Why are we looking at these cameras?
In the course of improving the Col8 video platform we work with many security companies and this allows us to get too grips with lots of different cameras, be they CCTV, Body cameras or Dash cameras. Each camera works slightly differently, different supporting software, different file formats which we have to ensure work on the platform.
For private security companies in the UK the Rewire RX-3 V2 Lite is a camera of choice, coming in at under £170 including VAT including a dock, cables and software this 150g camera provides a valuable asset to help protect officers or the public and keep insurance costs down for the security company.
We were asked by a client recently about the Boblov F1 Body camera, they said hey we have found this camera that looks the same as the Rewire but only £115. So we decided we would do a quick review and comparison to see what was what.
So what's inside the box
We won't bore you with all the details as you can find out all the pieces that come in the boxes on the links above but in general they come with USB cable, dock, camera and range of clips that should find the majority of security situations.
One difference is the Boblov camera came with a tiny CD with it, unfortunately not having anything that will read such a disc anymore we are not 100% sure what is on it but the manual is in the box that tells you how to use it.
Are these the same camera?
The answer to this is yes but also no.
What do we mean by that - on the surface they are pretty much like for like, same dimensions, finish, parts, screen size and both come with GPS which we think is a very valuable feature that should be included on a body camera to give extra context. They even make a similar noise when you power them on and the ladies voice that tells you that it is filming is the same.
But there are subtle differences, the start up screens say either "Rewire Security" or "Boblov". The other functional difference we found was the Boblov can have up to 64Gb storage and comes with WiFi to link to a dedicated smartphone app (this function was not tested) where as the Rewire is 32Gb and no WiFi. More on this later...
Top of the Rewire RX-3 V2 Lite
Top of the Boblov F1
Importantly how good are they at recording video?
Features aside this camera job is to sit on your security officers chest and allow them to record events to use at a later date either in criminal or civil matters to show what happened - if it doesn't do that everything else is pretty much a non issue!
There are some excellent but much more expensive body cameras out there like the Pinnacle PR-6, so these two are considerably cheaper models at less than half the cost but can still record full HD footage with their wide angle lenses including night vision (that will be subject of article in the future).
We know of some clients with literally hundreds of these devices and they have been very satisfied with the results recording at 720p resolution which is battery and space efficient, so we decided to compare the two cameras using those settings.
Below is an example from the Rewire RX-3 V2 Lite using Col8's geo based video system which extracts the data to produce a powerful searchable route you can see the results. Here is a link to the Boblov F1 Route where you can compare the two.
Can't be bothered to watch both? Basically the are the same video quality wise, the GPS data is a little better on the Rewire showing a more accurate route.
Rewire RX-3 V2 Lite video route
The devil is in the detail - what are the differences that might impact a security company?
Both cameras do a good job at the task of filming and collection information but we found a key difference that will have an impact if you are buying these for a private security company.
Taking a step back we need to look at a requirement of private security for these which is the need to collect evidence from an officer that presents the facts of the event, but these could show the officer in a positive or negative way - however this data must be collected without the ability for it to be tampered with. This is a key point and why we would never advise you buy a body camera for security that has an SD card which can be removed because the files could be lost or "lost".
The Rewire RX-3 V2 Lite comes with software that means you need to enter a password to unlock the device which only the management (and not the officer wearing the device) would know therefore video won't be tampered with. However the Boblov F1 camera doesn't have this and when you plug it in all the videos are exposed ready for download and deletion.
Rewire software screen
Boblov settings are changed using a txt file on the device
What's the conclusion
Obviously it depends on your requirements but as these are often used by security companies we will base our conclusion on that. The cameras perform really well and compared to much more expensive cameras function very well and combined with a service like Col8 to manage the hosting and analysis of the footage presents excellent value for money.
However the lack of a software lock on the Boblov F1 camera to prevent the tampering of evidence means we would not recommend it for this situation and would advise spending a little more and getting the Rewire RX-3 Lite V2.
Please note we are in no way affiliated with Rewire, Pinnacle response or Boblov - this is an independent review of the hardware and represents an opinion. Specifications of devices maybe different from the ones we tested on so please check with the manufacturer at the time of purchase that it meets your needs or contact us for independent advice.