Recently I have been looking around for a cheap 4K action camera to use on my travels but found the number of choices available a bit overwhelming. So, I started by looking at the most important features I would expect from a device and worry about all the bells & whistles that weren’t so important for later. I also didn’t want to spend too much money as I wasn’t sure how much I would actually use it. So this leads me to this Akaso action camera as it appeared to have all the features I needed but at a price which seemed to belie the quality of the product.
What’s in the box?
AKASO EK7000 Camera, 2.4G Remote Control, 2x 1050mAh Batteries, USB dual battery charger, Waterproof Case, Bicycle Stand, 7 x Mounts, 2 x Clips, Helmet Mount, Bandages, 5 x Tethers, Protective Backdoor, Micro USB Cable, Lens Cloth, Manual
This cheap 4k Akaso action camera has quite a fragile feel to it outside its plastic waterproof housing but very solid once it’s inside. As an action camera, most people will be using it with the case on anyway, especially when filming in a muddy environment or in bad weather so I don’t really see this as an issue. It can also be used in deep water up to a depth of 100ft (30m).
The EK7000 comes with 2 x lithium batteries that are charged in an independent charger via a micro-USB cable. The charger has LEDs to indicate charging status, so had to wait for these LEDs to change from red to blue before using the batteries. I found that not using the batteries for a couple of days, they lost their charge quite quickly so needed to ensure a fresh charge on both before taking out for the day.
Like most action cameras the EK7000 has no internal storage so you will need to buy a separate Micro SD card to start recording anything. It accepts 8gb, 16b and 32gb cards but as the price of storage cards are now relatively cheap, I would recommend the maximum of 32gb with a class 10 speed for Video recording. A Sandisk Ultra is ideal for this camera. This equates to around 80mins of Video at 4K or over 7,500 photos at 12mp
Accessing the camera
The camera came packaged already in its waterproof casing so needed to be taken out first to access the battery compartment and micro SD slot. The case has a black plastic top to it that simply levers off from the front to open. Once the battery and sim card were inserted, it was time to power on. Then pressing the mode button 4 times took me to the settings menu where I was able to scroll down to format the SD card.
Power (Mode) – the main power button at the front which you need to hold in for around a second to power the device on and off. Any short press will circle through the different modes (video, photo, burst photo, time lapse)
Shutter (Select) – for taking photos and turning the video on and off. Also used for selecting an item when scrolling through different options.
Playback (Up) – for going into playback mode for reviewing videos and photos. Also used for scrolling up in menu items
WiFi (Down) – to control with your smartphone through WiFi mode. Also used for scrolling down in menu items
When you power the camera on it will default to video mode showing the selected format (in my case 4k at 25fps) along with timers that give the clip length counting up alongside another that counts down how much video you have left. Simply press the shutter button to start and stop the video.
The first thing I did before using the camera was to download the iSmart DV app to my phone. This app allows you to review your recordings on the phone’s bigger screen and to control the camera remotely.
- Pressing the WIFi button puts the camera into WiFi mode where it displays the message “Waiting for WiFi connection“
- You then connect to the camera’s WiFi by selecting ICAM-AKASO_xxxxxx from the available networks on your phone
- Once you are linked to the hotspot, you go into the app, click “add a new camera”, click “WiFI connect” and that’s it, you’re good to go
The wrist remote has 2 buttons – red for taking a photo and grey for starting/stopping video record. I expected to have to pair it with the camera so was surprised that it worked straight out the box. It also goes straight to these modes from wherever you are in the camera’s menu (aside from WiFi mode) which makes things nice and easy.
The maximum video resolution you can get from this Akaso action camera is 4K at 25fps, an output that looks great on a 4K TV. Sure, you can get great results from devices providing 1080p but the tech companies are really pushing their 4K TVs as the new standard over HD nowadays so for me, going backwards isn’t an option. But if you still have an HD TV, don’t let this put you off as the 1080p quality is still pretty good at 60fps. And the price of the EK7000 isn’t much more than AKASO’s earlier 1080p models.
|Available Video Formats (all in 16:9)|
|4k||3840 x 2160||25|
|2.7k||2704 x 1520||30|
|1080p||1920 x 1080||60|
|1080p||1920 x 1080||30|
|720p||1280 x 720||120|
|720p||1280 x 720||60|
A Samples of 4k quality..
The quality of the still photos are pretty average at 12mp (3,000 x 4,000 pixels) with evidence of chromatic aberration. So for this reason, I wouldn’t change the resolution down from this. There other modes too such as Time-Lapse where you can set the camera to take a shot at set intervals (2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 & 60 seconds). And also burst mode where the camera will take a shot every 0.5 seconds (for motion shots). For a 4K Action Camera, I am more interested in the video quality anyway.
|Available Photo Resolutions (all in JPEG)|
|12mp||4000 x 3000|
|8mp||3264 x 2448|
|5mp||2592 x 1944|
|4mp||2304 x 1728|
Sample photos at 12mp..
- 4K video at 25fps
- Wide angled Lens (170°)
- Wireless wrist remote control
- 2″ Colour Screen
- Battery life of 90mins (on 1 battery)
- 6 mount options
- Micro HDMI output
The Akaso action camera is a very capable 4k camera that gives great results. Using the iSmart DV app, you can also control, view and share footage on a smartphone or tablet. Sure, it doesn’t have the same bells and whistles of the Go-pros like Bluetooth, voice control & GPS, etc. but for the money, it is a great way to introduce yourself to action cameras without breaking the bank.
I hope you enjoyed this review. Please see this section for more on travel cameras. If you have any questions about this Akaso action camera or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment below.