Note: any compression you’re seeing in the sky is a result of the video being rendered by me, not the camera. There isn’t that much compression noise in the sky normally.
This is an unboxing and initial review of the MGCool Explorer 3. It’s a nice looking camera and that’s what originally drew my attention. I’m a bit disappointed that this cam is missing the 2K resolution that the T5 Edge has, because otherwise I like the way it looks a lot and the menus are easy to navigate. The 2K res and the 4K res on the T5 Edge have the same bitrate which means less compression artifacting on the lower res. I don’t expect this cam will be updated though. MGCool has not had a good history of updating their cameras. Nonetheless it’s definitely worth a consideration and this is likely MGCool’s best camera to date, but if the Edge is cheaper check that out instead.
I got the cam from Gearbest. Check out the links below to buy it for yourself:
The MGCool Explorer Pro 2 is anything but pro. The best feature it has is the touch screen and user interface, but unfortunately the video quality and build just can’t keep up to the price. There are several better cameras available for the money, and spending just a little bit more nets a real 4K capable camera (Firefly 8S – $100). My recommendation, if you’re looking for the cheapest cam possible, skip this one and go for the Furibee H9r instead at $40. The MGCool Explorer Pro 2 is just a cheap Furibee F60 with a touch interface.
Thank you to Gearbest for supplying this camera for review.
Full written review with examples is coming soon. For now, if you want to see some video samples, skip to 2:20 in the unboxing video. Thanks!
The Explorer 1S is your standard run-of-the-mill Novatek action cam without many improvements done to the default firmware. The video quality is decent in most situations but the gyro doesn’t seem to work. The cam has the potential to live up to other cameras that are a bit more expensive but that would require firmware updates on MGCool’s part (which I don’t currently expect).
So many cams are based on the NT96660 processor, which results in fake 4K. The results are often less than stellar. The camera I used is the MGCool Explorer 1S (because it has pretty sharp video for Novatek). This is versus the ThiEYE T5e (real 4K). In order to get real 4K you need at least 8MP sensor, and many of these cams are advertised as 12, 14 or 16 but really have more like 4MP. This comparison shows a cam with a real 12 MP sensor. I’ll do another Novatek one with a 4MP cam later.
I have some high hopes for this cam but can it hold up? You’ll find out in the full review in a few weeks. I have so many things to review and so little time (going away for a trip soon and want to get done before that!). This cam was provided to me by Gearbest for review.