VanTop Moment 5C Review
The great thing about action cameras is that there are so many different models. And all of them not only have different features and specs but they also have different prices. And the competition is just as fierce at the lower price range as it is between the flagship models. Which pushes brands to make better products. And today I’m going to review a brand new budget action camera – the VanTop Moment 5C! Not only is it incredibly well priced but it also comes with impressive technical specifications and an insane amount of accessories. So let’s see if the performance lives up to the expectation as well!
- Dimensions: 59.0×41.0×31.5 mm / 2.3×1.6×1.2″
- Weight: 65 g / 2.3 oz
- Sensor: SONY IMX078
- Chipset: iCatch V39
- Field of View: 170°
- Video resolutions: 4K 60 fps; 2.7K 30 fps; 1080p 120 fps; 720p 240 fps
- Photo: 20 MP
- Modes: Single Shot, Burst, Time-Lapse, Long Exposure, Loop Video, SlowMotion, FastMotion
- Features: WiFi, 2″ IPS Touchscreen, Electronic Image Stabilization
- Ports: Micro USB, Micro HDMI, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 64 GB
- Battery: 1050 mAh Li-ion
- Battery life: 89 minutes of 1080p at 60 fps
- The camera is available for $99 at VanTop
In The Box
- VanTop Moment 5C
- Dual battery charger
- 2x 1050 mAh Li-ion battery
- Waterproof case up to 30 m / 98 ft
- WiFi Remote Control
- Long & short connectors
- Surface J hook buckle
- 360° adapter
- Tripod mount adapter
- Bicycle handlebar
- 2x Helmet mounts
- Adhesive pads
- Protective backdoor
- Micro USB to USB cable
- Lens cloth
With the Moment 5C, Vantop hasn’t taken any risks by going with the well proven rectangular shape. It’s a standard design that’s used on both budget and premium class action cameras. There are of course some minor differences, such as the placement of buttons and ports. What is pretty impressive about this camera is that it weighs only 65 g / 2.3 oz and that does include the battery. It actually makes it the lightest action camera I have reviewed. I can definitely see it being used on a racing drone. The overall dimensions are pretty standard: 59.0×41.0×31.5 mm / 2.3×1.6×1.2″.
The camera it self is made out of normal black plastic. This is the case with all budget action cameras and it makes sense as they need to save costs somewhere. I only wish that they had added at least a bit of a texture to the sides for better grip. Especially since the front panel does have a slight texture. But really how often do you use the camera without it being on a mount anyways. So it’s not really a problem.
So the action camera has in total 4 buttons. The front side has a single button for power and settings. At the top side you will find the record/capture button, an LED light and tiny pinholes for the microphone. Rest of the two buttons are for navigation and those are at the side. You only need them for when you have the camera in a waterproof case. Other than that, they are a nice extra to have.
There’s a really nice IPS touchscreen on the back. It’s incredibly responsive and feels exactly like using a phone screen. And that’s insane considering that the Moment 5C is a budget action camera. I’d say that it’s the best screen I have used in this price range. The same can also be said about the interface but I’ll cover that below.
That leaves us the left side of the camera, which has an open area for the Micro USB and Micro HDMI ports plus a MicroSD memory card slot. These don’t have a cover so avoid using the camera near water without having it inside the case. And finally the bottom side, which has a door compartment for the removable battery and a standard threaded tripod mount. I’m a huge fan of that as it allows you to use mounts from other companies as well.
Now what has impressed me the most is the build quality. The Moment 5C is incredibly well put together and I definitely did not expect this from such a cheap camera! I’d even go as far and say that it’s probably the best one on the market at the moment. Like the buttons actually require a bit of pressure and they make a nice “click” sound. All the ports are tightly attached to the case and don’t move around when you insert the cable. And finally the battery compartment door, which has always been a let down for me. But that’s not the case here. The door on this camera actually has a spring built into the hinge so that it pops open. And you can close it with one finger as well. It doesn’t move to the sides or anything. So overall I’m actually impressed.
Another impressive thing about this budget action camera is the amount of accessories that VanTop has included. It’s really the perfect selection of mounts and accessories for beginners. And even for everyone else as well as you can never have enough mounts.
Not only does it include all the basics, like different adhesive mounts and bicycle handlebar connectors but you also get items that I have never seen before. Such as this camera frame that can be paired up with a clip. This allows you to attach the camera to a belt for example. I have never seen this before and it actually seems to be useful as well. It’s always good to have options like these.
Besides all that, you also receive two 1050 mAh Li-ion batteries and a charger. The charger has two slots so you can change both of them at the same time. It has the same Micro USB connector as the camera so you can use that cable for power. It’s extremely useful as you can record for a longer period of time. And generally you run out of battery life faster than storage space.
And if that wasn’t impressive enough, somehow VanTop has also managed to include a simple remote controller as well. It pairs up with the camera so that you can use it from a distance. The positive side of this compared to just using your phone is that it consumers less battery power. Also you can keep it on your wrist like a watch. They have included a strap for that. That said I still prefer using my phone but it can still be useful.
Video & Features
According to the technical specifications, the VanTop Moment 5C is capable of recording videos at up to 4K 60 FPS. And it’s true it can do that. However, it’s interpolated and not actually real 4K. It basically means that the camera actually records in 1080p and then the software transforms that into 4K. This is pretty standard on budget action cameras. The technology behind 4K is still too expensive to be able to have it native on cameras below $100. All of this is powered by the iCatch V39 chipset and SONY IMX078 sensor.
Now here’s an unedited 4K 60 FPS video example that I recorded during the daytime on foot. The overall video quality is actually really good. I have seen as good of a quality on cameras that cost twice as much. So the bang for buck ratio is excellent. Obviously there is some blur on the buildings but you can still see plenty of detail. It has even captured detail on the fake grass. The camera also has some nice natural colors that aren’t over-compensated with exposure. Overall the chipset has managed to create the 4K resolution just fine.
Here’s another unedited example that’s been recorded in the native 1080p resolution at 60 FPS. I haven’t turned on the EIS either. Which is why you do see quite a bit of vibration while I walk around. The reason why I haven’t switched on the EIS is because it’s both amazing and terrible at the same time. It’s amazing in the sense that the stabilization system does work, and it works really well. Like it completely removes any vibrations and the video is insanely smooth. Like almost GoPro Hypersmooth smooth. The downside is that this is a budget action camera. It means that the chipset isn’t powerful enough to handle that, which makes the video quality suffers a lot. It gets really blurry and the difference between EIS and no stabilizer is like night and day. Which is why I recommend using an external stabilizer (gimbal) if you want to get stable video.
And here’s an example of how well it performs in the night time as well. The video has been recorded in 1080p 60 FPS and the EIS has been switched off here as well. And no I didn’t use the low light mode as the videu quality is better without it.
Another great thing about this camera is that it also supports recording videos at up to 120 FPS in 1080p. This allows you to create some fantastic slow-motion videos. There is also a slow mode that basically does it automatically for you inside the camera. But again I don’t recommend using it as the chipset lowers the video quality again. Exactly the same effect as with the EIS. So I recommend doing the slow-motion in post production.
As I have already mentioned, the VanTop Moment 5C can also be used to take photos. The photos have a maximum resolution of 5120×3840 pixels, which translates to 20MP in the settings. All the images are saved into JPEG format. There are different modes that you can choose from as well. Such as Burst, Time-lapse, Count Down and Long Exposure. Here’s a couple of photos that I captured during a sunny day.
Settings & Modes
So you can use two ways to control the camera and change the settings. The first and most preferable way is via the 2″ IPS touchscreen. VanTop has done a fantastic job at creating a fluid user interface. It’s really easy to use and straight forward. Just swipe left or right to switch between the video and photo mode. The bottom right corner has the settings icon from where you can change the resolutions and everything else. Plus the overall settings of the camera as well. And if you want to have quick access for different modes then you just swipe up.
Like I said before, the user interface is really easy to navigate through. The screen responds instantly to swipes and you don’t get any accidental clicks. Which has been a problem in the past for me. But that’s definitely not the case with the Moment 5C. I never expected to get this type of high quality from such an inexpensive device. They have really pushed the bar on budget action cameras. The entire experience is just as fluid as on a phone.
The other option is by pairing the camera to your phone. For that, you need to switch on WiFi, download the ismart DV app from Apple store or Google play on your phone and pair the two. From the app, you can see live footage (a bit of delayed) and of course change all the settings as well. The positive side of this is that you can fully control the camera from a distance. And there are occasions where this can be useful.
Overall the VanTop Moment 5C is currently the best budget action camera that you can buy for less than $100. It has a better build quality than some of its much more expensive competitors. And that alone is pretty outstanding. Not to mention the incredible amount of accessories and mounts that are included. And the touchscreen that works exactly as well as the screen on your phone. Put all those features together and add the overall video quality and you see why it’s so good. Sure it would be better if the EIS didn’t reduce the video quality that much but let’s not forget the price of this camera. So considering that, the Moment 5C is definitely still the best.