Mevo has been pioneering high-quality camera technology for a few years, so when the brand took to CES back in January I was excited about their latest product: The Mevo Start. And as someone who’s tried their hardest to Livestream from smartphones, tablets, and laptops, there’s always been more trouble than it was actually worth.
As you already know, live-streaming is great for connecting with friends, recording in multiple locations, as well as connecting with an audience. In my limited testing of the Mevo Start, I’ve used the video camera to take my podcast to the next level, connecting its ability to use Vimeo’s premium service to connect to our YouTube, Periscope and Facebook Live watchers. But before we get into the nitty gritty, lets just state what’s in the box.
- 1 Mevo Start video camera
- 1 6.5 ft (2m) USB-C to USB-A cable
- 1 Microfiber lens cloth
- Quick-Start guide
When you initially get the Mevo Start, you’re told to set it up with the companion app. You simply go to your WiFi network and connect directly to the Mevo Start as you would your home internet. Pressing connect will allow you to connect to the device (streaming will use your cellular data connection otherwise) but once configured you can easily get into the streaming service providers. On the free tier, you’re only able to do one at a time. But with Vimeo’s service, it will set you back $179 a year. In my humble opinion, that’s a lot of money to connect to different free services such as Facebook, but it is what it is.
Rather than using the stock iPhone Camera which is great, the Mevo Start gives a wide-angled lens viewing experience to your watchers, without the fishbowl effect, and it’s been a delight to try out. How they do this is with the 84-degree lens, complete with an HDR sensor that provides HD 1080p streaming capabilities even in low light. In retrospect, my living room doesn’t have the greatest lighting, and with the Mevo Start I am able to change the brightness and more from within the app, without having to move light fixtures around to get the perfect view for our streamers.
With my video recordings being in the studio or living room, one thing we’ve failed at often when attempting to Livestream is only connecting to ONE service or app at a time. But with the companion Mevo app, you can connect to Facebook, LinkedIn, Periscope, Twitch, Twitter, Vimeo, and Youtube all at the same time.
One thing that isn’t exactly possible, from what I’ve seen, is the ability to view the comments which is a bit of a downer for me. I would love to see the comments coming in from our live listeners so we can engage with them, but knowing that this is only the beginning for the Mevo Start shows that they are already headed in a great direction. Did I mention there’s SD card functionality that allows you to record simultaneously? It’s great if you want to style up your video for posting on social media again at a later date.
Another huge thing that makes the Mevo Start worth considering is its battery life. After charging through USB-C, the Mevo Start will give you up to six hours of battery life for continuous streaming from start to finish. This is great for podcasters or even some of you who want to record your Childs recital, or football game without having to carry around a battery pack with it.
In terms of audio quality, I was able to work with Mevo to not only fix an issue I had with recording my Livestream and hearing the audio back while recording and monitoring the view on my device, but there’s an included port for a 3.5mm headphone jack which I plugged into my mixer so that our listeners could hear the podcast recording as if they were truly sitting in the room, without a delay. Mevo states that with the 3.5mm port you can work both the line level and microphone audio inputs which in my case helps, but for any Twitcher I know this is a HUGE deal.
On the video editing side, with the Mevo app you can control this down to the letter. Not only can you live edit, but you can zoom in on a speaking person, cut and pan to different subjects and even affect the sharpness and exposure of the person or item in the frame.
One thing that I am waiting on is multi-camera functionality. Slated to arrive in the Summer, you can connect multiple Mevo Starts or Mevo Plus video cameras to create an entire production, shooting in all angles resulting in a more professional looking Livestream.
This was one of the things I wanted the most when I saw this at CES, but knowing that Mevo is taking their time to make sure that it is not a half baked release and going the extra mile is worth mentioning. I’ll be updating this article once the feature come out, and hopefully, once I’ve done my own testing of it.
Aside from the Vimeo situation, the Mevo Start is an exceptional tool for live streamers that solves a problem many have had attempting to reach their audience without trial and error. The foresight to include a 3.5mm jack, as well as onboard storage for video backup, makes this a must-have, and the small footprint allows you to toss into a bag without any additional bulk. If you have spotty internet or just want a more solid stream without any disconnections or unreliable power source, the Mevo Start Ethernet Power Adapter ships in May, and allows you to both charge, as well as connect to your Ethernet networks.
The Mevo Start is available for pre-order for $299 today; it will ship to you on or before April 30th. To get the ball rolling you can visit Mevo.com today.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Wide-angle lens captures everything, on top of the full editing tools allow for fixing live streams instantly; Battery life
What Needs Improvement: Mevo Start Power Adapter cost $99; Vimeo Premium service is insanely expensive (not a fault of Mevo)