Review: Sena Prism Bluetooth Action Camera Motorcycle Pack

Jul 02, 2015 View Comments by

Review: Sena Prism Bluetooth Action Camera Motorcycle PackCan a Bluetooth Company’s POV Camera Stand Up to the Competition? –

Just a few years ago, the only thing one had to relive a past ride was his or her memory, and perhaps a few photos. Today, however, Point of View (POV) video cameras have proliferated to the point that a lot of riders see them as an essential accessory. There are quite a few models on the market, but by far the most recognizable name in the industry is GoPro. Sena, on the other hand, is primarily known for their Bluetooth communication systems. The Prism is Sena’s first foray into the world of POV cameras, so how does it stack up?

Review: Sena Prism Bluetooth Action Camera Motorcycle PackLet’s review the Prism’s features and selling points first before getting into its function and performance. The Prism has four video recording settings: 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 60fps, 720p at 30fps, and 480p at 120fps. For comparison, the GoPro HERO4 Silver has resolutions up to 4K and frame rates up to 240fps, with many more choices in between. What that means for non-camera nerds is that the Prism lags significantly behind the GoPro in both actual video resolution and recording modes. Unfortunately, the same is true in the photo mode as the GoPro’s 12 megapixel (MP) maximum resolution easily trumps the Prism’s 5MP best.

Where the Sena does excel, at least for motorcyclists, is in the mounting hardware department. The Prism’s $399 price includes a variety of mounts with Sena’s Quick Release Mount (QRM) System. These include a top surface mount, a handlebar mount, dual suction cup mount, a single suction cup mount, and a helmet mounting system with three different setups. Together these mounts cover virtually every motorcycle mounting scenario. I also found the Sena QRM System to be better than GoPro’s accessory mounts, in particular the handlebar and helmet attachments. Like the GoPro, the Prism also includes a waterproof case.

The Prism was designed from the ground up with Bluetooth connectivity in mind. When paired with a Sena headset, the Prism’s Bluetooth 4.0 allows the user to record voice-overs while riding. It’s also capable of voice prompting and remote control. The Prism isn’t just compatible with Sena communicators either; it can pair with most systems on the market, though functionality will vary. Of course, with Bluetooth, there’s also an app for that. The Prism app is available for iOS and Android devices and makes it easy to navigate the camera’s settings, but there is no live viewing option. This makes framing a shot an exercise in trial and error. A future firmware update may add this much-needed feature.

The Prism is simple and intuitive to use, with clear instructions that even the least tech-savvy owners should be able to navigate without too much trouble. Two buttons on top of the camera can navigate through all of its vital functions; however, pairing it with a smartphone dramatically improves the user interface as the larger screen makes it easy to survey options. A small LCD screen on the camera’s right side displays the recording mode, battery status, available memory, and navigates the main menu.
After taking the Prism out for an hour long shakedown cruise and reviewing my footage, a large amount of vibration gets transmitted to the image when using the handlebar mount. Although, this likely says more about the smoothness of my motorcycle than the Prism, as this problem is also shared with the GoPro. Otherwise, image quality is impressive and directly comparable to the GoPro HERO3 when using the same settings. Audio performance is also good, though above 60 mph wind noise overwhelms the filters and creates an unpleasant cacophony.

Though it lacks the built-in touchscreen and doesn’t match the video and photo quality of the latest offerings from industry leader GoPro, the Sena Prism does offer a feature set and mounting solutions tailored specifically for motorcyclists. The Bluetooth connectivity, in particular, makes the Prism ideal for use on motorcycles. And to get the same mounting kit with a GoPro, one would have to spend some extra money. For those who already own a Bluetooth communicator, especially a Sena, the Prism makes a compelling case for itself in a crowded POV camera market.

Sena Prism Bluetooth 
Action Camera 
Motorcycle Pack
Price: $399
www.sena.com

 

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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.