front of the slider is a Photo/Power button.
To start video recording, simply slide to Record and slide back to Stop to end. You do not even need to power it up.
To take a picture, power up the camera by holding down the Photo/Power button. Then, press it again to take a picture.
It would have been even better if it were possible to take a still picture while recording a video. Unfortunately, recording disables the still-photo function.
This is, however, the only action camera of the lot here that needs no waterproof casing. It is waterproof to a depth of 10m. So, no more encasing the camera and having to make sure there are no leaks. You do still need to make sure the rear cap is securely fastened, though.
In this package, it comes with the Wi-Fi Podz rear cap that not only covers the camera's microSD slot, micro-USB port, mini-HDMI and microphone jack, but it also adds wireless connection. This allows wireless transfer of videos to your smartphone via the Ion Camera app (available on both Android and iOS).
The bundled accessories are quite comprehensive. They include a mini-tripod, bicycle mount, helmet mount, two adhesive mounts, two adjustable straps and two ball joints.
The Air Pro uses the CamLock mount lock system, which is a clip that lets you attach and move the camera easily to any of the included mounts. But I did find the ball joints moving around in the swift currents at Wave House Sentosa.
The 1,080p videos shot with this camera were not as sharp as those from the Sony or GoPro. But they were good enough for most purposes, including uploading to the Web.
Night-time videos were quite grainy, however. The auto exposure and white balance tended to be erratic at times. Underexposure and dull colours could be a problem.
The videos also suffered from way too much ambient and wind audio, which might be an irritant to some users.
For those who crave ease of use above all, the Ion Air Pro Wi-Fi HD is the action camera to get.
Image sensor: 5-megapixel CMOS
Lens: 170-degree ultra wide-angle
Waterproof: Down to depths of 10m
Connectivity: Wi-Fi (with included attachment), mini-HDMI
Weight: 130g (body only)
This article was first published on May 21, 2014.
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