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OCLU Review: Action & Sports Camera

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OCLU just launched their action camera with sports and water activities in mind. With multiple attachments available, the OCLU action camera can be equipped to travel anywhere to capture pictures and videos of your most memorable moments.

Today, we’ll review the OCLU action camera to provide all the details on this brand new release.

DURABLE, LIVE-ACTION SPORTS CAMERA

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OCLU Action Camera

The OCLU is an action camera designed with ease of use in mind. It has a sleek aerodynamic design and a build quality that looks as great as it feels and performs. The ability to easily cut, edit, delete, and save footage while you’re filming via the OCLU itself or with the app makes it incredibly easy to capture and share the best moments. OCLU has tons of accessories, easy charging and data transfer, and a fantastic pairing app. It can take pictures, videos, timelapse and more, all in 4K / 30 FPS or in 1080 at 120 FPS.Check Price

Pros

  • Very fair price point with respect to the build quality, usability, and features
  • Incredibly easy and intuitive to use
  • Strong battery life (ran 1 hour and 11 minutes in our 4K video test)
  • Tons of mounting accessories

Cons

  • Can’t film 60 FPS at 4K
  • Only rated IPX7, which means it can resist water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes

Prefer to watch instead of reading? See our OCLU review video below:

OCLU Design & Hardware

The OCLU camera has a rounded shape, designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce wind resistance. It’s ultra-compact and easily fits in the palm of a hand.

OCLU sports camera in hand

Build Quality

The OCLU action camera is well made and rugged to provide durability in even the most extreme sports activities.

OCLU Action Sports camera

Here is a complete breakdown of the OCLU:

  • Top: Full color display screen, action button (on/off/select), microphone, status/record indicator light
  • Bottom: 1/4″ threaded screw to place mounts securely
  • Front: Lens, status screen, microphones, recording light indicator
  • Back: MicroSD slot, Battery, OcSnap cable (charging and data transfer)
  • Left side: Top select button (menu/playback), bottom select button (press and hold mode confirmation)
  • Right side: Display state toggle button (Wi-Fi enable), speaker
OCLU Action Camera size & dimensions
Side view of the OCLU
Two rubberized buttons, along with the bottom on top, control the camera functions

Lens

The OCLU is a 4K action camera that offers full speed as well as slow-mo action videos with stabilization. Full speed video is shot at 30 FPS (frames per second) and slow-motion at 1080P and 60 / 120 FPS.

To clarify, the camera can only stabilize shots at 1080 at 30 and 60 FPS.

OCLU lens & front digital screen

Super wide shots can also be recorded at 2.7K resolution with a 4:3/16:9 aspect ratio.

Resolutions lower than 4K also have lens correction, which can be applied to make sure shots are straight and helps to remove the fish eye affect.

The front of the camera also provides a basic digital display for the recording mode, resolution, FPS, and more.

Screen

The screen is a comparable size to other action cameras. The screen is located on the top of the camera rather than the back.

OCLU camera front screen view

This placement also makes it easier to:

  • Turn on / off
  • Make screen selections (menu, switch modes)
  • Review recordings / pictures taken

The screen dimensions are:

  • Width:  1.25”
  • Length:  1.0”

Features

Here are the features included in the OCLU sports camera:

  • Resolution: up to 4K in camera and video at 30FPS and 1080p at 30 (real time) and 60 / 120 FPS in slow-mo
  • Memory: up to 128GB max capacity (memory card not included)
  • Burst Mode: Yes, can take up to 10 pictures per second
  • Wi-fi: Enabled via the app
  • Image Stabilization: Yes, in 1080 up to 30/60 FPS
  • GPS: Enabled via the app with the phone’s location turned on

What’s in the Box?

The OCLU action camera comes with everything (minus a memory card) that is needed to get started shooting sports and other activities.

OCLU camera unboxed
Everything that comes in the box

What’s included with the camera:

  • OCLU camera
  • Battery
  • Travel case
  • Microfiber bag
  • OcSnap cable (for charging and data transfer)
  • OcLink (which is used to mount on all accessories)

NOTE – To keep the connections moving freely and the suction from drying out, be sure to clean in fresh water after each saltwater use.

Battery

We tested the rechargeable battery to see how long it would last in different modes.

Here is what we found:

  • 4K video mode: 1 hour and 11 minutes
  • 1080 video mode: 1 hour and 14 minutes

It takes about 90 minutes to re-charge the battery after it has been fully depleted (using USB power).

OCLU charging connection
OCLU charging connection (photos taken after our durability / in-the-field tests, so a few extra scratches)

It was able to charge to 50% in about 20 minutes, but the remaining 50% takes considerably longer.

OCLU charging charging & data cable
OCLU charging charging & data cable

Travel Case

The travel case is hard backed and has a zipper running along the perimeter.

Inside the OCLU travel case
Inside the OCLU travel case

Inside you have space for the camera in the base and a mesh lined pouch along one side.

OCLU hard travel case
Exterior of OCLU hard travel case

On the pouch side you can store the OcLink and the OcSnap cable.

OCLU OcLink universal adapter for threaded 1/4" connections
OCLU OcLink universal adapter for threaded 1/4″ connections
OCLU micro fiber accessory bag
OCLU micro fiber accessory bag

Accessories

In addition to the OCLU camera itself, we also got a bunch of additional accessories. We mounted the camera to each of these and took it out for a test drive / hike / swim and more.

OCLU mounting accessories
OCLU mounting accessories we tested

OcDock Mount

The OcDock mount is ideal for use in time-lapse and motion recording modes.

Screw the OCLU into the OcDock mount and then swivel the camera until it’s in the right position to get the shot or video. It’s held in place by a small magnet at the base.

OCLU OcDock accessory
OCLU OcDock accessory

The OcDock mount is intended for less intense environments. It can easily be moved, removed, or adjusted, which makes it great for shooting when it’s on a stable base.

We used it mostly for time lapse shots both inside and outside.

OcFix Mount

The OcFix mount allows the OCLU to be used as an in-car dash camera and is a great choice when boating or canoeing to get live-action shots and videos.

OCLU OcFix suction cup mount
OCLU OcFix – suction cup mount for cars, boats, canoes, and more

The OcFix mount comes with:

  • Suction base
  • Angle connect
  • Right angle connect
  • Three thumbscrews
  • Travel bag

The angle and right-angle connections allow the action camera to be used in any direction once suctioned to a secure location. Use the angle connection for front to back movement and the right-angle for side to side movement.

OCLU suction cup mounted to car exterior
You can even mount the OCLU directly on the hood of a car

It easily mounted to the windshield / exterior of our car, but we could not get it to mount to the dashboard itself (which is a textured hard plastic type of material).

OCLU mounted inside car
OCLU mounted inside car

Most hard and smooth plastic, metal, glass, or composite surfaces should work though.

OcView Mount

Use the OcView mount as a selfie stick by extending the mount fully to capture you, the landscape, and anything else in the background.

OCLU OcView selfie stick
OCLU OCView – a well-built adjustable selfie stick

The OcView mount extends up to 120mm (4.72 inches) and includes a lanyard to keep your hands free while getting into the perfect position for an epic picture.

Taking a selfie with the OCLU selfie stick mount
Taking a selfie with the OCLU selfie stick mount

When OcView mount is fully extended it can reach a length of about 19″. It’s great for taking photos or videos of yourself, your friends, or great shot behind you.

OcGrip Mount

The OcGrip mount also comes with a lanyard and is a great option for water and other high-impact sports.

OCLU OcGrip - durable floating stick mount
OCLU OcGrip – durable floating stick mount

The grip is bright green to keep it in sight at all times. It also floats so if the OCLU camera accidentally gets dropped it doesn’t sink to the bottom.

Making sure the OCLU Grip mount floats (it does)
Making sure the OCLU Grip mount floats (it does)

It feels more rugged and durable than that OcView selfie stick. It’s a good choice when you need something that’s more durable and/or floats.

OCLU Shell & Grip mount together
OCLU Shell & Grip mount together

OcBond Mount

Attach the OcBond mount to any helmet to get the best in action shots and videos from your point of view.

OCLU OcBond - mount for helmets
OCLU OcBond – mount for helmets

The mount comes with adhesive pad that sticks to your helmet. Once mounted, you just use the standard thumbscrew mount to attach OCLU. The mount also pivots to get the best angle.

OCLU Bond mounted to bike helmet
OCLU Bond mounted to bike helmet

According to OCLU, there are two important steps to take to ensure the OCLU camera doesn’t come off while in use:

  • Clean the surface of the helmet before attaching 
  • Allow at least 24 hours of bonding time before use

OcBar Mount

As the name suggests, use this mount to attach the OCLU sports camera to a set of ski poles or bike handlebars to get those up close and personal shots.

OCLU OcBar - mount for bikes and other stuff with bar-like surfaces
OCLU OcBar – mount for bikes and other stuff with bar-like surfaces

This mount also includes:

  • Right angle connect
  • Two thumbscrews
  • Set bar reduction inserts
  • Travel bag
OCLU bar mounted to the front of my bike
OCLU bar mounted to the front of my bike

The OcBar mount will fit bars from 10mm (0.39 inches) to 35mm (1.38 inches).

OcShell Mount

For underwater activities such as diving or just to protect the camera during high-impact sports, the OcShell mount is the best choice.

OCLU OcShell - water proof mount for underwater shooting
OCLU OcShell – water proof mount for underwater shooting

The OcShell includes a water-repellant glass coating on the front lens to maximize picture quality. It also includes a travel bag to keep it clean and dry when not in use.

Testing the OCLU Grip & Shell together for an underwater shot
Testing the OCLU Grip & Shell together for an underwater shot

When using the OCLU sports camera in the OcShell mount, the camera can be used in depths up to 50m (164 feet).

Our Tests in the Field

NOTE – we are still going thru our video footage from our tests now. We’re compiling it into a video that should be available in the next week or so. We’ll make an update when it’s ready.

To test the OCLU camera and accessories we took it for an extended series of tests around our studio, biking, on the car, hiking, and swimming. Many of these tests took place in Fossil Creek, Arizona, one of the most pristine and beautiful locations in the entire state.

Here’s what we discovered in our tests:

OcDock – The Magnetic Mount

We used this mostly for time lapse setups. It was easy to setup and easy to use. The magnet in the base keeps it secured to the base, but it’s still easy to move from side to side.

Because it’s only magnetically held on it’s really not well suited to intense action or moving shots.

OcFix – The Suction Cup Mount

We used the OcFix both on the inside and outside of our car, both on rough primitive roads and highway driving. Sticking the suction cup on the exterior of the car is easy, as you have a ton of flat metal surfaces to use.

However, you do want to make sure you clean that surface. We stuck it to a dirty exterior surface and as a result it nearly fell off the car while we were driving.

We found it more difficult to find suitable surfaces inside the car itself. Most dashboards we tried just didn’t have enough room or the surface was too textured. As a result, we had to stick it on the windshield.

Due to the design of the mount if you stick it on the windshield you’ll end up with footage that’s upside down. That’s not a huge deal, as you can easily flip it in post production. However, it would be nice to have a “flip video” option within the app itself.

9/18/19 Update – OCLU informed me that this option actually does exist in the settings.

OcView – The Selfie Stick

We used the selfie stick extensively while hiking on the Fossil Creek trails. It was lightweight, easy to grip, and worked well for both selfie shooting and shooting straight ahead.

Fully extended you have about 19″ of reach, which we found sufficient.

OcGrip – The Floating Stick

We used the OcGrip while swimming at the Fossil Creek waterfall and also around our pool at home. The stick is bright green and definitely floats.

It’s more durable feeling than the selfie stick. We threw the stick (with the camera attached) 15 feet in and out of the water to each other with no issues. OCLU always stayed firmly attached and undamaged.

OcBond – The Helmet Mount

We used the bond by mounting it to a bike helmet. It easily and quickly affixed to the helmet. We were a little worried because only 70% of the sticky surface was in contact with the helmet itself (as it has holes for ventilation along the top).

Nevertheless, this didn’t seem to be an issue. The bond still seemed fully affixed and worked fine as we captured footage around our neighborhood and local parks.

OcBar – The Bike & Bar Mount

We used the OcBar to mount to the front of a bike, but you could mount it to anything with a relatively thin bar.

The hardest part of using the bar mount was simply finding a suitable bar.

Many of the bars on our bike were too thick. Of the bars that were thin enough many were too close to the wheels and / or had a bad view.

We ended up mounting to the front of the bike.

Once mounted it was easy to take the camera on and off. As with the helmet mount, we tested the bar mount around our neighborhood and at a local park.

OcShell – The Underwater Mount

Lastly, but not least, we have the OcShell for taking photos and videos underwater. This shell is incredibly well built and designed.

It was easy to pop the camera in and still control all of the functions on the camera. The shell had no issues fogging up and video quality was still great underwater.

With an underwater mount all I really want is clear footage and no water getting on the camera. It definitely does both of those things well.

Usability

The OCLU sports camera is incredibly easy to use. The screen is large enough that everything can be seen, with shooting mode indicators in the front.

Setup is straight forward:

  1. Power the camera on by holding down the Action button on the top of the camera.
  2. Select the preferred language by clicking the Next button, then Select once the preferred language is highlighted.
  3. Set the date and time in one of two ways:
    • Manually: Select Date/Time, use the + to set the field and Next to move to the next field. Once completed, press Save to go back to the main menu.
    • Using the app: Select Set Automatically, then Sync When Connected. The camera will automatically sync to the date and time from your phone.
  4. Press the Bottom Select Button to toggle between one of four custom modes (set using the app, which is easiest, or using the camera itself).
  5. Press the Action button in either photo or video mode to take a picture or start/stop a video recording.

All accessories mount using a standard 1/4″ threaded screw mount.

OCLU camera standard 1/4" threaded screw mount
OCLU camera standard 1/4″ threaded screw mount

This is a standard mount that most tripods use, as well as a virtually limitless number of other camera and video accessories you can buy.

Modes

The OCLU is a photo and video camera in one. It has different modes that can be used for virtually all sporting and outdoor activities, and to capture life’s most memorable moments.

Live preview in the OCLU app
Live preview in the OCLU app

There are 8 different shooting styles to choose from:

  • Burst
  • Photo
  • Time-lapse
  • Video
  • Loop Record
  • LiveCut®
  • Motion Detect
  • Multi Photo

You can set up to four custom modes out of these eight shooting styles with quick access once configured. Each mode can be customized with different settings.

Customizing settings and shooting modes within the OCLU app
Customizing settings and shooting modes within the OCLU app

Download photos and videos directly through the app or attach the OcSnap cable to send to a computer. The memory card can also be removed to download images.

Photo

The OCLU can be used as just a standard camera to take pictures. All photo modes use the OCLU’s 12 megapixel camera. In addition, you can also grab screenshots from videos that would serve as a still image.

OCLU still photograph
Still photograph on the road to Fossil Creek, Arizona

If you prefer to get a super-wide shot, the resolution choices are 2.7K or 1080p FHD (Full High Definition).

OCLU camera still photograph
Still photograph shot at 4K (cropping and minor editing in Photoshop). Photograph is the water at Fossil Creek, Arizona.

Burst

Use burst mode to ensure just the right photo is captured.

Set this mode and when the Action button is pressed, the camera will automatically take 3-10 photos per second (depending on your settings).

Review the photos to find the perfect one or keep them all to get the perfect frame by frame action shots.

Time-Lapse

Time-lapse mode is great when you want to capture a series of photos over a longer period of time.

With time lapse you choose to take 1 photograph at varying intervals (1 seconds, 2 seconds, 5 seconds, 10, 20, 30, 60). Once you stop shooting the OCLU will automatically convert the individual shots into a video file.

OCLU timelapse settings
OCLU timelapse settings

Time-lapse is great for watching the clouds move, sun set, people moving about the city, and tons of other moments that more slowly unfold.

Video

Choose whether to take a real-time video at 30FPS for superior quality or in slow-motion at 120FPS to catch the perfect details.

Below is the full list of video resolutions available:

  • 4K UHD 16:9
  • 2.7K 16:9
  • 2.7K 16:9 wide view
  • 2.7K 4:3
  • 2.5K 16:0
  • 1080 FHD 16:9
  • 1080 FHD wide view
  • 720 HD 16:9
  • 720 HD 16:9 wide view

Your resolution determines the FPS available. But as a general rule, lower resolutions can shoot at the higher FPS (up to 120) and higher resolutions will shoot at 24-30.

The OCLU action camera also includes a video stabilization option for 1080 at 30 and 60 FPS.

Loop Record

This feature allows the user to set it and forget it. When using the loop record, the camera will automatically record the newest video directly over the last using a preset amount of time.

Why use this feature? To conserve memory card space and save time.

Imagine waiting for that perfect moment to record, but not knowing when it will actually happen. Keep the OCLU sports camera focused on the action and it will continue to overwrite the footage until you stop recording. 

In addition, loop record is great if you’re using the OCLU as a dash or security camera.

LiveCut®

One of the features that sets the OCLU action camera apart is its LiveCut® feature.

This pre-editing software allows you to delete footage as it’s happening so it doesn’t take up valuable storage space. Plus, it allows for on-demand sharing.

OCLU action camera live cut
Once you’ve started recording simply hit the top left bottom while on LiveCut® to cut the clip and keep shooting

Simply press the Top button to highlight CUT, which will automatically delete the current recording and start recording again. Or, press and hold CUT and the recorded clip will automatically be deleted.

Motion Detect

Game hunters and others who want to capture something only if it happens will appreciate this feature. 

Set the camera up to motion detect and it won’t start recording until something moves. You can preset a length of time for the camera to record once it starts.

Motion detect is also a good option if you’re using the OCLU as a security camera.

Multi Photo

Multiple photo mode is basically the same as time lapse mode, except OCLU does not convert the photographs into a video.

The photos will be left as standalone photo files.

This is a good option if you need a large photo set, but don’t want it converted into a video.

App

Download the OCLU App to:

  • Customize modes
  • Use the phone’s GPS to capture location, altitude, distance, speed, and route
  • Download clips, review and trim as needed so videos can be shared ASAP

While you can use the camera without the app, the usability, customization, and features gained with the app are incredibly valuable. In our opinion, all users should download the app to pre-set modes and settings before heading out to shoot.

OCLU app setup
First step to setup the OCLU on your phone

If you don’t want to deal with an app you can control the settings and modes using just the camera itself. However, we do think the app makes it easier and faster.

Once you’re on location you can then quickly swap between the 4 pre-set modes and not have to worry about using your phone any more.

OCLU app options screen
Home screen on the app

RELATED – Want to check out some of the best Smart Home devices we’ve reviewed? Find them here. 

Should You Buy the OCLU action sports camera?

The OCLU camera is packed with features that make it a great camera for sports and outdoor activities.

But is it the right action camera for you? I would recommend the OCLU camera if you:

  • Want a great all-in-one camera: The OCLU is lightweight, has a low profile, and comes with quite a few mounts for multiple uses. Shoot still photos and videos in 1 of 8 different modes to get the perfect shots and capture memories. Use the app to download and free up space quickly to keep the camera rolling.
  • Like editing on the go: The LiveCut® technology allows for on-demand editing of videos so you don’t have to wait until you get to the computer. Simply CUT the unwanted footage to save hours of editing time later.
  • Want an amazingly well designed product: We have been really impressed with the overall level of design and build quality that went into this product. From the unboxing, to setup, to actually using in the field, the OCLU and its accessories feel like they were developed out a true labor of love. The product looks fantastic and performs just as well.

For more information on the OCLU visit OCLU.com here.

Updates

  • September 18, 2019 – Updated the page to correct a few errors, as well as clarified various features, modes, settings, specs, and more. OCLU brought these errors and other issues to our attention. We agreed to make these changes as most were fact-based and did not require us to change our opinions or free expression on those issues. Some changes they requested we felt intruded too close to our opinion and therefore we declined to make those changes. In addition, OCLU also asked us to remove one screenshot we initially had included, as some of the information within the screenshot will likely be changing soon (we agreed to remove the image). Lastly, OCLU asked us to appropriately note their registered trademark for LiveCut®, which we agreed to add.
  • September 17, 2019 – Initial version of the page was published.
Great Design & Great Value
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    Design - 100%
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    Performance - 95%
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    Quality - 97%
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    Usability - 98%
  • 95%
    Value - 95%
97%

Summary

The OCLU is an action camera designed for high-intensity sports, adventures, and capturing footage other cameras can’t. With a 12 MP lens it’s able to capture 4K footage at 30 FPS and 1080 at up to 120 FPS. It offers a range of resolutions and shooting modes depending on your needs. Like other action cameras there are a slew of mounts available. We tested several in our review and found most to be easy to use and well designed. Overall, we love the design of the OCLU, found it easy to use in our tests, and captured great footage and photographs.

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