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And while it is, indeed, hands-free, it has a few other problems…
Smartphones’ high-quality cameras are great, but sometimes they offer challenges, such as when you need to use the camera, but you also want to use your hands for other things, like when you’re recording a cooking video for YouTube, or you found a cute cat you want to pet but also share with everyone. We’ve all been there.
Luckily for situations like that, there are handy devices like the “Eye-Perspective Camera Hat”, which our resident low-rated Amazon product tester Masanuki Sunakoma recently purchased. It comes with a sturdy smartphone holder that lets you easily record videos and take pictures without the use of your hands, and it’s even the “updated version”, which comes with a more lightweight camera mount than previous versions, as well as a handy chin strap for added stability.
The product’s official name is the “Eye-view Camera Action Camera Hat Cap Wearable Camera for Smartphones, GoPro’s etc with Chin Strap for Live Social Media Video Recording, Live Video Recording, Instagram Lives” (hereinafter referred to as the “Camera Hat” for simplicity’s sake), and it sells for 2,290 yen (US$15.28). It had a measly 2.2-star rating based on eight reviews.
Masanuki had to assume that there was something wrong with it, otherwise it be more popular. He couldn’t tell what, though; he’s been buying too many low-rated products and now his intuition is off.
The reviews, however, brought up serious concerns about stability: “The idea is good but it doesn’t hold onto things very tightly,” “My smartphone fell off and got scratched,” and “The pedestal spins.” Still, with the hat’s potential only limited by the scope of Masanuki’s imagination, he was interested to try it out.
Inside the nondescript box it arrived in was a black cap and various camera mount pieces. The idea behind it is to fix a camera to the mount in the center of the hat at the right angle to get an eye-level perspective.
The hat had a rubber plate sewn into the front, onto which a resin base was glued. To Masanuki’s eyes, it truly did not look like it was very strongly attached. It probably wasn’t meant for any intense movement or heavy devices.
Nevertheless, Masanuki wanted to use it with his phone, so he plodded on. But as he began to affix the smartphone holder, he came to an unfortunate realization.
“This is going to look so dumb.”
Who would walk around with a smartphone attached to their head? No matter how much it might enhance the potential of smartphone cameras, it would probably make more sense to use an action camera instead. They’re much smaller and would stand out less. Masanuki had to assume that was one reason why no one was buying this: because no one wants to be the guy wearing a smartphone on his head.
But it was too late for Masanuki. He’d already purchased it, so he had to try it. Without allowing himself to think too hard about it, he secured his smartphone to the hat…
And went out into the wild.
Masanuki decided to use it while running. The hat’s size can be adjusted with a Velcro strap, and the chin strap would keep it from flying off his head in the event of a strong gust, so it seemed like running would work out great.
The only problem was that using it to record videos meant he’d have to push the button before putting the cap on his head or connect some kind of remote control button for his phone. The product title mentions using it for social media lives, but it seemed like it would be kind of challenging to communicate with your followers if your phone is fixed to your head.
Another annoying thing Masanuki discovered was that you have to remove the hat from your head every time you want to make sure your phone is properly recording. Many action cameras can connect to your smartphone, which you can then use to operate the camera, so it doesn’t matter if your camera is attached to the hat. It might be a different story if you have a phone specifically for video recording, but the hat’s not really great for using with a smartphone you use for everything else.
What’s more, if your camera doesn’t have image stabilization capabilities, the video will come out horribly shaky, which just all around defeats the purpose.
These are the various reasons why attaching a smartphone to your head is a bad idea, but to Masanuki, the worst reason of all is the fact that it just looks stupid. It looks like you’re wearing one of those kiddie helicopter hats.
Since his smartphone looked ridiculous attached to the holder, was hard to use while attached, and produced terrible videos while attached, Masanuki had to conclude that this particular hat is much better suited for small and sturdy action cameras. While the holder was surprisingly stable–his smartphone didn’t fall from the holder once, even as he was running–it just wasn’t as advertised, or as Masanuki hoped it would be. As a result, that 2.2-star rating, he says, is reasonable.
Want to know what is worth buying on Amazon Japan? Check out the rest of Masanuki’s “Amazon’s Lowest-rated” series!
We buy Amazon’s lowest-rated smartphone “Eye-view Camera Hat” for easy, hands-free videography
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