Olfi review

The Olfi offers rugged build, 4K video, stabilisation and HDR at a very tempting price


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We liked

The design of the Olfi is tried and tested, and the quality of both the build and the footage it produces should appeal to anyone looking for a high-quality action camera. The style of the camera and brand is well thought out, and the company has made sure it's backed by a good selection of its own accessories that will cater to a range of activities.

The fact that the camera breaks free from the usual packaging style, and provides you with a semi-hard case that can actually use, rather than the usual throwaway tower, shows a good understanding of what prospective buyers want.

We disliked

The whole package is very neat, but there are still a few niggles with the design. Primarily the two lights around the buttons that indicate that the camera is recording are almost completely obsured when it's used in its waterproof housing.

The auto power off option only has two options, one minute or never – three minutes and five minutes options would be useful, as would an audio signal or beep when the camera starts and stops recording. Auto power on is another feature that's becoming pretty standard, and the need to completely power up the camera before recording is a just a small gripe.

Final verdict

The Olfi is a serious rival to the GoPro Hero4 Black, but although there are similarities between the two cameras, in some ways they're quite different.

The Olfi is straightforward to use; it has a few manual options, but in essence it's designed to enable you to capture the action easily and have fun. The GoPro takes the video options to another level, for which you pay a premium. Its output is also better than the Olfi's, but it's a very close-run race when price is taken into account.

The build quality is excellent, and it really feels like the Olfi has been built to last and will withstand a knock or two. Our test sample was ridden over, crashed and spent a good ten minutes in the water inside its housing, and suffered no real effects.

Olfi review

Attention to detail is the major attraction of this camera – it feels like it's been designed by people who actually use action cameras. From the semi-hard case for transporting it and the two quick navigation buttons to the flat easy-wipe lens housing on the waterproof case, there's little not to like about it.

It's also less than half the price of the GoPro Hero4 Black, and although the specification and features don't quite match up to that camera, when it comes to performance and build quality there's not much in it. In the same way that the iSAW Edge challenged the GoPro Hero4 Silver, the Olfi is squaring up to the GoPro Hero4 Black.

If you're looking for an excellent all-round action camera, the Olfi is the best option for the price right now.

Imaging Lab Manager

Ali Jennings is the imaging lab manager for Future Publishing's Photography portfolio. Using Imatest Master and DxO Analyser he produces the image quality tests for all new cameras and lenses review in TechRadar's cameras channel. Ali has been shooting digital since the early nineties and joined Future's Photography portfolio back in 2003.