Action Camera in Review Firefly 6s 4k
What is the most important thing we carry when we travel? Well, if you ask me, it is the camera that we never forget to pack, whether it is a DSLR, a point & shoot camera, an action camera or a mobile phone camera. It is one of the most important elements of traveling and we love to capture those moments so that we can share it with our friends and family.
I travel on my motorcycle and for me, an action camera is very effective to capture my travel as it offers loads of features in a tiny package. GoPro is the best choice available for action cameras and I also recommend to at least own one for its versatility and after-sales support. However, very soon you will realize that one is not enough, and have more than one would be great as it would help you take all those POV (Point of View) or FOV (Field of View) shots without compromising any time while you are on the move. But the cheapest GoPro costs $200 and we all do not have that kind of money to spend on several GoPros. Hence, the option of Chinese cheap action cameras come into play and the market is flooded with them competing with big brands like GoPro and Sony. But, choosing the right one is like finding one needle in hundreds of haystacks and this is where I step in to help you to choose the right one.
Hawkeye Firefly 6S is an alleged 4k video recording WiFi camera that can capture 16 megapixels still images and videos in a wide variety of resolutions. It also can record time-lapse videos and pictures. The best thing is, it has a gyro video stabilization and 1600 mah battery and all this bundled with a sweet price of just $98 (approximately Rs. 7000/-). The size of the camera is identical to GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 4 cameras and hence, all the accessories come with it can also be used with GoPro and vice versa. Firefly 6S 4K is made by a CNFPV, an aerial photography and equipment manufacturer from Shenzhen in China.
I have been using the Firefly 6S for few weeks and in this post, I have tried to give you an honest review of the camera by digging deep into its specifications which will help you choose this as your first buy or your next action camera.
Firefly 6S is identical to the size of a GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 4; 59 x 21 x 41 mm, and it weighs 70 grams. Black, gold, and silver are the colors available that you can choose from. The on/off button and the tiny OLED screen is located in the front. This OLED screen serves a great feature as it allows you to see the settings/battery indicator/ and mode that the camera is currently on. The power on/off button is also used to switch between modes video and photo.
The recording on/off button is located on the top of the camera and the USB/HDMI port are on the right side of the camera.
Two navigation buttons on the left side; the up button used to navigate within the menu and also serves to activate WiFi, and the down button is used to enter into any option within the menu and also to navigate.
Firefly 6S 4K Technical Specifications:
What is Inside the Box?
Firefly 6S comes with a loads of accessories. Let’s take a look at all of them:
- 1x Firefly 6S camera
- 1x waterproof housing
- 1x 1600 mAh battery
- 1x clip
- 1x J shape mount
- 1x lens cap
- 1x bracket
- 1x usb cable
- 1x bike/pole mount
- 2x adhesive base (flat and curved)
- 2x 3m adhesive tape
- 1x wire
- 4x plastic tie
- 1x cleaning cloth
- 3x straps
- 1x manual
- 1x Tripod Mount
- 1x adapter
- 3x screws and adapter
Built Quality & Design:
The camera is made of plastic but of very high quality if you compare it with other Chinese brands like SJ 4000. It has a smooth matte finish feel which I found to be very appealing. However, the memory card slot and the USB/HDMI port does not have any covers and requires cleaning if you are using the camera without the waterproof housing.
The variety of resolutions that it provides for recording videos is what will attract you towards Firefly 6S. Let’s take a closer look at what it offers from under its hood.
- 4K @24fps *
- 5K (2560*1440) @30fps
- 1920*1080 @60/30 fps
- 1280*720 @120fps
- 640*480 @30fps
The quality of the video is exceptionally good even if you compare it with the premium brands like GoPro. Below I have provided a video clip recorded in 1080p@60 fps compared with GoPro Hero 3+.
Here, one thing I should bring to your knowledge that there is no LED indicator at the back or front of the camera making it difficult to know whether you have start/stopped the recording. The only way to know is to look into the OLED screen provided at the front.
*Does it really can record 4K videos?
The answer to the question is NO; Firefly 6S cannot record true 4K UHD videos as it claims. The so-called 4K videos that comes out of it has the resolution of 2880*2160, on the other hand, the actual 4K UHD resolution is 3840*2160. Vertically it is fine but horizontally it is 960 pixels short.
2.5k (2540 x 1440) @30fps is a true resolution as it claims and records sharp videos.
This is one of the best feature the camera has. Gyro is a built in feature that stabilizes the video when you are taking those shots holding the camera in your hand while walking and to my surprise it works great. Below I have presented a video showing the difference with Gyro on/off.
In terms of picture quality, sharpness and color Firefly 6S captures wonderful pictures with a resolution of 4608*3456 pixels which is slightly higher than 12 megapixels but certainly not 16 MP as it claims.
Time-lapse video: Firefly 6s has the ability to record video in time lapse mode at 0.5 / 1 / 3 / 5 /10 second intervals and Burst photo mode can capture 11 photos in 1 second.
Cycle recording: If cycle recording mode is selected, the video will be cut into 5-minute segments. The earliest will be covered when the memory card is full. This mode is suggested to be used for vehicle monitoring.
USB Power Up Auto-record: If this function is on, the camera will automatically start recording when connected to an external power source via USB. (This mode is suggested to be used during travel or aerial photography via drones, again a great feature for drones.)
WDR (Wide Dynamic Range): WDR function is suggested to be used in the cloudy/dark environment, a great advantageous feature for aerial photography (This mode is not suggested to be used in sunny days, it might cause overexposure in sunny days.).
Continuous photo: This option allows you to capture photos continuously every 3 / 5 / 10 /30 second, a time-lapse photo capture feature, as per firefly, Continuous photo mode has more priority than burst photo mode.
ISO adjustment: AUTO/100/400/1600 At night, the lower ISO you select, the better image quality you get.
Angle Adjustment: 2 options: Large/Medium. Small angle can reduce image distortion. (Large angle is suggested as using smaller angle will reduce image quality).
Color Adjustment: 2 options: standard and vivid. For better results in post-production standard mode is suggested.
WiFi: Firefly 6S has a built-in WiFi, which means you can use camera together with your mobile device and operate it remotely from the iOs or Android.
The firmware update works only with memory cards having capacity of up to 16GB. Cards having more than 16 GB of space will not work.
- Battery should be charged above 50%.
- Download the latest firmware here….
- Format the memory card.
- Copy the .bin update file to the card.
- Insert the card into your camera.
With a price tag of $100 the firefly 6S is an excellent camera which can produce sharp videos and photos. Features like Gyro stabilization which really works well and the package contains lots of accessories which comes handy. The battery life is good but nothing better than the other options available in the market in spite of not having any LCD screen. In conclusion I can say that Firefly 6S is a great value for money product which will not disappoint you if you are not looking for true 4K UHD resolution.
So, what you think? Feel free to comment your views below and ask me anything I will be happy to help.