MGCOOL Explorer 3

MGCOOL just released a new action camera, their first camera offering real 4K resolution: MGCOOL Explorer 3. It is equipped with image stabilisation that works in 4K, a 14 MP sensor, offers a 2″ touchscreen and the advanced h.264+ codec. Let’s take a look at the specs and its competition:

MGCOOL Explorer 3

MGCOOL Explorer 3

 

Sensor:
MGCOOL Explorer 3 holds a 14 MP Panasonic MN34112 sensor. That’s quite new for MGCOOL as the former models mainly offered Sony sensors. It is the same sensor also used in the new EKEN H6s camera.

Processor:
Also new for MGCOOL is the iCatch V50 processor whereas Explorer 2C offered a Novatek chipset.

Video Resolution & Frame Rate:

  • 4K  – (3840 x 2160) – 30 fps
  • 1080p – (1920 x 1080) – 60 fps
  • 720p – (1280 x 720) – 120 fps

Here’s a bit of a downside: whereas most other real 4K action cameras offer 120fps in 1080p, MGCOOL Explorer is limited to 60fps. Interestingly only one available frame rate is stated for each resolution setting. Not sure if it is the max. value or only setting.

Video Format:
.mov format, .h264+ codec.
According to MGCOOL website the .h264+ codec offers double the compression ratio over .h264 codec.

Image Stabilisation
Electronic image stabilisation (EIS) is available in 4K resolution, only a few cameras offer that e.g. EKEN H6s, YI 4K+ and GoPro Hero6 black.

Photo:
Max. photo resolution is 14 MP which equals the 14 MP sensor. Available format is .jpg – RAW is not available.

Display:
MGCOOL introduced touchscreens with their Explorer 2C. of course their new top of the line product is equipped with a 2″ touchscreen as well.

MGCOOL Explorer 3 - 2" Touchscreen

MGCOOL Explorer 3 – 2″ Touchscreen

 

Battery:
The battery got a capacity of 1100mAh which lasts for 75 min. video recording in 4K and about 120 min. in 1080p. The battery is a bit larger in capacity compared to MGCOOL Explorer 2C.

Storage:
microSD card support for cards up to 64GB; Class 10 is recommended for HD, class U§ for 4K video.

Connectivity & Ports:
Wifi
You can connect Explorer 3 camera to MGCOOL App (available for iOS and Android).

Ports
On the side of the camera you’ll find mini USB & microHDMI port.
That’s interesting news! The use of an external microphone is not available with micro USB (as used in Explorer 2C) but with mini USB it would be possible. Although I don’t have confirmation currently.

MGCOOL Explorer 3 - Ports

MGCOOL Explorer 3 – Ports

 

Dimensions & Weight:
Weight: 81g camera;
Dimensions: 60,2 x 41 x 32 mm.

Accessories:
MGCOOL Explorer 3 packaging includes Camera, Waterproof Case, Quick release mount, Flat mount, Lock Bolt, Knuckle,
Portable case, USB Cable and User Manual.

Features:

  • MGCOOL Explorer 3 features image stabilisation (EIS) in 4K resolution, whereas 2C was limited to HD resolution.
  • Usual features like Burst or Time-lapse are available.
  • Explorer 3 also is equipped with 2 mics for stereo audio recording.

 

Competition

Which are the competitors of MGCOOL Explorer 3?

  • Despite the first price announcement, MGCOOL Explorer 3 seems to be available for under 100 USD. That’s about the same price as new Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera which offers a larger touchscreen, longer battery life, RAW photo and higher frame rates in HD, but not image stabilisation in 4K (only HD).
  • EKEN H6s is a competitor using the same sensor, but a different processor (Ambarella). The features are quite similar but H6s doesn’t offer a touch screen but as well EIS in 4K. Price is about the same as MGCOOL Explorer 3.

So I guess it depends on how the real life performance of Explorer 3 is compared to Xiaomi Mijia.

Retailer / Price Comparison

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