The Mevo… An interesting little product that came in to the market a couple years ago. A small camera with a built-in microphone that once connected to your smartphone allowed you to live stream to pretty much anywhere from anywhere.
Neat little device for sure… A little bit limited on its own, it had a small battery, pretty short battery life and no way to connect a microphone directly to it, at least not without adding the boost. Once you added the boost, you increased battery capacity, you can connect a microphone over USB, you could even connect Ethernet directly to it.
But this whole package here is pretty big. So, what Mevo has done is taken the best of this and squeezed that into the Mevo Start.
When you open the box, all you'll find inside is the camera itself and a long USB-A to -C charging cable. On the front of the camera is the lens itself of course and underneath that is a status light that glows blue when it's powered on and red once you're on the air. On the top of the camera are three small holes that are actually the microphone. They're a three array MEMS microphone and we'll talk a little bit more about that later.
On the bottom of the camera is the innovative tripod mount. It's actually a 1/4-20 but then if you unscrew this plug inside, the remaining threads will then screw into a microphone stand.
On the back of the camera, at the top you'll see the power button, underneath that the audio input jack, then the USB-C charging port and under that a microSD slot so you can record your live show. It's worth pointing out that no matter where you're streaming to, you're always recording at the highest quality.
Let's do a little quick side-by-side to the original Mevo. You can see the size of it is about the same in height. It is however considerably wider, you can see that right there, but it is also thinner. So, what that means is that this one is considerably more pocketable than the original was. But let's take a look at a side-by-side chart comparing the two and see exactly what's the same and what's different.
First up, the size; 3.0 by 1.3 by 3.4 inches versus 2.5 by 2 inches round. They both stream the same, up to 1080p at 6 megabits per second. The SD card records to H.264 or HEVC up to 1080p at 30 frames per second while the Mevo Plus could actually record a higher resolution, H.264 only but up to 4k at 30 frames per second. And this is one of the big differences you'll see between the two devices. The Mevo Plus does do the higher resolution 4K.
Now, that doesn't actually mean that you're streaming in 4K, you still stream at 1080p but the original source image that's captured is captured at 4K. So, that gives you more room in post to punch in to. However that said, the sensor quality of the new camera is remarkably better and when you're especially shooting in low-light, you'll find that you're going to get a much better image out of the new Mevo Start.
The battery life of the Mevo Start will last up to 6 hours while the Mevo Plus is only up to one hour or 10 hours with the Mevo boost but again, that's a pretty big extra battery to carry around. The field of view is considerably more narrow on the Mevo Start at 84 degrees versus 150 degree field of view on the Mevo Plus.
Going back to the idea of the 4K versus the HD recording, if you're shooting at 4K but you have this really wide field of view, you end up by the time you crop into your shot not really gaining a whole lot. So, unless you really need that extra wide field of view, I think the Mevo Start is probably a better camera for most people in most use cases.
The microphone is supposed to be considerably better with three MEMS microphones with Fraunhofer upHear Spatial Microphone Processing versus the Mevo Plus with Dual analog MEMS and a high signal-to-noise ratio. No, I couldn't tell you why they didn't label the signal noise ratio for this one, I have no way of measuring that but either way, this is supposed to be a considerably better microphone array.
And of course, if the built-in microphone isn't going to cut it for you, the Mevo Start does allow you to connect a 3.5mm microphone directly on to the camera. So, that's basically any standard lavalier, shotgun mic, whatever you like. Pretty much anything you've got for your regular DSLR camera will work on this just fine.
You can also connect a microphone to your phone which is pretty cool. So you have an app on your iPhone or your Android phone that will allow you to connect your microphone to that so you can have your microphone be farther away from the camera.
The Mevo Plus once again does not have that direct input on the camera itself but if you do have the boost, then you can connect it via a USB adapter.
Another cool new feature on the Mevo Start is NDI. So, if you're in an NDI environment, you can actually connect this camera wirelessly to another service. I haven't played with this yet myself and that is something we might take a look at in a future video. That's something that the Mevo Plus does not have.
The Mevo Start is not weatherproof while the Mevo Plus was, but only with the Boost which I think had to do with a slight rubber seal. I'm not actually sure how that worked but apparently if you put this thing on, then you got some weather sealing, neat.
Finally, if you do want to connect your Mevo Start to Ethernet, you'll be able to do that in May of 2020, there will be an adapter allowing you to go from Ethernet directly into USB-C into the camera. While you can do that with the Mevo Plus as well, it requires the Boost which is again considerably more expensive. And that's the comparison between the two.
Now, let's take a look at what happens when you connect this thing to your phone you'll see how this actually works. I'll start by firing up the Mevo app and powering up the camera. And pretty quickly you'll see the device show up on your iPhone. I'll go ahead and connect to that.
Now, at the moment, the Mevo is connecting to my phone over the phone's LTE. The phone has generated its own Wi-Fi hotspot and the camera is automatically connecting to that. You can also connect the camera to an existing Wi-Fi hotspot which actually gives you a bit more flexibility and probably more performance as well, it just depends of course on where you are and what your situation is.
And there we have it… You can see that the light has turned blue, it is powered on and we are now connected to the device. I'm going to put this on a tripod so that we can actually see this a little bit more easily and point this thing back at myself here. And now we're looking at the streaming interface, let's take a tour of what we've got in here.
On the bottom right hand side, you'll see three dots that open up a series of functions including the ability to automatically find faces and even including a Live Follow feature. Now this is kind of cool…
If I tap on Live Follow and then tap in my face to zoom into it… now, at this point, as I move around the screen, it is actually going to follow me. So, as I step back it'll even zoom… Now occasionally you might see it pop out all the way if it loses this track of things and zooms in and zooms out to accommodate, but overall, this is actually a pretty cool feature. It seems to do a pretty darn good job of tracking me here.
I have a lot of control over the audio here, including the ability to connect those external microphones like we talked about. You have color controls in here including different exposure settings for different types of lighting and even effects like High Contrast, Flat or whatever.
I'm just gonna go ahead and go back to the normal one on here. And you have an HDR mode, auto modes, exposure compensation, auto white balance or custom white balance… A lot of different settings in here to make sure that you get this image looking as good as it possibly can.
Let's take a look at my streaming options; I can choose the destination such as Facebook or YouTube or I could stream to Twitter. Now, you'll see that when I choose Twitter, it tells me that the video quality has changed to 720p because that's all Periscope will allow us to do. Let's go back to YouTube though that'll allow me to stream up to 1080p.
Now, if you want to stream to multiple destinations at once, you can do that but that does require a paid subscription. There are a couple things you get for that; you'll have ability to stream again to multiple places at one time, but you also have the ability to add graphics directly in the app and we're gonna take a look at that in just a moment. It's actually a pretty sweet feature.
If I do want to go to multiple places at once, I can enable that by tapping on Multi Destination and then from there I can choose which platforms I want to stream to. If you don't want to stream at all, you can turn all of these off and then simply tap on Record and start recording your show. And it's recording… We're now looking at the actual recording of the Mevo camera and listening to the MEMS microphones.
This is what those microphones sound like in a reasonably quiet studio environment like this. To navigate your shot, simply tap on an area of the scene and you can see the output up in the top right corner and how that is showing me what we're actually seeing, how I've zoomed out of that. I can pinch in and do a slow zoom, I can manually drag over to do a pan from one side to another in there and I can also pull up a list of presets shots allowing me to immediately jump to a specific part of the scene that I might want to highlight.
This button allows me to build graphic overlays. I could actually build them in the app itself or import ones that I've created on my computer. Let's start by making a lower third. I'll tap on this and choose my text. I'll just go ahead and put my name in here, “PhotoJoseph”… When I tap on the color wheel, I can choose what color I want on that. Let's go for a nice blue on there with white text. I can change the opacity of that and I can also add a graphic to it. This will allow me to pick a picture out of my camera roll or I can navigate to the files browser and I'll choose this PNG that I loaded up earlier.
I can reframe that in here if I needed to, tap the check box and now it's added that PNG to my lower third.
Tap the check box to add that in, it's going to go ahead and upload that to the device and then once it's loaded, it'll allow me to display that on the screen. Now, if that's selected, we can see that the output contains that lower third. And we can do more than that. Let's go back into there again and this time I'll tap up here and I have a graphic that I loaded earlier, it's the chart that we were looking at and from here I can view that in the top right corner. It's kind of a picture on picture, but I could also go back in here and load up that graphic full screen.
So, if I wanted to talk about this, having it nice and big on the screen, I can do that and then tap on one of the corners to bring it back into the corner. There is of course a lot more you can do with the device but those are the basics. It's a pretty good little camera and it's supposed to work really well in low light. So, I think we should test that by turning off the lights in the studio. It's not terribly bright in here to begin with but if I grab this and turn off the main light… Well, okay now we're in the dark, that's probably not fair.
Let's go ahead and turn the light up to just 1%. There we go. So you can see how dark this is now on the main camera and then switching over to the Mevo, you can see that it actually looks pretty good. In fact, here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to take the brightness of my light and then I'm going to start increasing it and we'll see how the Mevo camera compensates for it as I brighten this up. Now at this point we're at 50%, so this is about where I would normally do the show for this camera and as I keep on brightening it up, the main camera is gonna get blown out but the Mevo camera… is looking pretty good.
Let's bring that back down to 1% again… I mean, I'm looking at this image here on my phone and I think this is pretty good. It's quite dark in here. I would kind of have a hard time reading by this light, it's really that dim. But you know, a test in the studio of the dim light and of the microphones with this, well, pretty clean studio environment really isn't gonna cut it, so let's say we go have a drink, shall we?
Well it's not exactly a loud bar right now, it's a little bit too late for that on a Monday night, but cheers. Well, there you go, what do you guys think? You've now seen it in the dark, you've heard it in a loud environment, how did that hold up? Do you think it's something that you could get some good use out of?
I think it's a pretty cool little device. This is an interesting little product for sure. It's a nice upgrade in most cases from the Mevo Plus. Definitely that bigger battery is a huge improvement. Six hour battery life over one, definitely something I'd appreciate. The ability to plug in the microphone directly, major bonus.
I really didn't like to get a microphone into this one, I had to go through my phone or of course use the boost, so, having that on here is certainly welcome. The narrower field of view is probably more useful. I think there are cases where I'll miss the wider field of view, certainly with the Mevo Plus, if you took off the base and set it down, it was now tilted up a little bit, so you had that angle of view that was already pointing up at your face.
So that was kind of nice, you could use it a little bit more without having to have any kind of a tripod. But even with that said, I still think that this is a significantly more interesting and more usable device.
Let me know what you guys think and also let me know if you want to know more about this. I'll be happy to do more videos on it if it's something you guys want to see, there are a lot more features that I can dive into in here that we didn't get into today.
Again, overall I think it's a pretty cool product but I want to know what you guys think. Let me know in the comments below.