If you watch any action-cam videos on the Internet, you know the 800-pound gorilla is the ubiquitous GoPro. But brisk competition is good for innovation and consumers. Since I use a SENA intercom, I was interested in its hi-def Prism action cam and new handlebar remote.
The motorsports camera kit provides all the mounts that any rider could require, including a glue-on base, a hefty helmet clamp and a collection of suction cup and bar-clamp mounts. The SENA helmet mount is substantial, with a metal clamp that locks the cam in a rigid cradle that deters wiggling. Adjustability is by a ball/socket that locks securely.
A clever feature is the Bluetooth connectivity that links intercom and Prism with the new handlebar remote. Once all are paired, I could control all functions by using the remote jog wheel, keeping both hands on the bars. No need to touch the camera or the intercom.
The Prism pairs with any Bluetooth headset and allows live intercom audio to be laid down while the cam is capturing video. It also has a built-in mic. Riders can narrate their ride in real time without having to resort to post-production voiceover. That’s cool. The Prism is not controlled by your voice, but it does provide voice prompts that announce changes and confirm the currently selected mode.
Unfortunately, despite a smartphone connection, the camera’s aim is not reviewable. Perhaps an upgrade will correct this; it would help in initially aiming the camera.
Due to the physical closeness of the SENA helmet mount, a wide-angle setting allows the helmet to intrude into the field of view. I selected the narrow field of view setting and slid the clamp closer to the front of the helmet. My Arai accepted the mount easily; a minor annoyance was incidental contact between my leather jacket and the cam itself, which could move the aim point.
My Prism came with no printed manual and the minimalist instructions were vague. Exploring the numerous settings was initially difficult, with layers of choices to be navigated, but now my iPhone shows the setup clearly without tedious button pushing. The SENA helpline folks are very patient and YouTube was also helpful in wrangling the 3-way Bluetooth relationship into a manageable system. Once the pairing and connectivity is achieved, the whole plot works very well. When powered-up, the 20S and the Prism quickly paired with my smartphone and handlebar remote.
The remote is a spring-loaded clamp that mounts securely on the left grip. Once charged with the USB cable, SENA claims the battery life is “months,” and that the remote will control the SENA 20S, 10C and 10U headsets. If you have a connection problem, be sure to upgrade to the newest Bluetooth firmware as well as any recent manuals. I advise carrying an extra camera battery and using the fastest high-speed micro SD card available. The Prism is priced at $249, or $199 without the mounting kit.
No system is perfect. But SENA has certainly raised the bar.
For more information: Visit sena.com