XDV videos at all resolutions and frame rates were quite poor with lots of noise and artifacts and terrible detail. 4K was the least bad. Download the sample videos in Dropbox (free, no sign-up, no gimmicks) to see unaltered videos.
You can see these 4K videos are only marginally acceptable. Playback using Windows Media Player and MPC-HC is jerky. Because the camera lacks gyro stabilization, videos recorded while I was walking make it seem like I was stumbling around drunk at the time. (I wasn’t by the way!)
Normally with action cameras, higher frame rate settings will automatically drop to 30fps or even 15fps when recording at night to allow longer exposures. That did not happen with the XDV. The night-time video in Dropbox shows the XDV’s poor performance in dark conditions. You’ll also notice in the beginning of the video that it changed colors a few times, probably searching for the right White Balance setting – yet another strike against the camera’s video performance.
While the XDV’s ability to record slow-motion video directly with the camera is a neat idea, the results are also especially poor. Both 1080p at half-speed and 720p at quarter-speed have all the same problems as videos at normal frame rates but with even lower quality.
The camera usually snapped a low resolution bitmap photo whenever I recorded a video. I don’t know why.
Here’s a sample video inside my local shopping mall.
There are some strange things going on with frame rates on the XDV I tested. Depending on the resolution, nominal 30fps can actually be as low as 29.848fps and as high as true 30fps. Sometimes nominal 60fps is actually 59.7fps. Nominal 120fps can actually be 120.20fps. It’s impossible to understand why this happens.
There are a couple of oddities with resolutions as well. As I mentioned earlier, 4K resolution is interpolated. Nominal 2.7K resolution is 2688 x 1520. That’s an aspect ratio of about 16:9 but it doesn’t correspond to any standard resolution.
Here’s another oddity. These two screen captures were taken during the same shopping trip.
The first frame capture is atrocious. You can’t even read the license plate directly in front of me. The second one was taken 13 minutes later. It’s marginally acceptable for 2.7K but not what I’d call good. All the settings were the same for both. In 2.7K the camera popped in and out of focus like this for no reason at any time. Go figure.
You can adjust the Exposure and White Balance settings for both videos and photos. See the Photo Quality section for examples.
You can set the XDV ‘s Driving mode to have the camera turn on and off automatically when you turn your car on and off. Unfortunately it still suffers from the same video problems. The following are recordings of the same stretches of road during the day and night. They’re recorded in 4K because that’s the least bad resolution. The quality is diminished when playing them back on YouTube but honestly it doesn’t matter much.