The Duovox Mate Pro Night Vision Camera promises the ability to capture full color photos and videos in complete darkness. It’s a fun, if not limited, fulfillment of that promise.
According to Duovox founder David Chen, the new Matte Pro aims to “replace traditional black and white infrared night vision devices”. Targeting night-time adventurers, camper and content creators, Mad Pro is an incredibly portable device with incredible ability to view scenes in very low light. The camera is now funded by Kickstarter.
Small camera with night vision chops
Duvox provided the pre-production prototype of the Mat Pro to PetaPixel, so observations about its build quality and design may be limited to my unit and may not indicate final production operation.
The Duovox Mate Pro measures 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) wide, 3 inches (7.6 cm) deep (including standard lens protrusion) and 2.125 inches (5.398 cm) high. Aside from the fact that the lens is in a fixed position and non-removable, it is a small-sized camera that looks great when not in use. The camera lens does not come with a cap, so it is yours to protect the front element when storing.
Most of its 7.6 ounce (216 grams) weight is weighed down towards the lens, which is heavier on the front. At this weight, it does not make much difference in portable use, but because it leans forward and rests at a downward angle, it makes it very difficult to set it up on its own when designing a shot. To help set the best angle, a mini tablet tripod is integrated into the box that attaches to the 1/4-inch socket at the bottom of the camera.
The body chassis is plastic with six hard plastic buttons on the top of the camera. There are power buttons, shutter buttons and four buttons that act as shortcuts for different menu settings. These menus are easily accessible through the 3-inch non-tilt touchscreen display on the back of the camera.
On the right side of the camera is the USB-C charging port and the port cover that hides the microSD slot, which Duovox claims to accept 512GB cards. For my test, I used a SanDisk Extreme 128 GB card, which worked amazingly well and showed 8.5 hours of video recording time. Noted a little more about the compatibility of the USB-C charging port, the 5-watt USB-A charger and the USB-A to USB-C card.
According to Duovox, the ghe non-removable battery has a capacity of 3,000 mAh. In practice, it exits at moderate speeds with an hour or more of total video recording and the normal standby time available for a fee.
Plenty of settings
In the touch screen display, there are many changes and menus to control the settings of Matte Pro. Instant controls for screen brightness, color and monochrome change, screen lock activation, photo and video playback, audio recording on-off switch, WiFi connection and flashlight control with three-level brightness. There are also buttons that allow you to change the camera mode (photo, video and vertical video) and enter the camera mode menu settings and system settings.
Available video mode settings include:
- Instant recording: Turning on the camera will start recording automatically.
- Loop mode: 3 minutes, 5 minutes and 10 minutes choices.
- Time-loops mode: 1 second, 2 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds and 1 minute interval options.
- Motion Detection: Detects changes in a scene to begin recording.
- Webback mode: Similar to cache recording. It records continuously but does not hold the video file until the record button is pressed. I tested this with a record time of 10 minutes before, and it saved 10 minutes before pressing the record.
- Delayed stop: Pressing the shutter button to stop recording actually takes an extra second to stop. Choices of 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds and 30 seconds.
- Audio: Enable or disable audio recording.
- Timestamp: Enable or disable the timestamp shot in the scenes.
- Logo Watermark: Enable or disable the Duovox logo on the top left of the recorded video.
- Quality: High, medium and low quality options.
Available photo mode settings:
- Quick capture: takes photos while the camera is on.
- Face Detection: Automatically captures up to 8 faces at a time in a single scene. Options for setting 1 to 8 faces.
- Burst mode: Consecutive frames of 3, 5 or 10 photos when the shutter is pressed. The display freezes on the first frame taken. Burst mode can be combined with other methods such as face detection.
- Selfie timer: Shutter delay options of 3 seconds, 5 seconds and 10 seconds.
- Quality: Option for better, more natural and economical photo quality.
- Timestamp: Date, time, two choices on or off.
- Image Format: Choices of JPEG or RAW file formats.
- Shutter sound: Enable or disable shutter sound.
(Mostly) watching in the dark
The ability to see full color in blurred scenes comes from its Sony STARVIS 2 CMOS sensor, which was first launched in 2015 and is used in a range of products such as Dell’s UltraSharp 4K webcam. Duovox claims that the Matte Pro can capture images at a minimum of 0.0001 lux and has 22 stops in the dynamic range. The optics in the camera have a seven-lens system that captures and captures an image with different resolutions and also has an infrared filter to help maintain color authenticity.
In testing, the sensor must have at least some light sources for it to work. I tried to set this up in the backyard one night, believing that a raccoon or something was coming, but it could not see anything, and I got a clean black record. However, the Mate Pro is able to use a very small amount of light and provides full color and brightness in situations that appear dark to the naked eye.
Videos are recorded at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440, and JPG photos are 5.7 megapixels (3,200 x 1,808 pixels). The camera can capture images in RAW file format, however, Adobe applications cannot open them.
Duovox uses some degree of noise reduction and other enhancements for the images coming out of the camera. For a film that comes straight out of the dark, it’s kind of interesting, but in terms of the quality of the film, it’s still clear that there are limited ways of what can be done in these recordings.
However, the ability to reproduce very precise colors impresses me. Brightening the dark image is one thing, but color reliability is better than I expected.
After my time with Duovox Mate Pro, there are some things I do not like. My first and biggest complaint is the minimal focus distance. The lens also has a fixed focus, which is similar to the GoPro.
Shooting almost anywhere in the house or in my backyard did not have the distance needed to sharpen anything. When I first heard about the Mad Pro, I wanted to set this up more for wildlife camera trapping with a motion detector, but this requires such a wide area in front of the camera that it was too little to use in practice. When there is sharp focus, even small creatures can be very small in frame.
Some other issues are that it is subject to mild stroking effects from synthetic sources and there does not seem to be a way to adjust the shutter speed to compensate for that. There is also a very heavy rolling shutter effect with no lateral movements.
It’s up to you whether the Duovox Mate Pro has an application for artistic approaches to photography and videography, however, in my experience, it looks like a toy for general night watch or can be used to show any places fun or make things look dark.
The Duovox Mate Pro is currently funded by Kickstarter at a low support price of $ 599. The retail price of the Matte Pro is currently set at $ 1,200. Cambe says it aims to deliver cameras completed by October 2022.
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