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With sensors and a gimbal, the Revl Arc adds more to the average action cam

Aliya Barnwell

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If you’ve used an action camera — even one of the best action cams on the market — you know the woes. Picking through hours of video is painful, especially when you realize capturing stable, grounded footage is a challenge. Unless you have a Revl Arc, that is. With sensors and a built-in gimbal, not to mention auto-editing within the app, the Revl Arc boldly claims “it’s the smartest action camera.”

Revl’s creator Eric Sanchez suffered through the annoyances that come with action cams while trying to film his kite-surfing trips. He tried attaching his cam to the kite lines, and realized right away that a lot of angles were unusable. “The footage was a mess,” Sanchez explained to us last year. The problem in most cases is tilting the camera would tilt the whole shot. Not so with the Revl Arc.

Electronic image stabilization takes out the wobble and the shake, but the 3-axis gimbal built into the rear of the camera’s tube body takes Revl to the next level. Twist and turn, flip and spin, and the Revl Arc will stay level with the horizon. Suddenly, extreme sports recording is not just easy but awesome. With the Revl, you can revel in video of your insane sports moments.

Revl

“We wanted to make sure every shot is usable,” Sanchez told Digital Trends at CES 2018.

The Revl Arc combines key production gear: the camera, sensor setup, and gimbal. The camera records in 4K resolution, with sensors for speed, altitude, rotation, and G-forces hidden within its waterproof body. The camera also connects to third-party sensors, including those for heart rate. The sensors record stats and allow you to overlay them onto videos. For some cameras, like Trace,  you need an extra sensor and app to overlay stats or auto-edit. At only 6 ounces — that’s less than an iPhone 6S Plus — the Arc still manages to be lightweight and small, despite the extra components.

Revl’s Android and iPhone apps handle the editing, using the sensor data to pinpoint the fun parts of the footage.

“People often don’t have time, experience, or the expensive software to edit video,” Sanchez said during our conversation at CES. “Our camera has both motion and e-motion recognition, which means it will scan through your video. If you take it snowboarding, it will find your best jumps, backflips, and crashes, and we’ll look through your video to find your best smiles and the points when you’re hugging your friends. We can even detect pets, sunsets, and other beautiful scenery, and we combine them in just the right way to create a compelling video.”

Controlling recording is easy, too, as Sanchez showed us last year. Just “tap anywhere on the screen to start and stop recording.”Sanchez points out that with most cameras, editing is where the fun stops. “So much footage just stays on the camera,” because editing it is such a pain, he said.

The editing system is of the simple drag-and-drop variety. Move scenes around easily and add music with a tap. The app will even come with a few songs, just in case you don’t store music on your phone. You can also share directly to social media from the Revl app.

Last year, we took a quick look at the Revl in action. While we were holding and rotating the gimbal base, the camera stayed level the entire time. On the negative side, the feed from the cam to the app didn’t record, which was a shame. Since then, the issue has been resolved via updates. While the app design is clearly well done — the tap-anywhere recording, for instance — auto-editing has been done before. The really interesting part about the Revl is the gimbal and stabilizer.

The Revl Arc Indiegogo campaign crushed its initial $50,000 goal. During CES, Revl Arc kits are going for $400, and come with the Arc, five colored bumpers, two rechargeable batteries, a quarter-inch mount, a buckle mount, a leash, a universal mount adapter, two sticky mounts, and a charging cable. Sadly, once the convention ends, the aforementioned bundle will retail for $500.