Must Have: Narrative Clip 2

This December my wife and I have decided we're going to pack up the kids two days after Christmas and make the long (sooo long) trek to Florida for a week at Disney World and Universal Studios.

We could fly, sure, however, with 2 adults and 3 kids on the ticket, that is a pretty steep price tag at that time of year. So we have decided to drive all the way down. According to Google Maps the journey should take about 19 hrs. We have decided to slit it up over the course of three days. 

Day 1 we will aim for Lexington, KY. Day 2 our target will be Macon, GA and on the third day, we we hope to roll into Orlando in the early afternoon. On paper, seems like a breeze, in reality, I'm sure it will be less than enjoyable, but we are going to make the best out of it and use the drive as a sort of mini-vacation along the way.

So with the particulars of hotels, Air B&B's and theme park tickets out of the way I need to start thinking about what tech will be best suited for a trip such as this. Devices like tablets, iPads, waterproof cameras, battery packs and two-way radios are givens. However, one thing I reflect on after each vacation (long or short) is whether or not I took enough pictures or video. Although the answer is usually yes, I still fell like I should have taken more or that I missed a several key things.

I feel a camera like a GoPro is too obtrusive to wear all day while on the go. While devices like Sony's handheld action cams are too awkward to use while juggling other gear and wrangling children.

Not too long ago while looking through posts on one of my favourite blogs, 'Becoming Nomad' by Mike Elgan, I saw in his gear section that he uses a camera called the 'Narrative Clip 2'. Intrigued, I looked into the camera further and made note of how it would be perfect for our next trip to Disney (originally not planned until at least 2020). So, now that I am in tech planning mode for this trip three years ahead of schedule, I figured I should give the Narrative Clip 2 a closer look prior to buying.

What is the Narrative Clip 2?

As mentioned, it is a wearable camera that can clip onto your shirt or bag, or hang around your neck using a lanyard. The Narrative Clip 2 packs the follow specs:

  • 8.0 MP / 1080p Video (JPEG / MP4)
  • f/2.2 aperture
  • 86.5 degree field of view
  • 8GB internal storage
  • Wireless 
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • GPS 
  • USB 2.0

What does all that mean? Well according to Narrative that will net you about 4000 images or 80 minutes of video before running out of storage.

The Narrative can be affixed to your clothing via the standard hook-style clip, a magnetic clip or via a lanyard should you not want to clip it right onto your clothing.

How does the Narrative Clip 2 work?

The Narrative is a very simple device to use by all appearances. By default the Narrative takes a picture every 30 seconds, but can be adjusted to take shots at as low as 10 second or as high as 2 minute intervals. Another great feature is the manual mode available on the Clip, and that allows you to double tap the front of the camera to take a picture or a video (10-30 seconds in length). All of these features can be controlled via the Narrative app which is available on both Android or iOS devices. From a distance the Narrative app looks like a clean and simple application, however may be a bit clunky to use. 

Narrative App on Android

Narrative App on Android

What to expect from the Narrative Clip?

Do not expect to get printable-framable-hang on the wall type images from the Clip 2. Those moments are for your DSLR or other smartphone camera. The Clip 2 is for capturing the authentic in between moments when those devices are not in your hand. Narrative refers to them as "authentic" moments. 

The image and video quality from Narrative looks to be respectable but due to the f/2.2 sensor and lack of optical image stabilization for video images may suffer in some scenarios and videos may be a bit shaky. Again though, this is not the point of the Narrative Clip 2. It is there to capture the small, "authentic", otherwise missed moments.

The Clip has no buttons. Turning it off is as simple as placing it face down on a flat surface or putting in your pocket.

The Clip also has a useful time-lapse feature that automatically engages when it is place on a flat surface such as a desk or bookcase. 

Other Thoughts

There are some privacy concerns to consider as with a device like the Narrative Clip 2. Ever since device like Google Glass were released. These types of device, despite the ever growing societal acceptance, still carry a significant stigma along with them. So be mindful of the fact your wearing a recording device while using a public restroom or other sensitive areas.

The Narrative Clip two retails on Narrative's site for $199 USD. However, at the time of this post the Clip 2 is out of stock.

Available in Piano Black, Arctic White and Narrative Red