Olfi's feature packed action cameras have always given users an impressive number of technical facilities for a fairly modest amount of money. This Black version of the very well-received one.five is no different in that respect and comes complete with a memory card, carry case and a range of accessories, in addition to sporting a number of new features and improvements from its wallet-friendly predecessor.
With a price-tag that's less than half of the latest GoPro HERO 9 Black camera, the Olfi one.five Black is unlikely to threaten the best action cameras on the market, but if it's the best budget action camera you want, this wallet-friendly buy is definitely well worth a serious look. Read on for our full Olfi one.five Black review…
Olfi one.five Black review: design and setup
Action cameras are usually highly compact, but with its diminutive dimensions of 54 x 40 x 24mm, the Olfi one.five Black is one of the smallest fully featured models around. At 60g, with battery included, it's one of the lightest too. The camera body has a rubberised finish to help prevent it slipping through your fingers. Large power and shutter buttons sit on top, with two rectangular buttons on the right-hand side for navigating through shooting and set-up options.
A super wide-angle, 166-degree lens sits on the face of the camera with a back-lit Olfi logo below which handily flashes when recording video. On the rear is the camera's 1.5-inch viewscreen, while the base opens up to allow access to the removable battery. A Mini USB port sits on the left side for battery charging or attaching compatible accessories, such as an external microphone. Next to it is a micro-HDMI port, for connecting directly to a TV or monitor, and below sits the camera's Micro XD memory card port.
Olfi one.five Black review: features and usability
The camera comes housed in a zipped case which also contains an impressive array of accessories as standard. The basic one.five Black package includes a 32GB memory card (the camera supports cards of up to 64GB), an open frame housing, a waterproof housing and a number of stick-on and threaded mounts and connectors.
Turn on the one.five Black and it will go straight into recording video (this can be turned off in the settings menu). A brief press of the power button switches between video, photo and mode selection screens. There are an impressive number of camera modes to choose from. As well as the more usual suspects, such as timelapse, slow-motion and burst, you also get many others such as underwater, motion detection and dash cam modes, which expands the one.five Black's repertoire way beyond what you'd expect of a standard action camera.
Holding down the lower right hand side button will take you into a menu screen where you can set the video/photo resolution, select the frame rate, swap digital lenses, turn on video stabilisation, alter colour, white balance and ISO settings and much more. While this gives an impressive wealth of control over the camera's settings, cycling through all the options does have the potential to get overwhelming for less knowledgeable users. Similarly, while icons on the viewscreen indicate which settings are active at any time during shooting, it can be hard to discern exactly what they are on the Olfi's small screen.
Olfi one.five Black review: video and stills
Shooting video at the maximum resolution of 4K at 24FPS gives great results in bright or well-lit conditions. In slightly dimmer light the video starts to look noisy though. Fortunately, turning on the low light mode improves things, but less experienced users are unlikely to delve into the settings to turn it on. Another issue we encountered while shooting video, was that the viewscreen annoyingly turned off after a few seconds and we could not find a way to prevent this from happening.
Digital video stabilisation is a given on any action camera worth its salt these days and the one.five Black does not disappoint. We tested it in a number of different action settings and while it's not quite up to GoPro's Hypersmooth standards, the software did a good job of smoothing out the roughest aspects of our footage.
The Olfi's 16MP photo resolution is impressive for a camera of this price, as is the ability to shoot HDR photos that help better expose darker areas of your image. The results do tend to look a little flat in lower light conditions though. Browse a selection of photos taken on the Olfi one.five Black below.
Olfi one.five Black review: specs
Dimensions: 54H x 40W x 24D (mm)
Video: 4K 24FPS, 1080p 25/30/50/60FPS, 720P 25/30/50/60/120FPS
Digital lenses: Wide, Medium, Narrow
Distortion correction: Yes
Videolapse: 0.5, 1, 3, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds
Timelapse: 1, 3, 5, 10, 30, 60, 300, 600, 1800, 3600 seconds
Burst: 3, 5, 10 FPS
Battery: Removable 900aAh Li-ion
Mic input: Yes, Mini USB
Smartphone app: Yes
Apple Watch and Android Wear compatible: Yes
Loop record: 3, 5, 10-minute sections
Waterproof: 30m with included case
Motion detection: Yes
Car mode: Yes
Olfi one.five Black review: verdict and price
While the Olfi one.five Black cannot compete with the higher framerates and more sophisticated features of the latest market-leading cameras, with an RRP of £149.99, it's one of the best equipped and best value budget models around. While the camera itself isn't the most robust around, place it in its waterproof housing and it's not only safe from the elements, but the casing provides a high level of impact protection too. Should you manage to damage your camera within the first year, then Olfi will issue you with a replacement for free.
If your eyesight isn't the best, you may want to look elsewhere though, as the smaller than average viewscreen is not the easiest to use. Similarly, those looking for a basic point and shoot camera may well be overwhelmed by the amount of options provided by the Olfi's huge range of features.