Last Updated on January 13, 2019
In a market dominated by GoPro and rather steep rates, price-conscious consumers are looking for alternatives that allow them to capture adventures without breaking the bank. MGCOOL’s line of Explorer cameras has been one of the go-to sources for reasonably priced action cameras, and they are adding a new member to the family: the Explorer 3.
The Explorer is a slight improvement over the Explorer Pro 2. While the latter did offer 4K video recording at 25fps, the newest Explorer offers native 4K at 30fps. But video capabilities upgrade aside, there are other features that have been improved as well.
Fast and stable processor
The The MGCOOL Explorer 3 is strapped with a V50, the latest image and video System on Chip from iCatch. With advanced processing technology, the V50 can deliver a great 4K recording experience without hogging too much of the power.
Advanced video compression mode
The Explorer Pro 2 used the H.264 codec, but MGCOOL has opted to use the more advanced H.264+ for the Explorer 3. There are benefits for doing so: it offers nearly double the compression ratio over H.264 and for the same quality.
Electronic image stabilization (EIS)
Shooting action footage certainly involves a couple of shakes, but it would be nice to review the resulting video and see something decent. As such, MCGOOL has adopted a built-in EIS and Gyro for their Explorer 3. The combination of both can help keep footage calm.
The use of EIS is also an advantage because image shake and stability is controlled electronically. This means that there is no added weight to the lens, which is good, but quality and resolution do tend to suffer a bit.
A 14MP effective sensor
While the Explorer 2 Pro was equipped with a Sony IMX179 sensor, MGCOOL opted to go for one made by Panasonic for the Explorer 3 model. The Panasonic 34112 image sensor is a 1/2.3-inch sensor capable of delivering an effective 14MP resolution for still images.
Just like the previous Explorer 2 Pro model, the Explorer 3 maintains the two-inch touchscreen for control and access to camera functions.
A seven-layer glass lens
Anyone who wants to document outdoor activities not only want to highlight the excitement of the action but also the beauty of the surroundings. MGCOOL provides that capability by fitting the Explorer 3 with a 7G sharp lens.
With seven layers of glass, the camera can take in more light as well as filter out stray light. As such, images are much more clearer and it works quite well in low-light situations too.
170-degree field of view
Action sports capture isn’t just entirely about the action, capturing as much of the view can produce equally effective results as well. With a 170-degree wide angle lens, users can get in a lot more of the background for better-looking footage.
The Explorer 3’s 1100mAh large capacity battery can shoot 4K videos for 75 minutes and 1080p videos for 120 minutes.
It is possible to document underwater life (both seawater and freshwater) for up to 30 meters (98 feet) with the Explorer 3’s sturdy waterproof case.
Control and connections
The Explorer 3 features an iOS and Android supported app which allows users to control the camera via its built-in WiFi. With the app, users can view photos and videos much easier.
While GoPro may have more sophisticated features – and it should at its price – the MGCOOL Explorer 3 does offer an alternative for those who just want to document their outdoor adventures without having to deplete their resources.