Thursday, May 25

Akaso Action Camera EK7000 (helmet mount)

I've acquired another action camera.

The Akaso EK7000. It's a tiny little GoPro clone for $84. I'm never going to be one who uses these cameras all the time or expect perfection from them. Thus, I'm willing to make some sacrifices. After reading about the camera and watching many YouTube reviews of it, I decided to take the plunge. So far I'm liking many things about the camera--and I don't feel I've had to make any major sacrifices thus far.

Many years ago, I owned a GoPro. I don't remember the model; I just remember that I detested it--and that it wasn't cheap.  Undoubtedly, it took great videos but I couldn't stand the tiny screen that I had to scroll through to use its features. Eventually I traded it for a Drift HD Stealth 170, which liked far better and now plan to unearth soon for comparison to the Sena and Akaso.

First, what I like about the Akaso. It’s small, fits easily in the palm of my hand; yet, it has a large, bright 2-inch LCD screen that makes scrolling through the functions a breeze.
The images and video are clear--far beyond acceptable. I've yet to test it at night, however. The body is covered in a textured rubbery material that makes it easy to grip.

I like too that the camera comes with a bunch of mounting options, for wearing the camera, mounting it on the ‘cycle, the helmet, positioning it on a car’s dashboard. Moreover, if one has GoPro mounts, the Akaso camera is a perfect fit. Two 1050mAh batteries are included, which is a plus if you're on a longish trip and can’t easily recharge the battery.

Here are some specs: The Akaso takes a micro SD card (not included) up to 32GB (Class 10 recommended). In addition to video, one can capture photos, burst photos, and time lapse photos. I prefer my other cameras for photos and will probably never use the Akaso for stills. It's Wi-Fi, which has grown on me. I downloaded the iSmart DV app and used it to get a more precise perspective from the helmet mounting. Initially, it was tricky to set up but once done, it was all good. Included in the box of goodies is a wrist watch-like control that allows for glove friendly access for turning on and off the video and photo functions. 

What I don't like about the camera. To insert the battery requires removing a little door in the bottom of the camera. This should not be complicated. I fiddled with it longer than I should have, trying to be gentle with the rectangular lid. It should be on a hinge to prevent it from becoming airborne when you finally get it off. Getting that door open has been consistently knotty. Eventually, a tiny sliver along the lid snapped, which hasn't diminished my view of the camera but I must now be vigilant about close it so that it seals properly. I also don't like the helmet mount. I opted for that because it was the easiest way to execute the camera test. Personally, the camera atop the helmet made me feel as if I were signaling alien beings. Just too conspicuous for my liking. So, yes. I think this one is a keeper.

A short test ride:

UPDATE: The biggest disadvantage, perhaps understandable reason to avoid the Akaso, is the internal microphone quality is awful. I've watched far too many DIY mic hacks for this camera type and I have neither the time nor desire to do that level of work to improve the audio. Off to Best Buy (BB) in search of a better option. Fortunately, I took with me all the miscellaneous action cameras, cables and plugs from my previous years of trying to improve audio quality of action cameras--the audio set up with the Drift and Sena are exceptions. I think those setups are fine but their plugs are not universal. They don’t fit the other action cams. Is it so unreasonable to want the same mic setup to work on four different action cams?

At BB, a smart young techie assessed the cameras and cables and told me that I simply needed to purchase a Micro USB Jack to 3.5mm headphone Earphone Adapter Socket Audio Cable, and the audio problem of three of the cameras would be resolved. Fingers crossed. The fix? Six dollars.   
Coming soon: A revisit with the Drift Stealth HD.